A Travellerspoint blog

February 2017

Virgin Gorda 2017

First and not last visit

We had spent two glorious weeks on St John. Would all the effort it takes to get to Virgin Gorda be worth it?? Up at 530 left Coral Bay at 730. Jim dropped me and luggage off while he returned jeep. Since we were leaving on Saturday and the direct ferry is on Sunday and Thursday we had to take the ferry to Tortola west end.
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Went through customs and we claimed food we had brought. A friend told me they might not let beef products through because of mad cow disease. We ate everything that contained beef in St John. We have a polar bear cooler and use techni ice to keep things frozen. We brought salmon, shrimp bacon and pork loin. I had bought our breads,and other needs in St John. We had six eggs left and did not know if they would make it unbroken but gave it a try. Everything arrived safely and we were allowed to bring everything we claimed in the cooler.I think we had to pay 10$ exit fee??? What we payed it and got a taxi to take us to Road Town. Plenty of taxis were waiting. We arrived and waited about a hour and finally were on our way. It took less than a half hour. We rented from Leverick Bay and she had arranged a Jimmy for us from L&S. He was waiting for us at ferry and we signed the contract on hood of car. Ok this is easy peezy, He gave us directions and a map to leverick Bay.
Wow this island is easy to get around. Found where we were to check in and then we followed the lady up to Sea Breeze. My stomach was doing flip flops. Would this place be clean and bug free? There had not been any recent reviews so I was very nervous, We arrived and walked down the steps. Sea Breeze is separate and Sea View is a Two bedroom place close by. No one was at Sea View this week but it seemed like it would be private enough if there had been. I took a deep breath as she opened the door and wahla it was clean and even more updated than the pictures. Thank you God. It is a one bedroom with private bath and efficiency kitchen and full size refrigerator. Perfect. every thing we would need.The view was better than I thought it would be. We actually ended up liking staying on this end of island.From our place to baths one half hour.We unloaded our cooler and was off to Hog Heaven for barbecue

Sea breeze
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Hog heaven was a delight I had rib meal and husband had pork loin. What a view.

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Necker island We heard that President Obama was vacationing here on Necker island island owner by Sir Richard Branson

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Sunday 29th

Ate eggs and bacon sandwich. We drove to Spring Bay, It takes one half hour from Leverick Bay

We arrived at Spring Bay at 0900 only ones there. Able to find shade. What a beautiful spot,We stayed until 2 pm and then went to eat at top of baths

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WE went out to check out the old copper mine

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Tonight's supper left over ribs and salmon.

Monday

We decided to try Mountain Trunk for the day. Thanks to ABC for directions in Nail bay look for sign to Mountain trunk beach. The pole was down so parked at bottom turned around. It was overcast and little drizzly so we parked under a palapas and did not get wet. Read and enjoyed tranquility of being on beach alone. Pretty good size beach We were alone till 1230. We snorkeled to right and found it to be our best snorkel all week. Also snorkeled across reef to left side of beach.

We had looked for M&M bakery yesterday and could not find it. I went back and looked for more details on internet. Driving south towards baths, past Grandma's kitchen turn left on one way road at Napa auto parts. There was a very friendly island lady working the counter. She said it is open 6 pm to 11 am. We got two huge donuts lemon turnover, so flaky, large coconut macaroons, and brownie in 3 by 4 inch container all for 950 good for island prices. Not so good for waistline.

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The weather was overcast and little drizzly. We went to Mountain trunk beach found in Nail bay follow the sign. Thank you ABD for directions the pole was down and we parked at bottom after turning around.Beach was empty at 900 We set up under one of the nice palpayas Beach is large

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We read and had beach to ourselves until 1230. We then snorkeled to the right and found it to be our best snorkel of the week. We then snorkeled the reef clear over to left.

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Afternoon was sunny and we left at 415. Got back and found out we had maid service I did not know was included. My husbands feelings was hurt because she had remade his bed. Nice addition We could hear music playing from down in leverick bay. Had Salmon and rice for supper.

