November 2015: US and British Virgin Islands

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December 12th, 2015 by

November 4th: Marina Puerto del Rey – Ensenada Honda, Vieques

With the boat fully provisioned and sparkling clean, we were finally ready to start cruising again. We decided to top up the tanks, as fuel was just $2.50 per gallon. We added two-hundred gallons and set east to Vieques. The weather forecast was pretty good, with winds out of the east at fifteen knots, and seas ESE at three feet. Longer term, there was supposed to be some heavy weather starting on the 6th, so we decided to skip Culebra and go to St. Croix with an overnight stop in Vieques. Shortly out of the marina, I noticed that an old problem had returned – our 140A alternator was not charging the house batteries. We decided to keep cruising, as we were pretty sure that we could get a new one and/or have the old one rebuilt in St. Thomas. Cruising without this alternator requires periodically running the generator while underway, so we weren’t in any real difficulty. Given the trouble we had getting boat services in Puerto Rico, we didn’t want to turn around and wait to get the repairs done.

The forecast was good, but the actual conditions were pretty rough. We were taking waves of four to five feet about 30° off of our port bow, so we were slamming pretty good. We also had151104 Ensenada Honda Vieques some heavy squalls that drove us into the pilothouse on a few occasions. Once we turned to the east after passing the tip of Vieques, conditions were very smooth with a large following sea. We took a look at Bahia Salina del Sur, but there were no other boats there. It wasn’t clear if we were allowed to anchor there, due to unexploded ordinance on the sea floor. We could see signs warning about ordinance on the beach. Ultimately we decided against taking the risk, and we cruised on to Ensenada Honda. This is a very large bay with very good protection from the east. Once inside, the water was like glass. Amazingly, we were the only boat in the bay. We went well inside and anchored in about thirty feet of water.

Position at destination: 18°07.247’ N, 65°21.404’ W
Air temp: 89°, Humidity: 66%, Water temp: 91°
Nautical miles for this leg: 32.3  Total: 9163
Departed at 9:30am, arrived at 3:00pm

November 5th: Ensenada Honda, Vieques – Green Cay Marina, St. Croix

We wanted to enjoy the afternoon at Green Cay Marina, so we left before sunrise, also hoping that the seas would be calmer before dawn. On the way out of the bay, we ran into our first squall of the day. This has definitely been the rainy season. You can see the rain bands of the squall, the winds kick up to 30 knots, and you get pounded by horizontal rain for one to two minutes – that’s the typical squall around here. One hour later, and it’s lather, rinse, and repeat. The ride was much gentler than our previous passage to Vieques, and we arrived at the marina a little after 1:00PM. When we had called to make a reservation, the marina manager Steve offered us a deal to pay for three nights and stay for five – excellent! The marina is very well protected, and is said to have ridden out Hurricane Hugo with no boat damage. The docks in some areas are being rebuilt. When we first arrived Steve had assigned us a slip that was a little narrow, so he told us we could tie up to a tee dock instead – very easy!

Position at destination: 17°45.601’ N, 64°40.141’ W
Air temp: 88°, Humidity: 55%, Water temp: 90°
Nautical miles for this leg: 47.2, Total: 9210  
Departed at 5:10am, arrived at 1:30pm

