This year the storms on the northeast coast were never ending and Nova Scotia was hit particularly hard. It was March 18th and here was one more storm. Our trip that we had planned for so long was in jeopardy. Our flight from Halifax to Philedelphia was cancelled and our next opportunity to get out was in three days.
That also meant our friends Curtis and Jenny could be stuck at the dock for three nights before the boat would be able to get underway. When I reached the airline they said if we could get to Toronto by the next morning at 7 we would be there as planned. I asked if there was a flight to Toronto and she said no, you would have to drive. I laughed. That would be tough as it is a 17 hour drive and we had less than 12 hours to get there. I asked what about Bangor, Maine? She said well that is further, but it wasn't I explained to her. It would be just 7 hours instead. She looked up flights and said there was one leaving after 6 am that we could get on and we would be able to make our original connections. I said, we will figure out a way to get there. After a phone call to our friend Steven, he agreed to drive us in the snow storm to Bangor. Yes we brought him back a VERY nice bottle of his favourite Bourbon for the favour as well as the biggest we owe you one. We had hours to spare and we were the only people in the airport besides the cleaning staff but we were happy and felt very lucky to have made it to Bangor at 2am.
Thursday, March 19, 2015: We arrived at St. Thomas at 2, got in a cab headed to the Charlotte Amalie Ferry terminal and had time to catch the next ferry and even have a couple of drinks at the Petite Pump Room. Flying carry-on only certainly has its’ upsides. We had a nice open air cab ride to Nanny Cay and were there in plenty of time to do the paperwork at the Horizon office before they closed for the evening. Patriche II, a Jeanneau DS 50 was the boat we chose for this trip. It is older than our usual choices but it had great reviews online and we thought the two stateroom layout would be perfect for our needs this time. It was a stressful couple of days but we were here and Patriche II looked beautiful.
Curtis and Jenny arrived at Beef Island at 6:00pm, and were at the boat a bit after 7. Our food order from Riteway arrived on time and Andy and I had it already put away before they arrived. There were a number of things left out of our order but we were able to pick them up at the new Nanny Cay Riteway the next morning so all was on track. Our order from Tico’s wasn't here yet, but Horizon had left a bottle of rum and some cokes in the boat for us and we enjoyed them thoroughly. We had made a reservation at Peg Leg’s for dinner as it can be quite crowded. It was a nice dinner. We had great service, the food was good and we struck up a conversation with a nice couple at the table beside us who were cruising 5 months a year for their retirement. Now that is my dream!
We got to bed pretty early that night and dreamed of sugarplums and reindeer...er no that is my other favourite time of the year.
The next morning I went into the cockpit after waking to see a little cat sleeping on the cushion. She was cute but didn't really want to be cuddled and soon jumped back onto the dock.
We had breakfast at Gennekers where the coffee was hot and strong. I looked over at the chart room and said I bet our beverage order is in there. We walked over after breakfast and sure enough it was. It too had some omissions. Just a missing bottle of Vodka and some wine, but hey, that is OK one of our food omissions was the Clamato, so all that meant was no bloody Caesars. Giles led Andy and Curtis through the boat briefing and before we knew it we were off.
Friday, March 20: The winds were a pleasant 12 knots or so and we enjoyed our quick reach over to Norman Island. The main did not want to unfurl from the mast at first but Andy worked his sailor magic and within a few minutes the sails were unfurled and the boat was doing a decent 5 knots. We were at the Bight pretty early so we decided to take a mooring at Water Point/Kelly Cove. Jenny and I figured there would be some decent snorkeling there and were pleased with what we saw towards Water Point. The crevices under the water were pretty spectacular and there was a decent selection of fish and coral to look at.
After we all got our fill of the underwater sights we decided to check out the Willy T and as sad as this sounds this was our very first time there after 6 trips. We had a great time, met some folks from Massachusetts who were easily able to commiserate with us about all of the terrible snowstorms we all left behind.
We were on a roll so why not check out Pirates too! We got there, but they were already full and we had not made the needed reservations so out of luck we headed back to the boat. While we were heading back to Patriche we noticed people “halyard catapulting” from a big catamaran. With the help of their dinghy some young men would be flung into the air and then let go once up high enough. We watched with amazement. It was definitely a first for us. Nothing we would ever try but they looked like they were having a blast.
Once back, Curtis barbequed some hamburgers that we all enjoyed.
Saturday March 21, 2015 We set sail for the North Sound pretty early hoping to get a mooring ball at the Indians but it was full already. Not a problem, we would carry on. We were staying on a dock at The Leverick Bay Resort & Marina. Some of the crew decided they needed “emergency naps” along the way so Jenny and I were left in charge of Patriche II.
We made it into the North Sound fairly early so we decided to go anchor near Moskito Island and do some swimming before heading over to Leverick. Despite their hangovers, the guys sprung into action deploying the anchor. Everyone enjoyed the swim and watching all of the boats coming and going to Moskito. The new Eco resort is looking very nice.
At one point we got waked by a boat that was being helmed by Sir Richard Branson. He was all smiles as they cruised by. I unfortunately was not at the ready with my camera for that one. After our short stop we hauled anchor, called the marina and asked which side we should have our fenders. We were told we would be backing in. Not a problem, that is how we do it at home too. The guys were patiently waiting for us at the dock when we arrived. Andy put the boat in reverse and nothing. Strange. He gave it some more engine and what a prop walk we had. He decided to try again. We made a big circle and came in again, that time, with the help of the bow thruster and the guys on the dock we made it. We decided to go to the cove for some lunch and do some walking around the resort. While we were headed to the dock we ran into fellow sailors from home. We knew they were going to be in the BVI at the same time and it was great to see them. We made a loose plan for the next day and after a while we headed back to the boat and hung out with the others on the dock. We met two cruising couples who also had Jeanneaus and wanted to take a tour of the interior of Patriche because of the two stateroom layout. While we were hanging out the guys who teach Flyboarding did a show for everyone. It was really neat. I had seen videos of this done before, it was even more amazing in real life that was for sure. Again, as yesterday, I could not imagine doing it but it was spectacular and they had everyone’s attention on the dock and at the resort.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za-E8Y6nJR0
is the link to a short video I made of them in action.
Afterwards we got ready to go out to dinner at the Upstairs Restaurant. We lucked out and got the same server as our last time there. Her name is Laverne and she is the absolute best! We had a wonderful evening. The food was great as were the drinks.
I cannot say enough good things about the whole experience. Except maybe, Thank You Nick!
Sunday, March 22, 2015 A twenty minute sail was all it took today. We found a mooring at Saba Rock and just like that we were done. Another twenty minutes later, Greg and Dawna, Marcella and Brent on Annie’s Turn were here on the next mooring. We all decided to go snorkeling on the back side of Prickly Pear Island. It was a little more rough than previous times we had gone there but what we lacked in fish was made up by the beautiful sand beach and great swimming.
It was another wonderful day in paradise. After we had our fill of our private beach we headed over to Saba Rock to enjoy some beverages. We found some comfy seats and the whole gang of us sat around and talked about how lucky we were to be there instead of at home in the snow. The tarpon feeding was at 5. They did not disappoint. Neither did the huge eel in the pool. Quite a large crowd gathered around for both feedings. Afterwards we were hungry too so we moved into the restaurant for an early dinner. Here is a video I made of our day. http://youtu.be/hc34qM061ic
Next Part...Anegada and Jost van Dyke