Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Full Moon in Trellis Bay

[Maryanne]I spent the first 40 minutes of today frantically searching for my purse to take with me on today’s planned exploration! No luck, even when I enlisted Kyle’s help (he normally manages to save me once I reach such a frantic state). I felt sicker and sicker and remembered more and more clearly the guy I’d seen at Spring Cove counting out money behind the rocks. Eventually we left the boat without my purse, trying desperately to remain positive that we’d find it when we returned.

After a pleasant stroll around the bay we settled for lunch at a café with free wifi. There was the email from kind holiday makers on Virgin Gorda – they had found my purse in Spring Cove (without the $ but at least I’d have my cards, drivers license etc). They found me easily enough since I had my boat card with my email address in my purse (accidental luck there on my part). So – I lost $200, but I have my purse, the world is full of kind people (among the others) and I’ve proven yet again that I'm still an idiot. I shall not let that ruin my life in paradise here! Kyle and I retraced our mental steps and we know exactly where we lost the purse - it was while setting up for a photo of the two of us.... That makes for an expensive (but memorable) photo now.

Spring Cove - where I set my purse down and then forgot to pick it up - Doh! One very expensive picture

Oh well, enough of that! We are now in Trellis Bay, which is on Beef Island, linked by bridge to Tortola, in the BVI.

Trellis Bay Scenes - note the mini-fireball under construction in this bottom picture (center)

[Kyle]When we finally did get ashore, we had a walk around to orient ourselves and find out what’s what. We walked to the airport to check on the flights/loads/requirements to jumpseat etc. The beach is literally as close to the airport as the parking lot. Once back to the beach we explored fully; Trellis Bay is less of a town than an artist community, it is mostly populated by craft shops, cafes, and a small campground of visiting artists in the mangroves. There was one grocery store where every item was $1000, some artsy-socialism experiment to prevent some items from being more favored by society than others.

We walked along the beach to the north of the village, and despite the anchorage being full, nobody else was bothering with the long sandy beach, so again we had it to ourselves. The water is shallow and warm and we had fun wading in and looking at the various sea creatures while just enjoying our time together and having a long meander of a conversation – it was great to have that kind of time together (again!).

The Last Resort Restaurant/Bar, on tiny Bellamy Cay in the middle of Trellis Bay - we spent an hour fussing over the cat and enjoying doing nothing much

After lunch, we returned to the boat to catch up with our blog posts and then headed for happy hour at “The Last Resort”, a bar/restaurant set on its own island in the middle of the bay. Despite it being happy hour, and the place being huge (and fully booked for later in the restaurant), there was only us (and the employees of course). We had a couple of $2 beers each (BVI is already proving to be more expensive than St Maarten) and enjoyed the company of the many pets on the island, especially Honky, the friendly fat white cat who was happy to hang out at our table and receive a bundle of fuss.
Once happy hour was over, we took our cheap asses back to the boat and had dinner (A huge veggie chili).

Even though I had to get up early for my commute to work, we went out one more time for Aragorn’s Full Moon Party on the beach. Again, the artists were out in their stalls selling a bunch of really cool jewelry and other art. There was a band playing reggae/calypso covers as well. The main attraction was the fire balls – large iron balls/cubes cut with images out like a Halloween pumpkin by Aragorn (a local artist) and set ablaze every full moon. Because the fireballs are so well ventilated, it took a while to get them started, judicious use of lighter fluid and blow torches! Once it got going, it really was a sight to see, with the flames leaping and the carving silhouetted, the party goers illuminated by the flames.

Fireballs are the key attraction at the Full Moon party in Trellis Bay, Beef Island/Tortola.

Since the fireballs were on stands, set in about 3’ of water and 50’ from the beach, I spent much of my time wading around taking pictures from various angles getting close enough to feel the enormous heat and concerned about losing my eyebrows, or my camera melting. [Maryanne]Yeah, Kyle was a kid at a fireworks show with nobody telling him to be careful – he got so close, and with a manic smile on his face, he was loving it – I didn’t have the heart to show any worry for him and ruin his fun.

[Kyle]One the fireballs started to die down, out came the mocko jumbie stilt walkers/dancers - Originating in Africa, now traditional Caribbean carnival entertainment. We first noticed them getting ready sat atop a mini-van strapping on their stilts. Once they got up and started walking around, the dexterity was impressive; they had no problem walking over the uneven beach surfaces, nor ducking under banners and trees.

Satisfied with our evening, we started the row back for a few hours sleep before I started the commute to work. We were offered a tow by Caroline in a huge, powerful charter dinghy which turned the 15 minute row into a 30 second sprint. She was really nice and offered her phone number, and her help with anything else we might need to know about the area.

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