Definition of Paradise...
22 January 2009
Defining the word paradise is a difficult thing. But for almost everyone, what I am looking at off the bow of Windancer IV is as close to paradise as it gets.
More than a week ago, Windancer's crew bid fond farewells to the Joakim family, who joined us for an amazing ten day BVI cruise that included a "never to be forgotten" New Years celebration at the famous Foxy's on Jost Van Dyke. This family of sailing enthusiasts were seasoned veterans to the cruising experience having sailed south from Canada as a family on two occasions, most recently in the winter and spring of 2007 aboard Wildchild, their Catalina 42 Mark II.
Dave and Michelle, Caroline and Sabrina were the perfect fit for Windancer's MacKenzie clan. The kids played forever and the parents "soaked up" the perfect BVI weather. As all sailors, new and old, continue to learn, constantly in search of the "best beach or anchorage or snorkelling spot" that others are willing to share. Wildchild's crew heartily recommended a trip to the Spanish Virgin Islands, and that is where this tale begins.
We left some newfound friends from Edmonton who are atthe start of their dream, having just moved aboard Solitare, a Jenneaux 43DS just before Christmas 2008. We motorsailed in light winds to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and dropped the anchor in 30 feet off the main cruise ship docks. While dinghying into shore to have a quick fresh water swim and some reprovisioning, we were in awe as we passed Rising Son, a 400+ foot megayacht owned by Larry Ellision (goggle the yacht Rising Sun for details). It was really something.
The next morning we set off after breakfast for the small, uninhabited island of Culebrita in the Spanish Virgin Islands, located between the USVI and Puerto Rico. As we rounded the northern point, the perfect, crescent shaped, pure, sandy beach appeared. Four other boats shared this amazing PARADISE with us during the day, but as the sun began to sink into the western sky, the two larger vessels and one small one left the anchorage, obviously only intending to spend an amazing day on this perfect beach. Finally, the last vessel, a small 14' Boston Whaler departed the bay, likely heading back home to Puerto Rico. So here we are, the sun is minutes away from dropping behind the hills on Culebra, the shadows are long, and we float all alone in our own paradise.
The night air is warm, and gentle Easterly is keeping Windancer IV off the beach (which is a good thing since this is also a Sea Turtle Nesting Sanctuary). As I surveyed the crew moments ago, Ziggy was taking a late afternoon nap after getting skunked in a well played game of Crib with the captain, and Connor and Jenny were both reading in their cabins.
If this isn't PARADISE, I'm not sure what is. We'll see what tomorrow brings