Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Happy Days at Saba Rock (7-8 May 2013)

Most of our first day in the BVIs was taken up with paperwork - signing in with immigration, then finding Wifi to confirm our shipping place and sort out payment.  We needed to print and scan some forms for the shipping company, and it took a while to get everything sorted - helped by a friendly estate agent who let us use her office.  Finally we were free and could relax.  It was the 7th May, and we were shipping from the USVIs, slightly later than scheduled, on the 14th.

At the dinghy dock, we were delighted to finally meet Fiona and Iain on their Sadler 34 Ruffian - they knew several of our friends, including Oliver and Carlotta of Troskala, who were now anchored just the other side of the island.  We hadn't seen Troskala since Madeira, and it was time for a reunion.

Feeling slightly spaced-out from our overnight sail, but in good spirits, we up-anchored and had a great sail around the west side of Virgin Gorda towards Saba Rock.  The great thing about sailing in much of the BVIs is the combination of decent wind with sheltered (so nice and flat!) water.  We headed in between Prickly Pear Island and Eustatia - great names around here - but the late afternoon light made it hard to see the reef we had to traverse.  So we anchored where we were.  Very soon we heard a call from Ruffian on the VHF.  They motored over, and very kindly took us through a shallow short-cut, using their previous GPS track.  

A reunion with Troskala.  Another pleasingly non-white boat!

We rounded Saba Rock, saw Olly and Carlotta waving from Troskala - Limbo's arrival heralded with the dulcet tones of a plastic foghorn - and anchored (for the third time that day!) close by, just outside the channel.  

Saba Rock is a tiny, private island mostly consisting of a bar and restaurant, with a few hotel rooms - there's not room for anything else.  Soon we were enjoying happy hour cocktails on the terrace and watching the daily feeding of the Tarpon. 

Natalie, Carlotta, Olly
We were happy to stay put the next day, and after a lazy morning went ashore with the Ruffians and Troskalas to the Bitter End Yacht Club, where we set off for an exploratory walk over the island, with views of mangroves and the surrounding reefs.  Richard Branson's Necker Island lay close by.  

Another Saba Rock evening. 

It was time for another Saba Rock happy hour, followed by home-made pizzas with our friends on board Troskala, and a 1.30 am return.  All seemed right with the world.

The skipper, looking reasonably tanned at this stage (and not as red as it looks in this photo!).

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