Arrival in Virgin Islands

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  BVI   Soper's Hole                      Road Town                 Nanny Cay                    Great Harbour, Peter Island        
  St Thomas   Charlotte Amalie              Frances Bay                Caneel Bay            The Lagoon                
  26 February 2010   The Lagoon, St. Thomas    

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  Left Peter Island early on 26th heading for the south side of St. John, due to northerly swells and to see that side of the island. We headed for the Lagoon on St. Thomas as it was sheltered and was the base for Budget Marine, the local chandlery where we needed a few items.

This was a great anchorage. Shallow, with good sand and plenty of room to swing, even though we were exposed to the south east. Spent three days there doing odd jobs, and have promised ourselves a return visit to explore the mangrove creeks and reefs near the entrance.

Took bus to shops in Tutu Mall area for new fuel pump for generator. Great bus service. Anywhere in the island for $1.00.

Repaired generator.






  25 February 2010    Great Harbour, Peter Island, BVI    

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  Finished off the last minute items at Nanny Cay Marina and left a little late, so did not decide where to go until we were out of the marina and in open water to assess wind and sea state.

Decided to cross to closest point, Great Harbour, Peter Island about 4 miles away. We were also carrying on deck, 4 sail battens each probably 20' long, plus all the old stainless steel from the bimini frame, so did not want to bounce around too much.

Not at all impressed with Great Harbour. Very deep. Although we have chain to anchor in 70-80 feet, it's a hassle so prefer to find 30' so squeezed in a corner close to shore. No beach to speak of, so the only entertainment was a large number of pelicans making their last fish dives of the day. Aerial and aquatic acrobatics.

There were three deer on the beach early morning as we weighed anchor to motor over to the Lagoon on St. Thomas, USVI.






  23 February 2010    Nanny Cay, BVI    

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New hard top on its way to the haul out dock




Moving the boom across


Locating the hard top



  New hard top at last! We booked this for April 2009, then delayed it to July, then November due to engine and lightning issues. Our arrival at Nanny Cay concludes an exciting 1,370 nautical mile journey and Stage One of this season's cruising.

Chris Spencer and JJ at BVI Painters moved onboard within minutes of us arriving at the slip. An hour later the old bimini and its frame were gone and we were waiting for a slot at the haul-out dock.

Moved to the haul-out dock. Very slick operation. Dreaming On was moored very securely and very close to the bulkhead so she would not move. Next the boatlift carried the hardtop into exactly the right position. The boatlift can adjust the height of each corner strap so small adjustments could be made for fixing holes to be drilled and bolted.

Within an hour we were moving again back to the slip with temporary bolts in the rear of the hardtop to the arch and the front sitting on cushioned buckets. Very glamorous.

The install was completed the following day, plus we had the chance to get a few more jobs out of the way while at the slip.

We should have purchased hard hats for ourselves. The new hardtop is just a few inches lower at the sides as it curves down and extends slightly further out than the old canvas job and really is MUCH harder. Just enough to catch the unwary head! We declared it a hard hat area for the first three days!

But what a difference it makes. So much nicer to live with. It also allows us easy access to the boom and mainsail and we can install solar panels up there when the budget recovers. And it's waterproof! No more cockpit showers.

While making our way here, one mainsail batten kept slipping out of its pocket, requiring a precarious balancing act on the arch, sometimes in heavy seas to re-fix. We also noticed one batten broken, so bought replacements while at Nanny Cay.

Iza has some work to do now. The new hardtop needs side curtains for sun shade, so she has been practicing with her sewing machine.

Stayed in Nanny Cay for 2 nights, then motored 4 miles over to Great Harbour, Peter Island for a night, carrying our 20' battens and old stainless steel bimini frame with us on deck.





JJ (dig the cardboard hat!) clamping the hard top to the arch




New hard top in place fixed with 3 bolts and 2 buckets


A satisfied customer

       Road Town, BVI    

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  Road Harbour is Tortola's main port in the Capital, Road Town. Road Harbour is also Dreaming On's home port and this her first visit. Very busy natural harbour, with a cruise ship terminal. Quite how the larger 900' cruise ships tie up to what seems quite a small dock we are not sure, and they move in and out at around 1 knot, a speed we have difficulty getting down to on Dreaming On.

