Ah… today was going to be exciting. We had lined up our sail and snorkeling with One Love Charters beginning with the pick up in Cane Garden Bay at 10 a.m. Joe and
Amanda were our guides for the day, and we sailed off to Fallen Jerusalem as a suggestion from Joe for the first destination for snorkeling, followed with lunch at the
Cooper Island Beach Club, and a visit for snorkeling to the Indians, which consist of several large rocks with underwater grottoes. The final anticipated stop was a return
visit to the Norman Islands and the Willie T with a brief stopover at Peter Island. By the time we arrived, we had only an hour or so until our departure, since we needed to
get back to our island home for the last evening in Cane Garden Bay. For two of us, it was agreed that we had located our one particular harbor.
Photos above: shot ski at Willie T, Willie T, and lower left: Lighthouse Villas in Cane Garden Bay
Reluctantly, we said our goodbyes to our hosts, who now were new friends, and returned in time for happy hour again at Quito’s outside bar. Conch fritters
and grilled mahi skewers were served with a delectable coconut lime sauce along with a surprisingly tasty goat soup. After several hours there, we wandered back to our place for
packing for the return flight home tomorrow, goodbyes to Gee Gee and Ms. Bean, and one final night in paradise with visions of returning soon appearing in island slumber.
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Final day. Coconut Spiked Rum French Toast. What a way to say goodbye to Tortola! The Cane Garden Bay exploration continued with a return visit to Greenvi Studio where we watched a glass blowing session in light rain. A local market offered the usual tourist wares, and as the showers subsided, the beachfront and Dust, a local young man selling rum-filled coconut shells, grabbed our undivided attention. Happy hour appetizers were coconut shrimp skewers and conversation with Lorita and Simone, our friendly servers at Sailor’s Rest, and Mrs. Bean, the owner. Later, the evening ended once again with the sounds of island music along the beachfront and goodbyes to new found friends.
Trip epilogue: Have you ever experienced a serendipitous moment? On the trip, I found out that the captain and his girlfriend were unknown collectors of one of my paintings. They had purchased it during an auction for the local chapter of the ASPCA, and I was invited to their home after our return to see it. During the past month, I have completed the first of the B.V.I. series, ‘Cane Garden Bay’ while listening to island music by Kenny Chesney and The Zac Brown Band. One of the things I love most about the life I live now is the freedom to spend hours of painting subjects that during the weekdays in the studio bring back the memories of good times with good friends.
The group met Lorraine at the Big Banana Cafe for breakfast since Sailor’s Rest was closed for another holiday morning. There is just something about a johnny cake on the menu that makes the day begin with a smile. Maybe it was the fact that this wasn’t a familiar menu item back home, and the cooks were talented in both preparation and presentation. Next, it was back to the boat and on to Jost Van Dyke, the small island that was visible along the horizon. We had heard of the legendary Foxy at Foxy’s Bar, and were told that by arriving earlier in the day, he would be likely to be on the premises. Sure enough, he was seated within the center of the open-air bungalow, smiling from one ear to another, and talking rapidly to anyone who would listen to his bantering. He proceeded to tell us the multiple (now six) characteristics of an island dog, a lazy Black Lab curled up next to this island legend. (We found out later that this discussion has been recorded on YouTube.) One of the phrases I will always remember is the Foxyism “rain is spitting sunshine.” Cool, huh?
The second stop was in White Bay at the Soggy Dollar Bar, famous for its libation, The Painkiller. I wasn’t aware that we would be swimming ashore to get there, nor did I realize that it would be quite difficult to get back the same way, as three of us tried to exit via the rocky coastline after several hours’ visit there and to Seddy’s One Love nearby. The return to Cane Garden Bay led us back to Myett’s, where MargaritaBill sang along with the Candyman, a local musician, to end a pleasurable Monday evening.
Eggs, pancakes, bacon, and assorted fruit was the menu onboard the cat prior to heading out to Cane Garden Bay. Sails went up by 11:00, only there wasn’t enough wind for the entire trip. A stop along the way was made at the West End of Tortola at Soper’s Hole for supplies around 1:40, and we arrived at CGB around 3:30 p.m. Appropriately, lunch was cheeseburgers while listening to a background of Jimmy Buffett music.
A return visit was at Myett’s, where around the bar the crew had happy hour painkillers and attempted to watch the final round of the golf tournament on the TV. The bartender was disagreeable, and ignored our request for a change of channels, so we left to find another venue where we could watch the rest of the game. At The Big Banana, we were totally entertained with our bartender there who from time to time would stop what she was doing and in seeing our excitement, would remark, “Bubba out, Bubba back in” during the player’s advance to the eighteenth hole. The crew ended Happy Hour ecstatic when the underdog was finally declared the winner.
Before ending the evening, the decision was made to visit the beachside Elm Beach Bar, where there was a featured musician who allowed several guests to join him in the evening entertainment. One of our crew joined the band and received a round of applause from the guests who were either dancing or eating the local prepared barbecue. Plans were made for all to meet the next morning again at Sailor’s Rest, then sail on to Jost Van Dyke, which could barely be seen in the distance from the dinghy dock. Two of us would leave the rest and return to our Tortola home base where flushing the toilet did not require a pumping ritual, and the shower and bed was larger than a coffin.