Tide pools or rock pools are shallow pools of seawater that form on the rocky intertidal shore. Many of these pools exist as separate bodies of water only at low tide. Many tide pools are habitats of adaptable animals that have engaged the attention of naturalists and marine biologists, as well as philosophical essayists: John Steinbeck wrote in The Log from the Sea of Cortez, "It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and back to the tide pool." Tidal pools exist in the intertidal zones. These zones are submerged by the sea at high tides and during storms, may receive spray from wave action. At other times the rocks may undergo other extreme conditions, baking in the sun or exposed to cold winds. Few organisms can survive such harsh conditions. Lichens and barnacles live in this region. In this zone, different barnacle species live at tightly constrained elevations. Tidal conditions determine the exact height of an assemblage relative to sea level; the intertidal zone is periodically exposed to sun and wind, which desiccate barnacles, which need to be well adapted to water loss.
Their calcite shells are impermeable, they possess two plates which they slide across their mouth opening when not feeding. These plates protect against predation; the high tide zone is flooded during each high tide. Organisms must survive wave action and exposure to the sun; this zone is predominantly inhabited by seaweed and invertebrates, such as sea anemones, chitons, green algae, mussels. Marine algae provide shelter for hermit crabs; the same waves and currents that make life in the high tide zone difficult bring food to filter feeders and other intertidal organisms. Called the lower littoral zone; this area is submerged and is exposed only during unusually low tide. It teems with life and has much more marine vegetation seaweeds. There is greater biodiversity. Organisms in this zone do not have to be as well adapted to drying temperature extremes. Low tide zone organisms include abalone, brown seaweed, crabs, green algae, isopods, limpets and sometimes small vertebrates such as fish; these creatures can grow to larger sizes because there is more available energy and better water coverage: the water is shallow enough to allow more sunlight for photosynthetic activity, the salinity is at normal levels.
This area is relatively protected from large predators because of the wave action and shallow water. Tide pools provide a home for hardy organisms such as starfish and clams. Inhabitants must be able to deal with a changing environment — fluctuations in water temperature and oxygen content. Hazards include strong currents, exposure to midday sun and predators. Waves can draw them out to sea. Gulls drop sea urchins to break them open. Starfish are eaten by gulls themselves. Black bears sometimes feast on intertidal creatures at low tide. Although tide pool organisms must avoid getting washed away into the ocean, drying up in the sun, or getting eaten, they depend on the tide pool's constant changes for food; the sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima reproduces clones of itself through a process of longitudinal fission, in which the animal splits into two parts along its length. The sea anemone Anthopleura sola engages in territorial fights; the white tentacles, which contain stinging cells, are for fighting.
The sea anemones sting each other until one moves. Some species of starfish can regenerate lost arms. Most species must retain an intact central part of the body to be able to regenerate, but a few can regrow from a single ray; the regeneration of these stars is possible. Sea palms look similar to palm trees, they live in the middle to upper intertidal zones in areas with greater wave action. High wave action may increase nutrient availability and moves the blades of the thallus, allowing more sunlight to reach the organism so that it can photosynthesize. In addition, the constant wave action removes competitors, such as the mussel species Mytilus californianus. Recent studies have shown that Postelsia grows in greater numbers when such competition exists — a control group with no competition produced fewer offspring than an experimental group with mussels. Alternatively, the mussels may prevent the growth of competing algae such as Corallina or Halosaccion, allowing Postelsia to grow after wave action removes the mussels.
Intertidal fish List of British Isles rockpool life Rocky shore Tidal swimming pools in Britain
A grotto is a natural or artificial cave used by humans in both modern times and antiquity, or prehistorically. Occurring grottoes are small caves near water that are flooded or liable to flood at high tide. Sometimes, artificial grottoes are used as garden features; the Grotta Azzurra at Capri and the grotto at the villa of Tiberius in the Bay of Naples are examples of popular natural seashore grottoes. Whether in tidal water or high up in hills, grottoes are made up of limestone geology, where the acidity of standing water has dissolved the carbonates in the rock matrix as it passes through what were small fissures. See karst topography, cavern; the word grotto comes from Italian grotta, Vulgar Latin grupta, Latin crypta. It is related by a historical accident to the word grotesque. In the late 15th century, Romans accidentally unearthed Nero's Domus Aurea on the Palatine Hill, a series of rooms, decorated with designs of garlands, slender architectural framework and animals; the rooms had sunk underground over time.
