Sailing - British Virgin Islands (A.K.A. The Jost Van Dyke Dance Party) - 04.08.2006 - 04.16.2006
Saturday, April 8: Chopper and I left early on Saturday morning for the long trip to Tortola. We changed planes in Houston, and rendezvoused with Goose and Bear and my parents in San Juan before hopping on a little Cessna for the last 45 minutes to Beef Island. The plane was so small that Chopper got to ride shotgun. We arrived on Beef island and caught a bus/taxi to the Moorings in Road Town, meeting up again with my parents, who had taken an earlier flight out of San Juan. We picked up a late dinner at the restaurant, then adjourned to Liberty's Reach, which while on dock power is marvelously equipped with air conditioning.

Sunday, April 9: Sunday morning we lit out early for Norman Island, setting the sails for a quick crossing to our lunch spot in Soldier Bay. We picked up a quick Mooring in Soldier Bay (Goose sure had fun when he boathooked number one), had a spot of lunch, and did some snorkeling along the coast, towards Water Point. After lunch, we dropped the mooring, and motored over to the Bight, also on Norman Island. The Bight was fairly full, but we were able to find another Mooring, in close (No one was going to boo, when Goose picked up number two), and were at our final destination early enough to do some reconnoitering onshore. Goose, Bear and I hiked up a steep trail, and were rewarded with some awesome views of Soldier Bay, Peter Island & the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Goose and I then hiked down and had a cool drink at the Pirates Bight Bar, while Bear did another 2 up-downs. She was training for her Marathon, and needed the exercise. Goose was in need of a frozen cocktail. After our excursion, we headed back to the boat, hoping to persuade Chop & Bear to head over to the William Thornton for Happy Hour. The Willie T is a floating restaurant and bar that offers free t-shirts to any ladies willing to jump off the stern shall we say, unfettered. Sadly, Chopper and Bear declined our invitation. LAME!
Chopper Riding Shotgun Quit Playing With Your Dinghy! Crossing to Norman island The Bite, Norman Island
Monday, April 10: On Monday, we headed off to the Dogs for a quiet lunch spot and just a bit of snorkeling. The anchor was not set that well, so we did a very little bit of snorkeling, had a quick lunch, and then headed out to get a spot at Marina Cay. Marina Cay was pretty much full up, but we were able to get a hook in near the reef. After we dropped anchor, we dinghied over to the reef to poke around. There wasn't much doing in terms of colorful coral or fishies, but we did manage to follow around a friendly Stingray for a while. After the Brown Bear got a good swim in, we went ashore so everyone (except stinky old me) could take a 2 minute shower. We hit the Pussers store, and then had some dins at Pussers landing

Tuesday, April 11: We got rolling out of Marina Cay first thing in the morning to beat the crowd over to the Baths on Virgin Gorda. Back in the day, the Baths were pretty quiet, but these days, the cruise ships have discovered them, so you've got to get there before the throng on folks from the big boats get there. We dinghied in, and wandered around in the rocks, took the trail to Devils Bay, and ran into the cruise ship hordes on the way back. So while those silly folks were getting back on the bus to their cruise ship, we got back in our dinghy to get back to our junior cruise ship. I should also mention that Goose was feeling liek the queen bee, after picking up Mooring number three. After a bit of lunch, we headed off to the Bitter End in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda for the evening. We were early enough that there were a boatload of moorings, and Goose upped his score, by snagging mooring number 4. Back in 1991, I watched the Bulls win their first NBA championship at the outdoor "theater" at the Bitter End. I don't really watch NBA basketball anymore, but it was nice to see the same wooden benches are still there.
Sunset at Norman Heading down to the Dogs Papa Dukes @ Marina Cay The Baths, Virgin Gorda
Wednesday, April 12: We rolled out of the North Sound early to make the 15 mile crossing to Anegada. We had good winds and clear skies, and made the crossing quite quickly. We dropped the sails and navigated through the big reef, arriving in time to snag an open Mooring (It's not gonna be jive, when Goose makes the drive for five) and cook up some burgers for lunch. Goose also got on the horn to make some reservations for dinner. You wouldn't guess it by looking at him, but Goose sure is handy with the old VHF. The rest of the afternoon, we watched various members of a Sunsail flotilla try to anchor in some fairly brisk winds. After lunch we dinghied in and had a walk own the beach, while Goose had another frozen beverage at the bar. (Was it a Dirty Banana, or a mudslide? We'll never know). Later that evening, we had a very enjoyable dinner in at the Anegada Reef Hotel.

Thursday, April 13: We left fairly early on Thursday to head back across to Jost Van Dyke. The wind that had been prevalent the day before was gone, so we ended up having to motor the whole way. It worked out well when we were a few mies off Jost Van Dyke and the rain, wind, and fog crept in. During a break in the rain, we picked up a mooring at Little Jost Van Dyke. In the afternoon, we dinghied over to Green Cay for some snorkeling. Foxy's Taboo was not serving dinner that night, so we ate on the boat, following "Chopper and Goose's Jost Van Dyke Dance party." We're going to have to wait for my Dad to post the video to explain that one...
Chopper & Bear crossing from Anegada Yarrrr!!! Goose in his dinghy Snorkeling Chopper Moonlight over Little Jost Van Dyke
A Goose and Bear in their natural habitat Tee Hee!!! U vant to unpimp zee auto? Let me hear you zay vhat! Me & Chopper
Friday, April 14: On Friday morning we dinghied back over to Little Jost Van Dyke and took a short hike to the Bubbly Pool, a rock break in the North Side of the island that lets the big waves in for some "bubbly" action. We were followed by a friendly dog, who didn't want us to miss the pools. After our hike, we got a fairly late start, but headed off to Sopers Hole, between West End and Fenchman's Cay. Sopers was pretty packed, but we managed to find a boat leaving, and we snagged the Mooring they vacated. Well, we tried to pick it up... Goose stumbled badly coming out of the gate, and failed to pick up number eight. Since Foxy's was closed the night before, we went ashore to do some shopping for an extra meal aboard, picking up the ingredients for Penne with Vodka sauce a la British VIrgin Islands. (They even had proscuito at the deli). We had a fabulous pizza dinner at Pusser's Landing, then called it an evening.

Saturday, April 15: The wind was pretty light on saturday, so it took us a fair piece to run down the Channel to Cooper Island. Goose was taken off mooring detail after his debacle at Sopers hole, so we had no fun rhyme for his attempt at number nine. We had some swimmies and some snorkels on Cooper, and enjoyed our last night on the boat.

Sunday, April 16: Sunday morning we got out of Cooper Island early, and popped across the channel to drop off the boat at the Moorings. Chopper and I had the first flight out to San Juan, and then met up with everyone else when they got there later. After recapping the week and saying our goodbyes, everyone went their separate ways, back to Colorado, Georgia & Arizona.
Me & Goose, companions in the companionway Goose & Bear @ Cooper Island The gang in front of Liberty's Reach, Road Town, Tortola Sir Francis Drake Channel from the air