Astra Log - Rudd week, 25th Feb - 2nd March..

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Mon 3 Mar 2008 17:04

Astra Log 25th Feb - 2nd March -BVI's -Rudd Week

Monday 25th Feb

Having dropped Astra’s Liz Hurley lookalike (Norah) at the Airport, we headed for Jost Van Dyke, and anchored beside a tiny island call Sandy Spit.  Snorkelled, watched the diving birds and pottered around the island as the sun went down. Then moved to a mooring beside Foxy’s Taboo for dinner but unfortunately it was closed so we had Fajitas on board, very good, and as there was no moon the stars were fantastic. John identified Mars; unfortunately it disappeared when we turned off the spreader lights!



Tuesday 26th Feb

Off to the Indians, (some rocks near Norman Island) Ash and John Rudd went for a dive, while all others snorkelled around the rocks. Then on to the Willi-T restaurant for lunch, most jumped off the top deck of the Willi T (about 25 feet into crystal water). Sally even dived in, to much adulation and photography from passing vessels. Unfortunately, she did this once too often resulting in a cricked neck. We then moved up to Great Harbour Peter Island, John and Ash dived on the wreck of the Fearless but didn’t see too much as the sun was on its way to bed. We dined ashore in Ocean 7 – fantastic food in a deserted restaurant  



Wed 27th Feb

Motored to Salt Island, John, Ash, Jeremy and Sally all dived on the wreck of the Rhone – an excellent dive in perfect visibility. It also proffered the opportunity to become acquainted with Fang and Fred, the wreck’s resident barracudas. The aft section lies in only 20 feet of water so the non-divers were able to snorkel around the enormous rudder and propeller.



Thurs 28th Feb

To Wreck Alley, where the stoic divers plunged into the breaking waves of a turbulent sea to explore 3 wrecks (Mary L, Pat & Beata). Beata was a fairly new Tug, good dive, Big Grouper living in the wheel house.

Then great 10 mile sail back to the west end of Tortolla, for dinner on the waterfront terrace of the Jolly Roger Inn. George demonstrated his growing prowess on the tender by executing a textbook parking manoeuvre in front of a very impressed collection of diners. A few drinks to the good, it was considered wise to allow Ash to steer the tender back to Astra. We cast off and then couldn’t get the engine started as Ash had neglected to insert the kill chord correctly resulting in a slightly embarrassing bit of drifting around in front of the restaurant.



Fri 29th Feb

Left at 7am and sailed to The Baths for more tomfoolery. We went into the boulders as one group and emerged as five separate groups. Most returned to the boat without significant incident but Nicky was left the task of getting George safely back aboard. She failed: firstly he kept on attempting to head-butt rocks, then he jumped straight legged from a rather large boulder into shallow water. Just as things were looking up, with the boulders behind and Astra insight he fell over and grasped a large handful of fire coral which is a rather nasty marine equivalent of a stinging nettle. Norah would have delighted in his staggering incompetence!    A fantastic salad for lunch with some ham that had John groaning with delight at about 95 decibels.


The FWS’s (Flipping Wally Society!? Or something like that.  A society set up to acknowledge acts of lamentable stupidity, inaugurated by Norah Hickman) membership burgeoned in the afternoon with the arrival of a particularly unable collection of seamen. After missing their mooring bouy three times this pathetic excuse for sailors turned through 1080 degrees before jettisoning their bent boat hook into the sea. Their embarrassment was accentuated by Sally’s courageous act of selflessly diving overboard to retrieve the boat hook for this bunch of cretins, risking being run down by this incredibly poorly helmed vessel.  


Nicky kite-surfed relentlessly while George and Ash got back to the serious business of playing boules (3-0). Nicky managed to escape without injury whilst some of her fellow “dudes” struggled with the “sketchy” conditions. One poor “dude” took a hit from a “big wave” in “gnarly” waters and ended up having a very close encounter with a large lump of rock: very messy.  



Sat 1st March


More Kite Surfing by Nicky in the morning as the conditions were less “sketchy” and the “surf” was really “going off”, then departed to head back to Trellis Bay. Stopped en-route for diving at the Coral Gardens. Got a mooring line caught round the prop so further heroics, this time from John and Ash, who in a courageous lung-bursting effort under Astra’s shapely bum managed to free it for us.


 An “awesome” (more kite-boarding speak) week was topped off with an excellent dinner in the restaurant at Trellis bay.  Nicky did an outstanding rendition of Walk the Line by Johnny Cash, wooing the punters with her athletic performance. Sally, Jeremy, John, Angie and Nicky all used the dance floor to do an excellent impression of a group of rhythm-devoid dyspraxics. Brilliant.


Sunday 2nd March


Sunday was a day of farewells; Nicky tendered to the Airport to return to Dominican Republic, and we later bid adieu to John and Angie in Road town, the Capital of the BVIs. In the interim we had to drop the dive tanks off in Marina Cay, a charming little island, complete with red phone box. We were kept waiting for a couple of hours but our patience was rewarded with an unparalleled example of FWS behaviour: on an empty dinghy dock some ignoramus decided that it would be a good idea to moor up on the same post as our (the only) tender. Revising his mooring options, he then managed to confuse our blue painter for his yellow one and cast our tender off into the Caribbean Sea. Panicking somewhat, he then flung his mal-coordinated body in after the tender, soaking himself from head to toe and giving his wallet a good wash into the bargain. The crowning jewel in this episode was watching this bedraggled man haul himself back onto the dock, leaving his shorts and smalls in the water behind him! How very embarrassing!



George B.