02 April 2007 | Peter Island
We got the boat ready to go at 11:00 and motored out of the Bight and around the point to the Norman Caves. There was a mooring open so we picked it up and got the cave exploration gear out.
Atsuo San and Yukiko San took the Kayak and Hideko and I snorkeled. It was great fun. Hideko and I took turns towing the Matsuzawa's by the kayak's painter. We went into a couple of the caves and saw a lot of fish swimming about the area. The Kayak has a transparent bottom but unless you kind of sit so that the bottom is flat, which you can't do while paddling , you can't really see through. I discovered this when we got back to the boat and I said, "Wow, did you see all of the fish down there?", and Yukiko San said, "What fish?". Oh well, it was a lot of fun anyway.
We raised the main on the mooring and sailed up the Sir Francis Drake to Peter Island's Great Harbor. This is a big and deep anchorage. You have to tuck right in to the shore to get 20 feet. Otherwise you're anchoring in 50. There's lots of room if you go that route and there are usually a few mega yachts in the middle of the place for this reason.
We anchored in one spot close to the beach (Roq's advice) but we were too close to the beach and there was a Swedish yacht on the other side. We tried another spot and it took Hideko a few tries to get the hook on the bottom. She was so used to anchoring in 6 feet of water in the Bahamas that letting the anchor drop 50 feet before backing down just didn't seem to be clicking.
After getting settled we saw a great spot right on the beach open up in the Northeast end (the most settled end) so we decided to haul up and reanchor there. Next thing I know a charter boat with a charter skipper starts blasting up behind us. It is obvious that he is going to try to take the spot. It's not our spot of course but simple courtesy would dictate that if another boat, well ahead of you, is clearing moving toward a particular mooring or isolated anchoring spot, you go elsewhere. This guy slammed both engines to the redline and moved to blast around us. What a ... jerk, let's use, jerk here. I suppose I could have raced him but the display was just to shameless. I mean it's not his boat. As long as he gets his clients to all the good spots and gets his tip he's happy. It is unfortunate that so many of the charter skippers (Elite, Sunsail and Moorings in particular) are such jerks because they really know the area and typically are good sailors otherwise.
So we anchored in another spot and watched with some satisfaction as the spot the charter skipper tried to land ended up being to precarious. He had to reanchor, unfortunately right next to us. We glared appropriately.
It was a wonderful night in the anchorage. Great Harbor offers a dazzling view of the sunset and Tortola lights up across the channel as the stars come out. It is much quieter here than many of the high mooring count anchorages because there are no real attractions other than the natural beauty of the place.