The Virgin Islands

Karma Daze
Chris and Penny Manley
Fri 1 Apr 2016 15:22

Tuesday March 15th – Good Friday March 25th


We left Jolly Harbour anchorage on Antigua at 6 am on March 15th. The weather forecast was for favourable winds and reasonable seas for our 180 nm trip to the British Virgin Islands. We set full sails initially but as the wind built to 17kn we reduced the main sail.  Karma Daze seems to like sailing with one reef in the main and our small genoa.


As time went on the wind moved from mainly easterly to more southerly and a bit of a wallowy sea, so we put a preventer on the boom to stop it banging about. The overnight sail was very pleasant with moonlight for some of the night, and no squalls. By dawn we were 25 miles away from Virgin Gorda, and arrived in the North Sound at 11.30, having waived to Richard Branson as we passed Necker Island.  After a cup of tea we launched the dinghy and headed across to Gun Creek to check in and out. We had decided to just stay overnight and then head on to St John’s to meet up with Ian and Gerry on “Spray”.  The plan this year is to sail with Spray west to Cuba, have a few weeks there, then across to the North Bahamas and then on to the US East Coast.


Next day we had a good genoa only sail down Drakes channel and across to Caneel bay, St John’s where Ian helped us tie up to a buoy.  We had towed the dinghy so we decided to go and check in with the USVI authorities.  This we did with a rather hair raising dinghy ride into and out of Cruz bay as we seemed to coincide with several ferries entering and leaving who don’t slow down until they are a long way inside the entrance channel.  We survived in our little dinghy without being thrown around too much by the wake from the much bigger boats.


We spent a couple of days in Caneel bay. Chris helped Ian fit his new windlass motor so we were all ready to move on. We went round the corner into Trumps bay to snorkel the underwater trail, which wasn’t very exciting but a pleasant enough swim.


The next day we sailed to Great St James island and anchored in Christmas Cove. This is a very nice and popular anchorage with buoys and the Pizza boat – Pizza  Pie.  So it was pizza for dinner. Unfortunately, in our rush to order before they closed at 6 pm we failed to read the menu properly and ended up with two very large pizzas – 16 inches! Ian and Gerry were sensible and only ordered one, so we invited them for lunch the next day to help eat it up.


The snorkelling in Christmas Cove was very good with a small reef, various fish, turtles eating the sea grass and a few small rays. Much better than the underwater snorkel trail.


After a few days we headed across to the main island, St Thomas, and anchored in Charlotte Amalie. We spent a couple of days being tourists on the island and watching the huge cruise ships manoeuvre in the bay quite close to the anchored yachts.


After Charlotte Amalie we moved west to Brewers bay which is alongside the airport runway. A home-from-home with all the aircraft noise!  Here we met up with Gill and Tony on ”Nychea“ and had a few get- togethers with all 3 boats, which as usual ment consuming (probably) too much alcohol....