Off the dock early on Wednesday and headed over to Cruz Bay, St John, to check out of the US Virgins. Motored from there to West End, Tortola, to check back into the British islands.
We are going to stay here now until we get word that all the stuff has arrived into the US islands – and we’ll make a single trip back to get it all. Want to avoid having to do more customs / immigration forms, and changing courtesy flags, than really necessary.
While we were in West End we went over to Sopers Hole Marina to check out the grocery store. I know what you are all thinking – more shopping?? Actually I’m on the hunt for some well-known British stuff to put into the ship’s stores – and I came away very happy with a bottle of HP sauce. All I need to find now is Branston Pickle and I’ll be in seventh heaven, having already got a supply of decent cheddar cheese!
A bit hot and bothered so we stopped for a club soda at Pussers – and suddenly there is a huge scream and all the local ladies working in the stores come running down the dock in hot pursuit of a very large iguana. They scared the lizard so much he jumped onto a dinghy to escape. From there he went swimming…. Felt sorry for the poor guy – he was only trying to get a suntan.
Out of Sopers and we sailed across nicely into Norman. Bit too late to get much further. I have never ever seen the Bight at Norman so quiet – no more than about 30 boats in an anchorage that can hold upwards of 200. Had a quick bob at Pirates and then headed to the Willy T to see what was going down. The answer – NOTHING! We were the only people there so just hung with the staff for a little while and headed back on board.
In the morning we did some boat jobs then headed out into the Sir Francis Drake channel to sail up to Trellis Bay, Tortola. Into the wind this is always a beat and today with seas building and 23 knots sustained it was no different. We played with different sail patterns and settled down to a fantastic sail – topping 7.8 knots at one point – and having a mini race with another cruising boat. Amazing time.
Into Trellis and, again, the bay was almost empty. This is weird so close to Christmas. Went to see Jeremy at the Cyber Cafe for a short while and then across to the Last Resort, which is a bar / restaurant that sits on its own island called Bellamy Cay and is decorated with local artwork. Pretty stormy and a spectacular sunset tonight… Quiet in here too – but caught Al, the singing chef’s set, and Richard managed to get invited up to sing Pinball Wizard again. Yes, I mean again – this has become a bit of a party piece, although no fans shouting out ‘we want Dick’ this year!
Stayed up late chatting with the young Cornish staff and to bed. This morning the wind was howling and the rain is heavy at times – we are monitoring sustained 25 knots with higher gusts and we have a slip reserved up at Leverick Bay in North South, Virgin Gorda. A fair way to go and the seas are building too. So at this point I’ll confess that we didn’t fancy six hours beating into the wind getting cold and wet – so motor sailed all the way…. We apologise to our sailing chums and promise never to let this happen again!
Staying up in Virgin Gorda for a couple of days before we head back to Jost Van Dyke for a soggy Christmas. After that we may run up to Anegada one of our favourite spots on earth. But no firm plans yet…
Bye for now