Thursday, 26 February 2015

Virgin Gorda in the BVI's and now the US Virgins

Virgin Gorda, So we anchored off Prickly Pear Island just a dinghy ride into Gun Creek to check in then into Bitter End.

Bitter End Yacht club

Don had a few drinks in the bar
Don after a few drinks in the bar modelling his new underwear
We had a few walks along the beach, some lovely spots
Showing Saba Rock 

Playing with the shadows
Some boys toys are just bigger
We stayed for a few days at anchor but when the swell made us rock and roll about we went onto a mooring ball for a couple of days just outside Bitter End Yacht club. Sir Richard Bransons Catamaran The Necker Belle is tied up in the marina. 
The Necker Belle

3rd February we departed Virgin Gorda for Peter Island with just enough wind to use the Parasailor, it was downwind great. Well all going well we thought, this is nice, we gybed a few times easily, all going great when the autopilot decided it was going to change direction and behave erratically then failed big time. So down the sail came and now the hard part find out what the heck was wrong now. Don yet again trying to diagnose the problems. More on that later. Just chilled out at Great harbour Peter Island still in the BVI’s. 

4th February on our way to Sopers Hole, its a deep bay with lots of mooring balls a marina a supermarket, Pussers bar / restaurant , a few shops, small spar and a new Italian restaurant. Oh almost forgot the ferry dock and customs and immigration. There is a small dinghy dock but with all the fast ferries and charter boats coming and going its safer to walk from the Pussers bar around the bay.

Leverick bay on Virgin Gorda

“Cruising” the name for boat maintenance in exotic locations!

Well Don’s fix for the chartplotter seemed to do the trick and is working fine now the autopilot is another matter I’m afraid its looking like a big job or replacement which we are told its not possible as that unit is no longer made so it would have to be returned to Raymarine, yeah back to the states, repaired or not then back to us I don’t think so.
The resort in Nanny Cay

Nanny Cay resort beach
A propeller tree which makes a change from fenders
A taxi ride to Nanny Cay a few miles on the coast road where we knew was a place for marine instruments unfortunately they are not listed as able to repair Raymarine units only sell you new units. However Don bought a few “bits and bobs” and picked a guys brain for information as we don’t have a “workshop manual” he decided he could “jury rig” a switch to make the autopilot work. More later on that one. 
We had lunch a walk through the marina out through a resort onto the beach had a couple of drinks then walked back to get a taxi we booked on the way in, unfortunately it didn’t arrive so we found another.  

While we were at the ferry dock I noticed a notice for the ferry trip to the Island of Jost Van Dyke just a 12 to 15 minute ferry ride away, well it would be much longer for us to sail and the wind has dropped so much it would’t be worth it so the following day we departed on the morning ferry. The trip reminded of our previous power boat when we could do 38 knots, it was a fast trip! When we arrived there were taxis touting for business and the general consensus was to go to White Bay where the Soggy Dollar Bar was, hmm its very touristy not really our kind of place, so we walked along the beach to see what we could find, it was just small shops selling the usual kind of “tat” and bars. We hadn’t gone very far when we noticed a dinghy which was just about to float away, its was a charter boats dinghy they are all marked with numbers and one of their logos on the bow. Don managed to soak his shorts and another guy came to help him drag it much higher up the beach and tie it so it couldn’t go astray again. No one came to say thanks or even acknowledge whet he had done, no doubt they were in the bar somewhere, so that was Dons good deed for the day.

We needed to check some things on the internet but the WiFi wasn’t working in the Soggy Dollar bar which was getting very rowdy with the folks mainly from the charter crowd from the dozens of catamarans which were anchored just off the beach, so we decided to leave. I noticed another place with WiFi on the road where we entered on the taxi. So a quick drink and managed to find a taxi we did a “deal” to give us an hours Island tour. The driver Gerald was such a nice guy he stopped where he could which had some great views into the channel and its all looks very different when you are way up in the hills, he showed us the different places we could anchor and gave us all sorts of information. 
As Gerald drove us about he stopped a couple of times and and spoke to a few folks saying that guy was my brother he explained that he comes from a huge family, 14 brothers and 9 sisters, from 5 different women, his father was 70 when he had is last child and the kids are trying to get him to stop now. There are just under 300 residents on the island and every one knows everyone I expect they know his dad too.

Some of the views of the channels are spectacular you certainly have a very different perspective form the hills.
We had considered crossing to Jost Van Dyke but with shallow water so many charter boats there decided it wasn’t a good idea. Its very “touristy” 
Back to the boat after another quick ferry ride and dinner in the Pussers bar.

Ok this is getting to be too big so the next blog asap with lots more photo's

Glenys and Don (Me Fix it)
Agua Therapy

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