Cruising through the channel, we were on our way to The Baths on Virgin Gorda. Wind in the sails and blue water all around. We made it to the Baths by lunch time and were eager to explore the rock formations by land and sea. We swam through a maze of yachts and dinghys to make our way to the rocks. Brightly colored fish swam in schools, weaving in and out. The wind picked up and storm clouds moved in. We relaxed in the shallows and while we waited for my dad to come pick us up in the dinghy and bring us back to the boat.
Once back on the Santa Maria, the storm passed through with only a drizzle. My mom whipped together a batch of painkillers and we decided to make our way to shore to explore the rock formations on foot.
We climbed up and down and walked all around the area. Nature can be so fascinating! There were some pretty views of the bay along the trail.
Unfortunately we were in a bit of a time crunch. See, there’s no sailing after dark in the BVI, so we had to make sure that we were able to make it to our planned mooring site before dusk. Our next stop was several hours away in the North Sound, and we had to get a move on if we wanted to make it there in time. Another complication was the dreaded “X” on our map, marking a shallow reef that cannot be seen with the naked eye in bad light. We wanted to be sure that we made it to that spot before the sun dropped too low in the sky. So, we were off!
At this point in our trip, this was our longest sail but I still think it is the fastest we managed to go. We were steady going 7-8.5 knots most of the way. For some perspective, this is the wake we were making.
Much to my happiness we made it past the dreaded “X” without incident. We had two options, head over to the Leverick Bay or continue further down the North Sound toward Saba Rock and Bitter End Yacht Club. We decided that we would spend one night at the quieter area in Leverick Bay and then make our way down the sound the next day. We were one of a only few boats in Leverick Bay. It was a peaceful cove with great views.
I was happy to relax, have a drink, and read my Gillian Flynn novel while Jonathan, my mom, and Madelyn went to explore the area. They came back with a beautiful starfish that we admired for a bit before putting it back into the water.
For dinner we had two options: cook on the boat or head ashore to the only hotel/restaurant nearby. We hadn’t planned for very many nights of cooking on board because of the logistics of storing that much food, so we ventured ashore to eat.
We docked the dinghy in the back of the marina and admired the huge catamarans with gigantic flat screen TVs on board. In stark contrast to the catamarans were the small motorboats packed with families of Puerto Ricans blasting their reggaeton music. Our server had many strong opinions about the Puerto Ricans… She explained that it was one of their holidays so they boat over the the BVI for a little vacay. In her opinion, they were troublemakers that disturbed the peace. It seemed to us like they were just trying to have a good time.
After we ate, it was time for the nightly BVI downpour. We waited in the restaurant until the rain slowed to a drizzle and then made our way back to our dinghy. Near the dinghy was one of the huge catamarans and it had bright lights shining into the water. This attracted a number of fish in all shapes and sizes. It was pretty impressive to see them all thrashing about in the water. It also made me think about what bigger fish could be lurking deeper in the water as we piled into our tiny dinghy to motor back to the sailboat.
Finding the sailboat in the dark was always an interesting task, particularly because we often forgot to turn a light on in the sailboat to help us navigate our way to it. In other places that we slept there were many boats to pass and so we kind of had an idea of where to search. Since Leverick Bay was mostly empty, there weren’t really any landmarks or boats to guide us. The wind picked up and the rain started again just as we found the Santa Maria. We hopped aboard and jumped inside, ready to rest after the long day of snorkeling and sailing.
Hunkered down for the night, I thought about our journey. It was strange to think that we were only halfway done with the trip. It felt as if we had gone so far, seen so much, and been on the water for ages. At the same time, I knew there was a great deal left to see! Still left on our itinerary: Saba Rock, Marina Cay, the White Bay at Jost Van Dyke, Peter Island, and then one night ashore on St. Thomas before our early morning flight home.
Our minds and bodies were tired but our spirits were high. The wind sang its nightly lullaby and the boat rocked us all to sleep.