Holiday mode in the BVI

Tuesday came and went….and we were so engrossed in boat jobs we didn’t actually make use of any facilities in Nanny Cay marina. Shame – the new pool looked great! We had a quiet night on board enjoying the beautiful colours of the sky as the sun went down.

Nanny Cay sunset

Wednesday morning and we were up early…. Did some final boat jobs and Richard treated me to breakfast out. Bit disappointing but at least I didn’t have to cook it! We then went to get some drinking vouchers but the ATM said NO. We think it was the machine rather than our card…. so we decide to try somewhere else rather than risk our card being eaten. We are now ready to leave and I request assistance to help us off the dock. The very wobbly pontoons here are very low down – I actually needed steps to get on and off Morphie – so we wanted someone just to hold our nose while we backed out into the wind. Well the guy turned up while I was on the dock….and started to untie us. Err….can I get on first please? I got on quickly and we managed to back out of the slip and then immediately turned to go alongside at the fuel dock. We used our new fuel filter funnel – which slows down the whole process – but at least we know that water and muck has been removed first!   Finally fuelled up and having paid our (huge!) bill, I asked the same guy if he could be ready to release our lines for us. Something was clearly lost in translation as he just untied us there and then – and we hadn’t even started the engine!!!!  When I shouted at him he grabbed the rail as we were drifting away…. thankfully the engine started immediately and we regained control quickly. It could have been an absolute disaster and we were shocked at the whole stupidity of it all!   Really think they should train their dock guys better!   Rant over…..

Leaving Nanny Cay we had a lovely brisk sail down the St Francis Drake channel to Norman Island. This is home to Pirates and the Willie T so we planned to stay here for two nights. We stooged around until we found a nice spot in 20 feet to anchor – without impeding any mooring balls – and got a good set first time. It is now mid afternoon so we got cleaned up and headed over to the Willie T as we could see there were quite a few people there…. And there were but most of them left as soon as we arrived! Was it something we said???

The William Thornton

Not too busy at the Willie T yet

Anyway, nice to catch up with the staff – and then more people arrived. We had a really fun few hours and spent some time with two couples who had come over on a little speedboat for a day trip. And of course there were some beverages consumed….and some people jumped off the top of the Willie T – but this was a family afternoon so there was no nudity or lewd behaviour! Oh yes…but there was some weird behaviour….with these two young women hula hooping all afternoon on the dinghy dock!!!

Happy couples on a day out

Willie T jumpers

Hula hoopers

Back on board for dinner and a quiet night….whilst enjoying the spectacular sunset.

Sunset at Norman Island

Thursday we did a few boat jobs – lazed around a bit – and then went ashore to Pirates. This was destroyed by fire last year and completely rebuilt so there is a new beach bar now (which wasn’t open) alongside the restaurant.

New beach bar at Pirates Rebuilt Pirates restaurant

We had planned an afternoon of bobbing but rain stopped play a few times….but didn’t stop the pelicans fishing and entertaining us. We also managed to order a crucial spare part that we need for our trip down to Bonaire – our SSB (long-range) radio has very poor reception and needs boosting, so this is something to help it out. That will arrive via US Priority Mail into St John, US Virgin Islands – so we will not start planning our passage south until that part has arrived and been installed successfully. Which means we’ll have a little more time in the BVIs but hey, someone has to do it!!!!

Rain stops play again.....

Pelican action

Down comes the rain again

As the beach was a bit of a washout we went back to Morphie, grabbed a bite to eat, and then decided to revisit the Willie T.  We weren’t planning to stay too long….. honest! … but got into conversation with an older British couple who spend most of their time doing boat deliveries.  When I asked them what trip stood out in their mind – and the answer was France to Hong Kong. They had also been through the Panama Canal 19 times. Wow!!! What an amazing couple. We also met up with a recently retired American couple who had just purchased a large gentleman’s cruiser – 75 feet – and were enjoying their first time in the Caribbean. Oh yes, and they had crew and a bigger engine on their tender than Morphie has!!! How the other half live eh???

Well….we had to stay longer than planned as the rain came down hard again….but it was fun to watch people trying to get into their dinghies after they had drunk too much rum. Although it was amusing I do wish people would be a bit more careful – this is not Disneyland – and people have died in this anchorage having fallen off boats……

We had to stay longer to wait out the rain


Moody sunset in the Bight

Friday morning we sailed out of Norman and listened to a Virgin Islands Search and Rescue Operation on Channel 16 for a missing diver off Peter Island – but didn’t hear the outcome so just hope it all turned out OK for everyone concerned.

We had a glorious downwind run towards Tortola passing the Indians to starboard. We decided to pull into Soper’s Hole as we needed some fresh produce as well as some drinking vouchers. Well – the fresh produce in the large supermarket was pretty good quality so that was a success. But the ATM had been removed and the wall bricked up! Damn…. But we are off to Jost Van Dyke next – and most places there take credit cards so we’ll just have to rely on those for the minute…. Not ideal but what can you do?

The Indians

Sopers Hole

We left Soper’s Hole and again had a fantastic beam reach across to Jost Van Dyke – although we had to duck a few boats as always.  By the time we had set our anchor in Great Harbour it was quite late so we decided to get ourselves – and Morphie – cleaned up and headed into Corsairs.

Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke

Vinny and Lori knew that we were coming as we had been in email contact….but they could not believe that it was 18 months ago since we left!   Had a great time catching up – met the new chef JR and Kenny a new server – enjoyed some good food, shared some memories, and had a wonderful evening!

Back with Vinny and Lori Kenny - new server at Corsairs

Saturday and we are returning to the Soggy Dollar!   Yippeee……  We have a lazy morning, make some water, do laundry, have lunch, and then motor round the headland in dink. It is very busy and as beautiful as we remembered. All the islands and all the places we have visited just don’t come close to this place!

Busy day at the Soggy Dollar Beautiful Soggy Dollar beach

We work our way through the crowds towards the bar…. and Mic is making a whole pile of painkillers and is engrossed. So I say hi – he looks up and tells everyone they have to wait for their drinks as his UK family have come back to see him!  Hugs all round! What an amazing welcome…. We have a great afternoon catching up with the others too – Shaneek, Simone, Sana – to name just a few. And of course bobbing in that beautiful blue warm water…. Loved it!

Me with the Soggy Dollar gang

Back around the headland later in the afternoon and we realise that Zanshin has anchored behind us. So we go and say hi to him – and arrange to see him later in Corsairs. A Soggy afternoon made us a bit tired so we had a kip before heading in…. a bit later than planned. But Arndt was still there and had a beer with us. A chilled end to a great day.

This morning – Sunday – we had a leisurely start and Richard even cooked me breakfast!  A rare treat…. Late morning we motored over to Cane Garden Bay on Tortola – which is only a couple of miles but straight into the wind / waves. We have primarily come over to see the Elmtones – who are playing live tonight at the Elm – and to see if we can get some badly-needed drinking vouchers!   Arndt has also come over and is anchored in front of us – so a good night at the Elm beckons.  While I’m blogging Richard is cleaning some rust stains off the hull and washing down the rail. Really looking forward to tonight…. and the rest of our BVI holiday!

Bye for now