Monday, December 11, 2006

Visiting Never Never Land

December 8, 2006   Friday

Dinner last night on M/V Never Never Land with Ron and Janis was very nice.  Janis served a fantastic spaghetti; a recipe that she learned from Ron’s mother, who learned it from the Italian women that she worked with in the New York area.  That sauce must take all day to cook and included meatballs and sausages.  Fantastic!  Their Hatteras is more like a true home than a yacht.  They have 3 full bedrooms with bathrooms that have regular size bathtubs and regular size beds; nothing like most boats.  They also have a normal full-size electric stove and full-size refrigerator; unheard of on most boats.  The engine room is like what you might expect to see on a small ship, and Ron keeps it immaculate.  Their furniture is regular full-size furniture that is bolted down, including a leather sofa with recliners built into each end.  It is truly a luxury way to enjoy boating.  Except that the helm room is located very high and towards the front of the boat, which allows good views of everything but also accentuates all movement.  Judy would probably stay seasick in that helm room.

There was a gorgeous full rainbow this morning before we left Christmas Cove.  Judy took way too many photos of it.  It is just so unusual to actually see a complete rainbow and especially one so close and so vibrantly colored.

We motored over to Cruz Bay and collected our small box of boat parts from Amel.  Picked up a few fresh veggies and fruits and treats at the supermarket there.  Bought tee shirts for the grandkids and mailed them off.  Then we spent the rest of the day sailing back and forth between St. John and Jost Van Dyke, BVI.  We made it into Soper’s Hole on Tortola to clear BVI Customs and Immigration before they closed for the day.  Treated ourselves to dinner at the Jolly Roger and brought back leftovers for another meal tomorrow.  Judy was hoping that they would have their special of crispy bacon and mango pizza with crushed red pepper flakes, but it was not available today.  Darn!  And she was really looking forward to that strange pizza again.  It was very good when she had it last year.

We talked to a guy who does fiberglass and gel coat repair and arranged for him to repair the five tiny chips that are spread around our boat.  We are supposed to meet him here in Soper’s Hole on Sunday morning for him to begin that work.

December 9, 2006  Saturday

It was too beautiful a day to sit on a mooring ball in Soper’s Hole (plus we really have an aversion to paying $25 - $30 per night for a mooring ball), so we left this morning as soon as we bought our freshly baked French bread for the day.  Love that little store for hot, fresh breads each morning. 

We sailed on the north side of Tortola for awhile and then stopped at Marina Cay for lunch – on the boat of course.  Marina Cay is a tiny island that was donated by Laurence Rockefeller to the BVI with the stipulation that it must remain a park.  It is a lovely place with crystal white sands and clear blue-green waters and reef around 3 sides.  But it also has millions and millions of sand fleas, which Judy is highly allergic to; so we don’t get off the boat at Sandy Cay.

The sail from Sandy Cay to Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke was really nice.  We sailed wing-on-wing --- which is the genoa to one side of the boat and the mainsail to the other side of the boat.  Since Security is a ketch, we also have a mizzen sail – which we put on the same side as the genoa.  We were doing 5 knots in 6 knots of apparent wind.  This is a particularly calm point of downwind sailing that is really enjoyable as long as the weather isn’t too hot, as you cannot feel any breeze whatsoever.  The boat is moving with the speed of the wind.

At Great Harbor we unknowingly anchored right next to a couple that we had met in Soper’s Hole yesterday evening.  They are Jim and Barbara on S/V Koshari.  Bill invited them over for sundowners and we enjoyed visiting a bit.

December 10, 2006  Sunday

Jim came over first thing this morning and said they were going to sail up to Gorda Sound, even though the winds were predicted to be 20-25 knots from the east.  Bill thought this also sounded like a good idea and said we might see them there later in the afternoon.  Yeah, right.

Winds were directly on our nose when we exited Great Harbor.  Rather than tack for hours getting nowhere, we decided to motor to Cane Garden Bay and then sail from there.  We sailed for about 4 hours toward Anegada and trailed 2 fishing lines.  Didn’t catch a thing, even using the real flying fish that we had saved in our freezer after they landed on our deck during our passage from Bonaire.  Bill then calculated how long it was going to take us to eventually reach Gorda Sound, and we decided that it just was not worth it.  Beating into high winds is tiring. 

Koshari had tacked toward Monkey Point at least an hour before we gave up and tacked toward Lee Bay on Great Camanoe island.  Koshari radioed us as we were approaching Camanoe, and we told them that we planned to anchor for the night in Lee Bay; so they decided to join us.  They came over for dinner, and while we were eating dinner the swell started moving in.  This was not predicted and not a good thing. 

After they returned to their boat later in the evening, Bill decided that he felt somewhat responsible for them being anchored there with us.  If the winds were to die during the night and the swell continue to build, then our anchors might lose their holding.  So Bill spent the night sitting in the cockpit watching out for both our boats.  Judy came up and slept in the cockpit because the swell was making too much noise slapping our stern for her to sleep in the aft cabin.  But the night passed uneventfully, thank goodness.

December 11, 2006  Monday

At first light we pulled anchor and moved to a mooring ball in Trellis Bay.  Friends that we had met in Venezuela have a private mooring in Trellis Bay.  They had said we could use it.  But we found that another boat was on their mooring and that the owner of that boat had left the country, so we were out of luck for this chance of a free mooring.  So we moved over to Marina Cay and found a perfect spot to anchor – just north of the mooring ball field at Marina Cay between Great Camanoe island and Scrub Island.  We like it here so much that we have put up our shade awning and plan to stay several days.

S/V Koshari also is now on a mooring ball here at Marina Cay.  They came for the internet.  They invited us over for sundowners.  Jim has retired and they plan to cruise the Caribbean for a few years as soon as their house in Phoenix sells, which might take awhile.  But Jim retired from America West, so they can fly almost free of charge and they can easily continue to commute to their boat as they move down the Caribbean.

A small power boat marina is being built on Scrub Island.  We had first learned of this new development when at the Miami Boat Show in 2004.  The developer obtained permission from the BVI government to blast out the reef in order to build this marina and some condos.  Don’t know who he paid off, but that is a terrible idea!  The last thing this area needs is a bunch of power boats zooming all over the place.  Imagine, killing all that reef just for power boats to park there.

We are just sitting here, doing nothing but watching the charter boat people and reading our books. 

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