Tiny House Blog: Helpful Tips For Downsizing (PART 1)

Do you get overwhelmed with clutter? Does it stress you out to open your closets? Can you find what you’re looking for in your home? Are you getting ready to move to a smaller space?collect memories

I’ve put together some helpful tips on HOW to actually begin the process of downsizing. For those of you that have already moved onto a boat or into a smaller home, you know this is no easy feat. For those of you that are dreaming of your new boat or preparing to move into a smaller space, I hope these simple tips will help make the process a little less daunting. They are also good things for anyone to practice to stay clutter free, downsizing or not!

You can find these tips <HERE> on Tiny House Blog.

If you missed the announcement on how I became part of the Tiny House community, click <HERE>!

Part 2 comes out in a few days with tips on HOW TO DECIDE what to keep and what to get rid of.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with anyone you know that might need a little help getting organized!

If you’re still stuck, send me a message and I’ll be glad to help you sort it out 🙂

Best Sailing Destination in the Caribbean

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The holidays are coming… Snowbirds fly south and families start booking vacations. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Would it be to one of these Exotic Sailing Destinations or maybe somewhere a bit closer to home?

Because we live on a boat, the question for us then becomes “What is our #1 favorite sailing destination?” There are literally THOUSANDS of islands in the Caribbean. While we have only visited a few of them so far, one group of islands sticks out in our minds as being somewhere we would go back to over and over again. Any ideas?

You guessed it… The British Virgin Islands!

Here are our top 10 reasons why the BVIs are our all-around favorite sailing destination:

1. Diving – The environment here meets all the requirements of what we like to call the 80-80-80 Rule, which makes for some incredible snorkeling and scuba diving.

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2. Beaches – All of the islands have their own unique and picturesque beaches. White sand, crystal clear water and palm trees frame the shorelines turning every anchorage into the picture perfect backdrop for taking magazine quality photos.

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3. Sailing Conditions – The islands are scattered perfectly in such a way where the prevailing East winds will allow a beam reach on a short day-sail to a different island every day. This is a great place to learn how to sail or just brush up on your skills. A sailing playground if you will; many will consider this the Charter capital of the world. Choose from an easy mooring ball, or a quiet anchorage away from the commotion.

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4. Fishing – The North Drop and the South Drop are the two best fishing locations where you’ll find billfish, tuna, shark, wahoo, mahi mahi and most other pelagic game fish. Inshore, you can catch bonefish, tarpon, jacks and snapper.

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5. Surfing – World class point breaks can be found in Cane Garden Bay and Apple Bay, but are usually only breaking in Winter months during a rare North swell.

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6. Transportation and Accommodations – The BVI Tourism Authority has made this destination easy and affordable to enjoy. There are tons of cabanas, houses, resorts and even private islands for rent. Ferries operate daily to carry visitors and locals between the major islands. Even airlines offer specials flying to and from the Virgin Islands. It’s a quick hop back over to US territory if any emergencies arise.

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7. Tourist Attractions – There are a dozen world renown attractions in these islands. Take a trip to The Baths on Virgin Gorda, The Bubbly Pool on Jost Van Dyke, RMS Rhone Shipwreck near Salt Island or The Caves at Norman Island.

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8. Beach Bars – Experience one of the infamous Full Moon Parties at Bomba’s Shack at Apple Bay, sip on some Foxy’s Firewater Rum, kick back with Ivan, or swim up to The Soggy Dollar Bar to try out the original Painkiller.

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9. Sunsets – The most spectacular colors will fill the sky at sunset each evening.

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10. It’s the Caribbean, mon! – When we arrived in the BVIs, it was the first time we felt the laid-back tropical vibe we had been waiting for. We set our clocks for Island Time and the rest is history!

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What’s your favorite travel destination?

The OH-MY-GOD-A (Anegada) Passage

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6.26.14 – Sailing away from Virgin Gorda was a bittersweet moment. The islands we called home for an entire month slowly disappeared into a fuzzy haze on the horizon. The Saharan Dust layer was keeping the storms at bay as we set out for what seemed to be a beautiful day at sea.

