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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BVI 2017 Day 3 - Cooper Island to Peter Island (Great Harbor)

Upon waking up, Arturo told me that he threw up a couple of times during the night, which must have sucked. Well, definitely no diving today. He didn't feel well enough to lead any dives. For whatever reason, I always thought the motor from Cooper Island to the Baths was 2 hours. It turned out to be closer to 40 minutes.

Arturo reminded us that the Baths had been listed as one of the 250 places you have to visit in your lifetime. Visiting the Baths in a small boat is the best way to see it. For one, by arriving at 7:15am, we had our choice of mooring balls and could moor near to the dingy buoys for a short swim ashore. The waves were surprisingly big, but it was not a problem for Bowen to swim to shore, after which I went back to fetch Boen. Boen did not care much for the swim ashore, however, screaming all the way from the dinghy to the shore, whereupon he attached himself to mommy and refused to let anyone else hold him.

The hike from Devil's Bay to Spanish Bay is unique: you walk amongst the Batholiths, negotiating over and in between boulders, occasionally wading in water the came up to your waist. You're assisted along the process by rope, stair cases, and in many cases have to bend down, squat down, or squeeze between places. Xiaoqin's job was made much worse by a clingy baby, a far cry from the last time we visited the place with just adult friends. Bowen, by contrast, loved it, and walked every step himself.

Upon reaching Spanish Bay, Arturo realized that the swim to the dinghy line there was shorter, so he and Mark volunteered to return to Devil's Bay, pick up the Dinghy, and shuttle it over so that Xiaoqin wouldn't have to walk all the way back. Xiaoqin agreed and shortly thereafter, the two of them returned with the Dinghy. I swam out with Bowen, Arturo met me half-way to pick him up, and then I went back to grab Boen, who screamed once again all the way back to the dinghy.

Arturo was effusive with praise for Bowen's swimming. "I held out my hand to him in case he needed help but he pushed it away. Then as he approached the boat he started corkscrewing just for the heck of it, and I realized that I wasn't there to babysit him. I was just there to observe and keep him from getting over-confident! You're swimming like a dolphin, Bowen!"

Once on the boat, we ate some snacks and then hoisted the main halyard while on the mooring buoy. Then I powered on the engine, we dis-engaged the mooring lines, and sailed on a broad reach towards Peter Island. Since all our air tanks were filled, we did not need to stop at Cooper but could get a less rocky harbor. Half of our freshwater was gone, however, so I knew that we would have to make a stop somewhere for water the next day or the day after at the very latest.

Arriving at the Great Harbor, we looked about for anchorage space but there wasn't any. There were plenty of mooring balls, however, so we picked one deep on the inside of the harbor for the smoothest night, and then proceeded to rest and eat lunch. At about 3:00pm it got so warm that we needed to go for a swim, and proceeded to look for a snorkeling place, which the cruising guide said that the Great Harbor was known for. Taking the dinghy out towards the restaurants on the west side of the harbor, we looked for a dinghy buoy but didn't find one. We ended up tying to the dinghy dock for the restaurant, whereupon the staff told us to just jump off the dinghy dock and look around!

Indeed the area was full of wildlife and fish, including a barracuda which I didn't spot but Arturo and John did. However, the north swell had churned up the water so much so that visibility was very limited so we didn't get many pictures.
That evening, Boen seemed much recovered, while the rest of us were still feeling a bit sick. At least without Boen screaming at night we'd all have a chance to rest. So we all took an early night, hoping that sleep would heal all.

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