Nothing but Laughter, Morning, Noon and Night
15 February 2013
Well...this morning we put the neighbors in a taxi to head off to the airport...but up until then...we did nothing but Laugh for the past 9 days....I'll attempt to detail the trip in a day or so...but for now we are trying to catch up on our rest....we had SUCH a great time...it might take a while.
Wednesday, Feb 6th…
They’re coming, they’re coming…..Today The Neighbors…oh boy…we better be ready! Of course we worked to pull the boat together and stow everything….even the stuff we usually leave out, or stow in the extra cabin. This time, all cabin’s are full, and there is even locker space for everyone to use….(of course, every hold is STUFFED, but hey…we love it) The big cruise ship, Allure of the Seas is on the Crown Bay docks, so we were hoping they would still be here when they arrive…well almost! We have Yogi collect us to get to the airport, and we arrive just after the plane, so all luggage is ready, and we are off to the boat. On the laughter filled ride back we do see the Allure, all lit up and leaving the channel…as Yogi says, like a skyscraper on its side…
Then it is snack and visit time, and already the stikes begin flying (unacceptable water usage, inappropriate electric usage, oh my)…Good Grief, Jerri, Jerri & you guessed it, Jerri…. – three strikes already, and its just the first few hours….Fortunately, Jerri has a magic bag of tricks that just keeps gaining her points…starting with 3 BIG jars of white popcorn…and popcorn salt to boot. Guess we wont toss her over quite yet.
Thursday, Feb 7th…
And we are off…first to Soper’s Hole to check into the BVI’s (believe it or not, they actually allow this motley crew in….obviously, they haven’t met them) and then off to The Bight. Donna, fully trained from last year, carried the vital role of Port mooring line secure-er for the entire trip and dispatched all her duties flawlessly!
Our first order of business here…Visit the fishes, so out comes the snorkel gear and almost everyone is in the water, while Captain Jim keeps eyes on all of us. Turns out, we have moored over the Tarpon gathering spot and find easily a dozen big Tarpon just hanging 12 feet under the hull. A few of us (Ok, Jim, Linda Jerri & I) decide to visit the Octopus, so make the big swim over to where he used to live, only to discover he has vacated the premises, and it has been taken over by a medium sided Hind…Not quite so interesting to watch. On the way back we find a few turtles to watch.
Upon our return to the boat we discover another strike, surprisingly, this one not by Jerri, rather Herb, who has tossed a towel to a Tarpon below who has it clipped around his neck and is now swimming around under the boat playing ‘Super-fish’ with a nice green tek-towel with an anchor emblem on it. And on top of that…the spilling begins, we are not sure who actually started it…but again, Herb of the big shoulders takes the rap, and apologises…no matter who or what the problem….Herb is truly sorry. Yet another treasure comes out of Jerri’s magic bag, and all is forgiven. With the exception of the two boats next to us who decide to play crazy LOUD music til 1 am….They don’t realize we can only Laugh 19 hours a day…and then we need sleep!
Friday, Feb 8th
The Indians are calling, so we head out to snorkel them. Unfortunately, the swell is really UP out here, from the south…and so we don’t spend too much time bouncing around before we decided to head off to the Caves, and smoother water. We take a can at Privateer Bay, and swim off to explore the caves, the stony beach and Treasure Point. All sorts of our fishy friends are there, including a Spiny lobster that Jerri spots. A very large and un-shy Barracuda has made its home beneath the boat which makes boarding a little intimidating as he is hanging about 6feet or so off the ladder….I think he likes us, Linda especially.
After Lunch, the Kayak comes down and while some (yeah, Jim, Linda & I) snorkel the Sandy Ledges out to near Carvel Point we are circled by Herb & Jerri – and then Herb & Mark in the kayak. Those in the water spot turtles, flounder, lobster, and a little barracuda. The nice thing about Privateer is that you can see the sunset hit the water. In the Green Flash category we had 2 yea’s, 5 nay’s and 1 who abstained from voting…too busy enjoying happy hour!
