Tuesday, 26 March 2013

BVI's and US virgin isles

19th March -25th
Position in Sopers Hole 18°23N 64°42W

So far the BVI's and the US Virgins
After a great overnighter with the wind behind us from St Martin we were in Tortola, Virgin Isles. Our original plan was Virgin Gorda not far off Mr Bransons place but as we were having such a great sail we moved on to Tortola one of the British Isles.

So into the bay of Sopers Hole Tortola, it was so busy, so many boats and it was if one boat left another was waiting, luckily we spotted Halsway Grace, Robin and Sue our neighbours from St Martin and Robin very kindly picked up the eye on the buoy that was not showing on the surface. The poor guy was soaked we were very grateful.

Sopers Hole a busy place with a rainbow
Nice houses on the hill in Sopers Hole
Don went with the dinghy to check in and once again paid for the customs and immigration, we had to return again to check out. 
Sopers hole does have a marina but its quite busy with tourists and a noisy place. There is a supermarket with great provisions from all over the world, at a PRICE. I bought some fresh ginger to make our own ginger beer, Iv'e made 3 batches now each one better than the last, I have to keep checking the bottles so they don't explode. 
Oh we did discover the "painkiller" a smashing rum cocktail with pussers rum pineapple orange and coconut topped off with nutmeg and lots of ice.

Home of the Pussers Rum
We had to have a couple of painkillers while we sheltered from the rain
The following day we shared a taxi into the capital not much to see but somehow we forgot about the museum. We asked the taxi driver if he could recommend a place to eat so he took us to where he easts his lunch in town, a local place and I guess not many tourist eat there they gave us great service and the food was really good.

The last night in Sopers hole after a painkiller we still went back to the boat in the dinghy while it persisted down with rain so that was another soaking at least the water was warm, maybe next time it happens we will have the shower gel and shampoo with us.

The following morning we checked out then went a short distance to Norman Island into The Bight, picked up a buoy again after the short sail across, its another 30 us $ fee to grab a buoy.
Nice place not much to see unless you take the dinghy, we did to the cave / hole in the rock where there were lots of people snorkelling, wow lots of fish everywhere but most of the coral is dead.
Had a little trouble getting back into the dinghy lol the beached whale syndrome.

Next stop the USA Virgin Isle of St John.

Cruz bay where you have to check in
The USA customs is the yellow building on the left
Checking in next, first we tried to enter the anchorage, it was full and most were catamarans, its very shallow and we did touch the bottom but with a big burst of power to free us we were able to get out and anchor outside . So a long dinghy ride into the customs and national park office to check in the first time in the USA, here we were expecting a lot more formalities, apart from finger prints, photos taken and forms filled in 2 people asking questions that was it. No Fees to pay which was a surprise.

The National park building, very helpful people with lots of info
The prices of the buoys are half the BVI's for a buoy at 15$, you can see why the US citizens stay in the US virgins.

I couldn't decide which one to use pretty much the same view
Caneel Bay
Cruz Bay park

Great open air taxi's
Next Caneel Bay, a huge bay with lots of buoys but lots of traffic passing by so it was sometime quite rocky. 
The following day we went into Cruz bay with the dinghy the found a taxi driver and guide to take us around the island.
He stopped a few time to point out the various beaches and other islands across the water.

This is a shopping area just inside the port
We paid another visit to an old sugar mill, Annaberg sugar mill there were two volunteers there who explained about the plantation and its history, there were around 600 slaves working to produce the molasses and keep the sugar plants growing. Its much better preserved than the one on Dominica and they have "dumb"  bread making classes, pity I didn't ask what "dumb" bread is.
If you want to look at the place and its history  there is some very informative information here http://www.seestjohn.com/places_annaberg.html

We left Careen bay and onto Mayo Bay which is on the northern side of the island, it joins up with Francis bay. At last white sands and palm fringed beaches, Don went in first and snorkelled around the rocks, he found a nurse shark and patted its tail, I'm still not sure if they are harmless or not. I joined him then we snorkelled all round the rocks and onto the beach, its a long way.  The downside was the Puerto Rican navy started their one week leave and we were invaded buy at least a dozen motor boats which started to play loud music, they know how to party time to move on then!

As there are so many photo's to post I'm breaking this into 2 again

Agua Therapy
Don and Glenys Graham


  1. Excellent! You're having a wonderful time in warm/hot climes and we're here with hats, gloves, scarves, and coats.

  2. Looks and sounds wonderful! Keep enjoying the adventure.