I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Friday, May 13, 2011


This week has been spent hanging around this side of the island.  I am really enjoying the relaxation of it as I kind of hit 'vacation mode' a couple of days ago.  I don't really want to do much more than read, walk the beach here - which is gorgeous and I don't really need to find any other - and swim.  I found a fabulous spot just an 8-10 minute walk down to the point where the water is clear, the bottom is sandy and it gets to about chest high deep at the most before the seagrass starts.  There's not much wave or current so it's perfect for just lazily swimming and floating.  It's very private - no houses nearby, about a mile of beach in either direction so you can see someone coming, literally from a mile away, so I decided to skinny dip.  I haven't done that since - oh, about 1981.  There really is nothing to compare with swimming in the buff.  I plan to go back pretty much every day until I leave and, as long as there's no one about, do it again.

The view from my hammock.

The other view from my hammock.

Just as I am looking forward to this daily trek, the weather turns. Huge clouds roll in and Tortola is obviously being doused with heavy rain - rain that will arrive here by nightfall and drum down on the patio outside my bedroom window, thunder and lightening booming for hours.

Right side in the distance is Tortola, behind that grey that reaches the water - rain.

I have met another two couples from TTOL; Bill and Di, and Cheryl and Pete. Both had contacted me letting me know they'd be here the same time as I. So we've been hanging out. One day we all went to Cane Garden Bay and Bill and Di taught me how to play Mexican Train. I am kinda hooked and will need to buy a set when I get home. New game for when we're together, kids!!

Di tabulating the scores.

Gary and Beth who are anchored out on one of Neptune's mooring balls on a gorgeous wooden sailboat.

Cheryl and Pete, who leave on Friday for a week on Tortola so will meet up with them when I get there next week.

The next day (Friday) is a super muggy day, overcast but HOT HOT HOT. Bill and Di ask me to come along with them on a drive to 'the bridge' and into The Settlement. I haven't been that way so am happy to be asked.

The view from the bridge is of an amazing aqua sea on one side, and the salt marshes on the other where, in the far distance, I spot 8 flamingos.

Can you see the flamingos? (Click on the picture for the full size.)

Facing the other way, out to the gorgeous aqua sea.

A pelican on the sea-side.

I didn't take any pictures of The Settlement but, other than a few government buildings, the place was a bit of a dive. The houses there - wow - I don't know how anyone can live in most of them as they're basically shacks - very dilapidated. And there are rusted out cars EVERYWHERE. Someone seriously needs to start a scrap metal business on this island. There's nowhere for all the cars to go so they just sit where they broke down and rust out. There's even a rather new looking motorbike at the side of the road from Neptune's to Cow Wreck that, apparently, has been there for over a year. Walker said that it must have broken down and the owner just walked away. So strange for an island where people have to really scrabble to make a living. Some do really well but most, not so much.

When we get back to Neptune's I go to my room for a lie down as the heat has just worn me right out. As I am laying there, it starts to rain again. Hard. And there's more thunder. The thought crosses my mind that this is too early for hurricane season but it's been a strange year for weather all over so it could come early. I sure hope not.

After the rain.

Every afternoon at 4:30, the seven of this weeks regulars, of whom I am one, gather in the restaurant bar here at Neptune's for Happy Hour. I don't drink anything stronger than ginger ale since the embarrassing episode at Potters. I honestly don't enjoy alcohol all that much - except for Strongbow Cider and the odd Malibu and Coke. And now, since my night at Potter's, even the latter is ruined for me. So, seeing how there's no Strongbow in the BVI, ginger ale it is.

Niurka (I am sure I am not spelling that right) behind the bar.

The Happy Hour gang.

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