Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We're off on an Adventure- Wendy & Elmer Feb 17-Mar 9



Wendy and Elmer have arrived as scheduled and we are waiting there with camera and Rum  ready.

1St Caribbean rum
However their luggage decided that it wanted a different holiday and refused to get on the same flight as they did.

Where oh where is my underwear ?

The nice airline people tracked it down, still sitting on the tarmac in Miami, scolded it and made it get on the next flight to St Thomas.

Just a little inconvenience, we had dinner at the Best Western Caribe, dinghy'd to the boat for a happy hour and were awaiting it's tardy arrival on the 9:35 flight as it rolled off the luggage rack.

Day 1

Follow the finger to our home away from home

This is the Life

Tough day for the guys

Tougher day for all of us

Day 2
 Another swim in Lindberg, only this time we weren't alone. Unbeknownst to us the jelly fish were out in full force and before we knew it they had attacked Wendy and Sue. Silent, invisible and painfull. Wendy may bear the scars for life.


We checked out Charlotte Amalie  by dinghying thru the cut and landing at Yacht Haven Grand, where we hobknobbed with the Mega Yachts and did a little shopping.  Sue and Wendy for sun dresses and Elmer a fancy tropical shirt and some souvenirs ( they saw him coming)  

On the wish list


Wendy and I tried to talk the guys into Diamonds, Rubies and Emeralds, ( this is the duty free jewellery capitol ), but they just wouldn't buy into that program.  Claimed they were protecting us from Shark and Baracuda attacks by keeping the the shiny bling bling to a minimum.     

Day 3

We hoisted sail and got out of Dodge/ Lindbergh Bay and headed into the wind bound for Francis Bay.  No engine failures thru the cut this time. T.G. 

Captain in Training

Lo and Behold, who sitting there but our favorite Capt Carl & first and 2nd mate Judy.

Carl & Judy

It was a short visit as north swells were predicted and they hi tailed it out of there early the next morning for Leinster Bay to ride it out.  We decided to tuck ourselves against the hill and just enjoy the ride.  Turned out to be a good decision as we had very little rocking.
We did  the trek up 163 stairs up to the Ego Village restaurant to enjoy the view and and the food.
Eco Camp
The Eco village is built into the hillside on Francis/Maho Bay with stairs going up everywhere, and off those stairs are platforms with permanent type tents erected and rented out to eco minded tourists for $185.00 per night. Included is all the stairs you can climb, no indoor plumbing, voracious insects, a fabulous white sand beach ( just 1000 ft below you) It's highly recommended that you don't forget all the essentials on the trek down for the day. 
Some people will pay dearly for almost any experience!

Day 4

Designer Goggles
Wendy got to try out her new prescription mask on our 1st snorkel along the reef at Francis. She actual got to see the big turtles swimming beneath us. We tried to hitch a ride , but they're slippery suckers.

Graceful Entry

Fresh Conk

As if the snorkelling wasn't enough exercise, Elmer said he needed his 45 min  walk  ( I think we're feeding him too much) so we took him on a 3 hr hike to the Annanbergh Sugar Mill ruins and then the Manor house 3 hills away.

View from Manor House

Sugar Mill ruins

I think he got his money's worth.

But, it did make him hungry again so we hit the Eco restaurant again for dinner that night.

Day 5

Today's a beach day, Francis Bay is the most beautiful clean white sand and we were still tucked in here out  of the North Swell, but the sun was shinning and the bodies were definitely pinking up and we got to swim with a couple of Turtles


Chillin in Francis bay
Happy Birthday to Sadie who is 3 yrs old today. Had no internet so we called on the BVI phone ( hang the cost)

Happy 3rd Birthday Sadie

The Genny was doing her usual noisy routine, but for some reason the batteries are just not topping up the way they should. We were all on deck enjoying our happy hour beveridge when the most aweful stench of boiling, burning  battery acid wafted its way up from the engine room.  Oh Oh!!  our answer to the uncharged batteries just made itself known. The one bad one was sucking the others dry.  Switch to plan B?

Day 6

Capt Gord made an executive decision. We cannot go on with no power, so we jump start the engine and head back to Crown Bay to look for our friend and trusty boat fixer "Joe"
Wendy and Elmer get to experience the sheer terror of trying to dock this baby in a tight marine with a cross wind.  We have them white faced, clenched knuckled and quaking.

