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Friday, October 31, 2014

Our BVI Story

This was our one of our bucket list things to do. Before the trip, we read things like "Stunning beauty, relaxed sailing and endless activities surround you in the Virgin Islands. Bring an appreciation for diversity and find what you're looking for: " Well they are so right.

We left Tortola headed the typical route to the bight at Normand we snorkeled the Indians all the first day.

We found a mooring ball and settled in for the night. Willy-T's is a little sketchy but worth going just to say you went. The next day found us head to wind in a north westerly direction, straight down the middle of the sir Francis Drake Passage. "Oh so beautiful". The sailing was very good as we tacked up wind headed for the baths on Virgin Gorda.

We were late getting there. No mooring balls left so we went way down from the site and anchored out. The snorkeling here is excellent. After a day of fun in the water and at the sun, we pulled up the hook and went for a mooring at Spanish town. As luck would have it, no moorings there either. They are only a few moorings here to begin with. Most of them are privet. At this point it was too late to make it to the Better end at great sound so we tried to set the anchor for the night. The winds picked up to a steady 20 to 25 with gust to 32. Setting the anchor was very difficult here the bottom was coral heads and hard sand. It took us a few tries but it finally set. The weather called for high winds and rough seas for the next 48 hours and boy were they right. The next morning we got up early to try and make the trip in time for a mooring ball at the Better end / SABA rock area.
We motored into the head winds all the way around the point it Mosquito Island on one side and Neckler Island to the south. This passage afforded a great view of Branson's home being built on Mosquito Island to the west.

 My wife and I took a Scuba trip out of the better end yacht club. It was just amazing they took us out to Saddle bay at the point. Again the clarity in the water and the vibrant colors is just unreal. No photos can ever capture the nuances of being there in person. That evening we went to the SABA rock for a dining experience that you only ever see in magazines. I had the jumbo lobster, melt in your mouth goodness. We had a Very romantic night here. I gifted my beautiful wife a tanzanite ring as a show of love for our 30 year anniversary. The next day, Day 3, the weather was getting worse. We now had 35 mph steady winds with gust up to 43. That's right Gail force winds "Beaufort scale of 9" We took off and headed to trellis bay for a trip to pusser's lounge. Again all the moorings were occupied. We moved around to Marina cay and there was nothing there. We decided that the big island of Tortola would block some of the wind and we were early enough that we had plenty of time to make it to Foxy's at Great harbor Yost van Dyke. Once we made it threw the small pass to Monkey point, we had a great sail always down the length of Tortola.
The views were nothing short of breath taking. From Little Camananoe over to Guana Island then we made it into protected waters. We still had 6 to 8 foot seas and 22 to 25 knots dead astern. With the following seas and the head sail out full for power we shut down the engine and maintained 6.5 knot's. It was a great run for me. It's the kind of sailing I was looking for but not so much the ladies on board. They wanted land. Next stop Foxy's
We made it to foxy's in 4 1/2 hours from the Better end mooring field. We had no problem finding a mooring or a good cheese burger for that matter. We were at Foxy's on good Friday around 3:pm We tried to order some drinks to settle our nerves from the high seas and winds that tried us for the last 4 hours, however it was Good Friday and they don't sell alcohol drinks on holy days In the BVI.
 After a long night with little rest, what with the relentless high winds and rain we had all night we set off as ealy as we could. 8:30 or so. Our goal was to head to Soper's hole and stay for the day and maybe the night. Half way across the passage from Jost Van Dyke and the Soper's hole, my wife spotted the dinghy adrift around a mile and a half behind us.
 I was trying to out run a storm that was bearing down on us. I had to come about and go back for the dinghy. After the dinghy retrieval I headed back to Sopher's hols. I was heading straight for the storm. This storm looked to be 7 miles wide and very dark!

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It was not showing lighting, so that was a good thing. It was my first time facing a storm while under way. It was fun and scary at the same time. I knew I was in for a white knuckle ride. We made it to Sopher's to find it again full of boats on the way in we had no less than 8 or 10 boats racing for the hideaway hole. I gave up after 2 laps thru the field and decided to head back up the Southern side of Tortola to seek shelter.
The storm was mostly past us at this time but it had had kicked the sea back up to 6 to 8 foot with white caps. I decided to head for the home base at Road Town. I was a day and a half early back to the marina. I figured if it cleared up we could always go back out for a day sail. After a crazy time trying to get docked in the rain, we finally had a dock hand jump on board and moored the boat back into her slip.






 I along with my whole crew was exhausted. We needed a drink "painkiller" and a shower. The following we hoped the ferry over to Peter Island and went snorkeling. We had a great lunch and spent some time on the beach. Peter Island is a very much a have to see place to believe. I can't wait to do this trip again. I think it will be much better with 14 days. 5 or 8 days is just not enough time to see it all and enjoy what each island has to offer. Thanks a million Melody Delgado & The Virgin Island Sailing Team What a great vacation. Curtis & Deb McDaniel Beaufort ,SC

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