John & Eleanor, is it windy where you are? Did you take the winds back home with you???
We thought perhaps that Coral Bay was exceptionally sheltered but the fact that we actually needed a blanket last night should have been a hint. Seems like the next cold front has settled in taking some of the poof out of the winds and as we left Coral Bay this morning for our down-wind sail back to St. Thomas, the most we saw was a 4-knot ruffle on the water but not enough to push the boat along at more than a snail's pace.
We opted to fire up the engines (I know, lazy to you purists) and we traversed the south shores of St. John and St. Thomas under cloudy skies. Not to sound too miserable 'cause we still feel like we're in paradise, we just felt that the mood echoed our own as we took the final leg of this trip.
Offshore from Charlotte Amalie we decided to explore Buck Island which we have read of in the cruising guides but have never visited. We found an interesting little island with the wind station that we often get readings from, but the little bays and day-mooring balls were full of local tourist and dive boats. How many cruise-ship passangers can you fit in one little bay??
We opted instead to head back to our old-faithful anchorage in Brewer's Bay to enjoy the afternoon as the front finally passed over and released the sunshine.
We dinghied up to the Virgin Islands University dock and although not a public dock we were given 30-minutes leeway to visit the campus. Built across a number of steep hills (what isn't in St. Thomas?) the campus is exceptionally neat and tidy and very pretty. This is a picture of one of the dormitories.
The walk around the university also offered up some wonderful views over the airport and south toward Vieques and St. Croix - conjuring up memories of one explored and another adventure around the corner.
We wandered about until we came across the bookstore where we picked up a few snacks for the evening before returning to retrieve our dinghy from the dock.
Snorkling the bay, we found a small reef on the north side and were rewarded with a turtle-sighting as we hovered over it grazing below. A spectacular sunset over Sail Rock was accompanied with the comings and goings of a cruise ship and multiple airplanes off our stern as we enjoyed a number of sundowners.
The final reward of the evening was the little wooden-masted sailboat that has greeted us on each return to Brewer's Bay, all decked out in Christmas lights. A little surreal but I suppose we'll have to adjust our outlook as it is now December.