British Virgin Islands 2018

There's that one particular harbor…

Home, Home Again

What a week! We were scheduled to arrive on St Thomas on the 10th and ferry over to Tortola that afternoon. The airlines had something else in mind and we arrived an hour and half late in St Thomas, missing the last ferry of the day. We were stuck on St Thomas along with a young couple from South Africa, Barry and Bridgette. They were returning from vacation in Mexico to get back to work as charter crew members out of Tortola. We found a place to stay and had dinner together before turning in for the night. The next morning we caught the first ferry out of Red Hook into Soper’s Hole. After clearing customs we taxied to Cane Garden Bay and joined Leslie’s parents at the Agape Cottages. We spent a relaxing morning on the beach and then taxied over to the Moorings for a burger and to explore the docks.

We arrived at the Pro Valor dock in Fat Hog’s Bay right on time. After a quick meeting and dinner we turned in for the night aboard Shibumi II, a 41 foot Beneteau monohull. The next morning, after an orientation, we set sail for Norman Island and some snorkeling at the Caves. These caves are said to have been used by pirates for hiding treasure. I snorkeled into the back of the largest cave (about 100 feet back into the cave) and found a stone beach.

After our snorkel, we then sailed/motored to Little Harbour, Jost Van Dyke. We had dinner at Sydney’s Peace and Love where Sydney’s son, JoJo, turned a conch into a horn that we learned to blow. It was quite loud and we used it throughout the remainder of the trip to mark our coming and going, etc.

The next morning we sailed to Sandy Cay and Leslie’s parents snorkeled while Leslie and I went ashore and walked the trail. It is the quintessential deserted island. From there we sailed/motored to Marina Cay where we had dinner at Pussers. That was my second time eating at Pussers and both times were irritating. I don’t think I’ll go there willingly again. Marina Cay was also unimpressive. It may be beautiful from the air, but from the water it is unremarkable. It sits just off the departure end of Beef Island Airport, adding aircraft noise to the experience.

The next morning, our instructor, John, told us he was taking us to the best snorkeling spot in the islands. We motored over to Fallen Jerusalem just off of Virgin Gorda. There is a single mooring ball and we wanted to make sure and get it. It was a great spot to snorkel, but we noticed a lot of jelly fish. Leslie and I got out of the water after only a few minutes. We noticed John making his way back as well. He had been stung by a large jelly fish that wrapped around his torso. Then Tim and Georgianna returned to the boat also having been stung (although not as severely). John began having trouble breathing, but assured us he was ok. He told us to take the boat out into the channel and sail toward the Dogs while he went below to recover. However, Georgianna (an RN) kept an eye on him and shortly announced that he needed medical attention. He was having trouble breathing, sweating profusely and had full body tremors. He was going into anaphylactic shock. So we dropped sail and motored quickly over to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda. We caught a mooring ball and Tim and I dinghied in with John to the clinic. John was seen quickly and with treatment recovered within a few hours. We then sailed on to North Sound and a mooring at Biras Creek. Dinner that night was pasta and meat sauce aboard.

The next day we sailed for Anegada. The wind was up just enough to keep us moving along at about 4 knots. A few hours later we arrived at the Anegada Reef Hotel. We taxied around to Cow Wreck Beach and spent the afternoon on the beach. Dinner was lobster.

The next morning we set sail for Spanish Town. Along the way we practiced heaving to, tacking, jibing, running wing and wing, etc. We soon arrived at Spanish Town. We had to anchor since all the balls were taken. Once set, we dinghied in and taxied to the Baths. I stayed at the top of the Baths and took my final exam. Leslie and her parents went down and snorkeled for a bit.

We did dinner at the Flying Iguana by the VG airport. The owner brought out his parrot and pased her around. The food was ok.

The next morning we headed back to Fat Hog’s Bay and ended our week.

All in all it was a good week. Leslie and I got our certifications to charter boats up to 50 feet. I got to go to a lot of places I hadn’t been before. And in the end, any week in the islands is a good week.

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6 Comments

  Julie wrote @

Welcome home Matt & Leslie! Congratulations on your certification. The conch shell sounds interesting, but the jelly fish do not. Glad the week ended well. I enjoyed hearing about your trip.

  Matt wrote @

The conch shell was great! We stood and watched JoJo as he took a rock and carefully removed the last three turns from the point of the large shell. Once he was finished we were able to put it up to our lips and blow. It only took a few tries to get the hang of it. It sounded like a fog horn and when we blew it up inside a bay it would echo quite clearly. It’s all part of the charm these islands have managed to hang onto despite the march of time.

  M. Jay Bennett wrote @

. . . I like to be here when I can.Sounds like you all had a great trip. Glad you’re home safe.

  Matt wrote @

Thanks for recognizing that reference there Jay. It’s (mostly) nice to be home. I think we need to pull a few hours at the Gingerman in the very near future. Just drop me a line when you’re ready.

  GUNNY wrote @

When I come home cold and tired, it’s good to warm my bones beside the fire … or a portable fire at the Gingerman.Thanks for the tip, Matt. That Pearl Jam is GOOD. I went out Saturday night and got Ten. We’re good friends now.Smoke it up here, boss?

  Matt wrote @

Glad you enjoyed the PJ. That album is a classic.And as for smoking it up, indeed, feel free to enjoy whatever virtual tobaccy suits you.


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