16 August 2019
Yesterday I stayed home alone while Heather worked. After work, we went to Root 42 for a drink and then to The Old Stone Farmhouse for dinner. The restaurant is charming. Over two centuries ago, the building with two foot thick stone walls was the hub of a 250 acre Danish sugar plantation. It was a hard decision, but I settled on the Mahi and shrimp over roasted cauliflower steak with citrus butter and green mango salad. Heather had the 8 ounce filet with truffle herb polenta, roasted mushrooms, bordelaise and bearnaise, grilled asparagus and crispy leaks. We enjoyed these with a bottle Chardonnay. Our waitress was great and she was a friend of Heathers. She insisted on sending us home with a decadent chocolate mousse and coconut macaroon to share, on the house. It was truly an amazing dining experience.
Thursday August 15
We were up early to catch the 6 a.m. Fast Cat in Red Hook to the Westin in St.John. This new, very modern air conditioned ferry is owned and operated by Cruz Bay Watersports. It is a 100 foot power catamaran. The interior is beautiful, a lot like an aircraft except the seats are more comfortable and has much more leg room. This is Heather's commute numerous times a week. We were on the dock at the Westin Hotel by 6:30.
The boat for this day long trip to the British Virgin Islands is S/V Daydreamer, a 55 foot catamaran. She is at the dock with two other Cruz Bay boats, Island Time and Jost Boat. There are 45
passengers today. After everyone fills out their paperwork for customs and immigration and hands over our passports, we can board. A continental breakfast of ham and cheese croissants, fruit and pastries is waiting for us. Everyone helps themselves as we depart. Captain Brent is at the helm. Ivan, the other crew member gives the safety talk. Our first stop is back to the north shore of St. John at Lovango Cay for snorkeling. Local legend has it that 18th century pirates visited a brothel located on the island, sought their pleasure and sailed away. The "Love and Go Island", hence the name Lovango. We are under sail, the bar is open and our next stop is a BVI customs office on Jost Van Dyke. We picked up a mooring and Ivan took the dinghy in with our paperwork and passports to clear us in. We motored around to White Bay where there are many boats anchored. Brent pulls Daydreamer right up on the beach. Both aft and bow anchors are set and the guests depart for a few hours on Jost Van Dyke. There is a selection of beach bars and cafes. Heather and I made our way to the most well known, the Soggy Dollar Bar. It is where the Painkiller was born. I got a chicken sandwich with pasta salad and ate while Heather took lunch back for the captain and crew. There is a photo album on the picnic table that shows pictures before the hurricanes and of the aftermath. Everything has been rebuilt. I took a walk on the beach, snapped some pictures and visited the gift shop. There are lots of people enjoying lunch, drinks, playing the "ring toss" game and hanging out in the water. There is a great vibe here. The party continues back on the boat. Some of the passengers take a turn at the helm for a picture. We sail back to St. John where we have to stop at the customs dock to clear back into the U.S. With our passports in hand we file through the office. As Captain Brent explained, they have a great arrangement with customs in the BVI. You pay their fee and they just wave you in. Back in the U.S. they want to see our smiling faces. We motored around St. John to the Westin on Cruz Bay. After the boat was "ship shape", we took the 6:30 Fast Cat back to St. Thomas. It has been a "lovely cruise". A great ending to my time back in the islands. It's always hard to say goodbye. I am so glad to see Heather so happy. She loves her life here!