Sunset at The Yacht Club Marina at Palmas Del Mar Marina, Humacao, Puerto Rico

POST HURRICANE PUERTO RICO – By Theresa

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

CULEBRA

After witnessing all of the hurricane destruction throughout the Caribbean, and seeing and hearing all of the news reports about post-hurricane Puerto Rico, we reached out to friends and family of ours living in Puerto Rico to see how we could assist when we arrived. We were repeatedly advised that the best way to help was to visit and spend money in the islands. Our first stop in Puerto Rico we anchored in Ensenada Honda, in Culebra. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw how well she stood up to Hurricane Maria.

Upon arrival, we cleared back into the U.S., via phone, using the Small Vessel Reporting System. It is a convenient way to facilitate and expedite the clearing in process by pre-registering boat and crew information with Customs & Border Protection.

Small Vessel Reporting System

Small Vessel Reporting System

Next we lowered the dinghy to go ashore. We found the cruisers’ hot spot, the Dinghy Dock, was temporarily closed for renovations, however, we were assured that it was set to reopen within a month.

Dodgy Dock, Culebra, Puerto Rico

Dinghy Dock, Culebra, Puerto Rico

We drove our dinghy up the canal to see how our friends at Mamacitas Guest House & Restaurant had fared.

Mamacita’s looked as fabulous as ever. The dinghy dock had a steady stream of boats and patrons all day. They had live music, great food, electricity and Wi-Fi.

Mamacita's Waterfront Grill Culebra, Puerto

Mamacita’s Waterfront Grill Culebra, Puerto

Boat pulling up to Mamacita's Culebra, Puerto Rico

Boat pulling up to Mamacita’s Culebra, Puerto Rico

At times, the boats were rafted up three deep.

Boat pulling up to Mamacita's Culebra, Puerto Rico

Boats pulling up to Mamacita’s Culebra, Puerto Rico

We had to be carefull backing up our dinghy when departing as there was an impressive school of Tarpon positioned just off the dinghy dock behind our dinghy.

School of Tarpon behind our dinghy, Culebra Puerto Rico

School of Tarpon behind our dinghy, Culebra Puerto Rico

PALMAS DEL MAR, HUMACAO

When we originally set our course for mainland Puerto Rico, we had considered going to Marina Puerto del Rey, in Fajardo, since it was positioned further away from where Hurricane Maria touched ground and we had heard reports that it had fared well. However, when we reached out to our dear friend Glenda, who manages The Yacht Club at Palmas del Mar, where we had stayed previously [See Palmas del Mar (2015) and Puerto Rico (2015)] , she assured us that the marina was up and running and ready for visitors. We did not hesitate to return, and are happy to report that, despite being a 1/4 mile north from where Hurricane Maria came ashore in Puerto Rico, Palmas del Mar is indeed a welcoming haven for visiting yachts. The docks, seawall and utilities (electric, water & Wi-Fi) were all in good working order.

Ryan washing the salt off the boat, The Yacht Club Marina at Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico

Ryan washing the salt off the boat, The Yacht Club Marina at Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico

Ronan & Ryan, Palmas Del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Ronan & Ryan, Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico (Vieques in the background)

Fuel was available, and the marina also offered convenient in-slip fueling.

In slip fueling, The Yact Club Marina at Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Charlie facilitating in-slip fueling, The Yacht Club Marina at Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Provisioning was available at the nearby (walking distance)  plaza where all of the shops and restaurants were open, including a small well stocked grocery store.

Palmas Del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Palmas Del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Palmas Del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

The multitude of sport fishermen boats in Plaza del Puerto seemed to have fared well.

Palmas Del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Plaza del Puert, Palmas Del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Plaza del Puerto, Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

We rented a car from “Target,” the on-premises car rental agency, and drove 25 minutes inland to Plaza Centro Mall, in Caguas. The mall, houses many familiar U.S. chains, including Pet Smart, IHOP, Sam’s Club, Costco & Walmart (all open and fully stocked), which facilitated our provisioning for the remainder of our journey north.

Plaza Centro Mall, Caguas, Puerto Rico

Plaza Centro Mall, Caguas, Puerto Rico

Like so many other Caribbean destinations, Palmas del Mar provided spectacular sunsets.

