This is day 3 of my trip journal of sailing for a week in the British Virgin Islands. For an introduction and day 1, please click here.
Day 3: The Indians and Cooper Island
We woke up early. Correction, half of the boat (my father and boyfriend) got up early and started our trip to the Indians. The Indians is a very popular diving and snorkeling site that my parents had tried to go to on their last trip to BVI, but found out the hard way that you had to get there very early to get a mooring buoy. However, if you arrive at around 7:30am, like we did, there were plenty of moorings available. Good thing too because the first buoy my father aimed our boat for ended up being a dud with a broken loop (told you, it’s a theme…).
Safely moored, and after a couple of cups of instant coffee (my definition of “roughing it”), my boyfriend was sent out to investigate if it was safe to swim. You know, because of course you send out the daughter’s boyfriend, just in case there’s a shark in the water. You never know – you might get lucky. In all fairness, you couldn’t keep my boyfriend out of the water if you tried. I’m pretty sure he’s at least 50% fish.
The boyfriend gave us an enthusiastic thumbs-up, and so we took turns going snorkeling. This was the first time I saw a tropical fish that wasn’t in an aquarium. I have to admit, I almost had a bit of a panic attack. Growing up in Canada, you get used to swimming in cold, freshwater lakes where you usually can’t see anything. This was something completely different, and I was overwhelmed by the feeling that I was interloping on an alien landscape. And yes, there are some pictures.
After a morning of snorkeling, we sailed for a few hours through lunch to our mooring for the night at Manchioneel Bay at Cooper Island. We got the dinghy going today, a small motor boat you use to go ashore when your boat is on a mooring buoy and you’re surrounded by water. Normally, the dinghy is tied to the stern of the boat, and dragged along while you sail. Manchioneel Bay has a lovely beachside restaurant/bar that seems to be part of an island hotel; no doubt way outside of my price range.
After paying for our mooring buoy at the restaurant, we took the dinghy out to another snorkel site, on the edge of the anchorage. There’s a tie off line for dinghies there, so it wasn’t too hard to find. The biggest challenge was getting back into the dinghy after snorkeling. Fortunately, I had some help, and I’m glad no one snapped a photo of my graceful, “beached whale” impression.