Tuesday Jan 31

We parked at Spring Bay walked to trunk bay did not stay here just walked through

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Valley trunk Bay

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and then on up the rope to valley trunk. Ok we found our home, our favorite spot. This beach is huge and empty. Very few people find this and it is mainly used by boaters mooring off shore. Another elderly couple who had been coming for 22 years was ahead of us walking in. He had walking poles and she was carrying everything. I was worried about getting up rope and thought if they can do it I can too. Seriously it was not bad at all. We let them get their spot and then tried to find some shade. I cannot have full sun. That is one of the differences of St John VS Virgin Gorda not as many shady areas. We found a spot and decided this is our happy place!!!!

I had had no reception for my phone ATT previously... All of sudden ping ping ping I had reception. It would end of being only place on island we had reception. It was CRAZY because every night back at place would check in with oldest boy who was expecting their third child a Girl any moment now. He messaged me that her water had broke and today would be the day we would have our first Grand daughter. At 1243 Emile Olive was born,
Thanks to technology he was able to send us a picture. We are truly blessed!!! I was sitting on a gorgeous beach crying tears of joy!! Life is good.

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We stopped at the Rock to see what time they opened and made reservations for 6 pm, We never minded the drive back to Leverick bay and would stay in this area again. My husband said driving Virgin Gorda is very easy. Roads are wider going over mountain and no traffic.

the Rock Ambiance, Ambiance, Ambiance

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I had espresso martini and Jim had amaretto sour

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We shared a ceaser salad

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I had lobster spaghetti

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Jim had seafood

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You guessed it no desserts, I could see the twinkle in my husbands eyes we were headed to M&M bakery for a treat. They had chickens that looked good for 12$ but will have to get next time still have food left we need to eat up.

Wed

We went to Savannah Bay.. Lots of parking. First ones there 900 they have several palpays on beach but unfortunately the roofs are mostly gone, We found some shade and enjoyed. The surf was up too much to snorkel. Reef looks good here.Read and enjoyed surroundings,
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We found this a beautiful beach and loved walking the shore.

We went to Little Dix to check it out. The guard let us through and this place is totally being redone, Looks like new sewage, roofs.Not sure how long till it is to reopen but it looks like they have a long way to go. Looked at the bay and it looks beautiful. The guards had changed and we got a dirty look when we left. I do not think we were suppose to be in there. OH Well

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Thursday
you just gota do the baths we had been here twice before years ago.Wading through the colorful coves and granite boulders of The Baths in Virgin Gorda is undeniably the most notable experience you can have in the British Virgin Islands. Travelers and experts alike agree: It's the must-see attraction of the BVI archipelago. Massive smooth ash gray boulders of varying sizes rise from the sea's crystalline waters, making a maze of sorts for travelers to wade or swim through. Climbing through is not hard.

We arrived at 0830 and had the caves to ourselves We payed 3 $ a person and took the path to Devils Bay.

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We went back to Savannah Bay to see if it was calmer. We tried to snorkel but all churned up went to mountain trunk and spent the afternoon.

Went down to Leverick Bay to eat at bottom restaurant. Beautiful view of the bay and fish tacos were good.

Friday

Last day we went back to Valley Trunk. When we arrived same older couple arrived after us. They were hurrying and I think they thought we would get their favorite spot. I said take your time. 'you have earned your spot. What a lovely day. Beach to ourselves with other couple and a few from moored boats later in day.

Stopped at Hog heaven for pulled pork sandwiches. and Mudslide drinks.

Time to pack. We loved Virgin Gorda and will be back. Maybe 2019. We really did not get to experience the good snorkeling with the waves being up most day.

Sat left at 730 left jeep at ferry, keys under visor, Ferry left 0830. Took a hour and a half to get to Charlotte Amile.Went through customs and taxis were waiting. Arrive airport 1115. Short lines and in Airport 1145. Ate a snack and waited for our flight 150 to Chicago. Left on time and arrived at 6pm. Called our son after luggage arrived and was only our way home. We are such a 80's couple and love our waterbed. My husband says the trip would be perfect If they only had waterbeds. Next year 3 weeks St John but Virgin Gorda you are special and we hope to return.

Posted by Cindygad 10:06 Archived in British Virgin Islands Comments (0)

St John 2017 Part 1

St John 2017

This is our tenth trip to St John. We usually spend the night in Chicago and leave our car but we were cringing at the price to leave our car for 3 weeks. So our youngest son said he would take us and pick us up. What a treat! We left home at 5:30 am and arrived about 7:30 am in Chicago. We had a direct flight to St Thomas with United. We a had a little bit of time to waste so we went to the United lounge for breakfast and to wait for our 9:50 flight. Our flight took off on time. We arrived in St Thomas at 3:30. We took a taxi from the airport to Red Hook and caught the 5 pm ferry to Cruz Bay, St John.

