S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

One Last Beat to Windward

April 26, 2006
Marina Cay (see previous blog for lat. and long.)

We had a great visit with Bridget and Devin, who, like Greg, left with lighter bags, having indulged our requests for strange food items, and having hunted down still more parts for our elderly dinghy motor. Here's some advice to those of you who might be considering ever cruising in the Caribbean: do NOT buy a Nissan motor, and do get more horsepower than you think you need (yes, Ian, you told us so. I remember). (Dean here. Jill thinks we need a bigger motor. I'm happy with the 5 HP we have, and its good gas mileage).

The British Virgin Islands are grouped in a fairly small area, making it possible for a boat to sail among them without much trouble, depending on wind direction, and making it a popular place for sailors (I'm tempted to put that word in quotes) to rent charter boats for a week. It was downright crowded here for a while, but now that Easter vacation has passed, we have a little elbow room, and less access to our favorite afternoon activity--watching the people on charter boats attempt to anchor while traveling at full throttle.

We revisited a few of our favorite spots with Bridget and Devin, and we found a new one at Cane Garden Bay, which has a gorgeous, palm-lined beach. We also found out how to make a painkiller, a concoction allegedly invented at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke. The bar got its name because it has no dock, so people are encouraged to swim from their boats. As we were anchored in a different bay, and as we were going to the bar after dark, we ignored convention and took the dinghy, threading our way blindly through the reef that lines the anchorage, and then attempting to land at the wrong tiki-torch-sporting restaurant and being driven away by an angry bride, who chased us down the beach, hands on her hips.

I am only exaggerating slightly in the previous sentence.

In any case, we made it in through a breaking reef, escaped the bride, and landed the dinghy in the surf without a scratch, and we all ordered painkillers to celebrate. Somehow they didn't seem to have the same kick as the ones we'd made on the boat the day before. So we ordered several, and came away with a new set of free Soggy Dollar commemorative cups for the boat. Bridget and Devin knew better than to ask if they could take a few back to Boston, even though they were buying.

Now that Bridget and Devin have returned, a little pinker and with sand between their toes, to the Frozen North (indulge me), we have to set ourselves to the serious business of traveling south. But not before Dean had one last crack at the Willy T., a rowdy bar on Norman's Island that should adopt as its motto, "it's always Spring Break at the Willy T." Yikes. We stayed there Monday night, and as we were pulling up the anchor on Tuesday morning, we heard via VHF radio from s/v Eira and m/v Dreamweaver, whom we haven't seen since the Bahamas. They were on their way to Norman's, and Dean was MORE than happy to stay one more day in order to see our friends and introduce them to our new favorite drink.

Today we are back in Marina Cay, hogging up all the free wi-fi at the bar. The last time we were here the weather was too rough for snorkeling on the reef that surrounds the Cay, but it's calm now, so we will try the reef tomorrow. After that we will start preparing for what we have been promised will be our very last leg to windward, and what will also be our longest sail for some time, an overnight sail to the southeast, across the Anegada Passage to St. Martin.


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