Our time in St. Thomas was a blur. We worked, we cleaned, we provisioned, and we made it to Duffy’s Love Shack. We knocked ALMOST everything off of our to-do list (… we have started a new one already!) before we picked my mom up at the airport on Wednesday night. On Thursday we cast off the dock lines and set out for a Virgin Islands Adventure.
Getting off the dock is always…a challenge. But with the help of our neighbor Eddie and our friend on the dock, we made it out relatively smoothly and set our course for Maho Bay in St. John. Baxter and Molly recommended Maho because it was super protected. It also has a ton of mooring balls so I felt confident that we could find a place to stay even though we were leaving later in the afternoon. This would be a great place to get our feet wet and get my mom comfortable on Stella Blue. This was our first non-sailor we’ve had stay with us, so we all had some things to learn. It took me months to get used to the boat life…it only took my mom a day! Now it was time to go play. Most of St. John is a national park which makes for some great snorkeling and pristine beaches. Before we headed off to our next bay we decided to take a cab into Cruz Bay (the biggest town on the island) to check out the shopping and see some people. Everything was groovy – we found $1 beers! – until we tried to get back to Maho. Our cab ride back was death defying, seriously. As we went up mountains, the bald tires skidded on the wet roads. The engine died half way up the second mountain and we all gripped the seats with white knuckles while the driver got us moving again. It was dark, it was rainy, it was just plain terrifying. We made it back to Stella alive and hungry for spaghetti.
The next morning we set off for Leinster Bay – another spot on the north coast of St. John which boasted some of the best snorkeling off of Waterlemon Cay – not to be confused with WaterMELON Cay :). Instead of motoring upwind, we decided to sail around Great Thatch. Ten miles, no big deal…until we hit a squall with a gust to 32 knots!!! This was our first real sail with my mom and we were cookin’! Luckily Logan and I kept our cool and Stella sailed like a pro. I eased the main with the gusts and Logan fell off the wind a bit to keep the ride as comfortable as possible. Lots of active sailing, but we were all having a blast – even Mom! She propped herself up on the high side and held on for the ride. When the wind let up a bit, we tacked and headed to our next piece of paradise where the snorkeling really was fantastic and the sea turtles were popping their heads up everywhere.
We decided to get our passports stamped the next morning, so we sailed over to Jost Van Dyke in hopes of finding a TV to watch the Superbowl. We were all underwhelmed with Great Harbour AND with the outcome of the game, so we dropped the ball again the next morning and headed off to Green Cay to hike to the Bubbly Pool (we have decided not to skip any attractions just because they are “touristy”). The Bubbly Pool is this little protected pool behind giant boulders. When big waves hit the rocks, the pool fills with tiny bubbles like a hot tub! Very very cool stuff. When we got back to the boat, we decided that this spot was too bouncy to spend the night so we changed plans and sailed over to Cane Garden Bay on Tortola for the night. This turned out to be our favorite spot of the trip with a long white beach AND room to anchor.
When we left Port Charlotte, Florida almost a year ago, this is what we envisioned our year aboard to be like. Hopping from one tropical island to the next, watching sunsets, and splashing in warm Caribbean waters. Now that we are finally “here,” it really is everything we hoped. The sailing is UNbelievable, the beaches are relaxing and we are finally getting some guests. This is definitely what we signed up for.