BVI 2016!

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Sheila365 has been rather quiet lately, as I’ve had many irons in the fire.   But I’m making up for it with this long post.  For the past week and half, I’ve been enjoying our latest sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands.  Before that, I was busy just getting ready to leave.

This year, Colleen and Lee joined Monte and I on a 40′ Beneteau called Forever Young.  Also on the trip were Kurt, Ken, Kevin and Greg on the guys’ boat, Ada, a 43′ Beneteau.  This is our fourth trip to the BVI, each time coming back to charter from ProValor Charters, well-run by Jim Gulczynski & Cecilia Donegan.

We all flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico and met up.  The next morning we headed to Tortola and the boat fun began.

Our island hopping route, more or less:

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Our boat, Forever Young, is on the right in this shot, and the guys’ boat, Ada, is on the left.  This shot is from Little Harbour on Jost Van Dyke.

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I brought my new big-girl camera, equipped with polarizing filters for the lenses.  I was excited to try it out.   It seems to have worked, the blues and greens in some of these shots are nearly as amazing as the real thing.   I took way too many pictures to upload here, but here are a mess of my favorite shots.

Day 1:  Fat Hogs Bay, Tortola

So it begins….

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Day 2: Tortola – Indians – Little Harbor, Jost Van Dyke

The BVI Spring Regatta was underway the first few days we were there.  We had front row seats.

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One of the races literally sailed through the mooring ball field at The Indians just off our stern.  We we had stopped there to snorkel for the afternoon.

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Pelican Island:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Indians:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We sailed to Jost:IMG_0076

We caught a ball for the night in Little Harbour.  This is a shot looking towards Tortola.  Lobster at Abe’s for dinner!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 3:  Little Harbour – White Bay – Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke

We sailed into White Bay, and snorkeled the reef.  While we were doing that, a 40′ cat hit the reef just a few feet away from us, leaving bits of its hull floating to shore (!)

After some painkillers at Soggy Dollar bar, we headed to Great Harbour for the night.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA12’s representing at Foxy’s:

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Day 4:  Jost – Key Bay, Peter Island

We sailed to Peter Island to a bay that we had anchored in overnight 2 trips ago.  The weather permitted us to do it again this trip.   We had the place to ourselves.

This is a shot looking east from Key Bay, Key Cay to the right, more of Peter Island in the background.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Glorious sunsets.  St John USVI in the background of this shot:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And yet another:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGoodnight, Forever Young:

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I saw the Southern Cross constellation overnight.  It was due south from us, just above Norman Island – I didn’t get a photo, but my SkyGuide app image will give you an idea of what I saw:

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Day 5:  Peter Island – Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda

We enjoyed a long sail up to the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, and caught a ball in Leverick Bay.  Our refrigerator had died on us, so we had to toss some of our provisions.   But the repair guy was quickly on the boat and had us back in business in very short order.

We went ashore to Kurt’s friend’s villa overlooking Leverick Bay for dinner.  The food and the views were divine.

A shot on the way to Virgin Gorda:

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On a mooring ball in Leverick Bay, looking out through the Mosquito cut at a clipper sailing by:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Views from the villa:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Frangipani!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Day 6:  Leverick – The Baths – Cooper Island

Heading out of North Sound, Ada is right behind us; Leverick Bay is in the background:

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Going by Mosquito Point:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rain in the distance outside North Sound:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got a ball at The Baths and dinghied ashore.  It was as beautiful as ever, but we encountered just way too many people inside along the trail (with tour guides)  – more than I have ever seen before.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then we motored on over to Cooper for the night.  Ada had kindly saved us a ball.  We went snorkeling at Cistern point:

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Painkillers, bougainvilla and critters ashore at Cooper Island Beach Club:IMG_0082IMG_0087

And, the unbeatable sunset views looking out over Tortola:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 7:  Cooper – Fat Hogs – The Caves – The Bight, Norman Island

We sailed on the outside of Norman to The Caves for a snorkel, then caught a ball in The Bight on Norman Island for the night.  Dinner ashore at the Pirate’s Bight.

Somewhere in the Atlantic:

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The Indians and Pelican Island from the Bight:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the Bight for the night, Treasure point to the right:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 8:  Norman – Sandy Cay – Diamond Cay & Little Jost Van Dyke

We sailed to Sandy Cay for lunch and a trip ashore.   We anchored first, and then saw that they now have mooring balls – they didn’t the last time we were here.

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Then we got the next to last ball in front of Foxy’s Taboo at Diamond Cay.  Little Jost was just to our port:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I caught a rare not-blurry-shot from the boat of the sliver moon and Mercury below it to the right, just barely visible over the hill of Jost:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 9:  Little Jost – Monkey Point, Guana Island – Tortola

The next morning we walked ashore to the Bubbly Pool.

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Mangroves in the bay:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Waves breaking on the rocks:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Above the Bubbly Pool:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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And the Bubbly Pool in action:

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We decided to head east to complete a circumnavigation of Tortola for this trip.  We stopped at Monkey Point on Guana Island, and then headed back to the marina for the night.

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One last look over at Cooper, on our way into Fat Hog’s Bay:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 10:  Homeward bound

Up early and headed home.  Flying over Trellis Bay.  Goodbye BVI!

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Looking to the east at Virgin Gorda with the Dogs in the foreground:IMG_0094

Now I’m back home with great memories, lots of pictures, and these treasures:IMG_0109

And *poof* … 5 years gone by.

Sunday was the 5 year blogoversary for sheila365!  I meant to draft a post ahead of time, and post it bright and early on March 8th.   But I just looked at the calendar and time has snuck by on me once again.

That’s ok.  In these 5 years sheila365 has evolved, and I think I have a bit, too.  My blog started as a post-a-day 365 project during the first year or two, which had me snapping photos during the day to make sure I had something that I judged “share-worthy;”  and now it has become more of a leisurely, post-every-week-or-so project, which I have to say has been much easier, though less artistic in terms of trying to capture beautiful photos, but rather just moments from my day that struck me as special or interesting in one way or another.

So happy blogoversary to me!  🙂    I thought I’d go back through my posts from year 5 and pick a photo from one post from each month that especially makes me smile.  I have to say it was very hard to pick just one picutre from each month. 

 March 2014:  Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.   A visit to the walled El Morro.  Beautiful Caribbean views.

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April 2014:  British Virgin Islands sailing trip – this was taken while snorkeling off Cooper Island.

Turtle dude surfacing - 2
Turtle dude surfacing – 2

May 2014 – A trip home to Seattle.  One of several last year.   It is a beautiful, special place for me.IMG_4009

June 2014 – Back in Austin for fun on the lake with some of my crazy sailor friends.IMG_4863

July 2014 – An amazing trip to Panama City Beach to celebrate a very special anniversary with a very special family.

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August 2014 – A roadtrip to the Texas Gulf Coast.  One of my favorite places to relax.IMG_5697

September 2014 – A lovely anniversary trip through the Texas Wine Country.IMG_5876

October 2014 – A fun girls’ trip to Washington, D.C.  Lots of laughs, lots of wine, and lots of walking.  🙂

The residential streets are lined with historic townhouses.
The residential streets are lined with historic townhouses.

November 2014 – An oh so special birthday.IMG_6994

December 2014 – Family visiting means showing off Austin and the Hill Country.  Never gets old.IMG_7297

January 2015 – Hiking as many trails as I can before I had to go back to work after taking a few months off.IMG_7688

February 2015 – Yep, more tulips.IMG_7780

What an amazing lap around the sun!

Thanks for coming along for the ride. 🙂