Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cap'n Blowhard

Privateer Bay, Norman Island

Another morning dawns after a calm night of good sleep - it feels so natural to awake at 6:30 with the sunrise and not the alarm clock. We've had light winds the last few days so the nights have been stress-free and comfortable.

We decided that it has been a couple of years since we've snorkelled at The Caves on Norman Island so this morning, given that we were right next door we picked up a vacant day-mooring to take in the fishy wildlife. The Caves are carved into a cliff-wall on the western end of Norman Island and legend tells that pirate gold was buried in the most southerly cave within a treasure chest made most famous by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. We may no longer find a golden treasure, but the snorkeling is pretty darned good with a great variety of aquatic life. We found them to be the most bold little fishies we have encountered and later discovered that it is most likely due to the tour operators who feed them to bring them close for the paying customers. We were quite happy to have had our snorkel and were ready to pull out as the hordes arrived. Note for later - pick up a mooring in Privateer's Bay the night before and enjoy an early morning snorkel at The Caves as a great way to start the day.

Curious fishies.
It looks dark in there.
You betcha - it's dark!
Atmosphere in abundance - imagine this as a Pirate Treasure Cove.
Mowzer in the Middle
We next headed over to Road Town to top up our Digicel data plan - hence the continuance of our blog posts. Once that last errand was completed we headed back across the Drake Channel to Peter Island and found our anchorage in Great Harbour.

Road Town - one cruise ship in today.
The sailing doesn't get much better than this!
Great Harbour is a deep harbour - averaging about 50-60'. We tried a number of times but either felt the anchor was dragging or weren't happy with our position among other boats or the rocky shoreline. The prudent mariner doesn't rest until the anchor is well set and the danger of dragging onto another boat or lee shore is eliminated. This is where the story picks up that incited the title of this post ... we finally settled on our anchor position with the anchor well set in sand and loads of chain laid out across the sandy bottom. With the winds slated to pick up a bit tonight we were happy that we are in a safe position and not at risk of blowing back onto anyone else. Despite our prudence, "George & Myrtle" of s/v "Pretencious" (my apologies to all the Georges and Myrtles out there) felt it was their duty to come over and instruct us on the minimum scope required to anchor in the Caribbean - namely a 7:1 scope. I can't tell you how irritating I found this man who initiated the conversation by spouting his 25 years of experience in all things nautical and while he may well have had a good message it would have been so much nicer if he'd taken a moment to understand why we were unhappy with our first attemps to settle the anchor and find a good position for the night. Needless to say, I doubt that Cap'n Blowhard will be reading my blog, but for anyone else reading out there who might be tempted to instruct another in the anchorage - DON'T (unless asked first).

Ok, now that I have that out of my system, back to regular programming - here was our sunset view looking out over Tortola this evening.

... and to top it all off we had the most beautiful (almost) full moon rise.