Published: March 16th 2010
March 13th 2010
We checked in at Sopers Hole Tortola, and Bruce and I went ashore to have breakfast, in the Pusser’s Rum village. I think I have described this before, it is a deep inlet with a marina and boardwalk built along one side, and big wide decks with restaurants and shops. The sides of the valley are very steep and wooded. We normally tie onto a buoy in the middle of the inlet. It was a lovely warm sunny day, and when we got back to the boat we carried on up to Peter Island. The snorkelling was good there, and over the next couple of days we did both sides of the bay, seeing loads of bait fish, barracuda and reef fish.
We went over to the baths at Virgin Gorda to snorkel. This is The tourist attraction of the island, (Virgin Gorda) and can be packed with cruise boat people, there are a few buoys for lunch and snorkelling just off this amazing rock formation. But by the time we got there, it was quite rough, and the boat was heaving around, nobody wanted to swim. The colours were intense, the water such deep cobalt blue, and the rocks a white contrast. We had lunch and admired the unusual rock structures. Apparently the great big rocks that surround the bay were originally caused by an earthquake and because of the nature of the stone, they have eroded to form great boulders, with little pools of sea blue water between them. We carried on to Spanish town, anchored off the marina entrance, went ashore and went to the Copper mine restaurant for sunset drinks and dinner. We watched the sun go down from this very high point, 360 degree view of the island, it was really quite atmospheric, with a few boats ghosting on the horizon. A very nice meal, and entertaining bar staff. Back to the boat, and a rolly night, so got up early to go to the dogs, and dive. Alan and Bruce enjoyed the dive. There was a good snorkel as well. We finished the day at Marina cay, surrounded by charter boats, all having a good ol’ time. Alan and I went ashore for a walk on the little cay, which is another Pusser’s rum shop, s steep little island with a path through gardens up to the top, where there is a bar, which was full of people listening to a man dressed as a pirate, singing songs, to a very appreciative audience, fuelled by free shots of rum. Not really Bruce’s scene! But he was quite entertaining, in a slightly excruciating way, the pirate man I mean.
Next morning round to monkey point, a really lovely cove with a great snorkel and loads and loads of big tarpon.
We carried on to Jost van dyke, another small island which we quite like. At first we anchored off sandy cay, a spit of land with a beautiful white sand beach and a few palm trees. Bruce and Alan did a dive, during which they saw a really big eagle ray, and had a tussle with a moray eel.
We reanchored later for the night off the restaurant, it is scrubby land, and the reef is constantly roaring. That night a really nice dinner in Taboo ashore. It is quiet there, we like it, more fishing, and I think a film.
Motored round to great harbour to check out of the BVI.
Then back to St John, and check in again at Cruz Bay. The US customs and immigration were so polite, and friendly. What a nice change from some of the islands. Where they watch you struggle with the form and then tell you have not filled it in , or pushed hard enough on the paper. Some of the islands make you feel as if you are committing a crime by wanting to enter them!!! Whereas the US customs are just really courteous and professional. Lunch ashore and on to Frances bay, where we met Sierra Hotel, Jim and Janice, it was good to see them, and have a few drinks.
Back to Caneel bay, still part of the national park so you have to take a mooring buoy, at $15 a night. The first one we took was a bit far from the internet signal so moved further towards the resort. That was just about when we ran over the mooring, usual cock up,. Anyway the good news was that Alan and Bruce jumped in and managed to untangle us from the propeller…. Then into Cruz bay in the dinghy and a few drinks on the beachside, sitting at the big situp bars and ordering very exotic cocktails, most of which I have never heard of. Then a meal in an inside outside restaurant, Mexican food, a lot of fun.
St Thomas, Charlotte Amalie, more shopping, it was so hot ashore, Bruce and
I walked to a mall area, MacDonald’s, k mart etc. Then got a taxi into Charlotte Amalie, loads of jewellery shops, nick nacks, not really anything much of anything. We had some drinks ashore, did our shopping and called Alan to come and take us to Honeymoon Bay, where we jumped in the water, snorkelled, to finish Bruce’s last day. Back to anchor off Crowne bay marina, to go ashore for a meal, then next morning to the airport.
Tuesday 2nd March
Dropped Bruce off, and came over here to St Johns, waiting to go to St Martin. Very quiet without Bruce, and swimming very sedate.
Carried on to BVI, one night in peter island, had a nice time in the beach bar, and some amazing snorkelling, before getting up at 5 am to go to ST Martins.
A very easy motor sail up to windward, 86 miles, but all calm. Saw a huge whale about 1 mile away splash up out of the water. Quite a few cruise ships along the way as well.
Now anchored in Marigot bay and enjoying the French side of this island. MArigot is a really pretty little town, and last night had a terrific, if expensive meal ashore. Scallops and fish au gratin, and Alan duck breasts, beautifully cooked and presented and a great crème brulee!
Now outside island water world, the big chandlers , whilst Alan does some major shopping.