Tortola, immigration and surf

We motored around Tortola and anchored in a completely flat Cane Garden, it is a pretty bay in the day but beware the nights!!! Three bars compete with each other over who can play the loudest music, the Saturday night it didn’t stop until 4 in the morning at which point the cockerels took over and competed themselves. The swell was meant to arrive the following day, so we spent the morning snorkelling the point, paddle boarding and then watched England battle Wales (which is always fun) in the afternoon.

 The Saturday night the swell arrived and by early morning the bay had emptied of all the yachts, we moved from anchor to a mooring buoy at around 3.30am and you could see the surf wrapping around the point the moon was so full, it was beautiful and incredible to be on the boat so close to the wave. No one slept much and before six we were in, where we got to surf an awesome point break all by ourselves for a short while. We spent the day in and out the surf and by 2pm I could barely lift my arms, the last time I’ve surfed all day was over 10 years ago and I was definitely feeling my age on that last surf, when Royce asked if I wanted to go in for a sunset session it broke my heart to say no but I could barely keep my eyes open. Heath got to be filmed surfing by the drone so he’s super chuffed and James only bounced off the rocks once and fortunately with his leg not his head so we all went to bed salty and satisfied. 

The following morning the swell had dropped and was breaking on the rocks so we set off for road town and immigration, it was a stunning morning,no wind and millpond sea as we rounded Steelpoint under motor.

 Today we needed to extend our visa and move aboard Puffin so it was going to be a busy day, I can’t believe how fast the times gone aboard Brisa302, we have all loved the adventures and will miss Royce a lot, the gadgets, the penguin movie, his healthy diet and his enthusiasm for life. We arrived at Road Town only to find immigration wasn’t open and so we continued up the coast to Trellis where we said goodbye to Brisa302 and Royce and hello to Puffin and Natasha. There were a few tears as he left but I don’t doubt that we will bump into him again and Natasha had made all the beds with clean sheets and cooked us dinner for our arrival so we were soon enjoying spaghetti bolognese and a very good nights sleep. 

We shot back to Roadtown the following morning apprehensive about the extension (we had a heard a number of stories of it being rather tricky) however it was Valentine’s Day and there were roses and teddy bears running around all over immigration, love was well and truly in the air and after only a few hours we were successful and left with six more weeks. 

Without Royce and the mobility of Brisa302 we are now hitchhiking all around the island finding gorgeous waves, this has been great fun and we’ve met even more fabulous people. Our first lift came from a lovely guy “Ironfist” who is a boxer and prison guard and so en route to Josiah bay we made a quick detour to see the prison, which is in the most idyllic location with stunning ocean views! On the way back we got a lift to town from the beach with a Slovakian surfer and then jumped on the crazy school bus which was awesome but very loud. The following day we had a ride to Apple bay, this is quite a trip so we only took one board….Jim’s board, it turned out to be a gorgeous a frame wave which worked the whole day. After only a few hours of watching perfect waves and my husband happily surfing them I could have quite easily throttled him. It was pure torture to spend the day there with no board! We got a ride to town with a Polish owner of a charter company who’d sailed the Atlantic before and then back to Trellis with a Canadian local who very kindly offered to take us for a surf the next morning, awesome. 

We have decided that Dove II is well and truly missing and that we are all (boys and girls) in agreement to keep going, so using the gofundme money we are looking at boats around £15,000 and under to move onto and continue the adventure… Puerto Rico is calling, but for now it’s the school holidays and the surf is pumping!


7 responses to “Tortola, immigration and surf

  1. Hi Guys – came across your story and it’s truly inspiring. I know you must be going through some periods where self doubt is niggling at you, but dig deep and forge on with what you know is right. Your resilience and positive outlook is unique in this world. And what makes this an even deeper story of humanity is the amazing people who have rallied around you to keep the dream alive. Hope 🙂 best wishes…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey gorgeous gang…. All sounding great & still having your adventures..
    I,v messages you via insagram & being trying to face time ya…
    I’m going to try again on heaths… or call me xxx


  3. Woo hoo…great to hear the adventure is still on!!
    Photos are stunning. Kids in dingy is a beauty!
    Gabe loved Heath’s video too.
    So good to hear of surf and happy times.
    Love to all. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes I have been reading everything on line about your 53′ losing its rudder and your rescue. I must say I am happy that all are safe and that at least for now you have the use of another more modest conveyance.

    However I simply do not understand why the Dove II was not able to be immediately and continually tracked by the AIS system you left powered on board. From what I know of the AIS system it is global and armed with your MMSI number the Dove II would be visible to anyone on line certainly within the first day you left her.

    And your rescue vessel or any laptop with internet access should have been able to track her. How many days after the first of course we don’t know; she might have sunk God forbid, but certainly anyone knowing your situation that day would have been monitoring the Dove II’s AIS signal.

    I know you have much on your mind but could you shed some light on this for me? I just don’t see how at least for a few days the Dove II would not have been continually tracked. The last reported AIS position occurred off the coast of West Africa on 12/4/2016 – way before your accident, at the beginning of your voyage. And there is no other reported position after that.

    Jay Meek
    Baltimore, MD


    • It tracked the position until the 23rd December, 2 days after we abandoned. Either, then ran out of power or like you say “sunk”. We tracked it using a class A satellite system through numerous people. If you can find it, it would be much appreciated.. Fran x


  5. Thank you for your prompt reply. Since I sent the message you are now responding to I read additional information concerning the efforts post rescue. I certainly pray your vessel is recovered intact and seaworthy. It is not outside the realm of reason that the generator ran out of gas or over heated and safety mechanisms kicked in . In any case my thoughts are with you and family. Please accept my very best wishes for a positive outcome to this ordeal.

    Jay Meek


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