I can’t remember where we were when I last posted. I think it was St. Thomas. We had not expected to see the BVI’s, we thought we would only get to visit the USVI’s, but our sail was delayed, so we decided to go for it. While we were in St. Thomas, we got wind of a wooden boat regatta that was being held Memorial Day weekend on Jost Van Dyke (a BVI). Naturally, we had to go. It was incredible (brilliant, for all you Brits). Not only did we get to see lots of cool wooden boats in the anchorage, but John managed to get an invitation for him and the boys to help crew on one of the big boats!!!! They were in heaven!!

Oh, I should back up a minute and tell you what Foxy’s is. Foxy is an islander who owns a bar that caters to mariners on the island of Jost Van Dyke. He’s famous in the BVI’s; in fact, there is a rum with his name on it. Actually, it may be a beer, but that’s not important. He’s a “don’t worry, be happy” kind of guy, who also does calypso music/reggae or something like that.

Back to the boat regatta. The boy’s and John got to help crew Raindancer during two of the races on Sunday. There are some professional photos you can view at: www.yachtshotsbvi.com click on “view photos;” choose “Foxy’s wooden boat regatta” and then scroll down until you see Raindancer 1,2&3. There are lots of cool pictures of the boat and my boys (and man).

On Friday night, before the regatta began, the race committee passed out the schedules and routes… so we had to go visit Foxy’s and the little bity town. The Toucans were there with us as well. Mary (mom from Toucan) and I were walking around looking for the place where Foxy was having his boat built. A very large island man asked if we “ladies were looking for a good time.” So we told him that we were actually looking for Foxy’s boat. He said, “Oh, it’s back here, I’ll show you.” So we followed him. Along the way, he asked if we were married. We said yes, so he clarified if we were both married, and if we were sure. We said, “Oh yeah, we’re 3 kids each, married.” That seemed to clear things up for him. After a long walk back behind the open air bar, we found where the boat barn was. It was rather large, but it was on the other side of yard that could have had stickers. Being barefooted, neither of us wanted to go.

Foxy’s bar is open air, and they have a buffet (reservations only, and way at $28/plate, us families didn’t indulge). Pretty much everyone in the anchorage was at the bar. It was an interesting evening. The Toucans got ice cream cones for $3 a scoop, while we walked the dirt road. All of our kids played chase in the dark. There were lots of large hammocks strung between the trees on the shore, so we all lounged in them. I take that back. The kids don’t lounge. They used them as swinging devices; the girls would sit in them, and the boys would see how long and hard it took to make one of them fly out or throw up. Luckily, neither happened, but an islander guy told them the hammocks were for relaxing, not playing, so they came back over to where we were using the hammocks properly.

We had a very entertaining time watching the charter boats try to anchor. Most of them would charge in to the anchorage waaaay too fast, then throw it in reverse, drop the anchor, realize that they would be on top of another boat when they let out chain, pull the anchor up, drive around (way too fast) to find another spot… some boats took an hour to anchor. John enjoyed that alot.

After the boat Regatta, we headed off toward St. John—I think it was the Monday after Labor Day. We saw a neat little beach on a small island, Sandy Cay, so we decided to go check it out. There was a reef close by and the snorkeling was ok. John saw a nurse shark, but it was up in some rocks and wouldn’t come out. Pretty beach, though. We spent the night.

Next stop, St. John, which is largely a US National park. We grab a mooring ball in Leinster Bay for $15. There was a tiny little island by the mooring field that had some wonderful snorkeling. We saw tons of cool fish, and octopus, stingray, lobster, some pretty coral. It was amazing. We swam over from the boat to the island and the water where the boat was moored was really deep, like 40 ft or something. It was creepy swimming, especially since we earlier saw a couple of dolphins mating, and later some sucker fish that like sharks. I’m sure if there were sharks, that they were just nurse sharks, but still. It was creepy to me!

While at Leinster Bay, we toured an old sugar mill plantation, Annaburg Sugar Mill. It was pretty cool. There was a lady baking bread in the original cook house over the original stove. It tasted just like the bread I make. (Yeah, that’s right–I make bread. Not only that, I make pizza dough, and cinnamon rolls. I can’t believe it, either!)

Next we visited Peter Island. We found a very calm little harbor, aptly named Little Harbor. The water is very deep, except right by shore. We had to drop the anchor so close to shore that if we swung we could run aground. We tied the stern up to an old abandoned cement pier. It was awesome. The water was clear and it was so calm. There were several other catamarans, mostly charter boats, but it was so nice that we didn’t care. Although, when we first arrived, a charter boat named Viking Dream was next to us and they were the noisiest people ever. The charter company must give them little viking helmets when they get the boat because they all had them on while in the water having their own olympic games, adults with beer (which apparantly was a feat in itself-how to keep the beef afloat). Thankfully, they left early the next morning and we had peace and quiet. We stayed there for several days, and even then it was hard to leave.

On to Virgin Gorda and the Virgin Baths. This is by far the favorite place for everyone onboard. John and the kids said the snorkeling was amazing. There were also rocks to hike/climb on, and some of the rocks formed little pools (baths?). They had a blast!

After a night there (actually in Spanish Town because you can’t stay overnight at the baths), we left to head back to Culebra. We had heard that Magan’s Beach was beautiful, so we went there. It is rated by National Geographic as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Perhaps they mean public beach parks, because we’ve seen some that are way better, but you have to have a boat to get to them. It was pretty, though. The facilities are really what make it nice. There is plenty of shade, picnic tables, a concession stand and bar, a gift shop, lifeguards (sometimes), water toy rental… it’s pretty nice. The cruise ship passengers go there from Charlotte Amallie (St. Thomas), so it’s crowded when the cruise ships are in.

Now we are back in Culebra. John just went into town (Dewey) to see if the sail has arrived. I must say, none of us has much hope of it being here. Hopefully, it is here.

What’s the plan from here? Well, it’s time to go home-wherever that is. The plan is to go to Fajardo on mainland Puerto RIco and spend a night or two in a very cheap marina. Fajardo is a great place to get marine supplies and food, so we will provision for the trip home. Then head to Great Inagua, Bahamas; stop off at some islands between Florida and Cuba; catch our breath in the Florida Keys; then (drum roll, please) cross the Gulf of Mexico-gulp! We will head for Texas and tie up Cannibal in the cheapest marina we can find. The boys are planning to attend youth camp with Victory, so we hope to be back by the 23rd of June.

That sums up our experience at Foxy’s and the BVI’s, and the USVI’s, and our plans. I’m not sure how much I will get to post from now til we get home, so I thought I would put all in now. Hope you are all enjoying your summers, and we look forward to seeing lots of you soon!!

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