Sunset at The Yacht Club Marina at Palmas Del Mar Marina, Humacao, Puerto Rico

Sunset at The Yacht Club Marina at Palmas del Mar Marina, Humacao, Puerto Rico

PUERTO REAL, CABO ROJO

From Palmas del Mar, we set a course west along the south coast of Puerto Rico. Our next port of call was Marina Pescadaria, in Puerto Real Bay, in Cabo Rojo, located on the soutwest coast of Puerto Rico.

Marina Pescaderia, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Marina Pescaderia, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Marina Pescadaria is a full service marina and was fully operational (water, electric, Wi-Fi and fuel). We were welcomed by our old friend, and marina manager, Jose, who has vast knowledge of the marine industry and Puerto Rico. There is a plethora of nearby restaurants and shops for provisioning. Marina Pescadaria is a good location to stage while awaiting an appropriate weather window to cross the Mona Passage.

During our stay in Puerto Rico, we heard many stories of damage and loss from the storm. We witnessed, first hand, the ongoing rebuilding efforts firmly underway. Everyone we encountered was resiliently looking forward. If approaching Puerto Rico by sea, Marina Pescadaria, Palmas del Mar and Culebra are ready to welcome you.

Our next port of call, Dominican Republic …

Cane Garden Bay, BVIs (March 2018)

CANE GARDEN BAY, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – by Theresa

Last post on the British Virgin Islands, and then on to Puerto Rico. Our last stop in the British Virgin Islands (BVIs) was Cane Garden Bay, a large sheltered bay, on the nortwest end of Tortola. The bay was full of mooring balls, and several beachside restaurants and shops were open for business. The dinghy dock was missing some boards but was still usable.

Dinghy dock, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Dinghy dock, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Quintos, which use to be located at the base of the dock (to the right), regrettably did not survive the storm.

Quintos Restaurant, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Quintos Restaurant, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Like the other islands we visited in the BVIs, new construction and repairs take place right alongside the damaged structures.

Construction, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Construction, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

We were thrilled to see that our favorite spot in Cane Garden Bay, Myett’s, had reopened for business.

Myett’s is open in Cane Garden Bay, BVIs (March 2018)

Myett’s is open in Cane Garden Bay, BVIs (March 2018)

Myett's Restaurant, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Myett’s Restaurant, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Randy at Myett's Restaurant, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Randy at Myett’s Restaurant, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Ryan at Myett's Restaurant, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Ryan at Myett’s Restaurant, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVIs (March 2018)

Myett’s is Cane Garden Bay, BVIs (March 2018)

Myett’s in Cane Garden Bay, BVIs (March 2018)

In addition to great food and ambiance, Myett’s is a prime spot for catching spectacular sunsets.

Sunset view from Myett’s is Cane Garden Bay, BVIs (March 2018)

Sunset view from Myett’s (looking out towards Jost Van Dyke) in Cane Garden Bay, BVIs (March 2018)

Ronan, sunset, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Ronan walking the beach at sunset, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Cane Garden Bay, BVIs (March 2018)

Cane Garden Bay, BVIs (March 2018)

In sum, the BVIs suffered significant damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, however, no amount of hurricanes can take away the intrinsic beauty of these islands or the strength and fortitude of the people who live in these islands. The turquoise blue waters, the magnificent sunsets and the friendly hospitality of the people all remain and make cruising these islands well worth the visit!

Foxy’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, Jost Van Dyke, VIs, (March 2018)

JOST VAN DYKE, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – by Theresa

GREAT HARBOR

Six months after Hurricane Irma, Jost Van Dyke, like much of the BVIs, displays the dichotomy of destruction and regrowth. In the days immediately following Hurricane Irma, the cruisers’ and charter boat hot spot, “Foxy’s,” in Great Harbor, served as a center for refuge and relief disbursements. Six months later, Foxy’s is up and running and celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a grand soirée. Foxy, with his whimsical sense of humor, sang at the 50th Anniversary celebration, what has become known as “Foxy’s Hurricane Irma Song.

Ryan & Ronan at Foxy's, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

Ryan & Ronan at Foxy’s, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

Foxy's ,Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

Foxy’s, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

Ryan & Ronan, Jenga at Foxy's, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

Ryan & Ronan, Jenga at Foxy’s, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, seemed to have fewer mooring balls than were available in previous visits, however, there was plenty of room to anchor and the harbor was full of boats.

Great Harobor, Jost Van Dyke (March 2018)

Great Harobor, Jost Van Dyke (March 2018)

There is also a brand new dinghy dock directly in front of Foxy’s.

