We had one final push from Culebra, Puerto Rico to St. Thomas for us to call this loop CLOSED! What loop do you ask? The loop of us placing Island Spirit onto a ship here in St. Thomas, 14 months ago, with a broken mast and more from Hurricane Maria. It was temporary metal roofing held down with only cinder blocks that Marina Puerto Del Ray would NOT remove before the storm. Of course, the sheet metal would fly off in a hurricane, and it did, destroying 7 sailboat masts. The three staff lawyers at PDR had it all covered and our lawyer determined the marina could not be held responsible. Then FEMA came in to rebuild the roof properly with USA tax dollars!
The loop consisted of shipping our boat back to Florida and replacing the mast and rigging, followed by cruising the Abacos and Berrys in April, then sailing it home to Annapolis, MD in May. We left Annapolis in October and sailed back to St. Thomas. That loop has been a big effort and very expensive to us, all because Puerto Del Rey would not remove a 30-foot x 40-foot temporary shade roof! So, we are very glad to have closed this loop and crossed back over our route as we passed the Crown Bay Marina Shipping terminal on March 22. Celebration time! YAHOO! THAT LOOP IS CLOSED!
St. Thomas, how we love it
We love being anchored in towns. We like all the available services. We like going to coffee shops, pubs, and easy grocery store access. We like going for walks around towns. We simply like the action of towns and all they provide and if we can be anchored out with zero costs, that makes it even better. St. Thomas was hit hard by IRMA and MARIA hurricanes. When we were here in December 2017 and January 2018 waiting for our rescheduled ship, we were sad to witness all the destruction. This year, the mega yachts have returned, the dinghy dock has been rebuilt and the town is recovering from the worst hurricanes in its history. Great to see the recovery!
One Last Upwind Bashing
Of course, to reach St. Thomas from Culebra, it is one more 25 nm bashing or motor sailing into the wind with a staysail. Salt spray from the waves and the winds soak the entire yacht from the roof to the bow. We hate salt on our boat, so when we drop the anchor the first thing we do is take buckets and sponges and chamois to hand wash the boat. Deck, lifelines, windshields, hatches, portholes, cabin top, teak, etc. This takes about 30 minutes or more and uses about 10 gallons of fresh water. Lucky for us we have a Spectra watermaker which makes this possible.
The Green House, our happy place since 1986
Our first visit to St. Thomas was the summer of 1986 when we came down to charter a sailboat with our dear sailing friends, Scott/Barley and Freddie/Gail. We flew in and ended up here at The Green House as we waited for the BOMBA CHARGER ferry to take us over to the BVIs to board our charter boat. This has become our first stop place as we sit at the open window tables and look out over the harbor. The greatest aspect now is to look out at our own boat on anchor in the harbor and reflect back on the many years and the many charter vacations and the great friends we have enjoyed in this special place. All those years of dreaming of eventually, maybe we can, maybe we will want to sail our own boat to here. And now, we have. This is a great place for us to reflect.
St. Thomas Map
This harbor has been a dream harbor since 1the 1600’s and you can see why. The east trade winds allow for sailing in and sailing out on a beam reach. The harbor is deep and well protected. We can just imagine the days of tall ships all anchored here and offloading their goods to the many warehouses that line the city wharf. Today, these same warehouses now are full of jewelry stores and t-shirt shops. We like to anchor in the far east end of Long Bay where we find 15-20 foot waters (the entire harbor is about 25 feet avg) and we like to be near the dingy dock. The town is more in the center of the harbor and we can take the dinghy over to the USCG dock and tie up there as well. St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie is a wonderful place to sail into and to spend time. We love it.
We are here for school shipment
Our next mission is to help the children and teachers of the Jost Van Dyke Primary School. We shipped packages and Mpowerd.com LUCI Solar Lights here and bought supplies in Puerto Rico. We need to pick these items up and deliver them to the wonderful Principal, Ms. Blyden, on Jost Van Dyke. That will be our next post.
Thank you for following along. Team Island Spirit is living and sharing a dream, and we appreciate this every single day! We are as proud and as happy as this Culebra Rooster 🙂