Wednesday 20th April 2011
Distance run: 87 nmiles
Having successfully checked out and stocked up, we lifted the anchor at 17:00 yesterday to be sure to be at the bridge when it opened. The echopilot again showed zero twice on the way out, but we didn’t touch bottom and were at the bridge with minutes to spare.
Passing through the French bridge out of Simpson Bay lagoon and into Marigot Bay.
Once through, we set a course for Virgin Gorda. There was very little wind so we motored the first couple of hours, then sailed on and off for the next few hours until the wind died again and we motored the rest of the way. As dawn broke we could see Virgin Gorda, and as we approached through Necker passage we passed Necker Island, home of Richard Branson.
Necker Island – no anchoring here!
We motored along the North coast of Virgin Gorda, making for Spanish Town where we would have to check in before going anywhere else. We heard Nimue on the radio and were speaking to them as we approached our anchorage, when our engine died. As there was no wind either, we had a bit of a problem as the engine wouldn’t start again. Michael on Nimue called back to check we were ok, and we told him we were adrift, so he and Martin from Otra Vida came over in their ribs and towed us into the anchorage. This is becoming a repetitively boring occurrence and was particularly frustrating because we had had the fuel ‘polished’ at Jolly Harbour and expected no further problems. Once we were anchored, Steve checked for blockages and found none then bled the engine and it started up again, so we have no idea what caused the problem.
Having been advised that the officials get very unhappy if boats don’t check in immediately upon arrival, we then put the rib in the water and went to clear in. We arrived at Customs at 15:45 to be told they don’t clear boats in after 15:30 (even though they don’t close until 16:40) so we would have to go back again in the morning.