BVIs 18th March - 31st March, 2017
Around the world with the Aqualunies
Jonathan & Gabrielle Lyne
Fri 14 Apr 2017 14:57
We had a wonderful time with Julien and Catey Bass staying on board Aqualuna for ten days from the 18th March until the 31st March. We picked them up in Antigua and sailed via St. Martin where Jonathan had to pick up some coper coat for the yacht. We met Fiona and Steve from ‘Super Tramp’ whilst shopping so they joined us for a drink on the quay side. The following day we left St. Martin at 6 am and sailed up to the BVIs, goose winging most of the way. It was a very good sail averaging 7 - 8 knots with a following sea on our quarter stern.
When we arrived we anchored off Spanish Town so that we could go in early the next morning to check in and buy food and catch up on emails etc.
We were awoken by very hard hammering on the hull at 7 am by a very officious little man saying we had anchored too close to his mooring field and we should move immediately. We didn’t as we were not that close to it and all yachts swung well overnight. We told him we were just there for a few hours to check in and leaving. ‘I want you to move now!! as I want to make sure you have not disturbed any of the mooring blocks’ We asked him to give us his phone number and we would call him when we were ready to move, he then backed down, wouldn’t give us his number and left us alone. We took the dingy into the dingy dock so that Jonathan could check us all in through immigration and customs whilst Catey, Julien and I tried to find a decent cafe to have coffee, internet and to do some food shopping. At the dingy dock was a large lady in security uniform who asked us for $2US dollars per person for docking, we said ‘No’ as all dingy docks are free and we have to come in to check in and shop for food, bringing money to their economy. She was very, very rude and said how she hated ‘White rich men’ etc. We then met a very nice west indian chap who showed us where to go, he gave us the traditionally west indian greeting of hand clench and hug (the ‘security officer’ saw this which was great) We had our coffee and then waited for Jonathan who took longer than normal, he got stuck in a queue behind a fellow yachtie, who was checking in, who was being given a long lecture about smoking. He was not smoking as it is not allowed inside but he smelt of cigarette smoke, the officer behind the counter just laid into him about not smoking on the premises despite the people piling up behind him to check in. Consequently we have decided not to use Spanish Town in future to check in it is officious mayhem.
We left Spanish town and sailed to Bitter End Yacht club to anchor off. Loads of yachts, we have found that the BVIs are over popular now and over run by charter yachts and American yachts who come over for the day from the US Virgin Islands. We went for a good walk to stretch our legs as it was not really swimming weather. The following day we sailed to ‘The Baths’ which we have visited in the past but this was Catey and Julien’s first time in the BVIs. We had a lot of fun exploring them, see photos below.
From there we went to the ‘Indians’ and snorkelled from the yacht it was amazing with alsorts of interesting fish. After an afternoon there we went into the bay and anchored in the middle away from ‘Willy T’s’ which can prove quite noisy, but huge fun. We all went aboard WT’s for pre dinner drinks and met an old acquaintance of Malcolm’s and Antonia’s, Will Carver. He had met Antonia and her friends on ‘Yacht Week’ a few years ago and was at Sandhurst at the same time as Malcolm, small world. On to ‘Pirates Bight’ for dinner in the evening which was fun.
The following day we sailed to Josh Van Dyke and anchored off Foxy’s where we paddle boarded and went for dinner, on around to White Beach where the ‘Soggy Dollar’ is and managed to anchor inside the reef, had we left it another half hour there would have been no room for us. We had a good time although the whole beach was overcrowded and becoming built up with restaurants very different from eight years ago when the S D was the only real place on the beach. The BVIS appear to have many more visiting American yachts who’s crew tend to be a bit loud and in your face for want of a better description. I’m not sure that they check in and out of immigration when they come over for the day which is a little unfair as I am sure if we popped over to the USI’s for the day without checking in we would be in deep trouble with them.
We sailed around to Little Josh van Dyke in East end Harbour and did a walk to the ‘Bubbling Pool’ where the waves push their way through the rocks and up into a pool causing many bubbles, fun to sit in. Back to the yacht and dinner on board. The following morning we headed for an anchorage off the airport at Beef Island. Catey and Julien left us there to fly to Antiqua. It was sad to see them go, we had so many giggles and fun, just a great couple who are so pro-active to have on board and mess in with us with all the yacht jobs.
We set sail for an overnighter to Antiqua. Jonathan did the 10 pm - 2 am watch and I did the 2 am - 6 am watch. I took over just as we were coming up to sail past the west side of St. Kitts. Halve way through the watch the wind (who wind there was) suddenly turned SWest but it is so easy to manage the yacht on your own I didn’t have to wake Jonathan up at all. We arrived in Antiqua Jolly Harbour in the afternoon.