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Text- Spanish Town

 

French Maid at Necker Island

Necker Island with French Maid in the foreground.


After our night in Leverick Bay, we reversed our eastward travel and headed west, along Virgin Gorda, for Spanish Town. With only a few thousand inhabitants, Spanish Town still qualifies as the second largest town in the British Virgin Islands. On leaving North Sound, we detoured north to get a good look at Necker Island. All beaches in BVI are public, and French Maid was tempted to go ashore, but the waves were daunting for a beach landing and they decided to err on the side of prudence.

Spanish Town has a sizeable marina and is a good place to enjoy the bennefits of electricity (air conditioning), and to take on fresh water and fuel. It also offers its clients hot showers, following which, we realized just how salty we had become. It being the second to the last night of our trip, we worked at eating up our food, and we shared grilled chicken with a diverse conglomeration of side dishes.

Spanish Town is known for "The Baths," a natural grotto composed of many large boulders which emerge from the beach. For several hundred yards, one can wade through tunnels, and climb boulders, with the help of ropes and ladders. In deeper water, the boulders provide habitat for all kinds of fish, and the snorkeling is interesting. North and south of The Baths are superb beaches, backed by a dense forrest of palm trees. It is a beautiful and popular place to find a mooring bouy and to while away a day.

 

Necker Island beach.

A beach on Necker Island.

 

We pass another sailboat.

Sailing conditions were perfect, and running wing on wing, we slowly overtook a fellow sailor.

 

Looking at the GPS.

Charlie studies the GPS for offshore hazards as we approach Spanish Town.

 

Large schooner.

Some boats were truly impressive, and we admired this schooner as it passed the other way.

 
 

Baths at Virgin Gorda

Cool in the shade and warm in the water.

Climbing the maze at The Baths.

Working through the maze at The Baths.

 

In The Baths.

Don, Charlie and Tuna at The Baths of Virgin Gorda.

 


On our second to last evening, we met for hors 'd ovres and beverages, which lead to a joint BBQ and eating up what was left in the refrigerators.

 

Barracuda 1

After eight days of patiently trying to land a fish, Tuna and John went out in the dingy. In no time, they landed a very fiesty barracuda.

 

Barracuda2

Serious teeth.

Barracuda 3

Tuna released him without incident.


On our last full day, after enjoying The Baths, snorkeling, fishing and catching the last beach time, we did an easy sail to Cooper Island, which would give us an easy run in the morning to turn in the boats at Road Town. Cooper Island was protected, and had perhaps the fewest ammenities of our various mooring sites. It did have good rocks at the south of our bay, and we got in our last bit of snorkeling there.

In the morning, we had an early start, and were at the marina by 9 AM. We got the boats turned in and were catching taxis to the airport by 10:30.

BVI Yacht Charters is a company that BB has used before. We found them organized and they accomodated our chartering of the boats in a professional manner. Their prices we found somewhat more reasonable than some of the other companies. It is probably inevitable that a charter sailboat, used week after week by sailors who don't know the boat and often have limited experience, will experience wear and tear and have some maintenance issues. In the case of Syros, we returned to Road Town once for several repairs, and twice we called for maintenace while moored away from Tortola. In each case, the company took our calls seriously and fixed the gripes, both at the marina, but also while we were away. I would use BVI Yacht Charters again.

The guide books all say to hand carry your luggage when traveling to BVI. I would second that. It took me four legs to get to Beef island, and for some connections I was running. Others were bumped twice, a sure way to get separated from one's luggage. Everything is casual, so one does not need a lot of stuff; shorts, T-shirts and swim suits meets the dress standard.

 

Tuna at the helm to Cooper Island.

Tuna takes us to Cooper Island.

 

Cooper Island

Moored on the west side of Cooper Island.

 

The overhead hatch.

The hatch over my bed, which I closed, then opened many times for thundershowers.

Rigging

Cockpit rigging for easy handling.

 

Head aboard the boat.

Standard nautical head; the whole room is the shower.

The cockpit ladder.

The ladder up to the cockpit. Care was always required.

 

Ariel view of Marina Cay

My turboprop took off eastward from Beef Island, and as it made its left turnout, I was able to look down on Marina Cay. I thought of a turtle and a barracuda, just hanging out, somewhere in that splendor.

 

Text- The End

 

text-by Don Webster