11 August 2010 | St. John, USVI
Hurricane season again and we are still in the USVI and Puerto Rico area. A three month hiatus from the boat in the USA for Darci's graduation and an apartment remodel has left us with a renewed love for our lifestyle and blessed lack of television. Darci's graduation from college was so exciting and we are so proud of her. Now ...job, work, send money...!!
We were lucky to find an awesome boat sitter in Deya and the Starship is in great shape after our long absence. After a few weeks of minor repair work, demolding of all surfaces, and mowing off the artificial reef that has accumulated on our hulls Don and I are ready for the first wave of guests. Why do guests always want to come during hurricane season? Nothing brewing out there right now but the weather gods are ramping up so we will see....
Sally and John are old friends of Don's from the SF Bay Area that he hasn't seen in many a year. Sally was the best "man" at our wedding in Hawaii and John and I are meeting for the first time, lots of talk story and catching up to do. John's kids and grandkids were here in St. John on vacation as well so we stuck to the circumnavigation of the national park island with its fabulous snorkeling and beautiful pristine beaches.
It has been awhile since the Starship hosted wee ones, and the boys Jonah and Ethan kept us all on our toes. New to snorkeling they loved spying all the variety of reef fish, manta rays, and occasional turtle, a real-life "Finding Nemo" experience at Watermelon Cay. And of course the boat is the ultimate "fort" so hide and seek was a must. I think we were successful in wearing them out, the nets make for great napping.
After a quick am swim we motored (wind?? What wind??), around to the south side of the island of St. John. Remote and uninhabited, the inlets and anchorages here are a step back in time. No internet, no phone, no ICE!! The crew had a quick stop for lunch at Skinny Legs in Cruz Bay (thanks Grandpa!) and then another three miles to Salt Pond.
Hiking the arid and rocky Ram's Head Bluff and the steamy trail to the Petroglyphs, viewing the old abandoned plantation Sugar Mill, and snorkeling the point at Salt Pond were the highlights of our week. We even had the reward of a juvenile nurse shark spotting on the last snorkel of the day.
Sharing the quiet anchorage of Salt Pond with our friend John on Buddy was a nice treat, he knows the names of ALL the fish on the reef!Unfortunately, the pre-sundown no-see-ums that found their way over the water due to the lack of wind forced us to have extra rum that night!
St John and the Virgin Islands has been our cruising grounds for the last year and will be remembered as one of our all time favorites. Where else can you take an 8am swim in crystal clear water, peruse the internet for weather and mindless info without stepping ashore, indulge in a gourmet breakfast prepared by the captain, hike Pre-Columbian petroglyphs by noon, have a Bahama Mama in the five star Westin Resort pool at happy hour, AND take a fresh water shower with all the water you want at the poolside shower? Boater heaven!