03/31/2010, Sir Francis Drake Channel
Raise the main, drop the ball, motor out of The Bight, hang starboard, unfurl the genoa and kill the motors - ahhh - sailing 6 to 7 knots in a 12 to 15 knot beam - Turtle!
Heading to Road Harbour to see my old friends David & Michael, 3 huge cruise ships in dock, looks like a CF so I change my mind, tack, heading towards Ginger Island, turtle sighting #2, tack up the Sir Francis Drake Channel, Beef Island is off of my port, I just finish a phone call with my lovely bride, winds are variable and I start to experience the land effect of Virgin Gorda, turtle sighting #3. I almost run over him cause he is sleeping, I think!
OK, sailing up the channel at 6 to 7 knots, past The Dogs to Mountain Point, furl the genoa, drop the main and motor through the channel between Mosquito Island and Virgin Gorda. Drop the hook in Leverick Bay and have a cocktail.
A light diner and nap time!
Put Brenda, Sami and Huston in a taxi to the airport, it's 6 AM!
Settled up the bill at Crown Bay Marina, tossed the lines before the wind got crazy - weather report - Frickin Awesome, except the wind and seas are against me for the first hour!
Motor sailed up to Francis Bay- grab a ball - Ahhhh - lunch and and finished a book - snorkeled in the bay - NCIS won't play on my laptop - UGH - so, started The Unit - YEAH - cook up some pork chops - lights out
Jimmy Dean Sausage and Salsa Scrambled Eggs - started a new book, pretty much read all day and chilled - grilled a beautiful fillet for dinner -took a swim in the afternoon and never left the boat - true R&R!
Up early, weather sucks, still the same, sun is shining, wind is perfect, seas are mild. Drop the ball and sail to Cane Garden Bay, grab a ball and do some boat cleaning. dinghy to town and grab a couple things - got spotty internet but get some messages out and check email.
CGB starts to get crowded, so I drop the ball and sail out the channel. Doing 7 knots on a 12 knots beam reach, smoking across the water until I reach Sopers Hole, quick tack, furl the genoa, fire the motors through the Great Thatch and Little Thatch. Motors off, genoa out as I sail to St. John, tack, back to Tortola to Frenchman's Cay, tack, to Mennebeck Bay, tack, and I am heading to Road Harbour, but half way their I decide to go to somewhere I haven't been, so, tack again and I am heading to Coral Harbour, St. John. Furl the genoa, drop the main, motors on and head into the harbour. OK, everything that I have read and looking at the charts I think this place should be kewl, right - NOT! Rust buckets everywhere and not even a dinghy dock, REVERSE!
So, I motor the short distance to Norman Island and back to The Bight, grab a ball and take a nice snorkel along the shore. A quick shower and then to Pirates for a great dinner of BBQ Ribs - Life is good!
Weather report - I would be repeating myself for the 100th time!
We motor out of Great Harbour for the short hop to Norman Island and The Caves. Brenda shows Sami how to grab a mooring ball and tie off the boat and we are all in the water within minutes. The Caves is a great snorkeling spot to see the colorful fish and coral. We use up the last of our disposable camera's, hopefully we have some great shots and after a couple hours we motor around the corner into The Bight. We grab a mooring ball and dinghy the short distance to Willy T's floating bar and restaurant to enjoy some cold Caribs and fish and chips, a nice relaxing lunch at one of the icons of the Caribbean.
Back on ITW we motor sail down wind the 17 NM back to St. Thomas and Crown Bay Marina where is all began with the kids last Monday. I top off the water tanks and wash the boat while Brenda, Sami & Huston do laundry and grocery shopping. Sami was planning to stay an extra week with me and hang out, but when we called Delta to change her ticket there where no seats available for an entire week, Spring Break - Ugh - looks like they all go home tomorrow ;(
We enjoy some Pearl Saki and then head up to Tickles restaurant for burgers and beers, Sami & Huston had to have a couple last Painkillers, some rum fruit drink that definitely kills the pain.
Back to ITW and it is lights out and nap time as we all have to get up at 5:00 AM to catch the taxi to the airport.
Weather report, beautiful sunny day with light winds from the east and relatively calm seas.
We pull up the anchor early and motor out of Leverick Bay to our first stop, Savanna Bay. We motor through the reef and drop the hook and in the water to snorkel around the coral and walk the mile long beach.The kids finally wake up, it is 11:30 AM. Brenda found another treasure and I found a frisbee on the bottom of the sea, score! Back to ITW we pull up anchor, unfurl the genoa and motor sail the short 3 NM to Fallen Jerusalem to snorkel some more and climb around the boulders. As we pull into the small bay there are only two mooring balls with boats tied up, we see our new friends from Arkansas that we met in Anegada and again in Leverick Bay so we pull along side and raft up with their cat. A couple hours of climbing around and snorkeling in one of our favorite spots, very kewl.
