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Old 02-17-2013
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BVI recap

Killing time, waiting for our flight out of STT. Naturally, the week went by in the blink of an eye. I will post some trip observations and come back later to edit or add more, when its less distracting.

We bareboat chartered a Bavaria 36 out of Horizon in Nanny Cay. They are a good operator and I would use them again. I've only previously used the Moorings, which I maintain has more redundancy if your boat has a critical problem, but I liked Nanny Cay much better than Road Town.

Our depth finder stopped working as soon as we left the marina. When I called it in from Cooper Island, they were quite nervous. The Director, Henry, said that he would bring us another boat, if we felt we would not be able to safely navigate. We planned to take moorings anyway and, truthfully, couldn't imagine unpacking and repacking a boat after just finally getting underway. We never ran aground.

On day two, the shackle for the mast step main halyard block broke free while raising the main. That was interesting. It was blowing 20 or so at the time. I re-routed it through another block and we were back underway. After that, no boat mechanical issues. My wife, however, was really appreciating our boat. Best we could get out of the Bavaria 36, towing a dinghy, was about 5 knots, 4 was more common. Still we had some great sails. Nothing is all that far away.

Itinerary was:

Nanny Cay to Cooper Island (Beach club is fully renovated since we were last there. Very nice)

Cooper to North Sound on Virgin Gorda (serious beat into the wind. Motor sailed half of it. Spent two days in the Sound)

Virgin Gorda to Marina Cay. (Most were hunkering down as forecast was for 20 -25 kts and seas 10 - 12 feet. It had been blowing stiff for a few days. We decided to go take a look and would bail back into Leverick if it was too much. Swells were 8 feet and 10 seconds apart. While blowing a good 20 kts on a broad reach, it wasn't so bad, so we pressed on and made it, although ducked behind the Dogs for a break along the way. Someone posted about the bathrooms/showers at Marina Cay. They were, in fact, awful. The men's showers were closed for well needed renovation. New Pussers restaurant was nice, however.)

Marina Cay to Jost Van Dyke (swells down, but still 4 or 5 ft)

Jost Van Dyke to Norman (nicest sailing day of the week. 10 to 15 kts of breeze and 1 to 2 ft waves). Sailed every inch from JVD to Norman in about 3 hrs, including tacking around the western side of little Thatch. We were passed by Zanshin in the Thatch Island Cut. We waved, but there was no time in close quarters to properly say hello. That beautiful champagne Jeanneau 57 is easy to identify! Pirates Bight was also totally renovated since our last trip, very nice. Willy Ts had a very notably smaller crowd, almost no crowd. I think Pirates upgrade is hurting them.

Norman to Nanny Cay. (Easy shot across the channel. Horizon has a different policy from the moorings. You are required to stop at the fuel dock and top off. They then meet you there and bring the boat back to her slip. However, for $75, they will meet you at the breakwater and bring you directly to your slip and refuel her later and charge tour card on file. The fuel do k is easy to land, but the wait can be tremendous, especially if there is a huge stinkpotter on the fuel dock. There was when we arrived, although, we had already decided to do the express so we could have a nice breakfast before setting off and have enough time for shoreside showers and lunch before getting the ferry over to St Thomas. Worth the 75 in my book, but they were actually nice enough to waive it for us, as a token of good will for the malfunctioning depth finder)

Some other notables:

Someone mentioned that BVI was getting more commercial and it is. The fully renovated places are very nice, but no mistaking them for being more commercial. The places that look "local", like Foxy's or Fat Virgns, are just built to look that way. Willy Ts is probably the closest, but looked to be fading fast.

One other tip, which I had forgotten in the three years since I was here last. When on the ferry over to Road Town, you want to get up and near the door before you arrive at the dock. Otherwise, you're near the end of the customs line and it takes forever!

May think of more. Not looking forward to the 20 deg temps awaiting our return home.
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Jeanneau 54DS

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