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...

Sunday, May 15, 2011


The stormy weather over the past few days has pretty much kept me in my room. If there is one thing Neptune's Treasure really could use, it's a common lounge area. When my daughter and I were at Fischer's Cove on Virgin Gorda two years ago, we made a lot of use of their fabulous common area. It overlooked the beach and was open on three sides (the fourth side housing a restaurant). There were couches, rocking chairs, tables to play games on or have your laptop at with a very strong wifi connection, there were bookshelves with lots of books to take. Even though we had the best weather the entire time, we went to that lounge every evening to watch the sunset while enjoying a drink and a good book until it was time to go to bed. Here at Neptune's Treasure, there's the indoor bar and that is it, and I do not enjoy being perched on a bar stool for two hours. Once Happy Hour is over, it's back to my room alone, and during the day, when it's raining, same thing - in room, alone. And there's no comfy chairs in the room so I am sitting on my bed which, maddeningly, keeps sliding away from the wall when I lean back. The bed needs to be on one of those boxes that most hotels use. They serve a double function; keep the bed from sliding AND keep you from inadvertently leaving something behind under the bed.

I heard talk of them putting in a pool by the, at the moment, unused outdoor bar right out front. But as far as I am concerned, the ocean is amazing here and more than good enough to swim in. The money would be far better spent on a lounge area and more people would use it.

Shonah enjoying the lovely lounge at Fischer's Cove.

Yesterday I decided to go for a walk and take a swim in my favourite spot that I found and have only been able to use once, due to the weather. How very, very disappointing. As soon as I stepped on to the beach, I was shocked at the change. Huge amounts of seagrass washed inland during the storm and has been deposited on what was pristine white sand and huge amounts more of it floats in the waves right at the shoreline making it impossible to go in and swim. I continued walking the 10 minutes to my spot and found it to be the same the entire way along.

My favourite swim spot - ruined.

I decided to keep walking to around the point to see if it was any different where the wind would have been blowing in a different direction. On the way I came across huge clumps of another kind of seaweed.

Different seaweed closer to the point.

Remember the picture I took of the waves coming in from different directions at the point? Well this is what it looks like now. UGH!

When I get around the corner, sure enough, the beach and water are clear BUT there are fairly large, churning waves breaking on the sand. It's too rough to go and swim in unless I am into body surfing, and I am not. I prefer all of my bones in one piece.

Clear water - big waves.

I decided to video the waves after an especially big one came in. It took a minute or so before more eventually came in. Looking at the video though, it doesn't do them justice. They looked a lot bigger and violent in person. I think the sound gives a much more vivid idea of how strong they were.

So I walk back along the messy beach without setting more than my feet in the water. It's a super muggy day again and I forgot to take along a bottle of water so I am parched by the time I get back.

On the walk I pass a house under construction. It belongs to Kenzie, the man I met while waiting for the ferry over to Anegada from Road Town. It will easily be the nicest house on the island when it is completed, and will be the only house with a (two car) garage. It's been under construction for two years because, in the islands, people build as they have the money. They don't take out loans. Apparently, according to Walker, it should be all done by this winter.

Kenzie's new house on the beach.

After I guzzle down half a bottle of water, I walk a few yards behind my room to Pam's Bakery. Pam is married to a Soares, one of three siblings who own Neptune's Treasure. I have been buying a brownie each day for the past few days as I can't eat anything much and so it fills me and they are yummy and soft, without any nuts, more like a chocolate cake. Today I decide to try the fish sticks. They are home-made from marlin that Mark, her husband, has caught. Mark, along with Dean - the other brother, have a boat moored out front and they go deep sea fishing once a week and supply not only their own restaurant, but several more throughout the islands. They also catch lobster and conch.

Pam in her bakery.


I haven't ever had marlin before so am not sure what to expect. It turns out to be delicious. It's a thick, non-oily white meat with the dark fatty meat around the edges (kind of like the darker meat on a salmon). I don't like that part on salmon and always pick it off, so I pick it off of the marlin and it separates easily. I seem to be able to chew on the right side without pain, although I am taking it easy. But it feels like progress is happening with the nerves. Yay!!

At happy hour I meet up with Gary and Beth, just as they return from a walk down the same beach, and she declares that it was a 'dirty walk' and I agree.  It's a shame that the water won't return to it's beautiful clear self until after I leave the island.  No more skinny dipping for me!

Gary and Beth's sailboat.

While we are all sat at the bar a man arrives who I haven't seen around here before.  It turns out he is the brother of the man who built and ran this place (but is now in his 80's and pretty much stays in his house on the property).  His name is Roderick Soares but is known throughout the islands as Captain Fishy.  He is in his 70's and has been in these islands for over 40 years.  The man can talk!! He immediately regales us with stories from his past and most of us listen intently.  His family was originally from the Bahama's but his parents moved to Cuba, before Castro took over.  When Castro was taking over, he and his brothers and father were thrown into jail.  They eventually were set free and moved to the BVI's.  He settled in Tortola and his stories of how it was back then, when there were no roads and Road Town was a tiny hamlet (I picture it as much like The Settlement here) are nothing short of fascinating.  He owns property all over the islands and in Britain and France.  He owns a lot of property all over Tortola and he got most of it without paying a dime for it.  He said that most of the businesses he started, he sort of fell into due to seeing a need.  For instance, when he first imported a small car to Tortola for his own use, people wanted to borrow it all of the time so he imported a second one to loan out.  Before long he had 60 of them on the island that he rented out.  He was friends with all of the locals and when more visitors started to discover the islands, they wanted to buy property, so his friends would call him up and say "I have some land, I don't know how much, but I want to sell some of it.  Can you help me?"  So he would go see the land, survey it and then say "Here's a parcel you could sell."  They'd ask him how much it should sell for and he'd say "To an islander, maybe $5000 but to a visitor?  Maybe $8000." and so the person would ask him to help them sell it.  When they'd ask how much commission he wanted he said, "No money.  But give me a lot sized piece of your land, 100 yards by 100 yards." and they'd gladly agree.  He did this over and over until he owned huge amounts of land, and some larger pieces that I assume he bought and has condo's, houses, and hotels on.  Some he reclaimed from the sea.   He told me of a house he bought in Bermuda that a friend was trying to sell and couldn't.  He bought it 20 years ago for $300,000 and it is now worth nine million dollars.  In England he bought Sir Lawrence Olivier's childhood home, in New Milton which is in the south of England, looking over the Isle of Wight.  He fixed it up and uncovered the gorgeous beams in the ceiling, a huge stone fireplace, and more.  His wife complained for years that he owned all sorts of land and houses and she didn't have a single one with just her name on it so he gave her that house as a gift.

Captain Fishy with a grand niece and a grand nephew.

Apparently, someone is writing a book about his life and I really hope they are because I will buy it as soon as it's available.

Today another storm front has moved in and as the clouds moved in closer, the wind started blowing and then the rain came. I am ready for the sunshine again!!

Stormy skies.

The storm is moving in.

You can see the wind on the water here, before the waves start to kick back up.

Today is my last full day here. I hope the weather clears up enough to allow the ferries to run so that I can go to Tortola tomorrow, as planned.

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