Thursday, May 25, 2006

British Virgin Islands May 2006
Picture -- The Baths, Virgin Gorda

Guess we are not BVI type cruisers, because so far not much has impressed us. We don’t like the deep anchorages, all the mooring balls you have to pay for, all the charter boats, etc. We are actively looking for long term cruisers to continue our trip south, and the BVI’s just happen to be one of the stops.
We left Roadtown, after a rolly night and were heading for the south side of Peter Island, where another boater said we could anchor. We were in the passage between Normans and Peter about 1 pm when we were hit with a 44 knot gust which caused us to turn around. So we went to Norman’s and took a ball for the night. Went over to the caves, and were not impressed.
The next day we went to Trellis Bay, more boats and balls. It was pretty but we are still not impressed. So we took off for Virgin Gorda, where we know the cruisers wait to cross the Anegada. We anchored off the Sandbox restaurant, and didn’t mind this area. The Drake’s anchorage reminded us of Dakity. We took the dinghy to the beach and gave it a good cleaning. We went to the Sandbox for a beer and to get information about clearing out. We had hoped that we could get a bus or water taxi back to Spanish Town rather than moving RAFT, but no that wasn’t possible. You could hire a taxi (about $40) to take you there, that was the only transportation available.
We decided to take RAFT to Spanish Town, and use the moorings (after all you only pay if you stay the night) check out and leave. The weather looked as good as it was going to be for doing the Annegada ---light south easterlies. Since we were in Spanish Town, we decided to walk out to the Baths. Having done the Jacuzzi’s in Culebrita we were expecting more of the same except with more people.
Here we were pleasantly surprised, not by the Baths or the number of people, but by the hike through the unique rock formations down to the Baths from the road, and out to Devil’s Bay and back to the parking lot. Caves, slim passages between towering rocks, and fabulous cacti line the walkway from the Baths. As far as we are concerned you can skip the water portion of the Baths, but definitely do the walks. They were exceptional, but you need to bring lots of water.
We left Spanish Town at 1430 and motored into light SE winds (4-8 knots) with an Easterly Swell of 4-6 feet. By midnight the winds had picked up to 12-14 and the waves were a little larger, but we kept on motoring. We arrived at St. Martin in the early morning and initially thought about going to Simpson Bay, but there were no boats there, and it was pretty rolly, so we changed our minds and went into Marigot on the French side. There were about 50 boats including some we had seen before, hopefully someone to do the next passages with. Checked in, easy,and no cost. The French do this part right.