With the current situation with the Covid-19 virus, the BVI has CLOSED their borders for the month. As I currently understand the situation, travel into the BVI is scheduled to open up for belongers on June 1. After the borders are opened to belongers, there will be a 30 day moratorium on vessel travel between the islands, and a 90 day block on tourists being allowed into the country.
That pretty much cancels our plans to blissfully sail around the BVI on June 18 . We have rescheduled our charter to September 29, and extended it for another day, making this trip an 11 day sail!
Our next BVI adventure was scheduled to begin in:
Regrettably, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travel to the BVI is not possible. As a result we are rescheduling our travels to a later date.
I’ve gone through my photos and picked the best ~130 out of the 1600 photos that I took on the trip.
You can check them out here
On the way to the airport, we stopped at Tucks for some sandwiches, and made it to the STT airport with plenty of time to spare. They are still rebuilding from Irma/Maria so the waiting area gets pretty crowded. While waiting there was a pretty heavy afternoon shower that cleared up just before we walked out on the tarmac to board our planes.
Eric flew into Charlotte, while Lori and I went through Miami. Many hours later we were all back home.
Having spent our last night near the previous location of the Wily T, we spent the evening watching the tarpon and barracuda circling in the light we hung off of the stern.
Departing the Great Harbor on Peter Island for a short sail across the Sir Francis Drake Channel and over the Denmark Banks brought us back to the SunSail base and back to terra firma in Wickams Cay in Road Town.
Captain Morgan and the SunSail crew checked us back in quickly and after showering, we were packed and ready for travel. We had intended to spend a leisurely afternoon wandering Road Town when we realized that we could make the early ferry back to St. Thomas. The next thing we knew, we were on another boat and on our way back to the United States!
Clearing customs in Charlotte Amalie was painless. By this time, we were in dire need of sustenance so we wandered to the Pie Hole for some wonderful fettucine alfredo with shrimp to top off our week.
After a wonderful nights sleep with the a/c running, we fueled up and headed east for a wonderful dive/snorkel at the wreck of the Rhone.
The RMS Rhone was a UK Royal Mail Ship wrecked off the southwestern shore of Salt Island in a hurricane on October 29, 1867. She was an iron hulled sail-steamer launched in 1865, 310′ long with a 40′ beam, and a top speed of around 14kts (~16mph.)
The Baths were surprisingly empty on a Saturday, I guess that is to be expected as most of the tourist spots were closed with the month of September being the height of hurricane season.
We made our way to Peter Island and picked up a mooring ball for our last night at sea.
After a short bus ride around Just Van Dyke, we sailed over to the Soggy Dollar for lunch and some painkillers.
The wind finally picked up so we spent the day sailing between Great Thatch and Jost Van Dyke before settling in at the Nanny Cay marina for some overnight air conditioning
Winds were light for the long sail from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke today, so we fired up the motor to assist the sails in order to give us time to play at the Playground and Sandy Spit before settling in at the Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke for the evening.
Shortly after we had dropped the sails and were approaching mooring ball at the Playground, Eric and Lori spotted dolphins. Since we had already prepped for the upcoming SCUBA dive, all of our gear was already laid out. Eric and Lori quickly grabbed their snorkeling gear and hopped in the water to swim with wild dolphins in the open water while I circled the boat around them!
The Playground off of Green Cay was wonderful as always. Lots of schooling fish and even a black tip shark! We saw the only lionfish of the trip on this dive in the same location that I had seen several the previous year.
After the dive, we circled around Green Cay to drop anchor at Sandy Spit, a tiny island that is still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The swim to shore was pleasant and we wandered around the island for an hour or so.
Wonderful sleep with air conditioning at Leverick Bay, then an early start to head over to Sir Richard Bransons Necker Island for Gumptions Nature Tour.
We played with Lemurs, they are so soft and cuddly, and they crawled all over us! Could it get any better?
Well the answer to that is YES. On top of providing us with a memorable experience, Gumption is making a difference providing guidance and support for young British Virgin Islanders. Several years ago Branson started a fund to provide seed money and assistance to help people build a better life for themselves in the BVI’s. Gumption was one of the first recipients of the Branson fund with his plan to provide glass bottom boat tours in the islands. These people are making positive difference in the lives of others.
The 12 mile sail to Anegada was fantastic, I was able to take a nap on the deck while Lori and Eric sailed the boat. We are the ONLY boat in the mooring field out here, a couple of light showers has cooled the temps down for what I expect will be another peaceful night on the mooring ball.