Getting ready for the off.

Rob & Sarah Bell
Mon 30 Apr 2012 01:53

Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun – 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th April

We settled ourselves down in our favourite anchorage here in Great Harbour, Peter Island, BVI.

Sadly, since we have been here this time the water has not been as wonderfully clear as usual so the snorkelling has been less interesting, but there is always plenty going on to keep us amused.

We are anchored in a good safe spot and have been able to enjoy watching everyone coming and going and because of the depths in this bay, it is frequently all a bit too much of a challenge for some boats that give up and either head off elsewhere, or simply potter over to the far side of the bay and pick up a buoy which they have to pay for.

On Saturday we splashed out a bit and took the dinghy ashore and walked through to Deadman’s Bay where we enjoyed a wonderful lunch in the Peter Island Resort restaurant. The staff were simply wonderful and very attentive and the food was superb. The biggest star of the show was Jean who seems to be the principle ‘resort personality’. When we were here over Easter she was dressed in bunny ears and was very much keeping the kids all entertained. On this occasion she seemed to be focussed on lunch guests and in particular us! She was very impressed with how we had got here and that we were off sailing next to the USA. She insisted on giving us freshly baked cookies and generally seemed to make it her business to ensure we had a good time there.  Which we did!

With the wind from the east, Deadman’s Bay was anything but flat and we were surprised how many yachts were lurching around so uncomfortably in the surging swell and almost all were riding on anchors. They were all charter yachts and had clearly not been very well advised! Overall the BVIs are definitely feeling far quieter than when we arrived which was the beginning of Easter school holidays.   Its worrying to contemplate how the charter companies are making a living here when so few of their boats are out.

The only drawback with the bay we are in is that the free Wifi from the resort which is the other side of a hill from where we are moored is pretty weak, so during the last few days we have not had much contact with the outside world, which has at least allowed us to concentrate on getting Serafina and ourselves fully prepared for a our passage north to the USA on starting on Wednesday. Sarah has been very focussed on passage planning and in particular working out options for where we could go if the weather deteriorates or we have any problems. This is not too easy as the southern coast of the USA is not too hospitable in bad weather for boats arriving from offshore.

We have as ever been very well entertained in the evenings by the fish in the bay. There seems to be a strict hierarchy with the poor whitebait at the surface being attacked in a frenzy by larger fish who in turn are being hunted by even bigger fish from below. In addition to all this thrashing and splashing going on, the terns and pelicans are swooping, diving and gorging themselves as well. A great source of amusement is watching the braver terns who have learnt to wait until a pelican has dived and scooped up some fish, at which point the tern swoops down and lands on the pelican’s head and remains there until the pelican surrenders some food – or flies off.

We are heading off to check in to Village Cay Marina in Road Town, Tortola on Monday so we can do our final preparations, shopping etc. and from there we hope to head off north to Norfolk, Virginia on the 2nd May.