Virgin Gorda Baths, Caribbean 2011
On Spring Break of 2011, Becky (my wife) and I went on a Cruise in the Caribbean. One of the stops was Tortola, and we decided to visit the “Virgin Gorda Baths” from a hired boat. Virgin Gorda is a small island, about 12 square kilometers, only a few kilometers from Tortola.
The “Baths” on Virgin Gorda (the second largest island in the British Virgin Islands) are a maze of giant granite boulders and sheltered pools located on the southwest coast of the island.
Virgin Gorda means “Fat” or “Pregnant Virgin” and is said to have ben named by Columbus because of the shape of the island from the horizon.
The island is about 16 kilometers long with mountains in the northern and central areas.
The oldest volcanic rocks in the Virgin Islands were formed about 120 million years ago, but the granite boulders of Virgin Gorda did not appear on the Caribbean seabed until about 70 million years ago.
Faulting and uplifting of the sea floor approximately 15-25 million years ago exposed the boulders, while weathering and erosion rounded the boulders and carved large caves into them.
The “Baths” is a very popular attraction in the British Virgin Islands, and was accessible by land or sea.
Apart from exploring the pools and grottos, we found that the snorkeling was great or, (as seen from the photo above), relaxing on the white sand beach.