Ships Log AEOLUS BVI Jan 2014

BVI Date 1-17-14
Arrived at St Thomas and found our first shots of rum on the walk from the plane to get to our taxi…;-)) Yum Yum Rum…
Got over to our hotel and it was great, one block off the water front and right in the shopping district. We started right out and some of us found a cantina and margaritas and others went shopping. Yeah the girls went shopping…;-))
Well finally the girls found us and we all had a bite to eat and a few more drinks. Some fun start to our trip. Could not believe that our waitress was from Marin County in California where I grew up. But of course I am sure it would have been her father or grandfather that I might have met there in 1963..;-)) Since I was having hip issues, I called it a night and went to bed, but I understand there was a lot more drinking and such going on before the night was over.

BVI Date 1/18/14
We got up and found a nice place on the water front for our breakfast. Even the guys shopped a little. Then we packed and got ready to get to the ferry to get over to Tortola and really start our adventure.

Arrived at the ferry terminal in Tortola and Sun Sail had us a taxi waiting. We got over to the base and starting the process of getting ourselves checked in and finding our boat. I registered us and signed Rickey and I up for the 4pm Chart briefing. Then after that some of us took the shopping lists and headed to get provisions while others were watching bags and having a drink. Got our provisions, returned to base and they had assigned us our boat. The AEOLUS – White Bay BVI is a 53ft monohull that was a great looking boat. It was after dark by now and we could not leave the dock until the morning. We also had not had our boat briefing yet either. We all got moved into our cabins and put away the provisions. We found some of the storage on this boat not as good as it might be but we are learning to work with it. We had dinner at the base restaurant and then some drinks and swimming in the base pool for the evening.

BVI Date 1/19/14
Well up early and got our boat briefing. We are ready to sail, but there is a catamaran in front of us, but they managed to get it moved. I started the engines, all ahead slow and I took us out of the slip and down the channel. Past the cruise ship and out into the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Time to set sail. Firstmate, Rickey with Paul and Robert helping, we set the main sail and then the jib, engine off. We are under sail in the BVI for the start of our adventure. We set our heading for Norman Island and enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful sunshine of the BVI. This is what makes it all worth the trouble and expense.

Arrived at Norman Island about 12:15 with Siri, the autopilot, at the helm under my close supervision. She can’t be trusted…;-)) We did encounter one large container freighter, so I took over from Siri and made corrections and then back on course.
We entered the day park Treasure Point and found a ball to hook to so that we could do some snorkeling. Laura had done a great job in the galley and we had our first meal on board.

Rickey, our Firstmate, is to be the dingy Captain. So he got Darth Dingy fired up and ferried people ashore so they could swim around the caves. They had a great time snorkeling and swimming and enjoying the crystal clear water. They saw lots of fish and had a great time.
We slipped the rope from the ball and motored into the Bite to get another ball for the night. The guys are having a little trouble getting the hang of grabbing it and getting it secured but finally got it done. Of course it might also be a little trouble with me coming in a little too fast or something.
We send a landing party ashore to check with the natives…;-)) We found a place for dinner and made reservations for 6pm. It took two trips with Darth Dingy to get everyone ashore for dinner but Rickey did a great job.

Dinner on shore, open beach bar/restaurant with a light cool breeze. Could life get any better? After dinner and a few drinks we got back to the AEOLUS for a few more drinks and lounging around looking at stars. Such a sight, the sky without city lights or anything to take away from the view. Robert and Andrew both wondering about the turnout of games leading up to the Superbowl. They decided they did not want to know until they returned and could watch it. They have their bets down and now the challenge to spend a week without finding out who one what…;-))

BVI Date 1/20/14
Today we all got our own breakfast as we woke up and planned on being headed to Jost Van Dyke by 9am. A friend let me know that it would be Denver and Seattle for the Superbowl. But I will not tell….

We decided that we would stop at West End for some water and shopping. We got in there and could not find a ball to hook to so I just slowed and had Rickey string off Darth Dingy with a couple other of the crew and we would circle why they shopped.
Well while waiting we found a ball and Robert and Beth did a great job grabbing it and tying us up… Hmmm I guess they need to be handling that from now on. While we were waiting Laura again did a great job and put lunch together. Our landing crew got back and we had a nice lunch and a drink. Then we headed out of West End and on up to Jost Van Dyke.

We got up by Sandy Cay, east of Jost Van Dyke, by 2pm and we had a bit of trouble getting anchor set but after second attempt we were good. Everyone swam ashore to visit island and enjoy the beach.

After a couple hours of beach and swimming they returned to AEOLUS and we motored to the Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke.
Our landing party made reservations at Foxy’s for dinner but no live band tonight so we had a DJ and a nice dinner.

BVI Date 1/21/14
We were having a few issues with the heads on the boat so I called the base and they were sending a repairman. We stayed on the ball there at Great Harbour and most went ashore to explore the island and mingle with the natives.

Repairman showed up and took care of some of the issues for us. After he had left the crew managed to get back from the island and we set sail to Monkey Point east of us for snorkeling. We were sailing into the wind pretty much, so with our zig-zagging it was taking longer than expected. Finally we fired up the engine and motored up but it was getting late so we opted to bypass and go on into Marina Cay so that we could find some showers and laundry before dinner. Getting into Marina Cay was a challenge. You have to go into Little Camanoe and then take a very narrow channel into Long Bay. Then we were able to get on up to Marina Cay and the boys were getting better at grabbing the ball and hooking things up. We made 7pm dinner reservations, swam on beach and we found there was a wedding going on and we got to listen to the music in the bar for a while that they had.

