Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Saba Rock to Leverick Bay - Sailing the BVI's (6 of 10)

We decided today that we really needed to get water.  We were down to about 30 gallons or so and it just made sense that if we were going to come to a dock, we may as well top off fuel too.  Since we were not able to get a mooring at Saba Rock the night before we would have to pay for water and fuel. Methods was not a huge problem but we were a bit concerned about maneuvering up to the fuel dock with the direction of the wind.  This was going to be the first time we take the catamaran to a dock and just didn't want to increase our odds of hitting the dock or not being able to get close enough to tie off.  We did a little checking and found out that we would get some free water (100 gallons) with a mooring at Leverick Bay and based on the guidebook and so e Ariel photos, it appeared that it was going to be a better spot to fill up.
This would be our shortest travel day of the entire trip, so we decided to take advantage of it and do some sight seeing.

We went back over to Saba Rock in the dinghy and walked the island.  It is a beautiful resort.  We walked the docks, around to the grassy lawns overlooking the Caribean.  As we walked along this area we saw a small headstone that read "Ganja the cat" and it looked like Ganja was good to him because based on the dates he lived 18 years.  

We continued our walk toward the sandy area and back again into the docks where the underwater lighting attracts the Tarpon at night.  

We all loaded up in the dinghy and crossed the channel to walk around the Bitter End Yacht Club.  This place is really interesting and very well appointed.  The dinghy docks were in great shape and were right in front of the hotel.  We were amazed at the wood carvings in the lobby.
View from the Hotel entrance toward the Dinghy dock

This is a typical island resort layout with all open walls but this one had really nice wooden floors and walls.  The all appeared to be hand sawn.  We walked through the lobby and certainly had to take some pictures of the wood carvings and a group photo of us all standing right behind the Bitter End Yacht Club and logo.  

We walked down the water front and looked at some of the boats that the Hokin Family had bought over the years.  The story behind the Bitter End Yacht Club is a bit interesting.

In the mid 60's they family brought their boat to this area for recreational fishing off this remote island.  In the late 60's and early 70's the land where the Bitter End Yacht Club (BEYC) is now was just a fishing camp with no running water and no electricity.
there was a Bakery with fresh baguettes for sale 
They loved it there and thought it would be a great place to live.  The attempted to lease an acre of land to build themselves a house there, but the owner "Basil" at the time didn't want to lease them an acre, but instead offered to see the whole place to them.

In 1973, the Hokins bought the property.  The family didn't know anything about running a hotel or "camp" as it were then, but they were enthusiastic about their new property.  Each year the family would all come to this area and they discovered the great sailing, diving, fishing and snorkeling from Anageda to Tortola.  They had a desire to share their love of this area with others, and had the building designed and built.  Today the Resort creates it's own electricity, collects and distills it's own water and uses treated gray water for irrigation.
View from the upstairs lobby of hotel toward Prickly Pear Island

Today is a premium stop for anyone going to the area.  Beatifully appointed, and well maintained, it is the kind of perfect trees and flowers that you expect to see on a Hawaiian resort or Disney land, but the people are all laid back islanders.

We took a walk all along the water front and shops at the Bitter End.  I did end up buying a great portable cooler.  It is a neoprene cooler that you wear on your shoulder (Soft sided) that will hold a 12 pack of beer or a 6 pack and 4 bottles of wine.  It is a great bag and I look forward to using it at sundowners and events at other people's boats when we are back home.

We filmed some of the water front buildings, including a Bakery, Movie Theater (outdoor of course) marina office, fuel dock, hotel, gift shops, restaurants, pubs and what not.  See the video at the end of this blog for some more views of this including a great little bench that was built under a stone arch for shade.

View from slip back toward the shore
We loaded up into the Dinghy and headed back to the boat to pack up for the very short trip to Leverick bay.   We dropped the mooring and headed across the North Virgin Sound and circled the fuel dock finding our best place to pull up to it.  We waited for another boat to pull out and worked our way right onto the dock between 2 other boats side tied.  O'day did a great job and the guys on the fuel dock were really helpful with guiding us to the right spot and making fast the lines as we came in.

While we fueled up, Deb inquired about the Mooring versus a slip in the Marina.  We were shocked to find out that if we took a slip, we would get al the water we needed for free.  So a slip, with electricity, was only $25 more for the night than the mooring ball.  It had been 5 nights and we all thought that we would take advantage of the power and air conditioning while we were here.  After fueling up and filling with Water, we moved into our assigned slip.  Again Oday made it look like he had been Captain of a Catamaran for many years.  Once tied up, we connected power and flipped on the Air Conditioning units in the boat.  No water flow coming out, so we started to investigate what happened.  Turns out that with all of the sailing and beating, we just lost the prime to the pumps.  After reprising the pumps for each air conditioner, we were pumping cold air into all of the staterooms and salon.

Lunch time visitor
We emptied the trash, cleaned up the boat (Taking advantage of the water) and walked up to the restaurant for lunch and some Pain Killers and Caribe beer.  I love Island restaurant, it is not uncommon to see a dog wandering through looking for a handout.  In this particular one, we had a chicken come through looking for some food.

After a really good lunch including drinks, Conch fritters and cheeseburgers in paradise, we decided to go for a swim in the pool on shore that was included with a slip rental.  The water was warm, but it was very relaxing to just chill in the pool for an hour or so.   Right next to the pool was one of those great outdoor tiki style bars, so we had to swing on over and have a drink or 3.
Yep, Texas Flag is us

One of the other cool things about hanging out in these water front bars and restaurants is the characters you meet.  We met a guy that was there and he was full of rich stories.  Really nice guy, and he was sailing "down island" on his "french cat" that was anchored out in the bay.  In the hour or so we sat there he shared all kinds of interesting stories.  If I were to sum it up quickly, he was a cowboy from Wyoming or something like that.  He told stories of doing work for Nasa and rockets.  He also talked about doing some kind of work for the Russian space program.  He discussed national security type work he had done, He supposedly did delivery of private Boeing aircraft including delivering the 777 to Sir Richard Branson.  He suggested that he was going to stop by Richards Island, but the wind was just too good, he didn't want to stop sailing.  He is a test pilot and, oh yeah, he is a kite surfer that flies to all locations when there is a hurricane so he can kite surf in those.    I personally think 85% of it was BS, but it was all interesting.
View of the restaurant, stores, bar and pool from up on the hillside

While we sat at the bar, Obarr took a little walk up the hill and around this part of the island.  He used his amazing zoom on his camera to get pictures of the boat, the marina and even zoomed in on us sitting at the bar from a 1/4 mile away.

We slowly worked our way back to the boat and enjoyed the nice cool air that was in the boat.  We were able to connect to the Leverick Bay restaurant's wifi connection so we all posted a few pictures on Facebook and I must confess I did download my work email so that I could sift through it to find the important stuff.  We slept really good at the dock and planned to sleep as late as everyone wanted to.

We have a small video from our walk around Saba Rock and also Bitter End, It you are reading this anywhere other than the blog online, you will need to click on this link for the Saba Rock, BEYC Video.

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