Tripp's Tortola Circumnavigation
29 March 2012
We picked up friends Steve and Denise Tripp at about 4:00 at Trellis Bay. Joanne and I had planned dinner on board Comocean. However, seemingly destined to review all the available palapas of the Caribbean, we ventured over to the Last Resort to test the local rum before dinner. During our discussion with the owner, we learned that the Singing Chef, who we had previously heard with the Weill’s, was performing that night at 9:00. We went back for dinner on the boat, with a planned return at 9:00. The singing chef did not let us down. His performance, with dubbing sound tracks and live mixing, was equally as awesome as our first time hearing him. He did coerce Denise into a Tequila Shot as part of the act, but did not coerce her into becoming part of the track.
The next day, with unfortunately 70% chance of rain, saw us departing in no wind for a 14 mile run to Jost Van Dyke. We arrived with rain following us and picked up the mooring in blinding rain. After drying off, the weather improved, we went ashore, picked up a taxi and went over to the Soggy Dollar Bar for lunch. We returned following lunch to Grand Harbor where Steve met Foxy, was told a generally ribald story, and we proceeded to the bar to test their signature drink, the Dread Fox, while the girls shopped. We returned to the boat, napped and read, and then had a sundowner on the boat, followed by a WILD and CRAZY dinner at Foxy’s (photo). At about 9:00 it got really wild…lots of people dancing and entertainment by a pair of vacationing and, drunk to the gills, college girls. Their mothers would not have been proud! It is amazing how a 4x4 post can be used like a bar pole, or what you can do with a beer funnel.
The next morning we woke to sunshine, soon to be tarnished by the second cloudy and rainy day since Joanne and I have been in the Caribbean. We left for Norman Island, passing through Soapers Hole, with 16-22 knot winds. One reef in and then reducing the Genoa to 30%, we were able to sail at 8 plus knots! As we entered the Bight, Joanne guided us effortlessly to one of the closer in moorings, resulting in a lot less impact from the Northerly swell that hit us at JVD. We went ashore to Pirates Bight Restaurant, made reservations with Jesse and walked the beaches. Denise’s watchful eye found a small stash of shells and beach remnants for her trip home, as well as a few pictures for future sketches. Dinner was great, followed by Domino’s on the boat. Denise took the night’s trophy, right after lamenting that she never wins…..
The following morning, we found occasional sun AND ENOUGH WARMTH TO FINALLY TRY SNORKELING! We repositioned the boat near Treasure Point, took the dingy to a mooring near the dive sight, and had a spectacular snorkel with lots of fish and great coral. JoAnne thought it was the best snorkeling she had ever seen! We then had breakfast on the boat before heading for a strong sail up toward Virgin Gorda. Joanne perfectly docked us at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor and we then prepared for dinner that night at Chez Bamboo. We started with a sunset drink at Mermaids. There, the Tarpon were not visiting, being our first letdown on the trip. At Chez Bamboo, we met Leonard the bar tender of many years, and low and behold, found a bottle of 40 year old Mount Gay. Steve ordered Rum Gimlets which led to a great start to the evening. Rose’s dinner was outstanding and we then headed back to the boat to complete the evening.
The next morning Joanne got the troops moving early, and we were one of the first to take the path to the bottom of the Baths. The baths are always special. But, when you have the rocks and the beach to yourself, it is very special. We had breakfast at the “Top of the Baths” Restaurant. Then off to Trellis Bay and Beef Island to prepare for the Tripp’s departure the next morning. Dinner on the boat, left time for another round of Domino’s.
We hated to see them go. We had the best time with them, as expected.