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You will need my sat phone number which you can get by emailing me. Although the screen will say 160 chars - I only get the first 108 (...its the usual IT screw up)

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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 philosopher slept, I slowed Enterprise down until, with no sail, we gently glided in the current between the north shore and the famous Necker Island. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Branson or one of his guests jogging along the beach – but all was quiet in billionaire land. I was keen to avoid entering the North Sound until the sun had risen further – there was the small matter of reefs and a reasonably complicated entrance channel that “may or may not be marked” by marker buoys that “may or may not be” in the correct place. In the event – and as is often the case – the entrance was not as tricky as forecast – and we motor sailed through, in the company of a glorious sunrise.

North SoundNorth Sound is a large inlet protected by hilly islands which are virtually joined by reefs except in one place where a narrow entrance skirts the second Branson island – called Mosquito Island. We later discovered that ex President Obama had been a guest of the Bransons only the week before and had been happily dancing on the bar showing off his moves. Oh well, if he couldn't be bothered to wait for us it was his loss.

 

We motored in to Leverick Bay and dropped anchor some way off since the anchorage had been planted with 3o or so mooring buoys. The mooring field occupied the prime position near to the dock side facilities. We decided. to just get sorted and check in the following day. The dinghy had to be launched; the outboard fitted and the boat tidied up – and I needed some sleep!

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