Pete and Brenda only had two weeks to spend aboard the Angel, and they wanted to experience all they possibly could in that short time. We’d had them book their return flight out of St. Thomas, USVI, so at a minimum, we needed to be within easy reach of that island. I planned to have them on Tortola where they could take the Roadtown Fast Ferry to Charlotte Amalie, then a short taxi ride to the airport.
I knew we could pull this plan off, but to do so, we needed to be somewhere in the Virgin Islands. While those islands aren’t far from Culebra, for non-sailors, those few miles can be daunting. It is an open water passage with trade winds on the nose, opposing current, and frequent big seas. Joy and I didn’t want to scare the heck out of our friends, so I watched for good weather and told the crew when and where we would be sailing. We only stayed 3 days on Culebra, then pointed our bow east towards the USVI..
We had a decent sail from Culebra to the south coast of St. Thomas, but at one point in the crossing the waves started to mount up a bit. I noticed Brenda looking a little uncomfortable, so I made some casual comments about how the wind and waves were treating us kindly that day, and I was pleased it had been an easy crossing for them. Reassuring words from the captain always seem to help a nervous crew, and our crew seemed a bit more at ease afterwards
As we passed south of Charlotte Amalie harbor, I made sure to tell the crew that the few miles between that point and Current Cut at the east end of the island always seemed to be a bit rougher, no matter what the wind and wave conditions. This passage was our sixth crossing of that area, and it is always rough. However, the miles were passing quickly, and we sailed on making way for Caneel Bay on St. Johns.
Surprisingly, I took very few photos while we were anchored in and around Caneel and Francis Bays, but at this point, Pete and Brenda had only 8 days remaining with much more to see and do. So, after only three days on St Johns swimming and snorkeling, we headed over to West End to clear into the BVI for the balance of their time aboard.
Pete and Brenda had never been through the process of clearing Customs and Immigration from a private yacht, and they were surprised when I told them the Captain was the only person allowed ashore to complete the formalities. They would be forced to stay aboard with Joy to sip a cool drink while I trudged ashore with all the paperwork. tough life for them; tougher for me!