Well, we had a great sail from St. Martin/Sint Maarten to the Virgin Gorda Sound in the British Virgins Islands (BVI's).  We sailed dead downwind with a reef in the main, and made 6 knots most all the trip.  We finally turned on the motor for the last 17 miles.  We thought we would have to motor more, but we were enjoying the sail and did not want to motor, but since we were almost out of water, we powered up and made water for three hours. 

We were anxious to see how the boat fared after our big repair job, and especially looking for and movement on the hull and listening for creaking sounds.   The boat was the quietest it has ever been, with only one creaky noise coming from some wood trim which is easily fixed.  

 Virgin Gorda sound is a large area, and lots of mega-yachts and charter boats.   It is fun to watch the charter boats come in and anchor, and that will probably our continuing entertainment as long as we are in the BVI's.  

Derek met up with a friend that he played with briefly back in Hog Island, Nate on Kula Kai and him have been having fun playing on the beach, knee boarding and just hanging out.

We went snorkeling today out in Eustatia sound, and were disappointed.  On the outer reef we did see a couple of cannons, but other than that the coral was mostly dead, bleached and broken all over the ground.   We tried a few other spots, and finally found one spot that had some nice live soft corals and fish, but definitely not a high ranking snorkel spot.

We walked the town the other day.  Virgin Gorda has a famous sailor place called the Bitter End Yacht Club.   It is well known in sailing circles.  Our friends on Pollux described it as the Disneyland of the Caribbean and they are right.  It is all fancied up to appeal to the one week charter guests and mega yachties.   It doesn't really have a strong appeal for most cruisers and the restaurants and meager stores seemed overpriced.

After Virgin Gorda we left for the main town called Road Town on the large island of Tortola.  We have been here before, and knew where the stores were for provisioning.  The grocery store here is almost like walking into one back in the states.  It took a couple of trips to stock up and hike back the 1/4 mile with the groceries.  The harbor we anchor in is a base for the Moorings and Sunsail charter fleets, but it is also quite dirty.

Not to be boat bound, Derek headed over in his Kayak to check out a mangrove island in the small bay.  He made quite the finds, and convinced his Dad to go back with him.   We figure during strong winds, all the items that have not been properly tied down on the charter boats blows right into the mangroves and then sits there waiting for someone like Derek to find.  So far - three fenders, one small yellow paddle board and two nice foam seats he has pulled out and Dean and Derek cleaned up.  We didn't have much time, but plan on going back and putting our full scrounge on to see what we can find.

After the shopping was done, we headed over to Norman Island for a few nights.  Our friends on Pollux had guests come in, so they joined us and we spent a few nights there. 

Derek has gotten into knee boarding, or wake boarding, no sure which to call it, but he takes his board and gets towed behind the dinghy.   He is getting pretty good at it, and is now trying tricks like a 360 spin. 




01/26/14; British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda sound

The Bitter End Yacht Club

Derek and Sam napping - both have learned how to
brace themselves and sleep while underway

How fuel is delivered island to island

The Moorings charter fleet in Road Town, Tortolla

Derek checking out a sunken ship

The mangrove island that we scrounge goodies from

Nice folding seat (After cleaning)

3 large fenders scrounged from the island

Derek coming in for a landing after knee boarding

The anchorage at Norman Island.  What If is in
the foreground

The view overlooking the anchorage

Mad machete man is working on clearing the trail

The view from the boat - hard to take