A Travellerspoint blog

Looking for Speedy's Grave

Not Visiting the Baths


View 2018-Christmas and New Years Cruise on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

The Fat Virgin - Virgin Gorda

The Fat Virgin - Virgin Gorda


We visited Virgin Gorda (dubbed by Columbus as the Fat Virgin on the basis of the outline from the water) in 1997 on a crewed charter sailboat. Our charter captains came into the marina in the evening so that early in the morning got us a taxi to the Baths. At that time I managed the stairs down to the Baths (and back up) but even back then,
Entrance to the trail with warning sign

Entrance to the trail with warning sign


794933462882799-Looking_out_..rgin_Gorda.jpgBob's pictures of the rocks

Bob's pictures of the rocks


The trail that is underwater

The trail that is underwater

the Devil's Bay trail was beyond me and I could only take photos from near the beach.
Our charter captains -Feb 7

Our charter captains -Feb 7

Our charter captain peeking over the rock

Our charter captain peeking over the rock

2243417-Bath_Boulders_Virgin_Gorda.jpgBoulders in 1997

Boulders in 1997


We were using point and shoot film cameras in those days. As we were climbing back up from the Baths, we met an excursion group from a little cruise ship coming down the steps.
Boats anchored off the baths

Boats anchored off the baths


I really would have liked to go to the Baths and get some better photos. But I knew that I could not do the stairs, let alone the trail. I had thought maybe I could rent a boat and snorkel in among the rocks, but I couldn't figure out a way to do that. So I had to give up on going to the Baths this time. I had an alternate Idea (Plan B). If I couldn't go to the Baths, maybe I could see some cemeteries. So I did research and I found the obituary of the owner of the Speedy Ferries.

The boats were filled to capacity, the grand tent in Speedy’s Headquarters was filled and almost everyone in Virgin Gorda (VG) came out to celebrate the life of VG pioneer, businessman and son of the soil, Edwin Allen George aka ‘Speedy/Kiddo.’...

Boat loads of residents from Tortola, Anegada, St Thomas (US Virgin Islands) and Jost van Dyke came out in huge numbers to pay their last respects to the man who made inter-island sea transportation possible, affordable and easier for years.

The late Speedy’s body was placed on the back of a nicely decorated truck on its arrival from Tortola with sailors as his pall bearers. It was slowly driven from the dock to the main office and many mourners, family and friends walked the route.

Many residents will remember his many ferry boats over the years- from Speedy’s Adventure, Speedy’s Delight, Speedy’s Fantasy, Speedy’s Sprinter, Speedy’s Peacemaker and Ella G....

Omelet

Omelet


Today I had an omelet at breakfast, because yesterday I had one at the Brunch Buffet and I decided that I liked them. About 10 we went up to wait for a tender, and the scooter folded up OK. It was a pretty bouncy ride in to the dock. The scooter unfolded OK. We wandered around a bit - the hurricane had taken out all the stores and the restaurant that was at the marina dock.

We wanted to get a taxi - Bob wanted some silicone grease and some tools. So I told the man working around the marina that we wanted a taxi to go to some hardware stores. He flagged a taxi down - it was van and not one of the ones with the seats in the bed of a pickup. The driver wanted to know if I could actually get in the van, so I did and they put the scooter in the back without folding it.

Then there were a whole bunch of people who also got into the van to go to the beach or the Baths. But after we dropped them off, I got in the front seat of the van (again with a boost from the driver although he asked first)
Top of the Baths

Top of the Baths

One of the large boulders by the road

One of the large boulders by the road


and told the driver that Bob wanted to go to a marine hardware store and I wanted to see Speedy's grave and all the cemeteries on Virgin Gorda. So he took us by the '
Flax Family Cemetery

Flax Family Cemetery


which we had seen on the way to the Baths, and then we went to
St Mary's Anglican

