More BVI and some hairy marinas

Purple Mist
Skipper: Kate Cope
Sun 19 Mar 2023 23:39
More BVI and some hairy marinas

The past 2 nights we have treated ourselves to a marina berth. On Friday the wind increased dramatically as a front came through with rain as well. We left our coveted Jost Van Dyke mooring ball and watched it get snapped up within 5 minutes. So whatever the weather we were committed to move. We had picked a marina on the South East corner called Penns Landing that promised 8ft / 2.4m depth on the approach channel. Purple Mist has 2.0m of keel so that is a pretty narrow margin but we were desperate for a shower and fill up of water so we decided to try it.
We had a feisty sail in 25kts and were beating up the South side of Tortola. Sadly we had developed an intermittent gremlin in the electronics so every now and again we loose all data on the displays. I have been plugging and unplugging various cables on the NMEA network trying to work out the issue but so far every time I think it’s fixed it appears. 
So as we close in on the approach channel the water is getting very shallow.  I do a few  approaches and the depth under the keel drops to 0.2m so we abort. Just as we were thinking about plan B a marina staff appeared in a rib and I asked him to guide us in.  The wind was 20kts on the nose which exacerbated the difficulty as the minimum speed I can hold is about 2 kts. Claire and Saoirse sat on the rail discussing how close the bottom was as I drove in. The depth gauge went to 0.1m , then 0.0m then -0.0m (whatever that means), then thankfully it went back up to 0.2m and kept rising until the electronics gremlin kicked in and I had no data. I was pretty glad to get safely tied up on the pontoon. Later the marina manager told me the approach buoys had moved and to stay East of them so at least on the exit we had more water. 
Anyway it was a cute little marina with friendly staff and a good restaurant where we celebrated St Patrick’s Day with some Baby Guinness shots (Kahlua and Baileys) 
Yesterday we moved to Spanish Town on Virgin Gourda. This is another Marina with a hairy approach as you have decent sized waves breaking over a reef to the side of you and most of the buoyage on the chart is missing. I was calmer though as I had been in this marina on a charter holiday so pretty sure we would get in. 

We spent the afternoon at ‘The Baths’ which are a natural formation of giant boulders on the beach that create pools between them . It was very spectacular and we spent a long time enjoying the pools. 

Dinner was at Cocomaya which was a great beachside restaurant with fabulous views . We enjoyed playing giant Jenga and dancing the night away 

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