We left Francis Bay yesterday and motored the few miles into Soper’s Hole on Tortola to arrive by 0930. All the mooring buoys were taken but luckily one boat was just leaving and we grabbed the chance. Otherwise we would have had to sail elsewhere to clear in through customs.
This was only ten dollars this time but the same forms and slips for our passports were needed again. Lots of paperwork for someone as there are at least 4 copies of the form. We then paid our 25 US$ for the night, got some food and gas. We were told it was hard to find or fill the blue gas bottles in the Caribbean but we have seen it in Rodney Bay, both Soper’s Hole and Cane Garden Bay on Tortola and in Martinique. It hasn’t been a problem at all. The cheapest was in Rodney Bay at about 9 pounds but even in the BVI it is under 10 pounds.
Today we are in Cane Garden Bay again as there is a dock for water. It is only the second time we have filled the tanks since 3 January and we only filled the stern ones because we thought it was a good idea to use it up and get fresh water. Water is never free in the Caribbean and here it cost 20 cents per US gallon which is about 4 litres. The dock had 3 metres of water underneath us and plenty of room. It is open 0700 – 2100 every day except Sunday when it closes at 1900. They also sell ice and fuel. We have also taken the sheets to the local laundry where the machines take 8 quarters, so you need to save up your quarters!
The outboard has started to complain after its dunking in the salt water and Rob had to investigate it. Seems the petrol pump is corroded but we needed to buy a new outboard anyway so it is now top of the list. You can buy 2 stroke engines here and the 15 hp Mercury is the same weight as the 10 hp, so that apparently is the one we are going for! May have to make a stop in duty free St Martin/Maarten on our way south next month and hope the outboard keeps going until then.
It is busy here, lots of boats, music and partying – very different from the USVI. Lots to watch though!
We have our friends with us for 2 weeks from Monday and are sailing to the bay next to the airport to meet them. Although the forecabin is larger with the en-suite heads, being attached to moorings by the bow cleats makes for a noisy night in the wind or you have the mooring buoy banging on the hull if there is no wind, so we think it will be kinder to let them use the stern cabin. We are really looking forward to seeing them and they are bringing out such delights as Caramel tins for banoffee pie and red thai curry paste 🙂