18 26 400N 64 45 100W
Jos Van Dyke is a pretty cool island north of Tortola. We sailed around to Great Harbour on Saturday, this is a good size bay with a narrow beach lined with quirky bars and restaurants so it can get a bit lively with loud music in the evening. Again another bay with difficult holding on hard coral sand and it took a few attempts to get a bite on the anchor on the outskirts of the bay just outside the mooring field where we have room to swing. Amaris attached themselves to a buoy and Pannikin are tucked in on anchor close to the beach. We all chose this spot because they have a great dive shop here, Jez and Steven from Amaris both want to do their PADI dive certificate and this seemed like a cool place to do it. I will do mine later on in the year, maybe at Bonaire, when we have had time to save some more money and my ribs have recovered from a wet slippery fall down the companionway stairs last week!
So Jez has been cramming in the theory diving manual over the past few days, and yesterday they started with a test and a controlled dive off a really beautiful beach at White Bay around the corner. Today and tomorrow they have two dives per day and then an exam before, fingers crossed, they get their certificates.
I spent the day yesterday sanding the companionway doorframe ready for a much needed varnish, watching the pelicans and brown boobies diving off the rocks for their dinner, sometimes ten at a time with a split second in between each one. There is obviously a lot of fish in these waters, and I have seen a couple of turtles here too.
This morning Ange, Steve and I went on a hike around the headland to White Bay, a very hilly excursion so we were pleased to have refreshment and a chat at the Soggy Dollar Bar on the beautiful beach there. The views from the hills down to Great Harbour and White Bay were spectacular, and lots of wildlife spotted on the way including mongoose (too fast to get a photo), a bird of prey and goats – lots of baby goats, aahhh!
Looking down on to White Bay from the hillside, you can see the two reef areas on the outside of the bay, there are two narrow buoyed entrances in between the reef to the mooring buoys on the inside. The Soggy Dollar Bar is on the far beach. The square rigger anchored off ferried the guests to the shore whilst we were having a drink on the beach, the tender could only get in so far and the guests had to wade in waste high water onto the beach fully clothed – hence the Soggy Dollar Bar!!
Tomorrow we will probably all meet for a celebratory beer or two for the newly qualified divers at the legendary Fox’s Bar on the beach.
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