Back in the West End, Tortola

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Tue 24 Mar 2009 13:45
Tues 24th Mar 09 to Thurs 2nd Apr 09

We waved good-bye to Blue Sky this morning : (  and then set off ourselves for Road Harbour on Tortola. Jon hauled up the anchor and we tacked across the channel.  This isn't our first choice of anchorage as it's right next to the Cruise ship dock but we are are hoping that because we are close to the main town we should find someone to fix the anchor windlass.  There were a fair few boats here so we needed to make sure we didn't get too close to anyone as re-anchoring would be such a pain.  Damn!  My turn to pull it up this time.  We're going to have muscles like Popeye if we don't get this windlass sorted soon!  Dropped again but still a little close but luckily a few of the boats left which then gave us loads of space.  Jon nipped ashore and it wasn't long before he was back with a guy to to do the fix.  What a relief.  We've decided to stay here for a couple of days as it's a really easy dinghy ride into town and means we can get some provisions from the big Supermarket Right Way that we know is nearby.  The base for the sailing charter companies Sunsail, Moorings and Footloose is here and it was it was very telling to see that hardly any of the boats were out and this is high season!

We spent a few nights here but it just got too rolly.  We were hoping to use this as our base for getting to Hotel California Too when the regatta started as the boat would have been within walking distance but it was just too uncomfortable, so we decided to go to Sopers Hole in the West End, our old haunt from last year, and work out transport later.  Robin is no longer on the island so we won't have use of his mooring ball this time. 
One of the private mooring balls there was free and we took that. We'd seen the owner and boat in St Martin so took a chance that they wouldn't be back yet and 'borrowed' it for a couple of days.  Apart from a couple of private moorings, the rest have to be paid for and at $25 a night we needed an alternative!

On arriving in Sopers I called some friends of ours, Jim and Diane (they joined us on Imagine when we sailed from here to St Martin last year)  and they arranged to pick us up on Friday for drinks at Mulligans, in Nanny Cay.  What a great night.  I think just about everyone who we'd met last year was there, including Paul & Deborah, just as we'd expected really.  Friday night is Mulligans night after all!  It really didn't feel like we'd been away at all.  It was very strange that Robin wasn't among us though.  He is sorely missed by the West End crowd. 

Diane later put us in touch with a couple running the boat yard in Sopers and they very kindly gave us the use of their mooring for as long as we wanted, as their boat was on the dock having work done.  Now we have a base all we need is transport as the regatta is coming up very soon.  That was later arranged during a Sunday lunch trip out to The Bight, an anchorage on Norman Island, where the infamous Willy T's is based.  Sally had a 'guest' visiting next weekend and she wanted to hire a decent car so she gave us the use of the one she was borrowing.    Now we're sorted.  We met Jim, Diane & Sally on the dock that morning, stocked up on food and wine and set sail for the short trip up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to our destination.  A romping good sail in 20-25 knots of wind, tacking all the way, arriving just under 2 hours later.  We took a mooring ball for the afternoon as you only have to pay if you stay overnight.  It was a fabulous day.  Good food, good wine and superb company! 

                                                                                       The Sunday Club - Sally, Jon, Sam, Jim & Diane

                                                                                        Phil is back and flirting with the ladies!

The sail back was just as much fun.  Downwind with only the headsail out, great music playing and Jim on the helm.  We arrived on our mooring just before sundown and finished off the day nicely with rum punches all round.  A perfect day!

                                                                             Homeward bound and we're still in seventh heaven!