Monday, March 25, 2013

That Which Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

We started the day with some snorkling just south of Haulovers. The snorkling was fantastic but we kept running into clouds of jellyfish which wasn't so pleasant so we headed back to the mothership and then around Salt Island and into the bay on the north side.

I've got to practice diving so I can get down to fish-level
Fish love to hang out under the boat
It had been a few days since a good hike so we headed ashore and set out up the hill at the eastern end of the beach for some good views. Hill number 1: no problem, good views, nice breeze. Once we crested the hill we realized we could keep going to hill number 2.

Mowzer (the little one) in the bay at Salt Island
Only goat tracks to follow up Hill #1
Hill number 2: hot but still ok, no paths, lots of scratchy thorns but still great views and a cooling breeze. From here we could see Haulovers Bay on Cooper Island where we stayed last night.

One boat left at Haulovers this morning
Notice hill number 3 in the background. Didn't look so tough from down here...

This is where the hiking got serious. Scrabbling through the dry undergrowth and over rocky outcrops with the temperature climbing and no shade or path in sight. Henry was a mountain goat and made it to the top - he's being charitable when he tells me I was 30' from the crest but hill number 3 had me beat. On the descent we crossed the spine of the hills out to the south and finally made our way across the salt ponds that give the island it's name and back to the beach. I have never been so happy to sink into the cool ocean waters.

Definitely the dry season - amazing how it all comes back to life in the rainy season
Notice the lovely path we didn't take from the salt pond
Counting from the right - #1 (155'), #2 (270') and #3 (386')
Mid-afternoon we up-anchored and headed for Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda. We really felt that third time was the charm since we have intended to stop here on two previous occasions but always kept on going to another anchorage. The afternoon sail was again pretty surreal with 15 knots of wind on a close reach and boat speeds topping out at 7.4 knots. Sweeeeet!

Tomorrow morning, if I'm still able, the plan is to do a little hiking around The Valley on Virgin Gorda.


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