So much for the sunny Caribbean. We woke this morning to more rain, wind and lightning. We moored at a tiny marina, Soper’s Hole, last night to refuel and restock the kitchen. The swell direction changed overnight so when we showed up at our standby spot this a.m. the wave was pretty well gone. And the water was crazy brown courtesy of the rain runoff from the hills.
So, on a tip from my buddy Fred who lives in St. Thomas, USVI, we headed to the island of Jost Van Dyke to a spot we’ll call Lola’s. The wind was howling offshore, spitting rain, and the wave was tricky and confused. The girls did their best but it wasn’t really happening. So we took the boards and paddled over to a tiny island to explore. There were some great shells and I climbed up the hill to a rock outcropping where dozens of pelicans were just hanging out, trying to hide from the wind. That’s when I saw it. From that vantage I realized that a peeling left was now rifling off the rock wall. The wind started to lay down and the wave got better and better. It wasn’t big, but it was perfect. While Rob and the girls beachcombed, I paddled out alone.
Getting out to the wave was tricky but I found a slot through the reef. Then, once up and riding the big trick was avoiding these huge coral heads that reared up when the wave got farther down the line. Several times I had to kick out as the wave emptied on dry reef. Sketchy. I got some fun rides and then the sun finally came out around sunset and painted the place that Caribbean color you see in brochures.
Look for this BVI feature in the Spring, 2011 issue of SUP magazine.