In the boatyard at Nanny Cay, BVIs

We have spent 4 days at Nanny Cay Marina in the BVIs, out of the water in the boatyard getting new bottom paint applied and working on a few boat jobs.
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The marina facilities are pretty impressive with great showers, a pool and a beach area. Very nice, shame we were too busy to use everything.
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We were set back in the water with a nice clean looking bottom and polished sides.
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Our starboard engine had cooling water and everything ran fine however, our port engine was not getting cooling water through it while running. We had replaced a leaky salt water pump during this haul with one we recently had rebuilt. The rebuilder was nice enough to put the pump on backwards on the bracket thus when it was installed on the engine it pumped water the wrong direction and we couldn’t keep a prime. After Brett tried for 1/2 hour in the loading dock and not getting it fixed we manhandled the boat to a side dock as boats were there waiting to get pulled out. The local mechanic spent an hour doing what Brett had already tried then he had a brainstorm that the pump was on backwards and yes another hour later everything was good and we left the side dock. Phew!

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P1040879Got to leave the BVIs. We are Heading to Puerto Rico’s Spanish Virgin Islands to hopefully go diving with Jen & Richard from Our Rose.

Hanging out around Tortola, BVI

Well we have been hanging out around Tortola and the various islands close by enjoying the sailing, snorkeling, music and of course the white sandy beaches.
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Bubbly Pool at Diamond Cay the waves come crashing thru the divide into the pool on the other side.

 

 

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Cane Garden Bay and Quitos Bar was a great place to kick back and listen to tunes while watching the sunset.

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Sandy Cay, a little desert island. We swam from the boat and walked the white sandy beach and walking path through and around the small island.

 

 

 

Went to the Full Moon Party Jan 15 at Trellis Bay, Tortola along with some friends from Grenada.  P1040786

Great night with friends, which included a meal out and then dancing on the beach to a band that was playing while the fire sculptures out in the bay lit up the bay and moko jumbies ( stilt dancers) wandered amongst us.

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Laid back Anegada, BVI

Anegada 12 miles from Virgin Gorda is a flat island with reefs all around and a desert type landscape, so different from all the other islands in the BVIs. It’s a really sleepy place where you listen to the wind blowing all about, the waves lapping on the hulls and you go for walks on the pristine long white beaches with not a sole about.
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There are quite a few places to choose to go out for dinner but you have to book and tell them what you are eating by 4pm so they can make sure they have the seafood available.  We went out for dinner to Neptunes Treasure to eat the famous lobster. The bar had happy hour from 4 – 6 so of course we had to lime. The jungle juice was a little too tasty.
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We went out to Loblolly Bay for an afternoon to see the apparently good snorkeling but were disappointed. The coral was not too good and you probably should have gone to the outside of the reef but the breakers were pounding the reef. P1040714

A kite surfer was out enjoying the bay jumping over snorkelers and providing entertainment. The bay itself was quite exposed to the winds. P1040717

Loblolly’s onsite restaurant and bar was very colorful and a great place to just kick back.P1040721P1040722

 

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Very relaxing 4 days.
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Familiar faces In North Sound, BVI

We made our way back up to Virgin Gorda anchoring just off Prickly Pear Island so we were ready to leave for Anagada in the morning. Great spot and got three surprises.

1. Rebecca and Mike who used to sail a catamaran Zero to Cruising www.zertocruising.com  and who we had followed their web site for a number of years were parked beside us. They now run charters in the BVIs on a boat called One Love and are enjoying it. If you are coming to the BVIs and keen to charter a catamaran with crew you’d be sure a good time with them www.onelovecat.com . They kindly passed on some guide books we were after so appreciated that.
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2. We then kayaked ashore as the beach was busy and looked interesting. Who should we spot at the end of the beach but Sylvester Stallone so yes had to say hi and get a pic as no one would believe me. The beach was so busy as a cruise ship was in. We couldn’t believe how many more boats were in the sound compared to when we came through a few weeks back. P1040675P1040672P1040674

3. After getting back to the boat we spotted our friends from Grenada Jen and Richard on Our Rose coming into the sound from St Marteen. Good looking boat and great timing. We had a great night catching up with them and their guests from NZ.

