Happy Birthday Tessa!

 The long awaited date was finally here.  Tessa’s birthday was today.  For over a month now, all we have heard about was how many days to her birthday.  We had elaborate plans for a party.  But in the cruising world, the best laid plans…….

We had planned to be back in St Thomas on the 22nd at the latest.  Tessa’s birthday gifts, as well as Easter gifts sent by the Grandparents were waiting there.  The nasty weather, 20 foot northern swells, made that impossible.  We spent Easter at Sophers Hole, then checked out of the BVI’s on the 24th, and checked back into the USVI.  The next day (the 25th), we took a ferry from

CruzBay to Red Hook, on our way to Charlotte Amalie to pick up the presents.  Tessa did get to open one present before we left that morning, a charm bracelet from Grandma and Grandpa, which I had brought back with us from Christmas.  That held her over for a little while.  We thought we would be back early, so she wouldn’t have to wait long for her party but the trip expanded.  After getting to Red Hook, we walked to the marine store to get some supplies.  From there we caught the local bus, (very cheap, you can pretty much ride the whole island for a dollar), and headed to Kmart. The Kmart in Red Hook is big, and while I helped Tessa shop for some new clothes, the boys were off looking for swim shoes.  We had a quick birthday lunch at McDonalds, and then caught another local bus.  The buses run in a figure 8 on the island.  Kmart is the center of the figure 8.  We ended up getting on the bus that was going back the way we just came, so we had a longer ride as we went back to the ferry dock, then back to Kmart before heading to Charlotte Amalie.  That was fine for the rest of us since it had started to rain, but Tessa was about out of her skin.  She wanted her presents.  After getting caught in traffic, we finally made it to our mailbox about an hour later.  We were overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that was there.  There were at least 8 boxes, and one huge box containing our breeze boosters.  All of us brought backpacks for the occasion, so I made Tessa and Tristan turn around while I opened the boxes, and started loading their backpacks.    I wouldn’t let them see what was in the boxes as I wanted them to be surprised when we got back to the boat.  While we were at our mailbox, we ran into Chris and Anne from Blue Runner, The dive shop they work at was just around the corner.  We spent a few minutes talking to them, and you should have seen Tessa.  She has seen the boxes, she knows there is candy and birthday presents, they are in a backpack she is being forced to carry, but she can’t touch them and now Mom and Dan are socializing, instead of getting her back to the boat so she can start her party.  Chris gave her a lollipop to appease her, but that really didn’t help.  We said goodbye and headed out to find a taxi.  This time we took the ferry from Charlotte Amalie toCruzBay instead of stopping in Red Hook.  Back inCruzBay, Dan and Tristan stopped at the barber shop for haircuts.  We were way behind schedule for the party, so I reached in the backpack and brought out a present for Tessa to open.  That bought me a little more time.  By the time the haircuts were done and we got back to the boat, it was after 6:00 pm, and I still hadn’t made Tessa’s birthday cake.  We were all exhausted, but at 8:00 pm, we had presents, cake, and a promise we would carry the party over to the next day.  Not exactly what she hoped for, but it turned out alright. 

Sophers Hole BVI

We had a great Easter today. We had Easter baskets and plenty of good food, as well as DVD’s from the DVD rental store.  We also had some new books, courtesy of Carol at 123 Hulls.  She had an amazing collection of really good books in her lending library.  Later in the afternoon, we went for a hike up and around the side of the mountain to see how the swells were.  It looks like it is settling down, so tomorrow we are going to try and head back to the USVI.  Only 2 more days to Tessa’s birthday as she keeps reminding us, and we have to pick up those presents!!!

Sophers Hole is one of our favorite spots.  We bought ALegria from Voyage Yacht charters here.  When we first saw her, she was sitting at the dock, right outside Pussers restaurant.  It was love at first sight!!! We love her more everyday!!  We are hoping to talk to Robin, who manages Voyage Yacht Charters to see if he can help us replace the cleat we broke in the Dominican Republic.  If we can’t get it here, I guess we will have to wait until St Martin.

Sea Cow Bay BVI

We have spent the last several days anchored in Sea Cow Bay, right around the corner from Nanny Cay.  There is a extremely high Northern Swell hitting the island, generating swells of nearly 2o feet.  We don’t want to be anywhere near that.  Fortunately we are on the south side of Tortola and it is the north side that is taking the brunt of it.  The last few days we have heard the Coast Guard on the radio looking for lost boats.  Alot of people are coming over from Puerto Rico for the holidays and it is extremely dangerous.  There were Coast Guard reports of overturned boats with people in the water at Meghans Bay on St Thomas.  And they are surfing in 25 foot waves at Cane Garden Bay!! Unbelieveable!! The National Weather Service says these are the largest swells to hit the island since 1991!  They cancelled the ferries that run from Puerto Rico to the BVI’s and the USVI to BVI ferries.  We are very worried about the people coming over from Puerto Rico.  We grew very fond of Puerto Rico and the people when we were there.  We prayed that none got caught in the storm.

But we are safe here in Sea Cow Bay.  We were supposed to head to the USVI to pick up our mail, but where we would go is too exposed to the swells, so we will have to wait until next week.  We took the dinghy over to Nanny Cay to see Carol at 123 Hulls.  Carol sold us our boat back in 2006, at Sophers Hole.  We really like her and her husband Greg, and they have all our gratitude for helping us get the PERFECT boat for our trip!  We can’t say enough good things about them!!  After we bought ALegria from them, they went out on their own and started 123 Hulls based n Nanny Cay.  It had been almost 2 years since we had seen Carol so we caught up over beers at the nearby pub.  Tessa also caught up with Hannah, the friend she had met at Cane Garden Bay.  It was nice to see Carol again, and we ended the evening agreeing that Dan would consider becoming a yacht broker for them.  It’s something he has always wanted to do, and the timing seems perfect.  We agreed we would talk about it when we met again after our friends came to visit.

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