Category Archives: Tortola

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.

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.