Overnight to the Fat Virgin

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sun 17 Apr 2011 06:30

Position           18:29.65N 64:21.60W

Date                0730 – 17 April 2011


For those of a delicate disposition and before reaching for the smelling salts, let me explain.  Christopher Columbus came across the Virgin Islands in 1493 and seeing the large number of islands it is thought that he named the islands after the 11,00 virgin followers of Saint Ursula who was martyred in the fourth century.  He named our destination island Virgin Gorda, literally “fat virgin” for its seawards resemblance to a fat woman lying on her back. Honest! – He had been at sea for a long time.


Back to the sailing.  In the company of “Let it Be”, “Rainmaker” and “Highland Fling” we slipped at 1810; Highland Fling was pressing on as they were happy to enter the sound in darkness if necessary and they quickly disappeared ahead.  The weather was perfect with 15-18 knots of wind from the ENE giving us a beam reach for most of the way.  In fact the weather was too good (sailing is very perverse) and we three boats in company had to reduce sail to keep the speed down so that we would arrive in daylight.  With three reefs in everything and at 5 knots we dropped back a little but winding everything back out produced 9 knots and we soon caught up so back in the reefs went.


Elizabeth produced an amazingly good off the shelf lasagne that went down very well and helped me gain a few hours rest before I took over at 0100 to enjoy a full moon and a brilliant night sail.  The moon set about 30 minutes before first light, dawn following very quickly as it does in this part of the world so it was hardly dark.



Everyone who writes about sailing says that dawn landfalls have a magic of their own and this morning proved that as Virgin Gorda and Neckar Island came up in the correct place.



We definitely crossed the “finishing line” with “Let it Be”, Rob and Sheila Avery



After a certain amount of looking for a good anchorage avoiding the mooring buoys ($25 - $40 per night) which crowd every good anchorage in the BVI’s we anchored off the prosaically named “Rat Point” at 0745.