5 star day
Saturday 5th April
Saturday turned out to be a remarkable day and Crown Bay, St Thomas has shown itself to be a Five Star location as far as we are concerned.
Mind you it did not start too well when I woke up to find a huge cruise ship alongside us, edging its way onto the quay close by. Our information about there being no cruise ships this weekend might have been a bit flawed…. But it did not bother us and we decided there and then that we would not be sitting here at anchor in the afternoon when it had to turn through 180 degrees to leave.
Sarah was told by Susan on Gemini that there is a laundromat (well we are in America, so you use their language..) here in Crown Bay and so she chose to use this facility to catch up on all of our washing. It turned out to be the very best laundrette we have come across anywhere, clean, cheap dryers and incredibly efficient. Whilst this was all in train, we popped up to the marina office to check out their berth prices in case we needed to spend a few days here in May waiting to load onto the ship. The lady there was wonderfully organised and helpful and really could not do enough to help us. We came away with tons of information including very helpfully the codes to give us 30 days of free wifi out in the Water Bay anchorage!!
Next we went into the chandlery and to our amazment found everything we had been looking for over the past month or so. It is not a big shop but whoever is responsible for stocking it clearly knows exactly what cruisers need. And all at duty free prices.
In the same block, all within the marina complex was a hairdressers which Sarah was very impressed with and plans to use when we return in early May.
I went into the small boatyard workshops next door and asked about getting our small outboard motor fixed. They were clearly busy but were very welcoming and suggested that I brought it along as soon as poosible and they would take a look. Sarah visited the grocery store on site and came away delighted as it seemed again to have everything that we could not find elsewhere and the veg was good. It is a bit pricey but stocks just what we needed with out a long trudge. After this we went back out to Serafina and collected the outboard and took it round to the boatyard, explaining that we would be coming back this way in a week or so and would pick it up then (we know all about ‘Island time’). My next call was the AT & T phone shop also in the marina complex as such and here I was able to buy a new PAYG sim card for our old USA phone and was able to add 250 minutes of International calls for just $5. Also bought a data SIM card to help us round those wifi black holes that we keep finding.
After a quick lunch we brought Serafina into the fuel dock to replenish the diesel tanks and although we had to wait a few minutes until the two big ferries had left, we then had the whole quay to ourselves. It was very clean and we filled up all the tanks, topped up the petrol cans for the outboards and filled the water tanks to the brim. Perfect and then as we were doing all of this our new phone rang!! Only one person so far had the number and it was indeed the boatyard calling to say that the outboard was fixed and ready for collection. So Sarah went off to collect it and to their collective surprise, picked it up and walked off down the road with it, despite the weight.
So by mid-afternoon we were heading back out of Crown Bay, past the cruise ship that was getting ready to leave and made our way the 2 miles to Brewer’s Bay. This was recommended to us by Macushla the other night and what a delightful and very well protected spot it is. We anchored amongst the dozen or so other yachts already there in a flat and quite pretty bay with a long sandy beach. Compared to where we had just come from this was close to ideal apart from just the one very slight drawback.
The excellent protection this bay has from the sea and underlying swells is provided by the long runway extention for the airport. Yes we are moored only 200 yards or so to the north of the main runway and we took a little while to get used to the roar of them all either landing or starting their take off runs. But then we have been moored this close to a number of other airports over the years and the benefits of this spot far outweigh the inconvenience of a bit of engine noise…… Oh and did I mention the free wifi signal here?