We spent a couple nights on Tortola, lounging about, recovering from Jenny's visit. The big project was repairing the broken fore stay. We'd left if for after Jenny's departure so that we didn't have to waste a day of her already too short visit to the tropics. The fore stay had been attached to the end of a small metal bar welded to the mast cap. It wasn't the weld that broke. The metal bar itself actually snapped in half.
With the use of some spare shackles and some existing hardware already mounted to the top of the mast we were able to jury rig it in a way that leaves me feeling quite confident. It took several trips up and down the mast. The climbing harness we were using wasn't designed for extended sitting. We were only able to stay aloft until our feet turned purple and numb. Then, we had to lower ourselves down and rub the circulation back into our toes. After my third trip up the mast, my shoulder muscles were trembling and I was soaked in sweat. I think my river guiding muscles are long gone.
Once Strolla was back in top form, we set our sights east to Virgin Gorda. The island is covered in round, smooth boulders the size of houses, piled along the shoreline, creating caves over the white sands and turquoise waters. What brought us were the baths, a string of secluded beaches and coves connected by trails through the boulders. Pictures of them grace the fronts of every travel brochure and booklet we'd seen. What kept us was what lay just beyond the well worn trails and beach bars, a seemingly endless string of climbing routes to be discovered and ascended and all to ourselves. I took a lot of pictures.