Saturday, June 13, 2015

Tortola and then onto Virgin Gorda

After leaving Cane Garden Bay we made our way to Trellis Bay on Beef Island. We had to pick up a mooring ball for a $30.00 daily rate. Ouch....we picked the one up right besides M/V Moonrise, another Rat Pack member. We had not seen them since they left Georgetown Bahamas as they went straight through to Puerto Rico. They hailed us on the radio and asked once we got settled to come over for breakfast. We took them up on the offer and were soon in our dinghy making the 15 foot or so trip. Wonderful homemade bread and meats and cheeses with the first cappuccino I have had in a long while. We caught up with each other and they had been there a while because Martin had fallen and broken his hand. He was not able to travel due to that so they were stuck for a bit. When we pulled in we saw a Vagabond that Dirk had spoken with before we even bought ours.
Here is a pic of Island Siren and us in the background. We went over to the shore one day to check out the beach shops. The area had lots and lots of cats wandering around and Dirk had one trying to follow him. Noooooooooo shooo, shooooo. Went in to check out a local artist studio, Aragorn's Studio and saw all the beautiful they do there. I loved the drift wood pieces he makes, and he also does nice work in metal.
After that we checked out the Carib Indian dugout sailing canoe. Gli Gli is the largest one and can be chartered for the day. In fact I dont see too many things around these parts that cant be chartered.
This is really the land of charter boats and most of them being catamarans. Also along the beach if you want to head out to a little restaurant on Bellamy Cay, a tiny island in the bay you radio or call up a ferry to come pick you up. Radio or phone, whatever you feel comfortable with.
The next day we saw S/V Tribasa Cross Come into the bay. Gary and Kathy are also part of our original group but they also went straight through to Puerto Rico from the Bahamas. We went and visited them, caught up and the following day we hit the small market to get a few essentials before dropping the mooring ball to head over to Virgin Gorda to hike and snorkel the Baths. The Baths is a national Park and has unusual large granite boulders that are piled along the beach creating a cool hike that takes you through small crawl spaces or huge grottos, some parts climbing steps and ladders or using ropes to pull yourself up with. This led out to an open bay called Devil's Bay, its a pretty swim area where you can tie up the dinghy and snorkel the boulders from the other side. Here are a few pics below.
Me squeezing through a tight spot
Tight spaces to walk through

After spending a couple hours there we dropped the free mooring ball as they are for day use only and made tracks over to Prickly Pear Island where we would stage to leave for St. Martin. They were having a poker run that day so it seemed every go fast boat there was, was out and about zipping past us left and right not 40 feet from our boat some of them. No reguard for their wakes which is the big waves that a vessel leaves behind. It was nice to finally make it to the anchorage and see that we could actually anchor for free. We did see our friends on Dea Latis anchored in the same anchorage. We tell them they can run but they cant hide....seems our paths keep crossing. We stayed here for a couple days prepping the boat for the trip south. Dirk was able to put his air tank on and really give the bottom of the boat a good scrubbing. I got in and just swam laps to try working off some of those painkillers I had been drinking. The water is nice so we actually spent some time snorkeling some here too. Tribasa Cross came in that next day and we all headed to the small beach bar The sand Box for happy hour before the mosquitoes came out to carry us off when we threw in the towel and called it quits and headed back to our boats. Our plan was to head out in the evening the following day and do an overnighter to arrive in St. Martin at sunrise. We pulled anchor at 4pm as Dirk wanted some time in the day light to fish but as we are leaving the bay we notice our charts are cattywhompass. We re started the the chart plotter, still nothing so we decided to re calibrate it. You do this by turning circles very slowly and let the compass get its head back on straight. We turned and turned, nothing, our compass was confused as ever. Finally Dirk went below to discover I had sat his fishing tackle box next to the compass instrument down below. Ta da......problem fixed. Note to self, dont put a box containing all sorts of metals next to the compass. DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH yes, we were underway once again. Next stop, St. Martin.

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