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Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
Getting geared up for a Saturday night out
Bill
06/16/2012, Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI

We went to the Hawksnest beach early. These little fish were hoping for some shelter off this sandy beach. Lara must have looked like a protective soul. They stayed very close, swiming through little flaps in her shirt and huddling in her armpit. When it it was time to go, she felt bad leaving her three proteges to fend for themselves...

We wanted to move out of Hawksnest as it was rolly, beautiful but rolly. So, while the girls napped, I dropped the mooring and rolled out the jib... A couple mile sail past the resort at Caneel Bay and into Cruz bay. We thought we would come here to find some live music and check out the scene. The downside is the boat and ferry traffic... But we will only be here overnight.

underwater
06/18/2012 | Scott Kuhner
Bill, send me your relative's address in VA and we will send the cruising guides to him.
06/20/2012 | Uncle Readie
Thanks for the postcard, though the "WA" was confused for Washington state before it went to Western Australia. :) Now that you're leaving the US, be sure to put "USA" at the end of US addresses you post to.
Down wind at last
Bill
06/15/2012, Hawksnest Bay, St John, USVI

About an hour before sunset we dropped the mooring and poled out the genoa on one side and the Spinnaker on the other (didn't want to disturb the three year old who was asleep in the hammock strung from the boom!) it was a beautiful sunset cruise...

The wind kind of died as we turned into Hawksnest... So we ghosted along depolying the Spi when the wind swirled over the mountain and came from behind, snuffing it when it was on the nose. The little girl, now awake, had lots of suggestions: "pull it in Papa... Quicker Papa... Mama, head for that mooring over there... Papa put the sail out, NOW... Grab the mooring Papa, loop the line through... Can I have dessert now?"

Underway
Work to do
Bill
06/14/2012, st John

Isobel works on the guys... It is quite hard figuring out who fits into who's pockets...

As to the other work, the dinghy engine oil has been changed, as has the Transmission oil, and the impeller. Heat exchanger on engine has been cleaned and the transmission oil cleaner has been removed and cleaned. Oh and there are the projects that I try to ignore: the chain stripper has been broken off on the windlass, the jib has some chafe where it rubs on the radar reflector. the Galley faucet is loose (I am reminded of that). I can't remember what else (there is a list)


Cruising lifestyle
06/14/2012 | Uncle Readie
You'll be out of US jurisdiction soon. Gotta be prepared for unknows, like animals without pockets.
Turtles
Bill
06/14/2012, Francis Bay, st John, USVI

This is a beautiful anchorage! We have snorkeled with Green Sea Turtles and checked out the reef... With Isobel in tow. There are only three boats here although there are 30 moorings here and another 28 in Maho Bay, next door. I hitch hiked to Cruz Bay to pick up mail, which was sent here via USPS General delivery. Funny, tourists in their rental Jeeps, passed me by as though I didn't exist... The guy who gave me a ride in didn't have room in his cab because he had another rider... So I stood on the bumper and held onto the roof rack! Roads are so twisty, 20 is about max speed. Same thing on the ride home, picked up by a woman and her two kids who live on a boat in Johnson Bay.

Almost all the other boats here are charter boats... Apparently most cruisers are south or in Coral Bay a funky community on the east end of the island.

The National Park
Bill
06/13/2012, St. John, USVI

We tied to a US Park Service mooring and the pool was open. Does it get better than this?

We had some really nice lake sailing today. By that I mean that the water was flat the the wind swirlly. Now we are sailing among the islands... They break the swell and play with the wind.

We used the engine to pull the anchor, then shut it off to sail all the way to a mooring in Francis Bay. One advantage to being here now is that there are very few other boats here. In this bay there are about 30 moorings and only four boats... Only one looks like a charter boat.

Soon after hooking to the mooring, we went for a dip in the 84 degree water. Air temp in the cabin is 88... Leading us to wish we had cockpit cushions that would be suitable for sleeping on at night.

06/13/2012 | Uncle Readie
Your geography word of the day is "tombolo". Hint: You're near one now. :)
City Island
Bill
06/12/2012, St. Thomas, USVI

Lara sails as close as she can to the wind as we exit Charlotte Amalie Harbor.

We are always surprised when we come into a city from the sea... And we keep being surprised. My memories of St Thomas are not kind to the place... And yet, arriving by boat, allows you to take the whole place in from afar. We arrived just before sunset and as the lights came on we were all struck by the beauty of this mountain in the ocean lit up like some Gerry squat Christmas tree.

