Sailing the British Virgin Islands, Day 7

Friday, 17 April 2009

Sail from Jost Van Dyke to Norman Island, via Pelican Island and the Indians

    • Our final full day on the boat. It seems like forever that we were in Spanish Harbour and now it’s almost over!
    • Karen and I are up at 6 a.m. to watch the sunrise and read on deck. Good bird watching as we see lots of boobies and pelicans fishing in the cove.
    • An hour later, the rest of the crew is stirring and soon the captain is whipping up a batch of scrambled eggs and coffee. We have a delicious breakfast of eggs, tortillas, salsa, black beans, juice and coffee. A batch of tortellini is cooking on the stove for our pasta salad lunch. After lunch is made and everything stowed away, we drop the mooring and pull out for our best day of full sailing.
Great Thatch Island
    • We sail through Thatch Island cut, past Soper’s Hole on Tortola and through The Narrows, between Tortola and St. John islands, then along the south coast of Tortola and down toward Norman Island.
    • We stop at Pelican Island and The Indians for lunch, where we’re lucky to snag one of the day moorings at this popular spot. Outstanding scenery 360-degrees around, with a spectacular view of Tortola in the distance, Pelican Island (above) on our left, the reef and snorkelers between the outcropping of steep rocks knows as The Indians (right) to our right, and Norman Island behind.

The Indians

  • Our terrific three-hour sail (nice, steady winds, calm seas and no rain) comes to an end when we motor in to The Bight at Norman Island and pick up our last mooring. We choose a spot far from the popular night spots on the island, Pirates and the notoriously raucous Willy T’s.
  • Another of what we’ve come to call our “lost afternoons”–sunning, napping, and reading until it’s time for the cocktail hour. We watch the sun go down over Tortola.
  • We decide to brave Willy T’s for dinner, a floating bar/restaurant on a two-story ferry boat. In it’s heyday, the Willy T was known for drunken revelers stripping down and jumping into the water from the roof until liability ended the practice.
  • The food is surprisingly good and reasonably priced. We have grilled mahi mahi sandwiches, yellow fin tuna, striploin steak, prawns and the special of the day, a kind of jambalaya with sausage, shrimp and chicken.
  • As we leave, the party atmosphere in the bar is kicking off with some guy proclaiming, “We’ve got a jumper! My wife is going to jump!” Such pride. As our dinghy pulls away, we see two women buck-naked jumping hand-in-hand off the stern of the Willy T to general whoops and applause from the crowd.
  • Back on board, we do a bit more stargazing as we listen to the live music from Pirates float across the water. We turn in early, since we’ll be up and off early to sail back to Road Harbour in time for Rick and Mary to catch their plane back to Chicago.
Home Sweet Home
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