November 5th – November 10th: Green Cay Marina, St. Croix

The marina is part of the Tamarind Reef Resort, easy walking next to the marina. There is a pool, a be151105 Disco Bingo 2ach, and a couple of restaurants at the resort. After checking in, we decided to check out the resort. We went to the New Deep End Restaurant for Happy Hour. We noticed that virtually all of the chairs at the bar and restaurant had “reserved” signs taped to them. We asked why, and we were told that Thursday night was “Disco Bingo Night”, which means that there are bingo games with disco music played between the games. Apparently this is extremely popular, and they had reservations for one-hundred and seventy players that night. The games were scheduled to start at 6:30 that night. We ordered some food, but before we got it, an older lady came over and told me I was in her reserved 151105 Disco Bingoseat. I explained that we were there for dinner, not bingo, but she insisted on getting her lucky seat RIGHT NOW! Quite surprised, but amused after a few sundowners, we moved to a small table that had not one, but two “reserved” tags on it. After our food arrived, a younger woman sat at our table and said that she had reserved it, but had no issue with us enjoying our dinner. She said that the prizes are sometimes over $800, which explains the popularity. Anyway, we decided not to stick around for the game or the disco, as we were tired and tripping on sundowners. We went back to the boat, and we could easily here the strains of disco bingo moving through the damp air.

We decided to rent a car for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for island exploration. For Friday, we planned to have a relaxing pool day. After spending the summer at the huge, but very lonely, Marina Puerto del Rey, we were delighted to see lots of activity in this small marina. Several boaters introduced themselves, and were very friendly. We decided to ride the bikes over to the resort. The pool was very nice, with clear, refreshing water. While we were there, construction was going on at the beach end of the pool. A Bobcat was coming in between trees and dumping sand for distribution around the trees on the beach – more simple entertainment for us. I guess 151105 Pool at Tamarind Reefthat some storms had depleted some of the sand. Before we left for the pool, a large. But older, catamaran came into the dock opposite of us. There was a big family on board, with three daughters. They came to the pool a little after us. We found out that they were living on board, and cruised the local areas on occasion. They were a great source of local knowledge.

       The pool area at Tamarind Reef Resort

On Saturday morning, the rental car was being delivered to us at the marina. Early that morning, I noticed some movement in the mangroves just across for us. It turns out that the mangroves were full of large iguanas, sunning themselves and pumping up to impress their neighbors.

151108 Green Cay iguana 2 151108 Green Cay iguana 1
          These guys were in the mangroves every morning, putting on “pump you up” displays

We picked up the car, and drove off to explore the island. The first stop was the capital town of Christiansted, full of shops and restaurants … and that day, rain. We were in one of the shops when the skies opened up. For about ten minutes, it rained as hard as we used to see in Panama. Fortunately, the shop we were in had a free Cruzan rum tasting bar – they had obviously not counted on Captain Lucky paying a visit that day!

151107 Christiansted rain 151107 Free tasting bar 

Between showers, we checked out the shops. Rose was on a mission to find the coral necklace that she had seen some of the girls in PDR wearing. They are made by a guy on Culebra, and they can only be bought when he was on the island. We heard he spends a lot of time in Oregon, but she was convinced that she could find one somewhere in the Virgin Islands. The shops had a mixture of nice apparel, some reasonably priced and some crazily priced, and the typical tourist junk. I asked, and found out that cruise ships docked at Fredericksted, and that one was in port that day. After the rain seemed to stop, we went to the waterfront for lunch at Rum Runners. We had met the owners at Disco Bingo night, and the lunch was very good.

After lunch, we set out on the highway towards Fredericksted. One of the things we really wanted to do while we were on St. Croix was a tour of the Cruzan rum distillery. But, checking on Saturday morning, I found out that it was not open on the weekends, so we would have to wait until Monday. We were able to navigate fairly well between the map we had and our phones. Most of the streets have highway numbers, but they have a habit of branching at intersections, with no sign indicating that to follow highway X, you need to turn. Anyway, we stopped at a large outdoor mall, and discovered that there were a number of stores on the island, such as Home Depot, K-Mart, KFC, and a large grocery called Cost-U-Less. It’s sort of like Costco, but no membership is needed. We followed the highway west to Fredericksted, stopping in vain at the closed Cruzan distillery. Frederikcksted was locked up tight – nothing seemed open, even though a cruise ship was docked offshore. We decided to take a drive along the beach, and back through the rain forest. The road was terrible, with large rain-filled potholes everywhere, so the going was slow. It was a scenic drive, although we were in and out of rain.

