Monday, 30 December 2013

No 34 Christmas at St Johns I, USVI

Hi from Clare,                                           Sunday 29th December 2013-12-30
Well the good news for this week is that we have passed the winter solstice and we experienced three consecutive days without rain; a very promising sign.

Check the machine on the right - we think she was making icecream
The Laundry
After Deb flew out from Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas last Saturday we headed to the local laundry. The place was pretty busy when we arrived at 11am but we were told by the only other cruising lady present that this was nothing compared to the crowd at 7am. It was quite a cultural experience, the large Afro-American ladies were friendly but they sorted me out very smartly with "I'm next, then all these ladies then you, so you'll be waiting a looong time, sit down". OK, we got the picture and settled in. There were about thirty washing machines and forty dryers and I think the local ladies must have been spring cleaning as just about very lady there was washing curtains, floor mats, bed spreads, blankets, pillows, cushion covers along with loads of clothing. It must have been pretty normal as laundry sold large white plastic laundry bags and each lady upon finishing, backed her car up to the door and stuffed it full; we could hardly see the driver for the bags. With all the activity time passed quickly and we are not sure if we waited our turn but the male Afro-American attendant who seemed to be keeping everything moving, gave us the nod so that was good enough for us.


Christmas day
Lameshur Bay
We sailed back to Francis bay on St John Island for Christmas Day. We joined English friends Judith and Ken on 'Badgers Sett' along with Rowena and Richard from 'Galene' to celebrate. We had planed drinks on the beach on Xmas Eve but torrential rain and 35 knots of wind soon ended that idea. Fortunately Christmas Day was the first of our three consecutive days without rain; it was a sparkling day. The six of us combined our resources and celebrated on 'Badgers Sett' with champagne starters and an avocado entrée, followed by roast turkey and beef with baked vegetables, plum pudding with brandy butter, apple crumble cake with cream and custard all washed down with lots of wine and we finished six hours later watching a gorgeous sunset with a cheese platter and a bottle of port. It was a lively day and one we will remember for some time

Views from our hike

On Boxing Day Eye Candy sailed to the south side of St John Island to Great Lameshur Bay. We caught up with Mary and Jeff on 'Echo' for a sun downer and a three hour chat; it was good to see them again. We have been snorkelling and swimming each day. Great Lameshur is a beautiful calm bay in the National Park; we are surrounded by lush green hills. Yesterday we went for a 2 mile hike along a National Park trail and through a pass to the next valley to see the Petroglyphs. These rock carvings were done around 900-1500AD by the pre-Columbian Taino and their ancestors. The walk was heavy going at times but it was well worth it as we enjoyed the forest and the coastal views were spectacular.



The Petroglyphs (on the left)
Today Andrew is beavering away down the back of the boat repairing a broken wire on the rudder reference unit. The boat is so tightly packed nowadays that although he has pulled things apart at the back of the boat, the spare rudder reference unit had to be dug out from under the front bunk and he has installed a new course computer behind the cushions in the saloon area. So we are looking like the scene of an explosion at the moment. There's a good chance we will find things we didn't know we had!

New Year's Eve, but who knows where. Isn't life wonderful?
I will post photos when next we have internet access.
Love Candy xx

At 5:12 PM28/12/2013 (utc) our position was 18°19.00'N 064°43.30'W

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