Date: 10 July 2018
Location: Moored at Crown Bay Marina, St Thomas, USVI LAT 18° 20.038 LON 064° 57.094
Weather: Scattered Rain, Mid 80’s, Winds SE 20 – 25 Knots
As we explored the BVI’s we were joined by of our friends Vice Admiral Cathy and Skipper Extraordinaire Joe Browder. Paws is Honored to have Guest Blogger Vice Admiral Cathy share our Adventures:
Friday, June 22 – 0700
Our son Calvin drove us to the airport for the Flight to St Thomas via Puerto Rico. Upon arrival, I suddenly have Deja-Vu and realized that I was here in utero 59 years ago!! Back where it all began. Our bag with boat supplies had not been checked through to St Thomas, so Joe went to baggage claim, then through security before he could proceed to the gate. He made the connection and we walked aboard the small plane for the 15 minute flight to St. Thomas.
Friday, June 22 – St Thomas, USVI
Brian and Joyce picked us up from the airport and now the adventure begins!! The boat had been tied to the dock in Crown Bay Marina, so it was easy to move aboard. We spent the evening with some of Joyce’s Painkillers and watched a container ship unloading its cargo which included a really nice F-350 work truck.
Saturday, June 23 – St Thomas USVI
7:30am and Capt Bligh was trying to wake us up, raining all night, but thanks to being on the dock, we had electricity with air conditioning to give us a great night’s sleep. Joe and Brian finished a small maintenance project that involved the salon table being moved. It’s a large and heavy table. Water can be a friend or foe and they were tracking some errant water down or something like that. While I didn’t exactly understand what they were doing, whatever it was, the boys were satisfied that they had it under control and moved the table back in place.
Admiral Joyce and I walked to the Pueblo grocery store. While we were stowing all the supplies Joe and Brian found a Home Depot — of course they did! and got boat supplies for various projects.
Around lunchtime we unplugged from the marina and started motoring to Christmas Cove. Rainy time, causing the water to be a bit rolly. We arrived Christmas Cove and hooked up to a mooring ball.
Spent a Triple “R” Night; Raining, Rocking and Rolling.
Sunday, June 24 – St Thomas USVI
Breakfast, then unhooked from mooring ball. Smooth motoring to St John. Arrived at Maho Bay, St John USVI. Enjoyed a nice day swimming. Watched a sailboat come into the bay 100% under sail, nice job. Dingy’d over to congratulate them and discovered they were 2 brothers from Texas. Next we headed over to land to walk around a bit.
Monday, June 25 – St John USVI
French Toast breakfast, yummy. Boys worked on generator.
Smooth sailing to Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands. Moored out in Great Harbor. Dinghy’d to White Bay looking for snorkeling, but no luck. Walked around the beach surveying the storm damage. Dinner at Foxy’s with an entree of Baby back ribs and baked potato. Largest Caesar salad I’ve ever been served.
Tuesday, June 26 – Jost Van Dyke
Joe and Brian took trash and Joe found a T-shirt. Made ready and sailed to Monkey Point on Guana Island. Joe enjoyed the sailing with nice winds and calm seas.
Arrived at Monkey Point where we enjoyed snorkeling, saw an Octopus and lots of Cuttlefish. Motored over to Lee Cove for the night. Anchored out. Spaghetti for dinner.
Wednesday, June 27 – Lee Cove, BVI
Brian, Joyce and I went snorkeling, Joe enjoyed scuba. Joyce and I retreated early because of the attacking jellyfish and I wasn’t wearing hydroskins.
Joe and Brian started up the water maker. Filled all available jugs then filled 2 of the 4 tanks in the boat. Pulled off mooring ball and let out the mainsail. Sail got stuck so had to work it in and out to get it raised. Very slow sail so we could make water.
Off to Beef Island and mooring at Trellis Bay. We enjoyed snacks on the stern and had dinner consisting of chicken legs, onion, potatoes and carrots cooked in the crockpot with Lipton onion soup mix. Yummy! Calm weather and clear skies until rain began about 3am. Woke up to close the hatches. This is the most aggravating part for me. Sound asleep, WHAT?? It’s raining on me!
Thursday, June 28 – Trellis Bay, BVI
Boat chores today – a bit overcast to start the day. Joyce and I took the trash to the island and looked around at the massive destruction still visible along the shore from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, September, 2017. Large boats thrown onto the shore and crashed into each other, buildings without roofs. I bought a 3 hanging bowl set made from Calabash pods.
Brian and Joe began the process of installing DC powered fans in both berths, forward head, and salon. Also installed DC power and USB chargers in the berths.
Joyce and I prepped the dinner, the menu for the evening was BBQ pork tenderloins in the crockpot with coleslaw. I fell in love with the perfect coleslaw chopper, Chef’n is the brand name. We also cleaned up after the guys and I arranged our berth more conveniently. Sun came out and warmed everything up.
