Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)

British Virgin Islands
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The 3rd and final post of the BVI trip — I blame the severe lateness of this post on Captain Evan for holding his BVI pictures hostage….and maybe me for being a bad blogger. But guess who just gave me a little sailboat memory stick full of priceless pics!? Thanks Ev and Monica. These are amazing! And without further ado…here are days 7, 8 and 9 of our British Virgin Islands Trip. If you are new to A Bit of Bees Knees and want to catch up, here are parts One and Two.
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Day 7
We sailed away from Norman Island that morning and started our way to the east side of Jost Van Dyke for the Bubbly Pool. I woke up to the rocking of the boat and Enya’s Caribbean Blue being played on the loud speaker. My jam! I climbed out of the bedroom hatch and a plate of eggs Benedict was waiting for me. The Wannamaker’s don’t mess around – vacation perfection. We moored the catamaran and motored the dinghy to the dock. The hike to the pool is about a mile, it’s fairly easy, but beware of the poisonous plants along the trail. If you stay on the path you’ll be fine. It’s a wildly fun spot (I wouldn’t suggest it for the kiddies), at high tide it can be dangerous, so make sure you don’t go beyond the funnel or stay high up on the rocks if you want to venture further. When a big wave rolls in, it will burst through the narrow passage leading to the pool. There are a few rocks that you can hold onto while the wave passes overhead. Please be careful that you don’t let the current pull you out to sea. Hold on tight! It can be a blast if you’re smart about it.
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Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
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Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
Doing what I do best ^^^
Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
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After the bubbly pool we crammed everyone into a dinghy and ventured out to a little island called Sandy Spit  (18°26’59.83″N 64°42’31.46″W) just off Jost Van Dyke. The whole island is less than 1/2 an acre with a ring of white sand, a few plants and palms – the most picturesque deserted island you could ever dream of.
Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands
^^^ Dan jumped out of the dinghy and swam the rest of the way. He wanted the island all to himself .
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Slightly ecstatic crew 😉 Funny thing… we meet a group with @natgeocreative on assignment in the BVI’s at Willy T’s the night before. Nat Geo’s can party ;)! They followed our route a day later and took some fantastic pictures of the island from above. Check them out here.
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That night we moored off Jost, made garlic shrimp for dinner and sipped on OJ, cream of coconut and rummmmm to our hearts content.

Day 8
We sailed to Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke for ice cream and walked the beach, put our reservation in for Vinny’s that night. Then sailed to White Bay just around the point, swam, checked out The Soggy Dollar, napped on the boom (Ry’s favorite sleeping spot) and watched the sunset. We sailed back to Vinny’s and had conch fritters for dinner. I wrote our names inside the E of “Be Happy Don’t Worry” on the back wall of the restaurant. Lots of visitors leave there mark here – for future travelers to read or with hopes to revisit someday. We danced the night away at Foxy’s and enjoyed our last night on the boat.
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White Bay, BVI
Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
^Bruised up, bit up by skeeters and still loving every second.
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Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
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Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
Sailing the British Virgin Islands | White Bay
Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
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Day 9
We woke up early around 6:00AM to sail back to Soper’s Hole on Tortola to return the boat. We grabbed some coffee and breakfast at D’Best Cup Coffee Shop and stocked up on Harbor Market’s ginger hot sauce and fresh nutmeg for family back home. We took a ferry back to St. Thomas for our flight to NYC for the weekend before flying back home to California.
Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
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^^^Dan walking the streets of Charlotte Amalie. Lunch at Glady’s Cafe –  stewed oxtails, w/ peas, rice, plantains and sweet potato.
Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
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Sailing the British Virgin Islands (Part Three)
The last hurrah. I could get used to vacations like this. A once in a life time trip with the best crew of buds.
Daniel BVI
What a fantastic trip! We prepared to switch weather from 85F to 35F and population from 10 to 8,500,000…off to NYC for a few days! Bye bye BVI’s you were so good to us!
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Sailing the British Virgin Islands {Part Two}


{part two of three}
 
For those of you who’ve been following along, Dan and I went on an awesome sailing trip in the Virgin Islands a few weeks ago. Here is part two of the three-part journal post that I’m working on. If you’re just joining in now and want to catch up, here is the previous post. I should have put this video in part one, but I just discovered iMovie last week! So here are a few clips of the trip! 
 
