compass rose

 Accidental Cruiser in the West Indies

Caneel Bay, St. Thomas
This journal is a log of all the messages from Susie & Lance. For pictures, please see the Gallery.
Saturday, January 11, 2003
    We cleared customs at Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, then set off for Cruz Bay, St. John. We anchored and took the dinghy to customs and immigration in Cruz Bay. We're now, back in the USA. It feels a lot like the Post Office. We walk up the ramp, and enter the building, and the lady says, "You here to clear a boat?" "Yeah", we say, and she says go back outside and down the ramp and around to the window. So we walk up to the open window, and the lady there waves us to the closed window, which the guy opens 8 inches, so you have to lean down and talk thru this window, all very weird, but he writes down the name of the boat and the passengers, and checks our passports, and sends us in the building to Customs, you know, the same lady we started with. The name of the boat is a problem, because as soon as you say, Eaux Vives, people write an "O" and then get lost. But we're probably sticking with it, because it is on both sides of the bow, on the stern, on a brass plate in the boat, on the dinghy and on the dinghy engine. A lot of places to peel off the old name and put a new one, in a place where tools and supplies are not easy to come by.
   So then we go back to the boat, have some lunch, and then head over to Red Hook, St. Thomas. We radio in to American Yacht Harbor, and they assign us to A15, which is not a slip, but just a spot with two posts and a pier, no fingers. It is a another lovely sail, and then we're there, with a somewhat hairy backing in, masterfully performed by Captain Lance, with help from neighboring yachts, as the crew, me, can't figure
out how to get the bow lines around two huge posts way over my head. Now we are successfully docked, and it's time to go shopping.
    We're in the US of A now, so there are busses, sort of, meaning, there is an open air taxi, that costs a dollar a ride. We get on board and head for Budget Marine. We find it, and inside, we find a knowlegeable sales person, a boater, who works there for the discount. We start going thru the list with her, and after a couple hours, we are ready to head back to Red Hook with a load of stuff, except that Hagen Daz ice cream bar which I ate. The boat next door is a font of information; they came from London, and have been in the Caribbean since March 2001. On shore, we find a deli, with a jerk chicken quesadilla with mango salsa that just can't be beat. Back at the boat, we plot out what's left to do, before we take off.
    The marina is surprisingly uncomfortable. There are ferries taking off regularly, one pier away. Altho the shopping is good, the marina has really disgusting shore facilities, meaning showers and toilets that encourage you to stick with the ones you have on the boat. In the morning, we split up, Lance is hitting the marine supplies for running rigging, and I am off with the $1 taxi to Kmart, for other stuff. You know, I think it is maybe the second time I have ever been to Kmart, but here it is a wonderful thing. I had to take a regular taxi back because I had so much stuff, but I got galley supplies, some tools and provisions, and much of the shopping list has been checked off. Except the coffee cone.
    Back at the boat by 11, Lance has replaced the jib sheets, the vang line,
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and has a new furling line, and some jack line ready to be installed. We make one more trip to the local chandlery, spend another big wad of money, and then get some lunch. I make one last stop at the grocery, Lance fuels up, and we're out by 1pm, sail back to the lovely St. John. We have learned to hate engine driven refrigeration, which requires that we run the engine twice a day, just to charge up. Lance particularly hates to run it when we're docked and disturbing the peace of the friendly boaters who are giving us so much aid and advice. But we have many more pressing things to fix and change before we think about changing that.
    Three quarters of St. John is National Park. I love the National Park Service. This is what I pay taxes for. To protect our national resources, they have installed mooring balls all over, which you are requested to use, free, instead of anchoring, to protect the reefs. They plan to start charging some time after the year 2000, but it hasn't happened yet. Laurance Rockefeller donated all this acreage to the National Park Service, so we have beautiful bays, snorkeling trails, brochures etc.
   So here we sit, on a mooring in Caneel Bay, looking at the beautiful beach which is part of the Caneel Beach Resort (private). This is the life.
    Footnote: the bilge is dry, so we think that the water tank is not leaking, the transom shower WAS the problem. And, guess what I got at the grocery store in Red Hook? A coffee cone!!!
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