We are having so much fun, I just don't know where to begin a new blog post. We didn't make it to St. Martin for the birthday celebration, the weather just would not cooperate. For the sailors reading this - imagine motoring into 25-30 knot winds, right on the nose with waves over 10 feet. We decided that we would just spend the time in the British Virgin Islands. Our friends Geoie and Sarah from Kemah came down to spend the week with Rene and Stacy so we spent the week of our birthdays sailing around the BVIs. I can't complain, it's so beautiful and we literally spent the week going from one beautiful island/beach, to another. Nights were spent at beach bars, searching for the best happy hour. We enjoyed time at Da Loose Mongoose, Foxy's, Foxy's Taboo and Willy T's. What a week!
One of the highlights was the Full Moon Party at Trellis Bay on Beef Island. They have a full moon party there every month. Local artist Aragorn creates beautiful fire sculptures, there are dancing mocko jumbies (dances on stilts), fire jugglers and all kinds of entertainment. What a fun night. We are hoping that we will be back for another full moon party before we move on.
We enjoyed our time in North Sound (Gorda Sound) on Virgin Gorda also. The Leverick Bay where the Michael Bean Happy Arrrrr is great fun. On our second visit to his show I won the conch blowing contest! The prize was a bottle of rum!
We had a visit from more friends from back home, Keith and Brenda Veseleny (s/v Beauty and the Geek) happened to be chartering a boat in the BVIs for the week. We finally met up with them on Peter Island and we all headed over to The Bight on Norman Island for a fun night a The Willy T, a floating restaurant/bar that is a converted 100 foot schooner. By the way, Norman Island is believed by some to be the island written about by Robert Louis Stevenson in Treasure Island.
We sailed by the island Dead Chest Cay (Dead Man's Chest) on the south side of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Dead man's chest was the name of a coffin in the days of yore. This island was given it's name as long ago as the late 1700s when folklore has it that the infamous pirate Blackbeard marooned fifteen men on the cay with nothing a bottle of rum. Some apparently tried to swim the 1/2 mile to Peter Island but didn't make it. The cay became immortalized in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island -
Fifteen Men on the Dean Man's Chest,
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest.
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
So much fun in one week that we needed to take a few days to recover! After our recovery period we finally got the weather we were looking for so that we could head over to St. Martin. It was about an 18 hour passage. We left Virgin Gorda late afternoon and sailed all night so that we could make it to St. Martin the next morning. We wanted to make it into the Simpson Bay Lagoon, but there is a bridge that only opens to incoming boats 3 times a day (unless you choose to pay the $1000.00 fee for an unscheduled opening!) We were ready for the 9:30 opening and made our way into the lagoon where we are currently anchored on the French side of St. Martin.
St. Martin, or Sint Maaren (depending whether you are on the French side or the Dutch side of the island) is beautiful and we have having a great time here, but I will save that for another blog post!
We are planning to return to the Virgin Islands in April/May for more exploring. We are looking forward to spending more time in this beautiful place.
Here is a link to some pictures: http://photobucket.com/albums/bb448/SailwithStoryville/Virgin Islands
I am still trying to find a good solution to posting pictures using the iPad. The link to photobucket is the best I can come up with at the moment. The problem is that I can't figure out how to add captions. I will still work on finding a solution when my busy schedule allows!
Now - it's time for happy hour!