Title page4

Text- White Beach

 

Stateroom

One of the aft staterooms, after a stormy night.

Galley

Breakfast in the galley. The stove is on gimbals to keep it level.

 

Wind chart sailing.

A morning sail in the Jost Van Dyke Channel. Note the wind at 25.4 knots. The boat speed indicator never worked, but from GPS we were doing about 7 kts.


All night long, in Great Harbour, we were hit by strong, gusting winds. The night temperature was about 78 degrees, so we had our overhead hatches cracked open to move the humid air. About every half hour, there would be a couple of noisy splatters of rain drops, followed, in less than a minute, by a torrential downpour which would wet the sheets before one could sit up and close the hatch. Ten minutes later, it would be still and muggy again, and one would seek relief by again opening the hatch, only to have the cycle repeated. In the morning we had our simple breakfast in the cockpit and watched the waves surge by out in the channel.

Our plan was to spend two days in Great Harbour. Since it was not beach weather, we decided to take the boat out and do a bit of sailing with reefed sails. We sailed for about an hour and were quite pleased at how easily the boat handled the 25 knot winds and six to eight foot seas. We were back on our mooring by noon, and the sun was breaking through the overcast. French Maid had sailed westward around the corner of Great Harbour to White Beach where they planned a day of sunbathing. We decided to join them and piled into our dingy. Inflatable dinghys are seaworthy, and the waves passing the point pushed us along, getting us to White Beach in about 20 minutes.

White Beach is a popular party spot, with rustic bars sitting behind the palms of a sugar-white sand beach. High speed ocean racing boats gather tourists from nearby St. Johns Island, U.S. Virgin Islands, and race them over for a bar hopping day of partying. They hit several spots on BVI before returning to St. Johns in the evening. White Beach is often the first stop.

 

White Beach

Pulling the dingy above the wave line on White Beach. Rain showers dump on the U.S. Virgin Islands. Pelicans in the background skim for fish.

 

A palm covered table.

We join French Maid among the palms. Clockwise, Fay and BB, Tom and Kim, Anita and Ed, John, Charlie and Tuna.

 

White Beach 2.

Partiers from the U.S. Virgins congregate in the water. Music poured from any number of anchored boats, not to mention the bars along the shore.

 

Text- Marina Cay

The trade winds were still howling after our second night in Great Bay, so we decided to take a day to go back to Road Town to have some repairs made and our fuel topped off. The maintenance crew surprised us with their efficiency and it was not long before a half dozen items were repaired. We stayed that night in the marina and took our dingy across the harbor to find an open restaurant, not easily done on a Sunday night. We found a Chinese steam table, and had an ample, if not delectable, dinner.

French Maid did not go to Road Town, but went instead to Cane Garden Bay. They met us the following day at Marina Cay.

The morning greeted us with sunshine, but even stronger winds. Our course was to clear the eastern end of Tortola and Beef Islands, and then turn northward to Marina Cay. We watched other boats tack futiley back and forth against the strong wind, so we elected to motor eastward, against the waves, until we were clear for the north bound leg.

Marina Cay is a postcard perfect little anchorage, lying just east of the airport at Beef Island.It features a sizeable coral reef within swimming distance of the boats. I was hoping to do some serious snorkeling there, and I dove several times. Interestingly, I found the reef itself shallow and devoid of sizeable fish. However, right below our boat, in about 25 feet of water, I always saw something interesting. Nearly every time I dove in, I would startle a stingray, which would flop its way to the periphery. One particular barracuda claimed that territory, and he was my constant companion as I swam around. A hawksbill turtle enjoyed the grass below our boat, and so long as I swam tangentially to him, he would allow me to get within ten feet of him. However, the barracuda was not so sanguine, and he eventually stayed motionless about two feet alongside the turtle, keeping his position between the turtle and me. Clearly, he would no longer permit me to harass his good friend, the turtle.

 

A windy crossing of Jost Van Dyke Channel.

A sunny, but windy journey in the Sir Francis Drake Channel.

 

Wind in Sir Francis Drake Channel.

Don motoring straight into the 33 knot wind until we can pass Beef Island and turn northward.

 

Catameran bucking the waves.

A catamaran bucks the waves.

 

Marina Cay Reef

Charlie follows the reef to find the marker buoys which permit safe entrance into Marina Cay.

 

French Maid approaching mooring bouy.

Fay manages the boat-hook as French Maid approaches the mooring buoy.

 

Pusser Island at Marina Cay

Looking at Marina Cay Island from our mooring.

 

Dock at Marina Cay

The dingy dock at Marina Cay.

The telephone at Marina Cay

Charlie calls in sick.

 

Tuna by the Pusser sign at Marina Cay.

Tuna shows off Pussers facilities at Marina Cay.

Pusser signs to everywhere.

Directions to everywhere.

 

View of the mooring from Marina Cay.

Our mooring.

 

A bench on Marina Cay.

A well shaded respite.

 

The restaurant at Marina Cay.

Pussers restaurant at Marina Cay.

 

A rental cottage on Marina Cay.

One of a handful of rental cottages.

 

The Painkiller Bar on Marina Cay.

The Painkiller Bar on Marina Cay.

 

Afternoon refreshment at the Painkiller Bar.

Enjoying the afternoon at the Painkiller Bar.

 

Charlie enjoys the sunset at Marina Cay.

Charlie watches the developing sunset.