Our new friends on Four Coconuts were 3 nautical miles behind us. We kept in radio contact checking in with each other every few hours, though most of the time we were out of sight. Just a few miles off shore, a dreadful feeling of uneasiness began to form in the pit of our stomachs. The waves got bigger and the fetch got shorter. We immediately recalled our first encounter with the Caribbean 2-step back along the Southern shores of Puerto Rico. We knew it would only get worse before it got better.

On a course 40-degrees Southwest to Saba we entered what is notoriously called the “OH-MY-GOD-A” (Anegada) Passage. It’s a straight in the Caribbean with some depths reaching more than 6,000 feet. Crazy currents flow through from the Atlantic as they feed into the Caribbean Sea and it’s not uncommon for waves to be slamming against the hull from three different directions.

“It felt as if we were riding a mechanical bull in a big blue pen”

It felt as if we were riding a mechanical bull in a big blue pen, slowly rocking forward followed by a quick jerk to the side in a wicked attempt to throw us from every spot we sat in. Around and around and up and down. The engine rumbled as the bull bucked on. This was the first time I had ever really felt seasick, even with medication. Seas were only 3-5′ but very disorganized.

The sails were tight to the wind, 18 knots off our port bow. Spending the last month in the BVIs definitely softened us a bit after playing in the sun and taking easy hour long sails between the islands, dinghy in tow and snorkel gear in hand.

5 foot seas aren’t even considered rough weather. Theyre just uncomfortable – especially on a 24 hour beat to Windward. Our rough passages from the Bahamas South, across the Thorny Path to Windward and the Puerto Rico pummeling all seemed so long ago. In reality it had only been 5 months since we left the dock in Florida starting out on this journey with absolutely zero sailing experience at all.

Heeled over and bucking back and forth, we calmly remember how green Peter and I are and how much more this boat can take than us. She’s a strong vessel built to cross oceans. By that point we wouldn’t have been able to remember that if we had taped it to eachother’s foreheads.

It was a terrible 30 hour long passage. We tacked up over the shoals near Saba labeled “TO BE AVOIDED” then crossed back down to the leeward side of the massive rock. Four Coconuts tried to warn us of the nasty wind gusts shearing off the island, but we couldn’t make out what they were saying on the radio. Suddenly, a blast of 35 knots hit us under full sail. Nothing like a burst of adrenaline…

Just after passing Saba, Peter insisted on putting the fishing lines out. “REALLY?” I grumbled. We were both exhausted and darkness was fast approaching. Our destination of a hopefully calm anchorage in Sint Eustatius (or Statia) was still 15 nm away. Any delays with fishing would surely put us there after dark.

Not 20 minutes later, ZINNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG!!! Peter hooked his first billfish!! A beautiful sailfish appeared on the surface as he fought the line. I quickly began to slow down the boat, check the charts, set the autopilot and grab the camera. It was a quick fight. As he reached down and grabbed the leader line to release it, the sailfish shook off before I could snap any more photos. Enough excitement for one day, we thought.

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Still getting beat up by the Caribbean 2-step, we tacked all the way to Statia. Motorsailing as best we could, it still wasn’t enough to get us there before dark. 10 pm we finally neared Gallows Bai. Our radar screen warned us of the mooring field full of tankers. Their lights were deceiving and it helped to have a visual on each of them using AIS and radar.

Little did we know, there were dozens of steel oil drums floating amidst the tankers, invisible in the dark. These are mammoth sized mooring balls for the big ships and they float at water level, undetectable by radar. Even at 5 knots, it would be like hitting a shipping container if we accidentally ran into one. After safely making our way past the tankers we approached a small little anchorage toward the far end of town. We used our spotlight and weaved between some sleeping sailboats as we searched for an open mooring ball and picked one up on the first try.

