23 September 2009
We arrived in Virgin Gorda at 09:00 and, as we approached the channel to the marina, the heavens opened and within a few minutes we were having the heaviest fresh water wash down since departing Cape Town. In fact it came down in buckets and I aborted our entrance to the marina and we spent an hour drifting at sea whilst the massive rain squall passed over. Then into the marina (arriving yachts get a free hour there whilst you walk across a field to the customs and immigration offices) and a quick check-in and check-out, and back to the marina and off to the TUI marina on Tortola.
I met with the manager and started the process of getting the engines serviced and filling our diesel tanks and drums, as well as filling up the fresh water tanks - the last time we had taken on fresh water was in Walvis Bay, Namibia.
Ah, and then the sheer bliss of going to the base restaurant and having a good greasy burger and chips (fries) with a fresh salad - nothing can beat that when you have been at sea for a long time!
So, the base staff are servicing the engines and that has give me the opportunity to check the comments on the blog and have a general "surf" on the Internet. A number of folk have made some comments and I will get to answering them in the next few days.
Let me also clarify some comments made on the Internet. Firstly, we started the delivery with a second headsail, which we use when running downwind. Unfortunately, I sent it back to Cape Town when we had to stop off in Walvis Bay - a daft decision in hindsight. The reason for me sending it back was that we were given a spinnaker. All the delivery sails we have on board have to be returned to Cape Town on completion of the delivery and the less we have to carry, the less we pay for extra baggage. We have used the spinnaker quite a lot in the light winds we experienced but the second headsail would have also benefitted us on days where the wind was too strong for a spinnaker but great for the second foresail.
Then the name of the boat. The boat only gets named and registered when it is put into the charter fleet after the Annapolis Boat Show. But a boat needs a name to leave the country with all the relevant paperwork. It is hull number 001 of the new design. The new design is A4 and the company who ordered it is TUI Marine, using the Moorings fleet name. So, put all that together and the name of the vessel ends up as Moorings A4001. When it gets to its destination, it will be registered, most likely, with its home port being Road Harbour, BVI and the name will be whatever somebody wants to call it. But, until it reaches its delivery destination, it is South African flagged and has the above mentioned name.
In the early hours of Thursday morning we will depart on our last leg and hope that no tropical storms develop before we reach our destination - we monitor the tropical weather four times a day. So, I am now going to get a good nights sleep as soon as I have posted this blog. Regards from all aboard Moorings A4001 - the photo above is A4001 backed into the berth in Tortola - note the extra fuel drums and, if visible, the fishing lines and bungee cords rolled up on the stern.