Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cruisin' in the Virgin Islands

Its been a while but we've been busy! Yes, life in paradise can be hectic at times - but still great. Completed the transaction on the boat. She is now ours and has been renamed Idyll Island, registered in Victoria. Lot's of people went out of their way to help us make this transition to our new cruising life. Thanks to all! Especially, our cousins in Victoria, Christine and Neil; Cathy's brother, John; Joanne at Canada Ships Registry; Lorrie at BC Yacht Insurance; Arjan, Kevin and the crew at BVI Yacht Charters and Robin, Nigel, Kimo and all the crew at Voyage Charters in the BVI.

The boat is a Voyage 440 catamaran, owner's version, built in December 2004. She is very well equipped (we'll do an equipment review at a later date) and we love the way she sails and the comfort and stability at anchor. After getting the boat organized in Tortola, we picked up our son, Tristan (after he had a nightmare 3 day trip flying all over North America and camping in Miami airport), and headed for the USVI. A few days shopping for boat stuff and dive gear, and food etc, then we headed for the Spanish Virgin Islands of Puerto Rico. Culebrita, Culebra, Vieques. Fantastic beaches, friendly, laid-back people, warm/clear water. Saw lots of turtles, rays, bats, birds, unexploded ordnance (probably just a empty casing - on Vieques - an ex-firing range for the US Navy - Tristan thought was very cool and wanted to dig it up). Had an amazing time at Bahia Mosquito on Vieques (not part of the range). One of the most bio-luminescent places on the planet. Amazing going into the lagoon by dinghy and then watching the fiery/glowing fish, jelly-fish and squid lighting up the water off the back of the boat, while an incredible lightening storm lit up the sky (sheet lightening so not much concern about a strike).

We've now dropped Tristan off for his flight back to Victoria and work and school. Sad to say goodbye - we had a great time with him. We're very proud of how he has got his life going at the age of 18. We are now looking at a week or so of getting the boat provisioned and organised before heading down the island chain.