 
Day Four
We sailed from Anegada back to a dive spot called Blonde Rock, a set of two pinnacles between Dead Chest and Salt Island. D and I snorkeled today and swam through thousands of tiny baby jellyfish . Ouch. They felt like little needles and left dime-sized red blotches on our skin. Thank the lord their bigger and more painful mamma wasn’t around. After our morning snorkel we sailed to Virgin Gorda and explored the famous Baths – giant boulders with a menagerie of  tiny waterways and sea caves with crystal clear water. We squeezed though cracks and jumped off rocks. This place is a sight to see! Picture perfect.We spent the night anchored off Cooper Island  – cooking, drinking wine, swinging in the hammock and worrying/getting amped for the RMS Rhone dive in the morning. I must have asked a million and one questions that night. It was only our (mine and D’s) second dive and 85 ft deep. “What if this happens….what if that happens?” Did you know you can barf under water and put your regulator back in? Who knew? Don’t worry, I didn’t… but I had to ask. I’m a planner. 😉
-my babe and a morning stretch-
 
-blonde rock and rhone dive on the map-
 
-blonde rock friends-
-the baths-
-yumi jumps-
-& evan splashes-
 
 
Day Five
I woke up early this morning and made French toast with cream of coconut syrup, mangos, pinneapples and oranges for the crew. Mmmm I didn’t eat a lot though…I was already jittery and nervous for the dive + didn’t want my question from the night before to come true. barf.
We sailed a short distance to Salt Island and got ready for the RMS Rhone Dive. Cole and I dove first! I asked him to teach me how to do an emergency backup regulator switch just incase something went wrong. I wanted to know that I could make the switch without messing up (my motto: prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Right? D says I worry too much…I call it being smart). Thumbs up. I did ok. We eventually descended the 85 ft to the ocean floor with a few helpful foot pulls from Cole. 
 
Wow my mind was blown!The huge RMS Rhone Ship lay on her side right before us! It was an eerie feeling being up close to such a devastating wreck and touching something that has been underwater for almost 150 years. 
 
The RMS Rhone was a Royal Mail Ship that carried mail, passengers and cargo between England and the Caribbean. In October if 1867 a major hurricane hit the Virgin Islands. The “unsinkable”Rhone; planned to make for open sea. As a safety precaution the passengers in Rhone were tied to their beds to prevent them from being injured in the storm. The Rhone struggled to get free as her anchor caught on a coral reef. It in now lies with its chain wrapped around the same coral it caught on a century and a half ago. The ship sank swiftly — the bow section in 85 feet of water, the stern in 30 feet. 123+ people went down with the ship that night.
 
Our dive went perfectly, besides my lack of divers sign language (apparently thumbs up means I want to go up…should have done the OK sign instead. Oops). I wish it was longer, but I’d imagine that’s the same with every dive. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen! So grateful to have friends that made it possible for us!
 
After my dive I got to watch Danny descend (with my heart) for his dive. Oh gosh I can’t take knowing he’s at the bottom of the ocean.  He’d actually be far better off surviving an underwater situation than I would. But still, I can’t watch him do scary things. Good news, everything went well with his dive too. Thanks for taking care of my baby, Jeff!
 

That afternoon we anchored at Peter Island and found coconuts on shore and I got a chance to climb the mast. The views were amazing and the picture I took was even reposted on Goops Insta by Gwyeneth Paltrow! What? Yes!How did that happen?

