July- August 1996

This is my second trip report of a Flying Cloud vacation
this year; so I will make it brief. If anyone wants more
details, I will be glad to answer questions or send a copy
of my Jan/Feb report.
Here is the itinerary:
7/28 – Tortola (Sunday)
7/29 – Tortola —> Peter Island, Great Harbor
7/30 – Cooper Island
7/31 – Virgin Gorda, Mountain Point —> Spanish Town
8/1 – Virgin Gorda —> Beef Island
8/2 – Norman Island —> Tortola
8/3 – Tortola
8/4 – Tortola (Sunday)
8/5 – Tortola —> Peter Island, Great Harbor
8/6 – Cooper Island
8/7 – Virgin Gorda, Spanish Town —> Beef Island
8/8 – Jost Van Dyke, White bay —> Great Harbor
8/9 – Norman Island —> Tortola
8/10 – Tortola
8/11 – Tortola (Sunday)
8/12 Tortola —> Peter Island, Great Harbor
8/13 – Virgin Gorda, Mountain Point
8/14 – Virgin Gorda, Spanish Town
8/15 – Peter Island, Little Harbor
8/16 – Cooper Island —> Tortola
8/17 – Tortola & San Juan
( —> indicates the ship sailed in the afternoon)

Not much had changed on the ship in the months I was
away. The most notable was the starboard seats around the
bar. They were removed by the wire cable connecting the ship
to its’ hurricane mooring during Bertha. The cable was
fastened around the main mast and the violent lurching of
the ship caused the cable to preform some unintended
sweeping action. The pin rail around the main mast was also
damaged, but had already been repaired.
Adrian (The regular skipper) was delayed returning from
vacation in England for three weeks because of health
reasons. He returned on Sunday 8/4, healthy and just as much
fun as ever. Paul was skipper during my first week. He and I
had never sailed together, but we had met several times when
he visited on Amazing Grace. He got my vacation off to a
good start.
Taran the sailor received a well deserved promotion to
Boatswain (Head of the deck crew). I was really happy for
him. I have sailed with him for a number of years and he is
really a nice guy. He is the only non-officer I have ever
written to Miami about on a comment card … very favorably.
When the water is rough, he is the person I want to see at
the helm of the launch.
Danny the cook, was on vacation, but Bridge, his
assistant did an excellent job. Two new items were french
fries with the cheeseburgers, and shrimp tempora as a 5pm
As you can see from the itinerary, most of my vacation
was spent on Tortola. This is by design … as I have often
said, Flying Cloud is the best hotel in Tortola. It’s mostly
in Road town, but does take me to visit other Islands during
the week. (Other hotels on the Island can’t do that!<G>)
When I arrived, the Island was getting ready for
“Carnival”. This is the first time I have been in the BVI’s
for almost all of Carnival. It is officially a three day
Holiday (8/5 – 8/7) that celebrates the emancipation from
slavery on 8/1 1834. But the unofficial holiday starts in
July and the “Village” was still in operation when I left
8/17. Carnival is lots of loud music, food, drink, parades,
and rides. The village (A field full of temporary booths.)
is where you can buy food and drinks, or gamble for drinks
and $’s. The Midway is where the rides are for the kids and
some who are not kids. The parade on Monday is the
highlight. You could buy a seat on Pusser’s balcony for $20
and that included an open bar.
With all this activity in Road Town, the rest of the
Island was relatively quiet. I still visited Cane Garden Bay
for my weekend beach. I had dinner one night and listened to
Quito sing. He now has another band come in on the weekends
… the “Lashing Dogs”. I didn’t get to hear them. but am
told they do Island music and are entertaining.
The restaurant in the car park of Mt. Sage is now open. I
had an excellent dinner there. It was a hot day, (Friends
and crew told me it was the warmest day they could
remember.) Up on Mt. Sage that night it was about 65 Deg F
and the windows were shut. It was very nice dinning, linen
napkins, candle light, and a fantastic view.
It had a number of fine meals on Tortola, but in the
spirit of Carnival, I visited the village for jerk chicken,
ribs, curried goat, and bull’s foot soup, with lots of rum
and coconut water!
I was afraid I would not be able to rent a car for the
weekend of 8/3. The clerk at Budget said everything was
booked. The manager came out and said, “Give him a car, he
comes here a lot”. So I had a car every weekend.
My vacation would have been a total success just given
all the fun I had on Tortola. But coupled with all the
wonderful people I met on the ship, and the enjoyment of
visiting the other islands, it was a super vacation.

