Before leaving the BItter End we decided to top off the diesel, water and gas at the fuel dock. We prepared to hail the fuel dock on the VHF for permission to come to their dock. We talked over what the correct protocol was on the radio and Mike was selected to make the call. We nervously hailed them on Channel 16, "Bitter End Fuel Dock, Bitter End Fuel Dock, Bitter End Fuel Dock, This is Ada". No response came, so we waited a couple of minutes and hailed them again. "Bitter End Fuel Dock, Bitter End Fuel Dock, Bitter End Fuel Dock, this is Ada". The immediate response was, "Wazzup?" We laughed about this exchange the rest of our trip.
Karen said she wanted to practice docking the boat, so she took the helm to move us to the fuel dock. We placed fenders out and prepped the dock lines. We got Ada tied up to the dock and topped everything off. 45 gallons of water, 1.8 gallons of gas for the dinghy and 8 gallons of diesel. Since the diesel gauge didn't function on the Beneteau, Mike was tracking motor hours with the idea we would be using roughly 3/4 to 1 gallon of diesel per hour. We had 10 hours on the log, so 8 gallons was just about right.
The plan was to sail the length of the Sir Francis Drake Channel from the tip of Virgin Gorda to Soper's Hole at the far west end of Tortola. At 25 miles it would be four to five hours of sailing and watching all the islands go by. We each took our turns at the helm enjoying varying winds and perfect temperatures.
|Peter at the helm|
|Karen relaxed and having fun|
|Brenda in a happy place|
We finished up our day of sailing by going through the Little Thatch Cut into Soper's Hole, Tortola. What a beautiful entry to this bay. Colorful houses, tall hills, gorgeous landscaping and sailboat masts swaying in the breeze.
We found a convenient mooring ball and caught it nicely on the first try. Thus redeeming ourselves from our two pass try at BEYC. This protected bay is small and busy with ferry traffic as the Customs and Immigration offices are located here. The ferries come zipping in and out, but they stay in a very narrow channel well out of the way of the mooring fields.
Since we had only motored in for the last twenty minutes we let the diesel run for a bit at 1500 rpm to finish charging the batteries. The bonus was the hot water heater also got fully up to temperature so we could all take much needed hot showers. We all looked, smelled and felt so much better having that little luxury of a hot shower. Good food and live music were on everyone's minds and we weren't going to be disappointed. The locals recommended the "Fish-n-Lime" Restauant just a few hundred yards from our boat. The food was delicious and the cool tropical drinks were perfect.
A one man band finished setting up as we relaxed after dinner. He brought in way too much equipment for one person to use, but later on we found out it was exactly what he needed. He started out with a simple slow song brought Brenda and Mike to the dance floor. After that warm up song he started laying down tracks using his many pieces of equipment and a synthesizer. A bouncy guitar rhythm, a drum beat, back up vocals that he had pre-recorded himself, keyboard riffs, and more. All the while the layers had you moving as he built each song before donning his lead guitar and singing the lead vocals. This guy was amazing! We wish we had a better picture of him, but we were so intent on watching and listening to him that pictures just didn't come to mind.
The highlight of the evening was Peter requesting a song for Karen. Eric Clapton's "The Way You Look Tonight". The singer said he had never played the song before, but he'd see what he could do. During his next song which involved all his usual layering, he occasionally cued up his laptop above the keyboard to view the lyrics and guitar music to Peter's requested song. How he could be performing one amazing song while learning another is way beyond us. He finished his song and practiced the key guitar solo for 10 seconds and launched into a twenty minute, layered and truly unbelievable version of "The Way You Look Tonight". None of us will ever forget this moment in our lives.