Happy to be tied up, we had to accept the fact that our 30-hour passage wasn’t over. The anchorage was terribly rolly and just as uncomfortable as the passage itself. NOT what you want to experience after trying to hold your cookies in for hours on end. The dogs were happy to have a potty break and eat dinner. Peter and I managed to wolf down some cheese  and crackers before going to bed. We left the mizzen sail up for stability, which helped dramatically. Saba would have been more exposed to the ocean swell so even though our conditions were less than desireable, they could have been much worse.

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We spent Friday night and Saturday night on a ball and did not drop the dinghy to go to shore. We flew the Q flag and took our chances. Supposedly, moorings are $10/night on the honor system. You go pay on shore. Maybe it was because of the weekend, but no one came out to greet us so we didn’t pay. We were too tired to launch the dinghy when we didn’t plan on staying here more than a day.

Four Coconuts was feeling much more ambitious than us and took their kids on a hike to the top of the crater. Their boat is the catamaran with red sail covers in the photo, just to the left of us.

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Though we didn’t go exploring on land, we did get a glimpse of the historic beauty on this quaint little island.

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To the right of the old war cannons is a dead palm tree. Is it just me… or does it look like a native tribe member standing up on the wall???

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Our first sighting of island goats…

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How amazingly peaceful would it be to live here??

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We’re currently catching up on projects and waiting out the rest of Hurricane Season down in Grenada.

Stay tuned to read about our scariest moment yet!!

Cruising BVI: Checking out in Spanish Town

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Sailing from one end of Virgin Gorda to the other was a breeze. On June 24th we anchored in front of Spanish Town and got settled for the night.

The following day marked 30 days we had spent in BVI. Our mission was to visit the Customs and Immigration office to check out. We were misinformed about the location for checking out and found ourselves at the office up the hill which happens to be the place to go only for extending visas. The officials kindly informed us at 3pm that they were closed for the day and we would have to visit the Customs office near the Port Authority back down by our boat the next day. Go figure.

The next morning Peter and I dinghied back to shore and hiked across the field adjacent to the Marina to reach the Customs office. We brought our cruising permit, Certificate of Documentation, passports and money. Expecting to be hit hard for taxes and fees in a country that thrives on the Charter Boat Industry, we were pleasantly surprised to only be charged .75 cents for administration fees. It was even more strange since we had to visit three different windows with three different staff members to complete the transaction. One person could have done in two minutes what it took three people to do in 20.

Before this experience we had heard that various offices around BVI charge different rates for checking out of the country. Some are as high as $20. We heard Gun Creek was only $1.75 but it wasn’t convenient for us to check out of there since they didn’t have a decent grocery store or propane filling station. We took our chances with Spanish Town and everything worked out great.

The officials here did make sure to inform us, however, that our cruising permit had in fact only been valid for one week – not the 30 days we had thought. It wasn’t a terribly big deal and they waved us away after we told them it was our first time in BVI. They warned us for next time to notify the officials upon entry if we plan on staying longer than one week. NOTED!

On June 26th, the day had finally come to say “Goodbye BVI” and “Adios to Jost”. Already late in the season we still had a long way to go before reaching Grenada where we would be spending Hurricane Season below 12-degrees latitude. If  you’re interested on why a lot of Caribbean cruisers choose to spend Hurricane Season in Grenada, take a look at this fun little tool from NOAA: Historical Hurricane Tracks.

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Next up… St. Eustatius! We’re currently finishing up projects in Grenada as Hurricane Season comes to an end 🙂

ANNOUNCEMENT: Tiny House Blog Welcomes A New Voice

How many of you are familiar with the “Tiny House Living” concept? It’s an idea that’s been around for awhile but has been gaining incredible momentum over the last few years. If you’re into things like minimalist living, sustainable living, small spaces, tiny houses, cabins, yurts, RVs and travel trailers, chances are you’ve heard of Tiny House Blog; a great resource with some very inspiring ideas.

All over the world people are being inspired to seek out a simpler life. It wasn’t until several months ago that we realized we are already part of this movement.

