Our second trip was back to the British Virgin Islands, chartering again from The Moorings. This was another 10-day bareboat charter of a Moorings 445, a boat named The Wandering Eye. We picked the boat up on 11 Aug and returned it on 21 Aug, 1995.
I didn't do a journal this trip, but I did take some pictures. For example:
|Here's The Wandering Eye, a Moorings 445.|
|And, this is the crew. We look pretty chipper here, and when I looked at this (for this page) after a few years, my first thought was that we had taken this before we started out. Actually, this was taken on our last day, when we returned.
That's me in the back left, with Helen in front. Then there's Anita and Kevin (co-captain), and then Kelly and Ed. We had a full boat this trip, and it was great.
This was Kelly and Ed's first sailing trip (actually, the first for everyone except Kevin and me). So, it was an experience for everyone.
Ed had taken sailing lessons before the trip, but it was small-boat lessons (they live in Kansas City). What he found out was that there's a whole world of difference between small-boat stuff and the size we were sailing.
We did pretty much the same route as we did on the last trip, with a few exceptions.
Turns out Kelly didn't get along too well with the sea. I must give her a world of credit, though - she toughed it out for 5 days before she and Ed requested a transfer to shore duty. Kelly is one gutsy lady.
As it worked out, though, that didn't impact the trip too much. We put Ed and Kelly ashore at The Moorings, and we stayed aboard at the marina. Then they took a taxi across the mountain to Cane Garden Bay, while we sailed around to meet them. They stayed in a small hotel ashore, and we met them ashore, staying for a couple of days before we all met back at The Moorings for the end of the trip.
While Kelly and Ed were still aboard, we did make it to The Baths on Virgin Gorda, an area of huge volcanic boulders which form all kinds of neat caves and grottos right at the water's edge.
We also made it up to the north (northeast) end of Tortola, to a little teenie island called Marina Cay. It's really not much more than a small hill, but it's surrounded by these great huge teeth (reef). It has a Pusser's Outpost and a small boutique and store on the island. The reef almost completely surrounds the Cay, so you have to be really careful entering the mooring area. Fortunately, The Moorings provides very good charts and guides for the anchorages in the Islands.
|While we were moored at Marina Cay, Ed and I went snorkeling. As we were swimming alongside the boat towards the reef, I happened to look under the boat, and saw a barracuda parked up against the underside of the boat alongside the keel. It was about 2 to 2-1/2 feet long (even allowing for underwater distortion). I had a small underwater camera with me, so got this picture. I didn't get him under the boat - he was already moving away by the time I got the shot.
He was just parked there, watching. Believe me, I was watching, too. But, since we were heading away, I guess we weren't a threat.
|We also occasionally saw some jellyfish. I believe these are known as "moon jellies". They are kind of purple in color, with 4 darker purple loops at the top center of the bell. They don't have long dangly tentacles, fortunately - just short ones around the edge of the bell. But they still sting.
This little guy is about 10 - 12" across.
|During our visit to Cane Garden Bay, on the "back" side of Tortola, we located a rum distillery - the Callwood Distillery - way down around the end of the bay and back in some trees. It didn't look at all like it was functional - more like it was abandoned, in fact - but it was actually a real distillery.
Their rum is a clear rum, distilled from cane. The staff told us they don't put molasses in it, and that they guarantee that you won't get a hangover from drinking it.
After tasting a sample, I have to agree with their guarantee. I don't think anyone could possibly drink enough of this stuff to get hung over.
|After Cane Garden Bay, we headed to West End, the western end of Tortola, and Soper's Hole, the anchorage there. Where we found another Pusser's Store (imagine that!).
This house is right out on the point, and when we were here on this visit, for sale. What a view!
Well, that's it for another one. As a parting shot, here are some sunset pictures I got during this trip.
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