We finally made it to St. Thomas! And just barely in time to meet up with the rest of Trent’s family who’ve got a condo on Sapphire Beach for two weeks. Reunited and it feels so good! I think salty ole’ Steve, who’s been crewing on Vagabond for the past 3 weeks, was good and ready for a hot shower. Can’t say I blame him. It feels incredible to be with family again. We’re so blessed!
We spent a night on the hook in Amelie Charlotte before sailing around to the east end of the island where we set the anchor in Red Hook for the duration of the Armstrong family vacation. All the big cruise ships pull into Amelie Charlotte and dump tourists off by the thousands. That place is a total tourist trap. It’s the kind of place we normally try and avoid because we can’t afford it. Never-the-less, Steve managed to find some cheap beer and nachos at Coconuts, which could only be found a couple blocks off the main drag. We in fact had such a good time with the bartender that I invited him over for dinner on Vagabond. Trent picked him up off the dock after his shift and dinghied him out to the sailboats. Our friends on Sailacious gave us some generous portions of marlin and dorado that we intended to cook up into fish tacos that evening. Trent caught a pompano leaving Puerto Rico so we had a very nice trio of fish to fill our tummies. I wasn’t until I wrote this post today when I was researching the pompano that we realized it was actually a jack crevalle. Hands down, we all agree, the marlin was our favorite. We intend to throw the pompano/jack crevalle, whatever it was, back should we ever hook another one. The white meat on the fillet was certainly deceiving.
Red Hook as an anchorage is not recommended, unless you can sleep through anything. The bay is open to the east and the wind is, guess what, still blowing from the east. That we can deal with but it’s the ferries and fishing boats that fly across to St. John for 14 hours of each day. That’ll throw you around. It’s not the kind of place where you can leave things out on the counter and you must always secure your drink. I wouldn’t dare attempt to cook anything either. I wake up around 5 a.m. when the first title wave rolls me around the bed and then I’m up for the day. Bed-time comes much earlier for me in St. Thomas. I can’t complain too much because we’re one of the lucky ones who can escape the anchorage during the day to enjoy the condo and play with the Armstrongs at Sapphire Beach. It’s only about a 10 minute dinghy ride across the ship channel to Sapphire Beach, which isn’t too bad in light winds.
The last time we were able to swim in the ocean was at Turks and Caicos; that was hundreds of miles ago. I was anxious to get my snorkel on and mission accomplished. Sapphire does have some nice reefs, I must say. We took them on a dingy snorkel tour and had a blast; Luke just loves driving the dinghy. I sort of expected the Virgin Islands to look like the Bahamas but they’re mountainous and the clarity and brilliance of the water and beaches just doesn’t compare. Mountains equal less sandy beaches. Yes, we live on the water but we don’t spend a lot of time laying around on the beach like you’d think. The Armstrong family vacation on Sapphire Beach sure has been a nice break from Pepper. Tomorrow, Dan wants to take everyone out on Vagabond for a day sail over to St. John. Looking forward to it!