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Road Harbour, Tortola

From Trellis Bay we had another superb sail in some of the most beautiful cruising grounds I have ever seen.

The weather was beautiful, the wind was beautiful, the islands were – yes – fantastically beautiful… some of the best sailing conditions ever.

Just half a day sail to Road Harbour, and to anchor.

The purpose of stopping here was to get the ferry to the US Virgin Islands in order to get a US visa…. but that is another story….

Luckily – although the guide books all play Road Harbour down – we found it quiet and welcoming… we also bumped into old friends from SV Betsy – last seen in Antigua and also heading to St Thomas to get their boat shipped back to the UK.

 

Map
Anchorage
Idyllic sailing grounds of the BVI’s…..
BVI-3
BVI-2
BVI-1

..next stop…The Last Resort…

From North Sound we sailed in beautiful weather and light winds towards the north coast of Tortola, our destination by nightfall would be Trellis Bay.

Located within Trellis Bay there is a tiny island called Bellamy Cay. Here the Last Resort Bar and Restaurant was founded in 1972.  Bellamy Cay gained its name after the infamous "Prince of Pirates" Samuel Bellamy, who used the island as his base of operations from 1715 to 1717 largely due to the 12-15 foot draft of the Trellis Bay which provided protection to Bellamy's fleet during bad weather. 

Until the 20th Century, Bellamy Island, remained uninhabited until it was bought by Władysław Wagner, Europe's "First Polish yachtsmen" who built a boatyard, marine railway, and many of the buildings you can still see today. 

The Last Resort Bar and Restaurant was opened by adventurer Tony Snell who prior to his arrival in the BVIs had lived a life of adventure.  During WW2 Snell had been shot down and captured by Axis forces, both times escaping from imprisonment with the help of beautiful women, a real life James Bond.  After returning back to the States, Snell experienced success in both music and film. Then, while sailing off to another island, Jost Van Dyke in the 1970's, he and his family stumbled upon Bellamy Cay and decided to take up residence upon finding the remnants of Wagner's structures.  He moved his business to the Bellamy Cay and began The Last Resort which has been greeted by on going success largely due to their great food and fantastic live performances by local musicians.

We met one of the young guitarists – from the UK – in the Last Resort bar and it was his band that had played for Obama on Mosquito Island just a couple of weeks before.

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..the Bitter End..

The entire North Sound is a safe haven for even a large fleet. It is here that many pirates like Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, sought refuge and cover. The connection with pirates went on to modern times. Roland "Pop" Symonette was one of nine children born in poverty in the Bahamas. Although he had only six years of formal education, Symonette became one of the wealthiest men of his generation. A lifelong advocate of education, he was a school teacher early in his career, but, during Prohibition, Symonette transported whiskey to the United States. With the

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Happy Arr!…

It was a nice respite to enjoy the Leverick Bay Restaurant with its beautiful views, a small sandy beach, and very friendly staff.  The steaks and mahi mahi were great too, and after a few cocktails the totally over the top evening entertainment provided by Michael "Bean" Gardner's "Happy 'Arr," was bearable and even enjoyable at times. Mr Bean’s real claim to fame is that all proceeds from show go directly to the Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti, which strives to bring food, water, medicine, and education to Ile a Vache, a small island off the southwest

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11,000 Virgins…

Columbus “discovered” the Islands in 1493 – some centuries after the native Ciboney, Caribs, and Arawaks had forgotten to plant a flag on their homelands. Columbus named the Island chain after the mythical story of the 11,000 virgins of the 5th-century Christian martyr St. Ursula. As an aside, my eldest sister went to an Ursuline convent school for girls in London. I am sure she can testify to the saintliness of her teachers and fellow students. Our own arrival off the coast of Virgin Gorda, at the head of the Island chain was magical. As dawn broke, and the

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The Oh-My-God-A Passage…

We planned on crossing the Anagada Passage in daylight. That way we figured we would be able to see whatever nature threw at us. The chart plotter was showing that at our current speed of 2/4 kts our ETA at Virgin Gorda would be 0400. We would be arriving when it was still pitch black, but I planned on “heaving to” and just waiting till dawn before approaching any reefs. 

The wind was light and fickle – the sun was relentless – we sailed, or more accurately flopped, along with a high pressure zone fixed directly above us. Eventually I

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…fast forward

Not having kept up the  blog for some months it takes quite an effort to catch up – especially since obtaining wifi is such a performance – there are only so many coffees and cocktails that a man can drink just to get wifi. So I thought I would just skip forward.

Appropriately April Fools Day was spent doing the 167nm journey from Jolly Harbour, Antigua to Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda. The passage is in two parts. First the channel that separates a number of islands. To the South lie St Kitts & Nevis; Sint Eustatia; Saba and to the

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Essequibo River, Guyana..

Approaching the estuary of the River Essequibo takes timing. There is a sand bar and you must enter at the correct state of tide. After entering it is advisable to anchor off one of the little islands – the estuary is huge – and then do the 50 mile journey up river with a full day ahead of you.

As Enterprise approached the coast, we were far too early so with only a scrap of mainsail, we drifted along silently on a calm and moonlit sea. The mouth of the river lay ahead. I could see on AIS

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Nereids Rally…

Its the start day of the rally – 5 Sept 2016. The much anticipated Nereids Rally. Only a few boats are leaving from Trinidad. Most had opted for leaving from Tobago. So Enterprise sails alone one more.

Its customary to hug the Trinidad coast to avoid the counter current and wind, then to head out into the Atlantic to clear pirate alley off the coast of Venezuela, out through the oil rigs and traffic of the oil fields and then south – against the currents and the wind – what could go wrong …?

The sky was grey most

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Message in a bottle…

Having returned to Trinidad, we do at least get to be at the celebration dinner hosted by the Nereid’s Rally organiser – David – an ex Italian banker… dont ask.

David has also arranged for children and parents from the local special needs school, to come down to the yard and be shown around a few boats – Enterprise included – and have a little talk given to them by each of the skippers present.

We then join the children at the roti hut to write their messages in a bottle. Each bottle will be given to the rally participants

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