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Published: February 3rd 2014
We stayed at Christmas Cove a few more days and enjoyed watching the daytripper snorkeling boats, the sailing classes from the yacht club across the bay, and the sunsets. The snorkeling had been pretty good when my sister and her friend was with us, so I decided to jump in again, alone this time. I kayaked in to the beach – the boat was a bit far from shore – donned my gear and swam along the shore. I soon saw why the tour boats stopped here. There were fish everywhere. Hiding in the rock ledges, camouflaged above the sand and grasses, swimming around boulders, swimming at the surface. I’m still not great at identifying the fish and other sea life, but know a few such as the Blue Tang, Parrot Fish, Sergeant Majors, and Angelfishes. On this day I saw a Queen Angelfish, some squid, then I spotted a Squirrelfish and below it, found an eel trying to hide in the rocks. While studying it so I could identify it later, I was surprised by a turtle nearby. I left the eel and followed the turtle. I don’t have the words to describe how neat it is to follow a
m/v Cinnamon Bay
This boat once belonged to the Rockefeller family. It is now used for day charters in the US and British Virgin Islands.
turtle under water. They’re large and usually move slowly so it’s easy to hover and watch. I studied this one for quite a while, only giving up when the snorkeling boats returned for their afternoon customers. There are two turtles found in the area, Green turtles and Hawksbill turtles. It’s not easy at first to distinguish them, but I read about the markings after we had followed a turtle while snorkeling at Hawksnest Bay. When I returned to the boat and looked up the markings, I was sure this had been a Hawksbill turtle.
We spent quite a few hours trying to figure out where to go next. The winds were not going to change for the foreseeable future and we had no desire to beat ourselves up just to go to St. Martin. Plan B – sail to St. Croix, spend a few days there, then sail to Culebra, spend a few days there, then beat back the 15 miles or so to Charlotte Amalie – sounded good. We left Christmas Cove and with a reefed mainsail, beat into winds of about 25 knots, gusting to 30 knots, with maybe 5-7 foot swells. We were only going about
6 miles to an anchorage on St. John which would give us a good sailing angle to St. Croix. Took us 2.5 hours. Not fun. But we’ve certainly enjoyed ourselves since we picked up a mooring in Little Lameshur Bay on the 31st
. We went on two hikes: yesterday, a short hike along the outcrop that divides Great Lameshur Bay from Little Lameshur Bay; and today we hiked about 4 miles roundtrip to see the petroglyphs. We would have liked to do the side trip to Reef Bay, but our feet and legs said no. The weather has been a bit squally the past two days. It’s easy to see the rain coming and we often see rainbows when it passes. The winds settled a bit with the increase in showers, but are forecast to pick up again all next week. We canned Plan B for now, instead, we're going back to Salt Pond Bay, then we’ll make our way around to Coral Harbor – haven’t been there yet on this trip. It’s outside of the Park and is a haven for artists, hippies, and sailors. Should be fun.
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