Our stay in Virgin Gorda sound was quite eventful, and we had a heck of great time in Levericks Bay. I have to wonder why the local people working at the various businesses are so miserable and unfriendly. It is hard for me to understand..living in Paradise, yes, working, but still….why the attitude? A quick smile and a hello..it doesn’t even have to be a cheery hello, go a long way in my books. But…
We anchored off of Prickly Pear bay with Vidora. No issues at all, Bruce even dove our anchor to ensure we had a good set. A nice peaceful night followed, but that was all to change. We ventured in to the Bitter End yacht club to catch some wifi and coffee. After that, a walkabout to see what was there in that area, and then back to the boats. The winds were picking up, and our anchor point was somewhat unique up to this point in time at least, as our stern..or the back end of the boat, was about 150 feet from shore….not comfy for me at all. And sure enough..we started to drag in the high winds. Dragging an anchor is when the anchor is set..but does not hold. So, Beth and I pulled the anchor up, and re-set again a little deeper/further out. I donned my snorkeling gear and dove on the anchor, a great set, all I could see was the hoop. We somewhat nervously settled in, keepin an eye on our I-pad which was tracking the movement of the boat, and listening for the anchor alarm on our AIS unit in case our set changed. And it did…we did a couple of circles around the anchor thanks to the changing winds…and next thing you know, we are way, way too close to the boat behind us. As in 4 feet away..and closing. Beth and I once again jumped into action, and were fortunate enough in the high winds and increasing waves to get Moorahme away from the other boat before we collided. Whew!
I said to heck with this..and we headed off to get a mooring ball. A mooring ball is a ball set up with a heavy duty rope to attach to your boat. The ball is connected to a heavy anchor, and you don’t have to use your anchor. We headed across the bay to the mooring field in front of the Bitter End, and through careful navigation and good communications, we hooked the mooring ball first attempt in winds gusting over 30 knots and waves that come with it. To hook the mooring ball, Beth uses a boat hook to grab the rope lead, pull it up onto the deck, and then attach the mooring hook which we purchased with our Mantus anchor bridle. Yahoo! Looking like old…scratch that part..looking like seasoned sailors here folks! The pouring rain driven by the winds had no effect on our concentration at all…..yes sir, looking good.
The dock boy came around a bit later, maybe 15 minutes or so, to collect what we thought was a $30 per night fee. No….not $30 he says…it’s $35….really? OK…here’s my credit card….oh…cash only he says. Cash only? Hmmm, we are really low on cash at this point….so I told him I would go and pay for 2 nights the next morning if that was ok. He agreed that would be fine, and said to me you look like old salts and wouldn’t go anywhere. Gee, thanks…I guess<grin> So, we see Vidora heading over to grab a mooring ball as well, and I called them on the VHF and said…hey, we’re moving again. It’s $35 a night here…right next door at Saba Rock it’s only $30, and you get a free bag of ice and 200 gallons of free water. Hey, I’m a sailor…we’re cheap..er…frugal..er…good with our money!
Soooo, we unhook from the mooring ball, and head across the bay to Saba Rock. We are in luck…the mooring ball closest to the resort is open…that means free wifi, and we like that! We once again hooked up first attempt on the mooring ball…no free show for the happy hour crowd….and settled in for the afternoon/evening. We ate dinner one night here, and the food was extraordinary! Not cheap…but very good!
We spent two windy days/nights on the ball.
We were joined by some friends of ours that we had met last November in Freeport, Bahamas. Alistair and Fiona own a nice Beneteau sailboat, and it was really very nice to catch up with them and tour each other’s boats and discuss future plans. We joined Vidora in Levericks Bay, just a mile or so away, and once again set the anchor out…and we again nervously watched our anchor, the AIS, the I-pad…but all was good. And lo and behold…right behind Vidora, is another Stevens 47! Wow! This is great, there are only 55 of these great boats in the whole wide world…and we are going to meet the owners as soon as we’re happy with the anchor set.
Once we were nervously sort of content with the anchor set, we dinghied over to the other Stevens 47, and knocked on the hull…..hi, what number hull are you, we’re hull #33 set off the conversation. Stuart quickly invited us onboard, and what was going to be a quick hello/visit turned into a collage of information exchanging, seeing another Stevens 47 and the differences between the two…we took a lot of pics and measurements for some really great improvements we just might make someday, and listened to the wonderful story telling of Stuart and Sheila and their 11 year circumnavigation in “Imagine”. Wow…the stories they told. We finally headed in to the little town, and Stuart and Sheila promised to come and visit Moorahme the next morning. They are on their way home to New Bern, NC and will soon depart the BVI’s with the Salty Dawg Rally, and sail directly home, an offshore passage of about nine days or so.
We ended up at Jumbie’s, a cute little outside bar, and the bartender is Canadian. And a guy two chairs over is also Canadian, and he did all of the wood trim on Stasia’s parent’s home out west…what a small world we live in. We had an awesome lunch…Beth had wings and I had what I have to report as the best roti that I have sampled, at least so far. Man, was that good! Believe it or not…and I know that many of you will think that I am misrepresenting the truth..but we spent the entire afternoon at this little bar, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We were joined by Alistair and Fiona as well, and we made reservations for the Michael Beane Pirate show….oh boy, did we have a blast. The crowd was fully into the show, which always makes it so much better. Bruce, Lauren and Luke joined us, and the good times just kept rolling on! We really are having a blast!
At the end of the show, we headed back out to Moorahme, and on our way we noticed a dinghy in amongst the rocks and shoreline, quite a ways from the dinghy dock. We investigated, and found that the painter was solidy hooked on the rocks, and we decided to leave it alone…a painter for you land lubbers is the line which you use, usually tied to the bow of a boat, to tie the boat to a dock or whatever…. We settled in for night on Moorahme..and were probably asleep for a half hour or so when we heard our name being called on the vhf radio. I answered the call, and it was Stuart from Imagine, telling us that they would not be able to come over in the morning as their dinghy was missing. I quickly related our story about finding a dinghy, and told Stuart that I would come right over and pick him up if he would like to check it out. Well, it was the dinghy from Imagine. Stuart was one happy man, and our good deed for the day was completed. High fives all round! We all slept soundly that night!
The next day, Stuart and Sheila did join us, and more great stories, more great information being passed over to us, and just great genuine friendship brewing in a very nice way. Stuart plans on writing a book, and I will be one of the first to purchase his works, he is a magnificent story teller. We had thought that we would be able to make the passage to St. Marten that night, but it did not come to be. I was not comfortable with the weather, and we postponed our departure.
More on that passage on our next update!
Keep your stick on the ice.