Monday, June 15, 2015

U.S. Virgin Islands

First place we went was St. Thomas where we anchored in the harbor of Charlotte Amalie.  There weren’t any cruise ships in port so the place was slow and not a lot going on.  We took a  safari bus up the big hill to the library ($1 each!) but the library was closed so we walked around the mall and Kmart.  

Back at the boat we decided we had seen enough of Charlotte Amalie and headed toward Christmas Cove on the East end of the island.  In the cove we found a boat called Pizza Pi π.  Of course we had to try the pizza and found it rivals the pizza in NY and NJ.  Yummy!

Christmas cove has free moorings so we stayed for a few days to snorkel.  The coral is mostly dead but we did see some interesting fish.  The kids got to snorkel with a turtle for a while and were amazed at how long the turtle held it’s breath.  There we a lot of spiny sea urchins that made it difficult to get to shore except for a small patch of sand big enough to land the dinghy.  

Next stop was the next island over, St. John, where we anchored in Cruz Bay just in time to pick up the mail.  The computer just needed a new wire to connect the hard drive to the computer, Yay!  It is working again.  The dinghy motor is up and working again plus a little high pitched whine when we are cruising at low speed.  Just a little reminder for me each time we cruise around in it to watch out for coral heads.  We didn’t stay long in Cruz Bay because the spot to anchor is not big and for short term use only.  We came back the next day by dinghy to spend a full day at their library. The library system in the USVI is surprisingly big with a lot of books for the kids to read.  

We spent the next few days visiting the anchorages of St. John and the National Park.  We hiked to the petroglyphs, old school house, and the Annaberg Sugar Mill.  We attempted to snorkel the underwater trail at Trunk Bay but were inundated by small jelly fish.  Ugh!!  The coral looked like it was starting to grow back and become colorful but very slowly.  We found less jelly fish around the island near Leister Bay and saw more colorful fish including  a school of Yellow Jacks.  Salt pond was our last stop where we attempted to snorkel around Booby Rock but the water was too rough so we stayed near shore.  Samantha decided she would start taking the kayak around by herself with a parent near by just in case.  She and Nicholas have a great time near the beach with the kayak pretending it is their own ship.  They tie a rock to a line and use it as an anchor.  They move from one anchorage to the next (all of 5 feet) and have a blast jumping off their boat into the water to explore their new anchorage.  
Petroglyphs with mirror image in the water.

Annaberg Sugar Mill

The wind direction changed the next day to E so we took advantage and had a great sail all the way to St. Croix.  We applied for a permit to visit Buck Island Reef which took two days to get.  Part of the process was filling out an application then we had to bring it back with the boat registration to the park office so they could copy it.  
The Park Office was located in the Fort.

Chickens are Everywhere!

Buck Island was a nice spot to anchor.  We didn’t snorkel the underwater trail there because the wind was blowing and it was rough water on the other side of the island.  Instead we enjoyed the beach and snorkeling off the shore.  The sand was soft and made cool drip sand castles.  

We spent a day driving around in a rental car to see all of St. Croix.  We loved it there!  The whole island has a good feel to it. 
Art along the beach.

The most eastern part of the U.S.

Mangos from a nice local guy.
Mango! Mango! Mango!

Next stop is the British Virgin Islands. 

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