So, here we are on the islands that I believe orient in the wrong direction… east to west is not good! We have so taken for granted the Caribbean islands that lie with a lovely north/south orientation.. .making sailing and protected anchorages a breeze….not so with the US and BVI’s. Beating into the wind, finding anchorages out of the swell,hiding from the continued blow of the “Christmas Winds”…… This, in addition to a number of other factors, have made us go …. Screeeeeeeech, stop the laurels of our last blog entry when we were singing the praises of the Virgin Islands.
After our great visit to Culebra (a Spanish Virgin Island) we then headed to St. Thomas and St, Johns of the USVI’s for provisioning and exploring. Wow, the cost of groceries is astronomical in comparison to what we have been accustomed. Clear evidence as we all exclaimed over finding an avocado for $.99 instead of the $4.00 (US) we had been seeing….yes, our lives are simple. Combined with the falling Canadian dollar provisioning has certainly become a challenge. Our experience in St. Thomas, although short and perhaps not a fair stab, was disappointing. Busy, busy, busy and the folk do not rise up to the incredible welcome and friendliness we have experienced in all of the Caribbean islands in the chain south. On a morning run we pass the usual side of the road litter but also many shells from someone taking shots at a road sign…just not the same!
A beautiful stop at Great St. James Island
St. John’s, with most of the island a designated park, is beautiful and worthy of many days of exploration. However, like most anchorages here it requires a $15/day mooring ball fee. We did have some great hikes, runs and snorkeling though.
It was also the backdrop for a memorable celebration of the life of a dear sailing friend. Surrounded by many friends from Camp Grenada we were able to toast in style on the beach and bid a teary farewell to John… until we meet again.
Sadly, we weren’t able to stick around for another special celebration for Doug’s 60th as we had calls to head back for a boat viewing. And so we spent another 4 days amidst the crazy charter cruising community in Tortola at Soper’s Hole and Road Town! And mooring balls in the BVI’s are $30/day. Yikes!!!! Get me out of here was often my last thought before nodding off.
Trellis Bay, Tortola was next on the agenda to experience the festivities of the Full Moon Party …and what a party it was!
The Dark N Stormy Regatta to Anegada also began from the same location shortly after and with much deliberation we finally decided to take part in a limited fashion. It was great fun and provided one last chance for many of the“Camp Grenada” clan to spend time together before heading separate ways. The island of Anegada is spectacular – a lot like Barbuda – low lying, remote, friendly and undeveloped and is definitely worth a return trip.
As a friend recently commented.. it isn’t always the places that we remember but the times we have shared with great friends and this is so true! So Virgin Islands, Leeward or Windward Islands – they are all spectacular in their own way and we continue to have great adventures with fantastic friends!