Virgin Islands 2012

2012.12.06 376.christmascovesunsetstjohn

For our 2012 vacation, it was once again, off to the Virgin Islands.  Though we've been to the area several times, there are still islands we've yet to see.  And we've been itching to do some more sailing! 

Day 1

We arrived into St. Thomas Sunday afternoon, and quickly grabbed a taxi to our hotel - the Point Pleasant Resort in Red Hook.  We didn't have much planned for Day 1, other than settling into our room and getting some dinner.

We were disappointed to learn that both the Agave Terrace and Fungi's had shut down since our last visit, so for dinner, we took our boat captain's reccomendation and went to Lattitude 18 for dinner.  It's more of a "local" place, with live music nightly and terrific food.  With a great raggae band in the background, I had the blackened Mahi and Susan went with the Roti, a house special.  Both the food and atmosphere were fantastic - a definite thumbs up!

Day 2

We woke up bright and early and met our Captain at Compass Point Marina and set sail to Jost Van Dyke.  Our first stop was Great Harbor Bay, where we checked into customs, did a little shopping, and visited the famous Foxy's.  After that, we made the quick sail over to White Bay and the reknowned Soggy Dollar Bar - the home of the "Painkiller".  After some outstanding people-watching, it was back to the Jalapeno for boat drinks before heading back to Foxy's for dinner.

People Watching at the Soggy Dollar Bar

Day 3

We slept in a bit, setting sail at 10am for the Bubbly Pools.  This proved to be one of the highlights of the trip - and the pictures and video we took do it no justice.  It's just one of those where you had to be there. 

The Bubbly Pool

After the short hike to the Bubbly Pools, we had a quick Shrimp Cocktail lunch on the boat before setting sail to Marina Cay.

Sailing the BVI


Captain Ray gave us had our choice of routes/destinations here.  We could go across the north-side of Tortola, which was unprotected and was somewhat rough water (by our standards) with 10 foot swells, or the less-adventurous and less-awesome southern route, which would take us through the calm, protected waters on the south-side of Tortola.

We chose the northerly route - and it was awesome in a roller-coaster sort of way.  With 10 foot swells, we sailed along at a pretty good was quite the adventure.

Once we reached Marina Cay, we had dinner at Pusser's.  We both had the Cajun Carribean Pasta - good stuff.  After dinner, we called it a night and returned to the boat.

Day 4

We spent most of the morning hanging out in the harbor at Marina Cay.  While we getting ready for breakfast onboard the Jalapeno, we noticed  a group of sharks off the port of the boat.  They were very interested in the fruit we were throwing overboard, and we good some good footage on video.  We've seen some sharks here and there in the Caribbean, but this was the most we've seen together - it was pretty awesome.

Sharks @ Marina Cay

After breakfast, it was into the water for some snorkeligng, but the sharks were nowhere to be seen by then.  We were hoping to get some good underwater pictures of them - but no luck.  After our swim, we did some exploring on Marina Cay, then set sail for Norman Island.

Just off Norman Island, we did some more snorkeling at "The Indians".  This is a popular snorkeling spot, with four rock formations coming out of the water that resemble an indian headress.  We spent an hour or two snorkeling, then headed over to "The Caves".

The Caves, as legend has it, were used by pirates to hid their treasure.  It was also the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.  There is a scene in the book where one of the main characters is lowered off a cliff to a cave below - well, these were the caves he was referencing.  In fact, locals have indeed found treasure here in the past.  It made for some quite awesome snorkeling.

Eel seen Snorkeling @ The Caves, Normal Island

After an afternoon of snorkeling, we headed to the famous "Willy T" for dinner, who has maybe the best burger in the Caribbean.  After dinner, we listened to music and got to meet many of the regulars through our Captain.  It was a great time.

Day 5

Our final full day of sailing, we left Norman Island and headed toward St. John, rounding Ram Head, passing one of our favorite spots, the Concordia Eco-Tents, along the way, before stopping at Little Lameshur Bay.  We did some more snorkelling there before heading to the beach.  On the beach, we met some of the Bonner's from Snow Hill (near Furman), Alabama, of all places.  It's a small world indeed.

We then headed to Christmas Cove, off St. John and just across the bay from St. Thomas for our final anchorage.  We had one last snorkel, followed by dinner aboard the Jalapeno.  In the morning, it would be back to the hustle and bustle of St. Thomas.

Day 6

We arrived back at the marina mid-morning, and grabbed a taxi back to Charlotte Amalie.  After checking in to our hotel - The Green Iguana - we had lunch at the Greengo Cantina.  Rather than doing some shopping, we headed back to the Green Iguana and took a nice nap.  We ventured back out for dinner, opting for our old favorite, The Greenhouse.  The food kind of stinks there, but they have good drink/appetizer specials and a great atmosphere.  At this point, we were all about relaxing, so it was back to the Iguna for a movie and an early bedtime.

Day 7

We had breakfast at Bumpa's - our favorite breakfast/lunch spot in Charlotte Amalie, did some shopping, and headed back to the airport.  It was a quick trip, but we felt like we'd been gone forever, so we were ready to get back to the real world to see what mischief Colt had gotten into with a week of the grandparent life.

Huge thanks to the grandparents for watching Colt and allowing us to take this trip.  As much fun as we had, I still think Colt had more.  When I talked to Colt on the phone and asked if he was ready for us to pick him up, he said, simply, "No".


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