Category Archives: US Virgin Islands

Caneel Bay USVI

Uneventful cruise over to USVI last night. Made a midnight snack of chicken wings on the BBQ, high marks from crew.
Rain started about 3am for an hour.. Covered cockpit and real windows came in really handy.. Allie suggested she wouldn’t be steering the boat if we didn’t have this!! ha!!
Not a lot of steering to do actually.. set the autopilot in San Juan and kicked it off playing chicken with a Disney cruise line at daybreak.
Apparently Mr. AutoVanHelm is not SCARED of big Ships.. we played it safe and went behind it!

Beautiful sunrise over calm seas!!!   
Pulled down the Puerto Rico courtesy flag and now flying the Q Flag.. (Thats a yellow flag that means you are Quarantined until cleared customs..)
Dropping the dingy after breakfast and heading into Cruz bay to clear into the ‘Country’..
Even though Puerto Rico is US, and St. John is US, they don’t play well together and require customs and immigration like any other place..
The water is 25 feet deep here and you can see the bottom like it’s a foot deep.. very nice!
Internet is free.. and appears faster than San Juan… Hummmmm
Seems like a nice place!!!!!

Off to check out the ‘town’ 🙂

Timbo!!!

Fish Bay, St. John VI

What’s today?  No idea, I can’t see my day clock from the cockpit..  I do know its 85, Hot Sunny and beautiful, so I guess thats all that matters.
Cruz bay was pretty fun..  lots of taverns, restaurants, gift shops, shopping, etc..
We went to a Texas BBQ joint..  It was 3 stories up from the main street, overlooking the harbour..  Exactly like Tobermory’s Crow’s nest!!
Smokey wood burning BBq, with amazing food..  my kind of place!
They had a bull horn and binoculars to persuade people into the bar??
Caneel bay (where we anchored) was a little too busy with Ferry’s for us..    
They go back and forth to a resort behind us, over to St. Thomas, over to Cruz bay..  
making a lot of chop, and almost spilling our cold drinks..  terrible!!
The beach was excellent,very fine white sand, that’s still on me after 2 showers and a sleep!..  (Insert Robin Advice here!)
Once the sun set, the ferry’s went to bed and it was beautiful again!!   ha!!

So this morning we threw up the sails and cruised to the south side of the island, to a place called Fish Bay..  
No ferry’s here ha!!  Very protected, high lush forest hills on 3 sides of us… and tons of wildlife.
Robin checked for Wifi with her iPhone… none.. clicking on our extended wifi antenna.. BOOM.. no less than 10 open wifi signals… SWEET
The hills surrounding us are dotted with rental cottages, obviously where the wifi is coming from…
Anchor down 9:30am

Neat spot, there’s 2 other sailboats, very quiet and peaceful.
In the hour we been here, two turtles have been spotted, as you can imagine, Allie is getting the snorkel gear out as we speak!
Looks like a relaxing day!!

Fish Bay, USVI

Beautiful Quiet Bay, waking up in the night, the boat was so still I almost believed we were grounded!!
We certainly scored finding this harbour.. the water is glass, the wildlife is everywhere, and we’ve only seen 1 person in 2 days..
Apparently the best hiking trail on the island is in the cove beside us.. We may run the dingy over there today for a little hike and picnic.

Likely stay here another day or so, then move down to Coral bay.. it will be chalked full of boats, and tons of people. Apparently a small town with restaurants, etc..

For the time being we are enjoying the peace and quiet, and getting some boat jobs completed..
Having some issues with the main generator charging system, it makes tons of 110, but isn’t charging the house batteries..
Luckily the starboard drive engine charges that bank, so we have a backup, until Timbo the electrician figures it out..

Watermaker is almost back together with the new RO filter membranes.
The filters are 4′ long and 4″ diameter, costing $400 each.. the old ones were black that we removed..
Hoping to bolt that back together today and give it a go.. So far we still have water.. how much were not sure! ha!!
Washing machine has been put on hold until we get the system commissioned and once again have unlimited water…
Thats not a big issue.. swimsuits are the only attire here!

Googling this bay, I found many rental cottages.. most are over $500 a night.. Interesting to look at the place online.. then look up the hill and see the actual house..
Anchoring here, as most places is Free.. gotta love it!

Hey Looking at the day clock it says it’s Friday!!! Have a great one!
Timbo

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The Great Race of Fish Bay

Allie really is getting a little toooo sure of herself on the Stand up board these days..

