We motored from Leverick Bay to The Bitter End to pick up our freshly filled SCUBA tanks, then hoisted the sails and set course across open water for Anegada. There’s something about aiming for the horizon with no land to guide you, a very zen moment for me.
As planned, ~3.5 hours later we were passing the channel at Anegada, this is where things turned. We wanted to get a dive in so we sailed past the channel to find a protrcyed spot on the NW side of the island. An hour later, we discovered that all of the balls in this area were for dingies and much smaller craft than our sailboat.
We woke up early and motored to port in Spanish Town to refill the SCUBA tanks and top off our boat tanks. They were disappointed when we only needed 5.5g of diesel. That and our 50g of water will probably be their smallest transaction of the month.
Headed north under sail to Long Bay in search of the Kodiak Queen. The Kodiak Queen was a US Navy fueling vessel that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor.
For our first dive, we dropped to the bottom @ 55′ and headed away from shore, did not find the wreck, but had a lot of fun swimming the reef.
We moved to another mooring ball, cooked up some breakfast and rested. After a nice surface interval, we dropped right onto the Kodiak Queen. Wonderful dive, the boat is in great shape, lots sof doors and hatches to poke our heads in and look around.
Weather was looking ugly so we headed into Leverick Bay for a mooring ball. Big storm hit just after we entered the lagoon, heavy rain, lightning and big winds. We motored through it and Shelby picked up the mooring ball with ease, all of the boats surrounding us were impressed! Restaurant at Leverick Bay served us the best meal we have had so far.
After cooking breakfast onboard and refilling our SCUBA tanks, we decided to try our luck at the wreck of the former US mail carrier the Rhone again. Much better this time, not only did we find some of the hull, we also found some Banded Coral Shrimp, a Spotted Eel, and convinced a squirrel fish to pose for the camera.
From there we set sail for Ginger Island and the Ginger Steps dive site. Alas the wind and waves were coming from the wrong direction and that made the anchorage extremely uncomfortable. The plan was to tie off to the mooring ball, then relax on the ball for a bit before diving. After only a few minutes the wave action took its toll on Shelby and we decided that scrapping the dive was the proper thing to do.
We cast off the ball and set sail for the Baths on Virgin Gorda arriving well past 17:00, we found had the area to ourselves. The setting sun made for some exceptional photos and it was nice to swim around and explore by ourselves.
A quick motor found us on a mooring ball outside Spanish Town shortly after sunset where there were several boats enjoying the view. With the gallery watching, Shelby hooked the ball and secured the line like an old salt. Dinner tonight consisted of pasta onboard while going through the photos.
Today was simply marvelous. Started off the day with some snorkeling at the Caves on Nor,an Island where we found some coral polyps out feeding in the dark of the caves, what an unexpected treat! After a quick motor over to Pelican Island we had a very successful first dive at Rainbow Canyons. Following the dive we quickly set sail for Salt Island and the wreck of the Rhone. The conditions weten’t as good and visibility was probably less then 50′. We saw a couple of scraps from the wreck, but never found the main portions of the Rhone. We followed that with a quick motor to Cooper Island where we filled our stomachs with a stunning selection of appetizers promptly hit the sack eattly to rest up for another day of adnenture.
For some unexplainable reason we are in good spirits and not hungover. We checked out of the Hummingbird House and went directly to Sunsail to make sure that everything was ready for our noon pick up. First we were informed that they couldn’t find our reservation, I reminded them that they were able to find the reservation yesterday and the day before when I checked in with them to make sure nothing went wrong today. Finally the employee behind the counter said yes here’s your reservation, come back at 6 we’ll have the boat for you then. I then had to inform Sunsail that we had paid extra to be able to board the boat at noon so we could start sailing today. After picking up a couple of cases of beer and lunch, Sunsail was ready for us to board and inspect the vessel – Lady Meta. There were problems.
1> The automatic bilge pump didn’t work, I was able to determine that the power wire had become disconnected and demanded that they get somebody to fix it before we left the dock, or hand me a crimper and a butt splice so that I could fix it myself.
2> There was no chart on the vessel
3> There was no emergency tiller
4> The fuel tank was not full.
After a run to the grocery store, Sunsail had resolved all but topping off the fuel tank. When the fuel tank was full we promptly left the harbor and set sail for Norman Island arriving just before sunset. We took the RIB to Pirates Bight for marvelous meal, returning to Lady Meta in pitch dark with a new waning crescent moon. I realized that this was the fourth day of my vacation and the first time I’ve set my foot in sand. Once back onboard we dropped a fishing light in the water and watch the tuna swim through and feed for a while. After killing the white light we were able to see the biolumenescent organisms in the water and played with them for a bit. Then I decided it’s time for me to update the website before I forget the details and now that I’ve done that I’m off for some badly-needed sleep. Lots of sailing and scuba diving planned for tomorrow.
We slept in and started the day off easily, checking in with both Sunsail and SC divers to make sure that everything was still in place. Once we were confident with that we took off to wander through town and made our obligatory stop at Pussers bar for a painkiller, a much better drink than I expected. We only have the two shot version because we had some adulting to do at 4pm with a sailboat briefing at Sunsail. After the briefing was finished, we decided we have had enough adulting and headed back to the Watering Hole, it was pizza night and we made many new friends. Once We were sufficiently liquored-up we decided it was time for us to head home. Somehow we found ourselves back at Pussers bar ordering the big painkiller, containing 8 shots of rum to finish off the night.
We grabbed a bite at the Bunker Hill Hotel before checking out and making our way to the ferry dock in Charlotte Amalie. After a 45 minute boat ride to Road Town, we hit the ground running, checking in to the Hummingbird House, Sunsail, and SC Divers. Everything seems to be in place. At the Moorings/Sunsail base, we met a local artist named Sis who did a fantastic job working on Shelbys dreadlocks. After pulling on a Shelbys hair, Sis drove us to Maria’s by the Sea for a great meal. We finished the night off with some drinks at the Watering Hole. This was definitely a locals place, it looked like we were the only tourists there.
Spent the day wandering around, apparently today was to cruise ship day. Very very busy in the morning with lots of tourists everywhere. After wandering down the main shopping street filled with Gold, Diamond, and Platinum outlets, I found myself in the local market filled with Street vendors and local goods made by people in the islands, much more my to my liking. I made my way down to the waterfront where I grabbed an exceptional meal at Hook Line & Sinker. Shelby flight made it in around 3pm, and a friend of a friend that she met through Chattanooga circles packed both of us in his Jeep and drove us around the island for some exceptional views. He then took us to French Town, where we visited a brewery and grabbed a bite and some great belgian ales at the Pie Hole.
Made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare for my 6am flight AA checked my carry on bag all the way for free. One stop in Miami, then I’ll be in the Virgins!
The flight crew on my American Airlines flight from Austin was great this morning, here’s three of the announcements they made:
”Welcome to Miami, we have delivered you 30 minutes early, please go home and tell your friends!”
”Anything left on board will be divided up between the flight crew, this does not include spouses or children.”
and “Last one off has to clean the plane!”
AA upgraded me from an Economy seat to Main Cabin Extra for the MIA>STT flight. Much more room and more comfortable seats!
Safe and sound in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI. Made it to the Bunker Hill Hotel and promptly caught a nap. Woke up around 5:45 and wandered around town for a bit. Dinner was at the Green House, apparently happy hour is 2 for 1 drinks, and Tuesdays are Lobster Mania! Wonderful meal then back to catch up on my beauty sleep.