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Off to Anegada.

Peter Island, BVI

We enjoyed New Years in Great Harbor on Peter Island just around the corner from the luxurious resort on the island. At the end of the bay there is a cut where you can walk through to the resort. Deadman beach is a beautiful beach where the resorts guests can lounge in chairs and look out at the yachts in the bay. P1040650

From Deadmans bay there was a 5 mile hike called the sunset loop, which we decided to do. Great exercise up and down the hills and along the ridge out to the end of the island where there were these colorful chairs that you could sit on and watch the sun set. Amazing views around the island from all sorts of viewing platforms built along the way with water containers. Wow, nice.P1040652

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Brett liked the look of the huge wind turbine, which was very loud when you got up close to it. A little too big for the boat, honey.

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We were anchored in a nice sheltered part of Great Harbor bay. The snorkeling off the boat was very good with lots of good coral and fish. Saw your typical barracuda who follows you to see what you are up to in his area. There was a big turtle that was feeding on something and was not bothered by us admiring him.

Norman Island, BVI

Christmas and Boxing day for us were spent in the bay The Bight on Norman Island anchored near the Willy T, a party boat and floating restaurant. They had some great tunes going and it was fun to watch all the happenings in the bay.
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We went ashore past Pirates restaurant, which had recently burnt down and a new bar had been built for the upcoming busy season. We hiked along the ridge of Norman Island and looked down at the many bays eventually coming to a bay called Benures Bay. This bay looked so pretty and noticed there were no mooring buoys, which are in abundance in the BVIs and cost $30 a night. Even though we enjoyed our anchorage behind the Willy T we decided to move over to Benures Bay for a few days to get away from the crowds of charter boats that came in each evening. You get great views out to the channel and the other islands about.

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P1040643You can take mooring buoys during the day for free so we went to Kelly’s Cove to go to a few places close by for snorkeling. While getting ready we had a 130ft mega yacht anchor stern to the shore beside us. It was interesting just watching how he anchored stern to. Oh great to have lots of crew.

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We took the dingy over to The Indians, just offshore from Kellys Cove as the channel was calm and you apparently need a Park permit to moor there and we didn’t have one. Might need to find out how to get a permit. We snorkeled at the Indians just offshore from Norman Island, which had incredibly clear visibility, great coral and yes all sorts of fish. Best snorkeling we have done for a while.
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In Kelly’s Cove at Water Point the snorkeling was good with great visibility and good coral. We snorkeled with a hawksbill turtle who didn’t seem to care we were there. Under our boat were 6 large tarpons, which just hung out. Amazing, this is why we like to be out here.

We really enjoyed Norman Island and no doubt will be back. Heading to Road Town, Tortola for a couple of days.

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Exercise in St Johns

Cruz Bay is the main town on St John with a great mix of restaurants to choose from. We grabbed a mooring buoy around the corner in rolly Caneel bay while we went into town. I hit St Johns Spice store for some goodies, for Christmas, one being the Mangoe Chutney, which is delicious.

We spent a few nights in Maho Bay again and couldn’t believe how busy it had become over the week or so since we had been here last. It’s such a pretty bay and great for walking on the beach or taking the kayaks out in the sheltered bay. There were some great birds sitting on the rock just watching us kayak. I loved there big yellow feet. There are a lot of pelicans about, one of which was admiring the views from our front chair.P1040621P1040620P1040626

With Xmas fast approaching its nice to see the cruisers decorating their boats with lights. The best we have seen is the giant green Xmas tree in a shape of a pine tree with red lights strung from side to side. This yacht was in Maho Bay but had also been in the light festival in Charlotte Amalie. Too far to get a decent photo. Of course Seismic Wave has a few lights too.
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We kayaked fast downwind to Cinnamon bay around the corner from Maho Bay. It was such a nice beach to wander along the beach and was busy with Kite surfers, Hobbie cats etc. Yes the area can get a tad windy. Of course as luck would have it a squall came through as we were heading back around the corner. I felt like I was going no where, in fact backwards, as we made our way back to Maho while the wind blew hard. What a work out that was!

