YMCA S.A.I.L. II- BVI Program 2009 Daily Log

SAIL II BVI Girls Arrive in the British Virgin Islands

The girls from the Sail II BVI program have arrived in the British Virgin Islands and are safely aboard the boats in Trellis Bay. The girls spend the evening orienting themselves to their homes for the next 10 days, a matching pair of 50ft Benateau Yachts. Captain Jim and Captain Chris have divided the crew amungst the two identical boats and are ready to head out on our first sail in the morning. Our destination is Cooper Island, just across the Sir Francis Drake Channel from Beef Island.

Cooper Island

With the girls at the helm, we set out for our for their first sail this morning to Cooper Island. Diving right into the curriculum, we learned about basic navigation, rigging, and furling. After arriving safely at Cooper Island, the girls took time to snorkel around Cistern Rock before heading into Cooper Island for some beach time.

The Girls at The Cooper Island Beach Club

Getting Ready to Snorkel Cistern Point

The Baths - Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour - Savanah Bay

We began the day with an early morning sail from Cooper Island to Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. We stopped in for to provision some fresh fruit and local bread from the bakery on Virgin Gorda. The girls explored Spanish Town and picked up some post cards to send home.

The Girls in Spanish Town

After our stop in Spanish Town we sailed downwind to the Baths for an afternoon of snorkeling. We capped off our afternoon with a cookout in our secret Lundy Charters cookout spot nestled amongst the rocks.

The girls at the Baths
Snorkeling at the Baths

After the Baths we sailed upwind to Savannah Bay to anchor for the night. We are enjoying having Savannah Bay all to ourselves for the evening!

Sailing to Savannah Bay

Bitter End Yacht Club

After a windy night in Savannah Bay we were quick to get underway and take advantage of the strong breezes to finish our upwind sail to the North Sound of Virgin Gorda. We picked up a mooring ball at the Bitter End Yacht Club, where the girls enjoyed an afternoon of swimming in the pool, shopping, and hiking.

The girls enjoying lunch

We enjoyed fresh catch dinner on the dock and the Fat Virgin followed by a movie at the outdoor movie theater at Bitter End and some dancing with DJ Heavy Beats. We plan to depart for Anegada in the morning...if the girls can pry themselves away from the Bitter End Yacht Club.

Sail to Anegada

The girls woke up early and enjoyed breakfast while motoring out of the North Sounds. We raised our sails as we passed Necker Island and set our course for Anegada. We enjoyed strong winds and a relatively calm sea once we reached the leeward side of Anegada and the protection of the third largest reef system in the world (Anegada itself is the third largest reef in the world).

The Girls at the Helm Pulling out of North Sound
Captain Jim and the girls Sailing out of North Sound

The girls learned about reefing sails, reading clouds, and predicting weather while sailing a beam reach the 17 nm miles to the "drowned island" (named this because the highest point on the island is 23ft above sea level).

We reached the channel to Anegada and the girls were able to negotiate the difficult channel with ease. We set our anchors in front of the Anegada Reef Hotel and headed into shore.

Anegada - Choir Performance

Upon anchoring at Anegada we headed to shore at the Anegada Reef Hotel. Our first destination on Anegada was Cow Wreck Bay on the northeastern part of the island, where we had a great afternoon of snorkeling around the reef and exploring the beach. We visited with Alex, the owner of the restaurant on the beach, and he told us about his family's history on Anegada and played some of his music for us.

The Girls Arriving at Anegada

After a great afternoon on the beach, we headed back to the boats and cooked dinner together. The highlight of the day was an evening concert at Anegada Methodist Church. The children of the church had just finished a five-day music camp, and we got the chance to hear them perform. They danced, sang songs and played steel pans (steel drums), and the atmosphere was incredible! It was very special to see how the people of the church come together to worship - it was lively and a great chance for us all to see how lucky we are. We had a great time singing along with them!

Tomorrow we are planning service projects with the church and with a rescue program that works with the endangered Anegada Iguanas. And we are very excited about a lobster dinner with Sam, the chef at Whistling Pines!

Anegada Service Project

We started our service project morning by having breakfast at Dotsy's Bakery in the Settlement (which is the only town) on Anegada. We enjoyed fresh baked cinnamon rolls and banana bread amongst the locals as we prepared for our service project.

The Girls at Dotsy's

After breakfast we headed to the Anegada Rock Iguana sanctuary where Rondell showed us around the facility. The girls cleaned the cages for the iguanas, prepared fresh food, and fed them. They helped to build new cages for the expanding program. The program currently protects 60 iguanas per year until they are fully grown and then releases them into the wild. The Anegada Rock Iguana is endangered and there are only around 600 iguanas worldwide, all of which reside on Anegada.

