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Trip Report TORTOLA TRIP REPORT

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Thanks everyone for comments made regarding our trip. We arrived in St. Thomas from FLL on Sat March 14th at 3 pm planning on a quick retreat in order to catch the ferry to Tortola at 4:30 pm. We did have reservations with Smith's Ferry. After looking for our suitcase at STT for an hour, we were starting to get frantic as our luggage was missing and we were holding up the little bus going to the ferry dock. No worries though because the nice man waited for us and I don't think we left until after 5 although there weren't more than 8 people on the ferry. This did take quite a bit longer than we anticipated due to going through customs, which seemed to take a ton of time. We had two couples waiting for us at the nanny Cay Hotel so we were feeling a bit anxious to see them. I'm glad that we did make the reservation through Smith's though because if we hadn't, we would have just missed the boat! Someone drove us to Nanny Cay and we got there about 7 pm, probably about an hr after expected time of arrival - our friends were 'in the sauce' by the time we got there! Planned on going to Quito's but ended up at the PEG LEG instead. This was fun but oh my - we didn't get our supper for a good 2 hrs after ordering!!! The manager ended up sending us over 2 more bottles of wine because of it & that was really the last thing we needed on an empty stomach!!! Anyway, fun was had by all.
next day - woke up early, excited as could be, still no suitcase. Went to the Nanny Cay shops and bought a few things and puttered around until we met at the harbour around the corner at 5 pm on Sunday to get on the boat. Still no suitcase but we still have to go!!
We left numerous messages with Spirit as to how to get in touch with us in case they locate it. Our first night ended up being a bit cool but woke up to nice skies and started off the day with a beautiful snorkel at some caves. The day ended up cloudy and rainy but we got a nice morning first. We were a bit worried at that time because we heard that the week before wasn't ideal weather. When we woke up on Tuesday morning, the weather was beautiful and continued that way until our sail was over. We ended up at the Caves in Virgin Gorda (loved this), Anegada (beautiful lobster dinner on the beach), Michael Beanz (loved that) Foxy's (loved that) and Soggy Dollar (loved that). I think the sailing companies must all follow the same route because we kept meeting the same people over and over! Our thoughts on cruising in the BVI were somewhat mixed - we have only been on one other sail which started from St. Maarten and to tell you the truth, we preferred that because there were fewer boats and more private little isolated islands which we loved. The sailing was beautiful though but we were frustrated at how often our skipper told us we had to leave a place we loved because we had to get a 'mooring ball'. One time, I think it was the Soggy Dollar beach, we were so upset because we 'had' to leave at 2:30 to get a mooring ball someplace which happened to be about 10 min. away....when we got there, there was nothing to do! That frustrated all 6 of us over and over throughout the trip - the skipper seemed to have his own agenda and was not catering at all to what we wanted to do. Our skipper and chef last time we went were far superior to this couple and it did mar our holiday to some extent...they got into a few tense arguments that left us feeling out of place and we felt they weren't professional at all. This was a 44 ft. catamaran with a couple to sail and cook with 3 couples on board.,....does anyone have any comments about this type of thing when you're sailing? It must be hard sharing a boat with 6 strangers but it is their choice to work in this environment. We (the 6 of us) had a fabulous trip and we learned about Painkillers!! If anyone saw someone down there wearing a white pair of socks & no shoes, it was my husband - he burned the top of his feet just horribly! We got off the boat on Sunday and we found out that Immigration had our bags since Monday...still can't understand why Spirit didn't let us know. We kept calling and calling to see if they located our luggage and they would always say NO. Here it was at Customs the whole time so we spent most of our holiday without our luggage but no worries, because we probably packed too much anyway. A thought on this - for a woman, I would take swimsuits, coverups and sundresses, flip flops and that's it! Shorts and t-shirts are even too hot, I find. After we got off the boat on Sunday, the other 2 couples left but hubby and I stayed on at Long Bay Resort for three days which was just great. I loved the time we had there, relaxing. We found the food there to be reasonably priced and quite good actually (had heard unfavourable reports on this) but we were without a car so if you take taxi fare etc to go to a different restaurant, it seemed onerous. we enjoyed walking from our room down the beach to the restaurant, it felt wonderful. The one day we rented a car, first time driving on left hand side but it worked out fine. We went that day to the Sugar Mill Hotel for supper and it really was wonderful, it really isn't that much more than any other place and it was worth it. All in all, we had a great time in Tortola. We caught the ferry back to St. Thomas and weren't crazy about this place although we were only there for about 4/5 hours....just a bunch of shops. I'm sure there's probably lots of beaches etc but we never had the time to look around this island. When we started on our holiday we thought we might try to get to a different island but we didn't realize how big Tortola was, so there was no need to go to a different island when we hadn't even seen the one we were on. Our holiday ended with one night in Fort Lauderdale before we went home ......to 2 ft. of snow!!! This is now April 1st and the weather in Canada has been extreme, no hint of spring yet!! Thanks to everyone who helped me with our plans, it really helps!!

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