Sailing the British Virgin Islands, Day 2

Good Morning Peter Island

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Sail to Peter Island, Overnight in Great Harbour

Happy Easter!

  • A few brief periods of rain showers throughout the night. Nothing gets you up faster than rain falling on your face through the open hatch overhead. Usually the storm was finished by the time we’d gotten all the portholes and hatches closed and we’d go around opening them all up again.
  • Grabbed some coffee before our 7:30 boat briefing. A Sunsail staff member gave us the onboard rundown of (hopefully) everything we’ll need to know to take command of the boat (charging batteries, using the toilets, radio frequencies to monitor, how to call for help, etc.) We impressed him by having not one but two note-takers on board. I try to absorb as much information as I can.
  • Our captain, Rick, and first mate, Jenny, head off to the “Captain’s Briefing,” a mandatory meeting where Sunsail gives them a status update of weather and conditions in the area, as well as tips for where to go and what to avoid.
  • Promptly at 9 am, our delivery of provisions from Bobby’s Market arrives. Two cart loads of supplies include a case of wine and two cases of local beer, Red Stripe, which just happens to be this Chicago crew’s on-board summertime beverage of choice.
  • A flurry of of groceries ensues. Think of it as unloading four shopping carts full of stuff (dry goods, fruit, veggies, frozen meat, snacks, paper products, and lots of bottled water.) It’s a little like a big puzzle figuring out where to stash everything in every nook and cranny of the boat.
  • A final quick run to the nearby market to stock up on SPF800 sunscreen.
  • Repairs on the fridge/freezer are complete and the batteries fully charged; the mechanic gives us the thumbs up and we’re good to go.

Then the real fun begins, shoving off and figuring out where the heck we were headed.

Evening in Great Harbor

  • Our destination was Great Harbour, but a domino effect of confusion results when conflicting GPS readings, old maps and guide books (only two years old, mind you) with out-dated land marker info and no mooring balls where we were told they would be have us zig-zagging back and forth between coves of unknown name.
  • Finally, trusting one photo clue from the chart book and the hand-held GPS, we head into our destination point on Peter Island and drop anchor in the SE corner of the bay.
  • There are a handful of boats at anchor in this quiet, relaxing overnight spot. Napping and book reading commence.
  • The first swim! Everybody’s in the water. Though it’s a bit chilly to dip your toe into, once in, it’s wonderfully refreshing. The water is very salty. Swam a 360 around the boat then hosed off with the shower on deck.
  • Dinners will be split between restaurants and meals we cook on board in the galley with an emphasis on the BBQ grill hanging off the deck. Our first night “at sea,” Karen and I have KP duty. We grill steak, onions and peppers for fajitas while the rest of the gang enjoy cocktails on deck. After a full day out on the water, everyone has a good appetite and the meal is a success, with plenty of leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.
  • The sun sets by 6:30 and we dine by the deck lights.
  • Stargazing before bed. Once again, our sleep is interrupted a few times during the night by brief rain showers.

Sunset Over Sir Francis Drake Channel #2



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