We say good bye to Fallen Jerusalem and motor sail the short 6 NM to Great Harbour Peter Island. We drop the hook in 20' of water just a 100 feet from the cliffs. It seems like we are dragging the anchor so I snorkel down and sure enough it is on its side, so I dig the point in the sand and have Brenda back up ITW to dig it in, we are now set. We snorkel around the coral for a while and I soon here a shriek and Brenda is racing back to the boat. Come to find out she saw a fish bigger than her and it got her adrenaline going!
I grill up some great pork chops that we purchased at The Chef's Pantry, a great grocery store at Leverick Bay and we all enjoyed an awesome dinner as the sun was setting. Another episode of NCIS, Sami is finally hooked now and another perfect day in paradise comes to a close.
Our day started out with a big breakfast as we knew we were going to need some serious energy for later. Pack up all of our gear and off to shore and we catch Mitch the taxi driver for the 15 minute ride to Loblolly Bay. We stake out a couple of palapa's for some shade and within in minutes we are in the water snorkeling on the reef. The water is crystal clear and visibility is awesome as we swim along to the outer edges where the coral drops down about 30'. Diving down in some areas there are some coral caves and in one of them we saw a HUGE fish of some sort with gnarly teeth, not the kind you want to see show up on your diner plate!
After a couple hours of snorkeling we head up to the Big Bamboo restaurant and enjoy a nice lunch with great friendly service. So if you go to Anegada we highly recommend the Big Bamboo and Potter's are the two places to eat with great food and great friendly service, which the combination can be rare in the Caribbean. OK, so Mitch picks us back up at 2 and we head back to ITW and say goodbye to Anegada until next year. The seas are dead flat and the wind is 5 to 8 knots from the east, no since raising the main so we motor out of Anegada, unfurl the genoa for an extra tenth to two and point ITW to Virgin Gorda for the short 12 NM hop to Leverick Bay.
We drop the hook a couple hundred yards off of the shore, enjoy our nice hot showers and a bottle of Sangiovese and then dinghy into shore. We head upstairs to "The Restaurant" which is a beautiful dining establishment overlooking the bay. The menu is incredible and reasonably priced, we ordered the mussels, ahi sashimi and oysters for aps and the tuna, venison, fillet and porterhouse for entree's all washed down with an awesome Italian Chianti. The service was top notch and Velda was a joy, the food was excellent and we even had real wine glasses for a change - WOW - definitely in our top 5 fine dining experiences for the Caribbean and we would highly recommend and can't wait to go back!
Back to ITW for an episode of NCIS and we are all beat for the long day of sun and fun, so lights out until tomorrow ;)
Cheers, Sam, Sam - Texas - Momma B and CK.
We wake up to another beautiful day in paradise (ABDIP) in Cam Bay, well Brenda and I wake up anyhow. A little boat cleaning and organizing, I hoist the main, Brenda pulls up the anchor and we motor sail through the reef. Once outside the reef we point ITW towards Anegada, unfurl the genoa and shut off the motors and we are soon sailing at 6 to 8 knots towards Anegada. The kids finally wake up and ask, how long have we been sailing? We have the wind on a beam reach at 12 to 17 knots and the seas are 3' to 4' from the east as sail the 17 NM to Anegada in about 2 1/2 hours. Huston falls back to sleep for the entire journey, Sami and Brenda sit in the salon and talk, I sail the boat!
We drop the hook and dinghy into the Anegada Reef Hotel for lunch and a couple cold beers. We then negotiate a taxi tour of the island with Buddy, to go see the infamous Pink Flamingos in the salt ponds and the Anegada Rock Iguanas. OK, so we think we saw the pink flamingos a couple times off in the distance of the salt ponds, but they could have easily have been yard ornaments from K-Mart, not sure. We did go the to rescue center to see the rock iguanas, a tour through The Settlement, out to the fisherman docks, out to Lublolly Bay and the Big Bamboo bar, back around the salt ponds again to see the pink flamingos (or yard ornaments) and then back to our dinghy.
Back on ITW we read for awhile, play cards and the kids sleep again, then we shower up and dinghy into Potters for our Anegada Caribbean Lobster diner - it was awesome yet again and there was another Uma sighting which I may have failed to mention the last time we were in Anegada, but our waiter was sure that Brenda was Uma Therman and of course nobody told him differently. So, after taking pictures and signing autographs we have Huston drive us all back in the dinghy to ITW, he did a very good job for his first time!
Time for a nap as we have big plans for tomorrow!