Saturday, March 9, 2013

To the BVI

We had been waiting for  a good window to sail to the BVI, and it was a good one, except that we were motor sailing most of the time. But that is what it is when you go east.
Just before reaching St Thomas, we were treated to a nice show by a whale. This is not the first time that I see whales, but this is the first time that I see one jumping out of the water, fortunately far from the boat, so that we could enjoy the show. Too far however, to take a meaningful picture.
As we were reaching Water Island, I got almost scared at the sight of hundreds of boats anchored next to each other and with probably quite a few moorings in between. Someone in PR (I can't remember who) had advised me to go to Redhook Bay and that's what we did. Never again.
Not only the anchorage was very crowded, as are all the others, but there was constant movement of ferries, creating big wakes in the bay. I went around twice before I could find a spot, a bit too close to the beach, and also to another boat which was on a mooring but with a line longer than one boat length, and with wakes and no wind, the boats could find themselves in any kind of direction. Actually, it happened to a boat anchored behind us and which was almost hit by  the boat on the mooring.
Then, although I was planning on a late night, since we only had 13 miles to go to Tortola, we were awaken early morning by the sound of a horse swimming (with a rider) around the boat, and the beach awfully close to us. The anchor had not dragged, but we we lying 180 degrees from when we anchored and we were in less than 10 feet of water. So, we decided to leave immediately and go to Tortola, at Nanny Cay, looking forward to arriving early and having almost a full day to ourselves.
This was not going to be.

When we arrived at the marina's office to check in, we were told that we had to clear customs and immigration at West End, which we had passed an hour early. So, we disconnected everything, untied the lines and went back there. The  problem  then was that there was no room to anchor as the  bay is full of moorings. Eventually, we took a mooring and having inflated the dinghy, we put it in the water so that I could go to the customs building. Keeping in mind the time and effort that it would take to put the  outboard on the dinghy, I started thinking of using only the oars, when a water taxi sailed by and I took it to go ashore and back. After clearing, which is as unpleasant as I remembered and so very much different from the way it is done in the Bahamas, we sailed back to Nanny Cay, prepared to enjoy it to the fullest.

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