John got up early to enjoy the sunrise on Day 6 after a good nights sleep. Perhaps last night’s spectacular full moon (almost) had something to do with it. Travelling between the islands, we encountered several boats that became familiar as we saw them repeatedly at the popular hang-out spots. One such boat was a silver grey roundish mega-yacht which had such a distinctive look, it was easily spotted anywhere. John enjoyed his morning coffee and the smell of sizzling bacon while the crew were up to their typical antics in the galley – Chef Val trying desperately to ignore the best efforts of Captain Diego “to break her” with incessant pestering. It seems with 5 brothers, Val had many years of experience in fending off whatever silliness he threw at her, and it was great entertainment for us!
Captain Diego took a moment to share his “fun fact” of the day…why pirates have eye patches. The theory being it was either from losing the eye while inadvertently scratching themselves with their hook-hand, or wearing the patch as a technique for having great night vision. Hmmm…we couldn’t decide which version sounded less fishy.
Today we planned an excursion to The Baths which is famous for humungous granite boulders clustered along a gorgeous sandy shoreline from an ancient volcano, making for some interesting trekking and fabulous views. The question for us was whether we would get there by swimming the 100 meters to shore from where the dingy could drop us off at the site, or by taking a taxi from the marina to reach the site by land. We decided that the swim would be the most direct way to arrive so we motored the Black Pearl over to Valley Trunk Bay (or Little Trunk Bay?) where we safely anchored next to a beautiful palm tree-lined beach. We donned swimsuits, grabbed the camera and a dry bag, and headed off. John even shaved for the occasion!
The swim was more difficult than it needed to be since I wore a long-sleeve shirt to protect from sun, which added a surprising amount of drag in the water. Onshore we caught our breath (we are soooo out of shape) and wandered around the dozens of tourists heading to Poor Man’s Bar. The intent of “The Baths” excursion was to follow a rough trail over, around, under, and through (literally) the massive granite boulders to eventually reach another beach area. The crew had explained that it’s best enjoyed by getting lost, adventuring into crevices and lesser-used trails to reach dead-ends – and we managed to follow that advice quite well by getting lost 3 times in an hour! We eventually found Devil’s Bay and the beach – wow, it was beautiful! I could see why this was the “must-do” activity in BVI.
The sandy trail then meandered inland and up the hill, past a few chirpy birds furiously guarding their nests, eventually arriving at the top where there was another bar & restaurant, aptly named Top of the Baths. We sampled our favourite Presidente beer, enjoyed the incredible views and contemplated how blessed we were feeling. Although we missed our families back in Canada on Christmas eve, we were happy to be surrounded by beach sand rather than snow.
Fortunately as we were leaving the bar, we spied the short trail back down to the beach to wait for our dingy ride. Back onboard the Black Pearl, we relaxed over lunch of yummy leftover pork sandwiches. A drone came by to check us out from a nearby classic ship. It looked like an early 1900s steamer that had been reconditioned and maintained it’s classic looks. We had seen it anchored nearby at a previous island earlier in our cruise and commented on it then as well. Anyone know what it’s name is?
Our morning activities soon took their toll after lunch and we realized a nap was in order. Everyone decided to chill in the cabins. John got up to discover the tender from a nearby boat was doing donuts around us while pulling kids on an inflatable, creating unnecessary waves…what the heck?! He “politely” shooed them away and life was calm and tranquil again.
Feeling refreshed after our nap, we hopped in the water for a swim then decided to try our hand at kayaking. We loved having “toys” onboard and available at our leisure. It was tricky getting into the kayaks from the stern but we eventually managed to climb in, good thing we were already wet from our swim! It was a quick paddle to reach the beach and we did a bit of exploring onshore, enjoying the feel of warm, incredibly soft sand in our toes. A beautiful beach house was secluded behind thick foliage. Beach front is public in the BVI and can’t be restricted, however many owners have clever ways of finding privacy from the public.
Hopping back into the kayaks in the waves was another little adventure for me. With some “encouragement” from John, “stop being a girl and just get in the damn thing”, we were soon paddling away. We made a quick detour to paddle by another boat sporting an Italian flag and wished Buon Natale to our friendly anchorage neighbours. We didn’t even mind that the sky opened up on us with a quick 5 minute squall. All the more fun. The festive spirit was also spreading onboard the Black Pearl, as Val had put up a Christmas tree while we were kayaking. We called it the Charlie Brown Tree.
We set sail for Marina Cay with me at the helm, and made it to the fuel dock just before a nasty squall hit.
Yes that wall of water is coming our way!
With water and fuel replenished, we found a nice mooring ball apart from the other boats within view of Scrub Island. The funky grey roundish mega-yacht was even there.
Time for tequila to celebrate successfully mooring after another great day!
We dingied over to Pusser’s Bar for a famous painkiller rum drink for the boys, while I sipped on a Lady Hamilton cocktail since I had enjoyed reading about her exploits in Naples Italy…while we were living in Naples. We strolled along a nifty path bordered by Christmas lights and stopped at the local souvenir shop to purchase a couple cigars. At her mooring, the Black Pearl was festooned in red lights on the bridge – looking very Christmassy. Back onboard, fabulous smells from the galley were coming from chicken satay with thai peanut sauce, followed by a delicious zucchini lasagna. Another wonderful meal in paradise!
An early night as we awaited the arrival of Santa…