9 May 2012
At a reasonable time we released from the mooring at Bitter End and slowly made our way across the sound to Leverick Bay again to get fuel. The Bitter End fuel dock was just jammed but Leverick was free so simple choice. Easy berthing at the dock as it is well positioned for the winds and chop. Good fuel service, free water with fuel and garbage for 2.50 per bag, not bad. I had not gone ashore before here and it is a nice place. More of a “town” then Bitter End.
Once fueled we headed out through the channel and eventually set the headsail for a slow downwind run. Winds were light but we still made 4-5 knots with just the headsail. Passed some nice looking anchorages that are protected from the northerly swells if chosen correctly. We rounded the point and went into the anchorage off Spanish Town. According to the pilot guide and the websites there are mooring bouys here. No longer true. We set anchor amongst the boats and looked it over again and again. Of course everyone was heading here to pick up a mooring. It should be a great place, close to a large town and a long but doable dinghy ride to the Baths, one of the highlights of Virgin Gorda.
To me all I saw was charter boats heading this was in force, all which will attempt to anchor in sand and weed. One good gust and half will break free. Without much discussion we raised anchor and headed west to Marina Cay, hopefully a less crowded spot with moorings in place. We like to use mooring to reduce the damage to the environment if they are well founded. We discovered later that the mooring off Spanish Town were removed because they could not keep the boats in place in strong winds. Some significant damage was done with collisions. Anchoring is fine but you always worry about the others.
So Marina Cay mooring field is protected from the swells but there is a current passing through. Not bad just need to be aware when picking up, the mooring. Only a few boats when we arrived around midday. That changed to at least 30 boats by evening. Still fine since the moorings are spaced to give room for everyone. No issues as all picked up their moorings without drama.
We took the dinghy to the small island resort and created image of a place. Pusser’s Rum is a creation from the British Navy Grog and they have done a great marketing job. Not a bad place to visit and get a rum drink, sit on the beach, have a nice meal and generally do nothing.
Back to the boat for the night we went and settled in. Around 04:00 a huge storm arrived. This was the worse lightning storm we were even in. Bolts hitting all around, plenty of noise, luckily not much wind. Two other boats were direct hits, one I could see the melted metal at the top of the mast splay off like a small firework. We were not hit but I did shut off everything I could that was electrical. Still in the morning we found our GPS was fried. Some other instruments did not work correctly. So a call to the marina on the other side of Tortola assured us they had room and I made a few calls to get repair work started.
Once again the backup navigational system was put in place, the iPad with Navionics charts. No problem, straight into the marina at Nanny Cay. Glad we did not stay off Spanish Town at anchor as I am sure several boats would have dragged anchor into others during the early morning storm.
Pusser’s Created bar. Yes we bought a mug.
View of the mooring field from the bar. It is protected from swells buy the island to the southwest and a reef to the east. Bit of a current heading through however. Still a nice place.
The company store and the dinghy dock pre lightning strikes! The mooring field is a bus stop. It fills during the day with transients and empties in the morning hours. Its 25 bucks per night. It is also possible to anchor in the lagoon. May be a better option as the mooring field is full of charter boats who are there for a good time and can be noisy. Not the case when we were there, everyone was pleasant and respectful.
It is interesting to me to see as we get to the northern part of the Caribbean the use of air conditioning and generators on boats has increased dramatically. Rarely did generators exist in Europe on smaller boats. Air conditioning was very rare except for us! Our generator is extremely quiet so it is not evident by anyone that it is running. Not the case with some charter boats but still not obnoxious. In this mooring field I bet over half the boats had generators and all ran their air conditioning all the time. Why not since they are on vacation and want to be cool. But so different than Europe where they love to sweat. By the way we only run the air conditioning at night and half the time off the large battery banks without the generator.