Saturday, Feb 9th
Sailing up the Channel
Off we go to Trellis Bay, with Herb the Helmsman at the wheel. We have a beat up the channel, then pickup our mooring in Trellis Bay, and head into town, such as it is - A trip to the airport to do a little shopping, then off to Aragorn’s Studio to see the beautiful arts and crafts. Later in the afternoon, the Kayak was down and exploring the bay, while the fabulous 3 went under to visit the fishes. We found out that abandoned tires tossed in the sea make excellent habitat for Spiny lobsters, and coral crabs, as well as urchins. A little unsightly, but hey – a house is a house.
And speaking of unsightly….the moorings here are simply way to close for the guys behind you to be nudists. The ‘Mac’ family reunion boat, which wasn’t actually family – but that’s a whole other story, moored up behind us and there one of them was…in his altogether, in front of God and everybody…picking up the mooring. Be careful with those lines pal…they could do some serious damage.
While cleaning up the galley this evening Jerry took the gloves off and told me to find the ‘flipping’ blue bowl with the forks in it myself after I REPEATEDLY asked her to get it for me so I could wash it…first she handed me a glass, then the napkin basket, which OK, I’ll admit it, did have forks in it…but WAS NOT blue, and then she snapped (‘flipping’, right – yeah…you know what you said!). Then, there we were, in the galley laughing so hard I could barely breathe and had tears running down my face. I would call it a strike, except she probably added 10 years to my life with the laughter…so again, she comes out ahead.
For some reason I woke at 2:30 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I headed up on deck to read, and discovered the constellation of the Southern Cross clearly visible low in the southern sky. The constellation is a rarely seen sight in the northern hemisphere and I was eager to share it with someone. I heard Herb awake below and so whispered to him that the Southern Cross was visible, if he wanted to see it. Herb, being a somewhat less than avid stargazer, but an exceptionally gracious guy, humored me and came on deck to stare in the direction I pointed, smile and say ‘gee, that’s neat, thanks for showing me’ or something along those lines, while the voice inside his head was clearly saying….’Why, oh Why is she talking to me at this hour?’ He wandered back to bed, and then Jim & Linda stirred and I was able to truly share the experience with two interested parties… Sorry I didn’t wake you Mark!
Sunday, Feb 10th
Off to Monkey Point, where the snorkeling is incredible, and everyone enjoys a bit of it. In addition to the usual suspects, we saw lettuce sea slugs clinging to the ledges of the interior rocks. One of the major highlights of this snorkel trip was watching Linda teach herself to free-dive, swimming like mad with her torso bent 90 degrees, achieving a depth of ….. 18 inches! (I am sorry to say Holt and I were convulsed with laughter…all the while trying to offer encouragement). However, after 4 or 5 attempts with similar results finally, there she was, swimming 8 feet beneath us like she had been doing it all her life – amazing for a girl who has snorkeled exactly 11 days in her life….including today! After a long snorkel here, it was off across the channel to Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor, THE shopping Mecca of Virgin Gorda. We enjoyed the fresh water showers, as well as the shopping, then had a magnificent dinner at The Rock. Well, everyone except Herb, that is who, courtesy of Jerri, managed to share his magnificent ribeye with everyone at the table. Herb, you are a good sport!
Monday, Feb 11th
The Baths and Virgin Gorda
The North swell is running very high this week, and so we made arrangements yesterday for a taxi to take us to The Baths and elsewhere today. While Captain Jim washed and watered the boat, the Fantastic 7 headed off to the Baths for a hike. The path was fabulous as usual, and not too crowded as we went thru, however the swells at Devils Bay proved too powerful and we all determined snorkeling was out of the question. I decided to take a dip…and the sea tried to snatch me away…however I fought my way out and we enjoyed watching the crazy people swimming in from the day boats. As we were hiking back along the upper path here comes the park service guy hiking back with the red flag…a rough day…but still an incredibly beautiful place, not to be missed. After lunch at Top of the Baths we headed back to the marina to clean up then across the island to the North Sound for the Michael Bean show. The ride across was incredible…for everyone except Jerri who was praying we wouldn’t die. However, it would have been better had it not been raining most of the time. Linda, in the front would have preferred to be in the front seat, perhaps even driving, as she loved it so much. And the taxi driver was trying to give us a narrative that no one could understand.
