Friday, January 27, 2006
BARE-BOATING IN THE BVI
Yes we finally put our money where our mouth is and rented a bareboat from Footloose in Tortola, BVI. Actually the experience was excellent and I would recommend it to anyone who is not in the racing business because, of course, after 5 high seasons, any boat will have sails that are as baggy as my aunt Agatha's knickers. Nevertheless this is not a story about my aunt Agatha; it's about the BVI and specifically about anchorages. Now, I'm not trying to adopt a holier than thou attitude about operating a bareboat, only that, my goodness, don't they ever actually VERIFY the credentials of people that rent boats? Sitting at the anchorage in Marina Cay, for example, here are a few of the amazing feats happening around us: boats with no nav lights sailing through the mooring area at dusk looking for mooring balls; power boats trying (and failing) to pick up moorings after 5 or 6 passes; half the boats have anchor lights on and the other half without a glimmer; 3 or 4 boats, obviously part of a group shouting and carrying on all night with a REAL TRUMPET blowing rousing pieces suitable for a football or hockey game; dinghies traveling at 150 miles an hour between anchored and moored boats. Wow, we were amazed. OK, but none of this really detracts from the sheer beauty of the place and, by the way, you can actually escape all this during the day because everyone starts to leave, silently and hung-over, thank goodness, fairly early in the morning and you can always take the dinghy and escape to a secluded beach. Actually we had our own little escapade after losing our boat-hook overboard on the way to St. Thomas; eventually, we wound up at Maho Bay, one of our favorite places in St. John, with no way to pick up a mooring. We tried everything including the use of a long handled blue cleaning brush (we must have looked REALLY stupid). We tried backing up to the ball but as we all know, Beneteau 362's don't reverse very well, we finally anchored along side the mooring ball and used the dinghy to run a line out...!! Everybody's got a story. Good time had by all.