The Romans who discovered this historical monument found it strange because it was uncovered from an "underworld" source. This led the Romans of that era to give it the name grottesca, from. Grottoes were popular in Greek and Roman culture. Spring-fed grottoes were a feature of Apollo's oracles at Delphi and Clarus; the Hellenistic city of Rhodes was designed with rock-cut artificial grottoes incorporated into the city, made to look natural. At the great Roman sanctuary of Praeneste south of Rome, the oldest portion of the primitive sanctuary was situated on the second lowest terrace, in a grotto in the natural rock where a spring developed into a well. According to tradition, Praeneste's sacred spring had a native nymph, honored in a grotto-like watery nymphaeum. Tiberius, the Roman emperor, filled his grotto with sculptures to create a sense of mythology channeling Polyphemus' cave in the Odyssey; the numinous quality of the grotto is still more ancient: in a grotto near Knossos in Crete, Eileithyia was venerated before Minoan palace-building.
Farther back in time, the immanence of the divine in a grotto is seen in the sacred caves of Lascaux. The popularity of artificial grottoes introduced the Mannerist style to Italian and French gardens of the mid-16th century. Two famous grottoes in the Boboli Gardens of Palazzo Pitti were begun by Vasari and completed by Ammanati and Buontalenti between 1583 and 1593. One of these grottoes housed the Prisoners of Michelangelo. Before the Boboli grotto, a garden was laid out by Niccolò Tribolo at the Medici Villa Castello, near Florence. At Pratolino, in spite of the dryness of the site, there was a Grotto of Cupid, with water tricks for the unsuspecting visitor; the Fonte di Fata Morgana at Grassina, not far from Florence, is a small garden building, built in 1573–4 as a garden feature in the extensive grounds of the Villa "Riposo" of Bernardo Vecchietti. It is decorated with sculptures in the Giambolognan manner; the outsides of garden grottoes are designed to look like an enormous rock, a rustic porch or a rocky overhang.
Inside, they are decorated as a temple or with fountains and imitation gems and shells. Damp grottoes were cool places to retreat from the Italian sun, but they became fashionable in the cool drizzle of the Île-de-France. In Kuskovo in the Sheremetev estate there is a Summer Grotto, built in 1775. Grottoes could serve as baths. Courtiers once bathed in the small cascade that splashed over the pebbles and shells encrusted in the floor and walls. Grottoes have served as chapels, or at Villa Farnese at Caprarola, a little theater designed in the grotto manner, they were combined with cascading fountains in Renaissance gardens. The grotto designed by Bernard Palissy for Catherine de' Medici's château in Paris, the Tuileries, was renowned. There are grottoes in the gardens designed by André Le Nôtre for Versailles. In England, an early garden grotto was built at Wilton House in the 1630s by Isaac de Caus. Grottoes were suitable for less formal gardens too. Pope's Grotto, created by Alexander Pope, is all that survives of one of the first landscape gardens in England, at Twickenham.
Pope was inspired after seeing grottoes in Italy during a visit there. Efforts are under way to restore his grotto. There are grottoes in the landscape gardens of Painshill Park, Clandon Park and Stourhead. Scott's Grotto is a series of interconnected chambers, extending 67 ft into the chalk hillside on the outskirts of Ware, Hertfordshire. Built during the late 18th century, the chambers and tunnels are lined with shells and pieces of coloured glass; the Romantic generation of tourists might not visit Fingal's Cave, on the remote isle of Staffa in the Scottish Hebrides, but they have heard of it through Felix Mendelssohn's "Hebrides Overture", better known as "Fingal's Cave", inspired by his visit. In the 19th century, when miniature Matterhorns and rock-gardens became fashionable, a grotto was found, such as at Ascott House. In Bavaria, Ludwig's Linderhof contains an abstraction of the grotto under Venusberg, which figured in Wagner's Tannhäuser. Although grottoes have fallen from fashion since the British Pic
Tourism is travel for pleasure or business. Tourism may be international, or within the traveller's country; the World Tourism Organization defines tourism more in terms which go "beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only", as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure and not less than 24 hours and other purposes". Tourism can be domestic or international, international tourism has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country's balance of payments. Tourism suffered as a result of a strong economic slowdown of the late-2000s recession, between the second half of 2008 and the end of 2009, the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, but recovered. International tourism receipts grew to US$1.03 trillion in 2005, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 3.8% from 2010. International tourist arrivals surpassed the milestone of 1 billion tourists globally for the first time in 2012, emerging markets such as China and Brazil had increased their spending over the previous decade.
