Our last week in the BVIs (British Virgin Islands) has matched the first one. We continued to sail around with the Cascalho crew, we kept diving amazing sites and to get things better, we surfed perfect waves with no one around us in front of our anchorage spot. Now we are really considering to spend another season here next year, mostly if Cascalho will still be around.
Luiz and Mauriane (the Cascalho team) continued to take us under their wings and show us around. We were amazed how much energy they have and how incredibly good-hearted people they are.
Just to name a few places, they took us this week to: Monkey Point, Cane Gardens Bay, Apple Bay, Sopers Hole and Road Town, all in Tortola; in Just Van Dyke we anchored at Sandy Spit, Great Harbor and White Bay; in Norman island we visited The Indians and The Caves, and finally, at Peter Island we went to Deadman’s Bay and Great Harbour.
On top of all that, during this busy week we managed to find a day to get a ferry to St John at the US Virgin Island for a day trip. We had to go to get a 90 days multiple entry stamp on our passports, which will allow us to sail Ipanema to US territory (Puerto Rico is our next stop)! And while in America… of course our lunch had to be hot dogs!
Luiz and Mauriane have been living this amazing life for the past three years now, so they have a lot more experience than we do. We have been watching and learning a lot from them this week. We really enjoyed the BVIs, but we also got a lot of things done on the boat… all thanks to their good heart, patience and expertise. Just to name a few, during the past few days we have: installed a blower for the dive compressor; fixed our electronic chain counter; lubricated all out toilet pumps (so that they are not so noisy); improved a bit our genoa furling system; adjusted the spring on the hatches so that they stay open; and finally we fixed the kites.
Of course that this week was not only about boat work, we also got in the water to do a few dives. Diving in the BVIs is very easy and convenient; they have mooring buoys right on top of the great spots. You jump from the boat and you are there. We are becoming very spoiled. However, to be honest the best dive we did (the one with the dolphins) was in an unmarked spot.
After kiting in Necker Island, now it was time to kite at Jost Van Dyke and a tinny beautifully island called Sandy Spit. Sarah liked this place even better than the previous one.
In this place I was able to give Luiz some kiting classes and reattribute a bit all the favours they were doing us.
For me, this week was about surfing, after the wild dolphins, the other highlight of the BVIs was the perfect waves. Just like being able to swimming mammals I was not expecting this. We went to bed in a quiet bay and woke up next morning with these incredibly perfect right-handers that had suddenly showed up and were breaking just a few meters away with no one surfing them. It is an incredible feeling to switch the day plan from “laundry day” to a “perfect waves surfing day”.
Feijão continues to be Feijão… pure and simple. All he thinks about is eating and resting. Now the chubby thing has developed a crazy passion for lobsters. This dog is becoming really spoiled but we love him even more. He is also becoming very protective of us, every time we jump in the water he keeps watching us until we are back on the boat. He is probably thinking… “Why do they do that?!” “Why jumping in the water?!” Feijão is certainly not a watery chap.
Mauriane was bitten by a dog when she was a kid and so she is really scared of them. It was amazing to see Feijão gaining her trust until she was able to feed him from her hand.
We loved the BVIs so much that we are thinking about postponing our Pacific crossing, so after San Blas we would come back here for a whole season next year and enjoy the islands. Time will tell… by the way, we are now rethinking if we will spend all the second semester in San Blas, maybe we will go to Bocas del Toro as well. The place has a nice village, great diving, good surfing and kiting, as well as nice beaches to be explored. Sound amazing to us.
Certainly the best things about this journey around the world have been the friends we make along the way and the things we learn from them. But on the other hand, the worst thing is saying goodbye to them. Some we have already met again such as our dear Portuguese friends Paulo, Rosario, Alexandra and Pedro, our Brazilian friends Duda, Diego, Laura and Katarina… others we haven’t met again, such as the super cool Italians Fernando and Rosana nor our Godfather Vicenzo. We do miss them. We are quite sure we will meet Luiz and Mauriane again, but only time will tell. The important thing is that regardless of how far we end up, they are now part of our history and they helped shaped Ipanema. We will forever take a bit of them with us and we hope to have left a bit of us with them. What an amazing couple.
Unfortunately… it is that time again… time to say goodbye to the BVIs and to Cascalho. Let’s set sail and move forward towards Culebra Island in Puerto Rico. See you in America! Land of the Free, Home of the Brave!