Sunday, March 22, 2009

BVI Day 3

[Kyle]Day 3 we slept in a little before performing one of my favorite sailing maneuvers for the second day in a row: leaving under sail! This time was a little more challenging because the anchorage was really full and we were in the back and we would have to tack upwind out of the harbour. Maryanne gave me that "are you sure this is a good idea?" look at first. I reminded her that it was just these sorts of nail-biting exercises that make us good sailors. You've got to stay in practice doing the hard stuff. Anybody can sail in a straight line on an empty sea. Tacking out of a crowded harbour requires skill, coordination, teamwork. She didn't appear to be buying any of it, but went along anyway because she knows how I am.

We did a really nice job of it. We even did one particularly nice tack while simultaneously shaking out more sail to pick up speed. We were like a crew of five and I bet not one of those charterers even noticed. That's alright. Better that than have a thousand people paying attention as we plow into another boat.

From Great Harbour, we sailed the long way around Jost Van Dyke to the completely deserted north side, where we tacked back and forth before clearing the island and heading to Cane Garden Bay on Tortola. Through the binoculars, Cane Garden Bay was looking like another White Bay and I was getting worried about my choice. Once we got closer, we could see that the anchorage was much bigger and the party more subdued. We managed to find a nice spot in the quieter southern end of the bay. We had just enough time for a snorkel on the reef and a swim ashore for a walk before returning to Footprint to watch the sun set over St. Thomas and Jost Van Dyke.

Sunset From Cane Garden Bay, over Jost Van Dyke, BVI

[Maryanne]Anchoring is getting to be a real pain in the charted anchorages of the BVI - anywhere popular is filled with mooring balls, and although described as "inexpensive" in our cruising guide, they seem to range from $35 a night up to $65. That is the price of a cheap motel right? So far we have always found an area to anchor (we are grateful for our shallow draft), but "they" are not making it easy. I'm not sure what the legality is of installing mooring balls in anchorages that are clearly marked as "anchorages" on the charts, but it sure makes for good money for someone. As soon as we get off the beaten path, the mooring balls are absent and we can find a whole bay to ourselves. Now we don't anchor on a coral reef or anything silly like that, and I know using a mooring ball is way easier than hauling all that anchor chain in, or even trying to set an anchor. But really, what do you get for your money? No fresh linen, no air conditioning, no breakfast, you just save 10 minutes of effort - hardly worth the cost!! Grrr.. OK, end of rant for today.

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