44' Luxury Catamaran Mustang Sally

Doug, Wendy and Mustang Sally cruise the Virgin Islands. Follow along on their adventures meeting funky local characters and visiting hot spots and hidden treasures with links to our favorites websites and additional interesting information.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

New Years Cruise











First off Birthday wishes to a few people at home and here too! Happy Birthday wishes go out to Cap’n Doug on the 15th, Doug’s Mom, Kathie, on the 18th, my girlfriend Christine who is celebrating a milestone BD on the 20th, my brother Jeff on the 23rd and big Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad on the 14th.



Today is another beautiful day in Christmas Cove where we are hanging out for the last week getting caught up on projects like scrubbing the hull getting barnacles off, to grooming 2 dogs whose fur seems to grow like crazy, and last but certainly not least the log.



When I left off on the last log Kathie, Doug’s Mom, was leaving us to fly back home to chilly, blizzardy Canada. The next gang of brothers, Jon, Adam, and Simon and Adam’s girlfriend, Manica were set to join us over the next two days, 27th and 28th of December. They flew all into St Thomas and took cabs over to the east end of the island to Red Hook where we had been waiting for them. Simon was the last to arrive so we hit Duffy’s Love Shack for dinner to wait for his cab to drop him there. Duffy’s had lobster on the menu but it wasn’t Caribbean lobster, it was Maine lobster just flown in! What a treat to have Maine lobster in the Caribbean! The boys love lobster of course and were more than happy to eat lobster of any sort.



After Simon had arrived, Adam, and Manica were still waiting for their luggage. Not sure what it is down here, but seems like almost everyone that comes to visit loses their luggage. But luckily it always turns up the next day.



Once we had the luggage safe and secure on Mustang Sally we weighted anchor to get the fun started. We headed straight to White Bay, Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. As soon as the anchor was set the boys and Manica jumped in for their first swim in the warm turquoise waters. All four have been stuck in bitterly, cold weather for awhile back at home so they seemed anxious to get into the water and feel the warm sun on their backs. Can’t imagine why! Everyone then swam to the Soggy Dollar for their famous Pain Killers, and to soak up some rays with lots of sun screen on. We BBQ’d kabobs for dinner the gang played Scrabble late into the nite.



We were trying to decide what to do for New Years Eve which was only 2 days away. Everyone had heard of the famous Old Year party at Foxy’s and wanted to go there but it was not going to be that easy. The gang would have to forgo a couple of days exploring other places and hang out in Great Bay on Jost, which was just around the corner from White Bay, where we currently were, for the next 2 days to get a good spot to anchor for the party or forget it and move on to other places. There were other choices for New Years although they were not near as famous as Old Year’s Night. Foxy’s New Year’s party is so famous that it is considered one of the top 10 places to be for New Years Eve, so it was a tough decision to make, whether to stay there or continue on. In addition to losing a couple of days exploring other places, anchoring at Great Harbor can be a nightmare as the holding is not good thanks to a clay bottom and boats drag there all of the time. Imagine what it would be like with thousands of people (we have heard reports of 10,000 people, hard to believe), descending on Foxy’s with their boats and getting so liquored up they don’t even realize that their boat is dragging as they are passed out or too drunk to do anything about it. That many people crammed in one place, drunk out of their minds, some throwing up, sounded very entertaining but the gang decided to forgo Foxy’s in favour of seeing more places while they were here.



Once that decision had been made we lifted anchor and set off the next morning to explore. We started by motoring over to Sandy Spit and Green Cay. Some of the most beautiful islands (if you can call them that, as Sandy Spit is really just a deserted sandy spit of an island that has palm trees on it) in the B.V.I. and reportedly some of the most photographed islands in the world, think screen saver. The gang snorkeled in search of rays and starfish then we swam to the island and walked the white sand beach and lazed about.



We weighed anchor again and had a brief upwind sail ending in a motor to Monkey Point on Guana Island. We anchored in a lovely, red, craggy, rock section with azure blue waters underneath us, and enjoyed BBQ Baby Back Ribs and a competitive game of Scrabble. At points I heard words I have never heard of before, although quite ingenious and hilarious, they were not real words!



Monkey Point has some of the finest snorkeling in the Virgin Islands and so the next morning after brekkie everyone was anxious to get into the water and see just what was under the surface. So many fish!! Especially Blue Tang, in enormously large schools that moved together as if they all shared the same brain like the “Borg” on Star Trek. And tarpon, lots of really big tarpon, averaging 4-5 feet long!! All of this in less than 15 feet of water which made for a very exciting time and a few squeals of excitement were heard from Manica’s direction.




The next day was New Years Eve so we thought we would check out Trellis’ Bay’s New Year’s festivities, just a short trip away, on the east end of Tortola. When we arrived, we saw all of the already drunk sailors trying to anchor their boats in an already cramped anchorage (just what we had tried to avoid at Foxy’s). Guess it doesn’t matter where you go on New Year’s Eve you’re going to find drunk, haphazard crowds everywhere! That’s what it all about, after all!
We decided to hit Michael Beans” Happy Arrr!!! Show” for happy hour, of course. After an interminably long wait for the ferry (island time?), to take us on a very short ride to the little island of Marina Cay we were at the bar. Doug and I always get a kick out of this show and we thought the gang might too. We think they enjoyed it but thought it was a wee bit hokey. Oh well, everyone enjoyed painkillers and rum drinks anyway! After the Happy Arrrr cocktails show we hit the Pusser’s Rum restaurant for our New Years Eve dinner on the beach, complete with a starlit sky, sound of the surf hitting the beach, good food and drink.