One of the problems in the Virgin Islands is the depth for anchoring. In the Bahamas, we rarely anchor in more than 15 feet of water. Here we are having to creep very close to shore to find 30'. Anchored on the west side of the bay for one night, so we only have a short 3 mile hop into Nanny Cay right next door for our hardtop install. We have a great view of all the traffic in the harbour and a VERY close up view of the inter-island ferries! Lots of wash, but at least they do not operate at night.






  22 February 2010   Soper's Hole, BVI    


A mid-morning arrival at very crowded Soper's Hole, West End, Tortola. Meandered through the myriad mooring buoys to find a vacant one we could use while we cleared Customs and Immigration at the ferry dock on the north side of the bay..

Formalities very professional and quick, so we then crossed the bay to the south side to wander around the tourist area. On the way, we met a dinghy being rowed across the bay with an engine problem so towed them to the fuel dock.

After half an hour on shore looking around the tourist shops and with the arrival of many cruise ship passengers, we decided it was time to move on, so motored around to Road Harbour, 9 miles away,

Road Town
Nanny Cay
       Frances Bay, St John's, USVI    
  21 February 2010

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  Left Caneel Bay and made an early morning potter around the next few bays, Hawksnest, Trunk and Cinnamon, ending just 3 miles away in Frances Bay. Another beautiful bay surrounded by steep hills with a few great beaches. Arrived in Frances on Sunday so the beaches were a little busy.

St. John is definitely a place to which to return. There are many bays we missed and we would like to have a look around onshore some time.

Again it rained for much of the time as a weather system passes through which cleared by Monday 22nd when we moved to the British Virgin Islands.

Nowhere else in the world can you move from the US to the UK in 4 miles. We motor out of this bay, turn through a gap between islands to head northeast and there, immediately ahead is Tortola, BVI.

Headed into Soper's Hole, West End, Tortola to clear Customs and Immigration..






       Caneel Bay    
  20 February 2010

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  Left Charlotte Amalie harbour and headed around the southeast corner of St. Thomas heading for St. John. Met a whole bunch of squalls along the way. We haven't seen rain like that in a long time. Until we have our new hardtop fitted, (5 days from now) and then have a dodger made, we are a little vulnerable to rain and the present old canvas bimini leaks like a sieve.

As we were headed for a narrow, fast running gap between islands, we pulled into anchor at St. James Island for a break and dry out to wait for a rain break.

We found a break, headed through the gap and spent the night in beautiful Caneel Bay on the northwest corner of St. John. St. John is mostly a nature reserve, so there is little development and most bays have mooring buoys to prevent anchor damage to the seafloor.






  19 February 2010   Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas    

Geoff on the arch, fixing the batten, yet again!


Sail Rock


Twin Otter landing in Charlotte Amalie

Made the 18 mile trip from Isla Culebrita to Charlotte Amalie, the main city of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

Charlotte Amalie is a very busy port with the hustle and bustle of ferries, seaplanes, cruise ships, and pleasure craft of every description.

The town has a Dutch history and many old Dutch style buildings still survive. The major business here is the cruise ship traffic, so every possible method of squeezing money out of cruise ship passengers is represented. There are dozens of little bars and restaurants, up market international fashion and jewelry shops and local markets. Most are along the waterfront overlooking the enormous natural harbour, or in narrow renovated side streets.

We did not stay long, just enough time to get a flavour and to do some grocery shopping, but this may be the main point for us to meet any visitors, so we are sure we will be back.

While at the dinghy dock doing our shopping, we saw a dinghy marked T/T (tender to) GeWil. Now we only know of one GeWil and that's an Irwin monohull belonging to Gene and Wilma from North Carolina who we met in the Bahamas in 2005. So we dinghied through the very large anchorage and found them. At least we found Gene, Wilma was ashore. They will be there until June, so we will most probably see then again on our return to St. Thomas.

Charlotte Amalie



Charlotte Amalie

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