Sunday, March 24, 2013

A tour and tidbits

This morning as promised Paul and Elka took us on a dinghy tour up the north-west shore of Great Camanoe Island. Even though the swell had come up during the night we had a great ride around the shore-line discovering a thunderous blow-hole cave that filled with water from the surge and then spat out a spray of fine mist with a roar, and further along the coast, a narrow cave entrance at water-level that Paul says rises up about 200' into the hillside and is filled with bats. On a calm day you can take the dinghy to the entrance and hear the bats squeaking inside or if you visit in the early evening you might see them leaving the cave, but I wouldn't be keen to take a dinghy round into the rock strewn bays in the dark.

Paul was extremely knowledgable of the local geology and natural sights. We learned for instance that the laughing gulls (considered a pest) will actually sit on a pelican's head and pluck fish right out of it's beak. The red-beaked birds we had seen in Culebra in the past are called Tropic Birds and the heron that we had seen in Puerto Rico and again on the CYOA dock is called a Night Heron. Finally, and probably the one I will remember most is the name the locals have for the Turpentine Tree: The Tourist Tree. This tree is notable for its paper-thin bark that turns red and peels!

We were extremely honoured when Paul presented us with a copy of a book we have admired many times about the BVI; he is the publisher. We were sorry that we had nothing more than some fresh-baked tea biscuits to give in return but we had all thoroughly enjoyed the morning.

For the afternoon we decided it was time to up-anchor and go for a sail. Our original intent was to head to Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda but given that this is the holiday without a plan, the winds set our course for us and we ended back in Haulover Bay on Cooper Island. This is one of our favourites: the low saddle of land allows the breeze to cool the boat without being exposed to the waves, the sunset over Salt Island and later the twinkling lights of Tortola in the distance all contribute to the charm of the place.

We capped off the evening with a cut-throat game of Scrabble - Henry won this one but I'll be back to exact my revenge.



  1. Finally the gnome reappears :) I was beginning to think you'd lost him! It all looks fantastic and i hope you enjoy your last week immensely xox

  2. Sometimes, what the gnome does, stays with the gnome.... But yes, he is along on all our travels.