We traveled to the BVI for another sailing vacation this January. This trip was a little different form past trips: we sailed a large (Bahia 46) catamaran instead of our usual monohull.
Pictures from the trip are available in two forms. The unexpurgated version, without comments (410 pix), and the edited version ("only" 184) with comments. There are also a few video files available here.
Our crew was the family (Ben, Kathy, Ariana, and Ross), Ross's friend Stephen, and Ariana's friends Allison and Andrea (triple A?). We were joined in Tortola by my former partner in crime, Pieter, and his wife, Jessica (is there a lawyer in the house?).
We sailed out of Sunsail's new facilities in Maya Cove in Tortola's East End, just a couple of miles from the Beef Island airport. The first night was spent aboard the boat in harbour, after provisioning with Bobby's Market (good job!).
The first sail was to Marina Key, a short jaunt around Beef Island, followed by snorkeling nearby.
The next morning we set of for The Baths on Virgin Gorda. After a nice lunchtime exploration we sailed for Gorda's North Sound. A morning snorkel trip took us to Necker Island, then Pete and Ben rented windsurfer and mini-Hobie, respectively, and had a blast sailing while others took to the beach. Dinner at Saba Rock and another pleasant night moored in the sound.
The next morning we awoke to ugly, rainy weather. We managed to avoid running into any islands on the sail down to Norman Island through the diligent sailing skills of Pieter and Kathy, assisted from below by Ben with GPS down at the chart table. Several of us braved the gray to snorkel around from our mooring in the Bight to the caves at Treasure Point. The best snorkeling was right at our boat, it turned out.
Next morning we went off to the Indians, where we've often had the best snorkeling. It was good, but the Bight was better. We returned there after lunch for more snorkeling trips and shore expeditions. Dinner was aboard the floating restaurant, the William Thornton ("Willy T" to its friends).
Pieter and Jessica had spotted an interesting bay on the Atlantic side of Norman from the top of a hill, so the next morning we braved the icy waters of the Atlantic and headed around to Money Bay for an adventure. We sent Pete and Allison out in the dinghy from our cozy mooring to check out the reef at the far end of the bay. they braved the full Atlantic swells and eventually returned to report that the snorkeling was not worth the (exciting!) ride. From Money Bay we again hit the Atlantic to sail to the paradisiacal Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Island. A fine spaghetti dinner capped adventures with coconuts and rum.... This day was recorded for posterity as "the best day ever" by Stephen and Ross.
The next morning we headed off for the Baths again, stopping there for more snorkeling and explorations, as well as for "necessary mast repairs" performed by Ross, Stephen, and Ariana. We then headed up to moorings outside Spanish Town harbour and went in for much-needed showers and dinner at the Bath and Turtle (no longer the quaint pub Pieter remembered from his days crewing on charters fifteen years ago).
The next morning was our last, so we headed back to Fat Hog's Bay . . . oops . . . missed . . . we meant Maya Cove! After checking in at Beef Island Airport we spent a couple of hours (and some $) down at the shops on Trellis Bay, then back home through San Juan, PR.
Not mentioned above were the regular evening games of asshole (modified, six-player version) that kept us busy until "late" in the night -- about 10:00pm.