BVI: Virgin Gorda
6th to 16th Jan 17
Virgin Gorda South
3rd to 6th Jan 17
Life on Virgin Gorda is just a little bit slower. The shape of the Island resembles something of a large reclining woman.
"Virgin Gorda is the third-largest (after Tortola and Anegada) and second most populous of the British Virgin Islands (BVI). It covers an area of about 8 square miles (21 km2). The main commercial and residential area is Spanish Town on the southwestern part of the island."
The southern part of the island has huge granite boulder formations. Some of these boulders lie in piles on the beach called The Baths. Vagabund tied to a mooring close to the beach.
“Granite is an intrusive igneous rock, thus not volcanic. It did form from magma, however, at great depth. Granite becomes exposed at surface only after a geologic age of erosion removes the overburden. Further erosion broke the granite into large boulders and rounded their surfaces.”
We walked a limbo-stretching trail through the boulders from Spring Bay to Devil’s Bay. We climbed over boulders and with the help of a rope against slippery sidewalls and some places in the water. It was great fun.”
5th Jan 2017: Zack's Birthday
"My soul mate! You treat me as your queen and I know that you consider me as your greatest treasure. I see in your eyes a love that chooses no matters what. Love between two imperfect people who chooses to love each other regardless. Thank you for being part of my life and that we can pursue our dreams together!
Happy birthday Zack!"
The morning of Zack’s birthday we were in Pond’s Bay. A long white beach with only a few boats. After snorkeling we spend the rest of the morning on the beach.
A Beach for ourselves…..
Snorkeling the reef was part of the time we spend the morning. We spotted this box fish hiding under a rock.
We rounded off Zack’s birthday by dining out in the Tree House Restaurant in the midst of huge rocks and tall trees overlooking Spanish Town and Thomas Bay.
A winding staircase bring us to the top with a view over the bay.
The seafood platter was a gourmet experience in this small romantic treehouse restaurant. We enjoyed each other's company with a good view, nice wine and excellent food.❤❤
Exploring Spanish Town we ended up eating lunch at Coco Maya with this special swinging bench at the bar counter.
With the calm weather before the cold front we moored at George Dog Island and kayaked around the Island.
6th Jan to 16th Jan 17
1 Leverick Bay
9th Jan 17
AAAARRRrrrr!!!According to fellow sailor and entertainer Michael Beans the first letter of the pirate alphabet!!!
He plays a guitar along with a harmonica on a rack; all while singing and adding vocal sounds to the beat of a stomp box that he plays with his feet.
We have enjoyed a 2-hour performance of “Happy ARRRR” with stories, jokes and sing-alongs.
It did not take him long to get the audience to interact and participate with music. I managed to take a photo from the stage after I had to join him on stage.
Zack making way to the flats of Mosquito Island’s to fish for bone fish.
Our friends from Sailing Vessel Leela on their way south (Graham and Jannaki)
2 Saba Rock
12th Jan 16
Showing Saba Rock as a tiny island in the channel to Eustatia Sound between Prickly Pear Island and Bitter End. Photo taken from the Guy trail on the hills of the back of Bitter End.
A school of tarpon swim back and forth in the shallow water waiting impatiently for feeding time.
Every day at 5pm there is Tarpon feeding at Saba Rock. They leap out of the water to get a piece.
3 Bitter End
Bitter End is a unique village with beautiful gardens
The Guys trial at the back of Bitter End on the hill. The forest is generally dry with majestic panoramic views.
4 Eustatia Snorkeling
7th Jan 16
On the outer reef on the eastern side of Eustatia Island we managed to fastened our dingy to a dive buoy. See position of reef in the photo taken from the hill at Bitter End.
We were exited when we discovered a cannon (only to be informed later that it was placed by local dive charters).
Zack checking out if it is an original.
Later on the snorkel we spotted a nurse shark under an overhang
5 Prickly Pear Island
10th Jan to 16th Jan 16
Vagabund was tucked in close to the lee side of Prickly Pear Island awaiting the cold front to pass over.