So..  Dad decided it was time to have a little skill/relay race… no …  NASCAR BRISTOL race…
We set up a course..  anchoring the dingy..  once around Island Dancer..  (go under the anchor chain if you dare)..  over to a mooring ball..  enter port side, 360 around..  then Straight Shot to the dingy, where I’ve hide the Ships Bell..  Ring the Bell and you WIN (an extra piece of pizza tonight!!)  WHOOO HOOO  Lets GO!!!
Im only posting the first half of the race… I want each and every one of you to comment who will win…   If this race was on FOX they would be talking about it for a week…  pretty cool!!!..
So lets see your vote
ALLIE
or
TIMBO
Comments are easy to the LEFT!!!

Coral Bay USVI

After 4 days, we left Fish Bay.. Definitely a great spot.. Only seeing 2 people and exchanging only a wave… Now thats a nice secluded spot!
Helicopter one day… I gave the international signal to stop for a drink.. he circled 4 times.. eyeing up our solar panels as a landing pad.. There’s a rumour it was Kenny Chesney..
Coral Bay is totally different.. were on anchor in a mooring field of at least 50 boats. Dingy’s are cruising by with lots of kids and families..
Looks like a party on one of the boats.. they are ferrying people from shore to the same boat..
If you happen to follow any sailing blogs, (other than this one!).. you will know Captain Fatty Goodlander..
He is a very very famous person in the sailing/cruising world.. His boat Wild Card is beside us.
I’ve been following his blogs, reading his books for many years now, so seeing his boat is really strange (COOL!)

Giving the anchor a rum and coke to be sure it holds before we head to town..
There is supposed to be some restaurants and bars here, supermarket (ha, not that you would call it that!).. book exchange, etc…
The bus comes here a few times a day.. $1.00 to go across the island.. I think tomorrow we will try that adventure…
I figured out the bus system in Puerto Rico.. this one is simple.. One bus…Cool!

We motored most the way straight into 20+ knot winds and huge ocean swells..10 feet would be a very low estimate?… Island Dancer takes them in stride..
The only boat we saw was the US Coast guard. Eventually we were able to turn off the wind and raise the sails in calm seas.. 7 knots cruising along..
Anchor down 10:30 AM

Dipping eggs, toast, Turkey and Ham sandwiches feed the crew.. found many low strength internet signals with the WIFI booster..
There are some really strong ones with passwords..
So here’s the plan.. write down the names,
Dingy to town,
its usually a patio restaurant..
Order a beer, ask for the password….
Bobs you Uncle when you get back to the boat!

Nice breeze through the boat.. love the anchor!! Day 4 without spending a dime

Timbo

Checkin OUT of da BVI’s – For a week or so

Woke up this morning – 2 coffee’s.. walked back to the dingy… it’s not running right.. and we REALLY need it today…
It won’t idle… it won’t go fast.. hummmmm…. but it starts instantly.. Changed the plugs.. But we all know whats wrong… WATER… in the gas…
It gets 85F here everyday.. and also everyday it rains for at least 20 minutes… sometimes longer…
So… leaving the gas tank vent open… there’s not much chance of water getting in from rain… but that tank is likely 100F+ when it starts raining.. then drops huge..
Get the idea.. sucking in all the moisture.. I filled the tank up in Puerto Rico.. it has been gaining level ever since!! ha!!!…
Well a little sea Foam.. Carb Cleaner… drain the carb.. WD40 down the carb while its running.. She Perked back to life, running like new again… amazing…
Well its about 10am now… we have to leave the Country today.. were on our second extension..

Out of Trellis bay, and up the sails.. Wing on Wing right around 6 knots, Gybe and full speed into Road town..
Dingy down.. good thing we got it running.. this bay has huge waves/swells.. we had to run a mile or so over to DigiCell to get our phone setup for USVI…
Ran on plane past 2 cruise ships… many people waving to us.. pretty cool!

Quick walk through that side of town…. Its kinda fun walking into DigiCell.. we’ve done it too many times.. Robin goes to the desk and Allie and I play with all the phones..
We have left our photo’s on the display models many times now… fun to click back through the photo’s and add some new ones…
Back to the dingy… flying back over to Customs.. no good place to dock, so over to a marina..

