Monday, March 12, 2012

More fun in the USVI & BVI

March 11, 2012
Busy, busy, busy few weeks aboard Finally Fun.   I flew back to the USA to visit my 89 year old Mom for a week.  Leslie & Lindsay with my four grandchildren visited over the weekend so I had a great ‘family fix’.  Andy & I are so ready to be back home to spend more time with family.  This long trip has been the accomplishment of a goal and a dream and will provide memories for the rest of our lives....BUT, we are beginning to feel like the horse who sees the barn door ahead and picks up the pace!  Our ETA is by the 3rd week of May to St Pete, FL, in time for the birth of a sister for Makenna and Pickett and Granddaughter for us!
Daughters Leslie & Lindsay w Sharon; RobertE, Makenna, Riley holding Pickett & Mom
A trip to the Jacksonville Zoo was fun for all
Wonder who put who to sleep?  Special Moments for me, Grammie

Humm, wonder what Andy ate while I was gone?  Same left overs in the frig, nothing touched.  He looks the same - clearly didn’t starve.   Grin.  

Reminds me of when we first married, blending his twin boys and my youngest.  I’d have to travel with my job and would cook like a crazed chef before departing.  “Andy, red bowls are Monday; blue bowls are Tuesday’s meal and so on. “  Why it took me so long to finally decide “Screw that”, I’ll never know except that I am perfectionist Type A and felt the need to be the perfect wife/mom.  Returning from each business trip I’d thrown out the red bowls full of food, the blue bowls full of food and so on.  Seems pizza and take out ruled while I was gone.  Some men never change....
Upon my return, pulling out of American Yacht Harbor, Red Hook, St. Thomas, early the next morning, admiring all the boat work Andy completed while I was gone (maybe he was too tired to eat?) we headed to Charlotte Amalie Harbor to reprovision and to pick up Maria & Lisa, friends from my days at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, who would be staying for about 5 days or so.
Lisa & Maria arriving aboard Finally Fun


More fun times with guests aboard!  Delighted to reconnect with old friends, we hit some of the high spots in the BVI’s, introducing the gals to Foxie and some of our other favorite haunts.    
"Happy Arrring" @ Leverick Bay, BVI watching Michael Bean
Michael Bean's Happy Arring - Fun Fun Fun!
The Callwood Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay, Tortolla, is hundreds of years old.  Twenty five gallons of white and gold rum is made every day exactly as it was done in the past.  The equipment looks it too!!!  Tiny, dirty but very interesting.   The rum is produced from sugar cane grown all around the distillery.
The motor that runs the sugar cane crusher
This machine crushes the sugar cane into juice

We tasted the 4-5 rums produced here - one tasted like moonshine - ugh.  Andy liked the one labeled "Panty Remover"....which he purchased.  This bottle will stir up quite the conversations...Me, I'm not drinking it!!!

Goofing off while tasting the rum made here

The fire pit

Photo op with the famous Foxy of "Foxy's" on Jost Van Dyke

Glass blowing on Cane Garden Bay 

Always something happening somewhere - boaters know how to party

 Dropping the gals off at West End for their ferry back to the USVI and their flight home, we eventually cruised back into the USVI to St. John’s.  However, of interest to boaters following our blog, after checking out of the BVI’s, with clearance paperwork in hand, we fueled up for $3.80 a gallon (vs $4.50 for the cheapest fuel in the USVI) at Delta Petroleum in Baugher’s Bay, Road Town, Tortolla.  That is big time good information when one’s tanks hold 1,100 gallons.  

Linda & Chris aboard Finally Fun
Needing good internet to complete our “To Do” lists such as compiling our tax package for the CPA, obtaining new boat insurance for the USA and other mundane tasks, we dropped the hook in Francis Bay USVI for a little R&R , housekeeping and the paperwork.  We were surprised to hear someone shouting at us as we dinked to shore...That small world again - Linda and Chris aboard Troubadour actually recognized us as we passed by!  We’d met them in the Turks and Caicos on our way down - 10 months ago!   Another conversation filled Happy Hour ensued aboard as we caught up with each other’s cruising stories.  
Chris & Linda on Francis Bay, St. John's

Francis Bay is pretty - sharing the shoreline with Maho Bay, Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay - all very popular beaches and camp grounds for the land lubbers.   Beaching the dingy, we poked about on shore, visiting the unusual campground with it’s cabins made of canvas tucked up and down the mountainsides.  

The Art Shop was of particular interest as they use glass recycled from the trash there to make beautiful works of blown glass.  Beautiful works of art, but a bit expensive.  I ultimately bought a small pitcher from the glass blowing operation at Cane Garden Bay for far less that reminds me of the sea with it’s dark blue wave along the bottom of the pitcher.
All made from recycled glass

Linda, aboard Finally Fun, trying to blow the conch shell, signaling sundown
Sunset over Francis Bay, St John's USVI
Andy, my snorkle buddy
Ah!  A shark sighting while snorkeling - only a nurse shark - but about 10 feet long swam past me, but ahead of me!  My first such sighting after about 30 years of diving and snorkeling!  AND I missed my camera shot trying to get Andy’s attention first!
Cruising around to Leinster Bay, we sought more solitude and the opportunity to snorkel Waterlemon Cay, a tiny dot of an island at the edge of the anchorage.  We liked this little Bay so much we’ve been here now a couple of times.  The snorkeling is best at the NW edge of the Cay and this is one of the only places that has the large orangish cushion sea stars - or starfish as I call them.

Sea Urchins - don't touch!

A big manta ray

My favorite starfish!  Big & Fat!  He is crawling along.

This nurse shark was asleep & was there the next day too!

So many many fat starfish along the ocean floor!
Killing time, awaiting a better weather window to cross from the USVI to the Spanish Virgin Islands, we met up for the second or third time in the USVI waters with Rich and Margaret aboard Dance Aweigh.  I can’t say it enough...small, small, smaller boater’s world!  

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