We parted ways with Angie in Puerto Rico as she had to get back to the States to do another Caribbean delivery. We cleared customs into the British Virgin Islands in Soper’s Hole/West End in Tortola on November 22. We moored there for one night there before heading out to Bitter End in Virgin Gorda to meet up with the rest of the folks from the Salty Dawg Rally, some of whom had been there almost a week already. We went to Pusser’s for appetizers a la $60. Ouch. The next morning we set sail for Virgin Gorda but only made it to Road Town, Tortola and found no place to anchor and the moorings were fit for mega yachts so we took a slip in a marina and enjoyed the laundry and shore power. It has been really hot here. Next day we finally arrived at the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda – 360 degrees of beauty.
Bitter End Yacht Club
We enjoyed free moorings and use of the pool. We got to hook up with the Porters on Evenstar who we have been following since Maine. They took off the next day and Matt and Graham went scuba diving while Amy went for a pedicure in the spa atop the mountain. The next day we hired a taxi who took us all around including to a bar on top of a mountain, Spanish Town to the Chandlery (marine store) and shopping, and the Baths, which are natural caves for swimming and exploring. Not all days are like this but life is pretty much a constant vacation for us right now and for this we are very grateful.
The View from Hog Heaven overlooking North Sound, Virgin Gorda
Graham at Hog Heaven
The Cave at the Baths in Virgin Gorda
The Salty Dawgs hung pretty close together in the mooring field and socially. Sailing vessel Goldilocks is named because she is not too big and not too small – she is just right and Colleen and Michael sailed her over from Hampton alone. Moriel is named for the Angel of the Wind and Vicky and Jim have lived aboard for 10 years. We left for nearby Anegada after a few days. It is a very small island with only about 6-7 feet of water in the approach. It has one “resort” complete with cows and an honor bar. The island is resplendent with flamingos. A taxi took us to Loblolly Beach the first day and we were the only people on the beach. We had a not very good and expensive meal – the people were lovely. We had to leave when the number of people on the beach got up to 14. Too crowded for our blood. Our taxi driver took us to the town store on the way back to our boat. It had four walls which kind of leaned into each other to hold each other up. Most products were out of date and flies were everywhere. Again, the cashier was so kind, you just wanted to buy a bunch of stuff from her anyway.
Lunch at Loblolly Bay
A packed beach at Loblolly Bay
Amy received a surprise opportunity to fly back to the States to stand by her friends Jamie and Luiz as they married later in the week. She started her trek on one of two ferries early Monday morning for the Friday wedding. It was fabulous. Graham and Matt went snorkeling at Cow Wreck Beach in Anegada and met up with some other Salty Dawgs with kids.
Beach time with our friends from Patronus and Anything Goes
They eventually made their way back to Bitter End to hang before they had to cross back into the US Virgins to pick up Amy when she flew in the following week to St. Thomas. They restocked, although Amy brought much of Trader Joe’s back with her, and then headed back to the BVIs to meet up with the Porters for Christmas.
We did a bit of touring in St. Thomas. We wanted to climb the famed 99 steps to Blackbeard’s castle. Instead we were hustled into paying to get a self guided tour through an amber museum and it turned out to be many, many more than 99 steps to get up to Blackbeard’s teeny tiny little tower, which, and this is important to note in case you are going here, you can get to for free without going through the museum. Anyway, we saw an amber waterfall and the glass dated back 300 million years and then were hustled though some amber gift shops. I did get a great shot of Matt with his head in a dinosaur’s mouth (amber is from Jurassic period). Ultimately we made it to the top and climbed the rickety stairs to the lookout atop the tower. We had beautiful views all the way to Puerto Rico and St. Croix.
Graham and Matt at the Amber Waterfall
Matt's last photo before we lost him to a raptor
Atop Blackbeard's Tower