All the Way There and Back
Bob and Elizabeth Frearson
Tue 5 May 2015 23:17
The selected restaurant turned out to be rather a find! It was only the lob of a pebble away, had a nice garden and a relaxed atmosphere. The owner was offering his girlfriend a free bottle of wine as we arrived which we latched on to but unfortunately ours wasn’t free. It was tapas night and we selected three dishes which turned out to be beautifully cooked, fresh, tasty and delicious. The chef herself was charming, granny like and cosy and we decided that she should most definitely be on Masterchef. We whiled away a happy evening having a deep and meaningful conversation about the various models of health system (of which I have sampled a variety recently) oiled by the nice little bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. After an endless series of disturbed and rolly nights we slept like tree trunks. We arose this morning, refreshed and eager to start our day.
Today was the day we had to go over to St Thomas and back just to get our passports stamped. Strange but such are the vagaries of the American mind. We puttered over to the Ferry Dock, queued forever amongst a flock of chattering Americans, a colour blind (who knew that anyone would ever consider putting lime green shorts with a jade shirt) yachty type Frenchman (obviously on the same mission as us), bought return tickets to St Thomas, amused ourselves in the waiting area people watching (and sticking my tongue out at a delicious small boy, he started it), boarded the ferry (eventually) took our seats on the top deck and the ferry set off, only half an hour later than scheduled. We roared along narrowly missing numerous yachts, rushing through the pattern of islands with a great view of beaches and beach houses, green islands and yacht strewn coves. It was rather fun like having our normal sailing trips done in fast forward. At St Thomas we queued forever to go through Customs and Immigration and were eventually serviced by a petulant officer who was peevish because our late arrival was eating into his lunch hour. It was most unlike the usual interrogations that we have to endure when entering the Homeland and we received the requisite stamps in our passports “arriving on a registered vessel” as required.
Our first step was to find out when the first ferry went back. There was a choice of 1:30pm or 3:30pm. It now being 1:00pm we decided to go for the later one and pottered upstairs to the convenient restaurant for lunch, Cobb and Caesar salads, we knew we were in the U S of A although it was nice to still have Carib on offer. We watched in amazement the landings and takings off of the seaplanes, an astonishing experience. They land at crazy entry angles and then come to a stop in a matter of yards. Incredible. We watched the 1:30pm ferry leave and then strolled towards town seeking out Main Street, the old quarter of this “sidy”. It was nice to find some ancient buildings preserved and the old Danish architecture in evidence. There were two enormous cruise ships in and the place was buzzing with beshorted folks swarming over the duty free shops, mainly jewellery but also, rather handily as supplies are low, alcohol ie gin at only $10 a litre, that should keep us going. I also decided to enact my secret mission and may have purchased a little something in a jewellery shop but don’t tell Susie it’s meant to be a 60th birthday surprise.
We wandered along the promenade back ton the ferry dock and tried to get the next ferry back. We were somewhat baffled by the whole system and were told, very firmly, that our tickets were not valid for the next one. We duly practiced our people watching and alighted on one that we were allowed. We have become quite immune to the vagaries of what is and isn’t allowed and were perfectly relaxed after all, that is what Kindles are for.
We mooched back from the ferry dock mesmerised by the numerous hens and their cheeping little chicks, some absolutely tiny, alarmingly only inches away from the rush hour traffic. We are now settled on board, charging the batteries (the marina seem to have a most unusual and incompatible system for electricity) and supping possibly the strongest gin and tonics ever encountered in the whole wide world. I hope we make it out to dinner.