Friday, February 4, 2011

Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Day 2

Exploring Road Town's Main Street

We spent the second day in Road Town doing reconnaissance of local supermarkets for provisioning and checking the ferry schedules. With little long-distance cruising ahead for the foreseeable week or more due to a relentless forecast of stronger winds and higher seas, Kerry and Karen picked a date for departure and made arrangements to fly back to Florida on Saturday, by way of a ferry to Charlotte Amalie. They had an open-ended ticket out of St. Thomas, which allowed us all to meander through parts of the BVI together the past 10 days as the weather allowed. It was a treat not to be on a schedule! But, the weather now insists we aren’t going anywhere for a while, until the seas calm a bit.

The Sunny Caribbee Spice Company, where Karen found me
the long-sought-after caraway seeds for my rye bread
We found provisioning in Road Town to be very easy. There are even companies that will do the provisioning for you, bringing your selected items right to the boat if you are at one of the marinas. This caters primarily to the charter crowd, who all seem to be pressed for time, eager to sail off as soon as they can after they arrive, but the service is also quite expensive. Wanting to do our own provisioning, we went to Bobby’s, a large supermarket in downtown Road Town. We missed the small side entrance the first time we rounded it, but we did get to see their rather unique approach to a loading dock: staff were using a forklift to hoist heavily loaded pallets up inside nothing more than a 2nd story hole in the wall. Really! I should have taken a photo of it while they were loading things in, but it was too tight and busy, right on a main thoroughfare as we threaded our way through the high stacks of pallets on the sidewalk, each towering well over our heads. Pretty sure that OSHA would not have liked the whole scene! :)

The loading dock on the second floor, "closed" for the moment.
As for provisioning, the store had a large selection of produce and dry goods, and we filled our cart easily with the needed items on our list. Thankfully, we didn’t need any meats, as things were a bit scanty in that department. I, for one, had never seen pork snouts on sale before, but there they were, available aplenty, adjacent to the pigs feet, pig tails, and the usual salt cod pieces and whole salted fish. Guess I am a veggie person at heart, although I do love conch salad and goat stew! But no goat was available that I could find, and conch salad isn't on every menu here the way it is in the Bahamas. And...I admit I wasn’t feeling daring enough to buy the pig snouts. Maybe next time?

Actually, all joking aside, we’ve found the food here in the BVI to be delicious. In every place we’ve eaten, we’ve had absolutely fabulous food -- fresh grilled mahi-mahi, perfectly made jambalaya, spicy seafood fra diavolo/fruitti del mare, great chicken roti, among others. One evening I sampled the “Local FishPot Fish”--a whole grunt, pan-seared and utterly crispy & delicious, served with “Fungi”, a type of polenta with superbly spiced sauteed onions and peppers. Yes, we’ve all eaten very well!

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