January 5 – January 18, 2007
Visitors! Yea! On January 5th my (Lisa) sister, Terry, and her husband, Anthony came to see us in the Virgin Islands. This was our first visit from family since embarking on this adventure, so needless to say we were pretty excited!
Since they arrived late on the 5th, we picked them up the morning of Saturday the 6th at the Crown Bay Marina on St. Thomas. We started the first day of their stay with a hearty breakfast from the Tickles restaurant at the marina – great food and very friendly staff! We had a busy 13 days planned with them aboard so we were anxious to get going, but first things first – we had to spend a day checking out the mega duty-free shopping available in Charlotte Amalie. Charlotte Amalie (pronounced a-MAL-ya) is the capital of St. Thomas and must be some kind of cruise ship capital as well. There were 5 cruise ships docked in St. Thomas that day which means there were approximately 7,500 shoppers perusing the same narrow, 17th century shopping streets that we were walking. Not exactly a quaint experience but we found some good deals and Terry started her vacation with a new island dress and a St. Thomas tote bag to carry back home to announce to everyone that yes, she had been in the Virgin Islands!
We ended their first official day in the islands with a celebratory dinner out at the highly acclaimed Cuzzin’s restaurant. We toasted to our brother Greg and his wife Joyce who had graciously paid for this meal by means of a green paper Christmas gift. The only thing that would have made the evening better is if Greg and Joyce could have been there with us.
An extra day was spent in Charlotte Amalie as we waited for the winds to settle a bit before taking our new crew directly into the easterly trades. By Monday we were able to set out for the Christmas Cove anchorage at the island of Great St. James, just a short 7 miles away but a world apart in atmosphere. No cruise ships, no shopping, no inhabitants (except for deer and goats) – just other sailboats sitting peacefully at anchor on the crystal clear turquoise water. Now they were starting to see what this cruising thing is all about.
Over the next 9 days we cruised through the U.S. and British Virgin Islands making stops at Jost Van Dyke, Sandy Cay, Tortola, Norman’s Island, and then again at Great St. James before returning to St. Thomas. The days slipped by quickly as we fished, we swam, we snorkeled, we walked on beaches, we toured Tortola by car (our first car trip in the Virgin Islands!), we had great relaxing visits in the cockpit, and of course, we worked on the boat – well, we had to give them the full experience!
Anthony caught some yellow snappers one day for our dinner (he’s a true cruiser!), and we had some wonderful meals ashore during their stay. Our favorite restaurants were Myett’s in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola; Rhymers in Cane Garden Bay; and Cuzzin’s back in St. Thomas. We had a good dinner and memorable night aboard The Willie T. at Norman’s Island. One of those “what happens in the islands stays in the islands” evenings. (For those of you who are 18 and older: if you follow the hyperlink, click on “More!” and then the Fun Stuff link to see more about what goes on at the infamous Willie T.) Oh, the memories… Don’t worry Mom, the tattoos were temporary.
By the end of their trip Terry and Anthony had experienced light wind sailing (with necessary motor assist), heavy wind sailing in a nine foot head sea, and then fantastically comfortable down-wind sledding on nine foot seas when three out of four votes said “let’s change our destination for the day!”. The weather was perfect and we never had to practice any man-overboard drills. And they were finally getting the hang of getting in and out of the dinghy!
Terry and Anthony – Thanks for visiting and crewing on Lucky Peek. We miss you!