 

-french toast party-
 
-camera & dive gear-

{cheesing it up under the sea}



-this picture makes me feel like a badass…but i’m actually trying not to hyperventilate ;)-

-drink of choice and climbing a mast-
 

-playing peter pan on peter island and the picture that ms. gwyneth palrow reposted. can we be best friends please?-
Sailing the BVI's {Part 2}

-ladies and gentlemen, i give you peter island-
-fun fact: when bill gates stays here he pays extra for planes to change their flight pattern so they don’t fly over the island and disturb his relaxation…crazy-
 
Day Six
Woke up and the boys had already set sail to Brown Pants…yes that’s right Brown Pants. A dive spot known for it’s cool under water arches and BULL SHARKS. Hence the name. I opted to stay on the boat and open coconuts while the majority snorkeld and dove. Poor Ryan suffered “Mask Suck” or sinus problems that led to some uncomfortable swollen eyes after his dive. Miss Mon our personal Nurse cured him with an ice pack. Phewf.
That night we moored off Norman Island (AKA Treasure Island) in Privateer Bay around the corner from Willy T’s in The Bight Bay. We heard there had been theft in Bight Bay so we decided to moore a little further away and take the dinghy to Willy’s that night.
Oh Willy T’s…you were hilarious, fun and disgusting. Our first shotski.

Motoring back to the boat that night was magical…in a tipsy blissful state, surrounded by my love and friends in the black of night and the warm water glowing with bioluminescents in the wake of our dinghy. Ahhh a night to go down in history.
 

-this took me an hour-
 
-treasure island sunset-

-laundry day-

-exploring the shore for me treasuuuuuure-

-found it-
 
-snorkeling the caves on norman island- 



 


-cheers friends-
 
Click on the links if you want to read more about our trip…
Days 1,2,3, (part 1); Days 4,5,6 (part 2) and Days 7,8,9 (part 3) to come.

Sailing the British Virgin Islands {Part One}

10 friends, a boat and a map
{part one of three}
 
A few weeks ago, Dan and I went on a trip of a lifetime…. literally I can’t imagine a more amazing trip. I’ve been posting along on insta. We sailed the BVI’s on a 50ft cat with 10 of our best buds. I found myself relaxing in the bow net thinking, “Wow, how are we here right now? How did this happen to us?” I believe my favorite day included scuba diving a 150 year old shipwreck, climbing to the tippytop of our cat’s mast and cracking open fresh coconuts found on shore. We were adventurers, semi-sloppy “wine connoisseurs” and wannabe pirates for 9 beautiful days. We were free as can be! Each night I would watch that sunset and count my lucky stars. Thanks Evan and Mon!
 
I’ll share my journal with you day-by-day, in a 3 part post and give you all the ins and outs if you want to see the same sights and sail the same route on a trip of your own some day.
 
– Day One –
We landed in St. Thomas along with our friends and took a cab to Charlotte Amilie’s “Fast Ferry” to catch a boat to Tortola, BVI to pick up our Catamaran from Voyage Charters. Three or so of our friends graduated from Cal Maritime, so no need to hire a captain. Our friend Evan sent in his resume and the company approved him the rental. Yahooo. 10 friends, a map and our own boat!
 
After an hour or so ferry ride, we arrived in West End Tortola and went though customs. We took a taxi to quaint little Soper’s Hole in Frenchman’s Cay to pick up “Knot Bad”.  We ordered our groceries from a market in town and they delivered them to our boat. Well that’s convenient!
 
It was a beautiful night with big fluffy clouds and a warm breeze. I loved listening to the jazz music playing at the restaurant in the distance as we unpacked all the groceries on the boat. Huge tarpon fish swam below our boat in the glowing blue water. I went to bed with a smile on my face. “We’re actually here!”
 
-ferry ride to tortola-

-our home for the next 9 days-

-fluffy clouds and tarpon-

-miss mon’s blurry head and a beautiful night sky-
– Day Two-
We departed from Soper’s Hole and sailed to Beef Island to join the Full Moon Party. All the moorings near the island were full so we anchored at Little Camanoe (a deserted island) nearby. We spent the day snorkeling for shells and relaxing on the beach. The boys hooked up a hammock to the boom and we’d take turns lounging in it. Our friend Monica made Painkiller drinks and we all slipped into a state of  complete happiness. That night we ate family style – all 10 of us around the dinner table and feasted on BBQed pork, tofu and veggies.  After dinner we crammed everyone into our little dinghy and ventured off into the night, crossing the channel to Beef Island. I must admit I was a tad nervous with 10 people in a struggling dinghy motoring further from land than one would want to swim at night.  But alas we arrived safely and I learned to trust my seafaring sailors…we made it to the Moon Party.
It was cool…a bit of an older crowd (40-50’s) but still cool. Long Bay on Beef Island is a mile or so stretch of beach with fun bars and hippy-dippy pottery shops. We drank rum punch and danced with Moko Jumbies and fire dancers all night.  They even had an aerial silk dancer that hung from a crane! 
 
