First day on Tortola

May 2nd, 2007, 03:16 PM
Posts: n/a
First day on Tortola

Hi, We arrived to Tortola about 8pm last night. We left Sioux Falls, SD at 5AM with connections in Minneapolis, Newark, and San Juan. We started with NW airlines, switched to CO in Newark and finally Cape Air in SJ. We were upgraded to first class all the way because my husband is an elite member with NW. We think CO is superior to NW on all accounts. We have used Cape Air many times now with excellent results.

We are staying at Mongoose Apts on Cane Garden Bay. Spotless, wireless for my husband, good AC in the bedroom, helpful owner, and a short walk to the beach. Our only complaint is that we are completely surrounded by trees without a glimpse of the ocean. I would look for different lodging if we were to return. $135/night with AC.

This morning we walked, explored the area,and bought a few groceries. We found a bakery just as it started raining. We started talking to the four gals working there. This was hard for us to believe, but the owner of the bakery also sells insurance for a company based in Sioux Falls, and she is going to attend a meeting there. I gave her my name and phone number to call us when and if she does manage to get to SF. Our conversation with those ladies was the highlight of my day.

We did go snorkeling off CGB beach. There was very little color and very little nice coral. We still enjoyed ourselves. Other visitors said we will have better luck at Smugglers or Brewers.

Tomorrow it is our all day trip with a couple from Canada which was arranged after talking on another forum. We don't want rain!!
May 2nd, 2007, 04:31 PM
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For a fun bar, music and dinner, do go to Quito's. Also Myett's for a nice lunch or dinner; on some nights they have live entertainment. For a good burger or ribs, go to Stanley's (where Jimmy Buffet got inspiration for "Cheeseburger in Paradise." For a fancy, dress-up dinner and killer sunset, go to Brandywine. For the most incredible pasta jambalaya in the world, visit Spaghetti Junction in Road Town. Other questions? Please write. jg
May 3rd, 2007, 04:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 205
hi owa
wow are we going to get a day by day tr??.
we lugged all our snorkeling gear but never ended up using it. we did hear that the good snorkeling was at smugglers.

try to get to quito's and see him, simply great. on fri and sat nights he plays with his band. great music people of all ages just blended as one on the dance floor. we still talk about going back over just to go to quito's!!
enjoy the rest of your trip. any plans for a day trip to jvd??
soggydollar is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
What a treat it is to get a taste of your trip while you're still down there! HOpe the weather is great for your daysail and that you continue to enjoy yourselves. Can't wait to hear all about the whole trip after you're back!
ejcrowe is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 63
Don't miss the party on JVD tomorrow nite!!!!! I am so's barely 60 here!!!
shariej is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 205
oh, now i am jealous...what party??
soggydollar is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 63
Isn't there always a party on JVD on Fri night????? We always managed to find one there.
shariej is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Day two and what a day!! Mainly due to the weather and the wonderful visibility for snorkeling. Colin said today was the best weather day in two
weeks. How lucky is that.

We went on a trip with Colin from Eco-Tours based on JVD. We went with a couple from Canada arranged by talking on TTOL followed by phone calls and e-mails. We were a match in our desire to snorkel as much as possible at sites of our choice. We decided to take lunch with us to save time. We paid $400 for the boat plus $250 for gas. Janet and Bob came from JVD at 10AM to start our day with a return at
5PM. Colin supplied water and oranges. Not a booze cruise.

We started with a stop at Little Thatch. My husband and I thought it was one we would like to have a return trip to stay longer. The water was warm and calm. Our next stop was Norman Island and the Caves followed by a stop at a point near there, and finally the Indians. Colin said it was a rare day to stop at the Caves with only two other boats there. The Indians were not crowded either. Again, because of the fantastic visibility, we were very happy with the diversity and condition of the coral.

Thanks for all the suggestions for our evenings. We had every intention of going out tonight, but I'm fading fast. We are out of bed early in the morning at home. The habit doesn't leave us on vacation.

Tomorrow we have rented a car to explore Tortola.
May 3rd, 2007, 03:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 997
Thanks so much Owa for these wonderful daily updates ! How kind of you to take the time to make us all smile for you and with you !!

There is much to be said for vicarious pleasure and your reports provide that pleasure !

I wish you continued good weather, and some restful evening time to be ready for your next adventure !


