Saturday, March 15, 2014

Moving On

Privateer Bay, Norman Island, BVI

We'd been in Leinster Bay which is known for it's good snorkeling for a couple of days now and had yet to don mask and flippers so we decided to remedy that this morning. Watermelon Cay has beautiful clear waters but the currents are strong so it's a good work-out too. The coral was a little damaged from idiots who think the marked area doesn't apply to them and they drive their dinghies through breaking off the elk horn coral, but we did see a good number of colourful fish and one ray.

Lurking under the big boat were about 18 good size tuna - guess they know that fishing is out of the question within the marine park. This little jack eyed me up and decided I was less of a threat than the big fish below. They don't look very big but they were hanging out in the water at about 15' deep and probably measured about 2' in length. That's a lot of sashimi!

Dave and Alex decided to take advantage of the calm conditions and slightly northerly winds and make the jump back to St. Martin tonight so we joined them for a final hike up to the Annaberg ruins on St. John. A park volunteer was very informative and filled in some more gaps about the history of the islands and the building of this extensive estate. We rambled among the well-preserved and signed remains of the horse-mill, the base of the old wind-mill, the summer kitchen of a later owner and the boiling room which still has one copper intact.

The shoreline path was a stroll in the park compared to the hike yesterday.
Looking out over the coral reef at the west end of Leinster Bay.
Windows are all framed with coral blocks.
Nature is trying to reclaim these walls - the Park Service is fighting back.
We eventually bid our farewells and wished Dave and Alex a safe trip back to the east. I'm sure our paths will cross again in the future and by then we'll all have tucked new adventures under our belts.

We headed up to Soper's Hole (West End) on Tortola to check into the BVI and then made our way over to Privateer Bay on the west side of Norman Island for the night. Our most challenging issue of the afternoon was trying to get our Digicel data card reactivated so that we can have internet in the BVI. Although the card we bought at this time last year was supposed to be good for a full year and I'd been told that the expirey date wasn't until the end of March, we were unsuccessful in getting it reactivated. We'll now need to head into Road Town and back to the Digicel office if we want to try to get data access other than just the free wifi offered by some of the bars (with very expensive drinks.)

Oh well, that's a challenge for another day.

Sunset tonight over the east end of St. John.

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