- Distance (nm)
- Average (kts)
Our friend Maya joins us for a week of sailing here in the Caribbean. It was her first time on a sailboat so we planned to start off easy to see how she would handle it. Despite our best efforts, the first day of sailing ended up being the roughest of her entire time with us! We had 25kts of wind, a sea state of 2+meters and our desired direction ended up having us beat into the wind and seas for a few hours. She did great but I wish we could have had an easier day for her! Tracy, despite the conditions, pulled off a nice lunch and we ended up for the first night anchored in Isle Tintemarra, St. Martin.
The next few days we spent over in one of our favorite bays at the top of St. Barths, Anse de Columbier. It's a pristine bay accessible only by water and has nice mooring buoy's. We see a lot of turtles in this area as the bottom has turtle grass on it which (obvious by the name!) they love to eat. We love snorkeling here as the reef and rocks along the shoreline have abundant fish to view. The sand beach is exactly what you see on every tourist brochure, white sand, palm trees and crystal clear water. Fantastic!
As some northerly swell was forecast and would cause our anchorage to be really rough we pulled out and went back over to St. Martin to anchor in Orient Bay for a few days and wait for the swell to dissipate. Little did we know that Orient Bay has a big section of its beach for nude bathing. The real surprise was a naked guy wind-surfing on a sailboard right past our boat. Then we spotted the sailing boats around us all had naked crew. Ok, this is interesting but we decided not to join in on the fun!
Back to Marigot for a night to get our batteries recharged properly to 100% (the generator can do this too but the last little bit of the charge takes overnight and is better done on shore power). The next afternoon we sailed in the sunset over to Road Bay, Anguilla to get ready to start our passage to the BVI's (British Virgin Islands) the next morning.
Since it's about a 80nm passage, we got underway about 08:00 and enjoyed another nice lunch by Tracy (quite the passage chef!) while we motored over (yes, flat seas and no wind!). As we approached Peter Island in the BVI the winds came up and we put up the gennaker and had a wonderful few hours of sailing before we had to drop the sails and motor to our chosen anchorage in White Bay of Peter Island. As we were looking at the sails we noticed a Golden Fishing Bat clinging to the main sail. He must have been tired from flying so far offshore and decided to hitch a ride back to the island. We left him there as long as we could then 'asked' him to fly off on his own. It was dark when we looked for a good anchorage and finally found the top of an seamount in 17m to put the hook down. A nice, quiet night's sleep and we woke to everyone's dream of being at anchor off a tropical island.
After a quick trip across Sir Francis Drake Passage to Road Harbour to check in with customs and immigration we sailed over to Cooper Island and enjoyed more snorkeling before taking the dinghy in for dinner at the Cooper Island Beach Club. Wonderful food with a spectacular sunset. Another swim and snorkel the next morning and just after lunch we were off to sail to Virgin Gorda. The winds died off to nothing so the motor got us up to North Sound. We passed Necker Island, home of Sir Richard Branson, and on into a wonderful anchorage just inside the sound protected by reefs. WIth the surf breaking on the reef next to us and a sunset in back of the boat, we slept like babies. More snorkeling (getting to become our daily routine!) and naps in the afternoon sunshine. We decided to move over closer to the Bitter End Yacht Club so we could have dinner there and I called for a reservation. Good thing I did as late afternoon had a steady stream of boats coming in to anchor. Without reservations we would not have had a chance at dinner in their wonderful restaurant.
Today Maya leaves us as she continues her vacation here on Virgin Gorda before returning home. We had a terrific time together and enjoyed teaching her some sailing skills. She's a natural at this and will think about do some more sailing when she gets home. As for us, we plan to stay in North Sound one more night then go (literally) wherever the wind blows tomorrow. Perhaps over to Anegada as we heard they have the best lobster in the Caribbean. Perhaps we should find out first hand?
This passage was crewed by Art, Maya, Sean and Tracy
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