Edit Blog Post
Published: December 27th 2017
British Virgin Islands by the Numbers
One fifty foot catamaran, a professional crew of two, three generations of people, all together nine happy family members including three incredible and awesome and fun teenagers (getting along beautifully), seven sailing days in the Caribbean and one birthday girl all to celebrate fifty years of wedded bliss!
SUNDAY --- We met up at the Compass Point Marina on the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. We hadn’t been together since Christmas (it was now July) so lots of hugging! We’re British Virgin Islands bound on the catamaran “Zephyr” with an overnight stop on the island of St. John. The afternoon afforded time for little snorkeling from the Zephyr to miniscule “One Butt Beach”! We are the only boat moored in the cove. Our surroundings are beautiful – craggy rocks, soft sand, blue waters, intriguing caves to snorkel into and puffy clouds above.
The exterior of the Zephyr is sleek and efficient. Three decks fore, aft and topside gave us lots of space to sun, socialize or just watch the waves. The interior of the catamaran did not disappointed. Comfy staterooms (each with its own fully appointed “head”) and
amazing storage not unlike the RV). Gourmet meals and superb hors d’oeuvres created by first mate Kendra in her galley kitchen are long remembered. It could be that Kendra was the “berth fairy” who re-made our beds daily. We were told not to lift a finger and someone sure meant it.
Ever the teacher and imparter of wonderful facts, Captain Matt got us orientated and traced our 7 day sail on navigational charts. We enjoyed the first of Kendra’s exceptional dinners, a champagne toast compliments of the owners of the “Zephyr”, social time on deck and one of many beautiful sunsets.
MONDAY --- Do Matt and Kendra ever sleep. Coffee on the upper deck followed by one of Kendra’s amazing breakfasts. Kendra hopped off the boat with our pass ports at British Customs in Tortola. While she was gone, we all enjoyed people watching, boat watching and checking out the colorful houses built on seemingly impossible hillsides. Our next stop was Norman Island for snorkeling at an outcropping called “The Indians”. Back on board we sailed to the other side of Norman Island and “dingied” in for lunch at a very funky, lively, colorful and fun boat the
A sandy spit of land in the middle of the Carribbean!
“Willy T”. The pirate style boat is permanently anchored in the bay and sports a high diving platform on the upper deck. Jack and Casey quickly got into the swim. Meanwhile, I started to get somewhat adept at my biggest challenge – getting back in the dingy without taking an unintentional swim. So glad for all the strong males in the party!
TUESDAY --- A stop at Peter Island for fresh water was followed by a cool sail to ogle the sights, including a huge flock of squawking flamingos at Necker Island owned by Richard Branson of Virgin Air fame. Unfortunately, this gorgeous tropical playground was totally destroyed, as were so many places that we visited (July of 2017) by hurricane Irma. Branson and staff waited out the horrible storm in the estate's wine cellar. We hope the flamingos and other tropical flora and fauna that Branson was reintroducing to the Caribbean survived. Every evening aboard the Zephyr is a delight. Our mooring in Virgin Gorda positioned us the next day’s fascinating experience at The Baths.
WEDNESDAY – BIG DAY – Matt wanted us up early to avoid the crowds at “The Baths”, which are not warm pools;
Motley and Wet Crew
9 of us on Sandy Spit
but rather unique outcroppings of batholithic rocks (similar to granite) worn smooth as gray cucumbers. The site is beautiful. Wes and I trekked the lower area with the whole group and peeled off at a point when the climb might be more of a challenge. We sat on the beautiful beach and enjoyed “people watching”. We sailed off to Jost Vandyke and the fabled Bitter End and a wonderful birthday dinner on Saba Rock; but not before a memorable stop and swim at tiny "Sandy Spit".
THURSDAY – We keep marveling at our good fortune – our children hosted this wonderful trip for our 50th
wedding anniversary. The major organizer was daughter-in-law Tricia. We appreciate the leisurely pace and ever changing ports of call and water sports with an occasional “watering hole” beach bar like Frenchy’s or the Soggy Dollar. On this day Marian Cay (with a stop for refreshments and beach games at Prusser’s) and Guana proved ideal. Along the way, every need was anticipated including a side shopping trip for Apple Jacks cereal and our own personalized Yeti Cups always at the ready with ice water.
FRIDAY – We were under sail every day with the
occasional use of the powerful motors determined by weather and distance to the destination. On our way to Friday's destinations - Monkey Point and Great Harbor, Matt & Kendra moored the Zypher at a sunken ship to the delight of the snorkelers. Captain Matt was a gem. He choose beautiful, quiet coves and got us close enough to swim or wade ashore where gorgeous, white, sandy beaches awaited. When "popular touristy" type destinations became a must; he always got us anchored on prime water real estate well in advance of the arrival of the crowds. As an added attraction, we enjoyed singing along with Matt and his guitar, his introduction to after dinner games on the comfy stern deck and his fun surprises like Jack’s riotous musical appearance in an inflated T-Rex costume. Kendra, aside from her first mate duties and being a fully certified Captain, is a registered nurse and former science teacher. Her reminders to keep hydrated and to slather ourselves with SPF were as well taken as her marvelous creations from the galley.
SATURDAY --- After a full day on the beautiful beach at White Bay with lunch at Hendo’s Hideaway, we pulled into Cruz Bay
on the island of St. John to pass US Customs. With time for a little shopping, we picked up some spices and vanilla and a pirate flag for our pontoon boat. We spent the night moored at Christmas Cove watching the full moon rise. Coincidentally Christmas Cove was where we first snorkeled with Tom and Beth on our 20th
Anniversary trip to the US Virgin Island of St. Thomas 30 years prior.
SUNDAY – It was time to get back to reality. Kendra created amazing crepes for breakfast. Matt pointed the Zephyr to Compass Point on the island of St. Thomas. A hired car was parked at the marina, ready for all of us to pile into for a rather silent trip to the airport in Charlotte Amalie. We’ve had a great time, strengthened our bonds with each other and created a memory that will last infinitely. Truly, the family trip of a lifetime!
Sadly, because of “Irma”, this trip cannot be replicated for many, many years. The massive hurricane delivered total devastation, destruction of infrastructure and left villages and places that we enjoyed so much savagely ripped apart.
Tot: 3.709s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 25; qc: 127; dbt: 0.088s; 3; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.6mb