British Virgin Islands 16th – 24th February

I cleared in at Gun Creek, North Sound, a quick and painless process and then moved over to anchor off Prickly Pear island on the over side of the sound.

Prickly Pear Island
Prickly Pear Island

A lovely spot this, there is a little beach restaraunt on the island but it was closed for the eve, dashing my hopes of some nice food. Thought I would go there for lunch the next day but in the meantime a cruise ship had arrived and anchored off and they had taken over the place, so hopes dashed again. I moved over to Leverick bay and lunched here, there was also a small shop so I could get some more fresh provisions.

Leverick bay Hospital
Leverick bay Hospital
Des Res, Leverick Bay
Des Res, Leverick Bay

Next morning I took a walk, hoping to get up to the top of Virgin Gorda peak, I got close but a number of tracks I tried turned out to be dead ends so in the end contented myself with a stunning viewpoint overlooking the whole of the North Sound.
On to St Thomas, the main town of Virgin Gorda main requirement an ATM to top up funds but it was near to the Baths, a spectacular mooring with white sand beaches and huge granite boulders. Very popular so apparently all the moorings get taken by mid morning. It was beautiful calm evening but things changed in the night, a brisk NE arrived and with it a big swell, caused a few boats to drag and they had to move in the middle of the night.
Next day was no day for the Baths so I had a boisterous sail across to Tortola and found shelter in Fat Hogs Bay, it was till blowing 25 knots but flat water in the shelter behind the reef. Ashore in the eve I dined in a local eatery with a barbecue set up outside, jerk chicken, delicious.
The wind had departed in the morning so I returned to the Baths, swell still running crashing into the boulders so no chance to go ashore but I took a mooring and had lunch before returning to Fat Hogs Bay.

The Baths
The Baths

Next stop was Road Town the Capital but I didn’t stay long, about an hour, a soulless place I found it, all new concrete buildings and a busy road. Instead a nice sail across the Drake Passage past Pelican Island and the Indians took me to the Bight on Norman Island,. A proper old pirate haunt this and reputably the setting for the book, Treasure Island. Ashore I dined in the Pirates Bight restaurant, which is the only thing on the island on barbecued ribs. A walk ashore in the morning took me to the highest point of the island with lovely views.

The Bight Norman Island
The Bight Norman Island

On then to Sopers hole and passing through Thatch Island Cut across to the island of Joss Van Dyke. It was as I’d feared a bit choppy in the bay here, too much South in the wind so I returned to Sopers Hole. Here I ran into Richard and Eilish again in their lovely homebuilt steel gaff cutter “Granuaile”. I first meet them in Northern Spain.
I decided it was time to leave the BVI, it is undoubtedly a beautiful place and would be a perfect cruising ground if only it weren’t such a perfect cruising ground and hence so crowded out with charter boats. Its expensive too, the tourist and charter boats seem to push up the prices and its the most expensive place I have been in the Caribbean so far.