Tortolla is Everywhere! (1995)

Saturday: Road Harbour to Peter Island
Sunday: Peter Island to Salt Island to Trellis Bay
Monday: Trellis Bay to The Baths to North Sound
Tuesday: North Sound to George Dog to Marina Cay
Wednesday: Marina Cay to Cane Garden Bay
Thursday: Cane Garden Bay to Green Cay
to Jost Van Dyke
Friday: Jost Van Dyke to Norman Island
Saturday: Norman Island to the Indians
to Road Harbour
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Some of us could only put up with another sail in the BVI if we could extend the trip with a visit to somewhere with good diving. St. John in the USVI was an easy choice. Five of our dozen sailors elected to stay on there for a few days after the sail.

Stewart free diving the wreck of the HMS Rhone near Salt Island.

For the first few trips made by our current group of sailors, pre-trip charting sessions were imperative. By 1995 the planning was accomplished over the telephone:

Mia–“The itinerary that we did last time worked really well. You sail counter clockwise around Tortola.”

Fred–“Sounds good.”

In fact, after two years in the Windward islands, returning to the BVI with its many moorings and tourist economy was rather like going to Disneyland. To visit the BVI’s beautiful anchorages with a sense of familiarity, to be able to say “last time were were here . . .” was surprisingly satisfying.

Marguerite takes a turn in the most photographed tire swing in the world at Stanley’s Welcome Bar Cane Garden Bay
One of our most dangerous pursuits, grab the halyard, swing out, and let go. Stewart earns extra points for screams and splashes.

But this didn’t turn out to be a repeat trip after all. Most notably, the 1991 BVI trip was at the height of interboat warring. By 1995 water balloons were definitely out. We also sought out new places among the familiar. We skipped the Bitter End and visited Drake’s Anchorage instead. We made snorkel stops at the Dogs and the Indians, and had a good dinner and some expensive shopping at Pussers on Marina Cay. On Jost Van Dyke, we went to Great Harbor instead of Little Harbor, and we finally made it to Bomba’s Shack.

Proceeding in a relaxed, fun-oriented tour, we zigged-zagged back and forth between Tortola and the smaller islands. In our long (by BVI standards) sail from Marina Cay to Cane Garden Bay Marguerite pointed to our left and asked,

“What island is that?”

“Tortola,” Fred replied.

“And what island is that?” she asked, pointing far ahead at another point in the distance.

“Tortola,” said Mia

“But then what’s back there?”

“Tortola,” someone answered.

“Man, Tortola is everywhere!”

On to St. John we discovered that taking a vacation after your sail is the way to go. Hurricane damage had forced the rental company to upgrade us from condos near Cruz Bay to a fabulous hillside house on Reef Bay. We spent our days in various states of undress by our pool or down on the beach, diving with Low Key watersports, and touring the island in our rented Suzuki.

Lewis epitomizes our stay on St. John
Ken and Lewis sip morning coffee after taking a mooring at the Indians for an early snorkel expedition.
Elizabeth, John, Ken, and Marguerite are overwhelmed by the clutter at Bomba’s Shack.

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