I departed Ensenada Dakity and sadly waved to Wandering Dolphin as I made my way out of the cut. I finally left Puerto Rico astern yesterday morning. I slipped the mooring at sunrise on a southeast 5-10 knot forecast and light seas for the 20 mile trip to windward. The conditions were a little more lumpy than I had anticipated and it was the first time I've had to contend with any kind of current. Nothing to get sweaty about though, but it did cause the sea to be a bit bumpy. Once I arrived it was a bit of a to do to find a spot. I had intended on anchoring on the west side of Water Island where the guide indicated it was nice and protected. However the water was very deep and where the water depth was manageable private moorings existed. After nearly two hours of trying to get things worked out I started locking up. So I headed straight to the hustle and busl of the Charlotte Amalie main harbor where I am anchored right off the cruise ship dock. It is a little crowded but not nearly as much as I thought and also a couple of boats I recognize from my travels are here as well. Really looking forward to having Wandering Dolphin make the 20 mile jump....so hurry up!
I am anchored right off the newly built Yacht Haven complex that caters to the mega yacht industry. The area has beautiful facilities with shops. I have already located my core needs of coffee shop (of which I sit currently) a bookstore and a marine store. So today, my first full day here in St. Thomas will be spent checking out some sights. I have a small fuel leak and need to find a Yanmar dealer to discuss and buy some fuel hose. Yesterday it rained buckets with some thunderstorms late in the afternoon and evening. Hopefully it will be a little nicer today.
So future plans include me heading to St. Johns likely on Sunday. I have been focused on St. Johns for quiet awhile and look forward to spending at least a month or more on said island.
Here is an aerial view of Christa's current position, located behind a wonderful barrier reef. The anchorage has multiple free moorings put in by the Department of Natural Resources and is clearly a favorite of most cruisers. I moved out to the anchorage a couple of days ago. I don't have to rave about how beautiful it is, the picture tells the story. I spent a couple of hours yesterday in "big blue" which is my kayak. As an aside, I could have an entire separate blog for "big blue", which has seen its share of adventure. Both with and without me. Anyway it was a very calm and peaceful morning and I simply skulked along the reef and shoreline. Critters abound in this sparely populated part of the island.
To get to town is a little bit of a to do. It is about a 30 minute brisk walk one way. So what most cruisers do is simply spend a few days out at the reef and go back to town in the big boat for a few days to resupply. It would be a very easy pattern for me to fall into. But.....
A very calm few days are in store for the next few days in the NE Caribbean. I plan on taking advantage to make some easy easting. It already has been 8 days since I arrived in Culebra. Tomorrow mooring I plan on slipping the mooring for the 20 mile jump to St. Thomas USVI where I'll spend some time and then it is onto St. Johns USVI. I likely will spend a month or more in St. Johns as I await the arrival of Janina in December.
Team Wandering Dolphin swung by this morning in "The Bus" for a snorkeling expedition to the reefs on the western shore. The mission was a total success. The reefs and the associated aquatic critters were equal to or better than what I experienced in the Bahamas. We visited two different reefs each choked with healthy fan coral, brain coral and all kinds of tropical fish. After the viewing we headed for a beautiful beach with picnic tables and had some lunch. Wrapped things of up by 12:30pm just in time for some afternoon rest! Now I have to confess that I did not take said picture. The picture was taken by Team Prudence who have spent the huricanne season here in Culebra. But the picture was taken on the same reef from today and in any event it represents exactly what we experienced today.
It has been one of those near perfect days. Nothing in the future to worry about and much to anticipate, the present is near perfect with gentle trades and many options. I've been playing my guitar and doing alot of reading. I have an evening run and a nice meal to look forward to. More later.