New dinghy dock, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

New dinghy dock, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

New dinghy dock in front of Foxy's, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

New dinghy dock in front of Foxy’s, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

Customs and Immigration services are available a short walk down the beach, in Great Harbor. It is a good place to clear in, if heading south, or out, if heading north. Along the beach, are the lingering signs of Hurricane Irma’s destruction, and the resiliency of the recovery efforts.

Relief tent in a box, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

Relief tent in a box, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

Corsair's is rebuilding

Corsair’s is rebuilding

WHITE HARBOR

With Pilots’ Discretion securely moored in Great Harbor, we rode the dinghy over to White Harbor. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma, weekly flotillas cruised into White Bay to assist in the rebuilding efforts. Six months later, as we were repeatedly told “the drinks are still cold and the water is still blue.”  The infamous Soggy Dollar and Hendo’s were both open and fully operational.

Scott & Randy walking ashore to the Soggy Dollar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

Scott & Randy walking ashore to the Soggy Dollar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

Ronan, Ryan, Randy & Scott heading into Soggy Dollar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

Ronan, Ryan, Randy & Scott heading into Soggy Dollar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

Hendo’s, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

New palm trees outside Soggy Dollar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

New palm trees outside Soggy Dollar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

Soggy Dollar & Hendo's, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

Soggy Dollar & Hendo’s, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

White Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

White Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs, (March 2018)

Soggy Dollar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke (March 2018)

Soggy Dollar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke (March 2018)

LITTLE HARBOR

Little Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, appeared, to us, to be the hardest hurricane hit harbor on Jost Van Dyke. On previous visits to Jost Van Dyke, we always spent a few nights in Little Harbor because it seemed quieter and quainter to us (translation fewer party boats and more family  friendly). Sidney’s Peace and Love, Harris’ Restaurant and Abe’s were all places not to be missed. Now they are all missing.

The old Sidney’s Peace and Love restaurant and souvenir shop (located to the left of the two white doors in the photos below, is completely  gone. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma, a large ferry boat landed atop the building wiping out the entire structure. We were glad to see that Sidney’s niece “Strawberry” has since reopened the restaurant on the other side of the building.

Sidney’s Peace & Love, little Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIS (March 2018)

Sidney’s Peace & Love is open, little Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIS (March 2018)

Harris’ Restaurant was likewise completely  destroyed, but is reportedly rebuilding soon.

Harris’s restaurant is gone, but is reportedly rebuilding, Little Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

Harris’s restaurant is gone, but is reportedly rebuilding, Little Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs (March 2018)

Leaving Jost Van Dyke astern, we next cruised over to another one of our favorite bays in the BVIs, Cane Garden Bay. . .

Ronan, Randy, Theresa, Ryan & Scott, Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

ANEGADA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS -by Theresa

We arrived in Anegada, and she steadfastly did not disappoint us! The water was the clear turquois blue seen mostly on postcards.

Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

There were plenty of available moorings and multiple dinghy docks to land the dinghy. The lobsters at the Anegada Reef Hotel (still run by Lorraine) were, as we remembered them, the size of small ponies. Cow Wreck Beach, pristine and isolated, remains one of my favorite beaches in all of the Caribbean.

Randy & Scott at Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Randy & Scott at Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Cow Wreck Country Club, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Cow Wreck Country Club, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Scott, Ronan & Ryan, Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Scott, Ronan & Ryan, Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

During our last visit to Anegada, Randy and the boys took a picture in front of the gag hurricane evacuation sign.

Patton, Randy, Ryan, Ronan, Cow Wreck Beach, BVI

Patton, Randy, Ryan, Ronan, Cow Wreck Beach, BVI

Ironically, hurricane Irma spared this sign and most of Anegada.

Ronan, Randy, Theresa, Ryan & Scott, Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Ronan, Randy, Theresa, Ryan & Scott, Cow Wreck Beach, Anagada, BVIs (March 2018)

Our next stop, another one of our favorite spots, Jost Van Dyke . . .

LEVERICK BAY & GORDA SOUND, TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – by Therresa

We picked up a mooring ball at the Leverick Bay Resort where there was evidence of hurricane damage in the form of a few blue tarps on the roofs of some of the structures and several large boats that had been washed firmly ashore. Many mooring balls were missing pendants, so we radioed Leverick Bay Resort, who guided us to a usable mooring. The resort was in the full on party mode with live music and all of the restaurants, bars and souvenir shops open for business.

Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

It was almost surreal that this place could be so much business as usual when across the bay (Gorda Sound), the destruction was total and complete. From Leverick Bay, we ventured just around the corner to Gorda Sound where many of our very favorite spots in the BVIs were located. [See British Virgin Islands (2015) Saba Rock had a great restaurant and boutique hotel – totally destroyed. We have been informed there are plans in  place to rebuild.

Saba Rock, Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda (March 2018)

Saba Rock, Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda (March 2018)

Directly across the water taxi channel was the Bitter End Yacht Club – reduced to piles of broken lumber and smashed furniture. 

Bitter And Yacht Club, North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

Bitter And Yacht Club, North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

Ryan & Ronan surveying the hurricane damage, Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

Ryan & Ronan surveying the hurricane damage, Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

Our favorite spot in the world for roti, The Fat Virgin – completely destroyed.

Fat Virgin, North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

Fat Virgin, North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

Next to the Fat Virgin was a series of small but very nice homes and cottages where the local workers lived. All of their homes have been totally leveled, their livelihoods destroyed. Many of these people will have to retrain for other work, leave or both.

There was a magnificent Yacht Club designed with docks for mega yachts in Biras Creek. The docks are completely gone and the majestic white building that served as an exclusive restaurant and club house is boarded up, watched over by a couple of security guards.

Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVIs (March 2018)

Gorda sound was eerily full of empty mooring ball. In sum, six month’s after Hurricane Irma, Gorda sound is complete void of eany boats or restaurants or resources. Leverick Bay, on the other hand, is a good spot to spend the night on a mooring and dine ashore. It is also a prime local for an early morning launch to our all time favorite spot in the BVIs, Anegada, which we were informed escaped Irma’s wrath. More on Anegada in our following post.

Westerbeak Marine Generator

How to Change the Oil in a Marine Generator in a Vessel With an Electric Oil Change System – by Ryan

On a vessel, everybody needs to know how to do everything. If one member of the crew is not there to take care of something, another person must be able to complete the task. On most boats, electricity comes from the generator and it runs on fuel. To keep running the generator requires its oil to be changed every one hundred running hours. This process is not as easy as just buying some oil and filling a tank, but needs an assortment of supplies and it takes many steps to complete this job. First, you must gather the appropriate supplies. This includes:

  • Motor oil of proper viscosity,
  • 5 gallon bucket,
  • Funnel,
  • New generator filter,
  • Garden hose,
  • Paper towels; and
  • 1 ½″ thick 3′ long rubber hose.

Before you start, it is a good idea to have paper towels, or special oil absorbent cloths, set aside to wipe down spilled oil or to clean the area that you are working in.

Once in the engine room, open the generator selector valve and attach the rubber hose to the pump discharge fitting. Place the 5 gallon bucket at the end of the rubber hose that is not being used. Flip the pump switch to drain position and pump the dirty oil into the bucket.

Ryan pumping the old fuel out of the generator

Ryan pumping the old oil out of the generator.

Next, disconnect the oil hose pump, wipe off any residual oil, and stow it away.

Ryan disconnecting the oil pump hose

Ryan disconnecting the oil pump hose

Coil the hose, wipe it clean & put stow it away

Coil the hose, wipe it clean & stow it away

Stowing the hose away

Stowing the hose away

Next, locate and unscrew the old oil filter. Clean the threads of the oil filter with paper towels, and securely dispose of any residual oil in the old oil filter.

Ryan pointing to the old oil filter

Ryan pointing to the old oil filter

Remove the old oil filter

Remove the old oil filter

Drain oil out of old oil filter into secure receptacle

Drain oil out of old oil filter into secure receptacle

Securely dispose of old oil filter

Securely dispose of old oil filter

Before installing the new oil filter wipe clean oil on the O-ring of it.

Dip finger in oil to lube ring of new oil filter

Dip finger in oil to lube ring of new oil filter

Lube outer ring of new filter with clean oil

Lube outer ring of new filter with clean oil

After wiping clean oil on the new filter, screw it in where the old oil filter was and hand tighten.

Secure new oil filter. Tighten with hand grip.

Secure new oil filter. Tighten with hand grip.

Next, disconnect the rubber hose from the pump discharge fitting. Pop the cap off where the oil is to be inserted into the generator and insert a funnel.

