A little out of touch
06 February 2016 | Francis Bay, St John, USVI
Saturday, February 6, 2016 A little out of touch
Wow…even I am surprised at how much time has passed…but you know we are VERY busy, all the time.
Ok, so we spent some more great time at Christmas Cove, in fact it was another week, and fortunately during this time Gary helped us trace the very scary leak in our propane that made me paranoid about using the WONDERFUL new Stove that we had installed this year! Two trips to Budget, and a few dollars, and we now have a NON-LEAKING propane line, and can truly start to enjoy our new purchase – just in time for Louise to cook.
Eventually, we headed over to Crown Bay to visit our friends there, and to get ready for Louise and her nephews visit. It was lovely heading back into Crown Bay, with a warm welcome from all our friends there, and the feeling that we were ‘coming home’. We did the usual chores, and then Finally! They arrived!
I haven’t seen Joe and Sam in many years, so this will be a fun time of getting to know them and showing them the beautiful islands we so love.
We left Crown Bay early on Friday, and arrived in Christmas Cove. Here we begin our snorkel training! Sam has a GoPro camera, and is going to help me learn how to use the new one we have, but for this snorkel, we leave the GoPro behind and focus on breathing under water. We manage to go all around the bay, first to the turtles, then to the shore/ledge area, and then back to the boat.. we saw lots of turtles and a few rays as well as many other fish…which was a good thing, since Sam, somewhat susceptible to motion sickness needed to find a random anchor chain to hang on in order to tear off his mask & snorkel, and feed the fishes. And this after Aunt Louise told him to ‘suck it up’ and just swim…um, maybe a little more compassion would be in order? We all made it back to the boat eventually, and a little more relaxation was in order.
Gary joined us for PizzaPI for dinner, and the men made plans to sail aboard Enroute for Saturday, while the ladies caught up on our lives. Then the first of our starwatching nights, with Sam the awesome DJ finding random songs for us as well as finding just the right mood music for boat watching, game playing , dinner music and star gazing….every night. A really GREAT addition to the trip!
Saturday dawned a lovely day, and Louise fed everyone yummy cheezy eggs & Bacon, then we sent the boys off for the day. They arrived back mid afternoon with stories of a lovely sail 7.5+ knots and an almost visit to the BVI…Since this was the first time sailing for Joe & Sam it was an interesting experience for all. A Fajita dinner rounded the day out nicely.
Sunday we headed east to Sir Francis Bacon, and after mooring, decided that a hike over to Coral Bay was in order for some…We all piled in the dingy and beached it onshore then Jim and I walked as far as the Johnny Horn trail, before pointing up the hill…then bailing out and saying call us when you are back to the beach. Louise and the boys headed up…while we returned leisurely to the dingy. We saw a mongoose walking up this way, then an amazing stingray nosed right up to the beach in Lienster Bay, not 3 feet from us in 6 inches of water…while we watched, a school of Jacks chased a school of feeder fish our way with much splashing and jumping, then immediately 8 or so pelicans all arrived, diving and scoping up beakfuls…and all this within about 10-15 feet of where we were standing…Fantastic!
Louise, Sam & Joe hiked it over the hill and had lunch at Skinny Legs, that Icon of Coral Bay, then up, up, up, hamburger hill, and back down. This is about a 7.5 mile round Trip from Francis Bay according to Sam’s watch…more effort than I am willing to spend!
Monday, we headed out early, and went into Sopers hole to check into the BVI, after a quick entry and a short stop at the shops we headed to Norman island, where we picked up a mooring at Privateer Bay in order to snorkel the caves and watch Sunset. We managed both, except the sunset was mostly hidden behind a large Motoryacht that kept yawing its way infront of the setting sun!
Tuesday and we are off the mooring with the mainsail up, and shortly, with Sam at the helm, we tacked our way up the channel under full sail. It was a blustery day, with winds eventually topping out at 28-30 knts.. Sam managed the helm beautifully and we even managed to get BVI yacht Shots to photograph a perfect Tack as we turned in front of Cooper Island - An awesome day! eventually we made it up to Leverick Bay! Tonight Michael Beans!
We headed to shore just before 4pm, to rent our car for tomorrow, and check out the shops, then get our table for the Happy RRRR show. Jim, Sam, Louise and I truly enjoyed the show, while I even tried my hand at the conch blowing contest…only to be beaten by a qiwi…the competition was fierce! It is always a great time, he is truly a wonderful entertainer.
Wednesday, we left the boat early, and headed down the mountain to visit The Baths. I NEVER get tired of exploring this place, and Joe and Sam truly enjoyed the rock climbing and finding alternate routes thru the boulders. We spent several hours here, and relaxing on the beach at Devils Bay, before heading out with a quick stop at Spanish Town, and then back up the mountain and Hog Heaven. A wonderful lunch, and view, and then back to the boat, and a rest!
Thursday finds us running downwind with Joe at the helm and the rest of us enjoying the peaceful, relaxing trip…all the way to The Bight.
We spent the next few days in the bight, enjoying the amazing snorkeling, Tarpon under the boat, Watching the ‘charter boat show’, playing rummycube, a little ka-niacking, Sam perfected his free-diving with the GoPro, pretty amazing considering his first snorkel, a mere week ago, and the wonderful sky show put on most every night.
Sunday we leapt out of bed @ 7am, and moved the boat out to the Indians. The winds are down, and so are the seas, so we wanted to take advantage of a flattish day here in the almost open water. Turns out it was Wonderful! And so worth moving early! The coral gardens were beautiful and we were rewarded with not 1 but 3 Black Durgen out on the south-eastern edge, as well as schools of Sargent Majors, brown and blue Cromis and plenty of snapper and jacks to make it interesting. It has been a while since we have been able to snorkel here, and it was just fantastic! We headed back to Privateer Bay for one more sunset, and this time we are not disappointed! We shared an amazing sunset of gorgeous color, if no green flash, with Laura and Ed, via FaceTime. Technology is only an added benefit to our lifestyle.
After a slower start to Monday we headed out and picked up a mooring in Sopers Hole for our last evening. We headed to shore, and enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Pussers, wandering the shops, and a last trip to the market before enjoying another lovely sunset behind the pyramids of the islands. The singer/guitarist for the evening at Pussers was a classy cap to the day as we watched the stars come out, the sattelites whip by and the elusive shooting star brighten up the sky.
Tuesday arrived all too soon, and it was off to the ferry… we dropped everyone off, then it was time to hoist the dingy, and drop the mooring lines…we slowly motored out waving goodbye and me wiping the tears from my eyes… then shortly the ferry speeds past us and we are all waving madly again…until they are out of sight.
Then, shortly, we are moored up in Francis Bay, Sad, Tired, and just relaxing after a busy (for us) two weeks.! I doubt we ‘ll be moving for a while.!