Friday, 13 April 2012

The BVIs

Hi from Clare,                                        Thursday 12th April 2012

Well I have had a few enquiries this week, “where is the latest Blog?”
Sorry for neglecting you but I have been indulging myself lazing around reading in the shade and sometimes snoozing in total peace as the warm tropical breeze washes over me. Then there was swimming in 28 degree turquoise water and snorkeling amongst the coloured tropical fish, or just strolling along white sandy beaches fringed with swaying palm trees. Sounds pretty idyllic?  Well that has been our week along with perfect sailing conditions and great company.

At right, Liam and Annie and the gang on GWTW.....Saba Rock Bar
We left St Martins and headed for Virgin Gorda in the BVIs. We arranged to meet up with Aussie friends Liam and Annie from “Gone with the Wind”.  They sailed up the east coast of America last year and so we were looking forward to hearing about their experience and benefiting from their knowledge. We met in North Sound at Saba Rocks for drinks in the bar at sunset and then progressed to GWTW for a BYO BBQ in true Aussie style. We had a great night and Andrew’s head was spinning with information overload. Fortunately Annie has put a lot of info on email so we can look it up when needed.

The Windies left the following morning heading south. We spent the next few days sailing around Virgin Gorda, and the islands of Peter Is, Norman Is. Tortola and Jost Van Dyke in company with our Aussie mate Tony from “Tactical Directions” and Kiwi friends Jean and Alan from “Tuatara” and new English friends Carol and Steve from “Innamorata”.

Tony played the role of “Mother Ship” as he has a dive compressor. So we all clamored onto “Tactical” and headed across to Peter Island to dive on the wreck of RMS Rhone and later “the Indians”. The guys had a dive but due to a shortage of tanks, I didn’t join them.  Anyhow I was happy snorkeling; I could see the wreck from the surface and frankly when it comes to wrecks I think “big deal”. I enjoyed snorkeling around the rocks with the tropical fish and then swimming back to the boat with a turtle.  Most evenings we got together to share drinks and collectively plan our next destination.

Steve, A&C, Tony and Alan at the Peter Island Resort 
‘Eye Candy’ and ‘Tactical’ sailed across to Tortola for provisioning. (In hindsight, this was the end of our idyllic week).  Andrew was keen to go to a ship’s chandler but most shops were closed for Easter Monday. The fresh produce at the supermarket was a bit sad also so after purchasing a few essentials we sailed to the N/E corner of Jost Van Dyke Island and joined the others. We anchored off a gorgeous reef but unfortunately the wind picked up and so we spent a fairly uncomfortable night trying to sleep in bouncy conditions. We got out of there the following morning and went around to a more protected south side and took up a mooring buoy in Great Harbour.  We had drinks that evening in Foxy’s Bar which is well known for having the liveliest parties around.  Well I can’t vouch for that but I can say for the hour I was there on Skype I didn’t sit still for a minute. I was attacked by tiny black bugs that left me with about fifty very itchy bites on my legs and arms. One of the locals watching me swatting myself took pity on me and came over with some repellent; God bless him.

Anchorage at Jost van Dyke
‘Eye Candy’ ‘Tactical’ and ‘Tuatara’ are now on the Spanish Virgin Island of Culebra. This island and Puerto Rico which is situated only fourteen miles west are part of the USA, so we have now officially entered the United States.  Fortunately Annie and Liam (with their America experience) very kindly purchased an American phone for us.  We are required to check in to the country by phone before we arrive. In addition every time we move our boat in American waters we have to notify Customs and Border Protection by phone. As Annie said “CBP are your friends, and like good friends they want to know where you are at all times”.

We both have a five year Visas for the States but we can only stay for six months at a time. So we will cruise Culebra and Puerto Rico then check out and go to the Bahamas for a few weeks. Then we will head to the mainland America and check in which will start the clock ticking for our next six months.
We expect to be on the mainland in June.
Love Candy xx