After spending an hour or so in the forest, we emerged back to civilization and decided to drive along the south shore to the island’s only casino. The southern shore has a lot of open farm land, and we eventually found the casino, the Divi Carina Bay. It looked very new, and we ventured inside. At 4:30, it was virtually empty, so we played some video poker, made a little money, and left. We were in the mood for a pizza, which wasn’t very common on St. Croix. We had read that the best pizza on the island was found at You Are Here, started by an expat a few years back. We decided to get it to go, and we weren’t disappointed – excellent quality!

Upon returning to the boat, we talked with our neighbors. They were planning to go surfing the next morning at a beach on the south shore called Halfpenny Bay. He gave us directions, which included turning off the road at the “pink pillars”. I looked up the beach online, and the directions did indeed reference the pink pillars. The next morning, we drove to the beach. Heading down Highway 62, we found the pink pillars, and turned down the dirt road to the beach. We got to the beach, and saw only one car, but not from our neighbors. The beach we were looking at was nothing like the pictures, so we figured it must be on the road that headed east along the shore. Just a few hundred feet down that road, we came into a gated community with lots of no trespassing signs. We turned around, and then we saw the woman that had the vehicle parked at the first beach. We asked her where Halfpenny Beach was, and she said that this was it. We looked again, and it was nothing like the pictures, which showed a long, relatively wide, white sandy beach. This beach was narrow, steep, and covered in Sargasso weed. We drove around the area some more, but never saw any other pink pillars. We gave up on this beach, and drove to Fredericksted to find a nice West End beach.

151108 West End Beach 1 151108 West End Beach 2

 We spent a relaxing afternoon at the beach, accompanied by local people smoking ganja and generally enjoying life. Late in the afternoon we went into Fredericksted, where we found some signs of life near the cruise ship. Rose searched in vain for her Culebra necklace, and we had a late lunch at a small dive that closes once the ship leaves. They had televisions there showing a few NFL games. After searching for games in Puerto Rico, we found them at a small dive that caters to cruise ship riff-raff – go figure. When paying, I noticed that one of my credit cards was missing from my wallet. The last time I saw it was when I paid for the pizza at You Are Here. I guessed that either it was at the restaurant, or in the pocket of the shorts I had worn. After getting back to the boat, I determined it was not there, so I called the restaurant. They did have the card, and I arranged to pick it up the next day. My guess it that the waiter didn’t bring it back when I signed the bill, and I failed to notice it. Fortunately it was one of the new chip cards, so I didn’t have to worry about it being cloned. That happened to me once before in an airport bar, and it was a major pain.

151109 East EndFor the last day we had the car, we planned to tour the Cruzan distillery and check out some of the stores. First we drove to the east end of the island, which is pretty rough. There is a monument that marks the point furthest east in the USA.

After enjoying the spectacular views from the East End, we drove west across the island to Cane Bay for lunch. This is supposed to be one of the better beaches, but again we found the beach to be marginal, with very little actual beach area. We had lunch at Off the Wall, a fun little place right on the water. The view was really nice, as was the sense of humor.

151109 Off the Wall 1 151109 Off the Wall 2
                          Cane Bay                                                           Everything was on special!

 After lunch, we drove over the hill to the Cruzan distillery. It was a great deal: for $7 each, we got a distillery tour, two specialty cocktails, and two shots. The distilling tanks were down for preventive maintenance, but we did tour the aging rooms, blending tanks, and transportation facilities. We found out that Cruzan had been bought by Jim Beam, and that Cruzan makes the private label spiced rum for Costco. While the rum is distilled, aged, and blended in St. Croix, it is shipped to Kentucky for bottling at the Jim Beam distillery. The barrels come from Jim Beam, so there is a lot of rum traffic back and forth. After the tour, we had some great cocktails and shots, and we ended up buying quite a bit of rum. The prices were great, so we just couldn’t resist. The single-barrel rum that I had paid $30 for in St. Thomas was just $20 at the distillery, and the 1L bottles of Cruzan Gold were just $7. All in all, we had a great time. After the tour, we did a little shopping at Home Depot, Cost-U-Less (similar to Costco without a membership), and of course, KFC for Quincy. 