When dawn broke the next morning, Isobel said, "The houses everywhere, and such great colors." The only places without buildings must be very steep hillsides. At around 0630, the cruise ships pull in... A little later the sea plane flights start taking off. And you have all the other sounds of the city: car horns, trucks backing up, motor cycles racing around.

Our expedition ashore yesterday netted us some very good Thai food and a very good green grocery, The Fruit Bowl, something that we have been wanting...

We had not planned on staying here for more than a day, yet there are some things we can find here that we might not find elsewhere...

06/12/2012 | Uncle Readie
Thank you again for making Isobel's world so much bigger. (Lara's was already pretty big. ;)
06/13/2012 | Mary Ellen
BEEN there - just beautifull-
Swimmers EAR--remove water-mix 1 tsp.rubbing alchol with 1tsp.vinegar.
use dropper-this mixture helps prevent bacterial growth.

FEEL better-----
love mec
06/23/2012 | audie sumner
such fun reading your adventuers fun@luck big hugs to all AA
A hard won 14 miles
Bill
06/10/2012, Saint Thomas, USVI

Underway, Isobel has to put up with her parents saying, "Are we there yet?"

We started the day with a hike to the light house at Culebrita... Which was hot even at 0700 hrs! And worth it. The building was beautiful, even though it had been let go for some time. The marble floors were still in good shape and the copper light roof was still in repairable shape off to the side. It is one of those places that would not take much to stop the decay and with a few dollars could be brought back to it's original form. A photo will come when we have Internet.

Then we hiked to the Jacuzzies, a place where the waves fill pools of water that slowly drain into the bay behind. Lots of coral growing in the pools...

A little after noon we set sail for St. Thomas. At first the wind allowed us a long tack bringing us to the west end, then we tacked out, against the current... It was slow going the rest of the way. We arrived in Charlotte Amalie at 7 pm.... 14 miles as the crow flies... In 7 hours...

06/10/2012 | Uncle Readie
Xplot in Timbuktu again. I can figure out where you really are, though. Hassell Island used to be a peninsula.
Culebrita lighthouse
Bill
06/09/2012, Culebrita, PR

We took an early morning hike to the light house on top of Culebrita. A beautiful building with marble floors and stucco walls. The old copper roof to the light itself is off to the side, maybe put there by a hurricane.

Although we were on the beach to start at 0730, it was pretty hot by the time we returned to the beach... so a dip in the water was welcome!

A dancing girl or fish bones
Bill
06/08/2012, Culebra, PR

On Culebra, just off the main street, on the same street as Momacita's is a little building with a sign on it saying, just, ARTE. We passes it several times before wandering in... There were some buitiful hand printed T shirts, some prints, signs, and other art... As well as quite an assortment of Conga drums and other beautiful percussion instruments, such as a collection of Cocao shells that made the most mysterious sound when shaken and a huge gourde with shells strung around it, again producing a delightful sound when shaken.

Lara started asking Jorge, the artist about the prints... Check them out... When we pressed him more he opened up with some really wonderful and thoughtful history/philosophy related to Culebra. Here was a young guy talking as though he was an old-timer... One of his prints held sideways looks like the bones of a fish, an vertically looks like a dancing girl...

This symbolizes the current situation in Culebra as well as around the world. The young dance and play in this beautiful spot, to the point of ruining the beauty, while the older generation talks about how these are only the bare old bones of the place, though which you can only glimpse what Culebra was like in the past when the beaches we not littered with plastic and the seas were filled with fish.

The next day we sailed to Culebrita's northern bay. A beautiful remote bay filled with turtles and ringed with reefs. The photo I will post shows that by noon, the beach is lined with power boats from mainland PR and St Thomas, anchored stern to the beach, overflowing with jet skis, power-wake-boards and dinghies with over sized engines... All of the boats ignored the DNR free moorings to put out two anchors that would hold them wading distance from the beach... The generators ran to keep the AC on and the lights and stereos powered... Wow!

06/11/2012 | Uncle Readie
Maturity takes time. Over and over again.
San Juan Getaway
lara
06/07/2012, San Juan, Puerto Rico

It took some figuring out. Our gathering location changed from St John to Culebra, and ultimately to San Juan. My Mom, my godfather Peter and his sister MaryEllen joined Isobel and me for a relaxing week poolside. Did I mention we ate? ... And ate, and ate. What a treat. Super comfy beds, no cooking, yoga, incredible views of the ocean, a full moon and a venus transit, multiple pools including a slick water slide that even made my Mom grin - until she went under and got her hair wet. How wonderful to spend time with family. Isobel couldn't get enough of everyone, but especially of Nana, of course. Isobel brought a new skill back to the boat that she is very enthusiastic about - howling at the moon.

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