BVI Day 8: Peter

We don’t have any big sail planned for today, we just have to go a few miles from Norman to Peter Island.

So this morning Jenn and I take the kayak across the entrance to The Bight to the anchorage on the other side where there are caves we’ve read about in one of our books. It’s a tough go again, but once again totally worth it! There is a wooden ketch moored over here that is kind of rough around the edges, but oozes character with a pirate flag flying. I think it’s a charter service, and one of the guides is taking people into the saves on a stand up paddle board. We follow a bit in the kayak as deep as we dare, but the crash of water at the deepest end without any light is plenty for us, so we back out. There are 3 caves, and 2 are deep enough to be interesting. We’re going to have to bring everyone over here before we leave.

Back at the boat its time to do a bit more diving. Rob’s back is hurting so he doesn’t want to go in, so it’s just me and Jana. Though Jana then convinces Jenn to come. Jenn isn’t really feeling like diving, and she’s a bit anxious each time we get in the water, especially as we have to descend. We all gear up and jump in. Jenn’s BC though isn’t fitting right and it’s too big. She’s freaked out a bit by the BC being too large and though she wants to power through it, I convince her that it’s best to just snorkel with us, she can point us to the point we didn’t quite get to yesterday, so we hand her gear back up to Greg. Jenn has never really enjoyed diving that much, though she does when it’s easy in calm warm water, and she loved diving when her sister did the DSD, and surprisingly when we did the Blue Hole. But shes largely done it as something to do with me. I don’t think the idea of going without a certified Divemaster helps either. At this point I’ve easily done twice the number of dives, and most of the ones I’ve done without her have been a lot more difficult like the dive safari in Bali, combined with my natural comfort in the water its just not the same experience for me as for her. I don’t think I’ll plan for her to do any diving in future trips unless she pipes up and expressly says she wants to. And that’s fine.

Our dive isn’t as eventful as the one from yesterday, and Jana and I are diving on tanks that have already had some use, so we’re not expecting to go that long. We make it out to the point which is in face livelier, but with the partially used tanks, we don’t stay all that long before it’s time to head back to the boat.

One nice thing about Norman is that Sail Caribbean Divers, the place we’ve rented our gear from, has a fill up station here. Greg wants to come with, so we load up the dinghy and motor all the way from Kelly Cove to the deep end of The Bight Bay and put ashore at the nice little dinghy dock. I see a 2 seat Mule for hauling stuff and I’m hoping he’s with the dive shop when he pulls away from the front of the shop as we’re unloading tanks onto the dock, only he drives on by. It’s not too far of a haul, but Greg has replaced his knee recently, so I’m a bit worried. The shop is pretty nice, and the system is pretty cool, we just give him my name, he looks it up in the machine and then gives us new tanks. We also pick out some sunscreen, we have seriously burned through so much of the stuff already.

Back at the boat we unload the tanks and get the boat ready for a quick move to the other side of the bay. We leave most of the windows open for the quick trip. Here we practice picking up another mooring, though our choices are a bit sparse, and all the moorings are so close together that if we had too little wind, we could all rotate on our moorings and potentially hit stern to stern. I put out some bumpers to be safe.

I take Pam and Jana on a guided snorkeling tour of the caves, and they’re better from in the water than out with some interesting schools of little fish I’ve never seen before in both caves. With the sun more out than when we first came, and without my sunglasses I can see much further into the cave than before. It reminds me of some whimsical pirates cave where you’d see a chest full of gold pulled up onto a little pebbly beach deep in a dark cave. Jana also finds these little blue damselfish with bright neon blue spots hiding among fire coral. Apparently google tells me they’re the juvenile Yellowtail Damselfish. I love that the internet can help me find out what they are, a decade ago even we’d just never know. Sadly my camera is out of batteries so I’m not able to take any photos of my own.

As we’re getting ready to go the lack of wind right here does in fact swing us surprisingly close to another bot facing the opposite direction, so I’m happy to get going and drop this mooring.

From here we have to sail mostly up wind to Peter Island. We close up all of the hatches and get everything stowed away, preparing to set sail. Sadly the wind has us pointing right at a reef in close proximity to other boats, so we are not going to raise sail at the mooring, but will motor out a bit and then set the sails and head to Peter.

My hands are completely toast from pulling on ropes, I don’t think I can do much more of it, luckily it’s my turn at the helm, and Rob gets to pull on ropes today. We have ENE winds again this time a bit lower at 20 knots for a speed of 7.5 knots. At first I’m a bit disoriented and think we’re heading to the east but Rob corrects me. We have to go out about halfway into the Sir Francis Drake Channel before we can tack in towards the harbor. We’re staying in Great Harbor for the night which is on the north side of the island with some north coverage and good east coverage. I think this was one of my more favorite sails of the trip without drama, not over or underpowered, flying along at a good clip. I’m especially impressed with how easy it is to get this boat going over 7 knots upwind. I knew it wouldn’t point better than the 45-50 degrees I’m sticking to, but still, you can make up a lot of that loss with the speed over ground.

At Peter Island we pick up another overnight mooring expertly and settle in for the night with some rum drinks and a round of Take. The moorings here are also pretty damn close together, so again I put out fenders just in case. We have one of the last ones in the anchorage, and the anchorage is filled with the mooring field so we don’t have many options other than anchoring in a more exposed spot, or in super close to shore.

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