|Carl filleting the tuna we caught sailing from Jost Van Dyke to St. Johns|
We check out of customs and sail over to St. John, and are now entering the United States. Over the last year of sailing the Caribbean and meeting people from other countries, they all sing the same tune about checking into America, “Your county is so difficult to enter!” We have so many rules and laws, some are good and some do not make any sense whatsoever, like the number of countries we require a visa from.
We arrive in St. John and Matt heads off to customs, while I make cookies for a few cookie monsters on the boat. Matt is back in less than 30 minutes; stressed out and telling us all to load up we have to go down in person. Figures, it is not one of the stupid laws but it is the only county when checking in by boat that asks us that. When we get there we have to stand in a long line because a Ferry just arrived and dumped a whole load of loud, overweight, sunburnt Americans to shore, presumably from Foxys in the BVIs. Once we make it through and are officially back in the motherland we all split up and go explore. Eventually, Matt, Carl and I make it to the grocery store to get more provisions.
|This dinghy travels back and forth between all the different islands. Seems brave|
St. Johns has a beautiful national park, if I had more time I would love to explore. However, the following morning we lift anchor and head out to sea to check out a deserted island. Along the way we get to talking about the pharmaceutical industry and eventually about politics. Everyone is chiming in, including Matt who politely asked us to “Shut the F up”. We all fell silent and gave each other looks like children do after just getting scolding from their teacher, mildly amused and a little embarrassed. BTW Matt HATES politics. It turns out that we are not going to be able to stay the night at this deserted island because the anchorage does not have good holding at all. However, we do stop and take a sailing break. Matt and I go hunting for some fish but come up empty handed. When we head back out to sea we decide to sail in a circle a few times hoping that we can catch a fish while trolling. We have no luck but we do end up in a beautiful anchorage called Magens Bay.
The next morning we are all feeling boat crazy and needing to get ashore for some exercise. Alisa and I go ashore to do some sprints and Carl and Matt walk the mile long beach before Carl decides to swim the whole way back to the boat. Asa stays on the boat to have his alone time and do his own exercise. Once we all get back and are getting cleaned up and preparing to sail we start to see a very interesting show unfolding. A man who seems to be intoxicated at 10:00am is swimming out to a megayacht yelling/asking if he can have permission to come aboard. None of the crew seems to acknowledge his presence and he starts calling them all Mother F’ers and flicking the boat off. As he starts to swim back to shore, the crew come out and wave for him to swim back to their yacht. You can tell he gets excited as he swims back. The Captain comes out and offers the swimmer a piece of advice, we think we hear him say, “Be careful swimming all the way out here” and then tells him to go back ashore. He seems very pleased and we can clearly hear him yell “Finally a decent human that will talk to me” It was all very strange indeed.
We sail over to Red Hook and after careful searching finally find a place to anchor. Matt and I had such a good time here on our last visit we are happily showing everyone the various bars. Once our errands are done we are ready for some 3:00pm Happy Hour at a hip locals place. Well that 3:00pm happy hour was a great deal and lasted until 6:00pm, concidently just as long as Alisa and I. We lasted till about 6:00pm before we promptly found a nice place to sit and relax and rest our tired eyes. I didn’t want any pizza anyway, I am on a diet and I have been telling Alisa she should reconsider that throw up diet it is not healthy.
Needless to say the next day I felt like someone should be making me coffee and breakfast in bed, in fact I think I might just stay the whole day in bed. Somehow I managed to make coffee and breakfast for those interested (a bowl of cereal counts). We did a couple more errands and Matt was eager to have a better night tonight. We waited on the boat while Alisa cut Asa’s hair into a Mohawk and then went ashore.
We found ourselves in a bar with not a lot of character, extremely loud music, and the A/C blasting in hopes that more people show up. After our first drinks we decided to leave. We headed back to the boat, however, Matt was determined to go out and have a great time. Alisa and Asa were game so the three of them headed back out while I snuggled up to my pillow thanking it for always being there for me when I needed it.
We have one more short adventure in the U.S. Islands, as we head over to Charlotte Amalie. This is the port that Carl will fly out of to head back home. It seems he has enjoyed the journey and certainly we enjoyed having him here. It is always a pleasure to bring new eyes to see the lifestyle Matt created. Sometimes we can feel numb to all the beauty and excitement around us and those new set of eyes show it to us all over again. Also, Carl was an ideal crew member, he kept his area very clean, always complimented the chef, was up for any adventure, found everything exciting and fun, and paid his way without complaining.
It rained the morning we dinghied Carl to shore and we got lucky to see a cab immediately. Later, we learned the cab charged Carl a small fortunate to go the 2 miles to the airport but at least it was easy and not stressful. We had to do a couple more errands (groceries, propane, gas) before sailing to Puerto Rico another US territory that we will have to check into….