OK, I can hear our Mom’s now…if Mother always had her way we would be in FL at their houses for the holidays but that’s not quite what we meant by our title. We’re talking about Mother Nature…sorry mom 🙂
Not to say that we don’t wish that we were there with you we do! In this case Mother Nature is who we are talking about and she planned our next destination and it is was not St. Martin like we were hoping for…
We adventured as much as we could in the BVI’s biding time waiting for the right weather to sail to St. Martin but it was just not to be. I know, I know pity party for us out here in paradise! But, we were really looking forward to spending Christmas in a new place so looking over the charts we decided to sail to St. Croix the largest of the Virgin Islands but much less visited by cruising boats because it’s a bit out of the way. So far we love it here back to the land of plenty and it’s much more affordable than the BVI’s. Before we get into how St. Croix is let us tell you about all of the fun that we had before we got here…
Last we left you we had just arrived at Virgin Gorda and the world famous Baths. We anchored off of Spanish Town behind the protective barrier reef. We’ve been here before and Brian decided that since this was a calm harbor that he would get some much needed work done on Moon, he only spent one day at the Baths but Rachel and I spent every day that we were there enjoying every minute of it!
I know some of you have visited this magical place but for those of you haven’t close your eyes and just imagine, well don’t close your eyes or you won’t be able to see what I’m writing but let you imagination run wild as you read along….
The Baths are located right on the edge of the sea and rise several stories high, these unbelievably large boulders are balanced just right so that they form a labyrinth of water filled paths and grottoes that are made for exploring.
The beaches here have patches of white sand that is surrounded by these giant boulders that were formed by a volcanic uplift about 45 million years ago. The snorkeling in the turquoise blue water is fabulous and the people watching on a busy day is pretty entertaining!
You enter the caves through a narrow split in the rocks and with each turn you are filled with new amazement. There are several tide pool areas with light filtering in through the huge rocks balanced preciously above. It’s hard not to think that they could come tumbling down at any time!
Following the path you wind and climb and crawl throughout one of the most beautiful and magical places on earth! You can stick on the “beaten” path like I preferred or become an explorer like Brian did and crawl into less explored cracks and crevices hoping not to get lost.
Luckily, he somehow always emerged out on one side or another after heading into what looked liked a maze of small holes and dead ends. I was always happy to finally see him after a few times he left me wondering if he would reappear!
So hopefully we painted you a picture of how beautiful the Baths are. We filled our hearts and souls with the beauty that surrounded us but we had to get back to reality and find some place to do our laundry so after five days we raised our sails and headed to North Sound (still Virgin Gorda, BVI).
We picked up a mooring in Leverick Bay. Mostly because of an advertisement that we had read in a tourist magazine. In the BVI’s all of the moorings are at a flat rate of $30.00 and you get nothing but the mooring for the night. Normally we anchor to avoid the cost but in this case the price of the mooring included OK, drum roll…..a bag of ice, showers at the marina, a freshwater swimming pool and up to 200 gallons of fresh water for your boats holding tanks! The marina also had laundry facilities and a couple of restaurants and gift shops on site so this was a no brainer and the best $30.00 that we spent while we were here!
From Leverick Bay we anchored in a few other random spots around North Sound. One night by Eustatia Island, one night off of Prickly Pear Island and one afternoon over in Gun Creek.
The afternoon that we anchored in Gun Creek we took a taxi to the hiking trail at the top of Gorda Peak to Gorda Peak National Park the islands highest point (1370ft). The park land, donated by Laurence Rockefeller in the early 70’s is considered to be one of the last dry forest areas in the region.
The hike up was beautiful! Carole you would have been amazed at all of the orchids, they were all over the place! The trees and flowers along the path were something else. Once we reached the top of the peak there was an observation tower that we climbed that reveled a panoramic view of North Sound and we could even see Anegada way off in the background the views were incredible up there! It was a great hike and well worth it!
Next stop for us was Anegada.
Anegada is a lot different than all of the other Virgin Islands. It is a low-lying coral and limestone island. No mountains here only flat land and beautiful white beaches. It has the feel of being in the Bahamas, quite different than the places that we’ve visited recently!
So we broke out our bicycles and took a tour of the island. Now I did not realize but should have known better that Brian would want to ride everywhere! We started out with let’s just take a ride to the beach and then after the beach lets check out the settlement and by the time everything was said and done we had ridden ten miles! OK, no big deal you say, but when you don’t ride bikes very often ten miles is a lot!
We had fun though and loved the snorkeling on Loblolly Bay Beach. We even had a flock of pink flamingos fly right over the reef that we were snorkeling on…that was way too cool!
From Anegada we sailed back to Spanish Town to clear out with BVI Customs and Immigration. We had hoped to sail to St. Martin but like I said because of the strong winds and and waves we decided to head to St. Croix instead. This was probably the best sail that we have had in a while, just under a beam reach in winds of 18 -22knts we flew. We even had speeds of over 11knts when we were surfing the waves! Our average speed was just under 7knts for the whole trip. This made for a fast passage with us leaving at 7 AM we arrived in St. Croix at 1:30 in the afternoon.
And because of the direction it was a comfortable sail…my favorite kind!
On the morning before we left Rachel woke up and said that she had dreamed that we saw dolphins and this brought up a conversation that we had not seen any dolphins since we were in Turks and Caicos and how strange that was with all of the seas that we had sailed. Low and behold that afternoon about halfway between Virgin Gorda and St. Croix a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins appeared. They swam and danced around us for about 15 minutes….what a happy sight to see! Now we’re hoping that Rachel dreams of some lucky numbers so that we can play them…we’ll let you know how that goes 🙂
Well, we’re sitting here in Christansted harbor winds are blowing and looks like they will be for a while so we’re thinking it will be Christmas here. But it is someplace new and we have lots to explore so we’re looking forward to it.
We just want to say one more thing before we let you all go. In the spirit of Christmas and all of the jolly thoughts running around in our heads, thank you to all of our family and friends for supporting us and being there for us when we’ve needed you even if it’s just to talk and say hello. We are having one of many journeys of a lifetime and you are all in our thoughts and hearts everyday even though were are not there with you. Take care and know that we are with you in spirit and happiness and we will see you all soon.
Love and miss you all….Merry Christmas!
Jennifer, Brian and Rachel 🙂