Friday, December 23, 2011


I’m still catching up with the blog after our return last month…. so I’ll zip through the past few weeks in an attempt to get current. We spent most of that time with our friends Steve & Cindy (remember them from the Farmers Cay blogs last spring?) who were down here on another boat that they delivered to St. Martin after hanging out with us in the Virgins. I’m putting most of the blame for the back(b)log squarely on them; we spent so much time playing that I didn’t have time to write!

Steve & Cindy

After we left the boatyard we went up to North Sound, anchoring first at Drakes anchorage where we watched some of Sir Richard Branson’s toys come and go between two of his islands – Mosquito Island and Necker Island.

Put "personal submarine" on your Christmas list... maybe you'll get one too!

Necker Belle

We sat out the rain anchored by Prickly Pear Island closer to Saba Rock….

…. and discovered a hitchhiker on the boat! 

Skip scared the tail off him when he picked him up and deposited him in a pot. No – we didn’t cook him. We put him ashore at Trellis Bay where we picked up Steve and Cindy later that same day. Their boat was in the yard on Virgin Gorda – so back we went to Virgin Gorda. They got launched, we all provisioned and got a few chores done and made the familiar trip up to North Sound once more.

In addition to swimming, snorkeling, hiking, cooking and just plain old having a good time, I was keeping up with shipping Sweet Maddies orders which meant being close enough to anywhere that could get my packages into the US postal system within a day or two. It turned out that a private shipper on Virgin Gorda was more efficient than the US post office on St. John. Go figure.

These guys could teach the post office in St. John a thing or two about sending mail...
It’s not such a terrible thing to have to hang around Virgin Gorda…. and by now we know the people at the boatyard so well that they let us tie up at the marina for hours at a time to go ashore and run our errands.

After we pried ourselves away from North Sound we anchored one night in spooky Lee Bay then sailed over to Jost and spent a few nights between Diamond Cay and Little Harbor. Skip, Steve & Cindy hiked on Jost, while I worked in my Sweet Maddie’s sweatshop.

Scenes around Jost
Skip, Cindy & Steve.... sunset cocktails in Francis Bay

Saralane - with St. Thomas twinkling in the background

We spent time in Francis Bay and Leinster Bay…hiking one day from Leinster over to Coral Bay. The requisite flora and fauna shots..... plus two bee hives we saw on the way. One little one and one HUGE one.

You know it's been raining a lot when even the fungus has fungus
We snorkeled at the Indians and at the Dogs… 

... and even with a dog at the Indians! This was one happy dog swimming along with his owner.

We had to make a stop in Little Harbor on Peter Island, which has become one of our favorite spots. Sometimes we’re the only ones there and other times there are people who act as if they’re the only ones there. We had one night of each this time. The first night we were blasted with techno-pop music from a big catamaran until the wee hours of the morning; the second night we heard only birds, bugs and the breeze.

Squid in Little Harbor
Before Steve & Cindy headed off for St. Martin, we rented a car and drove around Virgin Gorda… we all had errands to do but we had enough time to make a stop at the Baths. We’ve been half heartedly trying to get to the Baths by boat since last summer, but it’s either been overcrowded with charter boats and day boats or it’s been too rough to stop. The wind had been coming out of the north for days at this point and it was so rough that there were NO boats there this time, not even the charters who “Dammit – paid for the damn boat for the week and are damn well going to see the damn Baths!”. It was nice to see it even by land though the hiking was limited due to the big swells coming in through the rocks.

No SWIMMing - and they mean it.

Beautiful views from the top of Virgin Gorda
We’d still like to have a third crew member…. but we’re not sure if we could satisfy the dietary needs of an island cat.

Plus they’re pretty wary creatures.

I’m still working on my wildlife photography skills, but until they improve – here’s half a pelican.

And finally – some pink flamingos! See them? Waaaaaay back in the distance? 

No? I didn’t have my BIG camera with me when we saw these guys so this fuzzy close up will have to do. Having searched high and low for them in Anegada last summer, we were happy to see them even at this distance.

One last stop in North Sound before Steve & Cindy make tracks for St. Martin - and a celebratory drink at Saba Rock.

A few personal notes:
*Belated happy birthday to Amy! Steve & Cindy and Skip & I drank a birthday toast to you. Alas… we had no Fire in de Hole, so we drank some good stuff instead.
*Welcome to the blog Bennett & Susan - and congratulations on your new Outbound 46! You hold the dubious distinction of being the only people who've admitted reading the entire blog all at once - I'm glad you're enjoying it!
*Congrats to Carly… who’s the 4X champion of the Garden State Paint Horse Club this season!


Amy said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes....I could use a shot of Fire in da Hole! Glad you are back, I love checking in with you and your travels in paradise.

Leslie said...

Back(b)log: Heh, heh. It's funny because it's true.

Miles said...

Okay, okay, sorry for the delay. 8 days is totally unacceptable I know. But by the time you guys had gotten to the Carribean last year, we had already been there. And this year we probably won't get there, so I'm feeling a bit pathetic. I want to know why Skip would cut the tail off a lizard, that's just wrong. Put your toes in the sand at Maho for us. Oh!, and take some measurements for me on that sundial up by the dining pavilion. See if you can find a manufacturer name on it. I'll never let this sort of a delay happen again...

Miles said...

And happy new year!

Linda said...

Just popping in to say Happy New Year kids! xoxo

Janice said...

As always enjoy reading your blog entries and seeing your photos (even the wildlife ones are good as I know how difficult they are to get!) I always enjoy the fact that I feel like we are sitting next to you just talking - guess this is the best we can do for now! Enjoy your explorations as always!

Anonymous said...

Great to see the blog again! I love the way the text and the nice pictures work together!!!
it must have been great to have met up with Steve and Cindy!!
Say Hi to them from us!!!
Miss you!!!/ Snowbird

Bennett said...

Belated thanks for the welcome to your blog, and Happy New Year!

Skip emailed that "it's been difficult for both of us to readjust to “island time” this winter – but we are persevering!" Judging from the pictures, he is cured!