May 6, 2009
The small, uninhabited island we've been anchored at for nearly two weeks has no internet access so this page is a while in coming. Finally propelled into motion by arrangements to deliver our bikes to their new owners, we have come to Road Town, Tortola where wifi is available.
April 9, 2009
We spent two weeks in the US at Easter for our second annual family get together at Jim's kids' mom's cabin in Barton Flats in Southern California. Scott and Corinne grew up visiting this mountain paradise and are happy to share the experience with their partners Amy and Eric.
We awoke to snow
Last years project was to cut down some large dead trees. This year the toilet was to be replaced and yards of piping along the river were to be pulled up and dismantled. Jim and Scott were happy to work inside as a dusting of snow had fallen and it was a bit chilly outside. This didn't stop Corinne and Eric from sloshing around in the water and mud to rip out the pipes and carry them down to the cabin.
Eric and Corinne relax after breakfast
Scott prepares to take down their tent
Amy and Shasta, their adorable Australian Shepherd puppy
Shasta searching for his Easter egg
Celebrating Jim's 60th birthday
Jim and Corinne
We welcomed the crisp, dry mountain air and the aromatic smell of the pines. What a difference from the warm, humid Virgin Islands!
Conveniently, Katie's brother lives at the bottom of the hill. We spent a fun afternoon and evening with him and a comfortable night in his guest room before driving back to Boulder City.
April 19, 2007
Back in Soper's Hole Marina we had to complete a couple of projects before leaving. The valve on toilet/holding tank needed replacing. Vickie at HR Parts had sent the parts to us in the US which we brought back along with all sorts of filters, maxing out our luggage allowance.
As with many projects on a boat, what seems like a simple job ends up a complicated mess. The valves are in a very small space and not easy to reach with any tool we own. Luckily the Swiss boat next to us had just about every tool imaginable and we were able to borrow the right ones from Dominic. Eventually the valves came out but taking them apart proved difficult.
The pieces must have been glued together and perhaps using heat would have helped but we did it the hard way, using those 60 year old muscles.
Katie asked Shawn at the boatyard if we could use their vise. It was mounted much more securely than one we could fashion on Tenaya. This saved the day. We were happy to get the pipes apart at last and Shawn was happy with his six pack of cold Heinekens.
Jim using all his strength and weight to get the valves apart
April 22, 2009
After finishing our projects at Soper's Hole we sailed to a quiet anchorage at Peter Island. It is a pleasant place protected from the wind and waves. The water is warm and the snorkeling is excellent.
Little Harbor, Peter Island
Tenaya at Peter Island
We set the anchor then backed towards shore. About 100 feet away Katie jumped in and swam a line to shore and tied Tenaya to a tree. Then she swam back, got another line and secured us to a second tree. We are rock steady now!
Tenaya tied to shore
Pelicans regularly dive bomb into the water near the boat, sometimes landing so close they douse the deck. Invariably they catch us by surprise and the sudden splash startles us. Looking over the edge we find one of the large birds flattening the flap under its lower jaw until the water is gone then shaking its head until the fish slide down its long throat.
Pelicans often land really close to the boat
We are anchored over sand so anything swimming by stands out in the shallow, clear water. A spotted eagle ray about 5 feet across from wing to wing swims by once in a while. He is dark with light spots, a white underside, a round, pronounced mouth and a long, thin tail.
There are at least two barracuda here too. One is about 3 feet long, the other about 4 feet. They like to hang out under boats. One day Jim clung to the ladder off our stern trying to photograph the big guy hovering under Tenaya. While he was there the spotted eagle ray swam by. Too bad he hadn't yet mastered the settings on his new camera.
Buddy the barracuda hangs out under Tenaya
Another day we were snorkeling along the shore and as we approached a large catamaran a barracuda darted out quickly then hovered right in front of us. Was he chasing the fish that preceeded him or did he want a look at us? We didn't know. It seemed a good time to return to Tenaya.
Pointing out something to Jim ...
... a smooth trunkfish!
Across the anchorage is wonderful snorkeling. Reef fish swim among the rocks covered with coral and sponges. Squid float protectively with their beaks raised as we swim by. Turtles and stingrays flap effortlessly through the water. Damselfish dart about and parrotfish nibble at coral. Trunkfish flutter their billowy little fins looking more like balloons than fish and trumpetfish float vertically trying to blend in with the soft corals and sponges. Each time out we see different fish in different light.
Several turtles live in the bay
We met Chris and Nabila on a charter catamaran anchored next to us. Chris dinghied over Friday evening and said, "We have a problem ... our guests from last week left two bottles of good Champagne on board. Can you help us drink them?"
Soon we were all sitting in our cockpit enjoying snacks and the delicious champagne. We had a great time hearing their stories of sailing from South Africa and of Nabila's native Morocco.
Chris dinghies back to his boat
I'd never been on a cat so Chris invited us over to have a look. It was huge! No wonder so many families have them. I lost count of how many places I could have actually laid down and stretched ... in any direction. The next time I'm being thrown to and fro in heavy seas I may just remember this roomy, stable alternative.
Jim is enjoying rowing the dinghy and I love swimming to the far side of the anchorage and back each day. One day as I turned around to cross back to Tenaya I spotted the smaller barracuda nearby. I wonder if he followed me. The guide book says they "have the unnerving habit of approaching divers and following them about the reef". I realized his mouth was open for respiratory reasons but his wicked sneer and all those teeth made me a little nervous.
We have been told of, and read about, many wonderful anchorages throughout the BVI but inertia has had its way with us. We are happy to stay put for a while.