30 April 2014 | Francis Bay, St John, US Virgin Islands
We have enjoyed our time in St John. We have spent the last five days in Francis Bay snorkeling, swimming, kayaking a little and hiking. We had some great snorkeling, swimming along with some turtles, a shark, and a big angry looking barracuda. We have also spent some time with friends, some we just met and some we've known for a whole week! We went hiking to the Annenberg Sugar Mill Ruins with our friends from Little Wing. There are lots of ruins around here. You can see an example of the ruins in the picture above. Tomorrow we go back to BVI, find out our fate with Immigration, and start getting ready to leave for home.
In the meantime we have some resource issues that come when you stay one place for more than a few days. Our batteries are a mess. We already have dock space reserved in Virgin Gorda to recondition the batteries. Right now they can’t hold much of a charge. We have run our engine for a few hours almost every day we've been here but it hasn't helped too much.
Our head’s holding tank is almost completely full. When we move between islands we can empty it when we are in deep water. We don’t want to do that here in this gorgeous bay. The water isn't that deep and people, fish and turtles swim by us every day. Of course most of the boats here probably just flush their waste overboard but we don’t want to do that.
For the first time ever we are completely out of water. We've made water a couple of times this week but we use so much of it when we clean up and take showers after swimming or snorkeling. We took today off from running the engine or making water since we will probably be motoring for five or six hours tomorrow. I can’t wash the dishes tonight though. I think I will get over it.
We also ran out of propane in one of our tanks this week. I've been waiting for it to happen. I knew it was close. We have two ten pound tanks. Technically it takes us months to use one of them up so, barring any issues we could easily get home without filling up the empty tank. Once already this trip though we had a leaky propane tube and a whole tank leaked out. I don’t need one more thing to worry about on the ocean passage home so I pushed to find some place to get it filled. I even googled where to buy it in St John. We decided to have an adventure and find some rides to get there. The first ride we found took us as far as Cinnamon Beach, which we discovered when we got there, was in the wrong direction. The next ride got us to the right road up on the mountain and then the next ride took us to the lumber yard that was supposed to have propane. Unfortunately they don’t fill tanks, they just swap them like you would do for your barbecue, ours doesn't work that way. Luckily not far away was a guy named Moses who can fill your tank. The couple who had driven us was happy to take us there since they had just moved onto the island and were told to use Moses for their propane tanks too. He was asleep when we got there but woke up to fill our tank. When we walked back to the road we walked up the hill a little bit to see if we could find a restaurant for lunch but there was nothing there. We did see a hot dog stand on the side of the road though and ended up having hot dogs and an interesting conversation with the sweet woman who ran the stand. Now we had to get back to the beach where we left our dinghy. Happily it didn't take long and two more rides later we were back at the beach. The whole process took less than three hours and we met a lot of very nice people on our way.
Tomorrow we will go to Gorda Sound, check in to Customs and Immigration, and hopefully go to Leverick Bay to do our laundry. The goal for the night is a mooring at the Bitter End Yacht Club where the boats in our rally are meeting. Normally the moorings there are $30 a night. Because we are part of the Salty Dawg Rally we got a mooring there once already for $20 a night. Now they are free for us and we can even use the swimming pool! It won’t be like being in St John though. We will miss it here.