Tuesday, May 2, 2017

North Sound. Virgin Gorda, BVI

Well here we are almost done with the cruising life but it's still an adventure.
We left Martinique about 12 days ago after our haulout. The bottom paint and wax job went well despite a day of rain. The Amel crew did the maintenance on the autoprop (more about this later) and the wear out bearing, all the anodes were replaced and the Spurs rope cutter was replaced.
We went back to the Marina le Marin to do our provisioning, clear out and pick up our guest, cousin Daniel.
We had an easy first day to St Pierre and anchored up for the night. Next day on to Prince Rupert Bay in Domenica, where we saw the most spectacular rainbow.
From there, to the gorgeous Ile des Saintes where we picked up a mooring and spent a few days.
The weather was fair to St. Maarten so off we went and did an overnighter and arrived an hour early for the bridge opening into the lagoon. We took a berth at the Simpson Bay Marina as there was not much room in the anchorage and it was very shoal.
While maneuvering in the marina I felt a strong vibration in the transmission and could get minimal thrust in forward or reverse but managed to get onto and end tie as quickly as possible. The dockmaster was not happy but needs must.
We were fortunate to get a diver to inspect the prop and despite recent bearing replacement and service one of the blades had come off the prop. The diver miraculously found the missing blade and retrieved it, so now we have to find out what happened to it and assess responsibility.
I have a fixed prop and the diver was able to take the autoprop off and replace it with the fixed prop.
As far as St Maarten is concerned, we were not too impressed. Everything was very expensive and more like Orange county than the West Indies. The blustery, rainy weather didn't help.
The marina was well run but also very dear. They charged for water at the rate of 20 cents/gallon in addition to $2/foot / day. And for electricity and garbage whether you had any or not.
Daniel took off for Miami after a week afloat and we left on the last bridge opening and waited for a few hours and left for the BVI's at about 10 pm. We sailed overnight for 80 miles to arrive in Virgin Gorda in the morning. It was another dark and squally night and I had to get the foul weather gear on for part of the time.
The north sound in Virgin Gorda has been very nice. We are anchored in about 17 metres next to three resorts and as it was the Admiral's birthday on May 1 we have visited them all to celebrate.
The first was the YCCS which is the newest. It is an Italian yacht club and is a very beautiful and stylish facility and in season they host many megayachts and organize races in the sound.
Lunch there, however, was pretty poor and outrageously overpriced. We were not made particularly welcome there.
The Bitter End Yacht Club and Saba Rock were much better. We had a nice dinner at the BEYC last night and drinks in the bar. Lunch today at Saba Rock was the best of the three.
So much for Virgin Gorda, tomorrow we go to Tortola.

unfortunate situation with the autoprop. Could have been much worse

View from Saba Rock

Amazing rainbow over Domenica. The photo doesn't do it justice

Saba Rock. Best resort of the three

the view from YCCS

Ile des Saintes

The Admiral, Daniel and I at Fort Napoleon, Ile des Saintes

the view from up the hill. Ile des Saintes

Village Square Ile des Saintes