St John, BVI and ...
In early March Cousin Dave and Sandee visited Shiraz after spending the month of February in Florida escaping the cold weather of Hudson, Ohio. We moved the boat to Linbergh Bay in St Thomas for the airport pickup and after a 50 meter walk and a short dinghy ride we were on board. A cold bottle of champagne was waiting for their arrival so we kicked off our shoes, played a little island music and enjoyed the setting sun in a calm anchorage. Hey life is good mon.
During the week we visited anchorages in the USVI and the BVI and did some sailing between the islands and snorkeling at various sites but mostly it was about visiting and sharing family updates. As the days slipped by Dave gained his sea legs and helped with the sails and lines. We fell short on the promise to catch a fish although we did land a barracuda on our first outing. Hopefully they returned to the US with a good tan, were well rested and have good memories of their time on Shiraz. A few pictures will help tell the story.
Other News from St. John
During "the season" St John holds a number of events to entertain the tourists. In mid-March Coral Bay holds an annual jazz festival. We didn't make it to the concert but we did go in for dinner with friends at the Tamarind Inn and listen to one of the prelude jazz bands, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys. We also went in to Cruz Bay for the St Patrick Day's parade. St Patricks Day for us usually signaled the end of the snow skiing season with one more outing before the snow turns to slush. But in St Johns St Patricks Day is all about cold beer and hula hoops! And did I mention great Irish song and dance.
The Virgin Islands National Park is concernedabout the increasing population of lionfish in surrounding reefs. Lionfish are native to the South Pacific and Indian Oceans but are now showing up in the Caribbean. They feed on juvenile reef fish and in so doing are disrupting the ecosystem of the reefs. So the park is asking snorkelers who spot lionfish to drop a marker so that they can have someone go back to remove the lionfish from the waters. The Friends of the Park alerted Sadie Sea that a sighting had been made at "The Mermaids Chair" in Hawks Nest Bay. We happened to be aboard to help in attempting the capture. Tom and I snorkeled out to the site and with Tom taking the roll of the great white hunter, I stood by with tools and nets. After a few short dives, Tom had the 8" varmint on the end of a spear and the park had one less killer fish to worry about. So far the park has recorded the removal of over 100 of these fish. If you happen to see one while snorkeling do not touch it. The spikes are filled with venom. Although "probably" not deadly, they are reported to be very painful.
While in St John, we typically moor up at Caneel Bay because we like the access to Cruz Bay and the wifi provided by a nearby resort. We also have a wonderful view of the many boats visiting the USVI. When we first arrived the 62 foot catamaran TRIBE was anchored in the bay. This was the first GUNBOAT built in 2002 and it is still the beauty of the bay with performance characteristics to match. You can read about the GUNBOAT at (www.gunboat.com).
Last night Richard Branson's catamaran "Necker Belle" anchored out nearby. This gargantuan 102 foot cat can be charted for $88,000 per week, so get some friends together and invite us onboard. Learn more about it at (www.exoticexcess.com).
So for now we are preparing for a visit from Brad, Kimberly and grandson London.