The ITB Berlin is the world's leading tourism trade fair. Global tourism accounts for ca. 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The word tourist was used in 1772 and tourism in 1811, it is formed from the word tour, derived from Old English turian, from Old French torner, from Latin tornare. Tourism has become an important source of income for many regions and entire countries; the Manila Declaration on World Tourism of 1980 recognized its importance as "an activity essential to the life of nations because of its direct effects on the social, cultural and economic sectors of national societies and on their international relations."Tourism brings large amounts of income into a local economy in the form of payment for goods and services needed by tourists, accounting as of 2011 for 30% of the world's trade in services, for 6% of overall exports of goods and services. It generates opportunities for employment in the service sector of the economy associated with tourism; the hospitality industries which benefit from tourism include transportation services.
This is in addition to goods bought by tourists, including souvenirs. On the flip-side, tourism can degrade sour relationships between host and guest. In 1936, the League of Nations defined a foreign tourist as "someone traveling abroad for at least twenty-four hours", its successor, the United Nations, amended this definition in 1945, by including a maximum stay of six months. In 1941, Hunziker and Kraft defined tourism as "the sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, insofar as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected with any earning activity." In 1976, the Tourism Society of England's definition was: "Tourism is the temporary, short-term movement of people to destinations outside the places where they live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination. It includes movements for all purposes." In 1981, the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism defined tourism in terms of particular activities chosen and undertaken outside the home.
In 1994, the United Nations identified three forms of tourism in its Recommendations on Tourism Statistics: Domestic tourism, involving residents of the given country traveling only within this country Inbound tourism, involving non-residents traveling in the given country Outbound tourism, involving residents traveling in another countryThe terms tourism and travel are sometimes used interchangeably. In this context, travel implies a more purposeful journey; the terms tourism and tourist are sometimes used pejoratively, to imply a shallow interest in the cultures or locations visited. By contrast, traveler is used as a sign of distinction; the sociology of tourism has studied the cultural values underpinning these distinctions and their implications for class relations. International tourist arrivals reached 1.035 billion in 2012, up from over 996 million in 2011, 952 million in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, international travel demand continued to recover from the losses resulting from the late-2000s recession, where tourism suffered a strong slowdown from the second half of 2008 through the end of 2009.
After a 5% increase in the first half of 2008, growth in international tourist arrivals moved into negative territory in the second half of 2008, ended up only 2% for the year, compared to a 7% increase in 2007. The negative trend intensified during 2009, exacerbated in some countries due to the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, resulting in a worldwide decline of 4.2% in 2009 to 880 million international tourists arrivals, a 5.7% decline in international tourism receipts. The World Tourism Organization reports the following ten destinations as the most visited in terms of the number of international travelers in 2017. International tourism receipts grew to US$1.26 Trillion in 2015, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 4.4% from 2014. The World Tourism Organization reports the following entities as the top ten tourism earners for the year 2015: The World Tourism Organizati
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands simply the Virgin Islands, are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles; the British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke, along with over 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 15 of the islands are inhabited; the capital, Road Town, is on Tortola, the largest island, about 20 km long and 5 km wide. The islands had a population of about 28,000 at the 2010 Census, of whom 23,500 lived on Tortola. For the islands, the latest United Nations estimate is 30,661. British Virgin Islanders are British Overseas Territories citizens and since 2002 are British citizens as well. Although the territory is not part of the European Union and not directly subject to EU law, British Virgin Islanders are deemed to be citizens of the EU by virtue of their British citizenship.
The official name of the territory is still the "Virgin Islands", but the prefix "British" is used. This is believed to distinguish it from the neighbouring American territory which changed its name from the "Danish West Indies" to "Virgin Islands of the United States" in 1917. However, local historians have disputed this, pointing to a variety of publications and public records dating from between 21 February 1857 and 12 September 1919 where the Territory is referred to as the British Virgin Islands. British Virgin Islands government publications continue to begin with the name "The territory of the Virgin Islands", the territory's passports refer to the "Virgin Islands", all laws begin with the words "Virgin Islands". Moreover, the territory's Constitutional Commission has expressed the view that "every effort should be made" to encourage the use of the name "Virgin Islands", but various public and quasi-public bodies continue to use the name "British Virgin Islands" or "BVI", including BVI Finance, BVI Electricity Corporation, BVI Tourist Board, BVI Athletic Association, BVI Bar Association and others.
