Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cruzan Catch-up

We arrived in St. Croix on Sunday after a wild ride from St. John. We made good speed through big square ten foot seas and gusty high winds. Skip and Saralane did great; I struggled again with seasickness but it was a short trip and we all arrived in good shape. As always, we trolled along the way and just as we approached Christiansted the line started to run. We weren't familiar with the anchorage, which is behind a long breaking reef, and needed to focus on navigating the channel so we dragged the poor fish for a while until we got our bearings.

The last fish we caught was on our way from Barbuda to Antigua but it was so powerful we didn't get a chance to bring it in - it took the proverbial (and actual) hook, line and sinker with it back into the sea - so we were extra determined to bring this one on board. It turned out to be a big tuna... a big heavy tuna! I could hardly hold it up long enough for Skip to snap a photo.

The timing of this catch couldn't have been better. We're here in St. Croix to spend a week with Skip's family at the Buccaneer, celebrating his dad's 90th and celebrating just having time together. We took the tuna with us to the hotel kitchen and they made an incredible dinner for all of us on our first night there. Anything we do with fresh tuna on the boat in the future will pale in comparison to what the chefs here did. Y.U.M. 

Backing up a bit (because of course I had to start with the fish photo); before leaving for St. Croix we spent time with friends in the BVI. Our friends Wendy and Dave stayed with us for a few days following a weeklong sailing school and they had a chance to try out their new sailing skills on Saralane. 

Dave - happy at the helm

Wendy - even happier not at the helm
We caught up with s/v Demeter and crew Claudia and Ted and their cool kids Max and Anya. Ted's brother and sister in law, Greg and Kathy were with them and we spent a few interesting evenings with the whole crew. Greg and Kathy have hiked the entire Appalachian Trail and their stories were pretty inspiring. 

Kathy, Greg and Skip in this clearly marked "group" shot
Greg's tattoo says it all: "Georgia to Maine '06"
As a bonus - we found a new home for Skip's uh.... 'treasure' from Barbuda. Not only has he been wearing it around the boat, he's been threatening to wear it in public. I thought it was best to remove all temptation before it was too late. Thanks Demeter kids - have fun with it!

Max has his own unique style.
Yellow is Anya's color!
Even Claudia can't resist the hard hat/is forced to try on the hard hat
Even though we've been spending a fair amount of time in the BVI we hadn't been back to Anegada for a while, so with some time on our hands we sailed the short distance north to the low island. It had been really windy and the water was too stirred up for good snorkeling, but the weather was perfect for hiking.

Seen around Anegada...

Cow Wreck Bay
The chair is for my sisters; the flip flop boot is for my rockabilly friend Linda!

With all this blue around us I've sort of forgotten about flora and fauna shots. I made an attempt at a few on St. John and discovered I'm still wildlife-photo challenged.... even the donkeys got past me. And the mongoose? Forget about it.

From top L: donkeys, lemon shark, mongoose, frangiapani
Little Blue Heron
We're being spoiled here (again) at the Buccaneer but early next week it's back to Saralane and blue water as we work our way east once more.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

On Your Local Newsstand

In addition to a mention or two in the comments, I've gotten a few emails asking about the articles Skip's written (with some photos by moi) for Blue Water Sailing Magazine. Since you asked...... here they are! The BVI article was in the March issue and the Classic Passages article is in the current April issue. 

Note to self (and to you, since you're reading this): high season can be a tad on the busy side here so you may not want to plan on getting a big space to yourself in Little Harbor when the hordes arrive. It was mobbed when we wandered over two weeks ago so we bypassed it and anchored in Great Harbor, which doesn't qualify for off-the-beaten-track status, but is lovely nonetheless. 

We operate on the notion that "there's always room for one more boat" in any anchorage, so we could have elbowed in to Little Harbor. Mobbed or not, it's still a beautiful spot and one of my favorites.

This second article is about Skip's trip with Bennett and Susan on their maiden offshore voyage on 'Pratique', their brandy-brand new Outbound 46. They're now in the Bahamas and have started a blog of their own that you can check out here. They're really fun and interesting people and you'll enjoy following their adventures.

Since my last post we sailed from Guadeloupe to St. Martin and then back to the BVI. I'll bring things up to date in the next blog post...