Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Again) ~ Day 7

Friday, 16 April 2010

Key Cay to Kelly’s Cove, Norman Island

Kelly's Cove

Kelly’s Cove, Norman Island

I’m up early to catch the sunrise over the cay. We breakfast on deck, taking in more of the BVI panorama around us. Stowed and ready to go, we head out into the Drake Channel to sail over to Tortola and pick up ice. Our refrigerator has stopped working, so we need lots of ice to keep our provisions cold for our final day aboard.

The sail across the channel is another wild ride with both sails up in strong wind. It takes a couple of hours and then we wend our way first into Sea Cow Bay (Not deep enough! Turn around!) and then Nanny Cay, where we make a harrowing landing at the marina with a strong wind blowing us away from the dock. With help from two guys from shore and all hands on deck, it takes 15 minutes of pulling and maneuvering to get us tied up safely. All this for four bags of ice!

Thirty minutes later we’re back in the channel, heading into the direction we came from to find a quiet location for lunch, preferably out of the wind, but that seems impossible at this point, given the weather this past week. Sails up again and we’re beating over to the back side of Peter Island. Along the way, in the middle of the channel, we see a large sea turtle bobbing around and poking his head out of the water. We pass by last night’s anchorage at Key Cay and head over to White Beach to find a spot for lunch.

White Beach, Peter Island Our anchorage, though relatively calm, is still windy and we swing 180-degrees back-and-forth while we eat our lunch of kitchen sink tortellini salad (leftover steak and chicken, salami, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts) washed down with Red Stripes. Delicious after a morning in the wind and sun.

Conditions are too strong and the wind is out of the wrong direction to do much more sailing after lunch, so we head over to our final overnight spot to see if there are any cans available just outside The Bight on Norman Island. We’re in luck and snag one of the few moorings in Kelly’s Cove, a beautiful spot just at the mouth of the harbor. Night life in The Bight can get wild and crazy, but in this sequestered location, with room for just five boats, you’d never know.

We sit about 50 yards off the rocky coast, where pelicans perch in trees and kingfishers swoop back and forth. The crystalline blue water promises good snorkeling and Jen quickly dives in to check out the underwater view. Reading, napping, and lazing about for the rest of us commences.

Final Sunset

Around five, we light the grill for dinner and mix up a batch of gin & tonics while we prepare a hamburger dinner with sides created by raiding the galley to use up as much of our remaining provisions as we can. By 6:30, as the sun is setting over the Sir Frances Drake Channel, we enjoy the last few bottles of wine while watching the changing colors of dusk into twilight.

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