Sunday, February 12, 2017

Full Moon Party And Other Stuff

So, here we are in Trellis Bay again waiting patiently for the Famous Full Moon Party.  You might think that returning here for a period of forced inactivity would be a bad thing… but not so.  It is nice to relax and know that you have a couple of days to kill in familiar surroundings…  

But it almost didn’t happen!  We got here mid morning thinking that maybe the crowd would be mostly charter boats that wouldn’t have an extra day to spend in one spot… But unfortunately we were wrong.  There were already boats anchored in our previous spot and so we motored slowly around through the mooring field looking for a spot.

Bruce and I were ready to give up and return to Long Bay when Adventure US 2 took a mooring ball.  We didn’t want to see this party badly enough to spend money on a mooring and were just about to leave when Michael hailed us on the VHF to say that there was room in front or their boat in shallow water.  We investigated and found a nice spot with 8 ft in which we wouldn’t need to put out much scope… we would JUST fit with swing room.

And internet... see, even then I was trying to get caught up on the blog!
Anchor down, we sat and watched the changing wind that moved us from one side to the other.  Finally we felt comfortable and went out to check our anchor… set!  And we were off to shore to have some lunch!

Full Moon tomorrow, but looks pretty full tonight!

Bruce diagnosing...
The following day was ours.  We delved into an emerging issue with our 12 volt system to see if we could identify the source of our problem… corrosion or poor connection… we hope.  

Just looks like a mess to me!
Bruce started the job but when it comes down to working among the small wires, unscrewing tiny screws in tight spaces and replacing questionable connectors… I get the tap.  My longer, thinner and more nimble fingers get me the position of head electrician… or at least it gives Bruce the chance to be the “brain” to my “brawn”.  

We messed with that all morning and made some headway until we found a connector needed but not in stock…  Well, that’s a wrap for today!

Next day was the BIG day!  We ordered our ribs from Trellis Bay Market in the morning then came back to the boat to relax and watch the boats arrive and look for their spot.  All thoughts that I was too close to another boat were forgotten as all sorts of boats big and small came in and dropped their hook in any available space.  It was high entertainment!

We showered and returned to shore at around 4:30-5:00 for the festivities!  This community really knows how to work the crowd… things begin at one end with food and live music, then gradually they move you down the beach to see one show after another…

Two orders of ribs and one big plate of sides

These cats loved JL...

Then we found the chicken bones beneath her feet!
Sun begins to set and the moon begins to rise!

While we ate our ribs, reportedly the best and the most value in the Bay, we watched the ribbon cutting ceremony for a newly built deck in front of the Market.  The grandchildren of distant past island dignitaries were there for the honors.  We learned that before the BVI were developed for the tourist industry there had been a time when it was almost designated as a Bird Sanctuary!!!  What a loss that would have been to the sailing crowd!

We had our dinner and moved on to let others have our spot as by this time, the beach was steadily filling up.  Time to wander and watch the shows!

The fire dancers were fascinating!

The artists in this community created steel fireballs.  One was nearly melted!

This is another steel fire cage... in the shape of a moon worshiper

We waited and waited for them to light the burning man...

This is a Jumbie.  
The fire is dying's time to go!

One of the perks of marrying an old guy is that you get to retire early and run off to the Caribbean to take part in full moon parties on beaches...

Another perk of marrying an old guy is that you get to run off to the boat early instead of waiting until the last of the festivities has died down...

So this was our first Full Moon Party for which Trellis Bay has become famous.  It was pretty laid back as parties go... but we enjoyed the food and the sights... and the short dinghy ride back to our floating home!

Check off another Bucket List item and carry on!

We spent one more day in Trellis bay... listening to the weather forecasts and waiting...  If the forecast for the Anegada Passage was good, we would cut our time here in the BVI short and dash to St. Martin.

We still had another ten days on our visa but Bruce was spending more and more time keeping our house batteries charged up.  We wanted to get to St. Martin to buy replacement batteries and to work on a whole list of other boat projects... And the weather window was slowly opening...

