Virgin Islands: The Baths at Virgin Gorda
Nearly 8000 years ago in what would one day be Oregon, a 12,000 foot mountain collapsed on itself after a large eruption. Determined and patient, the Colorado river and its minions have been eroding away northwest Arizona for an unforgiving six million years. Twelve thousand years ago, glaciers ravaged the landscape of Minnesota, tearing up everything in their path.
These destructive forces left wounds on the land, as destruction tends to do. Nature carried on and healed, as nature tends to do. Today, the ancient traumas have left us with some of the most stunning sights around – Crater Lake, the Grand Canyon and the beautiful lakes of Minnesota (11,842 strong!).
When we pause to take in a dazzling view, more often than not, we’re looking at a scar.
Such is the case at Virgin Gorda. Sailing around the island, the shoreline is suddenly littered with giant boulders, some piled on top of others. They are as surprising and as seemingly out of place as the boulders at Devil’s Marbleyard.
This is an area known as “The Baths“. The boulders were created long ago and were once part of the sea floor. Then 15-25 million years ago, a fault occurred, reaping havoc. Suddenly, what was once under water, the sea floor and the boulders, was…well, land.
Enter erosion. Sea, sand, wind and rain slowly but surely weathered the rocks, rounded them out and sculpted grooves and patterns. Meanwhile, natural cracks and weaknesses caused what had to be superdupermegaboulders to split apart into mere house-size boulders.
The result– stunning. Caves and tunnels to explore. Covered tidal pools to wade through. Textures to absorb on the walls. All surrounded by white-sand beaches and blue waters.
Ladders assist your exploration (Photo by strass)