Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Our trip from St. Martin to the British Virgin Islands was perfect!  The wind was low, the seas were practically non existent, it was just a perfect day to travel 12 hours across the ocean.  We arrived in Virgin Gorda's North sound to anchor and have dinner.  We really enjoyed our time in the Virgin Islands last year and the kids were looking forward to being here again.

We had a month left before we needed to head home to Idaho, so we planned to slow down here in the Virgins and just "hang out".  That meant time for tubing, and blowing up our water trampoline for playtime off the back of the boat while anchored.  That night David and I met up with some friends we met during our short stay in St. Barts.  They also have a motor vessel and similar outings.  We met up while heading to have dessert at a nearby restaurant.  It is always nice to make new friends along the way.

The next day the kids had their school work completely finished by 8am.  Melinda had a stack of work awaiting her when she got up for the day.  The kids were so proud they had gotten it all done early.  Chores were next and completed quickly.  By 9am the kids were in swim suits and headed to the beach less than 100 feet from where we were anchored.  They had a great morning exploring the shoreline.  After lunch Dad took them tubing as promised.  Our tube is a giant hot dog and they love riding it and falling off behind the tender.  That evening before dinner we headed to Saba Rock resort for their nightly fish feeding.  They have a few dozen tarpons that roam near their docks awaiting the nightly fish scraps.  The guy who runs the feeding shares interesting info about the fish and other sea life.  The kids always enjoy attending this and its a fun thing to do in this area.

In the morning we packed up and headed down the coast of Virgin Gorda to an anchorage I had wanted to try last year, but with such heavy winds from the north, it was just not a great place to anchor, so with light east winds, I was anxious to head there.  It was a beautiful spot called Savannah bay.  We had  a beautiful long beach to ourselves, gorgeous turquoise water, and coral all around.  We had to dodge a few coral heads on the way in to find a great anchoring spot.  I headed out to snorkel after lunch, and the kids, including Matthew talked Melinda in to towing them on the raft to the beach, not an easy swimming task, but they made it.  Snorkeling was great, and i could have spent days there seeing all the reef in the area.  But after an hour of exploring I swam over to the beach where Matthew and I went for a walk.  By the time we made it back to where the kids were digging away Matthew was ready to head back to the baot.  My little 4 year old only makes it about an hour at the beach.  He was ready to swim back to get there.  The funny boy.  I knew after about 5 mins of swimming he would be done with that attempt, so I resigned myself to a good workout in swimming back with him on my back.  Its a good thing he wears a life jacket as the extra flotation came in handy.

Around dinner time, and maybe it was the change of tide, but we started to roll a little at anchor, so that convinced me that in the morning we would be moving on to a new anchorage.  After checking the weather seeing rainstorms headed our way over the weekend, we knew it was a good day to head to The Baths for the day.  If you have just one day to spend in the BVI's--maybe a cruise ship stop, then definitely go to the Baths.  It is by far a gorgeous and cool place. The beaches there are amazing. The snorkeling, also amazing.  But the rock formations and the climbing path and tunnels thru them are truly a unique and cool experience.  We loved it last year, and we loved it this year.  The weather was hot and sunny and perfect.

Lunchtime approached and it was time to start heading back to the boat.  We needed to make our way to a protected anchorage for the night and weekend of rain that was coming.  We decided to head down to our favorite spot in the BVI's, Great Harbor of Peter Island.  It is a large bay, less on the charter boat path, more used by cruisers and live aboard boats.  It is deep and anchoring can be a challenge.  But if we could get our favorite spot in the south east corner of the bay, we'd get excellent internet from the only resort on the island. And as we headed in, arriving before the dash of boats coming in from the days activities, we were able to pick the exact spot we wanted.  There was a boat up near where we were wanting, but just enough room for us to squeeze in next to them.

We were gad we went when we did as we saw several boats come in after us looking for spots to anchor.  And the next day, the rain started and rained all day long.  It was a good wash down for the boat, and cooled the air off for us a bit.  We worried that it would still be raining come Sunday and we'd have to make a wet ride across the channel to church, but Sunday morning we woke up to clear skies.  The forecast was calling for rain later in the day so we took our raincoats with us as we loaded into the tender and had a pleasant ride across the 3 mile channel into Road Harbor of Tortola for Church.

It was Mothers Day, and the Tortola Branch had a sweet Mother's Day program prepared by the Primary. They even invited our kids to sit with the other kids and sing with them.  And after sacrament meeting they handed out sweet gifts to all the moms in the congregation.  We enjoyed visiting with the members we had met there the year before.

That afternoon I enjoyed a snorkel around the shoreline of the anchorage to discover that after diving and snorkeling all throughout the Caribbean isalnds, the BVI's truly has some of the best.  I love being able to just hop off the boat and swim to a nearby reef and enjoy for an hour, and this anchorage has days of exploring nearby rocks and coral.

Monday morning David and I once again headed back across the channel to restock on food.  We love shopping at the Rite Way store in town, as they have pretty good sales, it always helps if the sale items are things we need.  Doesn't always happen, but it helps, as food here is expensive.


Once we returned to the boat David started in on his list of calls and emails trying to make arrangements for leaving the boat this summer thru hurricane season.  And since we are having another baby this summer, we won't be returning to the boat until the winter, so where we leave the boat is rather important.  Well it didn't work out  as we had hoped.  After days of calling and emailing, the fact was, Puerto Rico did not have enough adequate boat storage for hurricane season.  We couldn't get the boat hauled at the preferred boat yard, in fact the only boat yard with propert hurricane storage.  So the decision had to be made with what to do for summer with the boat.  After going back and forth and making more calls, David had decided that we should move the boat to Florida for the summer.  That had been an option months before, and then we hoped for Puerto Rico, and we were all excited to spend a few winter months back in the Virgin isalnds before heading north to Bahams and then the East coast of the US.  But with not having a place to store, we were left with Florida.  The question was when and how would we get the boat there.  Lesson learned-- don't wait to plan for hurricane season.  We should have called the Puerto RIco yard in March when we returned to the boat and knew we wanted to stop in Puerto Rico.

Great Harbor, Peter Island, one of my favorite spots to watch the sunset.

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