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Friends, Christmas Cove and the BVI.

We were so happy to reach Christmas Cove, USVI and meet up with our friends Amy and David of Starry Horizons.  We first met them just after we had taken deliver of LIB and Starry Horizons was still in production in France.

While we have met Amy and David a few times on land, this is the first time we have been able to meet on our boats and compare our Helias.

We had a great time sharing dinner a few times, including a delicious dinner of tuna that Amy and David had caught on passage! Very fun to share time and their yummy catch!

We were able to share our “catch” of fresh coconut water, which is quickly becoming Frank’s specialty as he searches out low hanging coconuts anywhere we go!

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David, Amy and Frank share coconut water.  David likes his straight from the nut.

We spent two days snorkeling, sharing Pizza Pi, comparing post factory changes to our boats, paddle boarding and just generally enjoying time with these two awesome friends.  Then we had to say goodbye as we needed to report to TMM for some warranty work.

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Double rainbow in Christmas Cove

It was great to be back in the familiar and beautiful BVIs. Our first evening was spent anchored off Peter Island, one of our favorite spots!

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I love the water colors here and the lush hillside.

There were soooo many butterflies! I bet we saw 500 in a 24 hour period.

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Frank and Mark loosen the shroud.

A big thank you to Mark, of TMM,  for helping us replace our roller furler drum which had some issues with metals seizing.  Thankfully Facnor replaced this under warranty so we only had the cost of labor.  Again, a big thank you to TMM for helping us even after we were out of charter with them!!

After TMM we sailed around Tortola and spend a day or two anchored off Sandy Spit and Frank was able to kiteboard ~ a much needed play session for him!

We have not spent any time in Cane Garden Bay and decided to zip over there. It is a lovely bay and we enjoyed it’s beauty and the access to the white, sandy beaches.

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Cane Garden Bay at sunset

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My cute dog and very handsome husband out paddling.

An unexpected and fabulous event was meeting Frank’s cousins who happened to have chartered a boat in the BVIs. Unfortunately I failed to bring a camera, so I don’t have any pictures.  We spent a wonderful evening on their boat and had a great time catching up on each others kids and lives.  I really hope we are able to meet up with them all again sometime.

After Cane Garden Bay we spent a two nights on Norman Island just relaxing.  Then we went back to TMM where we picked up a wind scoop modification from the Doyle Sail Loft and worked with our favorite BVI electrician, Dave Gibson.  You will hear more about Dave and his greatness in another post.

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Sunset off Norman Island.

Now we are settled in at North Sound waiting on a weather window to skip over to St. Martin.  We know this will be a motor rather than a sail as we will be heading into the winds.  We hope to have winds less than 10 knots… but we shall see.

For now we will spend a few days enjoying Saba Rock, Bitter End Yacht Club and all the other great things North Sound has to offer.  Hopefully we will be lucky and have a nice light wind day to go to St. Martin this week.  In the mean time, this isn’t a difficult place to wait.

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Our “back yard” while we wait in North Sound, BVI.

Five Card Fever

Well our usual quiet marina became alive with noise and action yesterday when boats entered in the BVI Leverick Bay Poker Run fired up!

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Two hundred forty one boats  from the Virgin Islands, U.S., Puerto Rico and other places entered this annual event.  A total of 180 poker hands were sold. For those who don’t know, a Poker Run is when boats quickly motor from a starting point to five locations within the BVI.  Upon arrival at each designated spot, the boat is given one playing card. After collecting a card at each stop, the driver returns to Leverick Bay and creates his best 5 card poker hand.  The best hand wins a cash prize of $10,000.

Apparently the BVI police are very aware that each stop is actually a party scene and they were ready for action as you can see them departing prior to the start of the Poker Run.

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Normally the Sir Frances Drake Channel is dotted with sailboats and aside from the occasional ferry or tender, few motor boats are seen zipping around.  However, yesterday as we were coming into the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, this was the view behind our boat.

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The start and finish of the Poker Run is at Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda where we happened to be heading yesterday. That is why we felt like we were being chased by motor boats all day as they completed their fun in the same bay where we were headed.

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These boats “chug” along a bit faster than we sail and we were overtaken often during our sail from Road Town to Virgin Gorda.

Lest you think the Leverick Bay Poker Run is all about the luck of the draw, there are also prizes for “the most original boat, best boat performance, best dressed crew and best dressed lady.” In total, $15,000 worth of prizes were distributed.

Happily no injuries or accidents were reported this year.

If you are interested in buying a hand in next year’s 14th Annual Leverick Bay Poker Run, get your $250 entry fee and a boat ready.

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