In 1968 the British Government issued a memorandum requiring that the postage stamps in the territory should say "British Virgin Islands", a practice, still followed today. This was to prevent confusion following on from the adoption of US currency in the Territory in 1959, the references to US currency on the stamps of the Territory; the Virgin Islands were first settled by the Arawak from South America around 100 BC. The Arawaks inhabited the islands until the 15th century when they were displaced by the more aggressive Caribs, a tribe from the Lesser Antilles islands, after whom the Caribbean Sea is named; the first European sighting of the Virgin Islands was by the Spanish expedition of Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage to the Americas. Columbus gave them the fanciful name Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Vírgenes, shortened to Las Vírgenes, after the legend of Saint Ursula; the Spanish Empire claimed the islands by discovery in the early 16th century, but never settled them, subsequent years saw the English, French and Danish all jostling for control of the region, which became a notorious haunt for pirates.
There is no record of any native Amerindian population in the British Virgin Islands during this period, although most of the native population on nearby Saint Croix was killed or dispersed. The Dutch established a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola by 1648. In 1672, the English captured Tortola from the Dutch, the English annexation of Anegada and Virgin Gorda followed in 1680. Meanwhile, over the period 1672–1733, the Danish gained control of the nearby islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix; the British islands were considered principally a strategic possession, but were planted when economic conditions were favourable. The British introduced sugar cane, to become the main crop and source of foreign trade, slaves were brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations; the islands prospered economically until the middle of the nineteenth century, when a combination of the abolition of slavery in the territory, a series of disastrous hurricanes, the growth in the sugar beet crop in Europe and the United States reduced sugar cane production and led to a period of economic decline.
In 1917, the United States purchased St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix from Denmark for US$25 million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands; the British Virgin Islands were administered variously as part of the British Leeward Islands or with St. Kitts and Nevis, with an administrator representing the British Government on the islands; the islands gained separate colony status in 1960 and became autonomous in 1967. Since the 1960s, the islands have diversified away from their traditionally agriculture-based economy towards tourism and financial services, becoming one of the wealthiest areas in the Caribbean; the British Virgin Islands comprise around 60 tropical Caribbean islands, ranging in size from the largest, being 20 km long and 5 km wide, to tiny uninhabited islets, altogether about 150 square kilometres in extent. They are located in the Virgin Islands archipelago, a few miles east of the US Virgin Islands, about 95 km from the Puerto Rican mainland. About 150 km east south-east lies Anguilla.
The North Atlantic Ocean lies to the east of the islands, the Caribbean Sea lies to the
The Caribbean is a region of The Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, north of South America. Situated on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets and cays; these islands form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean islands, consisting of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east, are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which includes the Lucayan Archipelago; the Lucayans and, less Bermuda, are sometimes considered Caribbean despite the fact that none of these islands border the Caribbean Sea. In a wider sense, the mainland countries and territories of Belize, the Caribbean region of Colombia, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, the Guyanas, are included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.
Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are regarded as a subregion of North America and are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, dependencies. From December 15, 1954, to October 10, 2010, there was a country known as the Netherlands Antilles composed of five states, all of which were Dutch dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was a short-lived political union called the West Indies Federation composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were British dependencies; the West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations. The region takes its name from that of the Caribs, an ethnic group present in the Lesser Antilles and parts of adjacent South America at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Americas; the two most prevalent pronunciations of "Caribbean" outside the Caribbean are, with the primary stress on the third syllable, with the stress on the second. Most authorities of the last century preferred the stress on the third syllable.
This is the older of the two pronunciations, but the stressed-second-syllable variant has been established for over 75 years. It has been suggested that speakers of British English prefer while North American speakers more use, but major American dictionaries and other sources list the stress on the third syllable as more common in American English too. According to the American version of Oxford Online Dictionaries, the stress on the second syllable is becoming more common in UK English and is considered "by some" to be more up to date and more "correct"; the Oxford Online Dictionaries claim that the stress on the second syllable is the most common pronunciation in the Caribbean itself, but according to the Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, the most common pronunciation in Caribbean English stresses the first syllable instead. The word "Caribbean" has multiple uses, its principal ones are political. The Caribbean can be expanded to include territories with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery, European colonisation and the plantation system.
