Fw: British Virgin Islands - 18:25.2N 64:37.0W

Fri 13 May 2011 02:55
Pulling out of St.Maarten I pass Lady Shamrocks little sister, Mirabella V.  Sails hoisted I set a course for the British Virgin Islands.
An hour later I notice that the inner starboard shroud has broken a couple of strands.  I tighten up the check stay on this side and use the pole uphaul onto the chain plate to support it.  Heading for Tortola the capital of the BVIâs I imagine that I should be able to get a replacement there.  Next morning I sight the outer islands of the archipelago.  Passing between Round Rock and Ginger Island reminds me of many passages thorough the Blaskets with large chunks of stratified rock both sides.
Two hours later I am in Tortola without out a clue of where to go, I motor around for a while and chat to some other boats.  The clearing in procedure here is to anchor in front of the immigration building and then row ashore and do the paperwork and then you can go to the marina.  After asking another boat I found the office and dropped anchor, with the paperwork complete and paying 40 dollars for the privilege I decided to save myself a further 40 dollars and remain on anchor.
Ashore I go about my business of finding a rigger to fix my shroud.  It is Sunday but one of the local barmen quickly points me in the direction of Richardsonâs but it wonât be open until tomorrow.  As per usual I go in search of Wi-Fi connection so that I can get in touch with people at home.  The hotel and bar at the marina fits the bill and it is happy hour to boot.  I end up running into Hugh Garside who raced the Americas Cup  race on White Crusader and I was telling him about my arrival in Antigua and Harold Cudmore approaching me and congratulating me on my trip.  Harold was the skipper on White Crusader and also won the Half Ton World Cup in a Shamrock.  We remain there for a couple of hours chatting and he is able to give me advice as well as forewarning that it is slow work getting things fixed here and expensive also. 
The following morning I am up at 0630 despite a late night and a pounding gin hangover.  I decided that if I am going to get this fixed quickly the best method is to be standing outside Richardsonâs door before he openâs up on Monday morning. By seven I am up the mast removing the shroud and at 0745 I am standing outside the riggers door chatting with one of his local apprentices waiting for the boss to arrive.  El Richardson the owner takes a look in the stores to see if he has the parts and gives me a price, probably about 50% more expensive than home but I am happy to pay it realizing that he isnât a cowboy.  I leave it with him and head off to the local supermarket.
Two hours later I returned and the stay was complete.  I settled the bill and complimented him one of the best stocked chandleryâs I have seen, we chatted and he showed me his awards from Harken for being one of their top vendors.  He also told me of his sailing, somewhat of a local legend and his female business partner who had Olympic success in his boat.
By 1130 I am back on my way again, shroud fitted and tuned.  My night here hasnât been much of a holiday more of a business trip, but a productive day is as good as a holiday in this instance and I leave feeling chuffed with myself.