Saturday January 31, 2015
I still haven’t gotten over the fact that we’re in the Virgin Islands. Â Something about it just seems so surreal. Â Maybe it’s because it’s the cruisers destination, or because they’re so beautiful, or because all of these islands that I’ve heard of through magazines, blogs and movies are now places I’m seeing with my own eyes. Â And usually with the next one visible from where you are. Speaking of which, Â still can’t believe how close all of these islands are to each other.
Dropping our lines from Road Harbor today we wanted to spend at least one night at Norman Island before switching our Virgins from British to US. Â This little slice of water and land is famous among cruisers and rightly so. Â It has caves for snorkeling, exploring and searching for hidden treasure, which of course I had to see after reading my friend’s posts about it here and here.
This had been on my list for quite some time, and in the past few days I’d even picked up some tips as well as specific GPS coordinates on where to anchor here to avoid the $30/night mooring fee. Â Can you see a pattern emerging with us? Â Marinas & Moorings = thanks, but spent our whole fall doing that and have too much of it ahead in our future as well. Â So as we sailed passed The Indians and their legendary snorkeling and marked them as a ‘must see next year’, we pulled into The Bight and were greeted with nothing but mooring balls as far as the eye could see. Â Big bummer.
Motoring to the coordinates we were given we found another boat already in that spot, and anything closer to shore were mooring placed very close to one another. Â On the other side of this boat was 50-60 ft of water. Â Not impossible to anchor in, but we were on a mission to find something under 35 ft. Â One of us on board was very stubborn about this since they couldn’t find a need to anchor in this spot when there looked to be a perfectly good bay right next door. Â The other one had wanted to see the action at Willy T’s floating bar that evening but was overruled due to the rationality of the other spot. Â Damn you, logic.
So we motored out of The Bight and into Privateer Bay where our map showed plenty of 35 ft water. Â There were also mooring balls lining the shore here but we were able to squeeze ourselves into these much winder spaced one and dropped in crystal clear water next to a shoreline that surprisingly reminded us of something we’d find in Northern Michigan. Â I have to give it to the one of us that decided to anchor here. Â It was much more quiet and serene than The Bight and afforded us great views of the caves.
Which…I only realized once we pulled up that only one person could explore now that I had sunk Matt’s mask and snorkel at Virgin Gorda. Â Ooops. Â We still could have dinghied over to check it out, but the caves didn’t look like they allowed room for such a craft inside and every other one we saw was parked outside while it’s occupants explored via swimming. Â Well, looks like the caves at Norman Island will have to be added to the list of things to do & see next year.
It was a perfect little spot to enjoy just for the afternoon and evening though. Â Listening to our daily rendition of ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ on the radio while sipping a cold beer in the afternoon heat and transitioning to ‘Drunk on a Plane’ with a gin & tonic and the sunset. Â Which.Was.Breathtaking. Â Seriously, are these islands even for real? Â Now I can see why everyone flocks here. Â We’re seriously contemplating making the jump right from the Bahamas to hear with the new boat.
Sorry Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Â I know we’re giving you a skip on our journey up this year, but you might be getting the same treatment next year too. Â Try not to take it too personal.
I helped a friend bring his boat to the BVI. we visited some of the locations your talking about and there were mooring balls available for day use at no charge. Has that changed, I would expect to pay for overnight use. I’m sure all the mooring fields make it tough to find a place to anchor, sound like your enjoying yourself. Take care. Don
The ones in Norman Island may have been free for a day charge, but I do believe you have to pay to stay overnight there. I think someone comes to collect first thing in the morning? But since we were staying overnight we did want to be free of charge and anchored instead. I’m sure with our next boat and it’s 3′ draft though we’ll be able to sneak really close to shore for some anchoring spots. 🙂
That is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately we have nothing like that here in Galveston Bay.