The United Nations geoscheme for the Americas presents the Caribbean as a distinct region within the Americas. Physiographically, the Caribbean region is a chain of islands surrounding the Caribbean Sea. To the north, the region is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida and the Northern Atlantic Ocean, which lies to the east and northeast. To the south lies the coastline of the continent of South America. Politically, the "Caribbean" may be centred on socio-economic groupings found in the region. For example, the bloc known as the Caribbean Community contains the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Suriname in South America and Belize in Central America as full members. Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are in the Atlantic Ocean, are associate members of the Caribbean Community; the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is in the Atlantic and is a full member of the Caribbean Community. Alternatively, the organisation called the Association of Caribbean States consists of every nation in the surrounding regions that lie on the Caribbean, plus El Salvador, which lies on the Pacific Ocean.
According to the ACS, the total population of its member states is 227 million people. The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies: Some islands in the region have flat terrain of non-volcanic origin; these islands include Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Saint Croix, the Bahamas, Antigua. Others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges like the islands of Saint Martin, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago. Definitions of the terms Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles vary; the Virgin Islands as part of the Puerto Rican bank are sometimes included with the Greater Antilles. The term Lesser Antilles is used to define an island arc that includes Grenada but excludes Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Antilles; the waters of the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish and coral reef
Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped breathing tube called a snorkel, swimfins. In cooler waters, a wetsuit may be worn. Use of this equipment allows the snorkeler to observe underwater attractions for extended periods with little effort and to breathe while face-down at the surface. Snorkeling is a popular recreational activity at tropical resort locations; the primary appeal is the opportunity to observe underwater life in a natural setting without the complicated equipment and training required for scuba diving. It appeals to all ages because of how little effort there is, without the exhaled bubbles of scuba-diving equipment, it is the basis of the two surface disciplines of the underwater sport of finswimming. Snorkeling is used by scuba divers when on the surface, in underwater sports such as underwater hockey and underwater rugby, as part of water-based searches conducted by search and rescue teams. A snorkel is a device used for breathing air from above the surface when the wearer's head is face downwards in the water with the mouth and the nose submerged.
It may be either integrated into a swimming or diving mask. The integrated version is only suitable for surface snorkelling, while the separate device may be used for underwater activities such as spearfishing, finswimming, underwater hockey, underwater rugby and for surface breathing with scuba equipment. A swimmer's snorkel is a tube bent into a shape resembling the letter "L" or "J", fitted with a mouthpiece at the lower end and constructed of light metal, rubber or plastic; the snorkel may come with a rubber loop or a plastic clip enabling the snorkel to be attached to the outside of the head strap of the diving mask. Although the snorkel may be secured by tucking the tube between the mask-strap and the head, this alternative strategy can lead to physical discomfort, mask leakage or snorkel loss. To comply with the current European standard EN 1972, a snorkel for users with larger lung capacities should not exceed 38 centimeters in length and 230 cubic centimeters in internal volume, while the corresponding figures for users with smaller lung capacities are 35 cm and 150 cc respectively.
Current World Underwater Federation Surface Finswimming Rules require snorkels used in official competitions to have a total length between 43 and 48 cm and to have an inner diameter between 1.5 and 2.3 cm. A longer tube would not allow breathing when snorkelling deeper, since it would place the lungs in deeper water where the surrounding water pressure is higher; the lungs would be unable to inflate when the snorkeler inhales, because the muscles that expand the lungs are not strong enough to operate against the higher pressure. The pressure difference across the tissues in the lungs, between the blood capillaries and air spaces would increase the risk of pulmonary edema. Snorkels constitute respiratory dead space; when the user takes in a fresh breath, some of the exhaled air which remains in the snorkel is inhaled again, reducing the amount of fresh air in the inhaled volume, increasing the risk of a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood, which can result in hypercapnia. The greater the volume of the tube, the smaller the tidal volume of breathing, the more this problem is exacerbated.
