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Published: January 28th 2014
We’re back at Christmas Cove relaxing after a busy week with guests aboard. After our last post, we sailed to Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke (British Virgin Islands) and hung out there for a while. It was great to be back – according to our passports, the last time we were in the BVI was in 2009. During our 5-day stay, we visited with the owners of several local businesses, chatted with other cruisers and vacationers, walked the streets, and even took a taxi ride over the hill to White Bay for lunch one day. Would have liked to stay longer, but we had an appointment on Tortola to have our autopilot fixed. In brisk winds, we beat up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Nanny Cay Marina. This was a new marina for us and it was quite a facility. Besides the marina, there are condos, restaurants, charter companies, marine support businesses, even a hotel. We had our sail repaired, the tech looked at our autopilot and determined that nothing could be done without a sea-trial (and the conditions were too rough to do that), we did laundry, got our hair cut, taxied into Roadtown to clear customs, then
Foxy's is and has been THE place to go in Great Harbour.
headed back to the US Virgins.
Our first stop was in Salt Pond Bay on the south side of St. John where we tied on to one of the National Park mooring balls. Anchoring is not permitted in the south shore bays and discouraged along the north shore. The Park Service charges a reasonable fee to use the mooring $15.00/night or half that for senior citizens. We spent most of the daylight hours in Salt Pond Bay figuring out the ‘easy’ check-in system for customs (using our cell phone to get internet on the computer- thank you AT&T for covering these islands!). The next day, after successfully checking in with customs by phone, we left Salt Pond for a down-wind sail back to Charlotte Amalie. There were several mega-yachts in the harbor, including Steve Jobs’ yacht, Venus. The boat was being built when he died – he never saw it in the water. Still owned by his widow, it’s apparently available for charter.
There were six (!) cruise ships in port on January 15th
and one of them had as passengers my cousins from New Jersey. A few emails back and forth enabled us
Ceiling at Foxy's
Note the Cornell banner!
to plan a visit that morning. How cool to unexpectedly meet up with family so far from home! It would have been even better if my sister Peg, who arrived in St. Thomas that afternoon, could have seen them, but, unlike us, cruise ships sail on a tight schedule.
With my sister aboard, we sailed back to St. John for two nights, one at Lameshure Bay and one at Salt Pond Bay. Then we sailed to Red Hook on St. Thomas, to pick up Peg’s friend Carol. The four of us spent the next few days exploring the bays on the north side of St. John. The anchorages in the park were incredible – no houses, restaurants or resorts to blemish the hillsides which once were planted in sugar cane. There are trails all around the island, sugar plantation ruins to explore, and beautiful beaches for those not lucky enough to be on a boat. We snorkeled every day, seeing a different marine landscape in each bay. Our last full day on the boat was jam-packed – off the mooring in Hawksnest Bay early, on a mooring in Christmas Cove before 10:00, snorkel for an hour, then
on to Charlotte Amalie for lunch and shopping before settling in to our slip at Crown Bay Marina.
Our guests left the next day, not looking forward to the chill up north. We are ready to make our way to St. Martin, but are not sure the weather will cooperate. We would prefer northeast or southeast winds for the trip, but they have been steady and strong out of the east and are forecast to be that way for the near future. While we’re waiting, we’ll probably go back to the BVI since Virgin Gorda or Anegada are the best jumping off spots for the trip to St. Martin.
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