Andrew Odom has been following our blog since the very beginning. He quickly reached out and introduced me to a not-so-tiny online community of like-minded people.  Andrew Odom writes for Tiny House Magazine, Tiny House Blog and his own website, Tiny r(E)volution. He and Kent Griswold (founder of Tiny House Blog) then recruited me to offer my perspective about living in a tiny floating home and write a couple of articles for Tiny House Magazine.

Today, I have much bigger news.

Today, Tiny House Blog officially welcomes a new voice to it’s team of writers. You guessed it… YOURS TRULY!

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I am incredibly honored to represent Liveaboards everywhere, sharing the joys and frustrations of living on a boat. I’ll be contributing weekly in addition to writing posts here on Where The Coconuts Grow.

Please <click here> to head over to Tiny House Blog and check out my very first post!!

Cruising BVI: North Sound Virgin Gorda

Back in June we spent a little over a week taking in the beauty of North Sound, Virgin Gorda. This would be the last island we visit before continuing our journey south to spend Hurricane Season. As we entered through the channel markers, we caught a glimpse of Sir Richard Branson’s private island. Incredible.

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Our first stop was near Saba Rock which kindly provided an open wifi signal that we were able to pick up with our booster, anchored off of Prickly Pear Island. Mooring balls were available for a fee but there was also plenty of room to anchor. We tried this spot first since we heard this is where most of the cruisers stay. Though there were only a few boats around that late in the season, we met up with Wild Card for the first time and we also met another couple on a Whitby, English Rose. Both of these cruising couples quickly became good friends that we still stay in contact with to this day.

Up at the restaurant on Saba Rock the saltwater aquarium was fun to see. Inside was a Moray Eel, Spiny Lobster and a small cannon like the ones we saw diving on the reef nearby.

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The Bitter End Yacht Club lay just a stone’s throw away. All kinds of water sport rentals are available such as Hobie Cats, kite surfing and diving.

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During our visit at the restaurant, a little friend came to say hello.

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After lunch we took a stroll down the palm-lined paths that wind past the resort. Island-style cabanas and hammocks were scattered along the shore.

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Tucked back in the corner across the bay is the Biras Creek Resort. The anchorage in front provided ample protection from the wind and an escape from all of the charter boats coming and going from Bitter End. The resort has a gorgeous dinghy dock that we used to bring Gunner and Betsy ashore. Several trails extended from the resort up over the hillside. We passed by some curious horses and continued across the island to discover a secret restaurant and private beach, all managed by the Resort.

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Just before leaving the anchorage in front of Biras Creek Resort, we met David, Toutou, Maya and Tyler aboard Four Coconuts. We became fast friends with these fellow coconut cruisers and began making plans to buddy-boat down the islands.

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One more stop to check out of the BVI’s and we would be on our way!

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Stay tuned for our last adventure in the BVI’s before heading south. We are currently in Grenada finishing up boat projects 🙂

Salty Myths and Secret Lore: Alien Encounters

SALTY MYTHS AND SECRET LORE… stories we’ve heard, and tales galore…

For ages, salty sailors have told stories of strange happenings out at sea. Though intrigued by the legends of those that have gone before us, the stories we tell here are first hand accounts and shared in detail by those directly involved.

You may remember us sharing our story of The Haunting of Bahia Escocesa several months back. Today we would like to share with you a story told by our friends Matt and Jessica aboard Serendipity. Their account of unexplained happenings during their recent Atlantic Crossing is enough to give anyone the heebie jeebies!

All text and photos below have been republished with permission. The original post by MJ Sailing can be found here.

Atlantic Crossing Part II Days 42 & 43: Alien Encounters

Thursday July 31, 2014

I’m not going to lie, it’s starting to get really hard (and boring, probably for all of us) for me to come up with something to put for every single day of this crossing.  So until we make landfall, I’m only going to put down things that are worth putting down.  And then hopefully, just hopefully, I can start getting pictures and stories up of what I’m assuming is amazingly beautiful Horta.