The weather for the two weeks we were on the rock was the best we have ever had. It rained only twice during the day those two weeks. The first time was while we were unloading our suitcases at Angel Roost and the second time about a half hour the day before we left. The winds were strong the first five days but snorkeling on the south side was smooth and very clear. The rest of trip the winds were light and great snorkeling.

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We rented our Jeep from Courtesy and purchased some groceries at Starfish market and headed over to Coral Bay to our home away from home for two weeks, Angels Roost. Arrived and was talking to home owners Larry and Jane when had a cloud burst of liquid sunshine. Off to eat at Aqua Bistro for our favorite crunchy grouper and a Lime in a Coconut drink.

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Sunday Jan 15th Sunny

Up early, drinking coffee, and watching the sun come up. One of my favorite times of the day. Had bacon and egg mac-muffins for breakfast.

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I let my husband pick the first beach and he picked Frances. We arrived at 0900. We snorkeled to left and saw some squid and a small shark. Our old faithful underwater camera, DC 10 died. We saw some bubbles go up and that was all. We were disappointed it being our first day and all. The disappointment disappeared as fast as it came after just taking in everything that the beach and seas have to offer, Enjoyed the beach and stayed till 3 pm.

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Driving home stopped at overlook

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We had Steak and potatoes on the grill.

We are huge Packer fans and watched the Packers win over Dallas 31-28. What a game. GO PACK GO.

Monday Sunny winds 18

We went to Little Lameshur after having blueberry pancakes for breakfast. The road has really gotten a lot worse since last year. The holes have gotten wider and deeper. Even gained a few more. The wash outs have become wider and deeper. We met a car on our way out. It did not adventure very far. The car turned around after the first encounter with the washouts and holes.

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We sat up our chairs on the far left. We snorkeled on the left and at rocks in middle. Did not see anything unusual. Read and walked to the ruins.

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We went to beach bum and bought a go pro 5 the only water camera they had. We did not want to waste time going to St Thomas so Go Pro it was Only problem was all the directions were in Spanish. The girl at beach bum helped us set it up.

We had met a couple from Minnesota a few years ago that were on the island again. They had just spent 10 days on Virgin Gorda. Virgin Gorda is our destination for week three. We met them for supper at Indigo Grill. We all had fish tacos that were amazing. I had a mango mojito that was also pretty tasty. We had a nice discussion about Virgin Gorda.

Tuesday 17th Sunny winds 17ENE

Went to Grootpan and snorkeled to left middle and to right a short distance.

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Today, at Grootpan, is one of the days when something happened I will always remember. We were sitting on beach reading when out of corner of our eyes we see a older gentleman, Peter, walking on the very rocky beach with a cane. It took him forever to reach the beach. He stopped, put his cane in the rocks, hung his shirt on it, put his snorkel and mask on, and scooted down the hill to the water. He floated and snorkeled and the expression on his face was priceless. While he was in the water his joints moved freely with no effort. Getting out was a whole another adventure . We wanted to give him his dignity but getting up was just too hard for him. My husband went down to give him a hand to help him stand on rocky beach and make it up the hill. We talked to him and found out Peter had built a home near here in the mid 90's and had sold it last year. He was back staying for 10 days. Seeing him trying to enjoy the simple things of the past warmed my heart in so many ways. I hope someone is there for me to help me along the rocky paths of life.

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Tonight we had honey pecan chicken from Caribbean oasis

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Wed

We had planned on snorkeling with reef to peak
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.We asked to have Steve as our guide. I do not know him except have followed his trip reports of island for years as Augie on virgin island forum,. before he moved here with his lovely wife Leslie.We met Steve at Hansen bay.We had a double Kayak We went to a hidden reef past pelican point snorkeled for over a hour and half at otter inlet. Great snorkel our camera battery died before we got very many pictures.We saw a star fish, lionfish, school of angelfish, puffer fish

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We got done at 2 pm We had pork loin and pasta for supper

Thursday 19th Winds 7E and sunny

Finally the winds are dying down and it was a perfect snorkel for Haulover North. Very clear water with large schools of fish.

