Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sandy Spit, BVI and how I got this photograph

Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands (as seen from Green Cay)
Few people are lucky enough to visit the British Virgin Islands once.  Even fewer go twice.  Just such an opportunity came to me because of a family member who is passionate about sailing.  He invited me and a few others.  That makes more fun and we divide the cost of the ship.  But I digress.

My first visit to Sandy Spit in 2008 was remarkable.  Here's this tiny piece of beach surrounded by water everywhere.  What could be more beautiful than that?  Taking a photo of this beauty should be easy right?  Wrong.  From the level of a sailboat or the beach itself, you cannot see the island's other side.  You can't see how small and cute it is.  My photos from 2008 disappointed me.

A higher vantage point is needed to show this island in its' best light.  I did some advance research this time.  I checked out surrounding islands and their heights.  Could they be climbed?  Can a ship anchor near enough to allow a visit?  I figures that Green Cay would be an ideal location to shoot down on Sandy Spit.  The best time would be near sunset, so that any smaller boat who visit during the day would be gone.

The boat I sailed on anchored off Little Jost Van Dyke.  In the distance I could see Green Cay and decided to see if I could reach this isle.  With camera in a waterproof dry bag, I started on a paddle board.  Just a half mile away, but with wind and waves blowing against me, this distance was far enough.  A rough rocky shelf surrounds the island.  I tossed my board on the rocks and searched for a trail to the top of the island.  I circled halfway round the island before finding a small trail to the top.

From this vantage point, I finally took the photograph which I hoped to create 5 years earlier.  

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