Thursday, January 18, 2007

Leinster Bay and Waterlemon Cay, St. John

January 18, 2007  Thursday
Christmas Cove, Great St. James island, USVI

We spent the past few days in Leinster Bay, St. John.  This is a very pleasant anchorage.  Can’t anchor here because most of St. John is a US National Park, but there are mooring balls available for $15 per night.  Only somewhat negative thing about Leinster Bay is that you must land your dinghy on the beach and then walk 20 minutes to deposit your payment envelope.  Good thing that you can pay for multiple overnight stays in advance, so you only have to do that walk once.  Judy got dozens of insect bites doing this short little walk.

The bay host said that when the winds are calm then the noseeums come out early in the morning.  But the winds were high for the few days that we were in Leinster Bay, so the noseeums stayed on shore; it was very pleasant on our boat out on the mooring.

Leinster Bay and Waterlemon Cay (yes, that is Waterlemon, not watermelon) are located on the northeastern side of St. John straight across from Great Thatch island.  This is just a great little bay.  You would never think it would be so calm in here when you are out in the channel just off Waterlemon Cay.  There is a strong current out there in that channel, but it is perfectly calm inside the bay. 

There are at least 100 starfish located in Leinster Bay, maybe even more.  They congregate between the mooring balls that are closest to the beach, on the right side.  Most of the starfish are yellow but also some red and orange ones can be seen.  Judy tried to take photographs of these starfish but they were too deep and the photos just looked like blue-green water.  Some of the starfish were moving about while Judy was snorkeling over them.  It was really cool.

Porpoises are all over the place right now in the Virgins.  We have seen porpoises in Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke; Soper’s Hole, West End, Tortola; and here in Leinster Bay, St. John.  Not to mention also seeing them when out sailing several times.  Must just be the time of the year because it is not normal to see so many porpoises around this area.  Also saw a hawksbill turtle the other day on the northern side of St. John.

There are now 3 cruiser boats waiting for the next weather window for the passage to St. Martin, including us.  And another 2 cruisers also want to make the trip to St. Martin within the next 2 weeks.  Time for all of us to start moving over eastward to begin the southward travel through the Leewards and Windwards.  We plan to leave on the next good weather prediction, which might be as early as this weekend.  We are waiting to hear back from the weather forecasting guy, Chris Parker, regarding what night would be the best time for this passage.  

We stopped by the mailing service in St. John yesterday and collected the remaining two packages of stuff that we had ordered to be shipped here.  Then we returned to our favorite anchorage at Christmas Cove, where we can anchor and save that $15 per day for mooring balls which we would have to pay if we stayed at St. John.

As much as we have enjoyed the USVI and BVI, it is time to move on.

BTW, we also met another person who had their dinghy and outboard stolen in Soper's Hole on Tortola.  Cruisers beware!

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