Thursday, April 26, 2007

BVI - Wet & Soggy

The weather is not cooperating. A big trough moved in and settled over the islands so we have had a week of unsettled weather - showers and squalls, squalls and showers. I am not sure where one stops and the other begins. The weather forecasters always say them as a pair. First the trough is moving away from the islands; oops, now it has moved back. We feel sorry for all the charterers running around in their rain gear. We went to Sopers Hole for 2 nights to hide out from what we thought would be the worst of the squalls and to have lunch at Pussers. Sopers Hole is one of the spots we chartered out of years ago - it has not changed much. A couple of thunder storms, complete with fork lightning, rolled through in the middle of the night (of course).

On Sunday we moved to Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island, and confirmed, once again, that it is the worst bay to stop for a mooring. While the snorkeling was good, the current was weird and we spent a restless night bouncing around with the mooring ball thumping against the hull, trying to remove Vagus' bottom paint. As well we had a charterer try to anchor in the mooring field beside us. Luckily we were just returning from snorkeling and Karen was able to convince them that anchoring in the mooring field was not a very good idea. They were very good and moved outside the field but from that point on we were vigilant for any other boats trying to anchor near us. The ritual is called "Harbour TV" among the crusiers and comes on every afternoon between 4:00pm and 6:00pm. This is the time when people realize that the sun also sets in BVI and they need to find a spot to stay for the night. In they come to the next Bay on their list, looking for an empty mooring ball - the moorings have of course been filled since 2:00pm. Around the mooring field they cruise, everyone alert and pointing in different directions. Once they come to the realization that the moorings are truly full, the anchoring dance starts. This is when Harbour TV gets interesting. Down goes the pole to pick up the mooring line and the designated anchor person opens the anchor locker. Tense faces survey potential spots. Tense cruisers watch from their cockpits and pray "please not near me!" We have lots of Harbour TV stories that will have to wait for another time.

On the plus side, we have managed to get in a bit of snorkeling. Actually we have snorkeled more in the last 2 weeks than we have in the last two months. The snorkeling is still good in BVI when the weather briefly clears, with clear water and a nice variety of life. We have even seen several fish that sent us back to our guide books for recognition.

We now have moved back to Leverick Bay, mainly because we can anchor and get WiFi. As I write this the rain is sheeting down, the wind is howling,and the boat is bouncing in the wind-driven waves. We should probably move to a less bouncy spot as the weather is not supposed to clear for a few days but we still have a number of things to arrange for the trip back. Internet is essential. The better spots don't have internet. How things have changed - choosing your anchorage based on internet availablility. We even have friends that motor around an anchorage, laptop on, looking for the strongest internet signal. As soon as they lock on, down goes the anchor. So much for the life of "getting away from it all"!

Have a good week.

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