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.


Cindy Barnard said...

Ha! I am first again. And just for the record, DMB, I was even ON Saralane this morning. And.....she is a beeeeeeautiful boat.

St John Han said...

I really enjoyed your post. I actually am a charter captain on St John. Two places I've always wanted to sail and haven't yet are St Croix and Annegada. What was the name of the hotel on St Croix that prepared your tuna?

Madeline said...

Hi St. John Han - Welcome to the blog! You have a nice gig - working a charter in St. John eh? Hope you find your way to both Anegada and St. Croix - totally different islands and both really fun to explore.

Our BIG tuna was prepared by a chef at the Buccaneer on St. Croix. We'll be out in deep water again today.... trying for another one! (A Mahi will do too!)

Janice said...

Sorry to hear the seas were so high and choppy but it sounds like the tuna, beautiful blue water and friends have made up for it! Great photos and no, this still hasn't gotten us into putting a line out even though we are envious about the fresh tuna! We plan on finally leaving Lagos Friday to start our trek up the Atlantic coast toward Brittany and further north. Beautiful photos as usual. We wish you fair winds!

clay said...

Nice fish! Good to see you took my advice and switched to a green lure.

St John Han said...

Hi Madeline,

Thanks for the info on the Buccaneer. We caught a roughly 30 lb mahi on a sailing trip from St John to Georgia. The color was incredible and then disappeared as the fish died. We had fish tacos for days. I'm glad you enjoyed St John sailing I think it's some of the best around. At the end of season we'll probably head off to Anegada if we don't sell the boat first!

Linda said...

Hi kids,
Glad all is well. LOVE the red neck flip flops!!
Were your ears ringing last week....I was in Amelia Island doing the Shrimp Festival. Kept thinking about you and told my friends about the fun week we had in St. Mary's on that shoot for Money Mag....and how damn cold it was that week.
Also my friend Jan had good results with her meclizine & sea I'm hopeful for the future. Talk to you by email. xo