Monday, March 18, 2013

The Wind Gods

Just as the forecast predicted we had solid winds last night which blasted in bullet-like gusts down the hillside into our anchorage, but we held tight and had a relatively quiet night. We made it a leisurely morning and lifted anchor around 8:45 to motor up to North Sound on Virgin Gorda. Once we rounded the corner out of Long Bay we had strong winds on the nose and a steep chop until we rounded Mosquito Rock into the relative calm behind the islands and the reefs that make up Gorda (North) Sound.

Along the way over the last few years we have learned many lessons and this morning I learned another. As we were lifting the anchor we assumed our usual positions, Henry at the helm and myself operating the windlass on the foredeck. To raise the anchor requires that I open the anchor locker and lay the lid over on the deck away from me. Once laid open, I proceed with raising the anchor and don't give the cover another thought until time to close up and move on. This morning there was a particularly ferocious blast of wind that had me staggering back away from the locker, and at the same time somehow managed to lift the anchor locker lid and slam it shut where just a moment before my foot had been. Note that this anchor locker lid is about 3 feet square of solid fiberglass and is not particularly light. Of course if the wind hadn't sent me back it wouldn't have been strong enough to lift the lid, but even so - lesson learned, I will keep my feet out of the locker area if there is any wind around in the future (or wear steel-toed boots!)

Our day proceeded with explorations around Bitter End and Biras Creek. Another little lesson: when dinghying long distances over choppy water, pack the walking clothes and accept that you are going to get wet! This is definitely an enclave for the mega-yacht crowd and yet it is one of those unusual places that makes anyone welcome and no matter, prince or pauper, all can enjoy this beautiful location. Mid-afternoon we headed back for 2-for-1 Painkillers at Bitter End (courtesy of "The Drinking Man's Guide to the BVI") and then over to Saba Rock for happy hour where we met up with some friendly sailors from Maine.

Despite all the high-end restaurants that line up on shore-side, Henry produced a gourmet meal of stuffed mushrooms and peppers with chicken and rice so I shall never complain of not being well-fed while aboard Mowzer!

One jacket between us so Henry got to helm through the winds and waves washing over the bows
There's some serious real estate on the water in North Sound
Think about it, such an ominous name for such a beautiful welcome...
Seriously - yoga on the deck at 7:45 every morning
Apparently if you show up in 25 knots of wind you can have the beach to yourself
I'm thinking of instituting this cocktail flag on Mowzer's aft-deck - does it come with the cabana boy? (sorry Henry)
Two-for-one Painkillers with a view
Sir Richard Branson's Necker Belle - note the raisable crow's nest on the mast

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