British Virgin Islands
Since about 9th grade my family has been spending a week or so down in the Virgin Islands. Normally, we settle in on St. Thomas and only adventure off the island for day sails or a quick trip to St. John. However, this year we chose a different route. My older brother has been sailing since his senior year of high school and has been itchin' ever since to charter a boat and take it through out the BVI's. This summer we all caved and found ourselves on a ferry from St. Thomas to Tortola with another family and friend heading to pick up Liquid Sunshine (who knew boats could have such fun names!)
Below is a little birds eye view into our days & the sound track to accompany the trip.
Arrived into St. Thomas early and on time. I had the best ginger beer I've ever had in a restaurant downtown next to our favorite little antique shop as the afternoon storms poured over the island.
Met up with friends just in time to jump onto the ferry & head over to Tortola. The waves were gnarly & so fun.
Our boat was harbored at Sunsail & called Liquid Sunshine.
After grabbing a quick bite, we got a quick swim in & hot showers before snuggling into our cozy cabins in the boat.
GO DAY. After coffee on the boat, the women, myself included, went to get provisions for the week while dad went to the minute clinic & learned just how legit island hospitals can be (a needle was involved and liquid was drained straight from the leg, gnarly). Meanwhile the guys went to briefing.
Off we went around 12:30 to head out on our 3 hour voyage to Bitter End in the Virgin Gorda. Grace and I sat in the very front of the boat as huge waves crashed over us -- basically a real life roller coaster.
BEST STORY. Right here. Grace, Alex, Cameron, and myself had all just swam to shore with no money and no dry bag. We were all craving a good painkiller but with no funds in the pockets, we were hopeless. Until.... Cameron stumbled upon $40 just laying on the ground. You better believe that was the exact amount for 4 painkillers. You better believe we laid in hammocks by the ocean sippin' on that island goodness. THE BEST.
Monday rounded out with spinning under the stars and listening to Ben Sollee.
5:30: Breathtaking sunrise, absolutely stunning colors of pink whisped in the sky. I watched it from the cabin.
7:00: Woke up & sat with a cup of coffee on the front of the boat, read some Acts & Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nowen.
8:00 to 10:30: Hammocked over the ocean, danced to some classics on the stern, jumped in the ocean, made pancakes.
11:00: HIKE!! We took an amazing hike that crossed over the top of the island. Full of stunning views on all sides.
1:00: Lunch on the boat. We spotted two baby sharks which would become our pets for the rest of our time at Bitter End!
3:00: A swim to shore. Painkillers. The most peaceful afternoon storm. Josh Garrels.
5:00: Sat on the top of the deck & read.
6:30: Watched the most beautiful sunset fall over the water.
7:20: Went to Fat Virgin to eat & had the best conch fritters and chicken roti ever, met the sweetest owner Esther who is so real and sweet. If ever close by, go give her a visit.
9:00: Stargazing. From our mooring, the Milky Way falls perfectly over the island creating the best type of backdrop for any dreamer.
We got an early start from Bitter End & sailed off to the Baths, one of my all time favorite spots with breathtaking caves and amazing swimming holes.
Back on the boat, we ate lunch and sailed to Norman Island where we anchored in Kelly's Cove and spent the afternoon snorkeling and reading on the boat.
Happy hour painkillers were a must and the sunset from the boat was absolutely incredible, the most golden golden hour to ever see.
Dinner and Jenga on shore before heading back to the boat to sleep the night away.
6:00 wake up call & a quick sail over to the Indians for some breakfast snorkels around the Indians before jetting off to Jost Van Dyke.
We spent the first half of the day at White Bay. We swam to shore, got some conch fritters & of course pain killers at Salty Dollar Bar before passing out in hammocks under shaded palm trees. Cameron climbed a tree and cracked open a perfect coconut.
Afterwards we sailed to Great Harbour to find a mooring for the night. We took the dinghy to shore for a run to Ruby's grocery shop & to get ice cream and cervezes before quickly retreating back for a night on the boat full of breakfast tacos, card games, and swing dancing.
5:30 Woke up and watched the sun pour in with a small morning rainstorm & a double rainbow.
7:00 We were then off to Sandy Spit where we anchored & had breakfast before sailing a quick hour over to Monkey Bay.
11:00 snorkeling at monkey bay where we saw lots of really pretty fish of all sizes and colors.
Afterwards we had a real yummy lunch of tomato and cheese sandwiches with relish and mayonnaise and sea salt on the boat before sailing back to Bitter End. At Bitter End we chilled by the beach while the boys raced Hobie cats and then we all got dressed up for dinner by the ocean. On the dinghy on the way back to the boat we saw hundreds of mid-sized sharks lit up by the yacht lights.
We slept in until around 7:30 and had a real slow morning on the boat full of coffee and reading and jumping into the ocean. Around 11 we headed out and sailed to Salt island to snorkel around an old shipwreck there.
2:00 We sailed off to Peter island where we anchored in a small cove where the only thing you could see on the shore was some old fishing nets and boats. There is so much more to the island that we didn't have time to explore and I want to come back to it.
6:00 We started cooking dinner on the boat: salad, pasta, chips, salsa, deviled eggs, and burgers!! We also made brownies which Cameron dubbed the name "shipwreck brownies" since they were cooked slanted on the grill. Dinner and great conversation made for a great last night. Followed by packing and sitting on the deck -- listening to the sound of wind, Jonnyswim and distant conversations happening on the boats around us!