Update from the BVI

Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Fri 24 Apr 2015 15:20
Now into our fourth day here and time moving on rapidly. We arrive at our final destination Tuesday evening 28th April when the boat is booked into Nanny Key Marina. Not sure whether we all leave the boat that night or have a final night on board.

Last Tuesday 21st after we had checked in Oliver arrived pretty smartly having caught the ferry over from Tortola where he had been staying with his cousin and then a taxi to Gun Creek. Good to see him after 5 months and catch up. Children delighted to have another different person on board though we are at capacity as far as space is concerned and Ol is sleeping outside at the back of the boat under the bimonee. There have been a few light rain showers but I don't think he's got too wet.

We left Gun Creek and went across Gorda Sound to a beach on Prickly Island initially picking up a mooring but moved the boat later to an anchorage close by as the morning would have cost $30USand as there was an alternative and there will be places where not we opted for a free night. Several good swims, run arounds on the beach, snorkelling when both a sting ray, reef shark and the usual fish were spotted along with the statutory turtle and sundowners a good day was had by all.

The next day after victualling again ( much needed with another adult on board ) and buying petrol for the dinghy in a small Marina in Gorda Sound we set off out for Annagada a coral island ? Miles to the north. Good sail over there arriving around lunchtime and the bay where the yachts anchor was chock a block especially with large Catamarans. As very little depth of water and so full it was quite difficult to find somewhere to drop the anchor. However finally achieved and after much needed lunch and then off to explore. The island is renowned for its Lobster dinners and people were radioing in to make their bookings and once ashore it was amazing to see so many lobsters in holding tanks waiting for the various beach retaurants to make their claims. We had been recommended a couple of places but neither started serving until 7.30. In the end we found a very nice place further along the beach and they would serve us at 6.30 so ideal and a table was booked. We then had a very hot walk along a white sandy beach until we found somewhere to swim. It was most probably the hottest we've been on the whole trip. The anchorage was quite rolly again though the wind did die down eventually as the forecast had said it would so it wasn't too bad overnight but getting to and from the boat plus getting onto the boat was a challenge. We also had to get a tow as we had problems with getting the engine started as where the kill cord goes had got damaged so in the end we thankfully got a tow back to the boat by another dinghy. The men then had to work on the problem otherwise we weren't going to get our lobster supper.

Anyway alls well that ends well the problem got fixed, the children fed ( if we feed the children a main course before going ashore life is better for everyone and then they have pudding whilst we have our main courses) so we were able to return to the Lobster Catch Restaurant where they looked after us very well. We were were the only customers to start off with and the children were fascinated by the lobsters in the holding tanks and they got one out for them to see and the owner paid them a lot of attention. The lobsters were great ( though we still maintain that Mr Sweet Deals lobsters in Tobago Cays were the best and cheap though we didn't know that at the time) and the chocolate cake pretty good to. All In all a good evening and further celebration of Alex's birthday.

Yesterday Alex and family got a taxi to and from Cow Wreck Bay on the north coast where they could snorkel. Oliver stayed on the boat and had some space he was also finding the heat with no shade quite difficult to cope with and we hired a scooter and whizzed round the island hoping to see The Flamingoes which apparently the island is famous for too as well as the lobsters. These we didn't see and it turned out there was a lot of dirt or rather sandy rutted road to negotiate but Mr F's motor bike skills did very well and we had a good look round though not that much to see as pretty scrubby island inland with salt lakes where the flamingoes should have been and then roads down to various beaches and cafes. We visited the Annegada Beach Club where we had an excellent Mangoe Smoothie and had a quick look at the beach there and you could obviously stay in some very upmarket Safari Tents overlooking the reef and Ocean. By this time we were 3/4 way round the island and went to find Alex and co. who were having great fun at Cow Wreck beach and Dan had hired a paddle board and they were all having fun with that. We returned the scooter back to the shop having had a fun morning and something different though did feel quite shaken about because of the sandy roads but thankfully intact. We all met at the dinghy dock to return to the boat and head back to Virgin Gorda.

Yesterday afternoons sail was better than expected as the wind had died right down but with the unreefed main (first time in 5 months) and foresail we made 4 knots, sea flat calm, children fast asleep exhausted by their two and half hours play in the water in the morning and it was just beautiful. They had a long sleep and we were nearly back before we had to put the engine on take down the sails and wend our way in through a reef into Savannah Bay on the west side of Virgin Gorda so we can see Tortola in the distance.

Today after a good nights sleep for all on a calm anchorage ( children finally went to bed at 9) we made a plan to go into a bay just south of here to buy more food, go to the bank and buy yet more food and rum ( too many sundowners) and then go to The Boulders however we ended up with blocked rear heads. It has taken several hours to sort this out even having to dismantle the toilet and it turned out the pipe was totally blocked with 'Piss Crystals' (Oliver's name for them !) caused by urine reacting with sea water. We have had this before but too a far lesser extent. This was a major blockage and the pokey rods (drain rods) came in very useful ( several times since the start of the trip we have thought a wire coat hanger on board would be a useful tool) as did the little water pump ( a chance buy by David before we left which has also given the children hours of fun washing and scrubbing the decks using sea water) that works off the cigarette socket for flushing it through. Just as well it happened now and not in mid Atlantic on the return trip.

Whilst this was being sorted Alex and co went ashore to play on the beach and I took the opportunity to write this. Hopefully we can now carry on with the day.