July 1

Coral Harbor
I slept much better last night, though still had to get up to go to the bathroom and to shut the hatch when it started to rain. I only had a few coughing fits in the middle of the night. Joel slept quite well and was up early in the morning, waking me up as he climbed out of bed.

This morning after journaling, which I do every morning, we had French toast and melon. Ok I had French toast and melon and Joel had French toast and bacon.

Our goal this morning was to hike over to Coral Bay. The start of the hike was very nice, but very hot. The foliage was fairly sparse so the sun beat down on us. I was a little nauseous from the heat. Maybe that was what was bothering me yesterday afternoon. Joel forced me to drink a lot of water as we hiked so I wouldn't get dehydrated. I should have brought Gatorade powder with me to replace all the salts I was sweating out. Once the Brown Bay trail goes off to the left the hills start. First a gentle downhill then at the bottom of the gulley we started up, then very steep up, then steeper. Joel and I were both worried about me getting back since I have knee problems and going downhill aggravates them a lot. I said not to worry; we could always get a cab back to Leinster Bay and walk the flat trail back to the boat. So on we went.

There were some pretty views looking back to Leinster Bay and down to Brown Bay. As soon as we reached the top of the hill and started down we could see Coral Bay off in the distance. The down was very steep. We occasionally slide down as the gravel under our feet gave way. But we made it.

Leinster Bay as seen through ruins
As the road gets into Coral Bay there is an old church on the right and a cemetery on the left. Lots of goats wandered around and some were sleeping on the graves.

We walked around town for a while. It is a little town, but spread out. We stopped at one store and bought some cold drinks. I down my cold orange juice right away. Joel put his in his water bottle. The cold OJ made me feel much better, which was good because they don't have cabs here. They have busses and we weren't sure if we could figure out how to get to Leinster Bay so we decided to hike back and hope my knee held.

Actually my knee did fine as long as I wasn't impatient. I would take 6" steps so my knee didn't bend too much on the downhills and I never felt a twinge.

On the way back we went to the top of the hill that overlooks Leinster Bay and the Francis Drake Channel. The views were gorgeous. I decided to let Joel stay and take photos and I started down to find shade. I found a gorgeous ruin with a beautiful old arch facing the sea so I waited there to tell Joel to take photos. Once he came I was off to the beach to sit under a tree in the shade. I wish I had been in my bathing suit so I could swim and cool off.

Once Joel got back and Theo saw us on the beach he brought the dingy over and got us back to Cat Maudy.

The first thing we did was jump into the water. We didn't stay in long but just enough to cool off. It felt great. Then we had sandwiches for lunch and took off to Soper's Hole in the BVI to go through customs.

While Theo was clearing customs, we explored Soper's Hole. It was a pretty little place but reminded us of a Hollywood set. The facade was there but nothing behind it. Once you get to the end of the few shops the sidewalk just ends in nothing. But still they did a good job with the set and we took some photos.

Soper's Hole
Once back at the boat we motored up along Tortola for a while. Theo said it was much faster this way. Both the seas and the wind were against us and if we didn't motor we would be tacking for a long time. In not too long the sails were up and we sailed across the channel to Norman Island. We saw quite a few boats anchored at the Indians and at the caves, and tons of boats in the Bight. But we sailed past to a little cove father on. There was just one other boat here, which was great for us since we like the quiet. And we wouldn't hear music and noisy people all night long.

The sun was behind the clouds and it was already past 4pm, but Joel and I got on our snorkeling gear and swam about. There were lots of different kinds of fish and the coral was.Though there were very few schools of the little fish like at the other spots we have been. But the fish here were quite varied. We even saw a couple of squid. We chased one around. He was great fun to watch. When he was still on the sandy bottom he would turn light and blend in, but when he was being chased he turned darker, reddish brown.

The coral was simply wonderful. I especially loved the pipe corals. There were so many different kinds and all different colors. On some of the coral was some kind of anemone. It had two cup like appendages that stuck out, but when you got close it would zip back into its hole, which was a little white shell like thing. There were also little spiral things and an occasional worm thing. So beautiful. I wanted to stay out forever, but Joel got very cold so wanted to go in.

Sunset looking towards the Indians
I had some rum punches when I got back in and popcorn for appetizers. I have been craving salt so much, so the popcorn tasted especially good.

We gabbed for a while before dinner. Theo was telling me about Belize. I've wanted to go there for a while. Then we had dinner, which was swordfish. It was wonderful as usual. Ursula is a good cook.

After dinner and during dinner Joel took photos of the beautiful sunset. It was setting behind the Indians and behind the other boat in the bay with us. It was gorgeous, but Joel put his camera away too early. He tried bringing it out again but it took too long and there wasn't enough light. It would have been if we hadn't been on a boat that was rocking, but the tripod doesn't do much when your base is moving.

I stayed outside by myself watching the light disappear and the lights pop up on Tortola across the channel. I would have stayed longer but I started hearing a very loud sound approaching. It was a heavy sheet of rain. It came down on us very quickly so I retreated inside grabbing stuff along the way to keep dry.

This afternoon my stomach ache went away. It was cool this afternoon with the strong winds. When sailings up front the waves where big and would splash up getting me wet. Very cool. I think I just have to get used to the heat.

Tonight I slept wonderfully not even waking up to go to the bathroom, which of course meant that I woke up around 5am needing to go. I waited a while so I wouldn't wake Joel up, but you can't hold out forever. And of course I woke up Joel. Payback for yesterday morning.

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Text and images © Copyright 2001 Joel and Daphne Gould. If there are any problems or questions email Daphne Gould.