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Yo Ho Ho

Wed. Jul 13th, 2005

Day 7: Marina Cay -> Trellis Bay -> See Emily Play Marina Cay  - Charter boat heaven in the BVIs

Woke up at Marina Cay and noticed the boat that had been having so much trouble had gone. We studied a bit and had breakfast. Our plan today was to hit Trellis for ice and supplies, check out the shops there, and then head out and find a good place to anchor for the night, as winds would be getting stronger from the passing of Emily. We wouldn't be getting the storm itself, but the edges would create some stormy weather as they go by.

Motoring over from Marina Cay we noticed that it had gotten rather gusty and the choppy in the channel was pretty bad. We snagged a mooring ball and got settled then took the dinghy ashore. The power was out and apparently had been for 90 mins. Aragorns studio was a bit dim inside and stuffy in the heat but Liz wanted to see if Aragorns wife had brought over any new chic Italian fashions recently and I wanted to check out the sarongs. Since Liz had been wearing them most of the week I'd seen how comfortable they were and I was dying for a few of my own. Len was checking out all the artsy craftsy stuff, and the Tshirts as well. Jim said he'd meet us at the market when we were done. Can't miss it, its the one with the bright pink roof.

With the power but none of the registers worked anywhere so it was pocket calculators and scrabbling to find change. The internet cafe was a bit of a bust at that point as well.

Sent email to Adri to let her know that Jim was watching the reports and there was only a 10% chance it would change course and come near us. While I was there I checked to see why the mail Jim and sent me had bounced, and yes, DSLx had again crapped out on me. From what I could gather, it had been down for several days and she's been spending most of her days at the house trying to explain to the support tech that THEY had the vpc/atm problem and it had nothing to do with my modem. Let her know we were fine and going to stay that way and asked her to pass the info on to anyone who was worried.

Emily at its closest approach to the British Virgin Islands

When we got back to the boat and looked at the channel it had become all large whitecaps. It appeared Emily was going to be by a little earlier than expected. Jim didn't want to rely on a mooring so we moved closer towards shore and set anchor. It was decided we'd have lunch at Trellis and see if the squalls and chop got any better. Liz had made a great fish stew from the last bits of the fish. After lunch we took a vote, and it didn't appear the channel was looking all that much better, so we voted to stay put at Trellis. We weren't the only ones as both Trellis bay and Marina Cay were looking more and more crowded by the minute. There were quite a few sea turtles swimming around there, so maybe even they were coming in for the storm.

Jim figured if we were staying the night we'd best find a better anchorage so we moved, yet again, and set anchor a 3rd time. The many-changes-of anchor/mooring became something of a joke for the rest of the charter, but Len was certainly a pro at lowering and raising anchor and grabbing moorings by the the end of the trip.

It seemed a good day to go over the boat systems and think about the second test as were weren't going to be doing much sailing.

So we spent time below deck looking at breakers and engines and water systems, checking oil and filters. We were getting some intermittent squalls so staying put seemed a wise decision. But by late afternoon the squalls had died down, the gusts were fewer and the white caps had been reduced to about half the number. Jim and Liz took us for a walk around the beach and to Sprat Point.

We found a fossilized looking conch shell and a flesh coloured finger coral that was kinda cool looking. Jim decided to wait on this side of the point and we went around to the channel side where it was much gustier. The water was splashing up onto the shore with a bit more force on this side. Found some interesting shells, coral bits and a snail-encrusted bit of driftwood. Not quite certain what the attraction for the Snail Encrusted Drift Wood snails was, aside from maybe getting out of the surf zone. It was a tad too wet and windy to get very far on that side so we headed back fairly soon. Once we got back to the sheltered areas it was quite warm so we flopped into the water there and cooled off. Jim went ahead to get the dinghy and we'd jokingly mentioned cold drinks would be great, and nice guy that he is he'd actually started putting stuff together to bring them over. However we got cooled down and ended up going back to the boat early.

