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NEWELLPAUL NEWELL, Tootsie, May 2013

In May, 2013, the government of the British Virgin Islands gave me a lovely certificate which granted me permission to 'cruise and enjoy the waters, beaches and reefs of these blessed islands. My friends at BVI Yacht Charters gave me the perfect boat for this once-in-a-lifetime sailing adventure. "Tootsie", a 2012 41 foot Beneteau Oceanis (with a really cool drop down rear platform for swimming and dinghy access) sailed like a thoroughbred racehorse, often doing 5 knots with only 10 knots of wind.

On our first day, we departed Road Town Harbor, under bright sunny skies, bound for the idyllic setting of Jost Van Dyke. This tropical gem boasts several great anchorages, and we chose to spend the night on a mooring in White Bay. Although known as the home of the world famous 'Soggy Dollar Bar' (no dock, swim ashore, wet money), we visited Ivan's Stress-Free Local Flavor Bar at the other end of White Bay. The food and drink were excellent, and the sunset view from White Bay was spectacular.

The next day we sailed over to Cane Garden Bay, where we visited Rhymers' Beach Bar & Restaurant for lunch and then on to Quito's Gazebo for music and dancing in the evening. After Cane Garden Bay, we visited Norman Island, home of the Pirate Caves and the Willy-T. From Norman, we hit Peter Island, for a day on the beach in Deadman's Bay, which is probably one of the top 10 beaches in the world. From Peter Islands we reached to North Sound on Virgin Gorda, where we spent a night at Leverick Bay, and then onto the Bitter End Yacht Club. Our last destination was Cooper Island, for a great meal, and drinks with another gorgeous Sunset. So, we spent a glorious week sailing from one beautiful island paradise to another, where we found white beaches, palm trees and tiki bars at every stop. At the end, we did feel truly blessed that we had this opportunity, and we are most grateful to our friends at BVI Yacht Charters for all they did for us.

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