March 8 2015, Marina Cay, BVI. 18.27.60N 64.31.74W

David Batten
Sun 15 Mar 2015 01:02
Beginning to catch up with the blog and adding photographs in the hope of being connected to Wifi tomorrow.
visasmallView from our room at Cuffiedavid
View from of the grounds at the back of Cuffie, taken from our room
visasmallRuby-Topaz Humming Bird showing his lovely coloursdavid
Ruby-Topaz Humming Bird at Newton’s Gallery
visasmallThe Skipper on the Way to Nevisdavid
The Skipper at the helm on the way to Nevis
visasmallThe Mooring Buoys at Charlestown, Nevis, better shelter than it looksdavid
The Moorings at Charlestown,  Nevis with St Kitts in the background.  This was a much more sheltered bay than it would appear.
visasmallThe Beech off Nevis where all the yachts go, just beyond Charlestowndavid
Looking at the beach from our mooring off Nevis, Charlestown is off to the right.
March 5, We sailed briskly to St Maarten and had a noisy night anchored off Simpson Bay. Getting ashore by dinghy in the morning to visit Island World Chandlers to purchase charts and courtesy flags was a wetting experience.  We seemed to spend most of the day shopping for boat gear or stores, but St Marteen has everything (at a price) that a cruising yacht might need and we found a good watering hole for lunch and Wifi.  We also found an iPad air charger cable, hurrah, so at least the new iPad can be plugged into the old charger unit.  There was a time of course, when restaurants and bars were for eating and drinking and conversing.  Now we just log on to the Wifi and read and send emails!  We then checked out and prepared for a long day’s sail tomorrow to the BVIs.
visasmallThe Bridge into the Lagoon at Simpson Bay, St Marteendavid
The Bridge into the Lagoon at Simpson’s Bay opening to the yachts waiting to enter the lagoon.
visasmallSuper Yacht Heaven, St Marteen, Simpson Baydavid
Super yachts waiting to go into the Lagoon at Simpson’s Bay
March 6, up at dawn to sail the 85+ miles to Virgin Gorda, with the wind just aft of the starboard quarter.  The genoa was filling most of the time and it was fast sailing with up to 14 knots on the log when catching a wave and surfing in up to 28 knots of wind.  We picked up a mooring buoy off Spanish Town at about 16.30, just too late to check in to immigration and customs and, after paying 30 USD for the buoy, settled down to a quieter night in a much prettier place. 
visasmallThe Head of the Bay at Spanish Town, Virgin  Gordadavid
March 7, a day for clearing customs, exploring Spanish Town, coffee, juice and Wifi and further investigations of the port engine cooling system, as it clearly not working efficiently when we picked up the mooring and there was water, significant amounts, in the bilge underneath the muffler box.  This was found to be due to 2 mysteriously loose jubilee clips, which were fine all last year, the boat poltergeist obviously at work again. Even more mysteriously, the washing machine produced a strange problem that kept tripping the electrics and then started making ominous noises.  Another item to add to the jobs list when time permits.  We did find time to do some snorkelling in the lovely clear waters, finding a wreck and lots of good fish between the beach and the anchorage.
visasmallSuper Yacht off Virgin Gorda, Tortola in the backgrounddavid
Super yacht anchored off Spanish Town with Tortola in the background.
March 8, now settling down for some proper cruising with a 5 mile sail under genoa alone to Marina Cay and a really lovely anchorage between
the reef off Marina Cay and Great Camanoe, where we pick up a buoy.  The water is crystal clear with good protection from the prevailing winds and calmer waters.  Just so as to give us a bit of a reality check, it rains on arrival and for most of the afternoon.  However, we have a dry and pleasant explore of Marina Cay which, quite apart from being the idyllic island retreat, has a laundrette open to boats using their moorings, which could be really handy tomorrow!  Tonight it is dry, but the wind has got up again after a relatively peaceful day and there will be more wind tomorrow.  We can hopefully send this blog while waiting for the laundry tomorrow  and maybe it will be a good day for some snorkelling, as it is supposed to be excellent off the reef.
visasmallApproaching Marina Cay, Camanoe Island in the background, reef in the foregrounddavid
Approaching Marina Cay, with the reef in the foreground and Camanoe Island behind.
visasmallInside the reef at Marina Cay, looking at Scrub Island in the backgrounddavid
Inside the anchorage with the reef extending from Marina Cay to the right and Scrub Island behind it.