captain’s log
August is pretty much the end of the charter season in the BVI. I had two sailing catamaran charters scheduled. The first was on a boat named "Here Today" which I thought was a rather ominous name for a boat. There were two families from Rochester, New York onboard. The boat was on its final charter as the owner was taking it out of the fleet for personal use. Although we had a few mechanical problems with the boat, we had a great time sailing around the islands.
The middle of August saw the season's first atlantic hurricane, Hurricane Dean. Dean was originally forecast to pass over the Virgin Islands, however due to a strong high pressure in the North Atlantic that kept Dean south and on a westerly track, the storm passed far enough to our south that it had minimal impact on our area. There were strong, gusty winds and larger than normal waves, but not much to worry about.
Sailing around the BVI in August had an eerie feel to it. There were not many boats around, leaving the anchorages fairly empty and some of the places we would normally visit on  charter were already closed for the season. In a way it was good because we did not have to deal with overly busy anchorages and the like.
The second charter that finished off the month and the season was on a fairly new 47ft Nautitech sailing catamaran. Three families from the Toronto, Canada area were traveling together on two sailing catamarans. There were young children, teenagers and adults aboard the two boats. The main activity for this trip was scuba diving for the adults and teenagers. Some 40 scuba cylinders were loaded on the two boats as there was lots of scuba diving planned. The group had been to the BVI several times before, so they already new where they wanted to go.
In the summer months when the north swells are not running, it is possible to visit and dive on the North side of Tortola and Jost Van Dyke. North side dive sites are different than the normal dive sites around the south-side islands. They offer sometimes exciting marine life encounters and topography that is not normally seen on other dive sites. The topography is interesting with huge boulders that form canyons and swim-throughs.
For the month of September, I will be away visiting the Dominican Republic and Canada. A good time to chill out before the BVI charter season starts again in October!
August 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007