After a few days we headed to Leinster Bay and Watermelon Cay, which did not disappoint with great snorkeling around the small island once again. We saw green sea turtles and reef fish, it was awesome. That’s why we love this place.
The Johnny Horn Trail from Watermelon Cay to the Emmaus Moravian Church at Coral Bay was about an hour each way up over a couple of steep hills. The church was built in 1783 by the Moravians who arrived on the islands after the slave revolt in 1733. The yellow building with its red roof is on the National Registry of historic Places and continues to serve descendants of those slaves. As we wondered by to see the rest of Coral Bay there were people singing inside.
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The hike gave us some great exercise and great views along the coast and out to the other islands. There are lots of hikes on St Johns with the trails being maintained by the Parks Service.

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Leinster Bay and Sir Francis Drake Channel

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Coral Bay

Time to head back to the BVIs for a while.

R & R in Magen’s Bay

After having been on the go for about the last month and a half we are taking some time out in a bay we have often looked down at wondered why no one is there. Magen’s Bay on St Thomas.St Thomas to US VI

Its off the charterers radar as they just want to head out of St Thomas to either St John or into the BVIs. Charlotte Amalie was good for a few days and is alive with Christmas festivities and cruise ships (which means lots of tourists), Christmas Cove is full with everyone hiding out from these winds and Water island is packed with liveaboards.

After provisioning up we made our way over through a number of squalls and pretty strong winds. Yes we were determined to get away and shhhh don’t tell anyone but its calm (not rolly like Charlotte Amalie). We are entertained by the Pelicans dive bombing for food near our private beach opposite the boat.

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At the main beach here a small entrance fee is collected if arriving by land for the upkeep of the main beach. Perfect, we can go ashore on our kayaks and enjoy this bay. A little bit of R&R. Unfortunately the winds are around for a while so we will sit tight and enjoy this nice bay.

The bay was great to go for a kayak around or to the main beach for some exercise. During the morning ALOT of cruise ship people descended on the beach but by about 3pm the beach was empty again. Great anchoring spot with no one about. Very relaxing.

We left Magden Bay and came around the busy northern coast of St Thomas passing by some pretty big homes with stairways down the cliff face.

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Windy in the Virgin Islands

We left Sint Maarten at 4pm ready for a night sail knowing that the winds were going to get up the next day and wanting to be in the BVIs when they did arrive. We had a great sail over arriving into Gun Creek, Virgin Gorda well before customs opened. After clearing in sure enough the winds started 30 knots of constant blowing in the Gorda Sound area.

