...USVIs to the BVIs
17 November 2008 | Jost Van Dyke... Norman Island...Trellis Bay,Tortolla and Virgin Gorda
Becca B., First Mate, Only Mate
What a whirlwind! We had so many choices ahead of us before crossing the Anegada Passage. It was so hard to decide! We knew we only had a week or a bit more to make it to Virgin Gorda where we would stage for this big sail. It's unanimous, we'll begin with Jost Van Dyke! It's north from St. John and we can sail!
Ooooh, we're gonna like it here. Great Harbor, JVD, BVI. The entire waterfront was wonderful and it didn't take long to find the local watering hole for lunch. We enjoyed some local fare, a flying fish sandwich, which sounded scary, but never tried it before and felt we had to. We cleared in effortlessly at customs, and went on a little exploration to do the lay of the land thing. We met Foxy Callwood, of the legendary Foxy's and his wife Tessa. The new guidebook says "you can find him singing his calypso and playing his guitar most afternoons", but he's not singing any more, "the doctor put an end to that", he declared. It's all about timing. We got a personal tour of his bar which was very cleverly designed. Foxy took us out back toThe Preservation Society's sailboat building project right on his own property. He's a big supporter of the program which teaches young people the old ways of boat building and giving back the way it use to be done. How special to see this kind of work happening here. We did go into go into Foxy's to check out those beach parties later that night. We met some great people, probably drank too much and enjoyed our short stay @ JVD immensly. Two days was not nearly enough but it's all about the quality and not the quantity.
Our next stop was Norman Island and we are starting to see a pattern! Lots and lots of charter boats! This has been the best sailing so far! Now we know why...the wind is just better here! So much for the quiet, serene little tucked away private harbors! We're on another mooring, but you almost have to, water is really deep! We dove the caves at the Treasure Point and then braved the long trip over open water in the dink to the National Parks Trust reef where the "Indians" stand tall and plunge deeply for excellent diving! We still had enough energy left to snorkel around Kelly's Cove for another mini adventure before heading back to Altair.
We didn't want to miss the events at the "Willie T" which has a reputation of pulling you in to quash your curiosity. It's a floating bar and restaurant with a twist.The vessel is a replica of a 93' topsail lumber schooner and she was named The William Thornton, after the architect of the US Capitol. They are home of the famous 'body shot' with the most entertaining barkeep in the BVI, Zues! We made reservations for dinner and who knows what! When we arrived, we had to wait to be seated so we headed for the bar! But of course. It was pretty tame at this hour...but we changed that and got hold of a photo album...it's all true. The parties and the wild striping, jumping naked from the second story "dining" or "diving" deck, and lude acts are captured for posterity and it's "bloody nuts!" It was very informal with long picnic tables strung together to encourage fondness it seems. We dined with people from a charter boat that had great stories to share! The place was packed and really buzzing. The steak and fish were excellent but we wasted no time heading to the fun at the bar! The place was filling up and shots were starting to happen! Not just an ordinary one like when WE were younger. They take a water ski with four holes the size of a shot glass, line four people up with that ski and 4 shots of their favorite chilled beverage and raise that baby! What a hoot!. No, we didn't! Well, add BODY shots, Tom Arnold look a like "indulger" and the party takes on a new level. Clearly this was a mild night compared to the stories and albums of the past. Only one body shot, with whipped cream for effect I'm sure.
We're getting to old for this nonsense...NOT!
This next treasure is the last place we would visit in the BVI's...but didn't know it at the time.
It's time to go north again, this time it's Trellis Bay, northeastern tip of Totolla! Angle of the wind is everything for the last leg to Virgin Gorda, but so is an artist community as popular as this one. The pictures tell it all! Well, not everything! If there was anything to be bummed about it was missing the the Monthly full moon party complete with the dancing mocko jumbies (stilt dancers) and the amazing fireballs created by Aragorn at the waters edge with dancing and live music. I was terribly sad to rush thru this place, but not before we explored all the galleries, indulged in the Sunday BBQ on the beach at the de Loose Mongoose and Aragorn himself showing up along side of our boat in the most colorful, classical skiff filled with fruit, veggies and baked goods, all fresh outta the oven and just as we were leaving. How cool is that? I was so excited about the fresh fare I didn't get his photo... it's burned into my memory for a painting though.
These three spots we choose to represent our time in the BVI's couldn't have turned out any better! We are truly blessed! We don't want to miss the weather window to cross the Anegada Passage! It feels like the Mona...I'm getting wiggy with it!
More later, Dudley and Bec