February 2010 - Sailing in the British Virgin Islands

Back to Crab Louie's or Gryphon's Homepage


Back to Gryphon's Homepage

 CSS style sheet courtesy of Wally Bryant, on his own sailing adventure!

Tracks may be viewed using Google Earth; *.KMZ files prepared as described here.

31 January.  Sunny, but a chilly 7 F when we got up early this AM.  Good time to get away from the cold Boston Winter.  Sheila and I met Cathy at Logan Airport for a late morning flight to Tortola via San Juan.  Lightning is home holding down the fort and keeping an eye on Jim.   Our abode for the week is a Beneteau 35.2, Minor Indulgence.  Several Mooring's frozen rum punches made for us by Kakeshia helped get everyone in vacation mode.

1 February.  80F; now that's more like it.  After dealing with typical bareboat crap (fill water tanks, more provisions, extra ice), we finally got off the dock around 11 AM!  What's a bunch of slugs.  We had 15-20 knots on the nose all the way to Virgin Gorda, our first stop.  Seas 3-4 feet.  Managed to dodge one squall; a second reef made the crew a bit more comfortable.  Picked up a mooring at the Bitter End Yacht Club.  Had a brief stroll ashore.  After the obligatory sunset cocktails, we enjoyed Sheila's grilled tuna, rice and salad.  Very nice with the cold Pinot Grigio.  Chocolate mousse for desert!  Off to a good start.  Blue track

 2 February.  82F; Crew slept in this AM; must be a vacation thing!  Meandered around ashore for a few hours.  After lunch, we headed for the other (and pleasantly more peaceful) end of Gorda Sound.  Grabbed a mooring just off the dock at Leverick Bay Marina.  I really prefer this end of the sound.  The crew went for a swim off the stern while I chilled.  Went ashore for a few provisions and ice.  We had a very impressive dinner at the now upscale Leverick Bay Restaurant.  The previous manger, Darrell, has departed for the motherland (UK) and new staff took over a few years ago.  Wow; we all were delighted with  grilled scallops, grouper, and tuna entrees with a Gavi de Gavi.  Gelato and crème broulle for dessert.  Our compliments to the new team.  Orange track

3 February.  80F; Up early for a nice sail Northward to Anegada.  15 knots from the SE; 2-3 foot seas.  Always a bit of nail biting getting into this anchorage because of the surrounding coral reefs  (OK, we use a GPS).  Sheila and I went to Cow Wreck beach on the North side of the island for an outing.  Met some nice folks from the Manhattan Yacht Club doing a bareboat regatta.  I suppose it was OK they were Yankee's fans!  Sheila made another great dinner; tomato salad, stir fried rice, garlic bread, and swordfish.  Another tasty Pinot Grigio!  Yellow track

4 February.  88F; Great day for a casual sail South from Anegada to Trellis Bay at Beef Island.  10 knots from the SE; 4-5 foot seas.  Counted 30 sailboats headed in various directions, many towards Jost Van Dyke.  A beam reach most of the way until the wind died near the Dogs.  Moored at Bellamy Cay.  Very hot afternoon!  Everyone grabbed a shower before sunset cocktails.  A good dinner ashore at the Last Resort ("The liver is evil and must be punished"); grilled red snapper, mahi mahi and tuna.  Complimentary bottle of Chardonnay.  Homemade ice cream for dessert!  Purple track

Problem with the head at midnight!  Not good news; sleuthed blockage to a sanitary hose going into "holding" tank (really a pass through in these waters).  Bucket on deck for the crew; will resolve problem in AM.

5 February.  84F; Gave up on trying to clear the clogged sanitary hose.  The Moorings Service Center had help out to us in just over an hour.  Mr. "Boots" was excellent!  We took apart some cabinetry in the head and removed the blocked hose.  Much to my surprise, he showed me that the root cause was mineral deposition inside the hose.  (Cardiologists take note)  He was quite familiar with the symptoms.  Took the suspect hose to the stern.  After many whacks with a winch handle along the entire length, what looked like a lot of broken up cement emerged.  We could have filled a bucket!!  It appears the Moorings should have replaced this hose much sooner!  Re-assembled the head and cleaned up.  We only lost a few hours from our planned day; Thanks to Mr. Boots! 

After a scrambled eggs and bacon brunch, we headed across the Northern side of Tortola (one of my favorite downwind sails) in lights air.  A quick run ashore at Cane Garden Bay (a new stop) then onward to Soper's Hole (another new stop).  For dinner, Chef Sheila made Nana's grilled potatoes and onions, cheese burgers, barbecued chicken and tomato salad.  Green track

6 February.  85F; Crew slept in; scrambled eggs and bacon again for breakfast.  Sheila and I went ashore for a quick run at the shops while Cathy got everything ship-shape.  Motor-sailed up the Sir Francis Drake Channel.  Winds 15 knots 20 degrees off our bow in 2-3 foot seas.  Decided to forgo stopping at Norman Island (and Willy-T's for lunch) and continued onward to Cooper Island (yet another new stop for us).  The mooring area was full, but we got lucky as a big catamaran left just as we pulled up.  We went ashore for a stroll on the beach.  After getting started in the Cooper Island Hotel bar, we continued Happy Hour on-board.  This was cleanup the icebox night.  Sheila made grilled chicken, salad, and garlic bread.  A merlot and then cheesecake with yogurt.   15 - 20 knot winds continued from the Southeast making for a very bouncy anchorage.   It was a long night.  Red track

7 February.  80F; Early AM departure to Roadtown to catch a noon flight home.  We simply motored back.  Since our last trip, the Moorings now has someone come aboard off the docks to help bring the boat into a slip.  James told me the policy was implemented due to many boats being damaged.  Too bad; getting the boat (and watching others do so) into the slip was always exciting!.  White track



click on pictures to enlarge