Tuesday, December 8, 2009
After Road Town, we headed toward Norman Island, home of the Wille T floating boat bar and reputed buried pirate treasure. Though when here 17 years ago, I was young and crazy enough to do a body shot on the bar, this year we just watched the crazy drunken sailors. We met 6 guys on a boat from Rhode Island who bought us beers, danced, chatted us up and invited us back to "party" on their chartered catamaran. After assuring them that 9:00 p.m. was our bed time and we were old enough to be their parents, we left the craziness.
After two snorkeling adventures in the Caves and Indians, we felt the reefs were in respectable shape after 17 years of abuse by boat loads of tourists. The fish followed us around after being trained that boats and snorkelers meant food. Our entertainment has been watching the charter boats trying to anchor, pick up moorings and sail. Yesterday an "Emergency" call was heard on the radio. The panicked captain did not know to say "Mayday" or "Pan Pan" and state his position in the event of an emergency. He had ran his Moorings charter boat up on a well charted reef. With no Coast Guard or Boat US to save him, the local restaurants coordinated a rescue after figuring out where he was.
In Roadtown, we spent an afternoon touring 5 year old catamarans coming out of charter and going up for sale. Anyone thinking of buying the sales pitch presented at the boat show about the wonderful income stream chartering gives you should see the boats after 5 years. Even the boats "fixed up" looked trashed to us. Then, after seeing the way the boats are handled, the charter boats do not seem like a good deal. Next to Virgin Gorda, Anguilla and onto St. Maarten.