10 - 31 May 2012
Nanny Cay has been a nice place to relax. Not much in the way of huge activities but there are a couple of nice restaurants, cafes, beach bar, as well as good marine store. Taxis are present for easy trip to the towns. The marina itself is just plain hot with little wind. It is suprising how a few trees and buildings can knock down the trade winds. Once out on the beach the winds are present. The beach is small and full of coral on the one side but still nice and close to the marina for a afternoon swim. In fact the underwater views are better than expected. Since we ended up spending two weeks here waiting on very poor service technicians we got to know all of the fish and named some of them!
Nanny Cay is also the place many people store their boats for the summer hurricane season. They have a large storage area on grass that allows tie downs to the driven into the soil to give the boat more holding for the winds. Additionally the provide many supports beneath that are all tied together. Looks good but I would not want to trust it in a hurricane. With heavy rains saturating the soil the spikes will be weakened and 100 MPH winds will topple most boats. But maybe the tight packing together keeps them upright? In the water the berths are floating docks with tall supports. Almost no surge or waves entered the marina when we were there and I would guess securing the boat in the water is a better bet.
The town of Road Town is not much to see. It is large for a island town and sprawls around the harbor. There is no real main downtown section, just assortment of buildings haphazardly built. It is the base for several large bareboat chartering companies who have dedicated marinas and stores. Nothing to attract tourist otherwise.
Small cruise ships do come to the town and disgorge their patrons into the small synthetic Caribbean style shops around the berth. All selling the same stuff it seems.
When we found out the service for the navigation equipment was going to be longer than expected we extended our "visas" to cover the time until we depart for Florida. Big office in Road Town for this and they are very formal and slow as a result. Pleasant people just the process is slow, over an hour. The mistake was going to Road Town, much smaller office and faster in Sopers Hole on the West End.
Road Town does have some great provisioning. There are several larger grocery stores and one has a "COSTCO" style quantities while the other right next to it is more retail oriented. Many American brands present as well as some British supplies.
Tortola looks to be in a rebound for development. Many new condos being built, including in the marina/resort. Plans for a new large marina near Nanny Cay are underway. The islands just north have opened new upscale resorts. It seems to be a bet on a upturn in the USA and UK economies to bring more tourist and investors. May be good timing or a mistake, who knows.
Anyway we waited and waited for our Raymarine parts to be repairs, having to engage the marina management to pressure the repair company. The owner did call and appologized greatly for the local company poor service. No excuse however. When the parts were returned the systems still did not work correctly but not an issue for me as we had enough and were ready to leave. The AIS that was supposedly damaged and needed to be replace was working fine when re-installed at my demand. That saved 500 dollars.
So now we are waiting for the crew to arrive for our trip to Florida. Weather looks calm, too calm.
This is the swimming area and small coral reef at the marina/resort. To the right is sand making it easier to enter the water. To the left is not so nice with bare feet. However easy access and interesting for snorkeling, especially since it takes trhee minutes from the boat to walk to and they have beach chairs and a freshwater shower.
The well dressed tourist! Pat hates the hat but after burning the tops of my ears I like it. This is the small shop area that the cruise ship people descend on each time. It is nothing like the rest of the island.
One of the friendly puffer fish that followed us around all the time, right up to the edge of the water.
A watery view of the beach and the marina beyond.