Hi Everyone, sorry we haven't written yet, the internet has been patchy and we've been enjoying finally arriving in the BVIs! We sailed into these majestic islands as the sun rose on Saturday after a passage spanning six nights. Leaving Bermuda the seas were instantly pitchy and rough with 5 to 8 foot swells, but the motion became easier as the swells lengthened. That first night saw every one of us getting sick, except surprisingly Mom, whose seasickness patch worked wonders and kept her fully functional the entire way.
Over the nights we hit some smaller squalls but after a few days the seas began to subside and by the fourth and fifth the passage became calm and relaxed. We motored a lot in the last few days and had the most amazing dolphin sighting when about 15 dolphins danced with our bow for at least ten minutes! Leaning over the bow, we watched them dart about just a couple feet below and could feel splashes of water from their breathing holes as they surfaced just below the clear blue water. We let out lots of excited yells and "woo-hoos," which you'll hear on an awesome video Dad filmed, if we can get good enough internet to upload it soon.
As the sun rose on Saturday morning we caught our first glimpse of the majestic BVIs. During a night shift Sarah and I had first seen lights appear far in the distance, but it was only in daylight that we could really experience these beautiful rugged islands. I was shocked at how mountainous they are. Green trees covering tall hills and strips of white sandy beach appeared as we sailed nearer. Skirting Dad's ideal tropical kiting beach beside Little Jost Van Dyke, we made for Great Harbour on the leeward side of Jost Van Dyke. The water became bluer in the shallows and we could see white houses perched on the hills of St. Thomas in the distance. In Great Harbour we decided to tie onto a mooring ball for $25/night, which proved to be a good idea as the wind ricocheted down the hills in the night causing us to continually point in a different direction. In the harbour we noticed groups of fish surfacing as circling pelicans dive-bombed for their dinner and charter boats came and went filling up the moorings as night fell.
The sun here is intense and will take some getting used to. Soon after arriving and checking into customs we snorkelled about twenty feet away to the rocky shoreline where fish and coral were abundant. We saw our old friend from Bermuda the sergeant major damselfish, a small smooth trunkfish, a magnificent feather duster and a school of small silver fish that rushed beneath us in a large formation. As night fell, music, lights and laughter filled the air as charter vacationers partied and went ashore to the famous beach bar called Foxy's. We tried to go for drinks and Calypso music but were so tired from the passage that by 8 pm we were all sound asleep!
Yesterday we went ashore in Great Harbour to refill the scuba tanks at a tiny dive shop along the sandy shack-lined main street of the town. The road is sandy and palm trees show faded colourful paint on their lower trunks. Bars line the street, covered in stickers, signs and writing referring to pirates, being chill, random quotations and sayings. A light rain began to fall as we waited for the tanks misting down the large hill towering over the harbour. Wobbly from not being on solid ground for over a week, the rain was refreshing. As I watched pelicans splashing into the shallows beyond the white sand beach and glanced around at the makeshift shacks of restaurants and bars I felt a wonder at having finally arrived in paradise.
Yesterday afternoon we moved two miles to a mooring behind Little Jost Van Dyke. Mom and Dad spotted sea turtles and stingrays while snorkelling in the aquamarine water alongside the boat. It still hasn't sunk in that we are actually here after such a long journey, and looking at the surrounding landscape is almost surreal. It's been almost three months since we left home and the BVIs were always the ultimate destination in our minds. Now that we're finally here new plans can take shape and we can wander at will- what an amazing concept! Our minds turn to scuba expeditions, kiting spots and the arrival of Brooke, Jamie and Granny H. for our first ever tropical Christmas.
All the best,
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