Every Monday afternoon, about 1:30pm. we would sail out
of Tortola to Great Harbor on Peter Island and swim off the
the side of the ship.
We visited Cooper Island three times and the snorkeling
was totally different each time. Once it was so murky I
didn’t go in. It was average one week and excellent the last
week. There is little to do at Cooper Island beside snorkel.
The beach is fair with a good amount of shade. There is a
very nice beach bar. It used to be owned by some strange
folks, (They didn’t seem to like people!) but early this
year the whole crew changed and I found the bar and its’ new
staff delightful. The highlight of the last visit was
meeting Amazing Grace and Sheila and Quent Manchester and
their granddaughters Alicia and Rachel. We spotted each
other as the ships were rafting up together and began our
visit shouting between the ships. They all came over to tour
Flying Cloud and we had some drinks at the bar and began
talking in earnest. The time went so fast and we touched so
many topics, so we planned to meet again on the beach and
continue our visit. After snorkeling, Sheila took some palm
fronds and made me two birds and a grasshopper. She made
them by folding the leaves like the oriental art of paper
folding. They traveled well and have now been added to my
Christmas tree; never did get it down this year and it’s too
late now. Quent and I continued our conversations over a
beer at the beach bar, which was now the most pleasant place
on the beach as the sun was getting lower and eliminating
most of the shade. Quent and I have many things in common
and we could have talked for hours … maybe we will sail
together some day and do just that.
We spent five days on Virgin Gorda. Mountain point (two
days) was hard hit by recent hurricanes. The trees that
provided shade are almost all dead. The snorkeling was very
good, both on the reef and along the rocky part of the East
Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda was visited every week. One
week a group of us rented a jeep and went to Savannah Bay,
Pusser’s at Leverick Bay (lunch), Gorda Peak, Mad dog’s, and
the Baths. The other two weeks I had a Lobster Roll at the
Bath and Turtle Pub (took Tasoula, the activities mate, to
lunch one week.) and then walked (21 min.) to Mad Dog’s bar
and the baths … took the $2 taxi the other week. I heard
someone (Not a WJ’er Pax.) recently drowned while snorkeling
at the baths. It can be dangerous with a swell running. I
heard the snorkeling was fair … I preferred going to
Devils Bay and just swimming; very good beach.
Went ashore two nights to the dance at the Bath and
Turtle; the band was loud; it was hot and noisy … great
time! But only a handful from the ship stayed till the
midnight launch. Too Caribbean for them I guess.<G> The
third week we sailed to Beef Island and had a dress up
party. (Wasted night … I would have liked to stay in
Spanish Town and have a choice of dress up or live band at
the B&T.)

Norman Island and the caves on Treasure Point were our day
anchorage twice. This is my favorite snorkeling stop.
Snorkeling was very good both times; except one day there
were just enough jelly fish to keep your mind off the
colorful fish. Both visits were on Fridays and about 4pm we
sailed back to Road Town, Tortola. The evening sails were
very nice and we anchored just after dark.
I just got to visit Jost Van Dyke one time. The day stop
was White Bay for snorkeling (fair) … I walked (20 min.)
over to Great Harbor about 2pm and had a few beers at
Foxy’s. He was not there that day; but for amusement there
was a new trampoline. So as many as five people, most with a
few beers, were jumping up and down, having a good time. I
hadn’t been on one since my teens and it showed. (Can anyone
imagine a bar in the U.S. having a trampoline available for
their customers to use, without having a lawyer there to get
well worded, signed releases.) At 4:30 the ship moved to
Great Harbor and a launch came in to pick us up.
That night I went into Rudy’s restaurant and had a
lobster dinner. My name was still on his freshly painted
wall, so I added to it. It now reads “Tony PYRate 2/96 &
8/96”. After dinner it was down to Foxy’s for dancing until
the midnight launch. Again only a few pax. stayed; but those
of us that did had a great time.
We made one visit to Little Harbor on Peter Island. The
snorkeling is almost always good there, and it was this
time. Nothing else to do at Little Harbor. There are no
beaches and the ship is tied to a rock on shore so it is
easy to get to the good snorkeling.
My return was delayed by a bad engine on my flight out of
Tortola. If the engine had failed to start at the gate,
there would be lots of whining and complaining. But the
engine failed while we were on the runway getting ready to
take off. No one seemed to mind taxiing back to the terminal
with one engine and getting off the plane. Got home a day
late, but in one piece. Very tired, as usual … I got to
learn how to do it right and come home all rested up! I went
to the library and took out some guide books on The
Dominican Republic, The Cayman Is. and the Yucatan
Peninsula. Time to start studying for the Oct. Fantome
relocation trip.

Tony on Del.