Caneel Bay St John

caneel-bay.JPG This is probably the roughest anchorage we have ever been at.  It is like a freeway for all the boats including the ferry boat traffic.  The only reason we are here is to get free wi-fi and also to dingy into Cruz Bay.  We went into Cruz Bay to take a walk around town.  As we passed a row of buildings, we looked down and could see a man using a lathe, carving wood.  We watched him for awhile.  Tessa was really interested in what he was doing and didn’t want to leave until he stopped.  When he saw us watching, he came out to talk to us.  He told us he was working on a vase and that he sold them at the art store in town.  We told him we would go by and take a look at them.  As we started to leave, he told us to wait, and he brought out a wooden top he had carved and gave it  to Tessa.  How nice!!  You know, if I had a dollar for every time someone gave Tessa something, I could probably pay for this trip!!  We walked on down to the National Park Service building to let the kids play at the  park.  Two girls there, about Tristan’s age kept trying to get his attention, and kept asking Tessa questions about him.  It was so funny to watch him alternate between nonchalance and embarassment!!  When we got back to the boat, it was a mess.  A big wave must have tossed us around because everything that had been on the kitchen counter was now on the floor and the glass candleholders and my candleholder from the Dominican Republic, which I cherished, had fallen from the cockpit table and broke.  I hate this spot, but we need to stay one more day to get wi fi and to be close to Cruz Bay so we can do laundry.  Tomorrow night we will be back at Maho Bay, as they are having a Star Watch program and then we will watch the lunar eclipse.  I am really excited about that.

We went into Caneel Bay resort to pay our mooring ball fee.  The resort seems alright.  They don’t have the great beach that Cinnamon Bay has.  There is a golf course here and I think that takes all the resorts attention.  Tomorrow we will head back into Cruz bay to do laundry then leave this rolly anchorage and head back to Maho Bay for the eclipse!

Cinnamon Bay St John

spider-cinnamon-bay.JPG    Yesterday we pulled into Cinnamon

Bay. What an absolutely beautiful beach!!!  On Saturday nights, here in the Cinnamon Bay Camp Ground, they have a Star Watch, where a Park Ranger will tell you about the stars that you can see from

St John. I love these talks put on by the National Park Service. After a great day on the beach, we beached the dingy and arrived at the amphitheatre for the 7:30pm start time.  Deanna, the National Park Ranger, led us through a sing a long (actually funny!) on the universe and then a slide show with images from the Hubble Telescope.  It’s very humbling when you see the images of all these other beautiful galaxies, that we know nothing about.  Deanna was very passionate about her subject and was really concerned about the light pollution.  I know more cities in the

US are becoming aware of this and trying to change the lighting in their area.  I think this is so important.  When you can get out in nature, away from all the lights (or at least a majority of them) and actually see what you are missing, it’s an experience you’ll never forget.  She played a slide showing how the light pollution is viewed from space and of course the whole east coast of the US is lit up, but surprisingly,

Puerto Rico was really bad!! The Bahamas were fine, and Dan and I laughed at

Dominican Republic that was lit up on one end.  They must have photographed them during the usual power outage!!

After the slide show, we made our way down to the beach to look at the sky through her telescope. Along the way we dodged a few birds flying by which Deanna calmly referred to as bats.This is the first time for me, as well as the kids, of looking through a telescope.  The moon was so bright coming through the lens that it nearly blinded me!!  Deanna told us of the importance of the night sky, for celestial navigation, to planting crops, and for animal and plant life.  For example, on a full moon night in September, the land crabs come out.  And every August, and only in August, under a full moon, the coral spawns.  I didn’t know that.  The kids loved it!!  If Dan and I can get up on our soapbox for a minute, this is it.  Please, please, please, look at the sky more.  Tell your children to look up every night.  Coming up on the 20th of this month is the lunar eclipse with a full moon.  Please, take a few minutes out of your busy life and just enjoy the show!  Your spirit and your kids will be glad you did. p2170091.JPG At 4:00pm today, the heavy rain we had been getting all day, finally let up, and we headed in to the campgrounds to hike the Cinnamon Bay Trail.  It seems we can’t get enough of the hiking!  Today’s hike was a 1.2mile straight up climb. The trail sign designated it as moderately steep and they weren’t kidding.  The narrow trail, wound its way up the mountain, over rain slicked rocks, and perched perilously close to steep ravines, before giving us a break of an amazing view of the harbor, three quarters of the way up the trail. hiking.JPG We were all surprised at how high we had climbed, and Alegria looked so small floating peacefully in the turquoise harbor. hiking-4.JPG hiking-2.JPG hiking-3.JPGThe trial continued on before ending at centerline road, the major road that crossed the island. It was a let down that the end wasn’t more dramatic, but walking through the forest, seeing the luscious green plants, and listening to the birds singing was our reward.  We made it back down to the campgrounds as they were getting ready to serve dinner.  The menu was a choice of Strip Steak, barbeque ribs or barbeque chicken.  The steaks were Omaha Steaks, a particular favorite of ours.  Not bad for a campground!!  While we ate, the CSN band (Caribbean Sounds of Nature) serenaded us with steel drums and island songs.  We came back to the boat, tired and full.   The lights will be out early on Alegria tonight! 

Maho Beach

st-john-55.JPG We walked back to the Sugar Mill so Dan could get some pictures.  Mr. Dale was there, along with some park volunteers. Dan thinks of Mr Dale as the Caribbean “Yoda” from Star Wars for the way he talks and throws out bits of wisdom. He recognized me and remembered we were from North Carolina.  He asked how my tea was and I told him it was good. I was talking to the park volunteers, asking them if they lived on St John and they said they did.  I told them I would love to live there but land was so expensive.  I also said I could live in the BVIs.  I said we would like a piece of land in the mountains that we could put a small house on.  Mr. Dale asked if I liked Cane Garden Bay.  He didn’t know this but that is one of my favorite places.  I told him yes, and he told me he had some property for sale, on top of the mountain, overlooking Cane Garden Bay.  It was his sister’s property and he was looking after it for her.  I told him I might be very interested.  I said, “That might be the reason I met you”.  “That reason,” he cryptically replied “and others.”  Hmm!! Interesting!!

Here are some of our neighboring boats in Maho Bay.  Notice the helicoptor!  We have some video of the helicoptor landing on the yacht which we hope to put on the website. maho-bay-neighbors.JPG

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