Sailing the British Virgin Islands, Day 8


Saturday, 18 April 2009

Return Sail to Road Harbour, Tortola

  • Up before the sun. Watch the sun rise on a half moon and a pair of bright planets.
  • We quickly pack up our gear and stow away after a buffet breakfast of mish-mash leftovers: cereal, tea biscuits and jam, cheeses, pepperoni and fruit.
  • By 7:30, we’re underway, destination where we began–the Sunsail marina in Road Harbour.
  • We enjoy a pleasant morning, soft, warm breezes and good sailing up to the mouth of the harbor. Sails down, we motor in and have our most hair-raising experience of the week maneuvering through all the traffic while trying to get confirmation from Sunsail about where exactly we’re supposed to dock the boat. Added to this is the challenge of backing (!!) into the slip.
  • With help from a Sunsail employee on the dock, we make it in with no problem.
  • Checking out is a snap. We return the ship-to-shore phone given to us by Sunsail (which came in handy when calling for the mechanic) and get back our dinghy deposit. We strip the bedding and dump it in the cockpit and take out the trash one last time.
  • Per charter boat custom, we offer up our leftover charcoal, dry goods, 1/4 bottle of rum and a couple of six-packs of coke we’d inherited from another boat in Spanish Harbour, to grateful boaters preparing to take off for their week’s sail.
  • After the onboard checkout (boat hook–check, four fenders–check, six cushions–check), we unload our gear and trundle over to the dockside restaurant for celebratory Bloody Marys. We made it!
  • Kudos all around and cheers for a great trip.
  • Lots of talk about “next time” as we begin planning for our next “sailcation.”
Our Room Had a View
  • Rick and Mary take off for the airport and the remaining four of us take a two-minute cab ride into town to our hotel, Maria by the Sea. Our room is on the second floor, overlooking the light blue water. It has a balcony with room for all of us to sit and enjoy the view, listening to the sea lap on the shore below.
  • Jen takes a swim in the pool and Anne does a load of laundry at a laundromat across the street.
  • We grab a late lunch at the only dining establishment that seems to be open, the hotel’s open-air dining room. While we eat our Neptune salads (very tasty indeed) we enjoy the view and watch a huge cruise ship that’s been at port here all day pull out to sea. I still feel like I’m rocking and rolling on the boat (a feeling that will stay with me for over 24 hours.)
A Much Bigger Boat
  • More relaxing and reading on the balcony, enjoying our last bottle of wine from the boat.
  • We have dinner at Spaghetti Junction, a restaurant overlooking the marina. In spite of its silly name, it turns out to be a great restaurant with a warm, casual ambiance. I had a delicious frutti du mar (scallops, shrimp and lobster) on angel hair pasta in a creamy lime tomato sauce. The clientele was a mixture of tourists and locals (always a good sign) and included a small, yet festive wedding party.