3 May 2011, Norman Island, BVI to Caneel Bay, USVI

Marine Forecast: It was going to be nice for the rest of the week, so we stopped listening.

This was the big travel day with BBQ in Cruz Bay, St. John as the prize at the end. We had a nice hour of downwind sail to Frenchman’s Cay (9-10), then motored to Soper’s Hole Marina for fuel, water, and more ice, then picked up a mooring ball to finish with provisions and C&I. Ginger drove the big boat and the small boat all morning (except for docking).

After getting our third and final case of beer (Carib), we zinged to customs for checkout only to find that the copies of our entrance cards were wanted before they would let us out of the BVIs. Another to and fro, with fraying nerves, and we were finally underway. (Time at Soper’s 11-1.) Ginger made tuna wraps with cheese while The Skipper drove, and after a moment’s testiness navigating around Johnson’s Reef, it was a smooth ride to Caneel Bay in a light rain, arriving at 2:15. To ease the way through US C&I, as instructed, we tried to make ourselves as presentable as 6 days on a boat with minimal showering would allow. Thank goodness we snorkeled the day before.

We dinghied to C&I through some swell and chop off the point and since there weren’t too many boats, tied up at the US C&I dock. Yes, the National Parks dinghy dock was just across the cove (and very full), but we wanted to do the right thing, at least this time. Paperwork was all good, and when it came time to pay the docking fee at the second desk, the woman couldn’t find our boat name in her machine, so waved us through! After a chat with the nice Agriculture Officer that had me wondering about the status of our fruit, we drove around the corner to find a dinghy dock in town.

Scored a parking spot at a dock in front of the bars and scored a well-earned beer. We were the first customers when Uncle Joe’s opened at 5, and we tucked into our combination platters (chicken and pork ribs) with two sides. Like the BBQ at Leverick’s, this was cooked over hickory but instead of a spice rub, Uncle Joe’s used a spicy, tomato-based sauce to baste and then cover the meat. Add the flaming pepper sauce from the table, and yes, it was totally worth the trip.

I didn’t fancy driving around the point in the dark, so we dinghied back to the boat for the last of a fantastic sunset with drinks. After a long day, we were treated to yet another roll-y night. We moored at the outside edge of the field and closer to Cruz Bay so were exposed to the vagaries of the Caneel ferry and other boat traffic plus a solid north swell. If there were enough daylight left, we might have moved the boat further up the bay, but I noticed everyone was rockin’.

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