Then Gord just slides it onto the dock as easy as pie.  You'd think we knew what we were doing.

Joe confirms that it is a rotten battery and must go, but to our dismay it's taking 2 more of its friends with it. 3 New batteries. Ouch!!!

But, it's an opportunity for some more shopping at the cruise ship dock, a great happy hour on board ( everythings fixed)  with Joe and Paul .. who happens to also own a Whitby boat. Then off to Tickles for some music and food.    

Day 7

Sopers Hole


We're outa here, Again!  A quick jaunt into Sopers Hole where we check into the British Virgins at their sophisticated hi tech Customs office at the edge of the Bay.

Then its off to The Bight at Norman Island for an evening of fun aboard The Willy T.

Sad to say none of us lost their clothes, jumped naked from the roof or fell into the water from deck or dinghy. Not enough shots for this crowd.  But we had a blast and some of us paid for it the next day.

Day 8
Wendy and Elmer have been here a week already, it's gone so fast.
4th Captain

Seasoned Sailors Already
It's Jumbie night at Leverick Bay and that's not to be missed, so off we head to North Sound.

Jumbie Wannabees

Still some swell out there and the crashing waves over our bow were getting Wendy all excited ( she's a thrill seeker) so she just had to stand up on deck and video.

The Jumbie show was great and we ran into Francois and Marie with their kids and company aboard "Excalibur" also taking in the show. So, obviously they made it back from St Maarten during calm seas without our assistance.

Wendy got to dance with the tallest guy she'll ever waltz with check it out.

Day 9

We moved the boat from Leverick to just across the bay to anchor in front of the Sandbox for some Beach Time.  It's been a tough week and we definitely need some
R n R, lol.


Day 10

Coppermine Point
We decide on an island tour and rent a car to head 1st to the copper mine ruins,
 then for lunch and a tour of Ocean Wings  home away from home " Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour".

Then we're off the The Baths.

The Baths are one of Natures wonders and are a must see on a visit to the Virgins.

After a tiring day we are back at the boat for Elmer's Birthday dinner.
Birthday Pie
                               Happy Birthday Elmer, hope it was a good one.

Day 11

Still in North Sound as we must stick around for the Micheal Bean Pirate show tonight.

Wendy and Elmer have learned all about the "Dinghy Dash" while here in North Sound. It's a big Bay with 4 different resorts on 4 different parts of the bay, so once you're anchored its a dinghy ride to everywhere.

North Sound- full of yachts

The Dinghy Dash consists of swinging off the back of the boat, flinging yourself into the dinghy, hoping that you don't bounce overboard, once everyones aboard. then the person in the bow gets to lean out and cut us loose for the ride of your life.
Bouncing thru the waves it's tough to know whether fast or slow is better as the salt water waves wash over the bow of the dinghy soaking everyone and everything in sight.
There we are huddled together trying to keep dry, which is a totally futile task.
Why do we shower and why do we put on clean clothes to go out. That's the Dinghy Dash question of the day.

So today we do the Dinghy Dash over to The Bitter End Yacht Club and Birius Creek Resort to check them out.  High class at over $750.00 per night. A little out of our league. However, we did grab a nice swim, relax and walk on the beach with their private pool all to ourselves, then gorged ourselves at the Fat Virgin on blue cheese burgers.  Yummmm!

Overlooking the Atlantic- from "our private pool"

Another dinghy dash into the Micheal Bean Show. Great as always and I was in top form on the trivia and won several pieces of eight towards drinks and t-Shirts.

Day 12
Riding Shotgun

Off to Monkey Point to Snorkel. Then were off to Jost Van Dyke to check out on our way to The Spanish Virgin Islands.

The snorkeling was great and Great Harbour at Jost was as usual. Crowded and the staff at Foxy's always seem to have a somewhat rude attitude. But it's the check out point , so everyone goes anyway.

Modern Plumbing

Elmer, can't leave work Behind  and must inspect the water system on Jost Van Dyke
Thought we'd stock up on a few groceries, so we hit the local store. The fridge which is the dairy case, meat case and produce case all in one had some rotting potatoes, 1 small tomatoe , lots of rust and nothing else.  So we're going packaged.

Day 13

First Stop - Culebrita. The weather has calmed down, but too much and we probably won't be able to sail to Culebra, which is a great run. But were off by 9am and on our way.