With funnel securely in oil input valve, pour in new diesel oil

With funnel securely in oil input valve, pour in new diesel oil

Carefully, pick up the five quart container with clean oil and pour approximately 4 quarts through the funnel. Be sure to pour it slowly or it will overflow over the funnel making a mess.

With funnel secure in oil input valve, add Diesel Oil

With funnel secure in oil input valve, add Diesel Oil

After adding approximately four (4) quarts of oil, take out the dip stick to check its level.

Ryan checking the dip stick oil level

Ryan checking the dip stick oil level

If the dip stick does not reflect the amount of oil inserted into the generator, you should probably check for a leak or other malfunction that could cause this. If the dip stick indicates it needs more oil, then  poor one more quart of oil through funnel before placing the cap back on.

Add another quart of oil

Add another quart of oil

Since this is a messy job, now would be the time to wipe down any spilled oil with paper towels, or oil absorbent cloths and to securely dispose of all of the garbage from this project.

Use oil absorbent cloth to clean any drips and spills

Use oil absorbent cloth to clean any drips and spills

Cleaning the engine room bilge

Cleaning the engine room bilge

It is also helpful to spray down the engine room with a garden hose to further clean up the mess. Once everything is closed back up, you should run the generator with no load to check for leaks. If there are not any leaks seal up the generator cover.

Close up and secure sound shield covering on generator

Close up and secure sound shield covering on generator

Secure sound and fire proof generator shield

Secure sound and fire proof generator shield

Finally, so you know when to change the oil next, log the generator’s hours in your captain’s log.

New marina at Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

NANNY CAY, TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGINGISLANDS, SIX MONTHS AFTER HURRICANE IRMA

When we arrived at Nanny Cay, we realized that the marina that we have known for many years was no longer there. In a separate and newly constructed sheltered basin, Nanny Cay has built a brand new marina with very substantial, state of the art floating docks, complete with 50 & 60 Hz power, potable water and high speed internet.

New marina at Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

New marina at Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

A walk of a few hundred yards takes you to where the previous docks once were. In their place are many hulks and partially sunken boats of every description.

Old marina docks at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

Old marina docks at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

Old marina at Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

Old marina at Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

For us, Nanny Cay quickly became the dichotomy that is the current maritime industry in the BVIs. Many new and gleaming boats and support facilities standing next to boats and structures that have been irreparably damaged beyond recognition.

New fleet of Marine Max Power Cats in new Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

New fleet of Marine Max Power Cats in new Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

Salvaged vessel in the boat yard, Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

Salvaged vessel in the boat yard, Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

New cell tower, Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

New cell tower, Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

Flowers blooming in front of destroyed Peg Legs Reestaurant, Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

Flowers blooming in front of destroyed Peg Legs Restaurant, Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI (March 2018)

That said, there was fuel available at the fuel dock and the boat yard, shops and restaurants were open for service. There was also a well supplied chandlery on premises. We were met with smiling faces of the staff that have now become our friends, their strength through adversity is both humbling and reassuring.

During our stay in Nanny Cay we discovered a stow away aboard Pilots’ Discretion.

Stow away, Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Stow away, Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

It turns out our stow away “Truffles” actually resided on a neighboring boat, and just liked spending time on our boat.

While at Nanny Cay we also encountered another creature, unlike any that any of us had ever seen before. It was about 6′-8″ in diameter and glided through the water with wing-like grace, bobbing its upper extremity up and down out of the water.

Aplysia Morio

Aplysia Morio

Unable to determine is species, we posted a video of it online, soliciting the input from of our Caribbean diving buddies to help us identify the curious creature.

We were subsequently informed that it is an Aplysia Morio, the Atlantic Black Sea Hare or Sooty Sea Hare, a species of sea slug. It is a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Aplysiidae, the sea hares. It lives in warm waters in the Caribbean Sea and off the south and southeastern coast of the United States, where it feeds on seaweed. seaweed.harehttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aplysia_morio

After spending a few days at Nanny Cay, provisioning, tending to boat maintenance and generally relaxing, we welcomed aboard one of Randy’s fellow pilots and friend “Scott” for a quick visit. Scott had previously visited us in the BVIs several years ago so we were curious to see what his reaction would be to the post hurricane islands. Day 1 with Scott aboard, we departed Nanny Cay for Gorda Sound on the north end of Virgin Gorda (and the site of some of the most devastating Hurricane Irma damage). More on Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda in our next post.