We made dinner reservations for 6:30 at Da Loose Mongoose on our way back for cocktail hour and to get cleaned up. Not that there was much cleanup needed, since most of these places are quite casual. You have to love the fact all these places have small water boxes built by the front door for washing the sand off your feet before you come in.

Incoming Squall Band

Da Loose Mongoose actually had screens on the veranda porch, and I think it was the only one we saw that did. The inside is long picnic tables scrunched close together. We were on the very end of one of the front tables which I thought was great as I got a nice breeze being so close to the outside. Our drinks came quite quickly.

The special was lobster and apparently it has to be ordered when you make dinner reservations. They probably should have written that info on the chalkboard so I'd have known to do that when we made reservations, since I saw the lobster advertised and was really interested in it. Luckily they had enough that they could still do one up, but it was going to take a bit longer. (What I didn't know is that it would take close to an hour longer). It had just started getting dark when the rain started. And then started coming down rather hard. And then the wind picked up. And once the wind started blowing the rain into the nice little corner, I found it wasn't as nice as I'd thought.

The nice people from Texas on the other side of the table scooted down so I could sit on the drier side.

Emily swings past Tortola

As 8pm approached and still no food we began to get a bit worried about making Jim wait the entire time we tried to bolt down our food. At last my fish soup showed up. ( Good, but not as good as Liz's). And then the power went out, and we lit little candles on the table. It was a very nice tropical romantic aura. And then it began to RAIN! And RAIN doesn't begin to describe it. There was thunder, there were gusts of wind that felt like there were going to uproot trees. And when you thought it couldn't get any worse, there was what I can only call a white out, only not snow, but just from the heavy rain. You couldn't see the mast lights on the anchored boats, not anyone that had been on the dock. The dinghys were filling and nearly under water. It was exciting and a little frightening all at the same time when you think about it just being rain and wind. It would let up for a few mins, and then come down again. It sounded like hail. One of the let ups seem like a good time to visit "Da Loos". This was turning into a group effort as there weren't any candles out there, (this was the last time I went to dinner without a flashlight, BTW) so it was easier to go in bunches. Of course as the day hadn't been very rainy I decided to wear my pretty satin slippers to dinner instead of my heavy leather sperrys. Ended up having to carry them around and go barefoot. Thank goodness that whole barefoot thing isn't a problem here. The lets ups were also the signal for groups of people to run out to the dock and bail the dinghys to get them above waterline.

On one of the breaks Len and party popped out for their turn, and were caught as the next downpour started. After waiting there a few minutes someone from the back showed them the back way in thru the kitchen so they didn't have to get so soaked. The wind just kept blowing and you'd hear things crashing in the dark.

Emily from the ISS

Luckily the storm being so fierce it gave us a little extra time to eat before being picked up. But I never realized how hard it is to eat a whole lobster in the half shell, without my glasses, in the dark. I kept borrowing the candle and nearly dripping wax on my food trying to get enough light to see what I was picking at. I got much of it, and what I ate was really good.

We finally finished and were waiting for the check when Jim came to pick us up. When he came in he was actually wearing rain gear. He walked us around the back way to the dock further down the beach and closer to the Golden Crown. Apparently the storm had been just as violent to the boats at anchor and he and Liz had spent it heeled over about 30 degrees and bouncing up and down like there was no tomorrow. There was about 6 inches of water in the dinghy but it was still afloat.

Another small squall came thru after we were back on board and filled up the bimini (rhymes with Jiminy) almost instantly. When it over flows it dumps directly down the companion way, even with the hatchcover pulled closed. Jim had to run up and find the front cover to really close it up. Once we had it all mopped up we set off to bed. Over the next few days we learned lots about hurricane "Banded" storms. Like forget getting more than an hours sleep before waking up to shut the hatches. And since below gets really stuffy in about ten minutes, you stay awake the 15 mins it takes the storm to pass to open them as soon as its over.

Road Town & Lambert Bay Resort Tortola & Beef Islands Camanoe, Scrub Islands & Marina Cay Virgin Gorda and The Baths The Dogs Cooper, Peter and Norman Islands Jost Van Dyke

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   Last modified April 26 2014 17:39.