BVI....Need I say more?
16 December 2012
Well...of course, I must! But later. We are HERE!
Sunday, December 16, 2012
A long day at sea
Today starts early….in the dark as we prepare to leave Simpson Bay at 3am in order to make the 85 miles in the daylight. When we went to bed, there was only one boat anchored to the west of us, however when we woke, there were now 3 more who had ghosted in after dark to anchor in this protected bay. Anchor up, and off we go, dodging out of the anchorage. The winds are very light, and the seas kind…The stars are amazing with a crisp, clear sky, and no moon. Jupiter, as she is setting, even casts a small glow on the sea before us… Many people tell us they love and prefer night sailing…it’s pretty…but not our preference, that’s for sure. Screaming along in the dark, watching for things you can’t see? It’s hard for me to focus on the beautiful stars. Before long we spot a boat on the radar…and finally see her about 3.5 miles away. Well enough to tell she is a sailboat who will pass safely off our port…shortly after, another boat is visible and this one is clear to pass us to starboard….and then another target….this one with AIS, which turns out to be a tug moving at 4.5 knts….a tug, huh? Do you suppose she is alone? Or does she have a little follower? Turns out she does, and while the AIS shows our CPA as 3.5 miles, that is plenty close for me to get to a tug towing a barge in the dark. While we are watching her, Jim turns to find a very large boat, judging by the height of her lights, closing fast behind us…not on RADAR, hmm…what to do, what to do….holy cow, she is coming right up on us…Oh, wait…That is Venus rising in advance of the dawn. Good grief…this is why we don’t like night sailing!
And then finally…Dawn! A more beautiful dawn I have rarely seen, with the sun casting light pink and blue into the sky in front of us and then backlighting the clouds on the horizon with gold before climbing out of the sea – spectacular! And it brings the added bonus of lighting our world…ahh, now we can relax just a bit. That is until we spot a fishing fleet 35 miles from anywhere, and see that have a few floats laid in the water. Fortunately, they are obvious and easily avoided. This stretch of water is very heavily travelled by vessels of all kinds, cruise ships, mega yachts, tankers, sailboats and sport fishers…any floats left unattended would be run over by one of the big ships in no time.
Late in the morning we find a freighter on AIS that looks to pass within a mile of us. We hail them to discuss options and make sure that they see us, and then we are being hailed on the radio by Allegro, Lee and Sharon, who we met in Trinidad. It turns out they left from the North side of St. Martin and are heading for the East end of the BVI’s to overnight, before heading to the US Virgins. We visited on the radio for a while commenting how you never know who you will run into out there. We are hoping to catch up with them in the next few weeks.
And then, we are here, in the BVI’s, clearing the round rock passage and rigging the boat for arrival at the dock in Spanish Town were we decided to take a berth for a few days, clear customs and clean the boat after her long haul to get here. By 3:15pm we are tied up and able to relax after a long journey! There is music here this afternoon, and there is a party in the park where Santa has arrived to the delight of the local children. A fun place to rest…