Wow! What a full day beginning with lots of boat prep minutia and ending with our first lovely evening in paradise. Here are pictures of the Conch Charter docks in Road Town, Tortola; a view of Road Harbour from The Pub Resturant as we had breakfast; our boat Rosemarie and Tortola in the background.
After provisions arrived and we got the orientation chat, we motored into the wind—straight south—for an hour to Great Harbour on Peter Island. Nothing is there and that’s exactly what we needed! Well, there was a nice little beach-side restaurant called Ocean Club and a very quiet, restful night tied to a mooring ball in Great Harbour, Peter Island.
This peaceful calm on Tuesday was especially appreciated since Monday’s adventure to get to the BVIs was long and challenging. We had a full day of flying and hanging out in airports. For some reason United Airlines routes its flights to British Virgin Islands through Newark, New Jersey. We started at RDU around 6 am, which is way too early for us. By 5 pm we were in the basement of the San Juan airport waiting for a little 10-seater Cessna to fly us to Tortola. That flight gave us a great view of San Juan and most of the beautiful islands along the Caribbean. Sorry we don’t have pictures; the camera was stowed with our bags. We’ll try to take some aerial shots on the way home.
After an easy trip through customs and immigration, we took an exciting taxi ride from the Beef Island Airport, Tortola to Conch Charters in Road Town. The island is very mountainous and the cab driver was very fast and quick to veer out of the way of other cars. Also, they drive on the British side of the road which takes getting used to. We arrived around 6:30 pm only to find the charter office closed. Yikes! Not to worry, mon – there was a note on the door telling us that our boat was the Rosemarie on the dock right behind us. Sure enough, there she was lights on, wide open, and a welcome bottle of rum was on the salon table. AAAAh!
The arrival process was not complete, however. We had not had anything to eat since a 10:30 am lunch in the Newark Airport. Under normal circumstances, this would not have been a problem because The Pub Restaurant is located right beside the marina. But since it was Easter Monday or maybe some quirky islandness, the restaurant was not open. John volunteered to hike into Road Town and get some takeout from Pusser’s Pub while I stayed with our stuff on the boat. Of course everything moves slowly in the islands, so he had a long wait while they cooked and boxed up our supper. Finally, after several near-death experiences with the crazy drivers careening up and down the road, John got back to the boat.
It was a rigorous prelude to our sailing adventure and even a good night’s sleep did not happen. Boats tied to dock are often noisy and bouncy—this one certainly was. Plus a noisy pump kept cycling on and off all night and that’s not the sort of thing you want to turn off—ya know.