Monday, June 18, 2012

BVI pit stop

We had an easy downwind sail from St. Maarten to Virgin Gorda and anchored the first few nights in Eustatia Sound where we reconnected with friends Penny and Colin who run a beautiful charter boat in the BVI called Sabore. We met them more than a year ago when they 'borrowed' our unlocked dinghy to chase after a fifty dollar bill that had flown out of Penny's hand into the unswimmable water of Road Harbor in Tortola. Our dingy was the only unlocked one at the dock and their fifty was drifting away! We happened to walk back over just as they were tying up the John T after retrieving their cash. They looked a little sheepish and explained what happened and Colin had the good humor to thank us for keeping the outboard running so smoothly. 

They know just about every place there is to know in the BVI and have shared some favorite hiking spots and anchorages with us. We'd been meaning to hike over and check out a new (and still in progress) private resort called Oil Nut Bay on the northeast tip of Virgin Gorda and Colin and Penny gave the hike a thumbs up. 

We may have lucked out last month by getting an inexpensive deal to stay at swanky Cupecoy Marina, but we don't think they'll be running any deals that will allow us to stay at Oil Nut Bay any time soon. One thing that had us especially interested in checking it out was that they imported the sand for their beach.... from Barbuda!

Barbuda sand! On the beach at Oil Nut Bay.
View from the bulldozer on the cliff
Common area
Private dining. That table is from ONE slab of wood cut vertically out of a tree.
Lots of attention to detail everywhere... even on the floors. 
We walked on the Barbuda sand, but it didn't feel much like Barbuda.
The weather was beautiful for the few days we were back in the BVI and the visibility in the water was incredible. I didn't have the camera with me every time we snorkeled so of course I didn't get a shot of the shark we saw the first day back in the water there. I'll add it to the list of great shots I missed. It was only about a 5 foot reef shark and didn't seem terribly interested in us, but I had visions of being on an episode of "Shark Week" showing the jagged bite mark scars that the marine biologists measure to determine the size and type of shark attacked me.

Apparently... Skip wasn't thinking any of those kinds of things. He suggested that I have an overactive imagination. Me? No way. Hey, those "Shark Week" stories come from somewhere. Anyhow - here are a few less exciting underwater shots.

Sea fan
Brain coral... I feel smarter just from swimming over it.

Moon Jellyfish... not quite as dangerous as a shark... but they do sting.
School of blue tang and a few surgeon and doctor fish.
We swam far! That's Saralane out there posing in front of George Dog.
The north coast of Tortola is subject to swells in the winter but the weather was settled while we were here so we tucked into Brewer's Bay and hiked to the top of Mount Healthy (which we decided should be renamed Cardiac Hill). It's steep and unshaded - but the view from the top was pretty nice 

Sugar Mill at top of Mt. Healthy
Mt. Healthy park gnarly tree

Saralane in Brewer's Bay, north shore Tortola.  
We also stopped at the overrated Sandy Spit at the east end of Jost Van Dyke.This is really just a, well... a sandy spit... not very exciting. But - we overheard a few people here saying that making a trip to Sandy Spit absolutely made their vacation. I'm beginning to think we're spoiled. 

Skip finds a shady spot on Sandy Spit
We'll be back in the BVI again next month but the idea was to continue on to the Spanish islands so off we went to Culebra. 

House along the shore on Culebra's south coast. Somebody loves orange.
There were a few spots we wanted to revisit but mostly we wanted to snorkel the places we missed the last time we were here. The sea conditions were rough when we were last here and right now they're not much better so we're using our time to do other things until the weather settles. We walked around town on Sunday hoping for a repeat of a great meal at Zaco's Tacos - but alas....

Happy Dia de los Padres!
We'll come back when you're open.
We're in Ensenada Honda where we're protected from the bumpy seas by a reef right in front of us, so while the visibility isn't good for snorkeling... the water's fine! I'm testing out a new pool toy, since snafting is so last year.

I'm not really stuck... it just looks that way.
Our big outing today was to a laundromat. This may not seem like a big outing but considering we haven't been to a laundromat since February 27th (the captain's log records more than just latitude and longitude info!) it's a big deal. To do laundry here cost us about $ Antigua or St. Maarten it would have cost us about $100. We're accustomed to doing laundry by hand and hanging it out to dry, but it's NICE to have really clean stuff! Time to get it all dirty again....


Cindy Barnard said...

Hi you two....Mad, love that gnarly tree and always like the pics you take from some distant peak, looking down on Saralane, floating all by herself in a blue, blue sea. Never tire of the beautiful colors. Have fun, be safe, stay clean. L, Cin

Miles said...

Are you out of the tube yet? Sorry for the long silence. Lots going on around here. Been away, Henry visits, Lex's parents, lots of work (this is good) Hockey Tournaments in Chicago, you know, the regular. Hope to see you guys state side this summer.