With the leadership of the United States continuing to not take the Covid 19 seriously, the BVI along with many other countries have set in place many strong rules and restrictions regarding US Citizens and others entering their countries. At this point we have had to once again postpone our next planned charter. After the first of the year, we will look over our options and hopefully make it down to the BVI sometime in 2021.
Well… with the Covid-19 explosion here in the United States, it looks like most of the world will not be allowing United States tourists to enter their countries. So… we are postponing the 2020 trip once again. We are now hoping to board a 47′ sailboat on December 4th to enjoy the warm island water and wonder hospitality of the British Virgin Islands once again.
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.
So….. 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!
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.
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.