Left Jost Van Dyke to go over to the Bight, Norman Island on Monday morning. The plan at this stage was to head into Nanny Cay on Tortola on Tuesday to collect our outboard. But the weather forecast remains confused – with different models / sources giving very different messages. So heading out we are running down on headsail alone – and yes, the seas were getting up, about 6ft and running fast…with gusts of wind increasingly strong. Had a blast getting up to 8knts of boat speed…. Looks like a stormy night ahead whatever they say!
Rounding Steele Point on the West End of Tortola we spot this Beneteau Clipper doing weird manoeuvres in the channel – not a place for that type of thing with loads of ferries and commercial traffic coming through this smallish gap between islands. We go over to see if we can assist and it turns out the poor guy has no forward propulsion at all….although his engine goes well backwards. We hang around to see if we can assist but he manages to get into position to reverse all the way into Sopers Hole and presumably some assistance in the marina.
So we take our leave and head off towards Norman – seas and wind continue building – so this time, as we are going into the wind, we sail under reefed mainsail and staysail alone….a great combination which kept us relatively flat and comfortable and we made the Bight on one tack. We picked up a mooring ball close to the hill to get as much protection as possible and headed into Pirates as it had been remodelled since our last visit….. Very nicely done – but I think the white covers on the chairs may be a mistake. Can’t see them surviving many seasons with people sitting around in wet shorts etc… And no stage / area for dancing now – so I guess live music won’t be returning here….
New lunch menu too – much to Richard’s horror – as he had been salivating about their crab cakes all the way over, and had only had a yoghurt for breakfast in anticipation! We then recognised a couple we had seen sitting on their Island Packet as we entered into the bay…and it turns out they are the owners of Hometown Girl, a brand new entry into the Island Yachts fleet. What a small world! We had a great afternoon with them and eventually took ourselves off to the Willie T for a few drinks.
Due to the weather conditions, the bar was really quiet – no naked dancing or jumping off – and we had a nice few hours speaking to a gang from Cornwall and some cruisers who had just come up island, so we gleaned lots of useful information for when we finally get going. Back on board about 8pm for dinner and to bed.
Anyway….the weather forecasters finally got it right and agreed….and the wind howled, it rained hard on and off, and Morphie danced around all night…. The forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday was grim – with small craft advisories in place across the region with 25 knts winds constant and significantly higher gusts. Not something that bothers us, although when this happens with serious rain / white-outs / and large seas then it stops being fun. We don’t have to be anywhere.. so we stay put. Another afternoon in the bar with the crew from Hometown Girl – and the rain came and stayed so that put paid to my ideas of swimming this afternoon.
This morning we decided to leave Norman and run down to Great Harbour in Peter Island so this gives us a better jump off to get to Nanny Cay tomorrow to pick up our new outboard. We arrived safe and sound – seas still rough out there – and the sun has finally come out so we’re off to make the most of it.
Oh yes, Richard Branson is having an End of the World party tonight in the BVIs being 12 / 12 / 12 – hopefully he’s got it wrong so you’ll be hearing from us soon!
Bye for now