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March 2011

Culebrita viewIn early March we arrived in Culebra, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands. The Spanish Virgin Islands are a part of Puerto Rico, but lie only 20 miles from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The small islands have beautiful clear water, nice coral reefs and very little development. We finally felt that we had arrived back in the Eastern Caribbean. .

The weather was beautiful and calm and we enjoyed a few days at the small island of Culebrita where we hiked, snorkeled and enjoyed the “jacuzzi pools”. The jacuzzi pools are small natural salt water pools surrounded by large rock formations. When the seas are running high, waves surge up over the rocks and into the pools, causing them to bubble, hence the name “jacuzzi”. A dip in the pools was very refreshing after a hike up the high hills of Culebrita which provided beautiful views.

Culebrita pools

 

We were happy to meet up with several of our previous (notice that we didn’t say “old”) cruising friends during the month. We spent a couple of evenings catching up with Roberta and Tito on Alleluia as they head back to the U.S. to sell their boat and end over a dozen years cruising in the Eastern Caribbean. We also spent several days with Mark and his first mate Velma on Kardia. Mark and Velma introduced us to Charlie and Jeannie on Lady and we all had a great time exploring Culebra via golf cart and snorkeling in several spots around the island. Mark is heading back to Canada with his boat after cruising in the Eastern Caribbean for five years.

 

spotted eagle ray

 

 

Our journey East continued and we arrived in the U.S. Virgin Islands after a half-day sail from Culebra. Since we were back in the Eastern Caribbean, we tuned into the daily Coconut Telegraph, a SSB net for cruisers. We heard lots of familiar names on the net and we substituted as net controller for a few days. It is a great way to keep track of our cruising friends.

 

 

 

 

John the lobster hunter

 

 

 

John on Sojourn and Steve and Linda on Seaman’s Elixir had told us about their lobster hunting around St. John via emails. We purchased a lobster lasso in Puerto Rico so John could be ready to participate. We rendezvoused with Sojourn and Seaman’s Elixir and spent several days together lobster hunting while scuba diving. John got a large lobster on his first dive, and successfully captured a couple of others on subsequent dives. Linda treated us to one of her delicious lobster pizzas with the catch.

We saw lots of beautiful sea life while snorkeling and diving. This month we saw both octopus and squid and also got good photographs of them both.

 

 


 


octopussquid

 

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Betty, Bobby, Ann

 

 

Bobby and Betty, Ann’s parents joined us near the end of the month and we had a nice visit in the St. John National Park; and in Tortola, Peter Island, and Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. One day while we were off snorkeling, two dolphins swam near the boat and gave Bobby and Betty a nice show. We took several walks on shore where we saw ruins of the old sugar plantations. Bobby and Betty were amazed at the size and number of megayachts in the area and Betty was highly entertained by the naked Frenchmen taking showers on the boat anchored next to ours. Back in St. Thomas, we had an opportunity to see the multiple cruise ships and cruise ship crowds.


St. John wall

 

 

 

Bobby and Betty made the 220 step climb to the Maho Bay Camps restaurant two weeks in a row for the famous Friday night prime rib dinner. Another night, Linda on Seaman's Elixir cooked more of her famous lobster pizza for all of us to enjoy. Once again, Bobby and Betty had several good examples of the cruising lifestyle.

Bobby and Betty’s visit will end in early April, but we are looking forward to a visit from our daughter Jennifer only a few days later.