151109 Cruzan 1 151109 Cruzan 2 151109 Cruzan 3
                                                  Scenes from the Cruzan distillery tour

151110 IguanaThe next day was a beach and pool day. On the grass between the pool and beach, the iguanas we had seen in the mangroves were grazing. We thoroughly enjoyed our short visit to St. Croix. It’s a nice mixture of beaches, open areas, and some decent shopping.

 

 

November 11th: Green Cay Marina – American Yacht Harbor, Red Hook, St. Thomas

We departed for St. Thomas under reasonable conditions. The wind had dropped to around fifteen knots, and the seas were on our beam at three to four feet – a far cry from the six to eight feet just a couple of days earlier. Without the house alternator working, we had to again run the generator during the passage. Before we reached the channel that separates St. Thomas and St. John, we suddenly spotted some fish traps in about eighty feet of water. Given the heavy boat traffic in this area, we were surprised to see them, and had to take quick evasive action to avoid them. There are a lot of cruising yachts, powerboats, and passenger and car ferries plying this area, so we had to be up on the wheel. We called the marina and got our slip assignment. AYH is an IGY marina, bit the reviews were correct that the docks are in sad shape. They are fixed wood, and very much degraded – you would not want to walk barefoot on them. The fingers are very short, but we tied up without incident.

Position at destination: 18°19.483’ N, 64°37.109’ W
Air temp: 90°, Humidity: 53%, Water temp: 88°
Nautical miles for this leg: 37, Total: 9247 
Departed at 8:30am, arrived at 2:30pm

November 11th – 15th: American Yacht Harbor, Red Hook, St. Thomas

I had asked Ralph if he knew of an alternator shop, and he said he would contact them. Shortly after we tied up, Stacie and Ralph came by to visit with us. They gave us some ideas about the lay of the land, and we went with them on a pub crawl. There is a dive bar called Raw that has a 3:00 to 4:00 happy hour with $1 drinks and $1 orders of two tacos. We imbibed a few of these, and then went to the Caribbean Saloon for their Wednesday happy hour and Jägermeister bingo night. Rosé had her usual luck, and won a tee-shirt. After this, we went to s new sushi bar that had just opened, and it didn’t disappoint … us or Quincy.

The next day, Rosé and Stacie decided they would take the ferry to Cruz Bay while Ralph and I figured out the alternator. I also called up the Yanmar dealer to confirm they were coming to replace the exhaust elbow on the wing engine. Ralph’s alternator guy hadn’t called back, so I called Melvin (VI Starters and Alternators), and he told me that he actually had a new version of our alternator! His price was high, but not as high as getting one shipped to St. Thomas. While we were in St. Croix, I found sources in the USA for the alternator at a good price, around $200. But getting it shipped to St. Thomas would cost $300! I was shocked at this. Shipping to Puerto Rico cost just a little more than the forty-eight states, but for some reason, shipping to St. Thomas is crazy expensive. Anyway, I decided to buy the alternator from Melvin, and then have him rebuild the old one as a spare. Fortunately, the large 140A alternator is much easier to remove and install than the smaller engine alternator, so we got the job completely quickly. As soon as we were done with that, the Yanmar tech showed up and replaced the exhaust elbow in about a half an hour. Ralph and I hurried to catch the next ferry to Cruz Bay, where we joined the ladies for some drinks and shopping.  Rosé had bought a sunken treasure coin that was used to make a pendant. Later that night we joined Ralph and Stacie on their charter cat for dinner.

