Our return was a pleasantly uneventful trip with minor inconveniences. The ferry was a little delayed, but we were still able to make it through customs with plenty of time to make our flights home. Both of the Miami legs (MIA>AUS and MIA>DFW) were delayed by about 30 minutes. That put me back in Austin shortly after 11:00pm. After picking up the luggage, I was back aboard Ripple around 1am.
Another successful SailRipple adventure is in the books!
The first part of the day was filled with some great sailing on our way over to the Wreck of the Willy T in Kay Bay on Peter Island. This is another treat set in place by Beyond the Sea specifically as a treat for SCUBA divers. One of my earlier crew called it an amusement park for SCUBA divers! After the dive we got our sailing on with some nice 20-30kt winds in the Sir Francis Drake Channel. In the evening we found our way over to the Sushi Bar for a very affordable meal and finished our 2022 BVI adventure with the obligatory painkiller at Pussers Bar.
Always a wonderful dive, the Wreck of the RMS Rhone never disappoints. There were some delightful, unexpected surprises this time. At the beginning of the dive, on our way to the wreck, I was lucky enough to find a basket starfish wrapped up in coral for the day. At night, these unfold into almost a foot diameter net and filter feed for the evenings. We visited all 3 sections of the Rhone and were inspected by a ~5-6′ nurse shark. What a wonderful treat for Pam on her FIRST dive trip! We had intended to do a night dive at the Sandy Ledges, but ½ of the mooring balls were out of service so we did our night dive at the Caves instead. After returning to the boat, we cleaned up and took the dinghy over to the Willy T for some fantastic Tuna and more drinks than we really needed!
Today was our day to visit Necker Island with Gumptions Nature Adventure. Necker Island is a private island owned by Sir Richard Branson that charges over $100k per night with a 3 night minimum for a reservation, our Nature Adventure was a considerable amount less than that! As always, Gumption (Allington Creque) provided us with an exceptional experience on the island showing us flora and fauna including baby endangered tortoise and lemurs!!! Following the Necker Experience, we returned to Leverick Bay and rented a car to explore Virgin Gorda. The highlight of the tour was lunch/drinks at Hog Heaven with a fantastic view of the entire North Sound!
We woke up early at Spanish Town and made our way directly to the Baths in hopes if beating the crowds. Even though there were already 6 vessels on hand when we arrived, they were pleasantly uncrowded. Next we traveled north to the Kodiak Queen, the first vessel cleaned up and sunk for SCUBA divers in the BVI by Beyond the Sea. This was followed up by another wonderful meal at Leverick Bay.
That sums up our day today! Tipsy Shark cooked up another unbelievable breakfast of lobster omelets for us. Then we weighed anchor and motored over to Sandy Spit, a tiny delightful little sandy Island with six palm trees on it. It took me no more than 10 minutes to walk all the way around the island, another one of my favorite spots here in the BVI. We had a nice little sail from there over to Great Dog and I surprised the crew with a dive on the shark planes. This is some underwater artwork that was installed a few years ago by a group called Beyond The Reef. We’re now cooking up dinner at a mooring ball outside of Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda.
Our anchorage at JVD was about 26nm sw of Anegada making for a wonderful 4-hour sail to Great Harbor. The mooring field was full so we had to drop an anchor for the evening. We started with Painkillers at the Soggy Dollar, then stopped at the Tipsy Shark where they once again provided a memorable meal! Of course a visit to Foxy’s was the after dinner hot spot, I think we all slept well that night.
After a late morning, we took the dinghy to Sunchaser SCUBA for our tank refills, and did a little shopping and provisioning at the Bitter End. Then we departed on our northward journey to Anegada where we had a magnificent dinner at the Lobster Trap! There was also a visit to the wonky dog for drinks and other entertainment. The northbound sail towards Annegada is always cathartic for me because when we leave Virgin Gorda there’s nothing to see in front of us, we’re basically sailing off to the end of the world, it’s wonderful!
After waiting for some vessel repairs, we made our way over to Diamond Reef on Great Camanoe near Scrub Island. We found all sorts of interesting things including an old outboard motor. Following our dive, we decided that some sailing was needed and took the long way home to the Bitter End Yacht Club in the North Sound on Virgin Gorda. The Lobster Pizza was quite delightful!
We started the day a bit later than expected, motoring over to the Caves on Norman Island around 10:30.. After an extended snorkel, we did a drive by at the Willy T, but didn’t stop for drinks as we had plans for a SCUBA dive at the Indians. Following the dive we wandered over to Cooper Island for a fantastic meal and a visit you the Rum Bar. They were a little short in their selections this week with only ~325 options. Good times were had followed by some much needed sleep!