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Yo Ho Ho

Thu. Jul 14th, 2005

Day 8: Trellis Bay -> Norman Island Bight

After several (comparatively) minor squalls during the evening we were a little nervous, as the bulk of the storm was due to arrive later this evening. Jim reassured us and we'd been talking to Liz about what they do during a hurricane. Since most of the house are built with cinder block now they can withstand a lot. Residents board up windows and go to a designated community center to wait out the worst of it. There's a special lagoon the boat owners can reserve a spot in, but the boat has to be stripped bare of sails, rigging, covers, tables, and anything not permanently attached first.

Sitting in Trellis Bay watchin' the wind blow everything away

Since the forecast was now certain it wasn't going to hit us head on and was likely headed for Mexico we'd dodged the bullet, but we'd still like have some rough weather and possibly gusts up to 35 knts when it passed by. We'd still need to be certain we'd found a good sheltered spot to anchor, but we no longer need to worry about sitting at Trellis. The channel was looking fine today so we weighed anchor and headed off to Norman Island to see The Bight, the Willy T and the Caves.

It was a nice sail over as we had plenty of wind. (Looking back I think there were only 2 days over the entire trip we didn't end up reefing to some extent. Nice thing about hurricane weather - great sunsets and no worries about lack of wind.) And one of these days I'll remember I can cut the corner of Peter Island even closer.

Big Cat

This time we went further west, past Pelican Rock and into the Bight. Jim wanted to find somewhere sheltered, but close to the Treasure Caves. We'd only have a quick dinghy ride over and the boat would be safe from any wind surge. He aimed us for a spot just the other side of the point from the caves, but once we were there and ready to drop anchor, it was decided that it wasn't quite sheltered enough for the possible winds we could get, so we moved over to just behind Water Point. We went thru several mooring balls before we grabbed one that we all agreed on. Well, agreed on for lunch at least. So there we were, on our second anchoring, and again with the jokes.

Len and I went in swimming while Jim and Liz readied lunch. As it turned out one of the other boats in that cove belonged to a former student of Jims, so he popped over and he and Jim caught up on things. Several other boats were pulling in about lunch time, and the big cat moored in front of us had some very nice floating chairs that Liz thought were brilliant.

After lunch we were cleaning up and one of the gulls got a tidbit we were throwing away. WHOMPH! we were surrounded. Unlike the Western Gulls we have at home these guys are pretty cute, and not at all scary. They aren't around all year either. They arrive in the early spring and leave in the late summer. They were sort of hovering in a cloud around us that was so interesting, we all had to get pictures. They weren't afraid of the boaters and would even take food from our hands. But alas, too quickly to get a really good shot. One landed on the horseshoe buoy and wouldn't leave. Jim flapped his hand in a shooing motion. Didn't faze it in the slightest. He then looked at it really hard and growled "You know I could grab you by the knees before you could fly away". It just looked at him. Jim made a move as if to grab it. Nope. Honestly the bird just turned at looked bored. So Jim gave it a small quick poke. He got a half step back, but that was it. We're all laughing our heads off at this point, so Jim finally has to give it two good pokes before it decides to head out. Another minute and we'd have had to grab it round the middle and toss it up and away like a carrier pigeon.

Len steering thru rough waters

By this point we were getting quite good at spotting approaching squalls and sure enough, what with the "banded storm" thing Emily was giving us plenty of practice. Jim felt it might be prudent to move to an anchorage a bit closer to wear we'd be eating dinner tonight, so up and away we went. We found a mooring ball about half way between Pirates and WillyT on our third look round.

Once we were sure we were set it the weather had gotten a bit too iffy to risk hitting the caves what with the wind, waves and squalls. Jim and Liz told us the story of someone who had died in there when a large cruise ship had gone by too fast and the wake had filled the caves, swamping the snorkeler. So we now have something to see when we go back. Instead we went out for a "Sunday Drive" in the dinghy, with Jim pointing out spots of interest and Liz showing my the frangipani trees which were in bloom. We tootled along so that we could combine it with Lens first turn to drive the dinghy. When we got down as far as Pirates we stopped to get a look at the menu and see if we wanted to make dinner reservations. It turned out to be Buffet night so we thought we'd check out WillyT before making a decision. But as long as we were there, might as well kill a few minutes in their gift shop. . . Several minutes later while Jim relaxed in a beach chair, Len and I and Liz emerged with bags o'stuff. I had a few shirts, and Len even found one he liked (It had something about flogging, of course). So over to the WillyT we sped.

The special at WT's looked better so we elected to make reservation there. But after we had a drink first. The place was pretty much empty at that time, just one or two people besides the bartenders and us. Liz knew one of the bartenders thru her daughter and introduced us. And later found out that the other (Goldilocks, we named him) also knew her daughter, so they knew several people in common.

He advised us to not only make the reservations earlier rather than later, but also warned us we might want to show up a few mins early as they do get busy quickly on the nights Pirates has a Buffet, and seating can be rather limited. Always good to know.

Liz was saying that the working shift on Willy T is usually a 4 day shift, and you have to stay on the boat. The have sleeping quarters below deck I guess. That could be either a lot of fun or total hell I'd imagine. We headed back and did a bit more studying before dinner.



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.