151112 Safari TaxiOn Friday, Ralph and Stacie were busy getting their boat ready for their first charter. There were some last minute repairs, provisioning, and cleaning, so they were a little stressed. We bought them a nice bottle of wine to celebrate their success as a charter crew. After they left on Saturday, we hopped on one of the safari taxis for a $2 ride to Charlotte Amalie. We had lunch at The Thirsty Turtle at Yacht Haven Grande, where we had been back in September. As we had been told then, the Rising Sun was in port. This is a mega yacht now owned by David Geffen, previously belonging to Larry Ellison. The yacht comes to Yacht Haven every winter.

151114 Rising Sun 1 151114 Rising Sun 2
                                The superyacht Rising Sun – 6th largest private yacht in the world

We went to the Gourmet Gallery to pick up some more of their very good sushi-grade tuna, but sadly, they didn’t have any. After a little more shopping, we returned to Red Hook to prepare for our mini-cruise to the British Virgin Islands.

November 16th: American Yacht Harbor – Maho Bay, St. John

We decided to stop over in Maho Bay for the first night. This is a large, well-protected bay on the north side of St. John – we hadn’t stopped here on our cruise back in September. There was a pretty active east wind blowing, and the forecast was for some north swell coming in, peaking on Friday. When the north swell is running, you have to be very careful about choosing an151117 Maho Bay anchorage in the BVI. Maho Bay is actually part of a larger bay that includes Francis Bay, with Maho occupying the southeastern portion. We counted well over fifty mooring balls in this large bay, and with only around twenty boats moored up, it was easy to find a choice spot. There was very little swell running, so we lowered Little Blend and took some sundowners to the beach after paying the iron ranger for our mooring.

Position at destination: 18°21.517’ N, 64°44.859’ W
Air temp: 87°, Humidity: 59%, Water temp: 89°
Nautical miles for this leg: 6.9, Total: 9254 
Departed at 10:25am, arrived at 11:30am

November 17th: Maho Bay, St. John – Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke

The next morning we made the short cruise over to Great Harbour. We had read that the amount of mooring balls had greatly increased, and that turned out to be correct. We couldn’t find a spot to anchor inside the harbor, and the swells were up enough to keep us from anchoring outside of the harbor. So, we decided to go ahead and pick up a mooring ball for the night. After tying up, we went ashore to check in. We had decided to check in at JVD after reading that this was a very easy place to check in. Apparently this is the place of choice for crewed charters from the USVI to check in as well. While we were there, a number of crews came in to check in their many passengers. Once we were in the (air-conditioned!) office, we were directed to a small office in the corner where a lady in an official uniform charged us $5, but we weren’t sure why. After that, we had to fill out a long entry form, and pay the $5 customs service fee and a $10 annual tonnage fee. That fee had been very controversial earlier in the year, as it had been very expensive, based on the duration of the stay. Later it was amended to being based on gross tonnage and good for the calendar year. The customs officer told us if we returned again during 2015, we would not have to pay it again. This worked out, as we were planning to come back by December 30th. The last check-in was immigration, which was free, but they charged us $0.10 each for the forms. They didn’t have change (surprise, surprise), so we bought ten forms, which would cover our next entry. Checked in, we returned to Tropical Blend.

Position at destination: 18°26.521’ N, 64°45.014’ W
Air temp: 87°, Humidity: 61%, Water temp: 89°
Nautical miles for this leg: 5.2, Total: 9259 
Departed at 8:15am, arrived at 9:30am

Something we remembered from our chartering days was the difficulty some people had with picking up moorings. It’s not difficult at all – we accomplished this easily during our very first charter, having had no previous experience. But some boaters seem to have monumental problems picking one up. We had the fun to watch such a hapless sight from a power boat that arrived a few minutes after we got back. They approached at ball too fast, and someone was physically hanging over the bow trying to grab the ball by hand, which was impossible. They then figured out that they needed a boat hook, and made a second pass … and a third pass … and a fourth pass. They were trying to grab the eye of the ball, and then they figured out that they should grab the painter instead. On their fourth pass, they did get the painter, but the driver of the boat was going forward way too fast, and ripped the painter out of their hands. BY this time they seemed to think that they had an unlucky ball, and they moved to a different one. We watched as once again, the boat speed made it impossible to hang on to the painter. They finally got it right, and tied up, albeit from a single bow cleat. We were glad that they weren’t near us. We had lunch on shore at Foxy’s, and spent a relaxing afternoon on board.

