Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thanks for a Special Day

Mom says it always snows on my birthday, but if I'm not there I can't really take credit, can I? Sorry for everyone back home who had snow today, but the 10cm of white sand under my feet felt glorious!

You may think we're a little odd, but before we went off for my birthday treat, we really wanted to get a few things done on the boat. You can't have too much fun, can you?? Of course not, but it felt really good to make progress on a few of the items on our boat project list. First order of the day was to get some laundry done, those sheets were getting really funky again after only a few days.

Bucket laundry was done and dry by 9am.
Next order of business was a bit more work on the water maker, we now have the main components mounted and the wood cut and varnished to hold the control panel. 11:00am rolled around pretty quickly which was our personal time-limit on work for the day and then the fun began.

We'd checked out Google Maps of Norman Island and it appeared that there was a road/trail leading from Benures Bay on the north shore over to The Bight on the west. The Bight is home to not one but two of the best known bars in the BVI: Pirates and The Willie T. Going without a dinghy put the party barge (Willie T) out of reach but we were super curious to see what the new Pirates was like after a fire burned them down a couple of years ago.

Firstly though, the hike. We knew that there was a trail we could pick up and from the map is appeared to be at the north end of the bay. We preferred the more southerly area for beaching the dinghy and weren't we completely surprised when we picked up a path which immediately turned into the main trail up the hill. Score one for the day! I was expecting a prickly, rubbly hike but this stroll over Norman turned into one of the most pleasant we have ever done down here. Moderate grassy slopes, cooling breezes and fabulous views before the final descent to arrive at the back of Pirates.

Mowzer sitting happily below in Benures Bay with Peter Island in the background.
There's a helipad on top of Normans?? Who knew?
With direct line of sight to St. John, trying to pick up 3G on the iPad (with no luck).
... but the views are still stunning!
Lunch at the new Pirates sitting at the edge of the beach was delicious. I have to say though that the new restaurant has lost the character of the old and now looks much like other resort restaurants in the area such as Cooper Island and Marina Cay. Sorry, guess they lost more than just the building in the fire. Nothing daunted though we enjoyed our lunch with a supreme 'people-watching' view and what's better than watching people on a beach, the coming and going of dinghies and the general activity around the bar.

Lunch-time view.
The shade and beach-chairs await.
By mid afternoon we shifted our locale slightly to settle on a beach chair in the shade of a palm tree. You see it, just a few steps to the right of our table?

By 4pm it was happy hour and the painkillers had dropped to half-price (which at a regular ding of $9 was definitely the act of a Pirate) so it was time for final libations before heading home back over the hill.

Sure I'm ready to hike, just as soon as I finish this painkiller - oh hey, can I get another?
Thanks Henry for making this a super-special day and thanks to everyone who sent wishes! We definitely wished everyone could have shared with us.

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