Friday, April 13, 2012

April 7th: Kelly's Cove (Norman Island) to White Bay (Jost Van Dyke)

From Screen Captures

When I originally set up the trip, I thought that charters were for 7 days (April 1 to April 7th). It turned out that charters were for 7 nights/8 days, which meant that we had one extra day on the 8th. Shauna and Steve, unfortunately didn't get the message, and scheduled their flight for the 8th. Given when we were going to return the boat, I was pretty sure they wouldn't make the ferry from Tortola, so they opted to visit St. John and get dropped off a day early from Jost Van Dyke instead. Given the way things worked, it would have been closer to dropp them off at St. John, but of course, that would have required customs clearing on both ends twice, which would be very annoying and painful. As forecasted, the North swell had ended the night before, so going to Jobst Van Dyke would be an easy sail.
From Escape Catamaran 2012

Except that I'd lost track of where St. John was, and we sailed the wrong way for a bit before I realized my error and turned the boat around. In the narrows, we got to gybe often, but near Sopher's Hole a storm blew through, giving us 15 knot winds for a while and a thrilling sail as we made it right through the passages and the Thatch Island cut on the wings of a shower-storm that (unfortunately) produced no rainbows. This would be the only rain we saw for the entire trip.
From Escape Catamaran 2012

The wind died mysteriously once at the Thatch Island Cut, however, and I was forced to turn on the motor. It being not even 9am, we made good time and I realized we had the time to visit Sandy Cay for some snorkeling and swimming, so we headed there to the beautiful beach which I had bypassed during my last visit and was determined not to miss this time. Eschewing the mooring buoys, I pulled up close to the beach in 6 feet of water and dropped anchor, putting the boat a short swim from shore.
From Escape Catamaran 2012

The water was cooler, being closer to the Atlantic, but the Cay was too beautiful to pass up. Even Cindy said, "I hadn't planned on getting into the water to day, but this is too good." I even saw a ray in the water, though again I wasn't quick enough on the draw to take a picture. Unfortunately, even eden has a snake. As far as Sandy Cay is concerned, it was midges: tiny no-seeum blood suckers that did not seem to pay attention to our insect repellent. Despite that, we spent an hour there, watching as a day-chartered catamaran, the DayDreamer pulled right up onto the beach, disgorged a full complement of tourists and then pulled away to pick them up later.
From Escape Catamaran 2012

By 10:45, it was time to leave, so we pulled up the anchor and motor'd over to White Bay, which was an anchorage with very badly marked entrances. Playing it self, we took the western entrance and motor'd to the mooring buoys and dropped anchor in about 8 feet of water, with the tail of the boat a short jump from shore. I was getting very confident of our anchoring skills, and placed the anchor with no problems whatsoever. After waiting for the boat to settle, we put Shauna and Steve's luggage into the dinghy and prepared to motor to Great Harbor where the ferry was. They had declined to go ashore at White Bay, even though I assured them that it was a perfectly fine place to hang out. John had developed a ear infection, so he and Amy were coming along to find the clinic. XiaoQin decided to come along just for the ride.
From Escape Catamaran 2012

With the dinghy so laden, we wallowed over to Great Harbor and dropped everyone off. The return, however, was fast: with just me and XiaoQin in the boat, the dinghy leapt between waves, and it was a much shorter (if much bumpier) ride back. Arturo, Cindy, XiaoQin and I then had a sandwich lunch on the boat while watching the Herons around us dive for fish.
From Escape Catamaran 2012

We had thought that we might have had to eat out tonight, but we had over-provisioned the boat and there would be room for an eclectic dinner for the night. Nevertheless, the day was warming up very nicely, so we took a swim to Ivan's Stress Free Bar for a drink and to enjoy the hammock. While lying in the hammock, a mega-yacht pulled up in the harbor, and 10 people with British accents, sat on a bench with various quantities of wine and water, and then pulled away in a large tender, saying "Farewell Caribbean."
From Escape Catamaran 2012

Amy and John arrived while Arturo was lying in the hammock, announcing that they had indeed found the clinic and gotten antibiotics for John's ear infection. While Arturo, XiaoQin, and I decided to swim over to the Soggy Dollar Bar, Amy and John decided to walk over, since they had walking shoes on.
From Escape Catamaran 2012

The contrast between the two bars was amazing. First of all, the beach was packed with motorboats, many with 1500hp worth of engines, enough to make it to Puerto Rico in very little time. The soggy dollar bar clearly attracted the "Spring Break" crowd. It was a noisy party with people ordering drinks left and right. I ordered some conch fritters since I wanted to know what conch tasted like, and we watched the crowd while waiting for our order, which showed up on island time. On the way back to the boat, I left my waterproof case containing cash and my dive cert, and only realized that after getting onto the Escape. I immediately put on fins and snorkeled and swam back out to the entry point, where I found 4 spring breakers who'd obviously picked up my wallet who asked me my name. When I gave it to them, they looked at my id and gave me my money back.
From Escape Catamaran 2012

Amy and John took out the kayak, and Cindy made a potpourri dish with what was left of our supplies. It wasn't a great meal, but it saved us from having to swim to shore for dinner and back. The sunset was gorgeous, and the nearly full moon, when it rose, gave us a gorgeous picture. I was a little sad from it being our last night in the BVIs, but I had made a number of enthusiastic cruising sailors on this trip, which made me feel quite good.

Previous
Next
Post a Comment