04 June 2014

Jost Van Dyke

April 16

Without time for breakfast or coffee, Fiona lifted anchor a bit after 7. There was no wind and the Captain decided we would motor all the way... for the next 5 hours.

Motoring is a bit tricky. With no wind to stabilize the boat, Fiona lolled from one side to another, making it difficult to read, walk or do anything, really. The smell of the diesel engine is a bit nauseating, too.

But it was worth the effort. By noon we arrived at a Sandy Cay Island.

Jost Van Dyke
Google Maps - click to enlarge

Sandy Cay was a small (about 300ft wide) island with beautiful clear waters. John and I swam ashore and walked around the island. Taking our time, it took approximately 5 minutes to circumnavigate. The supposedly belongs to a rich mogul, but a nice one, since he doesn’t mind people anchoring and walking all over his beach.

Sandy Cay
Afterwards, we headed for Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke island to clear customs.

We lowered the dingy, the Captain climbed onboard, and while fidgeting with the engine, the dingy just drifted away.  Ah, sailor’s language… John got blamed for letting go the dinghy's painter too soon, and when Eric turned the engine on, the line got tangled in the propeller… more sailor’s language. All ended well, though, and we finally headed for the beach.

The main attraction -- Foxy's
Great Harbor is a nice little one-street town, with a very famous bar (apparently “the” most famous watering hole in the BVI), Foxy's.

At Foxy's
After a couple of very strong drinks and a nap on a hammock hanging under umbrella trees (these trees do very well in sand -- in Brazil they can grow to be very wide and large), we headed back to Foxy’s for dinner. It was a very late dinner. Although the lobster was delicious, it was served an hour and 15 minutes after we ordered. Heads would have rolled in Gordon Ramsey’s kitchen.

Captain at the bar
Back on Fiona, the full moon that had been with us all week was up again. Romance was in the air and so the night ended.

Not so fast.

I am awakened by an expletive from the cockpit. It’s John. It’s 3 a.m., it’s raining, it’s very windy, and John is not happy. He is looking about with his head lamp set on “red” and I wonder if the wind has taken his shirt or his favorite hat overboard (we have a bad habit of leaving things hanging on deck).

"No," John says "We are dragging!"

My turn for the #@$%^@. Oh, that means lifting up the anchor, moving the boat, lowering the anchor, making sure it stays in place this time. I am always very nervous about the anchor chain. The equipment is not always reliable, so I cannot wait for the ordeal to be over, so I can count John's digits and make sure they add up to 10. This is a very dangerous maneuver.

After 3 attempts, we are finally anchored for the night, I hope. Again, I am going back to bed with damp pajamas.

Tomorrow we are leaving the BVI and and heading back to American.

Next Episode: Culebra

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