After dinner we caught the ferry, (no longer on island time!) and headed for the huge beach party at Trellis Bay, There were thousands of people on the beach listening to reggae tunes, drinking rum and dancing near the carved metal spheres which are rooted in 3 feet of water along the beach, which were lit and the “kokopelli” type men carved into the spheres appeared as surreal large dancing figures on the beach and the water. The centerpiece of all this was a 20’ high effigy made out of branches, which was also anchored in the water about 50’ off shore. Everyone was waiting for midnite, of course, for this is when the huge effigy would be lit aflame. His figure would become a towering inferno, so to speak (sorry), when lit. Everyone was jostling to get into a good viewing position as the seconds counted down. It’s a funny thing, but no matter how many New Years go by you can feel the anticipation of the people around you waiting for the clock to strike twelve. Sure enough, when the clock struck twelve the effigy was lit by a brave soul who waded out into the water for this purpose, and when aflame he quickly moved away. It caught and the flames grew, grew so large in fact that I was getting a little nervous. Even tho this effigy was in the water and 50 feet away, the prevailing wind was whipping up quite a bit, blowing a lot of BIG sparks into the crowd on the beach. Suddenly the scene was reminiscent of a World Cup soccer game gone awry. I could see a huge panicked crowd crushing in the making. One good spark catches on someone’s linen shirt or polyester wind jacket and whoosh! Not something I wanted to hang around for. The islands don’t exactly have the same safety standards or crowd control as in Canada. We were all ready to head back to the cat anyway, and enjoy a coldie back on board where it was quiet and comfortable and watch the action from the safety of the cockpit. It was a great New Years Eve and even tho we couldn’t decide where the best place was to spend it, it didn’t matter, as Doug had his 3 sons together and that was the best part.



The next morning dawned another beauty day and we treated ourselves to a big decadent brekkie with Mimosas to celebrate the arrival of 2008. As soon as brekkie was inhaled we headed for the Baths. Gigantic, awe inspiring boulders, spit from the belly of a volcano that lean precariously against one another and some seem to be suspended in air. It is a very kewl feeling walking the trail that leads thru this wonder of nature and you might think to yourself ” If I just push a little too hard on this rock it will all come tumbling down”, but never fear these rocks have been there for thousands if not millions of years. A very kewl thing to see.



Pressing forward from there we decided it was chillin’ time. The gang all lead very busy stressful lives in the other world and everyone thot it would be nice for down time, a chance to read in the sun, catch some rays on the sun pads on the tramps up front, and swim and snorkel at leisure . Not that we hadn’t been relaxing but we decided that instead of moving to a new location every day we head to one sweet spot and hang out for the duration of the gangs trip which was only 3 more days. We had a lovely downwind sail to Cooper Island and enjoyed another gorgeous sunset, sundowners and then dinner. Once again, the Scrabble board was brought out and things were getting pretty fierce. I think Adam was winning that nite and there was a wee bit of gloating on his part, much to the dismay of the rest of the gang, who couldn’t wait for revenge!
Waking up to another carbon copy beauty day, Doug, Simon, and I snorkeled the rock formations there and found that the fish were more like our two dogs Willis and Rollie than fish as little schools followed us around begging for rice and whatever else snorkelers were handing out. It was cute.



We had a short downwind sail to beautiful Key Bay on Peter Island and put the hook down to hang for the next few days. We almost had the anchorage to ourselves here but for 2 other boats. Everyone quickly got into the rhythm of doing whatever you felt like. Manica and I spent a lot of time reading and enjoying the view while the boys took to the water. They saw lots of rays and swam with turtles especially a big old turtle for quite awhile. We also had a big barracuda hanging underneath the boat, (maybe because we were throwing scraps overboard! duh!) and the three guys decided that they were going to be brave by getting close, real close, thinking that the ‘cuda would leave seeing these 3 big “fish” approaching . Well, this ‘cuda wasn’t havin’ any of it, held his ground and wouldn’t budge. I guess he wasn’t inclined to give his reef up to just anybody. Not exactly sure just how close the guys all got (they say REAL close) but I have a feeling they saw the baleful, challenging eyes glaring at them and they turned tail rather than getting too close and duke it out. Probably a good idea.
Our last two days were a chance to take it easy and recharge the batteries, enjoy good company, eat too much, imbibe a wee bit and play LOTS of Scrabble. This was all accomplished with great flair and everyone was getting real good at it, especially at Scrabble. The past reigning champ is no longer the champ any longer, after much fuss and kerfuffle, Adam was dethroned, and wasn’t very pleased about it, LOL!!



Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and it was very sad when we had our last dinner before heading VERY early to the ferry dock in Road Town the next morning. Doug and I watched the ferry leave from the cockpit of the cat the next morning and we were both very quiet for a long while after they left us.



Stay tuned for our next log when Rob, Tina, Danielle, James and Jocelyn came and hung out with us for a week!









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