Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BVI - Day 11

Customs Office

Today we checked out of the BVI in preparation for 2-3 days sailing around St. John, USVI. We entered the tidy little building where the staff was busy watching a very important soap opera episode at full volume. One of the workers took time out from her cell phone conversation (with her boyfriend) to search around for more forms for us. Once we got their attention and had the forms filled out we went into the adjoining room to have the forms inspected and pay our $1.50 to check out. We returned the pink copy to the original desk and we were free to go to the U.S. The soap opera episode blaring as we walked out the door.

The Pink Crew in Matching Outfits

Peter and Mike walked to a local bakery for some bread and coffee while the ladies took our boat book and paperwork back to the boat. We met back at Foxy's Bar where Mike spotted this license plate hanging on the building. Our oldest son is a graduate of The Ohio State University, a major OSU fan and his last name is Greene. I think he'll appreciate this plate.


Peter wanted to see a specific spot on the northeast corner of Sandy Spit, so Brenda motored us around Jost Van Dyke and past Sandy Cay to the spot. It turned into quite a ride as we needed to go out into the Atlantic Ocean a bit in the biggest waves we have ever been in. The boat powered up the waves and then the bow would come crashing down with spray shooting everywhere. We can see why people have great respect for this ocean. Once Brenda convinced Peter that he could see what he wanted to from there, she immediately turned us around and headed back toward St. John.

Brenda at the wheel back in calm waters

We arrived at Lind Point to pick up a mooring ball as recommended in the cruising guide. The cruising guide did not tell us to pick up a mooring ball the way we did it. Wow, did we screw it up this time. We missed the first ball badly and then had a miserable time grabbing the second one. We then managed to drop the boat pole in the water which we rescued using the dinghy. Unfortunately this time there were other boats close by to watch the show.

After patching up our prides we took our boat book and dinghied around the point to enter Cruz Bay. We needed to check in to the U.S. in this bay. We rounded the point and we began looking for a sign telling us where to go. No such luck. We headed toward the biggest ship docked near shore assuming it would be close to a customs office. Right behind the big ship is a sad old dock that dinghys can use to go to shore. We got directions to the office just a block or two away and hiked over to check in.

Motoring around Lind Pt.
Customs Office?
Let's try there.

The U.S. Customs Office was nicely air conditioned, but we weren't going to see the end of that soap opera since they weren't watching TV. They efficiently checked us both in and out at the same time. Nice, we won't have to return to Cruz Bay when we want to return to the BVI. We toured the local markets and shops and even finally found an ATM. The cruising guides tell you ATM's are readily available at almost every stop in the BVI, but in 10 days this is the first one we had seen. Mike and Brenda topped up their cash supply before doing a little browsing in the shops.

A real live ATM!

Since it was really hot we only walked around for about an hour before deciding to get take out from a restaurant. A local recommended "The Coal Pot" which turned out to be an excellent choice. We sat at a table in their air conditioned building drinking big glasses of ice water. When the lunch was bagged up we headed back to the dinghy and the boat. We laughed about the sad dinghy dock as Peter picked up the painter to untie it and the entire cleat and plank came up with it.

Back at the boat we enjoyed the tasty local fare including Oxtail, Mutton, Chicken Roti and Bacculau. They came with plantains, cole slaw and sweet potatoes. We let the mooring ball go and headed toward Hawksnest Bay for the night. Another interesting day with a beautiful bay to explore tomorrow.



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