MarionCK is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 06:22 PM
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owa, I am writing to tell you that I am leaving on Monday to join my DH for 5 weeks on our catamaran; he is already there. This much time will be a first for me, and I have more than a little anxiety about how I will do. Out boat is chartered out of Tortola and we have been going down for several years--on boat and on land.

Since you do have a car, do take a trip up to the top of the mountain for the greatest view you will have of the islands. If you are hikers, also bring your boots as this is an incredible hike through a rain-forest type of environment.

Before you take out for your adventure, be sure to pick up a few great meat pies (beef or chicken) from this great bakery on the outskirts of Road Town--anybody there can tell you where it is, and they are easy to transport and eat in car.

If you want any more tips, please write. BTW, how long will you be there? Might me nice to connect. jg
May 4th, 2007, 01:53 AM
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jg, We leave tomorrow morning for a week on VG. Thanks for all the information.

We are up drinking our first cup of coffee. We will make all efforts to go to Quito's tonight.
May 4th, 2007, 04:40 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
owa, as Marion said, this daily checkin is providing us much pleasure. I'm so delighted that you had perfect weather for your outing yesterday and I hope it continues for the rest of your trip.

When you get back I'll want to ply you with questions about the snorkeling around the Indians and the Caves, but until then, have a great time!
ejcrowe is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Day three. I'm wanting to write while I am here, because when I get home it will be time to plant.

We had a fantastic snorkel day. We left the room at 630Am for Smugglers. Needless to say, there wasn't any one else there. We started on the left side (facing the water) first. We swam all the way to the rocks at the point. There wasn't much to see in terms of healthy coral until we did get to the end. We are trying to figure out a large (3ft) fish that kept circling us in groups. They didn't seem bothered by us. Looked straight at us and glared. We thought they might be a bar jack, but can't find the same shape in our book. We also saw a couple of large palometa at this end. We then swam across the span of the beach (saw nothing basically) to the right side. This is where we hit the jackpot. We probably went about half a mile along the rocks next to shore. It was wonderful exploring around and in the deep crevice of each boulder. There were trillions of silverslides sparkling in the sun's rays. It was hard to see the bottom at times even though it was crystal clear visibility. Lots of fans, elkhorn, pillar and brain coral. Lots of fish. We had one of those snorkeling experiences that still leaves us shaking our heads. I spotted a huge, and I mean huge lobster climbing up a boulder. He was three feet long, on the move and absolutely beautiful. Looking in our book, it was a caribbean spiny lobster. I'll admit I didn't realize lobsters could be that big. As I was watching, my husband tugged on my fin. We watched a nurse shark slowly swim by us. Next we see an octopus free swim to a rock and stop. Many times unless they are swimming they are hard to spot. There were many of the long fish we thought were jacks. Again, just circled us slowly. Wonderful, wonderful experience. I couldn't figure out why I was getting tired, or why I thought I was burning. I din't have my watch with me this time. We asked someone the time when we exited. It was noon. We had been in the water five hours. Time flew. We had one fish plate from a stand right on the beach. It was horrible.

We then decided to try Brewer's Bay. I don't know if we went to the wrong area, but it was not good. Just a few fish, and coral was colorless. Plus, I felt like a real whimp when I just didn't have any energy left. I told my husband I had to get out. Also, I am dark skinned, but even with sun screen, I was hurting.

Tomorrow morning we head to Virgin Gorda and Biras Creek. It will be nice to be in a room with a view!!
May 4th, 2007, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
owa - i can't even say how much i am enjoying your daily reports. i share your devotion to snorkeling. this seems the perfect way to do a trip report with every detail fresh in your mind. how wonderful that you got to see the giant lobster and the octopus! i've never seen either. is it biras that gives you a zodiak or some small boat to use? looking forward to each report now - if only you could stay indefinetly.
virginia is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 04:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,558
Hi Owa, have enjoyed reading so far and am really keeping my fingers crossed you will be able to continue to write once at Biras Creek. We will be on VG in 4 days! Sadly, I think we will just miss one another.
Cheers, Maggi
Maggi is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,532
Hi Owa: enjoying reading about your trip. Maybe the 3 ft. fish was a barrecuda? A tarpon perhaps? Hope the rest of your trip goes swimmingly.
Tuxedocat is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 436
I am so enjoying your daily reports. Thank you for taking the time!
Love the snorkeling highlights!
mahobaygirl is offline  

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