Friday, November 03, 2006

Oct. 31 - Tortola

Got up this morning at the ungodly hour, for us, of 7:30 AM. No use trying to sleep too late on a boat with Bob aboard! I am not sure what time we first heard him up, but I did open one eye enough to see that it was still plenty dark outside.

The plan today was to leave the US Virgin Islands at St. John's and go into the British Virgin Islands for a few days. We went through Customs and Immigrations on Tortola around lunch time today. Below is a photo of the Customs House taken from Sirena's mooring in the harbor.

Bob, Gene, and myself motored ashore in the dingy to clear Customs while Peggy stayed on board Sirena and fixed lunch (we took her passport and filled out her paper work.) It was something to see these very formal British Custom's officials in their starched, dress uniforms. I felt they needed a flashing neon sign that said, “Warning – Bureaucracy Ahead.” There was form after form in six point type and triplicate.

The only undotted “i” was that Peggy (who was not there) had forgotten to sign her passport. It was not an issue but, when we got back to the boat, we told her it was a HUGE problem and they wanted to see her in customs immediately! Furthermore, we were told that the three of us could not come back ashore under any circumstances and that she would have to take the dingy in by herself (which she had never driven). This had the potential to become a practical joke that would go down in the record books until Bob couldn't contain himself and cracked up. All it would have taken was another two minutes and we would have had her into the dingy and launched.

A couple of minor electrical problems to repair in Tortola and we were on our way into the British Virgin Islands. Stopped at Sand Island for some snorkeling and saw a lot of interesting sea life. I think Peggy's experience was the most interesting in that she had a Barracuda, almost as big as she was, pull up next to her, within arm's reach, and swim along in formation for awhile.

Afterwards, we sailed on to a nice anchorage and went ashore and had dinner. It was Halloween night and lots of kids, dressed as pirates, kept coming in the restaurant to trick or treat. It was a lot of fun. After we got back out to the boat I tried to get an internet connection to post this, but couldn't quite do it. It was there, but just a little to far away. Darn, I will hold it until tomorrow.

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