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Regenero's Great Escape
Scrub Island
Karen
01/18/2012

After a few days and nights with the winds blowing 25...gusting to 30 we said a gloomy, sad goodbye to Louise and headed over to the marina at Scrub Island to water ship and prepare for the Admiral's arrival....
Oh yeah, now we remember what we like about marinas...friendly people, dock visits and, ooooh, endless fresh water showers, a restaurant, and in this case two pools, and a hottub, which I am ashamed to say that we used this afternoon, after all, it was cloudy and a bit cool...only 78 degrees!
Another good nights sleep and we'll be raring to go again.

I promise to write about all the amazing places we have seen, and the great stories we had over the past two weeks...in a week or so!

Ps- Louise, ANOTHER boat ran aground in Trellis this morning...!

01/24/2012 | Louise
You need to keep a scorecard, and it's great entertainment. "I like this ship!..it's exciting!" Miss you guys!!!!
01/26/2012 | ginny
Louise,

Sorry we didn't get to meet you. Sounds like you had fun....again!
Marina Cay
Karen
01/12/2012

Having a pretty fantastic time the past several days with Louise here in our most favorite spot-the BVIs. Explored a new snorkeling spot this morning...Great Dog....backseaters, your gonna love it! We've seen squid, octopus, and rays leaping out of the water...we've seen boats breaking away from anchor, and others anchoring right over the tops of others anchor chain... The Boat has a new tag line from the most recent Star Trek movie...."I like this ship....it's exciting!"
More later!

01/12/2012 | thebackseaters
Weeeee! We're in! And we're there with you in spirit!
A day on St. John
Karen
12/30/2011

Dec 30th - A Day on St. John

We decided to head over to St. John today by ferry and so were off the boat early and on our way to Red Hook to catch the 9am boat. The bus/common taxi system here is pretty convenient so long as you follow the locals. The $1 taxis are open air safari busses with rows of seats that, according to the signage, take 22 passengers. We had heard from other people here that we needed to be careful, that the locals weren't always friendly and the drivers will overcharge you, etc...but we have found nothing but kind, friendly people, willing to help us. Like the lady who we met at the busstop and asked if this was the bus to catch to RedHook, "yes"..she told us, "right here...but it is $2.." and then the lady we asked when we got to Red Hook, if this was the stop for the Ferry..."yes, follow me I goin to the ferry" and she showed us where to get our tickets, where the bus would board, etc.

We had made a few phone calls to see about a car rental before coming, but due to the holiday weekend everything seemed booked up. Whatever, we thought...we'll take a taxi or a tour, instead... however, when we got to St. John we found the usual array of drivers and hawkers and had no trouble securing a jeep to rent for the day. Shortly into our drive however, we found that perhaps a tour might have been preferable...One way streets, (OK, yeah - she did tell me to turn right, Not left off this street), STEEP... very STEEP hills, sharp switchbacks and close, sheer drop-offs proved very intimidating at first. However, we continued and enjoyed checking the southern bays we could see, then driving across the island to Coral Bay, which we had tried to hike to last week. The town was unremarkable, and the bay utilitarian, so personally I was glad we stopped where we did last week!

After leaving the southern bays, we found the roads slightly more manageable, and were able to find the access to northern bays we had been in and past. There are beautiful beaches and good hiking on this side, and far more preferable anchorages. We can see now, why most boaters come to this side of the island. Cinnamon Bay was especially lovely and we look forward to stopping by there, however, the sea conditions need to be right, as the bay is fairly exposed to the north. After driving and stopping for about 3 hours, (and a whopping total of 36 miles!) We dropped the car back off and explored Cruz Bay on foot...Found some lunch, stopped at customs for some information and visited the National Park visitors center we headed back to the ferry terminal to catch the return ferry. We discovered that there was a ferry going to downtown Charlotte Amalie in 5 minutes, so we exchanged our tickets and took this one right to downtown instead. A good day of land exploration!

Shore Support
12/27/2011

Tuesday, Dec 27th...Shore Support

The past few days Jim and I have spend a lot of time on Ocean Jedi helping Frank & Denise get ready for their charter. Yesterday we lugged the sewing machine over and Jim helped Frank with one of the water pumps while I helped Denise fix a few tears in the sunshade and reconfigure a leaky corner on the upper canvas. A few other random chores, and just spend time visiting and catching up. Today, we headed over early to help them move the boat over to the fuel dock and then back to their slip in preparation for their guests who they discovered were arriving a little earlier so we vacated to leave them to do their thing. We filled up a few Jerry Jugs with Diesel and Gasoline then dropped them off at the boat. When we headed back to the dingy dock we found Frank just meeting his guests, so we helped them down to the boat with their luggage and then headed off to downtown Charlotte Amalie to wander the shops and have some lunch. We heard there was an ice cream shoppe in town and I am hankering for a sundae or some other delightful concoction. Well, we had a lovely lunch on the waterfront, watching the harbor and the tourists, and we very much enjoyed wandering the downtown series of duty free shops and narrow alleyways, however ice cream wasn't to be had and so we headed back to the boat without. There is a lot of activity in this harbor and today there are 3 cruise ships on the West Indies dock, next to us. As we relax on board this afternoon we have a concert from the closest ship floating out to us, and just past sunset we watch the ships backing out and heading for their next port, which makes quite a show just off our starboard side.

Merry Christmas from the beach
12/25/2011

Sunday Dec 25th
Merry Christmas from the beach... Last night we had a lovely dinner aboard OJ with Frank & Denise and Peter & Deby. Today, we are heading over to Honeymoon Beach on Water Island to have a cruisers Christmas Potluck. Honeymoon beach is a lovely place, and the food was a terrific spread. After visiting and eating our fill, we had a swim in crystal clear water and pretended to exercise off some of the wonderful dinner. While we dearly miss our family...it was a lovely way to spend Christmas with others who live this crazy lifestyle.

