It has been a while since we were in Culebra, USVI and BVI so bear with me as I recall all the amazing adventures. Though this blog is quite late I did want to go back and document this time as it was some of the best memories so far!
We had just spent over 3 months and 1200 miles moving east from the Bahamas to Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. For those of you not familiar with this trek, it is quite a slog and can be hours and hours of pounding into steep seas. The trip east was sprinkled with fun and more treacherous adventures. We had a boat we were traveling with take on water headed to Dominican Republic from Turks and Caicos. We had a boat we were traveling with get hit by lightning in Puerto Rico. We battled a few squalls and a number of days where the waves were bigger and closer together than anyone really wanted :-). But there were also some great days, Gilligan’s Island and the lazy river, the trip to Coffin Island on Party of Five, the regatta in South Caicos, Darrin showing us around the DR, and celebrating 3 – 41st birthdays in a week :-).
With that said once we got to Culebra, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands, I wanted to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. I was ready for a break from the constant moving to enjoy the slow life of the islands. It was quite late in the season so many of the boats we were traveling with choose to keep moving down to Grenada. Luckily S/V Smitty, Jesse and Stacey, were staying behind as they were making the USVIs there new home.
It was spectacular traveling with Smitty as we tended to have the same pace of adventure, need to spend time in the water exploring. We spent the next 6 weeks circumnavigating culebra, getting settled into St. Thomas, taking a number of trips to Christmas Cove and St. John all culminating in a week trip in the BVI before heading south.
This break was exactly what the doctor ordered. I was able to reconnect with the type of life I wanted as a cruiser. We didn’t have to watch the weather constantly looking for the next weather window, our sails were hours not days and the time we spent in each location allowed for the perfect combination of relaxation, exploration and boat maintenance.
Culebra is still my favorite location so far. It is a great little island, with great shops and restaurants, nice people and excellent snorkeling! I miss Zacos Tacos, Black Roberts Spiced Rum, the cute little dingy channel from Ensenada Honda to the other side of the island.
For a bit more about Culebra check out these videos
Then we were off to St. Thomas where Smitty was going to be obtaining a mooring and starting to get settled in for the long haul. I really like St. Thomas, yes it was big, bustling and had lots of cruise ships, but the Safari buses were an easy and convenient way to get around the island. Red Hook was our favorite part of the island. It was off the cruise ship path but had lots of great food and bars! Tap and Still has the best burgers!!!! Stacey and I had an epic night at Duffy’s! It was quite easy to settle down into a routine here. It was our base for many weeks. Taking short trips to Christmas Cove and St. John to snorkel and drink 🙂
St. John is just 4 hours from Crown Bay in St. Thomas, so there were a number of visits. It usually started with a stop at Cruz Bay, the eclectic and fun town on the south side of the island. I love this little town, it is a great place to party, and we did! Then we would move around to the marine park and snorkel Cinnamon bay, Trunk Bay and Maho, our favorite. There are not many facilities, so you are forced to slow down and enjoy your surroundings and we did. Check out these videos of the bays!
These days on St. John included hikes to the old sugar mill, sundowners on the beach, beach bonfire, dinner on Smitty and so much more!
We wanted to do the BVI’s over Darrin’s birthday, specifically the full moon party at Trellis Bay. We did this and so much more. We hit all the major attractions, and it was wonderful because it was OFF SEASON, so there were very few boats! The crowds were gone and we were able to enjoy the Baths, Indians, Wreck of the Rhone and Monkey Point without the craziness that comes at the height of the season. The downside is that many of the famous bars were closed or pretty empty! We hit Foxy’s, Soggy Dollar, Willie T’s and more. There was a downside to the BVI’s off season. Here are a few more videos
- Moneky Point – https://youtu.be/pSbleaV5YUg
- Baths – https://youtu.be/frK9-j_lrvU
- Indians – https://youtu.be/agCkiMQl8Vk
- Wreck of the Rhone – https://youtu.be/ZLeXo0xUctg
We were planning on heading south from BVIs but we had invest 98 (a storm) headed north and it was looking like it might be a big one, so we headed back to St. Thomas where we were familiar and waited it out. Turned out to be minor, but better safe than sorry!