That night we enjoyed a Full Moon Party! Saw our first Jumbies (dancers on stilts), traditional Caribbean celebration. 3 different parties. Singer/dancers on the right, DJ and dancing in the middle, to the left was the art shop with iron balls lit on fire. Met Deo, the unofficial, self proclaimed mayor of Beef Island. Looked “behind the scenes” where the art is made and saw the Jumbies ascending descending their stilts using a ladder and climbing on the roof. One of the Jumbies fell over and got back up on his stilts by climbing into a tree.
Pleasant sleeping with the fan blowing. No rain overnight so hatches were open and nice breeze all night.
Friday, June 29 – Beef island, Trellis Cove BVI
Up early to motor to Virgin Gorda. Moored up in Malone Bay. Joe and I explored Leverick Bay Marina, found a way to get dive tanks refilled and made reservations for the BBQ dinner. Joe and Brian dinghy’d back to Leverick Bay to drop off the dive tanks.
Generator on for us to make water and wash clothes. Drying on the line up top.
What a fun night! BBQ was delicious, ribs, chicken and pork pulled from the whole hog they had cooked all day. Salads, corn on the cob, sautéed vegetables (yummy broccoli), and cookies and cake for dessert. Then the PARTY! Great fun, DJ and dancing. Joyce and Cathy danced the night away, conga line with the Jumbies. Met two groups from SC and one from Austin, TX.
Hatches open all night, very pleasant constant breeze.
Saturday, June 30 – Virgin Gorda, Western end of Sound
Morning slightly overcast, nice breeze. Unhooked from ball and motored over to remnants of Bitter End Yacht Club. Dive shop marginally open and had filled our dive tanks. Joe and I dinghy’d over to their dock to pick them up.
Off to The Baths under sail with Joe at the helm. Swam to The Baths, a large grouping of rocks that can be accessed by water. Walking through them, it was very interesting to see the formations of rocks as they were tumbled and impacted by water over the years.
Dinner of chicken and pork stir fry with rice aboard Paws. Overnight was spent rocking and rolling. Nice, clear weather. Hatches open all night.
Sunday, July 1 – Sailed to Peter Island, BVI
After breakfast of bacon, eggs and grits, snorkeled around. Saw some nice coral and nurse shark. Sailed to Peter Island, BVI. Brian hoisted Joe up the rigging to repair one of the sails.
Dinghy’d over to Willy T’s, a floating bar. It had been moored off Norman Island since 1989. When Irma came through, the bar boat was destroyed and Norman Island would not allow the replacement to be moored up there again. Sunday nights are the wild, loud, busy time at Willy T’s, we went, we saw, we left.
Monday, July 2 – Peter Island, BVI
Woke up to beautiful weather, most of the boats from last night had cleared out.
Dinghy’d back over to Willy T’s for lunch. Much quieter crowd. Joe and Brian jumped off the upper deck, something that Willy T’s is famous for. Apparently, females are supposed to jump topless and they will receive a t-shirt for their efforts. That was not going on at lunch today. But the drinks were good and STRONG. Lunch was very tasty and consisted of cheeseburger, fried fish, maho tacos, chicken Caesar wrap – all served with what tasted like fresh cut French fries. The guys swam back to the boat and Joyce drove the dinghy back. Both Joyce and I needed naps.
Sailed to Lameshure Bay off St John.
Brian got the water maker started up.
After dinner of spaghetti with sausage we sat up top and watched very large tarpon feeding on smaller fish that were attracted to our lights.
Tuesday, July 3 – Lameshure Bay, St John USVI
Joyce and I slept up top after having to close the hatches. Hot and still night. Nice breeze this morning. Will be going to Caneel Bay to be near the 4th of July festivities at Cruz Bay. Before leaving Joe and I took the dinghy to the next cove over, lesser Lameshure Bay, where we met a sailboat Saltwater Taffy which was taking a group of Boy Scouts around. Then dropped off trash in the cans available on the beach.
Set sail for Caneel Bay on the other side of the island. Joe did a magnificent job while his crew assisted. Tied up to a mooring ball off Caneel Bay, the resort was totally destroyed by H Irma. We enjoyed a nice lunch of cold pasta salad, fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and pepperoni. Joe and I dinghy’d to shore and for the first time being in the VI and walked along the beach! Explored a trail to an overlook of Cruz Bay.
Dinner aboard of beef tacos. Joyce can certainly come up with the most marvelous meals! Early night.
Wednesday, July 4 – Caneel Bay, USVI
After sleeping soundly, woke up late. The night was cool and calm.
Took the dinghy into Cruz Bay to watch the parade. Mighty fine floats, dancing and steel drum bands. Met a couple who had been living aboard their sailboat until Hurricane Irma. He mentors kids, dreadlocks and all. Enjoyed talking with them.
Afterwards, lunch at the Greengios Restaurant. Walked around before finding the Scoops Ice Cream shop. Back to the boat for swimming and some rest before the fireworks. Nice watching from the boat. Snacks for dinner.
Thursday, July 5 – St. John, USVI
Woke refreshed after calm night with good breezes. Dinghy’d to shore and visit to STJ spice shop then we set sail for Buck Island.
