If we are going to get to Anegada AND then have any actual hope to get to Jost Van Dyke as well, we need to get to Gorda Sound today, so off we go. By 7:30, we've eaten breakfast (yogurt and granola), done our boat chores, greased ourselves from head to toe with sunscreen, and I've even done some lunch and dinner prep. We stop for a snorkel at the Indians and, you guessed it, the Jubilee crew are there as well. While Rick was snorkeling, I spied a Moorings 505 moored next to us with a friendly skipper, Leroy, who was our friendly skipper for a couple of days in 1998. We've been bumping into him since we got here, being friendly and polite, and he is friendly back but is confounded since he can't quite place us (His expression says "I should know who these people are"). We are not about to give up the jig, because we don't want him to remember us, for reasons I won't get into here.
I'm feeling much better, almost completely cured by now. The breeze has freshened significantly, and we have a great sail on a close reach to Virgin Gorda. I seem to have misplaced some articles of clothing for part of the trip, all part of my efforts to eliminate some tan lines. We try to anchor at Mountain Point for lunch, having stopped here for lunch on a crewed charter many moons ago, but the wind swings us all over the place so that we can't even lay down the anchor chain in a straight line. (If we could see the chain from above, it would probably spell out "Get Out!"). We aren't even close to getting a good enough set for a short visit, which makes me want to move on. So we eat underway and get to Gorda Sound through the pass in the Colquohon Reef by early afternoon, where I try to snag a mooring opposite Saba Rock. The chafe protection on the loop at the end of the pennant makes it impossible for me to hook it on the cleat, so we try for another mooring with a smaller loop and get settled.
The Saba Rock of 2001 (left) bears no resemblance, other than location, to the Pirate's Pub of my memories (1993); meanwhile, Bitter End (right) remains true to memories.
All bridled up and satisfied with our position on what has become a VERY windy day, we take the dinghy over to the beaches on the north side of Prickly Pear. The first beach is populated by two adults and a child, so we go over to the next one, which is empty. Curiously misplace our clothing again, but find it quickly as the family from the first beach dinks past (we don't want to scandalize young eyes with our constant misplacements). The water and sand are delicious, and I can see my copper-painted toes through the clear water, like pennies winking up at me from the bottom of a pool in the sunlight. This is paradise. Rick loses a contact lens but finds a glass fish float while we are exploring a one-for-one exchange. Luckily, we have lots of spare lenses between the two of us. Thank god for disposables. The surge is becoming more of an issue now, and the dinghy gets good and wet. After a nice long visit on this beach, we spend some time at the other, now vacated, beach as well.
The more westerly of Prickly Pear's beaches ... all to ourselves.
Later, we go over to Saba Rock to pay for the mooring and have some bushwhackers. The last time we set foot here (in 1993), it was Pirate's Pub and the bushwhackers whacked some of us up pretty good. The new establishment here is very classy, so there will be no whacking here tonight. Back on board, we have brie and apples to go with sundowners (Green Flashes), followed by dinner, which was intended to be a red snapper filet with potato slices, onions and tomatos, wrapped in foil and grilled. But the wind was so gusty that Rick couldn't get the charcoal lit and we ended up baking it. Rick is feeling the need for the company of other
sailors tonight, so we decide to go to Bitter End for some drinks at the Pub. I spy some coveted Mt. Gay caps behind the bar, knowing well that you can't buy one; they are BESTOWED on sailors of some achievement. I ask the bartender Jerry what it would take for me to earn one, and he specifies an amount of Mt. Gay rum to be consumed, and smacks a cap in front of my glass as an incentive. The gauntlet is thrown, and my brain cells are sacrificed in the quest. But damn it, I WANT the cap.
We meet the couple on Johnny J and talk of our next day's plan to sail to Anegada. They are interested in sailing with us, and definitely want to avoid the Moorings flotilla leaving from Bitter End. This is fine with us. The blind leading the blind (especially since the rumour around the docks is that GPS waypoints may not be quite as good as they used to be, as the US has resumed scrambling the GPS signals in the wake of the war). We also meet Britt and Sandy, whom we recognized as the family who inspired us to quickly "find" our clothing at Prickly Pear. We laughed as we all recognized who we were, and luckily, no one was scandalized; in fact, they said it was quite unnecessary for us to cover up, as their young daughter pretty much gets to see everything. We head back to the boat pretty early for an early start tomorrow. I'm a bit wobbly (those drinks are STRONG, since rum is cheaper than some of the mixers down island) and the wind roars all night, but I GOT THE CAP!