On that note though, something happened that I thought was kind of cool and noteworthy.  Today we crossed a spot on the globe where we had the exact same coordinates for latitude and longitude.  I wonder how often that happens for people?  I obviously haven’t done a lot of research on the subject, but it seems like a lot of areas covered by land (or at least the United States) are higher than 80 degrees West, meaning there is no matching latitude.  So to find numbers close enough to match pretty much means you’re going to be over water.  Maybe something random I can add to my bucket list?  Seems like a cool enough accomplishment.

7_31_14-900x598Oh, and if you can tell from the photo, we’ve now passed the stationary gale (which has all dissipated now) and we can begin heading north and directly toward Horta again!

Friday August 1, 2014

There’s just something about me and night shifts and strange lights. Don’t get me wrong, that fireball I spied just a few days outside of Bermuda was probably a once in a lifetime sight that I’ll never forget and may be worth crossing the Atlantic for itself (mayb-be), but the past few nights seem to be surprising me with questionable lights amidst the dark. Yesterday morning around 2 am I was popping my head up on deck between relaxing with my podcast on the comfortable settee below to see what looked like a flashlight beam oh so briefly shine on our American flag flapping at the stern. There is nothing on the boat that could have illuminated it at that angle so brightly unless Matt decided to sneak up behind me with an actual flashlight, unnoticed by me, while I still stood on the steps. Very unlikely. As my heart quickly jumped into my throat I thought it was another boat trying to identify us, but after frantically searching the horizon and then turning to the radar, we were the only thing out there. Alien encounter? Apparently once they realized we were American it was enough to make them leave us alone.

Which brings me to this morning’s odd light. More astrological than extraterrestrial, but still startling nonetheless. It was moments into my 12-4 am shift when I was just climbing up the steps to do a cursory glance before my more in depth check that would be coming up in ten minutes (what can I say?, I like to stick to my schedule), the sky directly in front of us suddenly lit up as if the deck light had been thrown on. In the split second it took my mind to register that this shouldn’t be happening I saw a very bright greenish-white sphere fall from the sky leaving a bright trail behind it. My first thought was ‘Oh my god, it’s a flare!!’. Although from what I’ve been told, flares are red or orange and nothing else. But this was close! As in, someone must be lighting off fireworks next to our boat close. Surely it couldn’t be a meteor?

Quite startled and still not fully registering what had just happened in the two seconds it took to happen I let out an audible and nervous “Ummm….” as Matt was still settling himself into bed. Asking what was the matter I told him that I’d just seen a very bright light that looked flare-like just ahead of us, and as he raced to untangle himself from the sheets he had just slipped under, I added “But it was greenish-white”, knowing that his first thought would be that someone in a life raft was trying to alert us to their existence. By now my head was finally wrapping itself around the fact that it probably was a meteor. Just a very, very close meteor, and that there was no need to worry. Not taking any chances though, he dove into full rescue mode, not wanting to risk the possibility of missing someone out there trying to signal us. Asking me question after question of exactly where I’d seen the light, how close it was, and what kind of shape it took, he set about trying to figure out our drift and trajectory while trying to find out when and how close we’d come to the source of the light After ten minutes of more horizon scans, scrutinizing the radar, and follow up questions such as ‘If it were you, how long would you wait to set off a second flare?’, I assured him that, as amazing and unlikely as it was, I think we were just incredibly close to a meteor that happen to be falling in this vast ocean that we’re traveling. He finally relented and went back to bed as I promised to stay up there for a while longer, keeping an eye out for any more lights or loud signaling noises.

In non-astrological news, we’re continuing our path directly north as we ride the east winds before they shift east in the next day or two and force us to turn directly east instead. So close and yet so far away. I keep focusing on the miles remaining as the crow flies, wishing we could take that same direct path, trying to count down our arrival based on those numbers, but instead preparing myself for yet another day or possibly two at sea on top of my predictions because we’re forced to travel at 90 degree angles instead. The pressure is still steadily rising, now at 1022, 10 mb higher than we were 48 hours ago, and I guess I should just be grateful for having any wind at all as we make our way into yet another high pressure system.

