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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Virgin Islands 2014: Leinster Bay to Sanders Bay

From Virgin Islands 2014
The next morning, we snorkeled over to Watermelon Cay, where there was plenty to see underwater and well worth the trouble. Even the mooring buoy we were tied to had great numbers of fish!
From Virgin Islands 2014

Then, we motor'd over to Haulover Bay in search of another snorkel spot, but couldn't find any mooring buoys. My goal was to spend the night in Coral Harbor, so as to facilitate an easy sail back to Tortola to return the boat the next day. Arturo and Amy had spotted Eagle Shoal, a hard to find diving spot, so we raised the sails and headed over there, getting within 0.5 nautical miles by sail before I turned on the engine and asked for the sails to be dropped.

While dropping the sail, however, one of the mooring lines went into the water and wrapped around the starboard prop, and we could not get it unwrapped despite cutting the line both ways. That put a kibosh to any diving for the day, so we motor'd on one engine into Coral Harbor and tied up at the first mooring buoy we could find, even though it was private. I was getting good at mooring on only one engine, but this was not the way I wanted to end the trip!

Arturo put on scuba tanks and went down to cut the line, but couldn't make any headway with the knives we had on the boat. We took the dinghy ashore and there found someone who loaned us a rusty serrated knife. With those tools, Arturo finally got all the lines and any remnants off the prop. We called Conch Charters and they asked us to do a few basic tests and then okay'd us to continue, warning us not to motor on the starboard engine any more than necessary.

Getting off the private mooring buoy, we motor'd over to Coral Harbor proper but couldn't find a good anchor spot. I therefore opted to anchor off Sanders Bay instead. After dropping anchor, however, a dive check revealed that the area was too muddy to check the anchor properly, so I opted to stay on the boat instead while the others took the dinghy into Coral Bay Harbor for a look see. I took the opportunity to set up the BBQ, do some reading, and start rinsing gear in preparation for returning the boat. In exchange, I was rewarded with glorious views of a double rainbow as rain swept into the harbor.
From Virgin Islands 2014

We had burgers that evening but didn't get much of a sunset as it was pretty rainy.


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