Beef Island and Marina Cay

The previous two days had left us pretty exhausted, so we slept a little later on Tuesday, the 8th. After brunch, we eased from our slip at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour and made our way out into the Sir Francis Drake Channel. The wind had picked up overnight and was now blowing 20 knots with higher gusts out of the northwest. The seas were four to five feet high, but fortunately were coming from abeam on the starboard side. Still, it was a fun ride across the channel to Beef Island, where we intended to tuck in close to the shore in Bluff Bay. As soon as we rounded the southern cliffs of Beef Island, the seas calmed in the lee of the island. As we approached our anchorage, we gingerly made our way past Whale Rocks to starboard and the reef protecting Hans Reef to port. We dropped anchor in eleven feet of water and backed down on it. It seemed to hold. But, when possible, I like to dive on the anchor to make sure it is adequately buried. I did, and it wasn’t. It was partially buried in sea grass, but, although it held when backing down at 2000 rpm, I could have removed it by hand. This meant we would be reanchoring.

Julie bringing in the fenders after leaving the marina

Julie bringing in the fenders after leaving the marina

On our way from the Virgin Gorda Yacht Club to Beef Island

On our way from the Virgin Gorda Yacht Club to Beef Island

Julie enjoying the trip to Beef Island

Julie enjoying the trip to Beef Island

The 150+ ft Perseus 3 at anchor on Beef Island

The 150+ ft Perseus 3 at anchor on Beef Island

Julie studying for Jeopardy in the cockpit (She recently passed the online test and will be going to Washington, DC for a personal interview/audition).

Julie studying for Jeopardy in the cockpit (She recently passed the online test and will be going to Washington, DC for a personal interview/audition).

I snorkeled around the smallish anchorage, scouting out the depths for relocation. There was a sandy patch not far in front and to starboard of the boat, so we raised anchor and moved fifty feet or so. Unfortunately, we bumped along the bottom two or three times when passing over a small shallow area. It’s always disconcerting when you’re hitting the bottom, but the depth quickly came back up and we were fine. We reanchored over sand, I dove to verify that the anchor was secure, and it was. Soon afterwards, we took Dalí into shore, pulled her up onto the beach and tied her to a mangrove. We then enjoyed a stroll along the beach, collecting shells as we went, and taking photos on the up-side-down fiberglass hull of an unfortunate boat. We then explored our own mini-version of the Baths. There was a large group of boulders we climbed up onto and waded through the pooled water at the bases. The day was completed with cheeseburgers in paradise from Beatitude’s grill and an evening of fun and games in the salon.

Beatitude at anchor.

Beatitude at anchor.

Our own little "baths"

Our own little “baths”

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Checking out the overturned fiberglass hull on the beach

Checking out the overturned fiberglass hull on the beach

A coral reef on the beach!  (Actually a piece of dead coral washed up on the beach that we put in an upright position).

A coral reef on the beach! (Actually a piece of dead coral washed up on the beach that we put in an upright position).

We placed our Beatitude sticker on the fiberglass hull on the beach; Beatitude in background

We placed our Beatitude sticker on the fiberglass hull on the beach; Beatitude in background

The three ladies on the boulders below.

The three ladies on the boulders below.

Dalí on the beach at Beef Island

Dalí on the beach at Beef Island

The wind howled and gusted all night long, but the anchor held securely. I got up at 4 a.m., to walk around the boat to make sure all was well. Everything appeared fine, so I returned to sleep. The crew all got up around 8:30-9:00. We had a great breakfast and prepared for a short day’s trip to Marina Cay.

Beatitude anchored in Bluff Bay on Beef Island

Beatitude anchored in Bluff Bay on Beef Island

Less than four nautical miles away was our destination for the day. As we rounded the southern point of Beef Island we were met with the full force of the twenty-plus knot northeasterly winds. The waves and the wind showered Tracy and I with plenteous sprays of briny water from the Sir Francis Drake Channel. By 12:15 in the afternoon, we had picked up a mooring ball by Marina Cay.

Cindy and Tracy preparing to pick up the mooring

Cindy and Tracy preparing to pick up the mooring

View of Marina Cay from Beatitude (Reef to right)

View of Marina Cay from Beatitude (Reef to right)

Soon we proceeded ashore to relax and snorkel the reef which surrounds Marina Cay on the south and east sides. The snorkeling was fun, and we spotted a number of sea creatures, including a couple of rays, tangs, and a porcupine fish, among others. Then, we relaxed on the beach while enjoying pain killers, a rum drink that finds it’s origins in the BVIs. When it was time to return to Beatitude a while later, Cindy drove Dalí back to our home with Julie on board (the first time Cindy has ever driven the dinghy without me in it!) while Tracy and I drift snorkeled from the island to our boat, a fifteen minute drift which required a minimum of effort. We again saw fish and rays, but this time we also spotted a barracuda. When a beautiful spotted eagle ray swam by right in front of us, it definitely made the snorkel worth it.

The girls snorkeling the reef behind Marina Cay

The girls snorkeling the reef behind Marina Cay

Big Crab

Big Crab

The Queen being administered her Pain Killer

The Queen being administered her Pain Killer

Chilling

Chilling

Barry and Tracy on our drift snorkel to Beatitude

Barry and Tracy on our drift snorkel to Beatitude

Porcupine Fish

Porcupine Fish

Spotted Trunkfish

Spotted Trunkfish

One of the rays at Marina Cay Reef

One of the rays at Marina Cay Reef

The ray got tired of us and departed.

The ray got tired of us and departed.

My lovely admiral snorkeling at Marina Cay

My lovely admiral snorkeling at Marina Cay

I love the little fluffy coral on the right which rapidly moves back into its tube when touched.

I love the little fluffy coral on the right which rapidly moves back into its tube when touched.

Tracy and I saw this majestic Spotted Eagle Ray on our drift snorkel back to Beatitude.

Tracy and I saw this majestic Spotted Eagle Ray on our drift snorkel back to Beatitude.

When we were all dry and changed, we dinghied back through the sloppy wind-driven waves to the dinghy dock and had dinner at the beach bar and restaurant, which offered picturesque island scenes as we enjoyed our meal. We watched the sun set from our table, which was just a few yards from the water. Marina Cay is a gorgeous, quintessential tropical island. Julie said it was her favorite and she didn’t want to ever leave.

Dinghy Dock at Marina Cay next to the Pusser's Store

Dinghy Dock at Marina Cay next to the Pusser’s Store

Dalí tied to the dinghy dock

Dalí tied to the dinghy dock

The view from atop Marina Cay (Beatitude among the flotilla in the background)

The view from atop Marina Cay (Beatitude among the flotilla in the background)

Julie and Tracy with a veritable feast

Julie and Tracy with a veritable feast

Dining at Pusser's Marina Cay

Dining at Pusser’s Marina Cay

4 thoughts on “Beef Island and Marina Cay

  1. Thank you Barry and Cindy for sharing your nautical journey with us. Barry you are a great writer and express your adventures in a way that gives me a sense of being there too! I will never actually get the pleasure of actually living these kind of adventures but you have given me happiness in my heart with you blogs! You and your Queen are 2 fantastic sailors! Keep living the good life with God . ooxx

    • Thank you for your kind words, Connie! I’m glad you’re reading and deriving some pleasure from our travels. God bless you!

  2. I’ve been catching up with your last couple entries. WOW. What beautiful water. So clear and the color just gorgeous.
    Thanks again for sharing your adventure with us. The pictures and the written words are just perfect.
    God Bless and be safe.

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