The Girls at the Anegada Rock Iguana Rehab Project

After helping with the Iguanas we headed over to the Anegada Methodist Church. After the concert last night they were able to raise enough money to purchase the island its own set of instruments. We shared an amazing lunch with the congregation. They members of the church prepared fresh fish, curried chicken, and various other Caribbean dishes. The girls shared the camp blessing with the congregation.

The girls at the Anegada Methodist Church
After lunch we helped clean up an old school building to store the new instruments that the children will now be able to play year round. The girls worked hand in hand with the local children to clean out and prepare the building to store the steel drum set.
Having a blast with the locals!

The girls took a brief tour of the island and headed back to the boats to prepare for a lobster dinner at Whistling Pines in celebration of a job well done.

Anegada - Lobster Dinner with Sam - from Food Network

This evening we enjoyed a lobster dinner with Sam at Whistling Pines on the west end of Anegada. Sam has been featured on the Food Network with Alton Brown, on his show Feasting on Waves. Sam is a friend of the Lundy Charters crew and helped teach the girls how to cook lobster. He showed the girls how to catch, clean, and prepare what Food Network considers to be the "best rock lobster in the Caribbean."

Helping Sam carry the lobsters from the ocean

Captain Jim and Captain Chris with their friend Sam, pulling lobsters
Picking our own lobsters for dinner!

Monkey Point

After a smooth downwind sail from Anegada, we headed to Marina Cay to top off on provisions and water. We headed through the Camino Cut and over to the southern end of Guana Island to an anchorage called Monkey Point. The anchorage is protected and has wonderful snorkeling. The girls spent the evening snorkeling and with the help of Captain Chris Davis, the girls are preparing a local Caribbean dish, Chicken Roti, for dinner.

The girls on the beach

Sailing through a bit of rain near Virgin Gorda

Jost Van Dyke - White Bay/Little Harbour

Today we enjoyed a nice downwind sail from Monkey Point on Guana Island to Jost Van Dyke. We practiced jibing, sailing wing on wing, and our man overboard procedures. We reviewed keel boat nomenclature as we passed in between Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit.

Sailing a downwind course to Jost Van Dyke

Our first stop was White Bay to swim and enjoy the pristine white beach (thus the name). After our stop at White Bay we headed to Sydney's House of Peace and Love in Little Harbour for an authentic Caribbean style BBQ, courtesy of Sydney himself. The girls docked the boats "Mediterranean Mooring" style to the docks.

Grinding the winch
Hailing Renoir II on the VHF to coordinate Anchoring

Sandy Cay - Sopers Hole - Norman Island

This morning pulled off docks at Sydney's House of Peace and Love and left Little Harbour on Jost Van Dyke bound for Sandy Cay. We anchored on the downwind side of the island and swam in for a short walk around the island.

Laying out on the Beach at Sandy Cay after the hike

After pulling up anchor at Sandy Cay we enjoyed a downwind sail to the home of Blackbeard the Pirate, Sopers Hole. We picked up mooring balls headed to shore to explore. We stocked up provisioning at Sopers Hole and did a little shopping in East End before heading back out.

Renoir II Sailing out of Sopers Hole from the mast of Mad Dog II
Mad Dog II on a Beam Reach sailing to the Indians

We sailed the boats side by side from Sopers Hole on our way to snorkel the Indians and the Caves at Norman Island.

The Indians, from the Mast of our boat

An underwater group picture of the girls snorkeling at the Indians

We anchored off Norman Island (the inspiration for the book Treasure Island) for the evening. Tomorrow morning we are bound for Roadtown, the capital city of the British Virgin Islands

Roadtown - Trellis Bay

We left the bight at Norman Island early this morning and sailed across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Roadtown. The girls explored Roadtown during Festival, which is the a celebration of the end of Slavery in the BVI. After lunch we headed back out for one final sail up the Drake Channel. We practiced man-overboard procedures and tacking as we worked our way upwind to Trellis Bay. We had a final banquet dinner at the Loose Mongoose. The girls will enjoy a short commute to the airport in the morning (via dingy) and then they will be off on there way back home.

Captain Chris Instructing on how to Pick up a Mooring Ball

The girls at the Loose Mongoose

YMCA Sail II BVI Program Departs

The girls enjoyed the short commute to shore via dingy this morning to Trellis Bay on Beef Island. Trellis bay is a short 100' walk to the Beef Island Airport. After checking their bags in for their early afternoon flight they walked around explored Trellis Bay's art gallery and cafes. There flight departed on time from Beef Island bound for Raleigh, NC. We are sad to see them go... We can't wait to do it again next year.