With much excitement and anticipation we sailed back past Saba Island and Flat Keys and into Honeymoon Bay. Many more boats since Maraki last was there in 1998. But it still is a beautiful spot and so full of memories for us. John used to bring the boys here most weekends while i worked. He taught them to water ski here by pulling them slong the shore. Many birthday parties were held on this beach. It has been developed with a beach bar on each end but it still is a wonderful place. We found several friends still living and working on Water Island.
We wandered in and around Haulover now called Subbase Drydock (where John used to work and Maraki was docked). It has changed a lot as it now has 2 large drydocks and is busy repairing/painting ferries and large ships. It was so good to see how bustling and diverse the business was as well as finding Gene and Mary as well as “little Geno” there. Geno is now taller than his dad and is looking to be the main man. How time flies. We did not have a lot of time with Gene and Mary but enjoyed a fabulous fish dinner at their house complete with this view and sunset. Many stories and laughs were shared and we are so grateful we could have this night together.
Cruise ships still come in right beside Subbase Drydocks but the ships have gotten even bigger-like this pic of Oasis of the Seas which may be the largest cruise ship made.
We were excited to be able to have Charlie come for a visit of almost 3 weeks. He was last to St Thomas in 1998 when we completed our circumnavigation and he was only 10 years old. He had completed kindergarten at Sibilly school and began 1st grade before we left. So now we wanted to show him around his old haunts. Much of it he did not really remembered but it has changed a lot too. We walked downtown, along Frenchtown , the waterfront and Crown Bay.
As luck would have it, before we could go out to play with Charlie though we had to fix the anchor windlass and repair a hole in the dinghy. Charlie hit a sharp metal bit at Haulover and punctured the front tube. Oh well! But then we ready to head for Christmas Cove St James. Moorings have now been put in here but they are free and you can still anchor. It remains a wonderful idyllic place. Little St James is now a private island all dressed up but we still snorkeled all around it.
John wanted to test out our dive gear which had not seen any use in the years we lived in Michigan. So John and Charlie did many dives together and the equipment worked well. The water of the Virgin Islands is just perfect for snorkeling and diving. The underwater camera got lots of use but ended up dying by the end of Charlie’s stay. It was not for use under10 feet but they are able to go so much deeper without thinking about that.
These were taken off Levango Key. The lobster was full of eggs so we had to let her go. Cruz Bay,St John was a must in order to see the next game in the World Cup series. They had $1 well drinks for happy hour during the game????
We got back to Jost Van Dyke and the bubbly pool even though there was very little swell or wave. we hiked up to top of Jost just to get the picture.
And of course we had to look for Godwin and Foxy. Found Foxy who looks just like he did years ago when he sang for Jim and Mike’s 3rd birthday!
Lazed away an afternoon watching kiteboarders off of Sandy Cay as well. Life is hard!
Tortola is just a quick sail away so we head to Cane Garden Bay to find the tire swing and Stanleys! However it was no longer there but we had fun watching the locals and even dropped by Callwoods Rum factory. Interesting floating picnic table craft idea!
Too many places and stops to go through each one. But we were anxious to get to Virgin Gorda and the baths. Shocking how many boats were there and all on moorings even in summer. Enjoyed the day there and we found it easier to navigate the steep rocks thanks to the wood stairs they have added. Even
found cricket on the beach.
Underwater is just as beautiful as above the water. We spent hours and hours snorkeling and exploring with Charlie. So much to see!
And so the days were filled with so much activity, sailing, exploring, snorkeling and diving, reading, cooking, eating, texting!!
We also saw Rik and Ann on Sandcastle who are still chartering after sooo many years. We had a few meals and drinks and scrabble games as we caught up on the last 20 ish years. Can that figure be right???
Evenings were lit by beautiful sunsets and moon rises.
And then it was time to bring Charlie back to St Thomas to fly back to his summer job of teaching sailing to ROTC students in Norfolk. It took very little adjustment to have him back in his bunk and in our lives. How special this time has been. It all passed so quickly and we were sad to say good-bye until Christmas time. We need to be on our way soon across the Anegada Passage towards St Maarten. We have so enjoyed becoming re-acquainted with the Virgin Islands and if you ever get the chance to sail there, DO IT!!