I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I am all packed and ready to go. I have left all of my liquids and gels that I bought on my first day here (except for the OFF and the bug killer spray) along with a Prairie Dance Club CD and a tip, in my room for the housekeeper. I don't know if she will want all of it but it's there if she does.

I have lots of time before I have to catch the 2:30 ferry to St. Thomas and I want to walk the beach one last time. I cross the road between the building with my room in it to the restaurant and through the outdoor patio area down the stone steps to the beach. On the right I walk down as far as I can until I get to all rocks - this is just a few feet away from the backside of The Bomba Shack. Then I turn around and walk all the way to the other end where there are more rocks.

When I was swimming a couple of days ago, a fellow walked from this end of the beach to where I was right in front of Sebastians and called out to me "Are you Sandra?" "Yes I am." I called back, mystified as to how he knew my name. I got out of the water and he introduced himself as the fellow who ran the Facebook page BVI Network and whose picture I had commented on just an hour or so ago. It was one he had taken of the waves coming in on the sand and I had asked where it was taken and he had replied that it was here, on Apple Bay. So then I replied to that saying I was on Apple Bay at Sebastian's right this moment. So as he had walked by, on his way to work, he saw me and recognized me. We chatted for a while about his work and how long he'd lived on Tortola - 18 years. He makes his living as a web designer and lives at the end of the beach that I have now walked to.

I have noticed, while at this particular beach, how the waves come in in sets. There will be a few small ones and then they will get bigger until about the fourth or fifth one is really big and then it goes back to the smaller ones again. I guess this is what my daughter is talking about when, as a surfer, she talks about sets of waves. It's something I had never noticed before. So I wait for the largest one to hit so I can get a picture of it hitting the big rock that is on the sand here.

The fellow was telling me that, at this time of year, the surf brings in the beach - that is, it dumps so much sand on the rocks that they are completely covered, even this big one, and it goes partway up the retaining wall in front of the houses. That's amazing to me. I had no idea that a beach could come and go like that. He said that, all it takes is a northern wind and the beach will be gone in two days.

At 11:30 I check out and pay my restaurant tab and then get in my car and drive away from Sebastian's for the last time, over the killer hill for the last time.

I drive to Soper's Hole to have lunch at Pussers and take a table right on the water. I order the Shepherd's Pie. When it comes, it's smothered in melted cheese, which I haven't ever done with Shepherd's Pie - or seen done before this, and the meat and gravy is way too salty. So I just pick at it and leave most of it.

I can see that the people who own that gorgeous sailboat that I saw the last time I was down here have arrived from Great Britain and are getting her ready to take her out.

After lunch I pop into one of the gift stores here to buy a couple of presents for people back home and then head out to return the car to Jerry's. After a short wait there for another customer who also needs a ride into Road Town, we all climb into a nice SUV and a very pleasant woman drives me to the ferry.

When I get to the ticket booth for the Road Town Fast Ferry to get a customs form - I already have my return ticket as I purchased a round-trip, the agent tells me that the 2:30 ferry has been canceled. Before I can panic she says that a different ferry service will take me instead, 15 minutes later at 2:45. Phew. So I go to the next window, Speedy's Ferry Service, and sign in for that ferry.

When I get on board, the air is still and stuffy. We get underway and there isn't a lot of air movement where I have chosen to sit but I notice that the big loading doors on either side, just behind me, are open. So I stand in the doorway and not only is the breeze fabulous but so is the view. With the wind whipping my hair about, it reminds me of my boating days. I stand in the doorway on one side, and then later the other, for the entire hour and a half trip.

Bye bye, Tortola!

Loving this!

Oh yes! I'd like to live right there, please.

I didn't realize we'd be stopping in Soper's Hole for more passengers - I had lunch there just a couple of hours ago.

The Jolly Roger, a famed restaurant that is known for its Jerk Prime Rib, a meal I would have loved to try but the teeth just aren't up to it yet.

And just on the other side of the Jolly Roger's parking lot, the family plot. You see that a lot on these islands, people bury their families in the front yard.

An island we passed on the way to St. Thomas. If anyone recognizes it and knows what island it is, please leave a comment letting me know as I have no idea but would like to know.

We finally arrive on St. Thomas and a 15 passenger van/taxi takes four of us at once. We're all headed in the same general direction. Two are dropped off at a business. The fellow left with me wants to go to the airport and when we pull off the main road at the turn off for the airport I figure I am going to be the last one dropped off. To my surprise, my hotel - The Best Western Carib Resort - is right at the entrance to the airport and so I am the next one dropped off. I knew it was close to the airport but I had no idea it was this close.

I get checked in and before I go to my room I sit down at the business center computer to print out my boarding passes for tomorrow. That done, I go find my room which is on the first floor and off of an interior hallway, which I really like. The Best Western I stayed at in Yuma had the doors off of an outdoor walkway and I never feel as safe in that situation. There's a lot of crime on St. Thomas so this is great.

All of the rooms at this hotel have been recently renovated and when I get inside my room, I am really impressed by how nice it is. Especially the bathroom which has a lovely stone tiled shower with a huge rain shower head.

As soon as my stuff is in my room, I head back outside and down to the pool and restaurant area. Apparently the restaurant is Mexican and quite good.

There are several ancient Cannons on the property; these are on the stairs leading down to the pool and beach area.

The Mexican restaurant to the left of the stairs.

And the pool to the right.

And further to the right, the beach area.

I test the waters of the pool and it's a lovely temperature and I am tempted to go back to my room and change into a bathing suit. Instead I head to the restaurant and order a Taco Salad and a virgin Margarita for dinner. It's delicious.

After dinner I head back to my room to repack my bags. My 'purse', which is actually a beach bag, is far too heavy and so I need to get more of the contents into my pretty-full wheeled carry-on bag. I manage to lighten the load considerably and still get the suitcase zipped up but I decide to use the beach bag I bought for the groceries in Tortola (and have been using for taking my stuff to the beach every day) as my purse and to leave the woven grass bag behind - which I love and was a gift from a friend but it has started to fall apart on this trip - just barely started falling apart so it's still got a lot of use in it, but it's not holding what I need it to very well. In the morning I drop the 2 bug sprays into it along with my toothpaste and some moisturizing cream and hope that the maid or someone can make use of it all. Meanwhile, I take a shower under that decadent shower head and then make it an early night as I have to be up at the crack of dawn to catch my 9:15 flight.
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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