Finally made it to the British Virgin Islands!!!  It is like coming home for us.  We have been chartering sailboats here since 1994, by ourselves, with friends, and with our kids.  In July of 2006, we bought Alegria here, from Voyage Yacht Charters, out of Sophers Hole.  It was fitting to by the boat we love, from the the islands we love!

 The first night here we stayed at Great Harbour.  It was a tight night in the harbor!!!  I have never seen that many boats in there during the middle of the week.  It was mostly charter boats with a few cruisers.  It isn’t easy to anchor there as the bottom is mostly grass.  I felt bad for the charter family on the 40 foot catamaran next to us.  He had to reanchor at least 5 times before he got it.  And he was right next to us, which caused us to have a restless night watching how he would move around at anchor.  I am not going to be one of those cruisers who say bad things about charters.  We were in the same situation.  Our last charter was in 2004.   I am sure some of those people on the charter boats had more experience than us when we started on this trip.  What I feel is the real problem is the different weight of the boats and knowing how they will swing at anchor in tight spaces.  For example, the bigger Leopards and Lagoons that are charter boats are VERY light.  Our cruising boat, laden down with BOOKS BOOKS and MORE Books, is heavy.  A small gust will send them moving but takes longer to get us going.  That can make for very interesting boat arrangements.  For example, at one point that night, the charter Lagoon in front of us was bow to bow with us, and the Leopard (that had trouble anchoring) instead of being next to us, was now perpendicular BETWEEN us and the Lagoon with only about 5 feet separating our bow from the side of his boat.  We had no idea, when the wind shifted again, how he was going to get out from between us, but he did.   The next night we moved over to anchor at Little Harbour on a mooring ball and glad we did.  That night we had wind gusts over 30 knots and at times it felt like the boat was sailing on the mooring ball!!! 

 Leaving Great Harbour, we went to one of our favorite spots, Sandy Spit.  It was so windy and rough that it was as relaxing as it usually is.  It was even a little chilly with the strong wind.  I was really having trouble enjoying what was my favorite place.  Finally I sat on the dinghy and looked up at the sky.  I remembered all the times we had come here, and all the great memories from lying on the beach and seeing that beautiful blue sky.  Looking at the sky, I was able to remember the one particular year here, we had recently moved into the new house we built, Tristan was almost two years old, our friends were joining us in a few days on the charter, and I for once in my life was incredibly, totally  happy.  Thankfully, since this trip has started, those completely happy moments come more often!

At Harris Place, in Great Harbour, that night we enjoyed our traditional lobster dinner.  It was a celebration for us as it was nearly a year to the day when we finally left Palm Coast.  Believe me, when we actually got on the boat in Palm Coast in January 2007, with the cold, all our stuff and NO ROOM on the boat, that was the lowest point of the whole trip!!!  It seemed we would never leave the dock.  But Palm Coast gave us a lot of blessings, in the form of wonderful people, such as Dottie and Richie and their daughter Aubrey.  Dottie and Richie invited us to a barbeque one afternoon and we just clicked. We miss them!! They are to us, the ultimate in living in the moment, being extremely generous, and living light!  Also we met Don, who took Tristan under his wing and turned him into a dockhand, building his confidence immensely.  We were lucky later in the year, to run into Don and his wife in the Bahamas.  Don was also a big encouragement to me in keeping this log, so we are indebted to him!!

Tessa and I enjoyed a little shopping at Sydney’s Peace and Love before dinner at Harris’s.  After dinner we went back to Sidney’s to enjoy some drinks with college seniors from Vanderbilt university on spring break.  There were 17 kids on a 40 foot catamaran and 18 on the other.  We talked to the captain about where everyone was sleeping and he said it was a mess.  But they looked like they were having a great time, and they were really nice!!  We all have stereotypes of college kids on spring break, but these guys and girls were well mannered, talked to us, talked to our kids, drank, but not excessively, weren’t rowdy.  In fact, Dan and I had a good time talking about politics and the corporate world with them.  In another small world moment, both captains were originally from North Carolina, and one of the seniors was moving to Charlotte to take a job with Bank of America after he graduated.  Dan and I agreed we want our kids to go to Vanderbilt!!!

It was another restless night on the mooring ball with howling winds!!