October 06, 2008
Debbie and I got out early to do some snorkling around Cistern Rock. Not expecting much, we were quickly surprised at the variety of sea life. Lots of schools weaved their way between the rocks and coral leading out to the big Rock. We crossed over to the eastern side of the ridge between rock and shore and another landscape unfolded. The bottom had been shallow and flat, but now it dropped off quickly with walls and canyons among large boulders. Not as dramatic as the Indians but lots of areas to explore. Larger fish here, too. I followed the contour out from the Rock and it dropped off into the deep ocean. I saw a pair of large sharks hanging out there in the haze. Looking for breakfast, I guess. Glad I didn’t look too appetizing!
We headed back in and hoisted anchor for Fallen Jerusalem. Kathy had spotted some info about it in her guide book and I had heard good things, too. When we arrived, we were alone, of course. We picked up a red ball and fell into the crystal clear water. Deb and I went left and encountered a pretty strong current which made going out easy but returning a pain. Not much to see around the north edge, so we fought our way back towards the boat. Back on the west side the large boulders made interesting crevices and caverns. Kathy and Norman found an octupus and we took pictures of a large spiny lobster backed into a deep crevice. All in all a nice spot. I’d like to do a little hike on shore if we return to see how much it is like the Baths nearby.
Spainish Town and VG Yacht Harbour
In need of more diesel and shopping, we decided to do a double header at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour and Spanish Town. Debbie took a turn at the helm, guiding us masterfully through the narrow channel and into the harbour. We pulled up to a crowded fuel dock and quickly realized that the docks here were too low for our docking bumpers. A quick reposition and we were secure. The diesel was more expensive but it got us topped off for the return to TMM the next morning. While we were waiting for the girls to return Norm and I got permission to tie up to the dock across from the pumps. Redocking with only the two of us turned out to be challenging and the ‘curse of Norman’ finally came to roast as Norm took a short and unexpected dip between the boat and the docks. Cooler and refreshed, we strolled up to an outdoor bar and enjoyed ESPN on the widescreen TV.
Back to Peter
By the time we got back into the Drake the winds had dropped to the lowest we had seen all week. Expecting a swift downwind return to Peter, we instead spent a leisurely afternoon drift with barely enough wind to keep the head sail out of our laps as we lay out on the trampolines. We decided to try another new spot and pulled into Great Harbour. We circled the periphery looking for a good shallow anchorage and finally settled for a spot tucked next to a small monohull on the southern edge. It was a combination of coral and sand so we had to reposition the anchor to a safe spot that keep us well away for our neighbors for the evening.
It was our final night on this trip and we lingered on deck as long as we could taking in one last long drink of the ink black skies and brilliant stars. The moon by now had begun to take control, so the Milky Way was hard to spot, but it was still a sight to behold. We also had a great view of the light show from Tortola’s east side to keep us company. Sleep well, Captain and Crew, tomorrow we leave paradise and begin planning the next dream.