A smaller diameter tube reduces the dead volume, but increases resistance to airflow and so increases the work of breathing. Occasional exhalation through the nose while snorkeling will reduce the buildup of carbon dioxide, may help in keeping the mask clear of water, it may increase fogging. The simplest type of snorkel is a plain tube, allowed to flood when underwater; the snorkeler expels water from the snorkel either with a sharp exhalation on return to the surface or by tilting the head back shortly before reaching the surface and exhaling until reaching or breaking the surface and facing forward or down again before inhaling the next breath. The displacement method expels water by filling the snorkel with air. Clearing splash water while at the surface requires blast clearing; some snorkels have a sump at the lowest point to allow a small volume of water to remain in the snorkel without being inhaled when the snorkeler breathes. Some have a non-return valve in the sump, to drain water in the tube when the diver exhales.
The water is pushed out through the valve when the tube is blocked by water and the exhalation pressure exceeds the water pressure on the outside of the valve. This is exactly the mechanism of blast clearing which does not require the valve, but the pressure required is marginally less, effective blast clearing requires a higher flow rate; the full face mask has a double airflow valve which allows breathing through the nose in addition to the mouth. A few models of snorkel have float-operated valves attached to the top end of the tube to keep water out when a wave passes, but these cause problems when diving as the snorkel must be equalized during descent, using part of the diver's inhaled air supply; some recent designs have a splash deflector on the top end that reduces entry of any water that splashes over the top end of the tube, thereby keeping it free from water. Finswimmers do not use snorkels with a sump valve, as they learn to blast clear the tube on most if not all exhalations, which keeps the water content in the tube to a minimum as the tube can be shaped for lower work of breathing, elimination of water traps, allowing greater sp
Virgin Gorda is the third-largest and second most populous of the British Virgin Islands. Located at about 18 degrees, 48 minutes North, 64 degrees, 30 minutes West, it covers an area of about 8 square miles; the main commercial and residential area is Spanish Town on the southwestern part of the island. An unusual geologic formation known as "The Baths" located on the southern end of the island makes Virgin Gorda one of the BVI's major tourist destinations. At The Baths, in spite of evidence of the island's volcanic origins, huge granite boulders lie in piles on the beach, forming scenic grottoes that are open to the sea. Granite is an intrusive igneous rock, thus not volcanic, it did form from magma, however, at great depth. Granite becomes exposed at surface. Further erosion rounded their surfaces. North of the Baths is the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor owned by Little Dix Bay; the most notable ruin on Virgin Gorda is the old Copper Mine. One of the great harbors of the world, North Sound, Gorda Sound, lies at the northeast end of the island.
It is bordered by four islands and connecting reef systems that keep the sound calm, creating one of the world's great watersports meccas, with over 3,000 acres of protected waters. At the eastern end of the sound is the premier anchorage, in the lee of Biras Hill; the village and marina at this point is called the Bitter End Yacht Club, runs for one mile of coastline. Christopher Columbus is said to have named the island "The Fat Virgin", because the island's profile on the horizon looks like a fat woman lying on her side. Renowned, the anchorage off Bitter End was the site of Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins' 1595 fleet rendezvous, two Elizabethan British admirals who led Britain's ascendance into naval supremacy. Twenty-six ships anchored in the sound and used the large hill at Bitter End to practice for their attack on San Juan, to wrest Puerto Rico from Spain. With both admirals dying on the 1595/1596 voyage, the land at Bitter End may be the last place that these legendary mariners set foot on British soil.
The sound contains over 130 moorings. Nearly all of the 200-foot-plus megayachts of the world have anchored or tied up at the docks of the megayacht-equipped marinas in this harbor. Norman Rockwell, Brigitte Bardot and John Wayne's signatures are in the hotel guest book from Bitter End circa 1969. Ferry services from Virgin Gorda, Tortola, St. Thomas, St. John as well as small airlines serve the island. In January 2010, Virgin Gorda Airport was restricted to a small list of airlines by Air Safety Support International, the territory's aviation regulatory agency, which demanded that the airport be brought in line with international safety standards; the airport reopened in December 2010. Tourists come from neighbouring islands such as Tortola and St. Thomas by boat and return to these islands for air transportation; the British Virgin Islands operates several government schools. Virgin Gorda residents are served by Robinson O'Neal Memorial Primary School and Bregado Flax Educational Centre, a combined primary and secondary school which opened in 1982.
In 2000 the government created plans to create a primary school on the island. Media related to Virgin Gorda at Wikimedia Commons Virgin Gorda travel guide from Wikivoyage