Monday, January 22, 2007

Little Lameshur Bay - Jost Van Dyke; met new Texas friends

January 22, 2007  Monday
Great Harbor, BVI

Last Friday we moved over to Red Hook long enough for a trip to Tutu Park Mall so that Judy could buy a new pair of sneakers since she walked the soles off her only pair when hiking on St. John last week.  Another quick trick to the Marina Market for fresh produce and then we decided to check out bays on the south side of St. John.

Little Lameshur Bay on the south side of St. John is a perfect jewel, a truly lovely quiet place to visit.  Anchoring is prohibited, of course, because this is part of the National Park on St. John; but there are 5 mooring balls in this tiny bay.  We chose the mooring in the middle of the bay, as far from shore as possible so that we wouldn’t be bothered too badly by the insects.  The water was totally calm even though the winds were nice, not even a wave or sea surge at the tiny beach; it was like being in a lake.  There is a hiking trail to the top of the highest mountain on St. John where there are some petroglyphs that Judy would have liked to see – but the thought of hiking up that mountain and getting bitten by mosquitoes and noseeums was enough to make her decide to forgo that uphill hike.  These petroglyphs are believed to have been carved into the stones by the Taino Indians about 1,000 years ago.  Bill took the dinghy over to Great Lameshur Bay to pay the park mooring fee and was surprised to find an actual dinghy dock in place, along with trash bins.

This has been a nice surprise to us.  St. John now allows boaters to bring trash or garbage ashore and be placed in animal-proof bins located near the beaches in most of the bays.  This is a major change.  In the past you were forbidden from bringing any form of trash or garbage ashore on St. John.  No one wants to store stinky bags of garbage on their boat so this was always a deterrent to visiting St. John for more than a day or two.  Don’t know what caused this change of policy but we are very glad to see these new trash bins placed so conveniently around the island.

Another change is that Customs no longer even asks if you are bringing any food on your boat.  The first time we cleared in at St. John back in November, we just assumed that they had forgotten to give us that Customs form because it was the day before Thanksgiving and no one was happy to be working in the Customs office.  But we have cleared into the USVI twice more since then and each time received no inquiries about any food aboard.  Guess they have stopped bothering with that particular form regarding the importation of food into the USVI.  It was rather silly; not like the USVI has any agriculture whatsoever that might be damaged by bringing in fresh fruit or vegetables.  Everything is imported to the USVI; they don’t grow anything here.

We stayed at Little Lameshur Bay for 3 nights and then sailed over to Jost Van Dyke this morning and cleared both in and out of the BVI.  We are staging ourselves for the passage to St. Martin later this week.  Originally we had planned to sail for St. Martin on Wednesday (day after tomorrow), but the weather forecast has changed and now we might delay until Friday.   As of this morning, the forecast for Wednesday is for winds of only 10 knots from 090 degrees and northerly sea swell of 9 feet with 3-4 feet wind chop waves.  The forecast for Friday is for winds of still only 10 knots, but from 160 degrees (a much better direction for us to be going eastward to St. Martin); and NNW sea swell of only 3 feet with 2-3 feet wind chop waves.  This sounds like as good as it could possibly get for the Anegada Passage over to St. Martin.  So Friday appears to be the day we will finally get moving again.

A 473 Beneteau flying a Texas flag and with hailing port of Houston, TX, arrived in Little Lameshur Bay yesterday afternoon.  So Bill went over and invited them over for sundowners.  It was nice to meet and visit Craig and Jan Scott on S/V Seabbatical.   Craig and Jan have a home in Kingwood and have a new Amel 54 on order.  They will be cruising southward this spring and then will store the Beneteau in Antigua for the 2007 hurricane season and go home to clean out their house and list it for sale.  They will then return and sail Seabattical back up to Annapolis to be placed for sale in summer of 2008.  Then they will fly over to La Rochelle, France, and pick up their new Amel 54 and cruise the Mediterranean for awhile in the new Amel.   Lucky them!  Hope they enjoy their new Amel 54 as much as we are enjoying our 53-ft. Super Marumu 2000 model.  Amel does produce a great yacht for cruising.  We hope to run across Craig and Jan again farther down island in a few months.

 Note May 28, 2013:  We did meet up with Craig and Jan aboard their Amel 54 named S/V Lone Star in Marmaris, Turkey in 2011.  Much later we met them again in their new home in The Woodlands (Houston) for dinner a few times.  They crossed to the Caribbean in Dec 2011 and then sailed up to US East Coast in spring 2013.

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