Walked down to customs and started to feel thirsty… and apparently hungry… took care of that at a nice outdoor picnic table restaurant.. live bands playing on the street (Cruise ship day)..
Into customs to setup Day Dream and Island Dancer as temporary import’s… That’s fancy talk for a $200 piece of paper that lets you stay for a year…
It’s weird to see customs guys wearing the blue suit uniforms but NO GUNS like in the US…. what if I was a terrorist???
Paid $2.00 each to leave the country…. this price changes all the time.. if you leave by ferry it’s $5.00… If you don’t have any cash you can’t leave!

Sailing was awesome today… all down wind… Proved AutoVanPilot is still better at steering than us..
Sailed until dusk… Just 18 miles, but we had a late start, and spent many hours in town, not really rushing.. who cares.. lots of bays here to stop at..

Sitting in US waters right now… we are legal if we don’t get off the boat.. Heading to the customs place in the morning, I think its another 10 miles or so…
Sitting in Watermelon Bay, USVI right now… Very cool place… No people!! No houses, Just large unspoiled hills covered in trees.. very nice…

We hear tree frogs on the port side, and surf breaking on the Starboard.. Good night’s sleep in order..
Allie wants to do some snorkelling in the morning.., so as long as we don’t touch bottom, we should be legal… I think…

Setup a hammock the other day… Nice relaxing place to hang out!!!

Have a Great Day
Timbo

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Cinnamon Bay

Up anchor at 8’ish….. sailing to Cruz Bay to check in to the all mighty USA..   Unfurling the main sail, something got jammed..  no in, no out..  hummmm

Well one thing I learned in boy scouts…  a wooden spoon from the kitchen fixes a lot of things..  good for stir’in paint…  spashin bugs, and now I’ve learned its awesome for fix in sails..
Great sail wandering between islands… picked up a free national forest ball and headed to town…  Customs were really nice even with their big guns…   they had an electrified bug swatter that Robin suggested she could use on Timbo if I got outta line… That made them laugh and we were in like Flynnn.. (who ever that is)…
Over to the National Park Visitor Centre.. this is really nice setup..  with fun people..   model of the island so you can plan your stay… as we planned a hike across the island…

Motored back upwind a couple miles to Cinnamon Bay..  beautiful Beach.. we must explore!!!…. SUP’s launched.. we landed the beach..
It’s a CAMPGROUND???  on St.. John…  cool!
Park store and BAR (only in America eh)..
Park sign to note:
Please don’t leave trash where Donkeys can get into it….   OK

Hike this morning brought us to some sugar mill ruins..   200 years old or so… very interesting,,,,History class for Allie…
Gym class for Timbo and Robin….  Views amazing as always around here… we really like St. John…. Allie says it’s her favourite…

Have a Great Day
Timbo

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Maho Bay – St. John

Woke up, Coffee..  CHECK
Snorkel Time… managed to get Robin to snorkel in fairly rough conditions… she ALMOST went back 2 times..  But, edging closer and closer to the island (smooth water) where we were planning to snorkel, she got more and more comfortable…  I think the thing that changed her mind was Allie spending 90% of the time at the bottom, just holding her breath.. She can dive more than 20 feet now no issue…  comes up with Critters..  usually a starfish, conch, or crab…  turning rocks over, until she finds something to bring up to us…  she’s a FISH

Very cool snorkelling a the island..  after an hour or so we had to DRAG Allie off the reef..  and start heading back to the boat, which was a 1/4 mile away….  I jumped aboard, found a scrapper, handed it to Allie and instructed how to remove Barnicals … not that I’ve done it.. but I watched the boys in the marina in Puerto Rico do it over many beers..
She stayed in, treading water for another hour scrapping the side of the boat…  not quiet half done.. but looks great…  Good Job Kid…

Morning brought us to the LONGEST hike ever!.. ha….  it was a 1 mile dingy ride..  2 miles hike up the hill to the main road.. 1 miles down the road…  2.5 miles down the other side of st. john…  This took 3 hours…  we had some snacks, hung out in the waterfalls..

Allie had a rock water conditioner to her hair… makes your hair super smooth… wierd…
Checked out the many Petroglyph’s… they are from 900AD?.. very cool….  Then headed back… ya,, that’s only ONE way!!! Back to the boat in 5 hours..  (Small cheat on the main road where someone stuck their thumb out and we got a ride… ALLIE!!!)

Best hike I’ve ever been on… but certainly some effort required!!

