We came back and tried to anchor, but did not venture in the deep waters that almost come to the shore. We took up a mooring close to the eastern ridge, seeing that the water was calmer at that end.
You know, we watch other people and learn a lot from them. Earlier we had seen dinghies full of people going to the small beach at the base of the eastern ridge, and vanishing there after beaching their dinghies, usually in the afternoon. The next bay after the ridge is Sprat Bay, home to the Peter Island Resort, a very posh, luxurious but relaxed place. We figured that there should be a walkway to the resort, and we should go and explore.
Next morning just before noon, I took my first ever lesson of driving a boat, our dinghy, and took us to the beach, the laptop in Al’s backpack. When Al drives, I am the mule, but this time it was his responsibility. We beached the dinghy and locked it on a tree branch. Sure enough, we found the short path that led to Sprat Bay, which is very narrow but long harbour, where three mooring balls ($65.00 US dollars per night) and a dock are situated.
We have been in this place when we had first came to BVI in a chartered catamaran, with our good friends Deniz – Zeynep, their son Mehmet and his friend Karin. Mehmet and Karin had to leave earlier than us, so we took them to the resort, for them to take the ferry across, to catch their plane. We had spent an afternoon at the resort and moored the night, to send the youngsters off early in the morning.
The resort has a sandy beach called Dead Man’s Bay, which is somewhat open to north-easterly winds, but very clean. While we had spent some time swimming during the afternoon, Al had sat at the beach bar, and struck up a conversation with the bartender, a young but mature Islander girl. I joined them, and asked about the history behind the name for the beach. She was really reluctant to tell it, but I insisted. Then she became emotional, and said that in the old times, the white masters of the cane fields used to throw unwanted slaves to that beach, completely deserted and arid at the time; and would give them a flask of rum to fend for themselves. No way of escape or survival. I consoled the girl, by saying that it was much better now, thank God. I also reminded her that, if she looked around to the guests of the resort, she should feel better off. Right before going into the bar, I had used their bathroom. While still in the stall, I heard two young bimboes, coming in and locking themselves into the next stall together, where they started giggling. I made some noise outside, and the giggling stopped immediately. I was sure that they were taking drugs in there. After a while I saw them coming out and joining two bald guys in their fifties, obviously rich. What an existence!
That was a few years ago, the name of the catamaran we had chartered was Amnesia then, Ruyam II now. We were lucky enough to learn about that particular boat going into the market last year, and were able to snatch it immediately. Our comfortable life aboard Ruyam II started with the help of Deniz, who had made all the arrangements then, being the experienced skipper. So thank you Deniz!
There is a small island across Dead Man’s Bay, which is called Dead Man’s Chest. I learned about its history from a novel about the Caribbean, so it might not be accurate, but the story is interesting. Apparently, there was a pirate in the old times, who was in love with a married woman. He used to visit her occasionally, and hide at that island when need be. After a while the woman’s husband died, and the pirate married her, but she did not live long. The pirate was heart-broken, and died shortly afterwards. His ship mates had heard a rumor that the pirate had left a treasure chest at the island, and three of them came looking for it. Sure enough they found the chest, but when they opened it, they saw that it held the dead woman’s remains, apparently his only treasure. One of the mates was so spooked, that he tripped over something and fell to his death.
This area is full of sad stories, but so beautiful, that sometimes it is hard to take it all in! I hope it will stay clean, but the boaters and the inhabitants do not think that the vast seas can become dirty. Well the middle of the ocean might still be OK, but the harbours have started to show the effects of open sewers emptying into them. I have to mention that the boaters (all westerners) seem to forget about holding tanks here, while unthinkable in US, Canada or anywhere in Europe, including Turkey! When looking from above, the colour of Road Harbour is literally grayish brown, becoming shades of blue in about a mile off. What a pity for progress to mean destruction.