British Virgin Islands 2018

There's that one particular harbor…

Round 1 is in the Slip

I’ve been home now for almost a week from my first trip this season to the British Virgin Islands. There is virtually no means by which to express how wonderful the trip was, so I’ll just tell you a little bit about it and leave you with a photo or two.

I left on a Wednesday (25 Oct) on a flight departing at 6:30am from DFW. For those that don’t know, that means I had to be up at about 4:00am. My itinerary indicated that I wouldn’t arrive at my destination (Tortola, BVI) until 10:40 that evening…about 16 hours of travel! However, I had done my homework and knew that if I could travel light and run through a few airports, I’d arrive about 8 hours earlier. So off I ran. I caught up with friends in the Atlanta airport and managed to get on their flight despite the grumbling of the airline employee that printed my boarding pass. Somehow, despite my barely being able to talk from being out of breath, she was under the impression I had simply waited til the last moment to approach the counter.

I arrived in San Juan with plenty of time to catch the next flight to Tortola, but unfortunately I didn’t have a ticket for the next flight. My ticket was for the flight 8 hours later. I got on standby, though, and despite being almost full, I made the flight.

Once we arrived on Tortola and checked into the Moorings, Greg and a few of us crew members did some provisioning and had a nice dinner. We wanted to get an early start the next morning. The boat we had been assigned, however, was having some mechanical problems and the Moorings gave us another boat. So we set sail Thursday afternoon on a 40 foot catamaran out of Road Town.

We had a great week of sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, beach-bumming, and eating. We set out on a close reach for Cooper Island. The next morning, after a quick snorkel with a crowd of spotted-eagle rays, we motored around to the other side of Salt Island to dive the RMS Rhone. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any motion sickness medicine, so I missed the dive. I was floating in the water in my scuba gear waiting to descend and puking my guts out. My fellow crewmates did the good dive buddy thing and told me to get back on the boat. Oh well…the Rhone will have to wait for another trip.

I stayed sick the rest of the day despite an amazing day of sailing from Salt up the channel through the Dogs and into North Sound, Virgin Gorda. We didn’t motor once. We spent the next day on Virgin Gorda, checking out the Baths and Copper Mine Point. In case you are ever so fortunate as to visit the Baths, make sure to plan enough time to spend lunch at the Top of the Baths. The freshwater pool, hamburgers, and fries combined with the view of the BVI all makes for a perfect place to veg out for awhile. I’m told they have a great lobster bisque, but lobster was out of season, so I wasn’t able to try it. By the way, this point in the trip was the first rumblings that we wouldn’t be able to get lobster at Anegada. We wrapped up our day with dinner at Saba Rock and some time in the hammocks on the other side of Saba.

The next morning, as we sat at the dock taking on fresh water, we were introduced to Pavel Trcala, a Czech kite boarder. He wanted a ride to Anegada so he could kite board back to VG. You can’t see Anegada from VG, but you can see VG from Anegada, thus explaining his need for a ride. We took him on and had another splendid day of sailing as we headed out on a beam reach making 9 knots or so to Anegada. We saw a dolphin briefly, but other than that there was little excitement. Pavel proved to be an interesting person to talk to. We arrived at Anegada within about 3 hours. Two of our crew went bone fishing and the rest of us went beach hopping along the north shore. It was still the off season, so we didn’t run into too many people. We returned to the boat and did dinner that evening at the Anegada Reef Hotel. Despite not having lobster, we have a great dinner.

The next day we sailed more or less on a broad reach for Jost Van Dyke. It was another great day of sailing (the BVI isn’t a sailing mecca without reason). After practicing some anchor setting on Sandy Cay, we dropped anchor in Great Harbour and enjoyed a meal at Foxy’s.

The next day we went snorkeling on Sandy Spit and then swam ashore at White Beach for some relaxation at the Soggy Dollar. Eventually we set sail in time to moor at Cane Garden Bay and catch the sunset. Dinner that night was steak at Quito’s and snoozing on the beach in some chairs.

We motored around Tortola the next morning and just out of Soper’s Hole we set sail for the Indians. After some great reef diving and lunch aboard we motored into the Moorings to turn in the boat.

Other than recovering our gear and surviving an unhappy meal at Pusser’s, the trip had come to an end. It was another great week in the BVI! The sailing was great. The water was clear. The sun was warm and the food was awesome.

Once home, Greg did a little snooping and discovered that our friend Pavel has led quite a life. He tried to sneak up Mt Everest and when caught, managed to escape. He traveled quite extensively and appears to have graduated with some sort of economics degree from American University. All in all, quite the intrigue.

Leslie and I depart this coming Friday for another week in the BVI. This time we’ll be hosted by a sailing school that will give us instruction in sailing so we can charter our own sailing vessels in the future.

I’ll post an update as soon as we get home!


1 Comment

  Julie wrote @

Matt, Great to read about your trip, and wow, what beautiful pics! I hope you and Leslie have a wonderful week two. And looking forward to that update, too. I enjoy hearing about your adventures so unlike mine at the moment.

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