The Starship has returned to the US Virgin Islands for a few days to do some much needed reprovisioning, laundry, water refill, and other general housekeeping duties that are difficult to do in the picturesque but expensive British Virgin Islands. We are expecting back to back company visits from family and friends so it is well worth the public transit system of two dollars to the center of the island and a reasonably affordable market. The open safari trucks that are used as people movers provide not only natural air-conditioning but unlimited views of the beautiful scenery and local island life. Roadside lunch trucks with their delicious aromas of ribs and peas and rice, resident domino players occupying any available shade, and children neatly uniformed in bright pink plaid traveling to and from school, all delightful glimpses of the interior life away from the economically necessary tourist resorts and cruise ships.
Don's son Shawn from Lake Tahoe surprised us with a last minute visit before the spring semester, and after a few last minute shopping trips (more beer!) we headed back to Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. Shawn wanted to try out kite-boarding while he was here and the trade winds were not cooperating. Instead of blowing the usual 15-18 knots out of the east the mosquitoes were enjoying the easy 8-10 knot ride out across the water and into our hatches. Kite-boarding we were told requires steady trade winds and the weatherman promised it would be coming in a few days so we took a leisurely motor sail thru the islands back up to Virgin Gorda, sampling beaches and cool water along the way.
Virgin Gorda is a major kite-boarding mecca for the British Virgin Islands due to its relatively shallow east facing sound completely protected by reef from the ocean swells. At the Bitter End Yacht Club Shawn met up with a local instructor and secured some lessons for the next morning when supposedly the wind would be blowing. After two days of barely rideable winds, one broken down chase boat, and a very pink tan Shawn finally rode the wind successfully and I fear will now have a new expensive hobby. Back in Lake Tahoe a wetsuit is mandatory for kite-riders and Shawn emphatically states he will be visiting us again this summer!