On Sunday, March 13th, we released the mooring lines in White Bay, Jost Van Dyke and sailed the 17.7 nautical mile passage between St. John and St. Thomas to Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Charlotte Amalie, by the way, is named after a Danish Queen. The United States bought the USVI’s from Denmark earlier in the 20th century. We enjoyed a beautiful sail over from the BVIs with brisk winds coming from the port side and following seas.
When we arrived in St. Thomas Harbor, we tied up alongside the megayachts at the Yacht Haven Grande, a high end marina that caters to the super yacht clientele. What were we doing here? Good question! Most yachts were well over 100 feet long, even the smallest sailboat’s mast dwarfed ours. Actually, we chose the Yacht Haven Grande for its proximity to the airport (Julie and Tracy flew out on Monday), a laundromat, a grocery store, and a K-mart. The facilities are also top-notch with multiple restaurants and a swimming pool on the property. Also, we could clear in and out of the country right at the marina. For all these reasons, we splurged for a couple of days.
We haven’t done a lot of sight-seeing or pleasure-seeking. Our short visit to St. Thomas was, for the most part, a business visit. As previously mentioned, Julie and Tracy flew out on Monday. We’ll sorely miss our additional crew! Cindy and I did a lot of laundry at the local laundromat a couple of blocks away (and a very good one I might add). We did some provisioning at K-mart and Pueblo, the nearby grocery store. It has been raining just as often as not since we’ve been here. We’ve also just chilled and relaxed a little in preparation for our next phase of cruising — The Leeward Islands.
This seems like another big step up in our grand adventure. Although we’ve left the U.S. and travelled to several countries, they have been The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, the USVIs and the BVIs. Future islands in the Caribbean will stretch us a bit more. First up is Anguilla and then Sint Maarten. We have about two weeks until we will need to leave Beatitude in Sint Maarten for a month while I work and Cindy has knee replacement surgery. We’ve been watching the weather because the passage from the Virgin Islands to Anguilla involves over one hundred nautical miles of open-ocean sailing directly into the trade winds (and the accompanying waves). We could possibly hang out in the USVIs and the BVIs for another week before making the crossing, but it looks like we have an excellent window for making an overnight crossing on Wednesday Evening. Winds are forecast to be in the 10-12 knot range. So… the plan is to leave Yacht Haven Grande Today, anchor out somewhere tonight (likely in St. John) and leave tomorrow afternoon for our overnight crossing to Anguilla. Exciting!