The ride over was so calm, that we lay out on the front deck and sunned ourselves, arriving in Bahia du Tortuga on Culebrita by noon. We couldn't wait to get into the water it was so clear and turquiose blue.  We headed to the beach and then off to the Jacuzzis, where the water frothed and bubbled as it poured over the rocks from the outer ocean into our secluded pool where we snorkeled amongst the bubbles. Amazing!!

Bubbling Jacuzzi's


Underwater Shelling
instead of walking back Wendy and I snorkeled back.  When I popped my head up and said anyone want Lobster for dinner, Gord just couldn't get his snorkel gear on fast enough.
I thought Lobsters wadled round on those silly looking legs, but boy was I wrong, they can really move. and that's what they did , evading capture each time. it got later and later, till I caught a flash beside me and there was a shark chasing a fish like he was really , really hungery.  I'm outta there and dragging everyone with me as quick as I could.  Close escape!

Day 14
 It's head to Culebra, check in at customs and find the ferry dock for info on Puerto Rico. a quick walk around town and a stop at the grocery store, then Happy Hour aboard make for a lazy day.

Happy Hour on Deck

Day 15

Up at what time??  5.00am it isn't even light yet. But we're off to catch the 6:30 ferry to Fajardo on Puerto Rico. Rented a car and poor Gord gets to navigate the streets of Puerto Rico. Glad it isn't me. 

Local Puerto Rican Hangout

Puerto Rico Street Scape

Real Estate in Puerto Rico

Day 16 Old San Juan
Olde San Juan

What a beautiful old city, with amazing architecture and hidden little gardens and courtyards. As well as a fort and walls surrounding the city which were the original protected fortress.

Soldiers Quarters

Lovely restaurant in the hotel for dinner, but can you believe, they have NO SALAD, my main food . How can a top notch restaurant be out of food at 7pm in the evening. Me thinks they need some new management.

Day 17 Garmy Needs an Update

San Juan is such a major city , and like any other keeps updating their road system with new roads. We allowed ourselves a leisurely 2 hrs to get back to the Fajardo Ferry ( after last years harrowing ride) We’re cruising along looking at the sites and patting ourselves on the back on what a breeze it is with Garmy navigating for us when all of a sudden she panics and starts with the recalculating, recalculating and shows us spinning around in an open field. What the heck**** we’re definitely on a 4 lane , highway that does exist. But, Garmy can’t see it. Oh Oh.

Thanks to Wendy & Elmer’s local map purchase and a few circles out of our way we are back on track, we hope. Even the new map does not show this road. But it’s headed in the right direction , so we’re going for it.

We connect back with a known road and arrive at the Ferry with only 10 min to spare.

Just made the Ferry !
 Saved again! Next time a 3 hr start.

Day 19 Back in Lindbergh Bay

Water Gymnastics


Wendy and Elmers departure bay, with a couple of days to relax and unwind and get psyched up for them leaving us.

Walk along Lindbergh beach

The water is almost glassy calm, so another swim and then a dinghy ride back into Charlotte Amalie for one more kick at convincing the guys that Diamonds, Rubies and Emeralds are the perfect way to top off a holiday. Still no joy!

Black Beard

Not too good a view from the stockade
Instead we head up the mountain to check out Blackbeards Castle and the fabulous view.

Pretty touristy, but some great old homes to view as well as an Amber museum, where the guys finally broke down and bought us some Amber – which is really just million year old pine tree sap that has hardened into a gem type shape. Interestingly, the pieces with bugs and mosquitos imbedding within are the most valuable. Just goes to show, you won’t know what little treasures the generations 1000’s or 1000000’s of years from now with find value in. ( Buy the way- we both got an imbedded bug)

Amber waterfall....worth 2.5 million

Day 20 Last day on the Beach

Lindeburgh Bar Flies
 A little more, sun, sand and water, then we’re back to the boat for a quick lunch, dinghy to the hotel breakwall, then a walk, yes a 5 min walk to the airport. This time we think their luggage got on with them. We hope.
Trek to the Airport

Good Bye Guys - We'll Miss you ! 

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Sailboat owners Gord and Sue aboard their 55' Whitby Ketch "Ocean Wings" share their adventures and travels as they start their retirement, living their dream of seeing the world from oceanside.
Ocean Wings is a recent purchase and our first foray into the Sailing Lifestyle. We're excited and a little scared. Join us in our adventure.