In more exciting news, I saw another sailboat today. What??!! I honestly didn’t think that would happen until we were within 20 miles of Faial. For some reason this sight makes me extremely giddy. We’re not alone out here, the only thing under 400 ft and carrying cargo. Part of me wants to call them up on the VHF just to say hi and find out where they’re going. Possibly get a little encouragement from someone out here that’s just as crazy as us. Another voice to say, ‘Yup, we’re right there with you’. Except, knowing our luck, they’d come back with, ‘You’ve been out how long??!! We just left the states two weeks ago. You must be traveling extremely slow’. Yup, that’s a much more likely scenario. Maybe they won’t get a call after all.

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Be sure to visit MJ Sailing’s BLOG and FACEBOOK PAGE for ridiculously gorgeous photos and beautifully written stories about all of their cruising adventures.

If you have any salty myths or secret lore that you’d like to see published here, please contact us on the blog or through our FACEBOOK PAGE!

Cruising BVI: Snorkeling at Virgin Gorda

vg snorkeling-2Approximately 1/4 mile East of Saba Rock in the North Sound, Virgin Gorda, lay two old war cannons out on the reef. A dive buoy owned by Saba Rock marks the location. We tied our dinghy off to the buoy and just a short distance away about 10 feet down lay the first cannon. The second cannon is a short swim from the first, both surrounded by pieces of coral and home to plenty of little fishies.

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Rumor has it that these cannons were moved from The Wreck Of The Rhone to this location. For some entertaining history about Saba Rock and the “legendary scuba pioneer” Bert Kilbride, visit this article and this one too.

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The outer reef protects the North Sound from Atlantic swell. It’s wide, the water is shallow, and makes for a fun underwater playground. We snorkeled for hours here in the clear and clean water. The reefs weren’t terribly exciting but we did see a few rays, lobster, barracuda and big tarpon.

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Another day, we ventured the opposite way and took the dinghy back toward the entrance markers to the North Sound. The rocky cliffs gave way to where a new resort is being built off of Mosquito Rock. We spotted an octopus hiding out near the construction site. The water was much cooler on this side and we didn’t venture too far.

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The hot days make it hard to cool off any other way than going for a swim so we’re grateful to be able to play around in water this warm and clear. Our backyard is an ocean with so many things to discover!

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Stay tuned for more pics of the BVI. We’re currently in Grenada ticking off a few boat projects from the list and waiting out the rest hurricane season…

Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!!

Cruising BVI: The Dogs

The Dogs are a group of small islands just off of Virgin Gorda. Several mooring balls are scattered throughout the three anchorages for day use. A little off the beaten path, it’s usually quiet there with not too many visiting boats.

Fighting a strong current, we picked up a mooring ball on the very outside of George Dog around lunch time on June 17th. We had a quick bite to eat and then went for a refreshing swim. The boat was in about 60 feet of water but got shallow quickly as we approached the shore with our snorkel gear. The reefs were filled with colorful fish.

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Large boulders made for some fun snorkeling as we free-dove up and down the rocky underwater ravines. One particular area toward the edge of the reef must have had a patch of sea ants hiding out inside. Both of us felt a mild sting on our arms and chest near the coral though we hadn’t touched anything. Another underwater irritation we found thriving here was fire coral. Just as it sounds, this stuff burns if you accidentally brush up against it, leaving a nasty rash. This is an important species to be able to identify!

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The anchorage was rolly and had little protection from wind and we soon discovered why this was a day-use-only area. We untied the mooring and finally made our way over to the North Sound on Virgin Gorda to get our anchor set before nightfall. We had been planning on Virgin Gorda being our last stop in the BVI for quite some time, though it took us almost a month to make our way that far East. We wanted to stock up one last time on groceries on Virgin Gorda before continuing our island hopping down the Caribbean Island chain.

