23 April 2010

Sandy Cay to Road Town Harbor, BVI Day 8/10

Early this morning we left the mooring and motored a couple hundred yards over to Sandy Cay. Sandy Cay is an uninhabited small island with great snorkeling and picturesque views from a gorgeous anchorage.

After dropping anchor, we pulled out the snorkeling gear and headed leisurely towards the beach. We started in about 40 feet of water and followed a ray along for several minutes as he glided across the ocean floor.

Sandy Cay has a beautiful beach. A few dinghies had been pulled up on the beach, their crews now exploring the nature paths around the little island. As the morning progressed, more boats arrived at Sandy Cay, so we were glad we'd come early.

After Sandy Cay, we started the sail back to Road Town Harbor. We had originally intended to overnight in a secluded little bay somewhere across from Road Town for our last night, but realized we hadn't seen any of Road Town.

The sail back was fun. I tried not to think about the fact that our vacation would be over tomorrow, and just enjoyed the sailing. As we neared Road Town, a large thunderstorm was passing over the island. I could look into Road Town Harbor, but could not see the channel markers or any of the town for that matter - is was a complete whiteout.

It was only mid-afternoon, so we decided to just circle outside the harbor for a while until the storm passed. I reduced sail in case the storm headed our way, and made large circles outside the harbor for about 45 minutes. Eventually the storm blew some heavy wind and rain our direction. With sail area already reduced, there was nothing to do but stand at the helm and look nautical in the sideways-driving torrential rain. I was completely soaked, but the rain was so warm there was no chance of hypothermia. It felt like a nice long shower.

Once the storms passed, we radioed in to Conch Charters office and told them we were coming in. They instructed us to take one of the mooring balls in the harbor as their docks were full at the moment.

I had planned to shower before taking the dinghy into town, but the rainstorm had taken care of that for me (the sea and I are one like that.) We debated taking a taxi into town, but decided to take a dinghy. It was a long dinghy ride, made longer by our running into two local fishermen adrift in a non-working boat in the middle of the ferry channel. They hailed us for help. All we could offer was a dinghy ride to shore, so we took one of them who planned to return with a larger boat to tow his friend out of the channel.

Most tourist-type shops were closed in town, so we took a long walk around getting a feel for Road Town Harbor. We ate a late afternoon lunch/dinner near the docks and picked up souvenirs in one of the few shops that were open.

When we arrived back at Conch Charters, the staff had kindly moved our boat into the docks. We sat in the cockpit relaxing and taking in our last night in the islands. Later that evening we decided to head up to the Fort Burt Hotel and restaurant for a late dinner. We were given a table overlooking the harbor, wow was it beautiful. We watched twilight fall on Road Town Harbor, and took this picture of the view.

The food was fantastic, the Fort Burt Restaurant is definitely the place to start and end a sailing trip down here.

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