Saturday, May 14, 2016

19 & 20. Virgin Islands - Spanish, US, British, Oh My!

    Abby enjoying the view in Culebrita, SVI

Guess I had too much fun on Mother’s Day and didn’t get the blog out last week :)  Our apologies.  
We had a great last two weeks, some sad good-byes and some unexpected meet ups; lots of ground to cover so here we go!!!

We started our week with a surprise trip back to mainland Puerto Rico to visit some friends we have spent our entire journey trying to catch up to.  The Renewal crew is the first boat family we met as they cruised through Jacksonville last fall.  
    Girl trip!
The girls had so much fun catching up with each other and comparing Bahama stories.  
    Treats from Sweet & Naughty
We had a fun sleepover aboard their boat 
and perfected the new sport of dinghy-pulled SUP :)
And if that wasn't enough excitement, the girls from Take Two were able to join in the fun as well!  The perfect Girl Getaway!
Don't feel too sorry for Andrew while we were gone.  He got our solar panels permanently installed 
and rewarded himself with meals at every one of our favorite restaurants and beers with friends!  So he wasn't suffering too much.
We had to have a final Sweet & Naughty visit.
And to say goodbye to our new favorite stop so far, Culebra, to see what else was out there!
    Goodbye, Culebra!
Boy, are we glad we did!  We met back up with Dean & Kim at Culebrita, a small island off the coast of Culebra with no inhabitants except the amazing wildlife.  
We had daily visits from turtles, 
great snorkeling and curious mountain goats that came out to inspect when Andrew tried a kitesurfing session.  Andrew also did a dramatic rescue of a fellow cruiser’s dinghy which expanded his free diving skills to 50’!  Impressive, I know.
But the highlight of our visit to Culebrita was a trip to the baths.
A beautifully protected, natural pool with little fish and crabs all around and water crashing over the wall to keep the water fresh and refreshing.
It was the most beautiful way to end our partnering with Dean & Kim and Dream Catcher.  They have been our unexpected sail buddies and best friends since Staniel Cay, Bahamas and we love them dearly.  They have been with us for most of our best moments and we are so sad they will be heading back to their land home.  But we a thankful for all they have meant to us on this journey & look forward to seeing them next season.

Before we all got too sad, we headed out to the next exciting chapter of our journey, the US Virgin Islands & British Virgin Islands.
    Paige & St Thomas
Our first order of business in St Thomas was to enjoy some Pizza Pi, a great floating food truck who’s video we had seen probably a year before and couldn't even imagine ever making it here, but we did!
    Pizza Pi - Christmas Cove, USVI
I had a perfect Mother’s Day enjoying St Thomas.  
    Picture Andrew sitting beside me as I read Paige’s.  
    Sky made me a coupon for help around the boat.  Sweet babies!
Brunch with my happy little family complete with amazing live music.  
All the laundry done with the help of everyone :) And a run around town on the safari bus, $1 gets you anywhere but ride at your own risk.
    Everyone is laughing because I just about fell out getting this pic!
We completed the day by watching Andrew’s latest work as Director of Photography in NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed on CMT.
    At least most of us did :)

St Thomas is a magical island to sail by with it’s mountainous terrain, lush hillsides, peppered with cute little bungalows and the airport runway right on the coast.  But to be completely honest, it wasn't our most favorite place.  The anchorages were all rolly and super uncomfortable.  We had to drop the anchor 8 times, that’s a record!  And on one of the pulls we brought up a huge rock with us,
    that’s not supposed to happen.  
The people were friendly enough but it was a little more touristy than we like and lots of ex-pat transplants that change the dynamic of the island vibe.
We moved on to St John and had a completely different USVI experience.  
    Swimming with these cute guys never gets old!
Meeting up with our friends aboard Take Two in a semi-private mooring field with turtles, fish & rocks for jumping from was definitely more our speed!  
Happy kids makes for a happy boat and having lots of friends around always delivers the smiles, giggles & endless entertainment.
Just before this rainbow, Andrew thought he was so funny when he pushed me out of the dinghy.  I said this is the sign that it will never happen again! :)

On to Jost Van Dyke, the BVIs, and new stamps in our passports!
We are loving the British Virgin Islands!
Hanging with friends.  Andrew got a great kiting session in.  
We’ve had beach time, boat time and island ice cream.  We even got some schoolwork in.   

Although we are living in paradise we still have heated arguements, personality conflicts and questioning what we are doing.  But most of the time it is as magical as it sounds and we appreciate how amazing this opportunity is!
    Never seen a rainbow right at the horizon line!  Pretty cool.

Things learned aboard this week:
I have two of the best girls in the world.  I am overjoyed that I get to be their mom.  And I had the best mom to help me prepare for the job.  Also pretty thankful for my mom-in-law, who raised an awesome leader for our family.
I hate conflict!  But I am thankful for a partner who is willing to work through our differences and keep at it until we find the resolve on the other side.  And a sister that will listen when I just need to throw a fit :)

We are just getting started in the BVIs.  We have lots of pins on our map of places of interest, can't wait to see what all we’ve seen this time next week.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, I'm just a bit jealous and very excited to read about your experiences and adventures! And thanks for keeping it real - 'the ups and the downs. Clearly there are more ups! We love you all so very much and keep storming heaven on your behalf!