I think we found paradise…
After Peter Island, we headed for Norman Island, home of the infamous Willy T bar located in the Bight. Unfortunately the Bight was chockas with mooring buoys- definitely a trend here in the BVI- so we moseyed on over to Bernures Bay a mile or so to the east. And we found paradise.
The bay was kind of deep once again, so we dropped anchor what we thought was a reasonable distance from a 30 foot Dutch boat, admired our gorgeous surroundings, oohed and aahhed at the clear water, and then jumped into our dinghy to go for a snorkel and check out Willy T’s.
We headed for Treasure Point, which is host to a series of caves which has pretty decent snorkeling. Like elsewhere in the Caribbean, there wasn’t a huge amount of fish and the coral wasn’t looking too healthy, but the caves were cool and a little spooky. We then zipped around to Willy T’s expecting all sorts of crazyness, but maybe it was the wrong time of day or something (early afternoon) because not a lot was going on. We met an English/American couple who were on charter, tried to talk them into buying a boat and giving up their corporate lifestyle in London, then headed back to the boat.
As soon as we arrived into the bay, we immediately saw that our boat was looking very close indeed to the Dutch boat next door. The two owners, a couple in their 60s maybe, swam over to us and asked us to re-anchor. We weren’t feeling too keen on this a) because Nick had had a few drinks and b) there wasn’t a lot of room in the shallower parts of the bay and with early evening approaching we really didn’t want to be stuck going around in circles trying to anchor. The husband seemed cool with this, but the wife was NOT happy, so we decided to attempt to tie a line ashore.
We had never done this manoeuvre before and we had only limited success. We tied several of our mooring lines together, attached them to the stern anchor rode and Nick dinghied ashore and tied the line to a strong-looking tree. We then winched ourselves closer to shore until we were a comfortable distance from the Dutch boat. Success.
Midnight brainstorming session
Or so we thought. 12am I was woken by a thud. I stared around the dark cabin wondering if I’d imagined it. Nick snoozed away peacefully. I had just convinced myself that it was simply my imagination when it happened again: we had gone aground. Nick still didn’t wake, and so I went into the cockpit to see what I could see. The solar fairy lights around the back of the bimini were all I could see and it took me several fumbling minutes to work out how to switch the damn things off. That done, I could see the gentle lapping of the water against the shore. It looked awfully close. I stared at it for a few more minutes until my brain finally started to kick into gear and I got a torch. Yep. Awfully, awfully close. Like, a couple of metres away.
I woke up Nick and we tried to hatch a plan. Not easy considering we were both floating in sleepy oblivion a few minutes prior. The wind had shifted and we were now being pushed towards the other side of the bay- only problem was the beach was in the way. Our dilemma was this: we could either let the line go and hope to swing back around, away from the beach. Or we had to come up with a solution that would get us into slightly deeper water. In the end, after considerable head scratching, we moved the line from the stern to the bow and let the stern swing around into deeper water. Nick stayed up for another hour, then we went back to bed.
Life at anchor
The next morning a boat on the other side of the bay left so we took their spot. We took the dinghy to another snorkelling spot, the Indians and the Pelican but it was super choppy and the visibility wasn’t great. So we simply went back to our little corner of paradise.
The next few days we did a lot of bumming around, admiring the surroundings and congratulating ourselves for finding such a beautiful and undiscovered anchorage. There was a great hike over to the Bight and Bernurs bay offered some great swimming and snorkelling. The bay was like a millpond, utterly calm. The wind outside however was knocking 25 knots. We couldn’t believe the protection this bay offered from the weather.
After a week living happily at anchor in the most beautiful anchorage we had ever stayed in, we finally ran out of food and the list of jobs started to pile up. Namely, laundry, internet jobs, and boat maintenance, all of which would be much easier to do at the dock- preferably with decent Wifi. So we decided to treat ourselves to a couple of nights in Nanny Cay marina before once again returning to a peaceful, quiet anchorage somewhere.
That’s not quite how things turned out.
But I’ll leave that til next week!