We finally arrive at the Leverick Bay, and the Incomparable Michael Bean show, where Mark proceeds to Win the conch blowing contest to the pride of the Regenero Crew! RRRRRRRRR! He also buys a conch to take back to Batavia, and we understand Happy hour is now and forever to be called Conch-tail hour! With only 5 additional shots of Pussers Jerri is able to climb back in the taxi for the long ride home, up and down the mountain….in the dark.
Tuesday, Feb 12th….
Running the channel
We take off today and sail back down the channel to Norman Island and pick up a can on the north side. Mark is off to hike the island, and predictably several of us are off to snorkel. Mark takes the handheld and checks in every hour, telling us what beautiful views he is seeing. We are able to watch a tiny sliver of sunset between the points of the islands, and enjoy a visit from Ocean Jedi while their guests are off for dinner.
Wednesday, Feb 13th
We decide the day is best spent relaxing in The Bight, so the kayak comes down the fins come out and everyone is enjoying this beautiful spot. This morning, Mark, Jim & Linda head off to hike the island, Herb and Jerri take the kayak around and on to the beach for exploration. Jerri and Donna also zip about in the kayak, after Donna demonstrates the improper way to board the kayak. I have neglected to mention, that Donna has admirably fulfilled her role as head Happy Hour-er and boat relaxer-er-er. Never a complaint, so long as the wine was flowing and the Fritos were crunching…an exacting role, with perfection achieved.
This afternoon, Captain Jim dropped the Intrepid 3 snorkelers off at the far end of Kelly’s Cove to snorkel our way back to the boat. Along the way we saw a gigantic grouper, several Yellow-headed jawfish, and a very cool school of 7 squid. We also saw our first Lion Fish, just before Jim came back in the dingy to see if we needed a lift back. Turns out it was nearly 2 hours later and the Conch Shell was being blown for happy hour…..we reluctantly returned home.
Thursday, Feb 14th
Oh sadness, the trip is nearly at an end. So we head off to Sopers to check out and then zip over to WaterLemon Cay to have one last snorkel before returning to the dock. We don’t have a lot of time here, so just make it to the reef, and explore a bit, before the conch blows and it is time to make the long swim back and head for St. Thomas. But there is still more fun to be had, as we enjoy refreshing showers, then taxi over to customs to check back into the USVI’s… This visit a little more challenging, as we all must present ourselves at the Customs and Immigrations office. We had everyone on their best behavior, and shortly we were cleared back in, and off to shop in Charlotte Amalie. We enjoyed the narrow streets and alleys and nearly empty shops as it was late in the day and the cruise shippers were already back to the boats.
After heading back to Crown Bay, we enjoyed dinner at Tickles…well most of us enjoyed it…unfortunately they made a mistake with Donna’s meal and the rest of us were done eating before she even got served. The restaurant made it right, however, and eventually we were all fed…and yes – STILL LAUGHING. (Herb was wise tonight and only ordered soup and salad….he was able to eat his entire meal in relative peace.)
Friday, Feb 15th
Oh sad day
Before sunup Jim & Linda were up and off the boat in their headlamps heading for the showers to the dismay of the marina security guard who instantly appeared on the dock to watch these nefarious characters. (I swear we didn’t say anything to him!)..and then all too soon Yogi is here to collect our friends and carry them away.
We had just the BEST time with you all and cant wait to do it all again…. We had over 1000 pictures taken with this crew…some to be posted shortly, but right now, we’re going back to BED!