Be still my heart! My favorite salty sailors posing at the top of Virgin Gorda.
Spanish, U.S., British…. The Virgin Islands have given us the medicine we so desperately needed.
The day we dropped anchor in Ensenada Honda off of Culebra, I wasn’t sure it was real. As you all know, we had spent the last month or more in the weeds with both expected and unexpected boat work, and all of the challenges that came with life on the hard.
The very same day we did the short, successful test sail just outside of Puerto del Rey to check our brand new rigging, Aaron looked at me and said, “Let’s go to Culebra.” We just couldn’t get off that dock fast enough.
Since then, life has been pretty great. Charming towns, beautiful beaches, calm but full sails. Swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing. Beachside birthday parties, sunset campfires and late-night jam sessions on uke and guitar. Despite our extended stay in Puerto Rico, we were able to catch up to some great friends on S/V Freedom, Chasing Waterfalls, Griffin and Upside Up. Our tanks have been full.
That’s not to say that there haven’t been boat problems – there have, but nothing that Aaron hasn’t been able to assess and fix rather quickly. (I’m always so amazed at his ability to troubleshoot). Finding connection for me to continue working has been a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. And yes, we’ve seen some absolutely unbelievable devastation as a result of the hurricanes – more on that in another post – but we’ve also found incredible beauty and have finally been able to drop the hook in places we’ve been hearing about from other cruisers for years.
For now, I will let these images speak for themselves. We’ve been back at it about a month now and once the current blow passes and the weather opens up, likely early next week, we will tackle the last longer sail of this season – 80+ miles through the Anegada Passage – over to St. Martin or Saba, pending wind direction.
How crazy, the change in temperature between my last post and this one. This life is one wild ride.
Delicious tacos and fresh margaritas at Zaco’s in Culebra, Spanish Virgin Islands
I’m a huge fan of any bar/restaurant that includes a swing!
Huge tarpon circle Coconut while docked at Mamacita’s in Culebra
We were so lucky to catch up to s/v Chasing Waterfalls in Culebra! Their girls spent an afternoon playing princess on Clarity
Flamenco Beach, Culebra – one of my favorites so far.
A few decades back, the military used these tanks on Flamenco Beach for target practice.
Gak! One of my go-to homemade toys to keep Claire entertained on a passage.
Our first night at anchor in the U.S. Virgin Islands! Sunset off of Brewer’s Bay, St. Thomas
Hook down, flag flying in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
So many treasures found in Christmas Cove, St. Thomas
Sunset off of Caneel Bay, St. John
Our little bug, scootin’ her way through St. John
A quaint little church in Cruz Bay
Plenty of devastation in Cruz Bay, St. John, but plenty of beautiful scenery, too.
Always so great to see stickers from buddy boats! Note to self: must order Clarity stickers…
Dusk in Francis Bay, St. John
While on a mooring in Francis Bay, we hiked over to breathtaking Leinster Bay
Ruins of the Annaberg Sugar Plantation, Leinster Bay
This crazy crew celebrated my birthday with a toast at Skinny Legs in Coral Bay, St. John.
Finally made it to the BVIs! We cleared in at Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke. Here, Claire celebrates with a cupcake from Foxy’s.
A local volunteer was selling cupcakes and homemade jewelry to help raise money for the local school, which was devastated in the hurricanes. Not more than a half hour after we cleared in, Claire was already helping them try to sell their wares to tourists.
The devastation caused by the hurricanes was evident almost everywhere, but nowhere was it as moving as Jost.
Painkillers at Soggy Dollar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVIs.
Clarity and Chasing Waterfalls at Soggy!
Yes, it makes complete sense, when you live in a very small space, with one table, to use that table to do a massive puzzle! It sure was fun though 🙂
We caught up to Upside Up just in time for Henry to join us and Chasing Waterfalls for a birthday beach party for Claire at Trellis Bay off Beef Island!
Full Moon Party, Trellis Bay, Beef Island,
After celebrating Claire’s birthday, we hopped over to Virgin Gorda to do the Baths, something that has been on my bucket list for a long time. It did not disappoint!
Butterflies were everywhere on the trails around the Baths
The beach at Little Trunk Bay, where we anchored to dinghy over to the Baths
Sunset at Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda
There’s a new princess in town! I kept an eye on the kiddos while on a mooring ball off of Great Dog Island while the adults went for a dive and caught some absolutely delicious dinner!
Anchored just off of Mosquito Island, owned by Richard Branson
Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda! Great pool, great bar, great pirate show, great anchorage!
Captain Steve on Chasing Waterfalls rented a pickup-truck-turned-tour-bus and we toured breathtaking Virgin Gorda by land.
So many blond curls with these cuties! Chasing Waterfalls rolls with three girls.
A dolphin on the bow! What a rush – another bucket list item on our way to Anegada
Fish on! Too bad he was a barracuda, so we had to throw him back. But it sure was an adventure getting him on deck! This was during the same two-hour sail as the dolphin-spotting. It was quite the afternoon!
The last-minute decision to head out to Anegada gave us one of our most memorable sails yet! We spent the next day cramming three boats into two cars and hitting up every beach we could find.
The laid-back vibe at Loblolly Bay, Anegada. Unfortunately, the reef just offshore was pretty destroyed. But the drinks were cold and the waters were blue!
Our Anegada play-day coincided with Layla’s birthday! Her mom, Johanna, planned an awesome adventure hunt on the beach to celebrate.
Aaron used the magnifying glass to burn our name into a piece of bamboo. He then hung it at the bar at Loblolly.
Cow Wreck Beach Bar, Anegada
A birthday cake with edible butterflies?! Mind. Blown!
I have a picture almost exactly like this from a year ago. It’s so awesome Claire and Henry (and us parents) have found a way to stay connected for two seasons!
What could be better than a sunset campfire on the beach?!
Sunset at Cow Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVIs