Wednesday, February 10, 2010

St. Martin

February 6-8 - The Bitter End

The Bitter End is on the north side of Virgin Gorda. Apparently, Columbus thought the island resembled a plump woman lying down and saw fit to call the island Virgin Gorda. The spot we were anchor at was beautiful and reminded me somewhat of the South Pacific. Surrounded by hilly islands, palm lined beaches and reefs it looked idyllic. The water was crystal blue.

The hotels have done a good job developing their resorts without overwhelming the surroundings and the environment. The buildings fit in neatly and the bars and restaurants neatly adjoin the white, sandy beach. From one end to another is a brick promenade. It’s a bit touristy and attracts many charter boats, but it’s nicely developed.

We snorkeled at one of the reefs and saw a colorful variety of soft and hard corals, turtles, long, spiny sea urchins, tiny crabs, eels and lots of fish. Apparently, there were some canons in the area too. But we missed them.

In between two islands lies a sandy cay named Saba Island. It’s really tiny consisting only of a large waterfront restaurant/bar and a small resort. We hung out at the bar for happy hour one evening because they had a good wi-fi connection. Later in the evening, after dinner, Dave and Rob went in to watch the Superbowl game on a large outdoor screen at one of the other pubs.

The following day we motor sailed back to Spanish Town to formally check out of the BVI and prepare for our night crossing to Anguilla and St. Martin. After dealing with immigration and stocking up on some provisions, we anchored out to the island of Fallen Jerusalem (I don’t have a clue where the name came from). Like the area of the Baths, the anchorage had huge granite boulders along the shoreline.

On the way to the anchorage we passed by a huge, 200 foot, ultra-modern yacht. It looked more like a space ship than a yacht that had just landed on the water. When nightfall came, the yacht had lights all along the hull that brightly lit its surroundings. Definitely ostentatious.

After dinner we headed for Anguilla.

February 9-10 - Overnight Crossing to Anguilla

Often times, from what we read, the crossing from BVI to Anguilla is not an easy one. The chances of big seas and high winds are high. We got lucky. The crossing was an uneventful thirteen hour motoring journey, under a beautiful starry sky.

For Rob it was exciting because he had never made an overnight crossing. We did our standard shift routine of one hour on, two hours off, which seems to work well for us. 'We encountered some shipping traffic during the night and in the morning light saw the outlines of Anguilla, a low profile island with no mountains. A couple of hours later we anchored in Road Bay.
After preparing to go to shore, though, we had a change in plan. The harbor looked pretty dismal - same old bars and restaurants lining the shore. Dave suggested just pulling up anchor and heading out to St. Martin, just five miles to the south of Anguilla. Otherwise, we'd have to go through all the formalities of customs, immigration, fees, etc just for a one night stay.

An hour later we were anchored in Margot Bay, on the French side of St. Martin. And now, in the morning, we're sitting at a French café, having a café American with a baguette with butter and jam…and internet. Ah, the good life.

1 comment:

  1. If you ever get into a situation where the Whitby is 'snatching' violently it is a good idea to open the chain locker and slide the biggest (stainless steel?) screwdriver through the chain just below the deck. The windlas pawl was jerked into the 'running free' postion on us once; we nearly lost our anchor!