Visiting Jane and Peter

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Mon 16 Mar 2015 00:26
18:21.3N 64:36.0W
One reason for visiting the BVIs was to spend some time with Jane and Peter Craggs, friends from the World Arc days.   They have sold their yacht, Trompeta, and are now living and working on a Moorings catamaran called Off Duty.
We scheduled our arrival to coincide with Off Duty actually being off duty for a week so we could visit without their having guests on board.  Peter suggested that we anchor at Little Harbour, so we headed over there to meet up with them.  I was not so sure about Little Harbour because you have to anchor with stern lines to the rocks.  We arrived about an hour after Off Duty, so Peter gave us a hand, swimming in with our shore lines, which was very helpful.  Even so, I managed to fill the port hull with smoke due to excessive use of the bow thruster.  We had to put the mattresses from the front bunk outside for a day to air.
It turns out the Little Harbour is about as perfect an anchorage as you can get.  For some reason, despite being a wide open bay, the swell just doesn’t get in.  The bay is surrounded by cliffs and so it can be blowing 30 knots down the Drake Channel outside and you are in a gentle breeze inside.  The water is as calm as in a marina, and yet, because the bay is so open, the water is a clear turquoise, so you can swim and make water without having to leave your mooring.  There is pretty good snorkelling here as well.
It is kind of surreal, to be sitting in the cockpit in a gentle breeze with ripples murmuring on the rocks and at the same time to be watching yachts bashing through white horses in the channel, just 100 metres away.       
We spent five happy days here, in the company of Jane and Peter and then headed back over to Road Town with them to do some shopping.  They were kind enough to arrange a berth on the Moorings dock for us, which was lucky because there was a 30 knot south easterly and the yachts anchored outside the breakwater were looking very bouncy.  That evening we went to the yacht club for dinner and a quiz night. (Which had many questions about the second world war, we were lucky to end up mid-table.)
Jane and Peter set off with another round of charter guests and we just headed back to Little Harbour for another week. 
It hasn’t all been basking in the sun, though, we have been taking advantage of the calm water to do a lot of chores.  Andrea got out her sewing machine, initially to make two new frocks and a pair of shorts from material she had been collecting, but I think she then felt guilty about not doing enough boat stuff and so volunteered to make some new panels for the sail cover.  Which was fine except that the panels had to be sewed in place by hand, which took me a couple of days.
Andrea was on a roll by now, so she re-attached the binding around all the window sunshades (the old sewing had been destroyed by UV).  The new sewing machine has already paid for itself.
Meanwhile I repaired the broken immersion thermostat (the old one burned up due to a corroded contact), repaired the red/green navigation lights and replaced the propeller anodes.  Then, feeling guilty myself after seeing everything so shiny on Off Duty (she is only two months old), I cleaned the rust off all the stainless steel on the boat (which took a few days).
Tomorrow we are heading back to St Thomas to see how Marty is getting on with repairing True Color’s bows, that were mysteriously damaged while we were all ashore at a pizza restaurant in French Town.
Looking out from Little Harbour at the Drake Channel
The conditions inside Little Harbour
Calm, turquoise water
Peter and Jane at the yacht club, poised to answer the next question
Decent snorkelling in clear water
Just a squirrelfish, but a nice photo
No need for a zoom with Barry, who was 4 ft long and really curious when I was replacing the prop anodes
Anastasia skulking behind Off Duty on the Moorings dock