After completing all the necessary clearance procedures, we have moved north on Virgin Gorda to the aptly named North Sound. This is a well protected area where there are some small marinas, several bars and lots of yachts. The most famous here is the Bitter End Yacht Club. After one night on a mooring ball we have moved into the anchorage which is much quieter, as it is out of the main area, and more importantly, free! The mooring balls here are about $25-$30 per night!! Everything here is expensive apart from the fresh baked apple turnovers available every day in the Emporium at the Bitter End which are sold at the bargain price of $1.50, and very good they are too! Whilst in the Emporium we checked out the prices of some items - prepare to be shocked - $10 for a bag of tortilla crisps and $14 for a small box of cereal, unbelievable - needless to say we will manage with what we have!! Part of the reason is that there are no roads to here, all items, people & luggage included have to come by boat from Gun Creek on the other side of the Sound where the road ends.
So what is it like here? Well, the weather so far has been the best yet, sunshine all day with only 2 rain showers since Thursday, the sea is a beautiful blue colour as the tide, what there is of it, washes right through the Sound from one side to the other, and it is a lot warmer than the water in Anguilla.
On Friday, we met up with Glenn again from Sylvia and had dinner at Saba Rock. This is a restaurant with a small hotel, about 6 rooms, built on an island at the mouth of the Sound. Today, we had a bit of a 'doing day' as we want to treat ourselves to a full day off tomorrow. We washed the top of the boat off when we arrived yesterday, & today we polished the black mullions and cleaned the sides and underneath the boat.
We had a great sail up the coast of Virgin Gorda, it was quite weird though, there were so many boats we had to keep a good lookout all the time and even had to tack to avoid some - just like the Solent on a Sunday afternoon!
The name of the island translates as The Fat Virgin and was so named by Christopher Columbus when he landed in the Virgin Islands. The story goes that from St Croix, where he actually was, the island looked like a fat woman lying on her back. Now, I have looked at various pictures of the island and I am not getting this at all - I am wondering if the fact that he hadn't seen a woman for about 6 months, the approximate length of time it took to sail across the Atlantic in those days, had something to do with what he imagined he was seeing!!
This is an aerial view of the island - can you see the likeness to the Fat Virgin??
The view from the boat over towards Saba Rock
The 'world famous' Bitter End Yacht Club