Saturday, April 07, 2007

Puerto Rico to British Virgin Islands

Viejes, the next island east of Puerto Rico was our next stop after Puerto Patillas. Viejes is mostly inhabited by the US navy and didn’t offer much in the way of sightseeing for us except for the beautiful beach and anchorage on the west end. We stayed a couple of days then beat northwards to the island of Culebra. The sail was actually a race as 2 other boats were heading the same way. One turned out to be an acquaintance of our friend, ‘Kenny Too Many’, whom I had met once in Sarasota. He also owns a Hunter Cherubinni like Kenny’s and fancied a race that day. Well, we arrived an hour and a half ahead of him having sailed about 26 miles over ground. The next day over beers he asked me how long we motored for and was surprised when told “none”. The whole trip was done under sail as conditions where ideal.

Culebra is a very touristy place and we only stayed long enough to have a look around and pick up some fresh veggies. Then on to St. Thomas, still in the US Virgin Islands.

St Thomas is also full of tourists and caters to, at least, a dozen cruise ships a week. We did a fare bit of provisioning here as prices were good and access to the major supermarkets was not a problem. Everyone had warned us about prices in the British Virgin Islands being much higher and they were right. The most expensive I have ever seen on any islands. Then again, we haven’t made it to the Polynesian islands yet!!

The only memorable things in St Thomas are, going for fuel and propane with Don, S/V First Light, at 10:00 am and returning the following morning at 2:00 am to a couple of very angry wives. We ended up at the local marina for drinks, lunch, dinner, then somehow we found ourselves on the waterfront smoking horrible cigars and drinking more beer at 1:00 am much to the amusement of the local Muslim shopkeepers!

The other was the restaurant at the top of the hill. They had a cable car to get you up there and the view was incredible.

Next stop, Cruz Bay, St John for a couple of days then we sailed up to Jost Van Dyke, in the north of the chain, to check out the famous ‘Foxies Bar’ that everyone raves about. It was nice enough and we had fun but, I’m beginning to wonder whether the folks recommending theses places have ever done any serious traveling before. Sure it’s a cool bar but we looking for more on this journey and failed to find it in the US Islands. Probably the BVI’s would be the same. “Bring your money, leave your boats at home, plenty of charter boats here mon”.

On the 5th of March we decided sail for the BVI’s. Jost Van Dyke to Peter island turned into an all out race against our friends Tim and Amber in ‘Highlander’ between Thatch island and Little Thatch into Drakes passage. Had a great sail and managed to avoid collisions with the high speed taxi boats screaming through the narrows.

Checked in on the 12th of March and the next 3 weeks saw us sail, daily, to new anchorages and racing against the charter boaters in up to 30 knot breezes with never more than a 3 foot chop. It was heaven and I highly recommend this area for anyone wanting to charter and sail. Provisioning is expensive but you are guaranteed of good sailing conditions in the passage. Loved it!


Post a Comment

<< Home