Friday, December 31, 2010

I got an early start and really secured all the junk in the aft cabin that had gone flying around the previous day - now the aft bathroom is filled with everything that had hitherto been stored on the bunk. I saw the whitecaps in the channel before setting off so put 3 reefs in both sails again, in hindsight that was overdoing it a bit but I still sailed at 7-8 knots most of the time. I ended up sailing for almost 30 minutes on a heading before noticing that I wasn't pointing as high to the wind as I wanted and when I checked the instruments it turns out that I had switched the autopilot to “standby” and the boat had found it's balance and was sailing herself. Later on in the sail the wind starting getting very gusty and I doubt that the self-steering by balancing the sails would have worked that well. YachtShots took some pictures as I entered the channel (after I'd let out the sails in preparation for making a 30 degree course change, so the sailing pictures might not show a trimmed boat) and I hope that one or two of them turned out.

I'm anchored off Prickly Pear island again, nestled in amongst many other boats and I'll head off to the New Year's party later tonight. Before going off to revelry I wanted to get some minor chores done, so I cleaned the bilges of the last remaining diesel (I still have no idea how it got into there!), then put up the wooden partitions to make 2 aft cabins instead of one big one and was about to work on the LED lights for the cockpit but decided to check the internet and saw a note that I should come early as there would something “special” happening around 6-7pm. It was already 18:15 but I hopped in the shower, shaved, found my formal wear (shirt with a collar) and hopped aboard the dinghy. While zooming across the North Sound I found it amazingly calm and wind still but realized that if I was planing and felt no wind then I would have a tough time getting back against that prevailing wind; and that would later prove quite true.

I got to Leverick only to find that the special event was Michael Beans testing out his new stage and that he'd done a sound check and then gone off; but since I was already there and at the bar there was little choice but to join in and become gambrinous (I haven't used that word in almost a year and had to slip it in one more time for 2010). Sometime after 7 but before 8 Michael Beans did clamber up on his stage and start a show and he was as entertaining as ever.

I was at the bar with Nick, the manager, when a family came up to him and informed him that their Moorings dinghy had been stolen. At that time Nick had other worries, as the band that he had scheduled for the evenings entertainment hadn't been able to board the ferry from Tortola (Speedy's said the water was too rough) and while he had engaged a private ferry the singer of the band had departed and was not to be found. I offered to bring them back to their boat, being proud of my newly acquired big and powerful dinghy, and they accepted and then it turned out that they were German, so it was time to switch gears and languages. They were quite depressed about the theft, despite being assured that this was quite unlikely on Virgin Gorda and particularly in the North Sound (where would one go with a stolen dinghy?). So we searched the mooring field for their dinghy, under the assumption that another charterer had inadvertently taken theirs. No luck and by the time I dropped them off at their boat we were all thoroughly soaked and they were, understandably, not too happy. We had searched the coastline in the direction of the prevailing winds and found nothing, but when I returned to the dinghy dock at the bar I noticed that the dinghies were all on the “wrong” side, and my dinghy had been back winded as well. They'd told me that their dinghy was number 464 so I headed down the beach to see if perhaps we had looked in the wrong direction and did find it, tied to the other dinghy dock, and completely filled with water all the way to the aft transom. I dropped my backpack with camera and money off on the Sophisticated Lady and started to bail the dinghy, but all they had was a plastic bailer that didn't hold more than 300ml so it would have been a long process. The engine didn't look like it had been underwater and the gas tank, floating around in the dinghy, was sealed so I thought I could start the engine and use the self-bailer to clear out the boat. There was no key-cord in the boat, but I improvised with a piece of rope - not that hot-wiring a dinghy is a big task since there is no real key, just a kill switch. I got the engine going and when it was running smoothly got off the dock but even with almost full gas the dinghy was barely moving and it seemed that more water was just washing over the transom than going out of the drainer but while motoring around the mooring field it slowly started to lighten. By that time I was soaked and couldn't remember the type or name of the catamaran the Germans were on... but I finally did find it and return the dinghy. We talked for a bit and I had another drink on board and then we returned. By this time it was 5 minutes before 10 and the buffet was about to close but I did get one plateful of food before returning to the bar. Did I mention my formal wear was soaking?

The celebrations continued, Michael Beans had done a second show which I'd missed and Nick had organized a sound system and DJ for the rest of the evening and the Moko Jumbies were scheduled to do their thing around midnight. Before I knew it, midnight had arrived and 2010 had been put the history books and 2011 was upon us.

2011 Scrub Island Resort This brand new top-end resort was still under construction when I went by, but according to accounts it is already spectacular.
[18°27'52.44"N 64°31'30.15"W (facing NE)]
2011 Scrub Island Resort
Entering the North Sound Strong winds and gusts in the entrance North Sound of Virgin Gorda in the BVI. Most of the time the anchorage is protected, but on this day I've got a lot of heel despite several reefs in both sails.
Entering the North Sound
Surf at the Baths Surf at the Baths
[18°26'36.16"N 64°26'47.81"W (facing SE)]
Surf at the Baths
Sailing close to the wind At 24 knots apparent and doing just over 8knots I am sailing close to the wind, but here I'd just been hit by a gust and the autopilot shows that I've got far too much rudder for efficient sailing.
Sailing close to the wind
Jumbies bar Jumbies bar
Jumbies bar
Michael Beans Pirate show Michael Beans Pirate show
Michael Beans Pirate show
Pirate songs Pirate songs
Pirate songs
Michael Beans show Michael Beans show
Michael Beans show
Crowds at Leverick Enthralled audience at the Michael Beans happy 'Arrr pirate show. In this case it is his cameo appearance on New Year's eve.
Crowds at Leverick
Leverick at New Years Leverick at New Years
Leverick at New Years
The Inebriators The bar staff at Jumbies Bar at Leverick Bay Resort in the North Sound of the BVI. Here they are still happy and energetic as it is New Year's Eve and the crowds haven't gotten unruly yet.
[18°29'50.75"N 64°23'10.57"W ]
The Inebriators
2010 New Year's Eve Crowds waiting for the Jumbies to start their stilt show on New Year's Eve 2010.
2010 New Year's Eve

3Previous Day 5Calendar 4Next Day
91 views since 2017-02-05, page last modified on 2017-02-04.