St Mary's Anglican


and Bob got out and took photos.
IMG_9797.JPGIMG_9795.JPG
The van driver said his mother was buried there. After that we went to the Public cemetery
IMG_9876.JPGa.JPG
and then stopped at a hardware store. But Bob couldn't find what he wanted.
Water dispensing kiosk

Water dispensing kiosk


So we went to Valley Methodist,
IMG_9885.JPGValley Methodist Church

Valley Methodist Church


IMG_9887.JPG
Half buried stone

Half buried stone


We didn't find Speedy's grave. We went down by the airport there was another private cemetery -
O'Neal Family Cemetery

O'Neal Family Cemetery


We saw a plane take off while we were there.
Airport windsock

Airport windsock

Plane taking off

Plane taking off

Key Return for rental cars at the airport

Key Return for rental cars at the airport


I saw a Tsunami evacuation sign,
Tsunami evacuation route

Tsunami evacuation route


and said to the driver - Where would you go if there was a tsunami. He laughed and said to the top of the mountain. Which isn't very tall. The highest point on Virgin Gorda at 1,370 ft. is Gorda Peak

The taxi driver said he and his family had been on a cruise - they went to Barbados, St. Lucia, Cozumel and Belize. We also stopped by the
Saint Thomas Bay Cemetery

Saint Thomas Bay Cemetery


which is one of the oldest cemeteries on the island and is close to the Government Docks
Beach next to the docks

Beach next to the docks


and another hardware store with no luck.
Rosy's - both a grocery and a household goods store

Rosy's - both a grocery and a household goods store

Rental car (left hand drive, driving on the left)

Rental car (left hand drive, driving on the left)

Regular (non-rental) car plates

Regular (non-rental) car plates

Large boulders

Large boulders

Bath's to the left

Bath's to the left

School kids which due to overcrowding only go half a day

School kids which due to overcrowding only go half a day


So he dropped us off at the marina and asked for $70 for the morning. We went to the marina hardware store, but it was closed for lunch. So we went on back to the tender dock and got right on the tender - there were 3 of us.
Tender coming in to the dock

Tender coming in to the dock

Helmets behind Bob on the tender

Helmets behind Bob on the tender

Release mechanism for the lifeboat/tender

Release mechanism for the lifeboat/tender

Speedy's ferry from the tender

Speedy's ferry from the tender

Large boulders on the hill

Large boulders on the hill

Dream Yacht Charter catamarran from the tender

Dream Yacht Charter catamarran from the tender


We went right to lunch when we got back.
Pizza at lunch

Pizza at lunch

Bob's lunch

Bob's lunch

Charter sailboat sails past

Charter sailboat sails past


And then after I organized the photos, we went to trivia, and this time we actually WON. I got coasters.
Tendering flags - Princess flag on the left, Bahamas flag in the center, courtesy BVI flag far right

Tendering flags - Princess flag on the left, Bahamas flag in the center, courtesy BVI flag far right

Clouds lined up over the peak and a speedboat

Clouds lined up over the peak and a speedboat

Spanish Town and the docks from the ship

Spanish Town and the docks from the ship

Rocks and boulders at the end of the island

Rocks and boulders at the end of the island


We went to dinner and it was Italian night - all the waiters were dressed in stripes with neck scarves.
Chicken lentil soup

Chicken lentil soup

Blackberry soup

Blackberry soup


I had veal scallopini.
Breaded veal

Breaded veal


When we got back after dinner, we found that tomorrow is another formal night, but Bob, thinking that there were only two like it said on the Princess Patter that we got on the first day, instead of three like I thought there would be, had packed all his stuff for formal night in the suitcase and did not want to unpack.

The Princess Patter is not up to snuff on this ship - the proof reading is not too good (at one point they advertised a lecture on the original inhabitants and Columbo) and the format is not as handy as on some other ships - on at least two cruise lines, the schedule is on a single column so you can take that off and fold it up and put it in your pocket and don't have to take the whole darn thing with you to know what is going on. Not everyone has an iPhone.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 18:18 Archived in British Virgin Islands

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