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Got to Miss Lucy at 1120. We got the table by the water for the first time.

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Grouper Ruben and homemade fries. AWESOME

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Friday Jan 20 Jan My 60th birthday Sunny wind 1 E

We snorkeled the three mooring balls going into Leinster Bay.

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I have been lucky enough to celebrate my birthday on St John the last 9 years. We ate the first six years at ZoZo's in their old place and once at the restaurant at Caneel. We always loved our meal but the last time I decided I wanted to try something different the next year. For two years, we ate at Asolaire, the view there is to die for, the food is just OK.

This year we went back to Zozo's

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My husband had asked for a table by the rail

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We shared the Calamari for a appetizer

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I had a wonderful Watermelon salad, watermelon, pineapple, cucumber arugula salad, riccotta salata with fresh basil and vanilla vinaigrette, My mouth still waters when I think of it.

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I chose a appetizer portion of fresh Pappardelle wild mushrooms, shaved pecorino and white truffle sauce

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Jim had artic chard that he loved

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We shared a Carmel molten cake

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Turning 60 was not so bad

We went to Salt Pond 0830 and did our annual hike to Rams Head. We took our time and enjoyed the views.

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It was a sunny day we ate lunch and snorkeled the rocks in the middle. It was very calm, saw an octopus in deep water, and an green spotted eel coming back in. The photo does not do it justice it was a vibrant green and blue.

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It clouded up in afternoon, We stayed till about 3 o'clock. Supper was hamburger on the grill and Jim went and got a to go order of onion rings from Aqua Bistro.

Sunday 22 winds N 8 m/hr Sunny

We did the Waterlemon snorkel around the cay, I always love this snorkel my husband not so much. There was a fair amount of current but he said he was ok and it seemed to push us around the good side to fast. We should of snorkeled it a second time. We saw our first lobster on the sandy area.

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You could not park at the gate and the spot we had used earlier in the week was taken. My husband dropped me off and parked up at Dennis Bay and walked down. We went to Oppenheimer beach for lunch and afternoon siesta. Surf was up.

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Had sausage and potatoes on the grill. Watched Atlanta beat our Packers.

Monday we hiked a half hour to tet to Brown Bay, We got there at 0900 and snorkeled for a hour to the left. It was very calm and we were able to get around the point. It was my favorite snorkel yet.

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left and got last spot at Maho we stayed until 330. Had small turkey breast on grill and garlic mashed potatoes for supper,

Tues 24th

We went to Dennis Bay from900 to 330. We snorkeled to right.

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Posted by Cindygad 07:23 Archived in US Virgin Islands Comments (0)

St John Part 2

St John 2 weeks Virgin Gorda1 week

Wed Sunny

We went to Great Lameshur to snorkel. Water was calm there were no waves but the water was all churned up and the visibility very poor.

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We dried off and went to Miss Lucy's for lunch

Jim loves mangroves so I decided to give Princess snorkel another try. The water is shallow and you do not wear fins. Last time I jumped on his back because it freaked me out. Still did not love but I gave it another try. Of course the outer areas in deeper water are better but it is easy access

from shore at Princess.

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Had pig in blankets and pasta and green beans for supper

Thursday Caneel

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and walked to Honeymoon beach and left our chairs and cooler.

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We hiked to Salomon and when we arrived at 0900 only one other girl on beach. We talked to her and she was traveling alone with out a jeep. She had done alot in 4 days and even went to salt pond by bus. She certainly did a lot and it was interesting to hear how others travel. She was kind enough to take our picture of the two of us. We are not very good as selfies.

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We stayed till 1230 and hiked back to Honeymoon. The beach had been invaded and was packed. We ate our lunch and then went to
Caneel to snorkel from Caneel beach to Scott

Had pork loin on grill and sides leftover in fridge.

Friday our last day before going to Virgin Gorda we traditionally pick our favorite beach to veg out on, Denis Bay won and what a difference a few days. The surf was up and waves were crashing and made for a really relaxing day.

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When leaving St John I feel so much better when I know I am already booked for next Jan. One week at Lunazul and two weeks at Angels Roost.

Goodby Angel Roost until next year
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Posted by Cindygad 07:20 Archived in US Virgin Islands Comments (0)

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