The anchor is up at 11 AM for the short run from Marina Cay to Trellis Bay. By noon, Cutter Loose is on a mooring in this busy harbor that is packed with boats. The Beef Island Airport terminal is an easy two minute walk from the dinghy dock here in Trellis Bay. Pleasure boats and ferries routinely use this harbor to pick up or discharge passengers that are arriving or departing by air. Airline passengers linger at the local restaurants and coffee shops in Trellis Bay to pass the time before their departure.
Trellis Bay “Village” is an eclectic collection of businesses fronting on the beach, including a cyber café, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a guest house, a small grocery store, a tourist clothing store, art studios/galleries and an assortment of beach bars. There are no streets or sidewalks here, just a meandering path along the beach that is decorated with brightly colored sculpture and unusual art objects in a style reminiscent of the 1960s. On an island surrounded by a coral reef in the middle of the Bay is a restaurant with live donkeys known as The Last Resort. Somehow, the setting just seems to work. Visitors flock to this tiny hamlet, anxious to sample its artsy vibe.
Friends Dennis and Jane have just completed a dive vacation in BVI. They are here in Trellis Bay on the eve of their departure for Colorado. We meet for a sumptuous lunch at the Cyber Café and spend the balance of the afternoon and evening in the cockpit of Cutter Loose swapping stories about sailing, skiing and bicycling while catching up on family members and news from the U.S.
On Tuesday, more boats arrive in the harbor in advance of the Trellis Bay Fire Ball Full Moon Party scheduled for Wednesday. By Wednesday at noon, there is not a square foot of space in the harbor that is unclaimed by a boat. We are entertained by latecomers, crisscrossing the mooring field again and again, stubbornly refusing to believe that all of the moorings are occupied.
Caribbean 1500 friends Toby, Joanne, Ken, Laurie and Larry join us aboard Cutter Loose for happy hour prior to Wednesday night’s festivities. To the east, a giant orange ball of a full moon rises above the watery horizon as if to say “let’s get this party started!” Live music wafts over the harbor as cruisers in dinghies stage an assault on the beach. In the water and all along the beach, fire pierces the night sky from Aragorn’s huge round sculpted torches. The ambience created by this light show is surreal. Somewhere between the harbor and the beach, we have been magically transported to the South Pacific.
At beachside picnic tables, this relaxed crowd enjoys a buffet-style West Indian barbeque while sipping a favorite beverage and chatting with neighbors. After dinner, the music reaches a crescendo as colorful Moko Jumbi dancers perform on stilts, gyrating amongst the party-goers. The crowd is on its feet now, dancing and taking photos of the performers. As the party winds down, we slip into the dinghy and return to Cutter Loose, guided by the illumination of the full moon. The Fireball Full Moon Party is billed as the BVI’s top cultural event of the month. We would not disagree. Tonight’s beach party is an experience that will not soon be forgotten.