-coffee and some journaling-
 
-floating at little camanoe with beef island in the distance-

-diving for shells-
-sandcastle playdate-

-happiness in a hammock-

-fire dancers and beach bonfire-

-moko jumbies-

-my love-
-Day Three-
We sailed to Great Dog and anchored near the Coral Gardens Plane Wreck. Dan and I had never  been scuba diving before, but four of our friends were certified and they talked us through the whole process. I had always wanted to learn how to dive! I think I was more nervous about Danny diving than I was. I have a rather vivid imagination and sometimes it gets the best of me. But when would we get a chance like this again? Seize the moment right!? We were in good hands…the best of the best. Danny and I each went with a friend equipped with a dive watch and fancy diving goodies. Wow what a feeling! Breathing underwater is so amazing…it felt like a whole new world was opening up. Now I have dreams about breathing underwater. I’m hooked. I want more! Thanks for taking us Jeff and Cole! You guys are the best!
We had a fun time exploring an Atlantic Air BVI plane that crashed after takeoff in the 90’s (no one was hurt), the plane languished in a hangar for some time prior to being dismantled for scraps. The BVI dive operators were able to persuade the owners to give the fuselage over for use as a dive site. It was sunk in about 45ft of water east of the dive boat moorings on Great Dog Island. It was beautiful and amazing! I even managed to swim inside the cockpit while Cole took a picture! Unreal!
And that was just the morning…after the dive we sailed to Anegada Island and radioed-in a reservation for the Anegada Reef Hotel restaurant. 10 freshly caught lobsters were awaiting us. Sailing was long today about 4 hours between Great Dog and Anegada. It was nice though, most of us took advantage of the time by lying out in the nets or reading and I took to making coconut-iced coffee for everyone. Aww this trip is a dream.
Upon arrival at Anegada we moored the boat and explored Pomato Point – walking along the white sand beach with turquoise water.
That night we bobbed in our floaties, watched the sunset and ate like kings.
 
-my babe and our morning snorkel at great dog island-
-snorkeling with jeff and ry. checking out the reef-
-suited up for my first dive. crashed my plane ;)-
-mooring at anegada-
Sailing the BVI's
-a view and a yumi-

-a cute man in a doughnut and coconut iced coffee-

-danny and me time-

-dive baby dive-

-friends-

-anegada reef hotel dinner-
-love this man-

Click Here Days 4,5,6 (part 2)
Days 7,8,9 (part 3)
to come.

 

Countdown to the Virgin Islands!

In about two weeks Dan and I are hopping on a plane to meet up with some friends in the Virgin Islands! Whattt!!!? Yeah I know…I can hardly believe it myself. We have been counting down the days! A few months ago our friend Evan asked us if we wanted to sail around the islands (US and British). “Who us!? Ummmm heck YES!” Although we aren’t much of what you would call sailors…no problema, Evan is a merchant marine and sails/drives huge boats for a living. So we are in good hands. His family happened to have boat credit in the islands and they didn’t want to use it, so Evan and his lovely wife Miss Monica invited us on the trip of a lifetime! We get to sail our own private 5 stateroom catamaran! We are beyond excited and so stoked that they invited us! We’ll be spending 7 days or so on the sea with some of our best buds — floating in my doughnut and sippin on island drinks. Oh this is going to be a very Merry start to our Christmas season!

Below are a few pictures I’ve been collecting to get me amped for our adventure 🙂

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Pictures: Virgin Island, Bar and Drink, Dock, Photographer and Island, Baths and Fire, Starfish, Swimsuits and Boat, Hammock and Lobster, Pineapples, Cozy Boat and Friends