So last week whilst we were pondering or panicking our what are we going to do question, with less than a week on the visa, no news of Dove II and no boat in our price range we had exhausted our BVI time when we received a ding on the phone. Captain Royce and Brisa were back in the BVIs having a few days surfing Cane Garden and were heading back to St Martin on Tuesday, “what’s your plans? would you like a lift?” My god that boys got good timing , once again we did a little happy dance, we had a plan, we would be off in a few days.
We spent our last few days in Tortola in a flurry of activities, Sunday was Mother’s Day so I got to eat chocolate bars and choose what to do. I had been infected by the man flu which was brutal so all I fancied was lying down, slowly burying myself under a mountain of tissues but that was not an option, it was Mother’s Day so it had to be celebrated. We packed a picnic and jumped on the free ferry that whizzes across to scrub island here there is a shuttle golf cart that takes you over the island to the north beach which is a bit of a beauty. We set up camp and James gave me the best present a couple of hours of peace and quiet by taking the kids off snorkelling, whilst I lay in the dappled sunlight and snoozed.
The following day was all about James, one year older, so he was thoroughly spoilt, bacon, egg and cheese banjo in bed! The obligatory chocolate bar present and kids homemade cards and we made a chocolate cake…. admittedly it was meant to be a brownie but it tasted just as good. It was our last day in Tortola so we headed to Josihas bay and what a day, crystal clear surf and sun, chocolate cake and then a couple of cheeky bushwhackers with Natasha and Robin. We were all sad to leave at the end of the day, it has been a definite favourite. Robin took us all out for pizza where we said goodbye to Natasha and Chad, what awesome people, complete strangers who offered us their home for as long as we needed it and helped us in any way they could. We look forward to seeing you guys in Cornwall x.
We woke up early Tuesday and set about moving house, again, by 10 we were packed, laundry was done and Puffin sparkled. Brisa arrived, moored alongside and we transferred all our ever increasing possessions back onto her, waved goodbye to Robin and Puffin and cruised across to Spanish town, Virgin Gorda to check out at immigration. As we arrived James shouted up from our bags “Fran, where’d you put the passports?” Mmmm considering you have them in your passport wallet, not mine and have been in charge of them since …… also I packed all the clothes, kitchen, food, cleaned, stripped beds, went to the launderette did all the clothes and bedding, remade beds etc etc whilst you were in charge of passports! I had no words, actually I had lots they’re just not pg enough for the blog. We ranted at each other trying to pass the blame back and forth until we realised enough, they’re not here which means they’re still on Puffin, shit! Poor Royce and his friend who we’d just met and who now probably thought we were insane and if not incredibly stupid, who forgets their passport!! Got to stand there and witness our battle for who’s right, who’s wrong for a solid five minutes. It was 2ish we’d missed the ferry, the next one would be to late to be back in time for immigration, we had to check out today as we needed to be in st Martin in time for Joel’s flight. There was only one thing for it, we’d have to dinghy it, we raced to fill up the can and then leaving the children with Royce and him laughing at us we set off on our voyage between islands at full speed!! Twenty minutes of bouncing up and down later we arrived back at Puffin, Robin laughed at us and handed us the passports, we waved goodbye to Puffin and Robin again and set off back to Virgin Gorda and immigration.
We cruised down to Salt island where we anchored for the night, cranked up the barbecue and spent a beautiful evening snorkelling, exploring, climbing for coconuts and enjoying being back with Royce on Brisa. At three in the morning we lifted the hook and set off for St Martin it was a stunning night/morning a beautiful sky, flat calm sea and not a breath of wind, this continued the whole journey so we had to motor sail our way there.
What a journey though, we saw whales, waterspouts and the sea was so glassy you could watch the clouds reflected on the water. The only downside was with four lures out for over twelve hours we had just one fish, it had managed to pull every inch of line out, the drag was set but the ratchet wasn’t turned on, so we were oblivious as 500yards of line disappeared into the blue. It was only when Royce checked all the reels we discovered we had a fish! Jim got the joyous job of reeling it all in and half an hour later, tuna? Dorado? Tuna? Dorado? Our mouths watering, excitement at fever pitch we landed a barracuda! Gutted, no fish for dinner, but we arrived just in time for the bridge and headed into the lagoon where we dived head first into the dinghy and raced to the double cheeseburgers. It was good to be back on an island where you could afford to eat.