Passed through little St James cut off Little St James Island, owned by American financier, Jeffrey Epstein.
Moored to a ball off Buck Island. Joyce and I snorkeled, Joe and Brian dove. Surprise! There was a wrecked ship under our boat that Joe and Brian explored. They swam to the next Cove over and while diving and befriended a sea turtle. Joe was able to pet and feed while Brian picked it up. Turtle was happy with making new friends. Brian calls Joe the Turtle Whisperer.
Released from the ball and sailed to Honeymoon Beach and enjoyed dinner at Dinghy Beach Bar. The cook, Malinda, is from Charleston, we were told that her special some Sundays is fried chicken and most of the locals from the island come for that. Special of the day was BBQ pork sandwich with fries. Very tasty. Tom at the bar kept our drinks fresh.
Friday, July 6 – Honeymoon Beach, St Thomas, USVI
Brian checked with Crown Bay Marina that they were ready for us and we motored around the corner to the marina. Filled the fuel tank with diesel. Quite the time getting turned 180 degrees and moving to the marina dock. Joe and Brian walked the boat up the dock by pulling the ropes and moving from cleat to cleat. Finally Joyce hailed a small boat to come and help us turn to get to the dock.
Brian rented a car and he and Joe went to pick up 4 solar panels that Joyce and Brian will install on the hard top of the boat. The panels were secured to the stern of the boat.
Brian drove Joyce and I to the Price Club – similar to Sam’s or Costco with the addition of alcohol. Stocked up on many items they will need for the next leg of their journey. The trip across the mountain took about an hour due to traffic. Brian did a great job maneuvering the traffic and driving on the left side of the road. Joyce and I were glad he was doing the driving. There were no traffic signals, cars gave way and made way. When we finally returned it was time for pizza. The marina restaurant had take out pizza only, so we ordered salads to eat while we waited. Took them back to the boat and enjoyed – yummy. Joyce kept the rum punch cups filled.
Saturday, July 7 – Crown Bay Marina, St Thomas USVI
Joe and Brian left early to get supplies needed to install the solar panels. While they were doing that, Joyce and I walked over to Pueblo grocery store to finish the provisioning. When we arrived back at the dock Jamie from the Marina informed us that due to the approaching Hurricane Beryl the marina was evacuating by 3:30pm. Joe and Brian returned with supplies, loaded all on the boat and we left the dock. Jamie suggested a mooring ball just out of the marina.
We found the “2 small mooring balls” and hooked up. Got ourselves situated and Joyce cooked us a lovely meal of Kielbasa sausage, salad and pasta.
Winds continued to build but no rain. Joe and Brian began the design work for the solar panel installation. They came up with a design that involved drilling holes into metal brackets then painting those brackets.
Sunday, July 8 – Bay off St Thomas
Spent the day working on the solar panels. Overnight Brian had come up with a new design that did not involve the metal brackets that had been drilled and painted. New design involves other brackets being cut from a different piece of metal. I think Brian likes to cut metal. Meanwhile Joe worked below deck getting a sander to work. Then the fun began, with the winds coming in from Hurricane Beryl, Joe and Brian (a bit of assistance from me) attached the brackets to the solar panels – no panel or crew member went overboard, so it was a success!! With dark coming on, the solar panels were secured to the deck.
Jamie came by and told us the marina was opening at 8:00am and we could move back to the dock.
Monday, July 9 – Bay off St Thomas
Rain overnight. Went to sleep with hatches open, 11:00pm closed from rain, laid awake until stars came out and reopened the hatches. 3:00am heavy rain, hatches closed. Woke to a blustery morning, rain has moved off for the moment. Secured the boat to move back into the marina. This time was much less eventful. Docked up to Port side of the boat so we didn’t have to spin her around.
Departure day for Joe and me. Bittersweet because it was such a fun adventure. Joe and I packed up and Brian rented a car. He and Joyce drove us to the airport. Hugs all around – until next time. Christmas in Cartagena, as Brian says. Who knows??
St Thomas airport, Joe and I got checked in for very short flight to Puerto Rico. The skies stayed grey but no rain. Landed in Puerto Rico to rain. By the time of our next flight departed the rain and winds had mostly passed on and our flight to Charlotte was on schedule. Pleasant flight, slightly bumpy and as I walked to the bathroom, I felt like I was still on the boat.
Seatmate was Dave Dailey who has an Air B&B on Vieques, PR. Casa Del Paraiso is its name, 765-210-4292 cell phone to call anyone wants to rent directly from him (Tell him Cathy sent you). He owns it with his brother who stayed there during Hurricane Irma. It is concrete and had no damage from the storm. All trees and vegetation are coming back.
9:00pm, back home in Charlotte. Calvin picked us up.
Thank You Cathy! PAWS, The Admiral and The Captain thoroughly enjoyed your visit and the adventures with you and Skipper Joe. We look forward to
future adventures downstream.
My crew has a few chores to finish up here in St Thomas in preparation for the trip down the islands towards St Martin and the Windward Islands.
Joyce & Brian Clark
S/V Pawsitive Latitude