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mtbradey trip report 2013 - Days 1/2 (Travel, Caves, Cooper)
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Link to this postPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:45 am    Post subject: Note mtbradey trip report 2013 - Days 1/2 (Travel, Caves, Cooper)

Just back yesterday from our best trip yet. I'll keep my report pretty brief and factual. I'm not much of a writer.

Day 1 - June 5
We departed Nashville early on June 5th on US Airways to Charlotte. Then on to St. Thomas. We had a tight connection to get to our 4:15 ferry so we didn't check bags and I hired Royal Concierge to pick us up at the airport so we wouldn't be waiting for a taxi to fill up and possibly make stops before the Charlotte Amalie ferry terminal. Royal did a great job and we made our ferry.

We arrived Road Town and they met us there as well to delivery us to the Moorings. Arrived at The Moorings at 6pm and they had our boat ready. We were on Sea Wing, a 4600. We loaded our stuff and unpacked, then dinner at the Moorings restaurant. I love their Roti. It isn't on the menu, but they'll make you one if you ask. Saturn was our waiter for dinner. Always nice to see him.

After dinner we taxied to One Mart and provisioned. Returned to the boat and got everything squared away. I walked the docks and found my first boat as skipper. It's in the Footloose fleet now - A Stray Shower, an old Moorings 4000. Also found our 2010 boat still in the Moorings fleet, a 4600 named Mambo No 5.

Turned in for the night.

Day 2 - June 6
We awoke the next morning and were ready for our boat brief. Keardy met us and after asking about my experience told me to tell them next year I don't need a boat brief. I asked him to refresh my memory on some of the boat systems anyway.

We arranged for our scuba stuff to be dropped at the boat while I went across the street to the chandler and purchased a cheap rigging knife. Having gone carry on only I had to leave mine at home and I hate to be on board without one. I keep it at the helm.

With water and fuel topped off, the crew fed, and everything secured, we shoved off right at 9am. Once clear of Road Harbour, I pointed out the various islands to get the crew oriented and then explained briefly how a sailboat works and how we go about hoisting the sails. Everyone picked a job to do and we got the sails hoisted and set without too much trouble on a broad reach for Norman and the Caves.

We arrived at the caves around 10:45 (we goofed around a little bit with the sails on the way, so it took longer than it needed to). We caught the last ball, the one to the far left out on the point. We spent an hour or so snorkeling and then had lunch before casting off from the mooring and motoring to Cooper.

There was no shortage of balls at cooper when we arrived around 3pm. I took the guys ashore and we made a dinner reservation at CIBC and then had some painkillers and relaxed. We went back to the boat and swam around the boat for awhile. On the bottom right below us in about 25 feet of water was a spotted eagle ray with what at first looked like a shark swimming under it, but the more I looked the more I think it was a remora. While a couple of crew members were in the water behind the boat, one standing at the back of the boat pointed right off the back (about 5 feet from a swimmer) and asked excitedly, "What is that big fish!?" The swimmer climbed into the dinghy faster than I have ever seen anyone do it! The fish was a 3 foot barracuda just lazing right below the surface. He hung around awhile and finally ended up floating head high pointed at the back of the boat like a dog begging for food. We slipped him some lunch meat and he immediately took it. We didn't feed him anymore after that, but it was clear he'd been trained.

We took most of the crew over to Cistern Point for a snorkel after that. Returned to the boat and cleaned up for dinner, which was excellent as usual. CIBC went through a couple of years where it wasn't very good for us, but for some reason the last two years have been great. Not sure if management changed, or what.

My entire crew, not including my wife, was on their first bareboat in the BVI and eating it up at this point. I love taking first timers down and they did not disappoint. Completely blown away by the beauty of the place and the freedom with which we were experiencing it.
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