Goodbye BVIs – back to St Thomas

Sunday afternoon we went ashore to go bobbing on Pirates beach.  We were having a great time – using one of Orion’s blow-up paddle boards as a table – when we spotted this Moorings catamaran trying to anchor near Morphie 10 times…..   Drop it, pick it up, drop it in the same place, run back, too close to Morphie, and repeat…. Oh yes, and he managed to pick up our stern anchor as well during a couple of these attempts….. Not impressed we went out in dink to ask him to move. We were absolutely gobsmacked to find that this was a skippered Moorings boat – and the crew shouted at us because, allegedly, it is illegal to use a stern anchor and threatened us with the coast guard.   Yeah – right!!!!!   And why did you have to have that particular spot anyway – there was room for at least two more boats in there without coming that close to us????  Anyway, to attempt to maintain world peace with the South African skipper – and the set had been compromised anyway – we picked up our stern anchor.   Of course, immediately, Morphie starts swinging widely around so we ask him to let out more chain as he was even closer now.   And, in fact, why don’t you just move????  Clearly this is not sustainable overnight.   He refuses and says he will stand watch instead….   Irritated and frustrated we left them to it and returned to the beach whilst deciding what to do next.   Really didn’t want to move Morphie as we were there first and had been in the same spot for two days already.   Anyway – within 10 minutes of our return to the beach they picked up their anchor and moved away to a safe distance…. Now why cause all that fuss and upset???!!!??? Moral of this story – if you come across B’Shert II – avoid!   They clearly do not know how to anchor and I bet their guests were not too pleased with losing two hours of their vacation time while their paid crew messed around being belligerent…….

Beware this boat!

Having calmed down and relaxed back into it – we had a lovely bobbing session and said our final farewells and went our separate ways….   All good things have to come to an end, sadly!  We have had so much fun catching up with Julia and Lyle and all their guests over the last few weeks…..

Bobbing table!

Monday morning and the wind had picked up considerably – we retrieved our anchor – and made our way out of the busy anchorage.

Leaving the Bight

The waves were building and we spotted one power cat struggling to make their way into it. We, however, had a brisk and exhilarating downwind sail in 25 knots of breeze before pulling into West End.

Little roughGreat downwind sail

No available mooring balls again – so we ended up anchoring out.

Morphie anchored off West End

We dinked in and went to customs / immigration to check out.   The same dodgy customs guy was there – but in a better mood – although nearly gave me a turn when he said it would cost 100 to leave….   What???!!!???   Then he said 100 cents – $1 – ha ha ha!   Very amusing NOT….   Formalities completed we went across the bay to Sopers Hole to do some last minute shopping.    Always think the water front here is so pretty.

Pretty shops in Sopers Hole Pretty shops in Sopers Hole 2

We quickly managed to purchase the marina market’s entire supplies of English sausages as this is our last chance to get them….   We returned to the busy dinghy dock, back to Morphie, anchor up and set sail towards St John…. So this is it – we really have left the BVIs now…. Bye – it’s been so much fun….

Busy on the dinghy dock Leaving Sopers and the BVIs behind

We had another great downwind sail surfing along with the waves until we picked up a mooring ball off Honeymoon Beach, St John.  Rough seas today.

Rough seas today Rough seas today 2

We then dinked into Cruz Bay to clear customs and immigration. This was a bit of a slow and grumpy service today – but hey, who cares.  We then went into Connections to check our post – fingers crossed – and a big HURRAH, our chart plotter chip has finally arrived so we are good to move on….. The first chip was lost in the post it would seem – so we have given instructions for them to return it to sender if it turns up – but not hopeful.   Thankfully the US supplier were good enough to send us a replacement without too much argument. After having lunch ashore while we caught up on the internet we returned to Morphie for a quiet afternoon / evening on board.   Well wasn’t that quiet as it was pretty rolly but you know what I mean.  We particularly enjoyed the sunset over St Thomas before we retired to bed.

View from lunch in Cruz Bay

Goodnight from St John

Tuesday morning and we had a leisurely time getting ready to go across to Red Hook on St Thomas whilst admiring the view of the coastline of St John for the last time.

Beautiful coastline of St John

We can’t officially check into the marina until 2pm – so we motor across the Pillsbury Sound slowly and pull into the fuel dock around 1ish.   While Richard is filling up, I run to the office to find out our slip assignment and, luckily, it is free so we are cleared to come right on in.   Great – and so to work!