The wind of course did not deter us. We headed ashore (rather damp ride by dingy) and hired a car to tour the island, see the sights including the famous Baths, a mass of granite boulders that form pools. The boulders were formed when molten rock seeped into the existing volcanic rock layers and were exposed by erosion.
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The walk to Devils Beach was hot and we couldn’t wait for a swim. The water was So nice. A little too rough for snorkeling though, given you snorkel around the boulders.
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The strong winds did not let up all night and into the morning. Boats were coming and going from Leverick Bay and so it was time for us to join them and move on. Gorda Sound is normally a nice place to hang out but not today, very choppy and very windy.
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We were going downwind so knew it would be a good ride towards Peter Island and yes we had a great sail. The wind was constant but nothing too extreme. We passed a sailing cruise ship anchored off Spanish Town; really big compared to the other boats about and then we passed The Baths, which was not so busy given the weather.
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We decided to anchor in White Bay, Peter Island thinking we would get good shelter from the winds that were in the area. Peter island is known for its beautiful bays with turquiose waters to snorkel.
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The winds were amazing in the bay whipping across the bay stirring the water up off the surface. As we sat having a drink we suddenly watched the boat near us go from behind to in front. Eeek we are dragging. Action aboard; up anchor and move to where we could see we had a good sandy holding along the bay further. I snorkeled to make sure all was good while the winds continued to blow all about. The waters were nice and clear
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All night the wind blew strong! Not the best overnight anchorage. We left Peter Island and headed to Sopers Hole on the West end of Tortola for lunch. A seriously packed busy area with boat traffic everywhere. Welcome back to the land of charter boats galore.
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Too busy at Sopers Hole for us so after lunch we sailed over to Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke. Jost is a small island with a really laid back attitude. This harbour is a port for clearing in or out of the BVIs and is pretty sheltered with a main street with a number of beach bars and restaurants. It’s known for being a party island.
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We went ashore for pre-dinner drinks at Foxy’s, enjoyed by all. Foxy’s is a popular bar on the island where you can actually meet its owner Foxy Callwood, who has been entertaining boaters for about 40 years. There are clothes and business cards all over the roof of the bar. We found our card from our last visit and put another one up as a memory of our trip.
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We cleared in at Cruz Bay, St Johns to get into the US VI’s. The winds had calmed and we wandered about town and decided we had to come back in for drinks and dinner. There is a lot of arty type stores to see. Dad and Brett made a friend while in town.
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We had a great night out at the Beach Bar even enjoying the band Flipswitch from St Thomas who were playing.
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The next morning we were asked to move on by the US National Parks Service. We had anchored overnight in a spot that was for short term use only. Oops! Shame, great spot close to Cruz Bay town.
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We went up the coast past the popular and scenic Trunk Bay, busy with snorkelers to Maho Bay for a swim and lunch. Great spot.
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Time to get to St Thomas, The Mofalie hotel awaits our guests. Time to leave the boat and find the comforts of land life again. Excellent, a pool, great views and a nice big suite. They were very happy with the hotel choice.
P1040548AP1040549We hired a car and toured the island admiring the islands we could see in the distance, that we had all sailed about over the last few days. Havensight was great to wander around the shops and see the cruise ships and super yachts docked at Charlotte Amalie. A great day out, we were all exhausted and needed a rest, or a swim in a pool for the lucky ones.
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We stayed up at Red Hook and awoke each morning to the sound of snorting. a horse got his daily exercise in the waters off the beach we were anchored at.
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Brett and I decided to bring the boat around to Charlotte Amalie so we could enjoy looking down at her from The Mofalie while at dinner tonight. (Ok, so we were close for getting home after a few drinks).

On the way around we went into Benner Bay the lagoon, the most protected harbour in St Thomas. It was quite the channel to get into the lagoon, which had a lot of boats docked.
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Charlotte Amalie is the capital city of St Thomas and a major seaport. As w entered we noticed the Marriott at the entrance to the channel. We parked off Kings Wharf below the Mofalie high above us.
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West bound to Puerto Rico from Tortola, BVIs

After sorting the engines out in Tortola we headed over to Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke to see those nice teal blue waters and to clear out ready to go over to St John, US VIs. Brett had a rest on one of the many comfy hammocks on the beach front. 

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Of course we wandered the beachfront down to Foxy’s for a beverage and all signed a Seismic Wave boat card for the roof of Foxy’s so our friends can try and find it when they come to visit. Brett had a rest on one of the many hammocks outside Foxy’s.FoxysP1010426A

 

 

 

 

 

We cleared in at Cruz Bay, St John then went around to Maho Bay after snorkeling at Trunk Bay, which was a little rough. Maho Bay is a quiet little bay with nice white sandy beaches. We were all looking forward to going for a hike and ended up going to a scenic overlook where we could look down over Seismic Wave, on the far right.P1010431AP1010432A

 

 

 

 

 

We were around the corner from Watermelon Cay, island at Leinster Bay so we could not pass by without going snorkeling to see the turtles and the reef fish and to go for a walk along the Trail to the Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins.P1010440AP1010433A

 

 

 

 

 

We ended the night with another great braai and watched the sun go down. P1010450A

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Time to move on toward St. Thomas and Culebra, Puerto Rico.