TRIP REPORT 2-23-11 TO 3-5-11
This trip report documents our second trip aboard the Blue Moon. Our first trip was last year at this same time to celebrate 40th birthdays. Needless to say, the first trip was so good, we had to return for “another round”.
We are lake sailors on monohull sailboats at Kentucky Lake. We have previously chartered in Antigua, St. Martin/Anguilla and the US & British Virgins over the last 10 years. This is the only sailing trip we have repeated and we feel the main reason we had such a wonderful trip was our Captain, Jim Phillips. Jim makes you feel “At home” on Blue Moon and couldn’t be more patient with our sometimes-indecisive group. This was our 4th trip to the BVI’s and the goal was to explore different places than before.
2/23- My husband and I began the trip by flying into St. Thomas and boarding the Blue Moon. After taking the dinghy to the grocery store for provisions, we had a delicious dinner at the Schnitzel House restaurant.
2/24- We headed out toward the backside of St. John in the morning. I’m still amazed at how much of St. John must look the same as it did 200 years ago. The National Park is a treasure. We stopped at Little Lameshur Bay in the afternoon to float in the calm, clear water. Our goal was to take a taxi to Coral Bay for dinner, but no taxis were willing to pick us up. We moved the boat to Coral in the late afternoon and had burgers at Skinny Legs.
2/25- We awoke to dolphins playing alongside our boat and departed soon after for the protected waters of Maho Bay. While lying on the beach relaxing, a small yippy dog attacked a beach chicken. I looked up to see two hippy girls trying to revive the bird. I later saw them hugging and I assumed the worst. We ventured into Cruz Bay that night for a romantic dinner at Rhumb Lines and after dinner drinks at The Quiet Mon.
2/26- After leaving part of my soul last year at Dennis Bay in St. John, we returned to see if we could find it. The water was much rougher and not clear when we arrived via dinghy on the beach. After 30 minutes we noticed the waves crashing ashore were growing. As we tried to launch the dinghy, it filled with water. Many attempts and much trauma later we finally left the beach battered and wiser. We picked up the other couple at Caneel Bay and left for a great dinner at ???in Cruz Bay. Note, the Baron Hot Sauce is made with Scotch Bonnet peppers and will haunt you the next day. Once again, we returned to The Quiet Mon for drinks, darts, and the UFC fight. The Caneel Bay staff was very nice and accommodating. Don’t forget your stern anchor for the dinghy.
2/27- With the weather turning rough, we left for Yost Van Dyke. Delicious cheeseburger at Foxy’s laid a nice foundation for a few hours at White Bay. We have spent lots of time at White Bay in the past trips and it never gets old. The friendliness of the people in Yost always impresses me. Sydney’s dinner options are so good, it is hard to choose. Throw in a “make your own drink bar” and you have a great night. We laughed and danced the rest of the night at Foxy’s where a guy was dancing with a rope attached to a pole. The DJ must have looked up “music white people like at wedding receptions” on google and played everything from Mony Mony to Shout. We asked for a bit of Black Eyed Peas and got the joint hoppin.
2/28- Our plan was to make our way to Scrub Island so the Birthday girl could have a massage the next morning. Our main sail had other ideas. Have you ever heard a Kevlar sail pop under 30 knot gusts. It sounds like a gunshot. Captain Jim jumped about two feet. We ducked into Cane Garden Bay to assess the situation and grab a drink at Meyett’s. We ended up there for the night.
3/1- We put the third reef in the mainsail and headed east around Tortola to Peter Island. Wow, Deadman’s Bay was gorgeous. We had a lovely lunch at the restaurant with the best Conch Fritters of the trip. Since returning, we have longed for those fritters and the pizza on numerous occasions. After a gluttenous snooze on the beach, we pulled anchor to make it to Cooper Island before dark. Since all of the mooring balls were taken, we set a tentative anchor in what we thought was sand. Captain Jim decided a night dive was necessary to check. This is reason #86 why we are thankful for Captain Jim.
3/2- One of my reasons for returning to the BVIs was to see more of Virgin Gorda. We sailed toward Leverick Bay and made a stop at the Sand Box on Prickly Pear Island for lunch and a swim. What a lovely place. Nick saved us a spot at the dock and we took in the Michael Beans show. I rocked the pirate toast contest by pulling out my favorite Kenny Chesney toast (see the back of our T-shirts). We boarded the water taxi for Saba Rock and a relaxing dinner.
3/3- After grabbing breakfast sandwiches and extra provisions at Leverick, we headed for an amazing beach we passed the day before on Mosquito Island. If I win the lottery, this may be my spot. The water was nearly perfect with a nice sprinkling of palm trees. Since it was my husband’s birthday, we popped a bottle of champagne and channeled Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for a bit. We flew the spinnaker downwind to our overdue stop at Scrub Island and kept the opulent theme going with the swim-up bar, spa and five-star dinner overlooking spectacular scenery. I’m not sure why this place was not packed because the staff and amenities were wonderful. We ran into the great crew on Utopia. Unfortunately, the night ended earlier than usual after a very long day.
3/4- Nursing hangovers and rashes, we motored to Salt Island for a peek and around the backside of Peter Island to stop for the night at the Willy-T on Norman Island. Pulling into that bay felt like returning to the scene of last year’s crime. Since this was our last night, we had something to prove. We checked out the scene and had a couple of drinks before returning to the Blue Moon to don our pirate garb. In full pageantry, we returned to the Willy-T after dark. Another cheeseburger and some fried chicken readied us for the Shot-Ski and dancing. It’s funny how an eye patch and boots can loosen inhibitions…
3/5- We awoke with a mission to make the last day count. After checking in at Cruz Bay, we headed to Solomon Bay for a final beach stop. We met some nice people who were boarding the Utopia that afternoon. I dove and swam and floated until I was wrinkled like a prune. A melancholy mood took hold and we knew we needed to return to St. Thomas.
Overall, time passes slowly in the islands while you are there, yet quickly in hindsight. It’s like a thirst that makes you crave water, but is never satisfied. I said I left a piece of my soul at Dennis Bay last year and I was returning to find it. I realized that the piece must have broken up in last year’s hurricanes and was spread throughout many gorgeous bays. I can feel it as I dig my toes into the sand in crystal clear water. We hear that the Spanish Virgin Islands are spectacular and Captain Jim says he has not visited them. Maybe we should plot a course to the west, hoist the sails and see if the water there quenches the thirst.
I hope the picture link works? Pictures