Monday, March 24, 2014

Working in the Caribbean

The past week and a half we have been bouncing through the Virgin Islands.  We went to Road Town in the BVI's and got fish and chips. Here we also got a little lost looking for the grocery store and a nice girl ended up taking us in her car on her way back to work. Turns out we had past it a while back and we were extremely grateful for the lift during the heat of the day. That's another thing the weather here has been changing. The winds are not as prominent and the sun is feeling hotter each day. The only difference from winter to summer down here is about 9 degrees, but I can tell you spending the summer down here would be too hot. Living on the water isn't so bad, but whenever we need to walk around town it is killer.
After Road Town we spent a few days at St. John exploring old sugar mill ruins and paddleboarding.  We picked up some mail and got some BBQ in Cruz Bay and headed to Megan's Bay on St Thomas. We had read a lot about Megan's Bay and was expecting an anchorage full of boats, but we only had one neighbor and it was the biggest boat we have ever seen. We anchored next to a private beach surrounded by black boulders. Turned out that the beach was not private, but a nudie beach. Well not officially but a group of men spent each day on that beach in the buff.  The water was glassy and perfect for paddleboarding.  Lucy loved this anchorage and chased pelicans all day long. At one point she was jumping off the boat and swimming to shore by herself just to run after the birds.  We had to do some work on the boat and so between paddle boarding sessions we attempted to fix the water heater.  After troubleshooting for a while we were no closer to getting it working. 
Our next stop was Charlotte Amalie where we did laundry!!!  Ohh how nice clothes feel that are completely dry and fresh out of the dryer. Even though we have to lug our two paddleboard bags full of laundry into town it is totally worth sweating to death to have fresh laundry. Doing laundry by hand and air drying just doesn't get things as fresh.  We also got a bike pump to try and build pressure in our water pump, because lately it won't shut off unless we switch the power off to it. We picked up some more mail and left the Virgin Islands headed for Puerto Rico. We will be spending the next month here in Puerto Rico and the Spanish Virgin Islands while family and friends visit. We can't wait to have people out to the boat and have been counting the days till our visitors get here. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Baths, BVI's

After checking into customs, which was a series of 3 windows right next to each other where you start at window 1 pay your fee, move to window 2 pay your fee, and finally pay your fee at window 3, we grabbed a mooring ball off the famous Baths.  The Baths are at the West end of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.  It is piles of gigantic granite boulders where the lave tubes have eroded away and left tunnels, caves, and grottos to explore.  We spent 2 days here and we both think it has been one of our favorite stops yet.  The water from the ocean swells in-between the boulders with each wave that crashes.  What more could we ask for, rock climbing, swimming, cliff jumping, sunbathing, cave dwelling, and relaxing in a grotto just feet from our anchored home.  After the Baths we headed West to Salt Island and spent the next few days beach combing, paddle boarding, and snorkeling.

 Sphinx protecting our anchorage

 Snorkeling the RMS Rhone

What We Do On Sailing Days

We left St. Maarten around noon on Sunday just as the Regatta was finishing up.  We literally had to drive straight through the hundreds of boats to get on our heading.  We saw a dozen other boats doing the same thing so we went for it!  Other than reading books and listening to podcasts we sailed with some dolphins for a while, made figures and shapes out of the clouds, and caught an 18 lb. bluefin tuna.  That fish fought hard and took almost all our line, which made a long reel-in.  It sure did make some delicious fish tacos though.  We pulled into Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands around 2:00am dropped the hook and sacked out.  Even though the day was easy and the wind and waves were small, a full day of sailing takes all our energy.