The morning was a tad rough after the Welcome Party fun, but we dragged ourselves out of bed to get rolling. We'd pre-ordered all of our groceries (called "provisions" by the sailing crowd), but quickly realized we'd need more snacks and booze if we were going to last a week (half the vodka got used last night!), so we sent a few guys to the grocery store.
A guy came from the yacht company and did a big walk through of how the boat works. There are more systems and machines on this thing than my apartment, but we had to learn the oddities of using yacht bathrooms and kitchens, how to work the generator and the computers, and everything else about the boat itself. There's a lot to it! Thankfully, our Captain has it down pat. He's actually a yacht owner himself, and had volunteered to help us for the week.
With the groceries (and drinks stashed away, we were off on the Armada!
We started out with some quick lessons on the boat and how the sails work from our Captain, and one of the guys in our group who grew up sailing. We practiced tacking and jibing the sails, got the hang of it in the Road Town Harbor, and headed on out to sea!
Most of the BVI sailing is in the Sir Francis Dranke channel, which keeps the water pretty calm and the winds perfect for sailing. For Day One, we had a light day of sailing to get the hang of it, and we quickly zipped across the island to the famous Peter Island Resort, where we anchored at the beach and headed in for cocktails and beach volleyball.
Back on the yacht, we went around Peter Island and over to Norman Island, our destination for the night, anchoring in "The Bight," an old pirate base where treasure was found years ago. We tied the boat to the mooring ball (where we were staying for the night), and got ready for some afternoon fun.
A couple of the guys went ashore to the Pirates Bight restaurant for cocktails and beach time (we have a little outboard boat called a "dingy" that we tow around, and use to go between the big yacht and shore, or to other boats), but I took the dingy and went with a group for some awesome snorkeling at The Caves, a spot just outside the Bight bay. We saw all kind of fish, coral, eels, and a ray. I couldn't wait to go diving tomorrow!
By the time we got back to the boat, a few guys were splashing around on a giant inflatable raft that somebody had brought down, and another group was prepping for our first big "family dinner" night. A few nights of the trip, we'd planned to eat in restaurants, and a few nights we were cooking big dinners.
The guys had made a giant salad, roasted some veggies on the stove, and had steaks on the grill. One of the guys had a new little blond friend who didn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, so we threw an extra one on for him, too.
The charcoal grill took a lot longer than we expected, so we compensated with killing more wine instead, and that worked out just fine for us and we were buzzing for "Pirate Night!"
In the middle of the Bight bay is an anchored schooner called the "Willy T," and it's the stuff of legend. Rated as one of the Top Ten beach bars in the world (the BVI has two of the ten), the Willy T's infamous debauchery goes back decades. My dad used to sail the BVI with his fraternity brothers, and the Willy T still brings a grin to his face about plenty of stories that Mom and I aren't allowed to ever know.
As the night goes on, the crowd starts shedding clothes and jumping off the upper deck of the bar. On the dance floor, I was about to make a few stories of my own with a cute DC lawyer when my roommate drags me upstairs to join the diving fun. It's pretty epic already, and I can't believe this is only our first real night!
I'd tell you more, but it wouldn't be appropriate, and after the drinks on Willy T, I'm not sure I remember enough!