Be and Be: in the British Virgin Islands

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“We reached land in a deserted anchorage, just as we like them, to the south of Beef Island, Tortola’s neighbor. Access to the bay is easy and well-charted, yet we were alone, whilst we could count tens of masts in the anchorages round about. The night was black, and to prepare ourselves for the tricky passages next year, we cut between Fallen Jerusalem and Virgin Gorda, a passage which has the reputation of being tricky even in broad daylight. To make things more difficult, there are some reefs right in the middle, called ‘The Blinders’. As we passed, we had 2 knots of flood current. Olivia lit up the coast, but then changed her mind: “I think it’s best we can’t see it.” Once we arrived in the shelter of the island, we rolled and furled, before dropping anchor in the north of Saint Thomas Bay, opposite the Customs office, and all this in a night which was still just as black. We returned during the day, and concluded that we wouldn’t have passed ‘on sight’...
Virgin Gorda is the easternmost of the 60 islands which make up the BVI. It was named by Christopher Columbus, who saw in its relief the curves of a woman lying on her back. Moreover, the main town is called Spanish Town, and Spanish is present everywhere, including on the official customs documents, which are bilingual, with English. The hurricane season officially starts on 1st June; we went to check out Paraquita Bay, the local ‘hurricane hole’, in the south of Tortola. Once inside, there ...

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