After a lazy morning aboard and once I'd had my fill of using the internet connection I lifted up the anchor and sailed to Diamond Cay on Jost van Dyke, in preparation for clearing out of the BVI and into the USVI tomorrow. The winds were still very strong and I had two reefs in the main and one in the genoa despite the downwind sail and was still doing a good and comfortable 8 knots much of the time. I opted for the longer trip down the Sir Francis Drake channel rather than the direct route on the north side of Tortola because I didn't want to roll around in the big swell today and wasn't in a hurry anyway.
The sail was a fun and easy one, although I did have to apply a bit of sail tape to the bottom of the genoa, as the stitching for the sacrificial sunblock is starting to go and I'll have to get that done at the end of the season. Once around the corner at Soper's Hole (which had Wind Song anchored off it!) I had a short upwind beat to Diamond Cay. I decided to anchor a bit closer to Sandy Spit this time, and found a wonderful spot in only 15 feet depth with what looked like sand, but turned out to be bare rock since my anchor just bounced around. My second attempt was a bit better, also in shallow water, and after letting out over 100 feet of chain the boat held in full reverse gear. When I dove on the anchor only the tip was notched into a depression in the rock and I debated whether or not to re-anchor; deciding that the conditions were settled and that the system would almost hold on chain alone.
I got the paddle board out and pushed my way upwind to Sandy Spit, where I took a walk around and returned to Zanshin for a happy hour drink and to prepare my pasta dinner. The hot spaghetti sauce I'd made with local spicy peppers was already thawing, as was a small portion of ground beef. Dinner was simple, ample and early and I had trouble staying awake after 20:00 and didn't read more than a page of my book before nodding off.
I did have one great experience around sunset. I was looking off to the side of the boat when, no more than 20 feet away, a large ray flew up out of water to do a big belly-flop upon re-entry! That was an impressive sight and I'd not realized how high they can jump. I still don't know why they bother to jump, though.

Beef Island cardinal mark The south mark (two triangles pointed downward) shows that the cardinal mark is to the south of the danger, in this case the rocks between the mark and the island.
(2016-03-29 12:42:12 NIKON D7100 [f/11.0, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Beef Island cardinal mark
Beef Island cardinal mark The south mark (two triangles pointed downward) shows that the cardinal mark is to the south of the danger, in this case the rocks between the mark and the island.
(2016-03-29 12:41:56 NIKON D7100 [f/5.6, 1/400s] ISO 100)
Beef Island cardinal mark
Little Jost anchorage Looking upwind towards Sandy Spit and distant Tortola from my tenuous anchoring spot
(2016-03-29 16:14:15 NIKON D7100 [f/11.0, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Little Jost anchorage
Sandy Spit Sandy Spit viewed from my anchoring position off Little Jost van Dyke
(2016-03-29 16:14:22 NIKON D7100 [f/11.0, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Sandy Spit
205 views since 2017-02-04, page last modified on 2017-02-04.