BVI Date 1/22/14
Boat rocking a lot last night, we were on the edge of the mooring field and getting a lot of waves from out of the bay. Since we were still having some issues with the heads, we decided not to sail to Anegada for the day. If we go up there we would not have any service support if we needed it.
Woke up to Rickey, Paul and Robert doing cannon balls and back flips off the deck forward and swimming aft to come back on board. Robert and Paul have been doing their morning workout most mornings on the fore deck too.

We set sail to the Dogs to do some snorkeling. It was a nice sail and we got some good speed out of the AEOLUS. We found a day mooring area and picked up a ball. Everyone got into the water and started exploring Great Dog. They enjoyed a couple hours snorkeling and then back on board for lunch. It was a nice spot to just enjoy the sun and 80+ degrees….

After we rested up we set sail to Virgin Gorda. We enjoyed sailing and again the AEOLUS handles well and we enjoyed the afternoon. We got up to the straights and dropped sails and powered into the North Sound and up to the Bitter End YC.

Sent a landing party to get a few more provisions and a 7pm dinner reservation. I stayed ashore at the bar and then others returned to AEOLUS with provisions and cleaned up for dinner.

Since we had skipped Anegada, a couple of us opted for Anegada Lobster for dinner. Not the best lobster I have had, it was a bit mushy. I am used to a firm tail and easy to remove from shell.

After dinner I had Rickey ferry me back to the AEOLUS and he returned to the rest of the crew to enjoy pool, beer and music at the bar.

BVI Date 1/23/14
We woke up and it had just quit raining and they were taking pictures of the rainbows. We had an issue with water so I took a look and decided to refill water tanks. That fixed that issue. Note to self, when in the North Sound, moor for the night, on a ball that belongs to Saba Rock to get free water and ice. After water issue resolved the crew went back ashore and some did the standup paddle board thing. I was told that Robert was a little challenged on this… But Beth is a pro…

A little after noon we decided to leave the Bitter End YC and went south to find the Baths and Devils Bay.
This was one of the best stops, the crew swam around rocks and then ashore. They found a bar and enjoyed a beer or two. I saw that some other swimmers were standing on a submerged rock not far from our boat so when Robert came back from the beach I had him go over so I could get a picture of him standing up in the water. Almost like he was only waist deep. It was a pointy rock I guess he had a little trouble standing on it.
As it got late, we headed a short ways north to Spanish Town. We dropped anchor, again two attempts. Then the Dingy Captain, took Darth Dingy and some of the crew into the harbor. Checked things out and made notes for next time.

On board about 8pm Beth and Robert made some spaghetti and mystery sauce for dinner. Robert was a little challenged boiling water but Beth did a great job on the sauce, whatever she called it…;-)) Robert and Andrew did the cleanup and then we all relaxed and had a drink and enjoyed BVI life.

BVI Date 1/24/14
We got up and were a bit lazy this morning. It rained again last night and it appears we have a few clouds to day. Rickey and Paul did anchor watch, but I am not really sure it was required. With my GPS I checked several times a night and it was fine and with anchor properly set, not really required to stay up all night.

We decided that since we had a ball in the Baths side of the moorings yesterday, that we would pickup a ball on the Devils Beach side. Everyone went swimming. Robert headed to the beach to see if he could find a way to climb to the top of the large rocks on south side of the beach. He did not get to top but he got high up and I got a couple pictures.
Some just swam ashore to walk up to the bar…;-))

Clouds started blowing in more and we put up the dodger on front of the cockpit to protect us from the oncoming rain. Everyone was back about 2:30 and since it was starting to rain and getting overcast and low visibility, we opted for motoring.
We slipped the rope off the eye of the rope on the ball and headed to Road Harbour. I let Siri do most the navigation as it was rough and wet and she was doing a good job.

Took almost 2 hours and then we were back into the channel and called the base to have them give us a dock crew to put the boat back in the slip. The two dock crew that came aboard did an amazing job putting the boat back in the slip tail first…;-))
The girls started cleaning out the cupboards and we started snacking on everything that was left over from our trip. We cooked the veggy burgers and they made some sandwiches from the left over ham and stuff for the morning for us to have for breakfast. The veggie burgers were pretty good with blue cheese dressing. We all got showers and started packing to be ready for the morning.

BVI Date 1/25/14
We got up and had snacks for breakfast trying to use up as much of the left over provisions as possible.
I did the boat briefing with shore crew to let them know how things went and what issues we still had on board they needed to fix. I spoke with Sun Sail manger a bit and got invite to return soon.

We got a taxi to the ferry about 10am and left our baggage with ferry and walked around the Roadtown a bit. I found the Pusser bar and had a painkiller, others shopped and had lunch. We got our noon ferry back to St Thomas and then over to airport to wait for our flights home.
It appears that Robert and Andrew still do not know the results of the games last Sunday…;-))

AEOLUS Ships log – Terry A McPherson, Captain