It was time to do a bit of provisioning as we've been here in Great Lameshur Bay for over a week. There's been a trough nearby, and winds and sea conditions have been far from optimal for moving around. Our neighbors, Ken & Lori of sv Reality Check, suggested a ferry ride to St Thomas, followed by a lot of local bus rides to stop, pick up stuff, and see the sights. We picked them up by dinghy at 0830 and Lori had arranged a taxi to pick us up here at Great Lameshur and take us to the ferry dock in Cruz Bay. The ride over to St Thomas only takes a few minutes, and Ken was a great tour guide as we went from one end of St. Thomas to another. After a lunch stop for Mexican food at Gringo's, we continued our bus ride/tour, finally ending up on the 5:00 ferry back to St John. We walked to the Starfish Market for provisions, and took a taxi back to here, arriving back aboard at 1930 hours. It was a long day, but a wonderful way to experience St Thomas and St John, with special thanks to Ken & Lori for being such great company!
Yesterday, Sue, Lee and Sharon snorkeled just off our boats in 20-25' of water hunting for conch. You're allowed to take 2 conch per person per day, so we were optimistic. I was in Allegro's inflatable kayak (support crew...) and followed nearby. Lee did all the work, harvesting 8 conch in record time. We then took them to the beach for cleaning. This morning, we hiked to the VIERO Tektite Museum and camp, a first rate stop that explained and exhibited the Tektite underwater lab facility. After, we arranged our conch fest for late afternoon. Sharon made conch fritters and Sue the conch salad, topped off by peach cobbler with Easiyo yogurt for dessert. We hadn't eaten our own harvested conch since the Bahamas; was that really about 20 years ago?!
In the morning we dinghied around the point to one of the two red mooring balls close to where the Tektite lab was located. Richard (sv Sea Level) showed us around. This was a NASA funded underwater scientific lab built in 1969-70 and focused on decompression as well as the effects of isolation and working in close environments, the first time these had been extensively studied. Only a few porcelin tiles remain to mark the area. The fish were plentiful and and the reef, for the most part, was healthy. In the afternoon, along with Steve and Maria (sv Aspen) and Lee (sv Allegro) we hiked the Lameshur Bay Trail, and a few miles of the Petroglyph Trail found us at a dried up waterfall surrounded by large boulders and petroglyphs of indeterminate age. Steve related that the current thinking is that these particular petroglyphs had not been scientifically studied, but are thought to be from around 1000 BC. They were remarkably well preserved and we hope they'll remain for future generations to enjoy. We arrived back to the boat at 1630, and a jump in the water was so refreshing.
Yep, we made it. We were determined to get here, so went around the north and east sides of the island to arrive in this beautiful place. And...we sailed it, tacking across the Drake channel in beautiful conditions and enjoying the day. There's no anchoring here, so taking a mooring ball is mandatory. This is the first time we've dropped the boat hook attemting to grab the mooring line; trying to hold onto the line of the buoy as the current swings the boat isn't always that easy. But, that's the reason for the extendable boat hook - it floats. After retrieving it, the second try went smoothly and we actually looked like we knew what we were doing. There are lots of buoys but few boats here today. The snorkeling was good and the water crystal clear.
We don't always do things the hard way; just some of the time. We left Christmas Cove and decided to go to Great Lameshur Bay. Sounded OK; it's not that long a run. After an hour of motor-sailing into 20 knots of wind and 4-6' waves, we looked at each other and wondered what the hell were we doing?? Getting beat up on New Year's day - wonderful... We were 3 miles away from the bay when we turned around and hightailed it the other way. Much better. We took a mooring at Scott Bay (contiguous with Caneel Bay) and relaxed.
Swinging gently at anchor, once again we realize how truely blessed we are to continue cruising in such beautiful places. We send our love to all our family and friends aboard and ashore. We hope 2017 brings contentment, realized dreams and good health to all, and may we all continue to appreciate each other's support and encouragement. And, as to life's many challenges we will, no doubt, encounter in 2017, may we all "hang in there!"
We took a berth at the IGY American Yacht Harbor Marina for a couple nights and were so happy to hook-up with my sister, nephew and his wife and two kids. Talk about timing! They just happened to schedule a vacation in St Thomas, and here we were! They hadn't been aboard Infini before, and it was wonderful to introduce them to the cruising lifestyle, albeit a very brief intro. This morning, I changed the oil, filled the water tanks, did a diesel and gas can top-off run, and a few cleaning chores before it was time to take the taxi over to their hotel and enjoy a lovely buffet dinner and visit with them. Unfortunately, I think we created some new farkel maniacs, introducing the kids to the dice game we've played for some time. It wasn't "cutthroat" farkel, but they got the gist of things quickly. What fun! We'll be leaving the marina tomorrow morning, after a last minute laundry, hot shower and a bit of provisioning.