Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mini Vacation

Yeah right, you say, they don't need a vacation! And you're probably right but that's pretty much what we're doing this weekend.

The docks at CYOA are super busy as they get ready for their first charter weekend of the season and we're still waiting our shipments to both come in, which they won't do until mid-next week. We need to do a haul-out and survey for insurance which can only be done on Tortola, and to top it off this is Foxy's Catfight weekend! All these factors combined to convince us to take off up to the BVI and the added benefit is that we are out of the U.S. so our count of days doesn't keep increasing which will impact us next year as we transit north.

Thursday afternoon we pulled off the dock and motored along the south shore of St. Thomas direct into the wind. It was only as we passed through the mightily confused waters of Pillsbury Sound and turned north toward Jost Van Dyke that we decided to pull out the genoa with the wind on a close reach. Shortly thereafter the starboard engine decided we should really pull out the main as well as the overheating alarm went off. That's what we love about a catamaran - redundancy of two engines, so we weren't too concerned since we still had the port engine to help us manoever in the anchorage to pick up a mooring. We had a lovely sail up to Jost and made it in time to do half our clearance paperwork, only to return in the morning to complete the other half.

The little village at Great Harbour nestles up against the ocean to catch the cool breezes.
What would a visit to one of these beautiful islands be without a hike to the top? We've been to the top of Jost before from Diamond Cay at the east end, but hadn't found the trail from Great Harbour. At the western end of the main road (read sand track) there is a little sign pointing up for "hiking trail". Sporadic concrete indicates plans to build the equivalent of a super-highway across this tiny island, but most of the trail is steep rubble and grass at angles that quickly have me puffing in the heat. The views from the top are reward enough as we can see the faint shadow of Anegada in the north-east all the way around to St. Thomas to the west. The islands in between are scattered like beads from a broken necklace and to the north is mind-blowing depths of blue that run all the way to Bermuda.

These are not the tree-shaded hikes of St. John!
I need to learn the names of the birds down here. These guys hopped along the fence line to keep pace with us.
This hawk rode the thermals up high above us with not a single flap of his wings.
The afternoon spent hanging out in the anchorage became progressively more social as various boats arrived on which we know some or all of the crew. The competition for Saturday's races are amassing. In all honesty this is totally a fun regatta. By the end of the evening I think we were registered as boat #3, in a class of two boats (the other Mahe from CYOA and us), one monohull and one larger cat. Hopefully more boats come in and register in the morning. An evening at Foxy's is always great fun; the BBQ buffet at $30 is pricey but the mahi and ribs were excellent and the salads much better than expected. We got the lo-down from the other crews, read over the race instructions and we're stoked for what tomorrow will bring.

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