Virgin Gorda’s two gas stations & more…

Drip, drip, drip…

It rained on us some Sunday night – we had to close the hatch which made it a little stuffy down below, although it still wasn’t too bad. Sandy got the worse end of the deal because there was a slight leak in the hatch directly above her. It was like chinese water torture… drip… drip… drip… Eventually we put a little towel over her.

Sandy enjoying some coffee as we motor up to the north end of Virgin Gorda

When we awoke Monday morning, the seas were a little rough. We could see the Baths from where we’d anchored and normally Brandon would throw us all in the dinghy and we’d speed across the water to be deposited on the beach there. But on shore there was a red flag out – and that meant the water was too rough to try and land there.

So we slowly motored down towards the end of the island. Unfortunately one of the motors was down because of a broken belt, so it was a slow ride. Not that I minded, most of us sat around on the front of the boat, watching the island go by and swapping stories. We saw Richard Branson’s private island – actually we saw two of them!

Our destination was Leverick Bay and as we got to the tip of Virgin Gorda, we had a choice to make. The seas were still a little rough, three foot swells rocking our boat around, as we studied a pass between the main Virgin Gorda and a smaller island. This would be the quick way – much quicker then continuing our slow trip all the way around.

Brandon is trying to decide if the sea’s are too rough to take the channel between Mosquito Island and Virgin Gorda – or should we play it safe and go around the long way.

But – of course there is a “but” – there was a catch. We could see the waves breaking all along the width of the pass. Obviously there was a reef between the two islands – was there a safe way through?? As we watched, we did see another, slightly smaller cat work it’s way through the pass – apparently there must have been a safe channel up against the main island. Brandon decided to play it safe though – especially with one engine down, it wasn’t worth the risk so we motored around the long way.

Once again, I didn’t mind the extra time. Galli and I sat on the side of the boat, watching the land pass before us. Sandy joined us after a bit and we watched as the waves crashed into the shoreline. As we approached Leverick Bay, you could see the water transform from rocky, choppy, and white capped to a smooth, calm sea in the protection of the bay.

Our first dinghy ride

We anchored and used the dinghy for the first time. Brandon motored us across to shore in two groups. We were picked up by Tiger who drove a large trolley-like open air taxi ($20 each). Tiger gave us a tour of the island as he drove us out to the Baths. The roads were steep and narrow with hairpin turns, steep dropoffs and everyone drove on the left. I tried not to watch the road (okay – it wasn’t really that bad!).

One of the bays we saw on our taxi ride

Tiger was separated up in the cab of the taxi but used a microphone to call out the names of bays, towns, and islands as the taxi climbed up the hill. We stopped at one overlook and everybody emptied out of the taxi to take pictures of the few houses and bays below us. Then Donna had Tiger use her camera to take a group picture – so we asked Tiger to do the same with our camera. Before long, there was a line of cameras waiting on the rail as Tiger patiently took each one, got us to smile, and took a group photo. We joked that afterwards we can compare all the pictures to see which camera is the best.

Enjoying our taxi tour of Virgin Gorda

Then we continued our tour. Tiger kept calling out the names of things as we passed. There’s the primary school. That’s an insurance company. This apartment complex using such and such color scheme. Here’s Sol – one of the island’s two gas stations, gas is $5.65 per gallon (or something like that – don’t remember the actual amount). Later we got to see the other gas station. I think most of us thought this was the best part of the taxi ride as we exchanged puzzled looks and laughed about the mundane sights that were being pointed out.

View BVI Tradewinds 2012 in a larger map

Finally we arrived at the Baths. Here is a video of us exploring the baths and I’ve also compiled some pictures here.

1 Comment to “Virgin Gorda’s two gas stations & more…”

  1. By Sandra, November 25, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

    Bruce,
    You have done a great job capturing our wonderful trip. Thanks for writing in such detail, it will help with the fond memories.
    Sandra

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