A GREAT visit...!
12/23/2011

A great visit..
Sorry for the delay in posting, but we were caught up in a great visit with dear friends... We had an exceptional week, visiting St. John and brand new anchorages for all of us. We left Crown Bay on Sunday, Dec 18th and headed up to Leinster Bay, Water Lemon Key on the North end of St. John. From here you can see Joost Van Dyke, Tortola and all the smaller out islands on that end. Waterlemon is a lovely little place, with nice snorkeling, however the Christmas Winds are up, and the outer edge of the key was a little rough. They have mooring balls here, and most everywhere, since the bulk of the island is a National Park for a mere $15 a night. The pay stations are located on a small float, located in the bay, so the Backseaters kayaked over and took care of the necessary. We stayed in Leinster two days, the second day we went to shore and took a fabulous hike up and into the park, across a ridge and far enough to see Coral Bay on the south side. Along the way we were able to see some ruins, one a terrific archway left from some building, another the foundation of a huge mansion on the hilltop, called Windy point. We would never have found the mansion, or known what it was without the help of a family of hikers who gave us some tips as we met them on the path. They were regular St. John vacationers, and were happy to give us a few tips along the way. We originally planned to hike all the way to Coral Bay, as the path said 2 miles or so... well, it may have been 2 miles...but they were island miles which meant up, down, up, up, down, etc and by the time we got to the crest and headed down...down looked like a LOOOOONG way, and the fact of climbing back UP it on the return trip daunted most of us (I think the vote was 3 to one!) so we turned and headed back. We took another short, flat path around to see the ruins of the Annandale Sugar Mill Plantation which is a wonderfully well preserved and partially restored site.

Tuesday, Dec 20th we headed over to Maho Bay, and took a can there...a pretty site, but with the winds picking up the snorkeling was a little cloudy and hard to see. In the afternoon, the Park Ranger stopped by to advise that the wind forecasts were looking grim, and the seas forecasted in the bay were to be 10-15 feet. As you can imagine, this was disconcerting to us, however his recommendation that we move to the south side of the island came a little late in the day for us. Dilemma....the Backseaters are out snorkeling...there are still a few cans available in the more protected portion of the bay, but boats are headed in to snatch them...stay or go, stay or go...well - we go, find a better (we hope) can for the night, then jump in the dingy to go search for our intrepid dive team who we hope are still walking the beach and none the wiser to our move.... However, that was not to be...unbeknownst to us they saw us move the boat as they were swimming back and so continued to swim halfway across the bay to catch up with us. After hauling them in the dingy we head back to the boat where we fortunately can laugh about the crazy events of the day...

Wednesday, Dec 21 - we had a bumpy, but fine night, and as we look at our original mooring we would have been fine overnight. Hmm - nothing like a warning from a Park Ranger to make you rethink your decisions. However, all was well, and we got a great story out it too. And even though now the Backseaters will not leave the boat without either Jim or I, they are still talking about next time, so our friendship is intact! Today we headed over to St. James Island, and a small bay called Christmas Cove. The snorkeling here was great, and we saw stingrays and sea turtles, porcupine fish, squid and several other very interesting and uncommon sea critters. The water was clear and except in one area, had a very limited current, so the snorkeling was quite enjoyable here. Late in the afternoon, we discovered another secret about Christmas Cove...It is where Santa keeps his reindeer! One wandered down to the rocky beach late in the day to say hello to the boaters, and watch the sunset with us.

Thursday afternoon, we headed back into Charlotte Amalie Waterfront to anchor for the night as Friday was departure day for our friends. The winds are STILL blowing, so the bay is a little rocky with that and boat traffic, as usual but we decide to go to town for dinner. Since the Backseaters were familiar with our old (smaller, and very wet) dingy I made a point of telling them that with our new (bigger and much improved) dingy we don't get wet going to shore.... Ummmm, usually! With the chop in the harbor we hadn't even let loose from the mother ship when we were taking some spray....oops! Well, it still wasn't as bad as it would have been! We tied up to our friends on Ocean Jedi, and Frank and Denise joined us for supper. We stopped at the Fat Turtle at Yacht Haven and had a drink and ordered dinner when Pop! the whole island went dark! After a few moments some lights popped on in certain locations as back up generators kicked in, but not many and the only light that now illuminates the restaurant comes from a few flashlights that the servers have and the cruise ship still in port... After 25 minutes, we determined that our dinner was not going to happen here, so we went back to OJ where Denise had a crock pot going with one of her charter suppers which she generously shared with us. Delicious!

Friday Dec 23rd...Sad day! Departure day and we see the Backseaters off to the Taxi at the Ferry dock. A few hours later we head to shore again to meet up with Bob & Keri, and their family who arrived this morning on one of the cruise ships. We ended up having a late lunch with them then headed back to the boat where we waved them off and out of the harbor!

12/29/2011 | Backseaters
Addendum to Maho Bay: halfway across the bay = 3/4 mile in swells how big, "wimds gusting to what? litle did we know the backseats on this boat are, well, OFF THE BOAT! Word to the wise: Beware if you are told "looks like its clearing and a good timeto snorkel" - We advise taking Jim or Life jackets with! We now have something in common with Tom Hanks and "Wilson"! Seriously...many Thanks for a great week!
12/31/2011 | Regenero
Personally I thought it was more like 1.5 miles....but, well we needed you to sleep in!

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