British Virgin Islands Day of Sailing
Trip Start Nov 04, 2012
8Trip End Nov 18, 2012
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We've walked in more impressive rain forests, to be sure, but this is the most verdant foliage we’ve seen to date in the Caribbean, with a far different feeling than any of the routes we’ve considered to date. An optional leg of the walk takes walkers to the highest point in any of the Virgin Islands, British or American.
After a quick cup of coffee at a neighboring café, we boarded the Aristocat, a 48-foot catamaran under the co-captaincy of Gilbo and Emily. The day was delightful – the first serious time I’ve spent aboard a true sailboat. Once out of the cove at Soper’s Hole on Tortola, engines were cut, sails were hoisted, and our progress was completely due to the successful harnessing of the wind!
In spite of a significant swell, and stirred up sand that clouded the water, the snorkeling was quite good. The highlight for Pat and I was swimming amongst a school of about 40 huge unidentified fish. They looked a bit like tuna to me, but we couldn’t ID them from the charts aboard the Aristocat and Gilbo hadn’t yet seen them himself.
Another highlight was walking to the Bubbly Pool, a natural Jacuzzi where waves are channeled through a small opening in the rocks and into a pool about 50 feet across. The effect is only noticeable when a northerly swell produces a surf strong enough to jet through the rock opening, and we had just enough of a swell today to make it fun, but not dangerous.
Sailing back into Soper’s Hole was magical, made more so by a double rainbow that stayed illuminated for the entire 45 minute sail!
We hope to include a similar day sail for our group in May, focused more on snorkeling and sailing into the Drake Channel on the south side of Tortola rather than north towards Jost Van Dyke. The British Virgin Islands are considered by many to be the sailing capital of the world. We thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of being sailors for the day!