From St John, it’s a short day sail over to Jost Van Dyke, to check into the British Virgin Islands. Going north is nice: you can do it under sail almost any time in the prevailing easterlies. Along the way, we saw some cool boats. One was a big sailing cruise ship, and a megayacht still traveling with her calves. Now we know how they reproduce!
When we got to Great Harbour, we found the tightest mooring field we’ve ever seen. Not only are the balls close together, but people routinely take their boats in between, passing much closer than I’m comfortable with. (Check out the deck furniture on that floating palace, though!)
At one point in the next morning, as the winds settled into their daily routine, we found the butt of the 42′ monohull next to us swinging towards our transom. Fortunately their crew was paying attention too, and were able to shove off from our davits – but it’s crazy for moored boats to be able to get that close together! We flew the drone in the morning to get some shots of the harbor, and got some sunrise as a bonus. I’d have preferred to shoot straight down, but apparently there are “rules” about how high you can fly. Humbug.
We made it into shore the first night. We were too early for dinner, but we had a little walk and took pictures of the field. You can pick Villa out in all of them: she’s the baby catamaran among all the giant charter boats.
At some point in the USVIs we were introduced to the pejorative “Credit Card Captain”, which is a charterer who does not know what they are doing. We began to encounter these reckless drivers in St John, but throughout the BVIs they have been the rule rather than the exception. Sailing rules were written hundreds of years ago, and designed to be intuitive for people who couldn’t necessarily read. They are mostly intuitive, e.g., when to sailboats approach each other, the one with better mobility generally has to give way. To divine the rules, though, one may have to pause for a few seconds to think. This does not always happen. On the bright side, charterers create demand for services like empanada delivery boats.
We dropped by the town again in the morning, and took some pictures of the famous Foxy’s, which of course had not yet opened, and of some of the rest of the town. For coffee, we were directed to the bakery, where we were charged $4 to use the Keurig, and tried unsuccessfully to engage the baker in conversation. Ah well – at least the coconut bread was good.
There’s more to explore on this island, but with heavy winds on the way, there aren’t really any other safe harbors. So we decided we’d rather not be stuck in this tiny town indefinitely, and we motored east to Virgin Gorda.