Saturday, November 20, 2004

British Virgin Islands

In November 2004, ourselves and 4 friends rented a 38' catamaran and sailed around the BVI for a week. We (or the boys) had been taking sailing lessons in Cayman for about 1 year or so. Usually with a very experienced captain/instructor. So we decided to give bareboat (i.e. without a captain or instructor) chartering a try in the BVI. The BVI is relatively well set-up for sailing of this sort. The islands are all quite close together and a quick radio into base will remedy any problem quickly. Not to mention, alcohol and provisions are also readily available.

Not everything went smoothly - as you might have expected. We had a few mishaps. We managed to wrap the tow line for the dinghy around one of our propellers - which caused the propeller to fall off. Navigating with one propeller wasn't very much fun, but easily fixed once we figured out what happened. We also managed to wrap several meters of anchor chain around some coral. It took a fair amount of effort to unwind it. Who knew that coral could be so tough? Luckily our friends had rented dive gear (and a lot of air) .

We had a great time with our friends from Cayman - Wade & Rena and Anne-Marie & Rob. The weather was a bit cool and rainy. So most of our time was spent sleeping and drinking. The provisioning store we organised our food with gave us 2 - 1L bottles of local rum for free. When organising the trip, we didn't think that was enough so we bought a lot more. Towards the end of the trip we decided we needed to use up the local rum so we created a drink - Cooperonic. Very tasty. Cooperonic was named for the island we moored at the evening it was created - Cooper Island.