151118 Foxys 151118 Great Harbour
                          Great Harbour, JVD – home if the famous, and somewhat overrated, Foxy’s

November 18th: Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke – Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

The weather was pretty decent, so we decided to head over to Cane Garden Bay. A great summer anchorage, it can be treacherous in the winter when the ground swell is running. Unlike Great Harbour, there is still a lot of anchoring room on the west side of the bay. We dropped the hook in twenty feet of water, and went to shore. There was a least one cruise ship in port that day, as the beach was packed with rental lounges and cruise ship riff-raff displaying their untanned flesh. And there was a lot of flesh that day – I think it must have been the Big ‘n Fat cruise. After navigating the somewhat dangerous dinghy dock, we walked down the beach to see what had changed since our last visit five years ago. The biggest change we saw was that Stanley’s Welcome Bar was now Tony’s. We decided not to check it out, and we had lunch at the Paradise Café. Amazingly, the burgers were pretty cheap at $5. Rosé did a little clothes shopping and we headed back to the boat for a lazy afternoon. Late in the afternoon, we started to roll from an unseen swell. We couldn’t figure out why we were rolling, as the surface of the bay didn’t have any noticeable waves on it.

151118 Cane Garden Bay 1 151118 Cane Garden Bay 2
                         View of Quito’s                                                              Ready for the riff-raff

Position at destination: 18°25.552’ N, 64°39.647’ W
Air temp: 89°, Humidity: 57%, Water temp: 89°
Nautical miles for this leg: 5.9, Total: 9265
Departed at 9:45am, arrived at 11:15am

November 19th: Cane Garden Bay – Prickly Pear, North Sound, Virgin Gorda

We had more issues with rolling through the night. We checked with Stacie and Ralph, and they were planning to stop at Monkey Point with their charter guests, so we decided to cruise to White Bay to meet up with them. Since our last visit, some mooring balls were installed at White151119 White Bay Bay on Guana Island, so we decided to tie up there, since we didn’t have the parks permit to use the balls at Monkey Point. The anchorage at White Bay was really pretty, with calm water. Our friends weren’t at Monkey Point yet, so we took the dinghy to the beach for a long walk. Although the island is private, you have the right to be on the beach up to the high water mark.

We took the short dinghy trip to Monkey Point to say hi to our friends. Stacie was on board with one of the three guests; the other two were snorkeling with Ralph. After a short visit, we returned to the boat to continue our journey to the North Sound. It had turned out to be a pretty nice day for cruising, as the forecast north swell never materialized. One word of caution – we took the passage between Great Camanoe and Beef Island, and the marker seems to have 151119 Camanoe passagemoved. In the middle of the passage is an elliptical reef that is almost exposed, and there is a cardinal beacon marking it. Usually, you go north of the beacon. But it appeared to us to have moved a little south, and if you go just north of it, you will run smack in to the reef. In the chart picture, the red arrow marks the charted position while the black circle marks the actual position. We stayed between the reef and Trellis Bay, carrying at least fifteen feet under us. Don’t trust markers on their own – use all available resources.

We continued into the North Sound, accompanied by numerous boats. Our goal was to anchor off the south shore of Prickly Pear Island, close to Saba Rock. However, the anchorage was pretty full, so our only option was to drop the hook close to Vixen Point in thirty feet of water. Once anchored, we dinghied over to Saba Rock for their 4:00 Happy Hour. It was really crowded with loud, drunk, and obnoxious people. Even at Happy Hour, drinks were pricey – $4 rum punches and beer. We watched the tarpon feeding, a daily 5:00 show, and then headed back to the boat for dinner.

