Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Limin' in the Virgin Islands

“Limin’” is a Caribbean term for relaxing, and that’s what we’ve been doing since arriving in the BVIs.  For three days, we relaxed in Great Harbour at Jost, swimming, napping and working around on the boat.  We had a delicious dinner at Foxy’s, and danced with the locals and chatted with a businessman from Montserrat who knew some of the people I used to know in Antigua back in the day.  What a blast!
Sunset in the BVIs.
After that, we motored to Soper’s Hole to do some boat work and meet up with some of the crews who participated in the Salty Dog rally, which provided weather routing and a communications network during our passage from the States. Sinbad hosted a visit from some young friends, professional skipper Mike and crew Karson, who are permanent crew on million dollar 54’Hylas yacht. Accomplished, interesting and fun people.
We departed Soper’s Hole for Norman Island, where we anchored in Benures Bay with only a few other boats, and enjoyed the natural beauty of the undeveloped landscape and snorkeled on the reef.  Saw sea turtles, schools of violet blue tangs, pink-orange squirrel fish, and purple sea fans. Larry at Benures Bay
From there, we moved to Cooper Island, where we explored the newly developed resort there and chatted with the live aboard couple in the boat anchored next to us, from Australia and S. Africa. Snorkelling, we found several queen and West Indian conchs, but they were too small to harvest.  We also got quite close to a pair of sea turtles, grazing on the turtle grass growing on the bottom. It was also the scene of Swabby Larry’s notorious Midnight Ride!
The next day, we moved to the east end of Jost Van Dyke, next to Little Jost. We anchored in a pretty little cove near an open cut protected by reef, which creates spectacular breakers but completely protects the anchorage from swells. We took the dinghy ashore and walked along the deserted beach, through mangroves populated with herons,goats, a unique variety of ducks and purple and orange hermit crabs, up a path through rocky cliffs, to the Bubbly Pool. This was formed by ocean swells crashing into a narrow gap in the cliffs and filling the pool with foaming effervescent water.  After enjoying a delicious fruity beverage at Foxy’s Taboo, we headed back to the boat. The weather report predicted high winds, so we moved the boat around to Great Harbour, Jost, for a more protected anchorage.  Thankfully, the bad weather did not materialize. We dinghied around to White Bay to snorkel, but didn’t find any good spots, so we cruised through the Soggy Dollar, One Love, and other “sand bars” and had fun chatting up the day trippers from Oz, UK and the USA. A good time was had by all.
At Seddy's One Love, White Bay, Jost
We needed to head over to the USVI so I could catch my flight home, so we cleared out of the BVI’s and headed for St. John to clear customs into the USVI.  At Cruz Bay, St. John, we anchored in between two busy channels, and were treated to the wake wash and loud rumbling of ferries and other boats running through both channels until after midnight. We didn’t sleep much!

One of the rumbling Ferries in Cruz Bay, St.John.  Captain Robinson returning to Sinbad after clearing in.
From there we headed to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, for Crown Bay marina. On the way, we circled the replica of the HMS Bounty, made for the movie, at anchor in the harbor. Cool!  Then to the marina.  Hot!  It is a lovely marina, but is sheltered from any breezes and the temp in the shaded cockpit was in the 90’s before 10:00 am.  On Friday, Dec. 2, I caught my flight to Michigan.  Randy and Larry plan to be fishing, diving, and limin’ on the island in the meantime. 

HMS Bounty in St. Thomas.

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