13 January 2013

Fallen Jerusalem and Great Harbor, Sailing Day 10/10

This morning we refilled water at Marina Cay ($20 for 100 gallons), then raised sails and headed over to Fallen Jerusalem's North Lee Bay. 

We spent several hours exploring along the shore and snorkeling just off it.  The younger kids invented pirate games along the beach as they switched from snorkels to sand castles to rock climbing and back again.  The older kids went further afield, snorkeling far out along the bay, exploring all the coves, reefs, and caverns between the rocks.

We found one area with a pile of  expired and broken conch shells, numbering easily into the hundreds.  I don't know how they all ended up in this place hidden back up in the rocks along the shore, I assume it is the result of the water currents in the bay.  The place almost feels sacred, with such a treasure tucked away by mother nature.

I should point out here that the collecting of shells is different today than when it was years ago.  Now, many shells (including conch shells) are protected by law and common sense.  You can read about current regulations in the online BVI Marine Guide.  But really, just use common sense:  "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time."  The beauty of the BVI is its pristine nature, which we need to preserve for our children to enjoy.  

After several hours' exploring, we took some family pictures, and then headed back to the boat.  The kids are more interested in snorkeling back and forth to the boat by the end of the trip.  We take the dinghy to carry the camera and younger kids, but the older kids like to spend a good hour working their way from shore to ship.  

As we we left, another boat was arriving, and a local tour boat pulled into the next bay to the west and dropped anchor for snorkelers and scuba divers to get out and explore.

This is such an incredible family vacation.  No interruptions, no cell phones, no internet.  Just our family rediscovering the power of being a family.  I'm full of gratitude for each of my kids, and try not to think about the fact that we're leaving tomorrow as we raise sails and slip quietly down Francis Drake Passage.  We're heading to Great Harbor on Peter island where we picked up a mooring at the Oceans 7 Beach Club and the kids played on an inflatable trampoline and floating climbing wall in the water.

Tonight we barbecue steaks and play our favorite card game, BANG, until everyone was too tired to stay awake.

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