Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Cane Garden Bay to Little Harbour, Jost van Dyke
What a terrific day.
After a tasty breakfast prepared by the captain of eggs, cheese, black beans, and hot sauce wrapped in tortillas, Mary, Karen, Anne, and I go ashore to re-provision at the grocery store. We find nearly everything on our list in a small but well-stocked Bobby’s Market. After buying three bags of ice at another shop, we walk the short distance back to the dinghy dock, passing about ten strutting roosters on the way.
Back on the water and out in the channel, seas are the calmest we’ve seen and we put up both sails, hoping to get in some sailing before lunch. Alas, no, there’s just no wind, so after about an hour, we take them down and motor over to Sandy Cay for lunch.
We anchor in an absolutely gorgeous spot. The island is tiny, the beaches white, and the surf brilliant blue on black rocks. Palm trees and soaring pelicans complete the picture of an idyllic desert island. The water is every shade of blue, ending in vibrant turquoise close to shore. The sea and the wind are calm, so we decide to try lighting the grill for lunch. After a series of unsuccessful attempts, its clearly the charcoal just won’t light. Luckily, we have a stash that’s drier.
Rick and Jenny cool off with a dip in the ocean off the back of the boat while I grill our hot dog feast. We eat lunch, drinking Red Stripes and marveling at the view, so gorgeous and picture perfect, it’s hard to believe it’s real.
After lunch, we all go ashore, some of us to explore, others to swim and sit on the beach. I want to take some photographs, so I zip up my camera in double Ziploc bags for the short dinghy ride to the beach. Up close, the tiny island loses some of its lushness, looking scrubbier with only the occasional palm tree, but the view from this vantage is just as nice. I shoot many photos of our boat anchored just off shore, as well as the beach, surf and the birds as Rick, Mary, Karen, and I walk around to the other side of the cay.
We come across a colony of pelicans, some skimming the surface of the breaking waves, some fishing, and others drying off and grooming on the rocks above the surf. After about an hour, we turn back when it looks like there might be a change in the weather coming our way. We alter our plans to overnight at Little Jost van Dyke island, instead cruising toward a stop from last year’s trip, Little Harbour on the big brother island of Jost Van Dyke. Very few boats are there, so we take our pick of mooring balls and quickly set up camp. It’s quiet here. Just the occasional bray from a small herd of goats on the nearby hillside.
The view is very pleasant and we all relax in the usual afternoon way—napping and reading—as one-by-one the crew takes showers and prepares for the rigors of cocktail hour. Sipping gin and tonics, we watch the sunset reflect off the tall clouds traveling east to west down the channel between us and Tortola. For the next hour, we’re completely entertained by cloud formations and soaring magnificent frigate birds.
After sunset, before darkness descends completely, we dinghy over to Sidney’s Peace and Love, a favorite restaurant from our last trip, where we once again enjoy a fantastic meal of fresh lobster. We remember the drill from before and a few of us jump into action, acting as bartenders for the group at the “do it yourself” bar. Dinner at Sidney’s takes a while—it’s made to order on “island time”—but the view, as the lights come up in the quiet harbor, and the company keeps us entertained.