Sea Vagrants

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Wed 18 Apr 2012 14:44
WEDNESDAY   18th APRIL  2012         ( Sarah's Birthday )
Here we are, moored in Sopers Hole or " West End " on the Island of Tortolla, BVI's
The weather is beautifull today and the wind has eased off big time,
We returned from the U.S.Virgin Islands yesterday and will spend the next couple of weeks
sailing around these Islands  untill the 5th May when we depart for Europe sailing with ARC Europe,
The first leg will be from Tortolla to Bermuda ( about 900 miles ) and we will have on board our
friends Tom & Linda from New York and Denis & Vera from Cork
Tom & Linda will be leaving us again in Bermuda, the rest of us then head east to the Azores and then to Ireland.
A total distance of about 3,500 miles
We spent the last couple of days in St Johns, We arrived into Caneel Bay last saturday from " Magens Bay "
( a beautiful long sheltered bay on the north coast of  St Thomas with a magnificant beach)
The wind was gusting over 30 knots and we had an uncomfortable night moored on one of the
" National Parks" mooring boy,s  in Caneel Bay.
Sunday morning, The resort at Caneel would just not let us tie the dingy to their marina and allow
us to go to Mass in Cruz, a mile or two from Caneel, so Skipper dropped off Aileen who got a taxi and
Skipper then went to Cruz by dingy in very rough conditions,  But the Mass and the priest in
particular were well worth the effort. ( Fr Anthony )
We did our clearing of customs while in Cruz, the US Customs control is over the top. paranoid to say the least,
everytime we checked in to the USVI,s    all on board had to present themselves and be fingerprinted
and photographed, not to mention all the paperwork, all this even if you had been there just a couple of
days previously.  ( all to be put into a big file and never looked at again )
The wind was still blasting out out the NE as we departed , so we went along the south coast of
St, John and moored in " Great Lameshur Bay"   Ohhhhhh, we really hit the jackpot here,
maybe it was the conditions or because of our experience of  Caneel Bay, but this was it ! paradise,
The water was a lovely pale blue , the sea was flat and there were plenty of well maintained " National
Park Moorings " available, ( cost of $15 per night )
This bay was full of wild life , from fish & Deer to Pelecans and Turtles.
Skipper went snorkling in with shoals of fish, they looked like sardines, thousands of them, so many in
fact that they looked like clouds in the water.  (Aileen went swimming off the beach,)
It reminded skipper of the shoals of Mackeral off Cape Clear back in the 60's , they were so thick one could
almost walk on them... alas. not to be seen anymore,
We saw black tipped sharks, rays, lots of Turtles, lots of Pelicans dive bombing the plentiful supplies
of fish,  It helped take our minds off the terrible accident in San francisco wher two young lads we
both knew well were drowned as a result of their racing yacht breaking up on Farralon rocks
We spent two night here and enjoyed the sandy beaches , the swimming and snorkling, the clear blue
water and flat sea conditions,
Skipper cooked a Thai Curry with rice and it was yum, yum, he is getting much better at these curries,
and no drink, well no alcohol,
Yesterday as we rounded the eastern end of St. Johns we made contact again with our friends
Dave & Susan Mackay from " Voyauger "
We cleared customs in Sopers Hole in little or no time , then went to the village marina and relaxed
before having rolled chicken ham and cheese things cooked by skipper. hmmmmm, He will
get this menue right someday.......
Thats all for now,
Signed :--   Stephen Hyde   ( Skipper )