BVIs: The Indians and The Caves

On Saturday evening, after enjoying our meal of freshly caught fish tacos, we turned on the generator briefly. A few moments later, it died. Oh no! My last encounter with generator maintenance turned into a 3-day affair in Titusville, most of which involved replacing the impeller. The error code indicated it was a raw water problem. I looked at the raw water strainer and found it to be full of seaweed. I cleaned it out and restarted the generator. It died almost immediately. The most likely culprit at this point was the impeller, which probably disintegrated from running with no water flow secondary to the closed strainer. I took a look, and yes… it was in pieces. Three days of hard labor flashed before my eyes. But, fortunately, with Tracy’s assistance, we completed the job in just a couple of hours. Three days of prior experience probably helped as well. Thank God!

Changing the generator impeller

Changing the generator impeller

The next morning we traveled the nine nautical miles to Road Harbor to take care of the necessities of checking into the BVIs. After dropping our anchor in 40 feet of water (a record for Beatitude), I took Dalí into the ferry dock on which Customs and Immigration is found. There were four docks from which to choose. I, of course, chose the one dock which the approaching ferry was going to tie up to. He blared his horn, I ran back to the dinghy, jumped in, and motored around to another dock. Of course, by this time, the scores of people had exited the ferry and were now in front of me. I had to wait approximately 45 minutes for them to clear before they would take care of me. Once the process was begun however, it was quick and painless. (And cheap! $27.00 vs the hundreds of dollars in the Bahamas.)

Leaving our anchorage on St. John

Leaving our anchorage on St. John

Tracy at the Helm as we make our way to Tortola

Tracy at the Helm as we make our way to Tortola

Tortola - Dead ahead.

Tortola – Dead ahead.

Me, attempting to avoid being run over by a ferry at the ferry dock.

Me, attempting to avoid being run over by a ferry at the ferry dock.

Road Town, Tortola

Road Town, Tortola

Cleared in.  Q flag taken down, BVI courtesy flag ready to raise.

Cleared in. Q flag taken down, BVI courtesy flag ready to raise.

We soon weighed anchor and took a one hour ride across Sir Francis Drake Channel over to Pelican Island and The Indians, which are so-called because of the four unusual red rock formations which reminded someone at some time of indians. We picked up one of the National Parks Trust mooring balls, jumped off the back of Beatitude and snorkeled directly behind the boat. The water was nice and clear. Their was an abundance of beautiful soft coral, along with quite a few colorful reef fish. It was nice!

Beatitude's Crew posing in front of The Indians

Beatitude’s Crew posing in front of The Indians

The Admiral and Captain at the Indians

The Admiral and Captain at the Indians

Tracy and Julie at The Indians

Tracy and Julie at The Indians

Barry and Cindy snorkeling at The Indians

Barry and Cindy snorkeling at The Indians

Tracy and Julie snorkeling at The Indians

Tracy and Julie snorkeling at The Indians

Snorkeling at The Indians

Snorkeling at The Indians

At the Indians

At the Indians

School of small fish above coral at The Indians

School of small fish above coral at The Indians

From there we continued our journey for another mile and a half to pick up a mooring in Pirate’s Bight on beautiful Norman Island, also called “Treasure Island” by the locals. The island’s history is full of legends of buried pirate treasure. Once settled in, we all jumped in Dalí for a brief ride around Treasure Point to our east. The purpose of our venture was to tie up the dinghy to the dinghy moorings and snorkel The Caves. There was very nice snorkeling along the wall and the mouths of the four caves. Snorkeling in the Caves was another first for Beatitude’s crew (other than my chance to snorkel Cannonball Grotto in Staniel Cay, Bahamas, last year).

Dinghy ride to The Caves - Beatitude in background.

Dinghy ride to The Caves – Beatitude in background.

Tracy, Julie, and Barry snorkeling at The Caves, Norman Island.

Tracy, Julie, and Barry snorkeling at The Caves, Norman Island.

Trumpetfish at The Caves

Trumpetfish at The Caves

Julie exiting one of the caves.  School of fish to her lower left.

Julie exiting one of the caves. School of fish to her lower left.

This picture fails to do it justice, but this was a gorgeous school of Blue Tang which carpeted a section of the bottom at The Caves.

This picture fails to do it justice, but this was a gorgeous school of Blue Tang which carpeted a section of the bottom at The Caves.

Fish inside the first cave Cindy and I entered.

Fish inside the first cave Cindy and I entered.

Tracy, silhouetted by the opening to the cave.

Tracy, silhouetted by the opening to the cave.

I dove down to the bottom to take a picture of Julie and Tracy at The Caves.

I dove down to the bottom to take a picture of Julie and Tracy at The Caves.

Tracy, in front of one of the caves.

Tracy, in front of one of the caves.

Cindy went back a little to Dalí.  Here she is awaiting our soon return from snorkeling.

Cindy went back a little to Dalí. Here she is awaiting our soon return from snorkeling.

And, the dinghy ride back from The Caves

And, the dinghy ride back from The Caves

After returning from snorkeling The Caves, we rested for an hour before heading into Willie T’s for a pre-dinner drink at this floating restaurant named for the architect of the U.S. Capitol Building. The vessel is a converted 100-foot schooner which is infamous for its wild nights of partying. There are apparently frequent outbreaks of nakedness on board, but for our visit in the mid-afternoon, fortunately, the level of craziness was moderated, and all clothing, no matter how little, stayed on. We did enjoy some good, cheap rum drinks however.

Willie T's, a floating restaurant in The Bight

Willie T’s, a floating restaurant in The Bight

Cindy and Tracy aboard Dalí as we approach Willie T's.

Cindy and Tracy aboard Dalí as we approach Willie T’s.

On the floating dock at Willie T's, Beatitude behind

On the floating dock at Willie T’s, Beatitude behind

The female members of the crew on the top deck of Willie Ts enjoying a beverage

The female members of the crew on the top deck of Willie Ts enjoying a beverage

Beatitude moored in The Bight, Norman Cay

Beatitude moored in The Bight, Norman Cay

After spending a few minutes with all the scantily clad young folks and meeting a very nice cruising couple heading in the same general direction as we, we hopped back into Dalí for a short trip into Pirate’s Bight Beach Bar and Grill which commands a gorgeous view of the Bight from the head of the bay. We had seats right next to the sandy beach, front row seats to the spectacular sunset silhouetting the sailboats in the harbor. The food was excellent and we were very happy with our busy first day in the BVIs.

The Pirate's Bight Bar and Grill

The Pirate’s Bight Bar and Grill

Beachside table for dinner

Beachside table for dinner

Daughter and Father at dinner on the beach

Daughter and Father at dinner on the beach

What a fantastic view!

What a fantastic view!

Lovers silhouetted by the setting sun.

Lovers silhouetted by the setting sun.

Julie and Tracy, enjoying the sunset on the beach at The Bight

Julie and Tracy, enjoying the sunset on the beach at The Bight

Can you beat this?

Can you beat this?

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