We checked out of Soper’s Hole in Tortola on Saturday, January 12th, 2013.  I had a morning cuppa with my new friend Kate at Da’Best.  So nice to have a girlfriend here.  We sailed out of the BVIs and into the USVIs into Cruz Bay in St. John to check in.  We prettied ourselves up and dinghied into shore, soaked and not looking very pretty anymore upon arrival.  It rained all day but we walked around anyway in this town which is somewhere betwixt and between what we think of as the States and what we experience as the islands.  There were half built – and then abandoned buildings, roosters everywhere, cars driving wildly on the left, beautiful water and boats everywhere, t-shirt shops, outside tiki sort of bars yet we ate at kind of a New York deli which was an interesting twist in the middle of all the rest.

Later we dinghied back to the boat around the corner and relaxed at our anchorage at Caneel Bay just off Honeymoon Beach.  It is a lovely spot where commercial catamarans come in to bring people snorkeling, and to the beautiful beach and to play bad music.

Honeymoon Beach near Caneel Bay

The next morning we headed to the north side of St. John at Francis Bay.  We moored there for a few nights and there is a little camping settlement around the corner called Maho Bay.  Way cool.  We went there for dinner one night and you have to climb up 333 steps to get there!  It is a compound where you can stay in tens/treehouses.  I believe my parents stayed there once upon a time.  Matt would enjoy it, Graham would do it for Matt and I would be checked in to a hotel on the other side of the island.  But dinner was a great experience.  They have a different theme every night with 4 specials and a salad bar.  We went on Caribbean night; Matt and I had Shrimp Creole over dirty rice and Graham had Jerk Flank Steak with pineapple salsa (and he ate salad – such a good palate).  We watched the sunset from the eco-lodge while looking down on Troubadour – the only blue-hulled boat in the harbor and she is spectacular looking among all the white boats.

Troubadour is the second boat from the left


We are waiting for a weather window to cross to St. Maarten which will likely be on Friday, January 18th – a 20 hour/90 mile trip.  I have read three great books this week that I would recommend:

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (very irreverent, hilarious)

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield (on family and faith, amazing)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (twisted thriller with good grammar and interesting words)

They were all very different but I loved each one.  Everyone should read Sam Lake though.  I love that I have time to read 3 books in a week – more like 3 books in 3 days, actually.

Today we went back to Cruz Bay to do laundry and some customs stuff and pick up mail at the US Post Office c/o General Delivery!  Matt did the boring stuff (or did he?) and I grocery shopped and walked and did the laundry.  As I waited outside the laundry for my clothes to dry I reflected on a colorful mosaic of children playing on a wall of an Episcopal (Anglican) Church, thinking that I never used to take the time to stop and look at churches or mosaics.  So good to be afforded the opportunity and to take it and appreciate it.

Graham is way ahead in school and we are all very pleased.