Position at destination: 18°30.146’ N, 64°21.921’ W
Air temp: 89°, Humidity: 56%, Water temp: 89°
Nautical miles for this leg: 22.2, Total: 9287
Departed at 9:45am, arrived at 3:15pm

151119 Approaching North Sound 151119 Trellis Bay
                      Cruising along Virgin Gorda                                            View of Trellis Bay
151119 Anguilla Passage 151119 Saba Rock
 Anguilla Passage, shallow short-cut to the Sound                    View from Saba Rock Restaurant

November 19th– 22nd: Prickly Pear, North Sound, Virgin Gorda

151122 Racing boatsWe spent a few days in the North Sound, waiting for better weather to cross over to Anegada. I cleaned the waterline, which had a very impressive green beard on it. We explored Eustatia Sound and walked around the Bitter End. It was pretty windy most days, blowing at fifteen to twenty with gusts to twenty-five. We saw some racing sailboats practicing in the sound, so it looked like a race was coming up. Somehow we wasted five days, not doing much of nothing at all: a perfect cruising experience!

November 23rd: Prickly Pear – Anegada Island

Anegada has always been our favorite island in the BVI. It’s only about twelve miles offshore, but since it can’t be seen (it’s only twenty-eight feet high) from Virgin Gorda, a lot of boaters think it is too far away, and won’t cross. Others are afraid of the approach – it is surrounded by a large barrier reef, and there is a well-marked passage to enter the anchorage. Some charter companies place restrictions against going there. On our first charter, we were allowed to go, but we were asked to phone the base before we went. On that trip, we had a poorly equipped trawler that lacked electronics. We only had a compass and an autopilot to go by, and still found the passage and the island without any difficulty.

This was a very easy passage, with very light winds and calm seas. We were even faster than a few of the sailboats going across. Once we arrived, we looked for a spot to anchor on the east side of the mooring field. It’s very shallow in the anchorage, so once we found a spot that was around ten feet, we dropped the hook and played out sixty feet of chain. There was a boat anchored inside of us, and another one well to the southeast. We notice that a number of arriving boats were going around us to get to the mooring field. I finally figured that I had misread the chart, and we were indeed anchored in the “channel” to the mooring field – d’oh! There was ample room to get around us, so we decided not to move at that time.

Position at destination: 18°43.164’ N, 64°23.058’ W
Air temp: 87°, Humidity: 64%, Water temp: 88°
Nautical miles for this leg: 14.5, Total: 9301
Departed at 10:00am, arrived at 12:30pm

November 23rd – 26th: Anegada Island

On our second day, we decided to move out of the channel. You can see on the chart shown here it wasn’t far to move, but this stopped the procession of charter boats going around us. The boat that was anchored inside of us departed, so we moved into that spot. We went ashore with plans to go across the island to Cow Wreck Beach on the north shore. Our first task was to get rid of some garbage. It took a while to find a dumpster. One of the 151123 Anegada anchorageproblems with BVI is garbage disposal – lots of places have no disposal site, and others want to charge up to $5 per bag for disposal. We did a little shopping, and found a taxi to take us to Cow Wreck. He wanted $20 per person for the round trip, which sounded expensive, but what can you do? We went to Cow Wreck Beach, had a few drinks, and just kicked back for the afternoon. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

151124 Cow Wreck 1 151124 Cow Wreck 2

151124 Cow Wreck 3 151124 Cow Wreck 4
                   Cow Wreck Beach Bar                                                          Cow Wreck Beach

151124 Cow Wreck 5 151124 Cow Wreck 6

The day we visited Cow Wreck, a large an unusual looking mega yacht went in to the anchorage at Pomato Point, the deeper water anchorage. It was the Venus, commissioned by the late Steve Jobs. It was a long way from us, but we did snap a few shots. It’s a very odd-looking boat, or should we say iBoat? As usual, the sunsets at Anegada were fabulous.

