Thursday, March 26, 2015

Yo-Yo Cruising

This is what Henry has been calling it ... Our back-and-forth expeditions that seem to start and end in St. Thomas.

We arrived back in St. Thomas with the big boys.
Two days ago we completed the circuit we made to Dominican Republic which began on January 21st and put 590 miles under our keels. It was a circuit of highs - visiting with Ottawa friends in the DR and really discovering more of Puerto Rico, and lows - recurrent equipment problems and difficult weather, but we know that this last couple of months has really been what cruising is all about. The other noteworthy theme was that this has been a time of meeting up with other boats and getting to know some people that we will see over the next few months as we make our way down to Grenada for hurricane season. As we're all first timers on the way south, I've nicknamed us the class of 2015.

So, back on St. Thomas we were and wasn't it just fabulous to see everyone at the CYOA docks once more. We caught up on the happenings around the docks, visited with Erica and her dogs and even had a cuddle with an 8-week old puppy. Dinner out at Betsy's with Jay & Deb and then Bella Blu with Duane & Laura was fun but then we were ready to head off to the wilds of the National Park on St. John.

As is often the case we headed to the south shore and ended up in Lameshur Bay. In the park we pick up a mooring ball so as not to damage the seabed with the anchor and Mowzer & crew quite happily settled in for few days in this idyllic anchorage with a few other boats.

Not a building or street in site - just so peaceful.
We've been in this anchorage a number of times as a base for hiking on the island so we decided to set off this morning in a direction we haven't been before on land - over to Salt Pond Bay and Drunk Bay.

St. Thomas is off the chart to the left, we're the red chevron in Lameshur and we hiked to the bay just above Ram Head.
We set off nice and early to beat the heat and followed the road east with our first destination Salt Pond Bay and the trail over to Drunk Bay.

Salt Pond Bay in the background and the actual salt pond we walked around.
Back in January there was a wreck on the point just north of Drunk Bay and sure enough the beach was still full of debris from the broken boat. We met a couple of guys coming off the beach as we arrived carrying garbage bags - one of them commented that as his wife was searching for sea shells he was bored so he usually carried a bag with him to pick up what he could. What a great idea we thought and sure enough he had an extra bag he gave to us so we tried to do just a teensy little bit to help clear the beach of plastic waste.

Nanny Point where the boat went up on the rocks. Five people were rescued but the boat was destroyed.
You can just make out a couple of bigger pieces of white wreckage on the beach from far away.
Closer in, it's a mess. One garbage bag is not much but hopefully a few others will do the same.
As a direct reminder these two little guys waddled across our path on the beach. Not sure where they came from but they seemed pretty determined about where they were going.

We also found that at one end of the beach, people do the darnedest things.

Bits of coral and rock propped up on this outcropping.
This had the spookiest feeling, like a graveyard.
Reclining in the sun...
With his faithful pup nearby.
Leaving Salt Pond we passed this sign on the road. Not sure if this means that nothing is going on here on St. John, or if we're just so far down the road that culture just can't make it this far.

On our return to Lameshur, we turned off down the Tectite Trail which was a hot, dry hike out to the point. The views were certainly worth it.

Smokey the Bear say, "Please take care!" The whole area was dry as a tinder-box despite rain last night.
The view down to Ram Head at the end of the coast.
At the top of a 100' crag of rock, this has to be the most tenacious cactus ever!
And finally we finished up our morning stroll with a rocky scramble along the eastern shore of Lameshur Bay. We were hot and sweaty and the water felt oh so refreshing as we both jumped in as soon as we were back on the boat.

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