Since everybody recommended a place called “The Baths” on the south end of Virgin Gouda we decided to sail there and take a look, as a lunch stop on our way north from Cooper Island.
Getting ashore was a bit of a challenge for us, since you aren’t allowed to land boats or dingies on shore near The Baths. Most people either stop at a harbor further north and a take a taxi to The Baths, or swim to shore from their boat. We didn’t want to stay at a harbor, and we couldn’t swim in from the boat (too many small kids). So we paddled the dingy close to shore, Sophia climbed out in chest-deep water, carried the kids to land, then I paddled back out to a dingie mooring buoy and swam back to shore.
We were pleasantly surprised by The Baths! The place is awesome, a wonderland of massively huge rocks piled upon each other forming natural caves, pools, and climbing walls. Getting through the place was a real adventure, scrambling and crawling our way up and down through tiny passages, sometimes partially water-filled. Definitely easier for kids than adults! Good that none of us our claustrophobic. We had a lot fun though, this felt like Nature’s version of Disney Land! And fortunately nobody got hurt; one thing we’ve learned the hard way is that, here in the tropics, even small scratches get infected really easily, and that means No Swimming for several days.
On the other side of the rocks we found a beautiful beach where we swam around a bit to celebrate.
After we got back to our landing beach we snorkeled a bit (really nice snorkeling, lots of fishes and nice coral!), then Dave and I swam out and fetched the dingie and picked up the rest of the family.
After some snacks on board the boat we were off again, sailing north towards the north end of Virgin Gouda (a place called “The Bitter End…”).