The windward side of Prickly Pear with the cold front
The walk up the hill of Prickly Pear Island
We were privileged to have a Pink Flamingo visiting the beach close to Vagabund’s anchorage.
The Brown Pelican feed by plunge diving from high up
They use the force of impact to stun small fish before scooping them up in their expandable throat pouches.
The Pelican exit the water. They catch every day half their weight in fish.
Zack catching one a Remora (a fish that attached to a bigger fish)
A seaplane landing close to Vagabund
6 Sunday: “Going to church through my eyes as a sailor”
15th Jan 17
The activities around this particular Sunday excursion to church swept me back to the stories told by our grandfather when we were still children. (Sleeping late on a Sunday morning, jump into the shower and drive the short distance to church just in time was not an option.) Observing the preparation effort required to go to church carried me back down memory lane to the stories my grandfather used to tell us on the preparations they had to go through to get to church:
Reaching the church building we were an hour and half early for service. The extra time was used to explore the town further. At the highest point in the town we met up with a few locals that were starting to get together for there Sunday “sit together, watch every one that drive by and solve all the political issues locally as well as internationally”. Our red faces from walking up the steep hill must have given us away because the first question was spot on “would you like to drink something cold?” With a nod of the head the wife made a swift turn to pick up the key as she was already opening the lower door of her kitchen with a big smile on her face.
An interesting next hour followed with us not needing to say much as we been given a combined historical, cultural and topographical verbal overview of the BVI’s. As it turned out Leon is a musician and his band is called “Leon and the Hot Shots.” He is retired and only played in local bars.
From 11h00 till 13h00 we attend the church service at the Methodist church. After the service we were transported with the church bus to Hog Heaven: a restaurant on the hill overlooking the bay and nearby islands.
The view was magnificent and the barbecue and service was good.
That was a day through the my eyes as a sailor!
Fallen Jerusalem: One of the islands south of Virgin Gorda
20th Jan 17
As we rounded the SE tip of Beef Island the sun greeted us with a new day over Broken Jerusalem and Fallen Jerusalem. Prophetic?
We picked up one of the National Park day moorings. The bolder formations are similar to those of the adjacent “Baths” on the Southern tip of Virgin Gorda.
Kayaking around the island we managed to explore it from all sides.
Access to the small beach is difficult because of big swells and submerged rocks close to the beach. We swam ashore to enjoy the sand and big boulders.
This bolder is on its side and I am making sure the wave is not going to nock it over!
Like a “Dassie” I am enjoying the heat of the rock.
Broken Jerusalem with one of a skeleton of the sea. Only the top part of the mast is visible of this wreck.
The light breeze and calm sea gave us the opportunity to motor around the windward side of Virgin Gorda to the Northerly shoreline at Eustatia Sound. This also gave us the opportunity to fish the drop off for some edible fish.
A new fish attracter was tried out.
A spread of lures from five different rods varying from artificial to various presentations of ballyhoo could not entice the odd winter Wahoo or Dorado to pay us a visit.
Later the afternoon we rounded Necker Island on the southern side on our way to Eustatia Sound to anchor for a few days.
21 to 23rd Jan 17
After clearing the reef Vagabund’s hook was dropped on the South Western side of Eustatia Island in Eustatia Sound.
As you learn to sail the shallows you gain some confidence in the saying:
“Water that's blue is deep and true;
As it shades to green, the water gets lean'
White or yellow will ground a fellow'
If the water is brown, you’ll run hard aground;
If the water is black, you’d better tack”.
Then you get the colour blind novices and on top of that the odd totally blind credit card qualified bare boat captain.
Late one afternoon we could not belief our eyes when a passing by catamaran saw us on anchor, made a ninety degree turn, run over the reef with the rented million dollar machine and waved friendly at the two dumbstruck static figures on Vagabund as they dropped their anchor next to us.
The kayak was secured to a diving buoy when we snorkeled the reef on the North Eastern side of Eustatia Island. As our heads submerged into the water we were greeted to another world of natural beauty.
Appreciating the vast variety of corals formations.
School of Doctor fish accompanying us as we snorkeled the reef.
The second cannon was found.