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Stay tuned for more gorgeous photos of our stay on Virgin Gorda, BVI. We are currently waiting out the rest of hurricane season at a comfortable 12degrees latitude.

Cruising BVI: The Baths at Virgin Gorda

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The Baths at Virgin Gorda are one of the most spectacular attractions in all of the Virgin Islands. Giant natural rock formations have created caves and tunnels at the shore’s edge with incredible tide pools hidden inside.

Over the years, dozens of mooring balls have been installed near the entrance to the caves as well as outside Devil’s Bay. They are free for day use only on a first come, first served basis. During the high season it will seem as though every charter boat in the BVI is there. They start showing up from around 7am and rotate out like bees from a hive until sunset.

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If you prefer to tour the baths privately without crowds of people on your tail, be sure to get there just after the sun comes up. If you want to take any pictures without a bunch of strangers in your way, definitely get there at 6am! The caves are significantly more majestic when no other voices or sounds can be heard. It’s also recommended to not enter the caves after 4:30 pm because it takes a good 20 minutes each way through the caves. When the sun sets, the caves get dark and the tide rises, making for a potentially dangerous passage back out.

An alternative to fighting for a mooring ball is to anchor just East of all the mooring balls near the reefs at Little Trunk Bay. It was a bit rolly for us, but not too bad to stay overnight. The view is spectacular with a gorgeous palm-tree-lined beach just ahead, crystal clear water and up to 100′ visibility. From there it’s just a short dinghy ride over to the main entrance to the baths.

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A designated swimming area has been roped off at both the entrance to the caves, as well as at Devil’s Bay to keep the swimmers safe from the dinghy traffic. There is very little shore access and it’s recommended to swim in instead of being dropped off by dinghy. For those that don’t want to swim in, The Baths can also be accessed by land. Any taxi on Virgin Gorda can bring you there. Swimming in requires careful consideration of the weather conditions. If there is a Northerly swell, entrance to the baths is extremely dangerous and dinghies are not allowed to approach. Take care, especially those that are not strong swimmers.

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To access the caves just follow the signs and be prepared to duck down, crawl, squeeze and climb over these boulders. A series of wooden staircases and climbing ropes and have been installed to aid in the journey through these caves, yet they are quite steep.

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Peter and I tied our dinghy to the perimeter of the swimming area and swam in with our snorkel gear. We aimed for a gap in the rocks and made our way up onto the sand. Since it was still early, there were maybe only 4 other boats tied up to moorings already, yet we were the only ones entering the caves. We left our snorkel gear stashed behind a boulder and proceeded in barefoot, armed with only our iPhone and waterproof case.

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The Baths were warm and clear. The colors etched into the rocks were fascinating. These immense boulders formed windows to the sky as we looked upward. We waded and swam through passages in the rocks to the next set of hidden pools. Just beyond the caves we could see the waves crashing in around us, only to slow to a trickle of flow inside. Tiny little fish swam around in the pools with us. Shadows in the early morning cast upon the walls and golden rays of sunshine poured in through the cracks.

Each new cave led to another secret passage way as we climbed up the old wooden ladders and crawled through holes in the rocks. We slid over crevices in the rocks marked by the sand left behind from those that have gone before us. Some areas on the sandy floor had been washed smooth from the incoming tide the night before, making our footprints the first tracks to appear.

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The caves gave way to a trail leading to Devil’s Bay. The tree branches opened up to the crisp blue sky and a pristine sandy beach lay ahead. The water inside the bay was as clear as the water we saw in the Bahamas.

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We went for a swim and took a short walk on the beach just before a large family appeared behind us singing songs as they made their way out of the caves. We did it! Our whole journey through The Baths and Caves was done alone! Proud we had woken up early, we returned back the way we came and swam back out to our dinghy just in time to see dozens of families arriving on shore.

It was a spectacular morning indeed, and a place we want to visit again. The only thing we would do differently is get there even earlier, and bring a better waterproof camera 🙂

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We are currently reminiscing about our journeys this summer as we wait out the rest of hurricane season in Grenada…

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