151124 Sunset 1 151124 Venus
                Just another Anegada sunset                                               The iBoat Venus

151124 Sunset 2 151124 Sunset 3
                                                 The sunsets at Anegada are always fabulous

 After repairing the alternator and wing engine, we figured that we would be safe from boat issues for a while, but no such luck. While sitting at Anegada one day, we wanted to do some laundry on board. We have a small washer-dryer combo unit that we installed when we bought the boat in 2013. We couldn’t get it to turn on, and I figured that there was something wrong with the handle, as the door wouldn’t seal. I removed the door and tried to take off the handle, but it ended up breaking. As the guts of it were plastic. I read up on the door handle on some RV sites, and this seemed to be a common problem. I called up the service department of the manufacturer thinking I just needed a door handle assembly, but decided to get a whole new door, as it cost marginally less than the handle assembly, and I wasn’t confident that I could install it without breaking something else. We had it shipped to Rose’s sister in Colorado – Rose would be spending Christmas there, and would bring it back with her. I didn’t even ask what the shipping cost to St. Thomas would be, but it would probably be outrageous.

November 26th: Anegada – Leverick Bay, North Sound

On Thanksgiving morning, we decided we had had enough of the rolling that was not terrible, but certainly annoying. We had a plan to make a semi-traditional Thanksgiving dinner on board, and we didn’t want to have any rolling interfere with cooking, so we decided to go back to the North Sound. We decided to go to Leverick Bay and take a mooring, hopefully where we could get Internet access and use the pool. It was a very smooth and easy passage back to the sound – just like it should be!

Position at destination: 18°29.900’ N, 64°23.233’ W
Air temp: 87°, Humidity: 62%, Water temp: 89°
Nautical miles for this leg: 14.3, Total: 9316
Departed at 10:00am, arrived at 12:30pm

November 26th– December 2nd: Leverick Bay, North Sound

We spent the next few days near Leverick Bay. After cooking a very tasty Thanksgiving dinner, we found that the wifi at Leverick Bay was terrible. Even when you were onshore, the bandwidth was non-existent, so we left the ball and anchored just south of the mooring field. It was well-protected, so our stay was very peaceful. As for Leverick Bay, it’s a really great place to stay. It’s not as busy as the Bitter End, it’s easy to find an anchorage, and the resort has a decent pool, restaurant, laundry facility, and plenty of watersports rentals.

While we were there, that yacht race was happening – it was the RC 44 Virgin Gorda Cup. We were there for the fleet race portion. Each day there were three or four races. The starting line was just a few hundred yards north of us. For one race, we chased the fleet in our dinghy – it’s surprising how much speed these boats make.

151126 Racing boats 1 151126 Racing boats 2
                        Start of a fleet race                                            Tight finish for the first three boats

We took the dinghy over to the Bitter End a couple of times, to get decent Internet service at Saba Rock, and for the Happy Hour at the Bitter End. The Venus was anchored near the BEYC, so we got a closer look – still a very strange design, not surprising for Steve Jobs.

151126 Leverick Bay 1 151128 Venus
        Leverick Bay restaurant and pool area                       The Venus anchored near the Bitter End

151130 Leverick turtle 151130 The gang at Jumbies
                      Lots of turtles in Leverick Bay                             The gang at Jumbies Beach Bar

151130 Time for a phone callA couple of days after we anchored in Leverick, Ralph and Stacie showed up on Alternate Latitudes. They weren’t on a charter, and they were having a quick vacation with their friend John from the states. We spend some quality time with them at the bar, and discussed future itineraries. We agreed to meet up at Cooper Island after they visited The Baths.

 

 

              

                   Time for a phone call

 

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