Immediately we were on the dock I left Richard in charge sorting Morphie out while I took the first loads to the laundry…..   Managed to snaffle the two biggest commercial washers so four loads turned into two and I settled down with my Kindle trying not to expire from the heat!     All done – and back to Morphie – to find that Kevin had been on board but when he had unpacked the spare parts, they had delivered the wrong ones! He was embarrassed as they had been sitting in his shop for three weeks awaiting our return and he hadn’t checked. Oh well…. Never mind…. He managed to make a few phone calls and secured alternative supplies for the following day. He also took off the badly scratched cover from the cockpit instruments which we had been struggling to see through for years as he knew of somewhere they could fabricate a replacement for us.   Great news as we had really baulked at paying $100 plus shipping / taxes to Island Packet for a new one!!

The view before

After he had left, Richard and I went across the road to the pharmacy for more bug bands; the bank to replenish our drinking voucher supply; and finally to the new supermarket for our fresh meat.  Back on board we spent quite a while unpacking and repackaging the huge supply of meat and stocking the freezer – wanting to make the most of the shore power connection to get this lot frozen before we head off on our travels.   We have been warned that getting supplies through some of the islands as we head up towards Florida is very difficult so we have decided to heavily provision the boat up with meat and dried foods prior to leaving here.

Phew… busy hot day….   Dave and Susan came by for a chat after work so we had a couple of beers with them in the cockpit before we both headed up to the busy bar that overlooks the marina for a bite to eat.   Beautiful moon tonight…..

The marina lit by the moon

Wednesday morning up bright and early – and we spoke to Kevin. Not sure when he will get to us today as he is waiting on the instrument cover to be ready.   So we decide to stay put for the day and get on with more jobs….   So I went back to the laundry again with another couple of loads and Richard proceeded to wash Morphie down.   By the time I returned she was looking really pretty on the dock.

Morphie looking clean again

I went off again to get some more bits and bobs while Richard waited on Kevin – he turned up, fitted the new parts, all is working YAY, and then tried to fit the new instrument cover. Well, of course, they hadn’t got it completely right so he had to go off and do some small modifications before returning to try again. This time it fitted perfectly and we are very pleased with this improvement!   Look at the difference…

After picture

After he had gone we got the anchor chain out of the locker – marked up the lengths again and gave it a fresh water wash down – then stowed it back.   We also filled up our water tanks and then settled down in the cockpit to clean all our saloon cushions.   It took us a while to get them clean and dry before putting them all back down…. They sure felt nicer as a result.   By the time we had got ourselves cleaned up Dave and Susan came by to take us to Mollys. We had snacks and beers there – and were joined by Paul – and had a fun few hours… Dave, Susan and Paul

Thursday morning and we picked up our hire car.   Quite a nice car actually compared to the wrecks we have been renting before LOL.

Our hire car

Huge shopping list in hand and off we go.   First to Cost-U-Less – think CostCo – and stocked up on loads of dried foods / soft drinks / beer / wine etc.   Then to Home Depot and got some more bits and bobs…. On to K-Mart where we picked up new rugs for Morphie’s saloon along with some pillows and a new chip for our US phone so that we now have a working local phone again…..   Then to Pueblo for some things we couldn’t get in Cost-U-Less – then onto Foodland for the remaining things on our list.   And finally to Budget Marine for some other stuff….

Credit cards wobbling with extensive use, we had filled up the car boot so also had purchases strewn on the back seat.  Time to return to Red Hook.  And, of course, we took a wrong turning but hey the scenery was nice there for a little while.

Driving along the coast by mistake

Back to the marina – got a car parking permit organised – and then loaded up a marina cart. Back to the boat – unloaded the cart – and Richard returned for the next load, while I started unpacking.   Well – it took hours – moving things around to make room and then trying to remember where everything is.   Oh yes, and we went to the bank again for another drinking voucher expedition…   ATMs are plentiful here – unlike other islands – so we are making the most of it!   Check out the new rugs… Nice eh???

New saloon rugs

Later on we met Dave for a quick supper – with us actually sharing a meal between us as we struggle to cope with US sized portions – and then said our goodbyes. Have had some much fun catching up with him again….   We were in bed, exhausted, by about 9 pm.

This morning – Friday – and we have just spotted Cutter Loose in the marina.   So went over to say hi to Eric before returning the car.    Now we are in Mollys having breakfast and doing internet stuff……  We have to leave the marina by 1pm latest today.   Our immediate destination is Charlotte Amalie where we are hoping to finish off the earlier aborted varnishing job. Will have to do another two coats we think…..

Bye for now