Thursday, February 25, 2010

Entering BVI Waters

Since the H1N1 scare the customs office at Jost Van Dyke has been shut down as an entry point. I’m not quite sure how this makes sense but I’m sure some poor BVI native lost his job over a bureaucratic decision made far away.

Nothing daunted we’ve decided to sail up the southern Islands and so we checked into BVI customs at West End, also known as Soper’s Hole. The shopping in West End is made up of little gift shops, clothing stores, the ubiquitous Pusser’s and a market. Mixed in with this are dive and excursion outfitters and a jewellery/internet café shop. We were actually able to access the internet for free (a good thing) sitting on a bench outside a little clothing boutique, the only issue being that the sun was so bright it made seeing the screen rather difficult (oh what a bother!)

There are loads of boats down here showing their Canadian colours, this one was the most unique.

Sailing close-hauled out into the south western end of the Francis Drake Channel, Mowzer felt wonderfully light and easy to handle. Unfortunately, with winds of only 8-10 knots and a current of 3 knots against us, we were making little headway so we decided for the sake of time, to motor up into the channel. Unlike last year when we had 3-5’ swells, the waters were flat today with just a small chop which made for easy passage.

This afternoon we picked up a mooring in The Bight, right off Pirate’s beach, and then headed over The Caves by dinghy. There is good reason why this is one of the most popular snorkling spots in the area! I think Henry has now found a good justification for getting laser eye surgery. Either that or a prescription mask… I think the surgery will win out for all the other benefits.

Once again, a surreal Olympic moment watching cross-country skiing from a picnic table on the beach at Pirate’s. The Wifi here is free (again a good thing) and reaches out to the boat, so I am currently sitting here at 8pm catching up the blog and listening to the party getting started on the beach (really, I’m not a loser!)

Our rough itinerary is to head up the islands and make our way to Trellis Bay for the full-moon party. After that we’ll make the big jump to Anegada; this will be the first time we’ll sail over the horizon to our destination. Two days planned on Anegada before we head back across the north shore of Tortola to Jost Van Dyke and then back into the USVI and home (but we’re not talking about that right now.)