We had arrived in St. Thomas, USVI last Saturday and we were ready to explore. The very next morning (Sunday), we left our first anchorage on the far eastern shore of St. Thomas and headed for Charlotte Amalie, a very busy harbour that welcomes cruisers, local boaters and is also a port of call for many big cruise ships. We anchored just off the cruise ship dock, which happened to be empty that night. This was a very rare day in Charlotte Amalie! Instead of sharing the town with a thousand or so tourists, it would just be us, our buddy boats and a handful of other liveaboard cruisers.
What was up next on our agenda? A tour around town and a lovely lunch with our boat buddies. We walked to the tourist area and picked up a few fun things like water shoes and a dog collar for Ocean.
It was an extremely hot day so we were relieved that most of the shops had air-conditioning and Ocean was extra happy they allowed dogs! They even let her ride on the open-air town bus 😊.
Although Charlotte Amalie was interesting, we were all craving a bit of remoteness and the chance to do some snorkelling. Early on Monday morning, Wild Horses, Caretta and Indigo Lady weighed anchor and headed off for Christmas Cove.
The trip to our anchorage was a bit sportier than we had hoped for. The wind was a few knots stronger than expected and right at our nose, so no sailing for us. Making things even more uncomfortable was the high waves and ocean swell. The forecast was for 1-foot seas and we were definitely getting 4-5 feet, right at our bow. It was a one-hour hobby horse extravaganza.
Arriving at our anchorage, right off the coast of Great St. James Island, we knew it was all worthwhile. Pretty sandy shorelines, lots of rock outcroppings for snorkelling and that bright blue clear water that we love so much. We were wowed.
Oh, and the pizza! Incredible!! Huh? Well, let me back up a bit.
First, you have to know that we are pizza-loving people to the extreme. Actually, that is a massive understatement. We are pizza-fanatics! Back home, during our land life, we would have pizza at least once a week. And we love all kinds of pizza – New York style, deep dish, artisan, homemade. Truly, we rarely meet a pizza we don’t like. Since leaving Canada last September, we have devoured many a pizza. For us, cruising is eating pizza in exotic locations! 😉
Second, we love new, unique and interesting stuff. I mean, that is part of the reason why we are living on our boat! And, when those two loves come together in one place? Well, you get The Pizza Pi, a real-life floating pizza boat! Right in our anchorage! Oh my! Later than evening the motley crews of Wild Horses, Caretta and Indigo Lady enjoyed a fun evening of pizza, beer and “guess that tune” (supplied by Barry’s uber-eclectic playlist) aboard Indigo Lady. Lots of laughs and full bellies!
We finished off our time at Christmas Cove catching up on boat chores and letting Ocean get in some much-needed time swimming off the boat. Also, on the agenda was getting Ocean to the nearby veterinarian at Canines, Cats and Critters. She needed a booster for a few of her vaccinations and also to get an up-to-date international Health certificate for our trip to St. Martin. It looks like a weather widow may be opening up early next week to make the 93 nm hop further south to our first French island so we want to be ready.
But before we head to St. Martin, we have one more island in the USVI to explore – beautiful St. John. We weighed anchor this morning and made the short trip over there for the weekend. More exploring ahead!!😊
Yes, we keep moving along! See where we are today by clicking the link below!
We arrived at the island of Culebra last Monday and loved it immediately. It is beautifully green with perfect sandy beaches littering the coastlines. The coral reefs around this island are known to be some of the healthiest in the area so our plan was to start the day outside of the main town and get snorkeling.
But, small glitch in our plan. Mike had tweaked his back earlier in the morning, just before we weighed anchor. Ugh. He could move around but it was limited. Snorkeling would have to wait. So, onto Plan B! Our buddy boats went on to the chosen snorkeling site while Wild Horses continued for another hour to the main town’s huge lagoon. Here Mike could rest and our buddies would catch up to us the next day. Perfect!
Downtown Culebra is very walkable, with lots of restaurants, cafes, and stores. Even a really great gelato cart with beautifully served gelato. Passion fruit and cherry with a twist of coconut. Yum!
Our boat buddies arrived the next day and we quickly made plans for exploring Culebra, visiting the nearby smaller island of Culebrita and also for doing some snorkelling and diving in the area. Mike’s back was healed and we were ready to have some fun. Our friends Dave and Lisa on Indigo Lady offered to play chauffeur for our three-boat play dates (Wild Horses, Caretta and Indigo Lady). Awesome! Indigo Lady is a beautiful boat. Dave and Lisa purchased it as a sailing catamaran several years ago but quickly converted it to be solar electric powered. It does not disappoint! On the few days we were on the boat, it was moved entirely on solar. Incredible! You can see more about the conversion of Indigo Lady here.
Our first adventure was to take Indigo Lady to Culebrita. This island is home to incredible walking trails, beautiful natural baths and, oh my gosh, also to a hoard of bees! Thousands of them to be exact. The area is suffering from a lack of rain so these poor bees were looking for any and all sources of fresh water. For those that know our pup Ocean, well, this is a problem. She loves to eat bees. Yes, you heard that correctly. She actively hunts them down. Now, with hoards of them in the picture, it was just too much for her and she did get the bitter end of a few of them. Getting stung didn’t deter her though! With a swollen nose and jowl, she kept right at it. For the rest of us, the bees weren’t an issue. They only wanted the fresh water and we had beers in hand (and not water) so they left us alone!
On Thursday, we rented golf carts so we could see more of the island of Culebra. Caretta and Indigo Lady climbed into one cart and Wild Horses took the other. It was an awesome day of touring the island, including an incredible day at Flamenco Beach, one of the world's most beautiful; beaches.
Friday we continued the adventure! We set off on Indigo Lady once again and headed around the north west shore of Culebra to explore one of the many island dive sites. Dave and Lisa launched their Hookah dive system (surfaced supplied air system), Andrea and Barry jumped in with their dive tanks, and Mike and I slipped below the waterline with our snorkel masks and fins. And Ocean you ask? Well, she did her exploring in her birthday suit with just a simple life jacket on. Four ways into the water and we were all plenty happy with it all!
Whew, what a jam-packed three days of exploring the Spanish Virgin Islands!! But all good things must come to an end, but only so you can enjoy other good things! And that is exactly what we did. On Saturday we all weighed anchor and headed off to St. Thomas in the USVI (United States Virgin Islands). We will explore the islands of St. Thomas and St. John as we look for a good weather window for heading to St. Martin. More fun awaits us! 😊
Want to find out which island we are exploring today? Click the link below!
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.