Our time in the BVI is over... We staged for departure anchored off of Prickly Pear Island in North Sound and cleared out with Customs & Immigration at Gun Creek...  Adventure US 2 scrambled to complete some last minute things and joined us literally just in time for a 3 pm departure on Valentines Day...  read on!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Hop, Skip, and a Bump

The winds are forecast to be in the upper 20s gusting to lower 30s and waves in the 5-7 ft. range.  All we want is to be comfortable and to get back to Trellis Bay for the Full Moon Party.  

So, with those goals in mind, we rejoined AU2 in Cane Garden Bay.  Upon arrival we hailed them on the VHF and they told us that there had been some unpleasantness in the night due to a slightly north-of-east swell.  Allegria added their voice to the conversation as they were one of the boats that had been anchored at the southern end of the basin where we normally do… They had been so uncomfortable they moved over to the north end and took a ball.

Sorry Google has a cloudy photo of CGB....
So… with a forecast for more of the same, we motored around at the northern corner of the basin looking for a spot.  We’ve never anchored over on this side before, but after dropping in one spot and being unsatisfied… we chose a hole closer to the dinghy dock and Adventure US 2 moved over to the mooring ball just behind us.


Perfect!  Now we can chat without using the VHF!

We went ashore and toured the Callwood Distillery (again) and then walked the beach.  There were several cruise ships in Tortola and the beach was flooded with tourists.  It was actually kind of fun to blend in and the level of service the cruise ship passengers are extended by the Locals seems superior to that extended to Cruisers…  We enjoyed the service and picked up a rum punch to continue our beach walk.  We ended up at Tony’s bar and grill for lunch and our happy hour pretty much peaked prematurely…  (I didn't bring a camera ashore, sorry, no photos of this part)

A grocery run was all we could muster on our way back to collapse on the boat for the evening.  So much for the big partiers…  Yea, Some Cruisers (we) are duds…

3 seconds notice... "I'm about to take your picture!"
While relaxing in the cockpit with Bruce rubbing my head to massage away the headache brought on by cheap rum consumed earlier...the winds grew light enough for the boats to drift around in every direction on the swirling current.  Suddenly we hear voices… CLOSE!  

We jumped up like we had been caught inflagrante dilecto… and were horrified to see the stern of Adventure US 2 just off our starboard stern quarter.  No… I mean, they could touch us!  As their dinghy davits threatened to snag our bicycle, we rushed to fix this.  

We pulled in about 10 ft of scope on our chain and settled again for the night.  That should do it!  If they weren’t our friends we would have had to move as those on the mooring balls have the right of way here…  Lucky for us they took that ball!

The night wasn’t anything like the previous one evidently because it was very peaceful with the exception of that one little bit of excitement... although we did move around a little bit...  Note:  When anchoring in Cane Garden Bay, make sure that you are well away from the mooring balls... Boats bob around in every direction!

Being passed way too close while motoring to Long Bay
The next morning we devised our plan.  We would motor over to Long Bay on Beef Island and if it looked good, we would stop there for the night before sneaking into Trellis Bay a day early in hopes of getting a good spot for their famous Full Moon Party.  

We motored against the wind, glad that we had decided to skip White Bay, Yost Van Dyke because we would have had to beat against this wind all the way up the island!  Long Bay was beautiful and calm!  

There is a long crescent beach of white sand and gentle waves… very protected by a reef that extends off the NE end of the beach between Long and Trellis Bays.  Even with a slight north of east swell it was very nice here.  We wondered why it wasn’t a more popular anchorage as there were several tourists visiting by car…

After settling in and having a quick nap, we took our Sundowners and stopped to pick up passengers for a beach run... that is, a run to the beach (not to be confused with a run on the beach which never happens).  We walked the beach and even picked up a four-legged friend along the way.



It was nice to get off the boat…  We’ve spent so much time in rolly conditions lately I felt the beach move beneath my feet!  

Back on the boat, we gathered up the pot of chili and fixin's I had prepared before leaving Cane and headed over to AU2.  There may have been a slight provisioning shortage aboard so we came to the rescue with dinner… delivered!  Eventually the party broke up and we returned home thinking it would sure be nice to stay here another day for some snorkeling… but the Full Moon Party beckons and we wanted to get into Trellis Bay and stake out our spot before the masses arrived…

So, up early in the morning and off we went again!