Our latest news from the US Virgin Islands

About a year ago I spent days moving our former website across to this new blog-style website. The intention was to do a lot more posting! Ooops….. it hasn’t happened! Sorry!!

It’s not that we don’t do anything, we just don’t post blogs very often. So, to catch up from the last post……

Thankfully Eric is finally pretty much fully recovered after his bout of Dengue Fever. This past few days, since arriving back in St. John, we have enjoyed a few reasonable hikes.

Hurricane Hole, St. John

Hurricane Hole, St. John

We sailed across from the east end of St. John to the hurricane hole to hike across to Brown Bay. It’s a lovely, peaceful anchorage and quite different from Frederiksted, where we have spent a number of weeks since arriving in the US Virgin Islands in early January.

We also love Frederiksted and it was fun to sail there with SV Rainbow at the end of January, as they had never anchored there in all their years in St. Croix! Another first for Tina and some of her St. Croix friends was the visit to the Labyrinth at the Mt. Washington estate, where I found myself playing tour guide to the locals :)

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We had stumbled across this wonderful, serene place when we were in St. Croix last year and it was fun to go back again with Tina and her friends.

But one of the best things about Frederiksted is the people we’ve met there. On Lynne’s birthday in February, Eric was walking the boys along the beach when he met some ladies searching for shells. They struck up a conversation and Eric sheepishly admitted that he hadn’t bought anything for his wife for her birthday! Suitably admonished, Sandy marched him across the road to her house and grilled him about what colours Lynne liked to wear and packed him off with a card and flowers for his wife and told him to return later to collect a pair of earrings. As the plan had been to have a beach barbecue with our good friends, Mark & Tina from SV Rainbow, Eric invited Sandy & her friends to join us and we took the barbecue to her garden patio instead.

Lynne's birthday

Meeting new friends :)

We had a super day. Lynne loved her new earrings – thank you Sandy! And we made some lovely new friends. Since then Sandy has had a stream of visitors and we have entertained most of them onboard with either sundowners or sailing, which has been a lot of fun. We also had a wonderful morning snorkeling at Elizabeth Carol Keith’s underwater ‘garden’, in which she has installed her very own banker man statue and where Charlie the  ‘resident’ turtle regularly visits to swim with you.


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In between meeting up with Sandy and her friends in St. Croix, we have been back to St. John and St. Thomas a couple of times for a change of scenery and to catch up with friends. We were also in need of some new clothes since we have both lost quite a lot of weight and our shorts were falling off us! Our friends Barbara and Stewart on SV La Luna have taken a year out of their cruising schedule to top up their kitty before heading across the Atlantic to Europe in April, so it was good to see Stewart’s friendly face as we were dropping anchor in Charlotte Amalie. He is driving the small ferry between downtown Charlotte Amalie and the Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Hotel. Meanwhile we had a very good reason to visit Barb, as her job is to ply the cruise ship customers with free tasters of Cruzan Rum! My new favorites are the Black Cherry and the Key Lime!! And of course it was great to see Barb’s smiling face again. In fact we had quite a surprise when our own smiling faces peered out of the pages of the latest All At Sea magazine in one of Barb’s articles!

Water Island anchorage, St. Thomas

Water Island anchorage, St. Thomas

Back in St. Thomas, we also bumped into our good friends, Monica & Philip, from SV Miss Molly, Gavin & Mandy from SV Secret Smile, Jane from SV Cheetah II and Chris & Jackie on SV High Heeled! We had met all of these cruisers in Grenada at some stage during the past 2 hurricane seasons. And in St. John we found ourselves anchored near to Jennifer and Mike on SV Three Sheets, who we had met in St. Croix in January! So there was plenty of socializing during our short time there. Plus Tina organized a lovely get together at Hook, Line & Sinker bar in French Town , where her old and new friends gathered and the owner very kindly bought us all a round of drinks in Tina’s honour. This is one of the many places Tina has worked in the USVI over the years and she is obviously very highly regarded by her former boss :) It was another fun evening, but a little sad too as we said our farewells to Mark & Tina as they were heading to Culebra and on to Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic and we were returning to St. Croix to meet up with more of Sandy’s friends, pick up some mail that we’d had delivered to Sandy’s address and join in the fun at the Jazz in the Park and the Slow Down Dinner at Ridge to Reef farm.

Shelli and Nate from Ridge to Reef

Sandy & Tina with Shelli and Nate
from Ridge to Reef

In the midst of all this we came across a great business opportunity, which has turned out to be a real Godsend, not only from the financial perspective, but also because Eric has finally found the pain relief he has been looking for ever since he damaged his shoulder 2+ years ago when we were sailing from South Africa to Namibia!

So, it’s all go aboard the good ship Amarula with all the new business activities dotted in amongst the socialising, dog walking and occasionally boat cleaning and maintenance (okay we won’t mention that!) But the beauty of the new business is that it can be done from anywhere in the world provided we have a good internet connection, which we have here in the US Virgin Islands! Woooohooooo


Other news in brief….

A lovely few days anchored at our old favorite haunt from last year, Water Island off St. Thomas, where we finally got around to doing some sail repairs. Then back to St. Croix for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with a brief stop over to snorkel at Buck Island. Unfortunately, only a few minutes into the snorkeling at Buck Island, the underwater camera decided, once again, that it didn’t like swimming and it crashed :(

Finally managed to fix the headsail

Finally managed to fix the headsail

Anyway I think we’ll leave it there for now and hopefully do another update soon. Bye for now everyone :)

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