On Friday, we left St. John, USVI to jump across to the British Virgin Islands.  The trip from Coral Bay to Tortola was a short one,  less than 2 hours. We needed to clear in with customs and immigration so we decided to use Roadstown as our port of entry.  I had read it was a pretty easy place to clear in and there were anchorages available not too far from the customs office. We arrived around 1pm and quickly saw that it was a busy port and lots of charter boats filling the marinas.  We found a spot to anchor near the jetty with a few other boats and Bob headed to shore to get us checked in.  It was as easy as described and pretty quick.  Once Bob got back, we decided to go ahead and head to the marina to get diesel and to the chandlery for some needed boat parts.  The dinghy dock was very convenient and free which was nice.  We went to the first chandlery but they did not have the items we needed so we decided to walk to the other chandlery that was about a mile away.  The second stop had most of what we needed and they were super helpful so it was well worth the walk.  Plus we got to stop at the French Deli on the way back so bonus points! We got back to Meraviglia and decided the yummy bread we had just purchased and cheese with some wine would be great for our first BVI sunset.  Tortola is quite busy so as darkness fell the music from the bars on shore started and lots of lights and action picked up all around.  Unfortunately, it also ended up being the most rolly anchorage we have had other than Georgetown in the middle of a storm.  When it rolls like that, it isn’t only the uncomfortable motion but also the many sounds that accompany it, especially on an old boat like Meraviglia!  Bob got very little sleep,  I did a bit better but we were both ready to move on in the morning.

On Saturday, we started the day watching the parade of charter boats returning to port. The BVI’s are a huge charter market, one of the biggest in the world.  There are many large charter companies and an unbelievable number of boats. This also means a lot of the places we want to visit will have many others. We departed Roadstown around 11am in beautiful conditions. We were able to sail the whole way which was great! It was so quiet getting to have the engine off and enjoying the bright sunshine.  We arrived to Great Harbour in Jost Van Dyke around 1pm.  We had made a reservation for a mooring as we were not sure how many anchoring options we would have.  The mooring field had thirty slots and every ball was reserved by 8am on the Boaty Ball app for the evening, definitely a popular spot!  We were on the outside line of the field which was great for people watching. We saw some very smooth and successful attempts of people picking up their mooring balls along with some others that were more challenged including one who unfortunately wrapped the mooring line around their propeller as they tried to leave. We know it can happen to anyone so we definitely felt their pain. Fortunately there was another cruiser who successfully helped them get it cleared after some work!  There are mostly catamarans in the charter market, so we are definitely in the minority being on a monohull! We took the dinghy to shore to visit Foxy’s Beach Bar.  This is a famous spot for cruisers and they have been in this spot since 1968.  The inside of the bar is filled with college pennants, t-shirts, and stickers from all over the place.  We even saw a flag for Frosty’s Pizza in Put In Bay, one of our family’s favorite spots to visit in Ohio! It was a fun stop and they make a great Painkiller! We then walked to the bakery and along the shore before heading back to Meraviglia for the night.  It was a much calmer night and much less rolly thank goodness!

Today we went ashore to have breakfast at the Tipsy Shark who is known for their amazing burritos.  It said online they were open daily at 8am.  8:30 came and went but they never opened so back to the boat we went with me being a bit grumpy about “island time”!  We successfully got off the mooring ball and headed out towards Sandy Cay. We had been told that Sandy Cay gets really busy so it was suggested to go a bit further to Sandy Spit and Green Cay instead.  But when we got over there, it was already quite busy so we went back to Sandy Cay and anchored. Bob made a great breakfast and I finally had my coffee so the grumpiness was gone 🙂 We snorkeled to shore and visited the beach which was very pretty.  We are hoping to maybe head back to the other spot at the end of the day to anchor when some of the day trip boats head out.  I can definitely see why the BVI’s are such a popular spot.  So many pretty locations and easy hops between sails. Looking forward to continuing to explore!