I had a great week sailing in the BVI on the Moorings boat Salaway with Offshore Sailing School. I made new friends and learned a lot. One of the coolest things we learned was how to "heave to", how to stop in the middle of the ocean. The joke of the day was several thousand dollars and a whole week of class and we learned how to stop!
Here are the pictures I took.
Today we had a smooth sail home with the wind on our side. We tried to stop at the Indians for some snorkeling but there were way too many jellyfish.
Now if the land would just stop moving …
Today we dropped off Anne-Marie, our instructor, at the Moorings and sailed over to the Bight ourselves. It all went very smoothly, no hiccups until after we moored and the fastening that held our mainsail to the halyard broke, but Jeanne managed to fix it. Willy T’s wasn’t officially open but they fed us anyway. Good food and a couple of Dark and Stormy’s. After we finished eating they immediately informed us that we had to go and their boat left Willy T’s before we had even gotten in our dingy! So we went back to the boat and had a few glasses of wine and several long philosophical discussions.
We sailed to Jost Van Dyke today and anchored next to Foxy’s Taboo.
On the way over we stopped at Monkey Point for some awesome
snorkeling. Big coral with lots of ledges. Lots of fish of different
kinds and sizes. Caves. And I saw a turtle! About 2.5 feet in
diameter. I floated right over him for a while until he decided he
wasn’t sure what I was and swam off.
We motored a lot today as their was little to no wind but a huge storm coming up behind us. After we anchored, we had our lesson standing in the cockpit so that at least our heads would stay dry because nobody wanted to sit in the hot steamy cabin.
We took our last test (of three) today and we all passed! After the test we went over our wrong answers as a group and I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time! We all went over why we had picked the answer we did and our reasoning (or guessing) was often hilarious – even to ourselves.
We arrived at the North end of Virgin Gorda today where we practiced docking, my least favorite of all boating activities. We did pretty good and I asked to practice again in the morning. 50 foot of boat with lots of mass in winds and currents next to hard surfaces like docks just make me really nervous. We learned how to do it with just two people. Figuring out which spring line to tie up first is much less intuitive than you’d think. We all had to think about it quite a bit.
Today we sailed from Marina Cay to Anegada. On the way we learned how to turn the boat around in a space no wider than two boat lengths when motoring. It’s called back and fill and it uses your prop tilt to help push you around. Then we practiced man overboards which was a lot of fun. Poor Bob the life jacket got tossed overboard 6 or 7 times as we learned two ways to quickly turn around (while sailing) to recover someone. Be careful coming in to Anegada. We ended up with less than two feet of water under our keel where we anchored for the night!
We are on Salaway, a Beneteau 494. There are four of us, Anne-Marie, our instructor, and Larry and Jeanne, my fellow students. We sailed from the Moorings in road town to Marina Cay where we anchored for the night.
According to Anne-Marie, the Last Resort in Trellis Bay has a comedy show on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights that is well worth seeing.
I’m sitting here on Cane Garden beach on Tortola staring across the cove at blue and turquoise water with islands in the background and puffy white clouds in the sky and wondering what makes it beautiful. I could sit and watch forever.
On my way over the taxi driver, a West Indian, said "There’s Skyview."
"What is it?" I try to see what stands out. The mountain top? The building?
"Skyview!" He points at the sign.
Clearly frustrated with me now, he says "Yes, a restaurant."
FYI, the last two weeks of September is the low of the low season and all the beach bars are closed.
P.S. Locals consider Cane Garden one of BVI’s most polluted waters because they don’t think the
waters circulate fast enough to deal with what’s dumped in it. Looked and smelled clean to me, like almost all of the BVI.
Mariner Inn is nice. I was a little worried because the reviews on TripAdvisor were pretty iffy. But it’s been remodeled recently and my room has tile floors, tall ceilings, balcony and king size bed. Fridge, coffee maker and hair drier. The bathroom wasn’t remodeled with the rest. My sink squirts water sideways.
They kept the bar open until we got here. Before we even checked in they asked us what we wanted so they could hurry up and close.
I’m on my way to the BVI! I’m on the Denver-Newark part of my DEN-EWR-SJU-EIS trip.
As luck would have it I am sitting next to a woman from Colorado who is reading a Sailing for Kids book so I pulled out my Basic Cruising book and we had quite the conversation. They just bought a 30+ foot Beneteau in the Florida Keys in anticipation of retiring in 18 months when the youngest is done with high school. They plan to keep their house in Colorado so they can live there during the summers. She really liked their wind generator. Said it kept their fridge cold all the time.