Exploring the BVI

 As we left West End the wind picked up and rain clouds rolled in over the mountaintops; we assumed the predicted wind was coming our way. We were heading ENE with the wind blowing hard out of the south, which was good, but because Ocean Angel is such a fast boat, the apparent wind moves well forward and we found ourselves close reaching with nearly 22 knots of apparent wind coming over the starboard side. Occasional waves slapped the hull sending the occasional wave splashing over the rail, just enough to get us damp. 

Leaving Sopers Hole (West End)
Leaving Sopers Hole (West End)

We had not put on fuel since leaving Salinas, Puerto Rico, nor had we done any of those routine boat chores you can’t escape, so we planned to spend a couple days at Nanny Cay Marina taking care of these necessities. We figured it would be a good time to introduce ourselves to the staff since we would be spending a great deal of time there in the coming days. Nanny Cay is a premier yachting facility with everything you could need or desire. Fuel, water, electricity, internet, laundry, grocery, ice cream store, dive shops, Quantum Sails, haul out, mechanical repairs – truly everything. Nothing comes cheap in the islands, but you can save twenty percent on the cost of repairs by making all the arrangements yourself versus paying Nanny Cay to do it for you. It seems they prefer that you take charge of your own repairs, so you soon get to know a lot of people.
Approaching Nanny Cay from Sir Francis Drake Passage
Approaching Nanny Cay from Sir Francis Drake Passage

The entrance to Nanny Cay is a little tight, and you have to be spot on the markers to avoid reefs on either side. In contrary weather, you must pay close attention. Once inside the basin there’s enough room to maneuver as long as you are careful. One word to the wise- don’t come in around noon on a weekend; all the charter boats are returning and have to fill their tanks. Courtesy is not a word in their vocabulary, and we were cut off at the fuel dock by one of those “kindly” vessels and ended up waiting more than an hour to approach the fuel dock as a result.

Once you’re secured to a dock, the world is at your fingertips. The daily rate is reasonable, and water and electricity are cheap if you need them. The rest room and shower facilities are among the best you will find anywhere. We try to spend as little time as possible in the marinas, but once in awhile you have to bite the bullet just to get certain things done. And we can think of no better place than here. Once we took care of all the necessaries, we moved on to enjoy our last two weeks in the islands.

On a mooring in 40 feet of water
On a mooring in 40 feet of water

As we left Nanny Cay winds were easterly at 15 to 18 knots. We’d promised ourselves these last two weeks would be easy-going, lazy days. No lengthy hard on the wind stuff with waves crashing over the bow, so we sailed off to the southwest planning to anchor for the night either at Little Harbor on Peter Island or The Bight on Normans Island. Tiny Little Harbor was packed so we sailed a couple miles further to the wide-open anchorage at the Bight, or it had been wide open thirty years ago. Now every square inch of decent anchoring space is jammed with moorings which cost an advertised $25.00 per night. No big deal, you say, but that is $750.00 a month to tie up to an unknown quantity.
On one hand they tell you the moorings are inspected and safe, while at the same time they tell you if the wind picks up to 40 knots, you have to leave the moorings. Can’t you just envision all those skilled charter boats dropping the moorings in the middle of the night while the wind is screaming at 40 knots and then attempting to anchor? Oh yeah, I’d really want to have my boat nearby for that event. Not! Needless to say, we are not pleased with this aspect of the BVI. Oh, and the moorings at the Bight are $30.00 – for what? We’d only paid $50 a night at Nanny Cay Marina with all its amenities. We decided we would not pick up another mooring in the BVI.

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