Ray and Liz are showing up next week,, we have to be Tuned up for Hiking when they get here…

Really have to start Christmas shopping…  hummm… walking the beach with a beer in hand, I found a lady painting a beach scene…   Asked if she could paint my boat…
She said what colour do you want it..  ha..  ok..  a “picture” of my boat…   for Christmas….

She had to get back to me..  walking away, she came running back, right when Robin walked up and said… OK OK I can paint your boat…   ha…  (It was supposed to be an Xmas present for Robin)…. so it’s not a super secret… but I can’t show you the finished product….

Sea if you can find a termite nest in any of the pics…. They are everywhere here on the trails… and NOT SMALL…  apparently they have a nest in the tree and a second one in the ground which is larger…  WHOLLY… if you prick a small hole in the side, termites come flowing out…  and Geckos come flying up the tree for LUNCH!!!…entertainment eh?

No internet or phone where we are these days… but we dingy to shore now and again to find a signal..  What? No Duck Dynasty???   I know I know…  life is rough out here!!!
Have a great day
Timbo
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Don’t eat Yellow Snow?? Drink it!!

Found an awesome pizza place in St. Thomas… Beer on tap… you guessed it YELLOW SNOW… awesome!!!
Sailed over to Christmas Island… (actual name).. just off St. Thomas.. very very nice sail, almost missed one reef… that would have sucked… but we noticed it before all went BAD.
It was a little like this…
Timbo: Hey Allie… What’s that ahead of us??
Allie: What are you looking at?
Timbo: That white water… is it a jet ski or something?
Allie: ? Timbo: OMG… GYBING
I think we were in 12 feet of water, when we made; as the Pink Panther says… EXIT STAGE LEFT!!!
Gybe, backwind Jib, Island Dancer pulls into deep water in seconds…… ya its on the GPS, iPad, Charts… operator error!!!

Over to Christmas Cove.. then Dingy to town.. its about a mile downwind.. pulled into St Thomas Yacht Club, where a friend of ours (Brian) is a member and Ray keeps a boat there…

Made a quick friend and… before we knew it ….we were in an Island Car driving to Budget to rent a car..
Circle-navigated the island… Hitting Megans bay, and many local tourist attractions..
Over to K-MART… so weird walking into a box store.. Allie summed it up.. I hope I never have to go into one of those stores ever again… We are getting used to local stores.. not USA stuff…
But the prices are generally a lot better, and were cheap, so it happens when we need to re-Provision the boat…
Over to a big grocery store… 1/4 way through I said to Robin… Hey think we should continue this tomorrow?
Robin: It’s going to be dark soon, so lets just keep shopping..
Timbo: hummm… ok… always up for an adventure..

After another hour, we exit the store with $300 in groceries.. Its fairly dark, but a good moon…
As we are loading the trunk of the rental car.. Both Robin and Allie look at each other and say: WE HAVE TO PUT ALL THIS IN THE DINGY???

TIMBO: Well… ya, thats kinda why I suggested leaving when it was daylight?? HA!!! I love this stuff…

So into the rental car… only a MAP… we drive UP and Down the windy roads trying to find the marina.. Took a few stabs at it… Found lots of new roads… But eventually.. we did find the DINGY!!!
Loading 200 bags into the dingy, we head off into the darkness and whitecaps.. towards Christmas Island..
2 minutes out.. the crew started complaining… Its wet!!!.. OHHHH… AHHHH… big waves…
Silently Timbo steers the dingy towards Christmas Island, and hopefully Island Dancer…
OHHHH… AHHHHH… from the crew… waves are fairly large….

TIMBO: Gee the dingy sure is running good eh?? Bummer if it was to Die right now… BUT… At least we have 2 months of supplies onboard… we will be fat when they find us!!!
Crew didn’t complain the rest of the way.. as we approached a dark Island Dancer (we left at Noon?? not thinking to put any lights on)

I think it’s fair to say none of us were dry when we arrived… But all were Happy!!! (perhaps to be alive???)…ha… It wasn’t that bad, but gee, with all the Snow you have there, I have to give you something negative…. 🙂

Onboard, Generator started, and LONG hot showers for All!!!……. Xmas music cranked on the radio… Christmas lights light up Island Dancer.. All is well!!!

Tomorrow our good friends Ray and Liz arrive….

Have a GREAT DAY
Timbo