Saturday, February 17, 2007

Friday 16th February

St Thomas,
US Virgin Islands

18 20.252 N
64 55.728 W


Today began with a general clean up of the boat and then we had to reassemble the bed in the V berth as Rose and Mark were due to arrive. Putting the covers back on the cushions turned into a job and a half – who’s idea was it to wash them anyway? Eventually we got it done and found places to store the things that normally live on top of the bunk – like the bike, the laundry basket, the cans of drink and some other odds and ends, we just have to remember where it all is now! Then we cleaned out the forward head, found a new place to keep the ice machine whilst we have our friends staying. At last we decided that we were as ready for visitors as we will ever be, we are really looking forward to having them stay and just hope that they can deal with life onboard a boat – it is very different to being in a house that doesn’t move around and the space is a lot more limiting. We have plans on where we want to take them and what we want to do whilst they are with us, I’m sure they will enjoy some of it (if we can keep them sober enough!). By the time lunchtime came around we were ready to go ashore so we radioed Dale and Lorie and arranged to meet them at the town dock. Once we had all met up we decided to try the paninis at the internet café, we must have been late for lunch as they had a very limited selection left but what we had were good. We sat chatting for the next hour and then it was time for Gerry and I to get a taxi to the airport – we didn’t want to be late to pick up Rose and Mark. The trip out to the airport always takes a bit longer than you imagine as there is traffic going all over the place, mostly on the road but you can never be sure. We waited for about 15 minutes and the plane landed, of course Rose and Mark were at the back of the plane so they were amongst the last to deplane. Just inside the terminal the Cruzan rum company had a stall set up and they were giving away free rum punch to arriving passengers, we couldn’t hold them back, they headed straight to the stand and helped themselves to a drink. Mark said it was the first but I’m doubtful! (Lucy, Katie and Matthew – don’t worry it won’t be us leading them astray!) Anyway after the drink we collected the luggage – they did really well, only 2 small soft bags, which was just as well as any more would have gone over the side of the boat and then we headed to the taxis and caught a 15 seater back to the dock. Dale had offered us the use of their larger dink to transport everyone plus luggage back to our boat so we loaded it down and then took off, geeze Dale did you tell Gerry to treat it like a hire car? He drove it so fast we were airborne and it skids into boats really well, as for fuel sorry there’s none left but we had to do a tour of the entire Caribbean before we got to our boat, I just know that you would have treated our dink with a lot more respect and decorum. We gave Rose and Mark a cooks tour of our boat and introduced them to the joys of using a toilet and shower onboard, I even wrote up an instruction sheet for them to refer to as the last thing we need is the toilet flooding and the boat sinking because of it. We gave them just enough time to unpack and then we forced them back into the dink and headed into town for drinks and dinner. We tried 2 places before eventually settling on a third and then we enjoyed a very nice meal and just a couple of drinks, OK so what if they were very large ones. We staggered back to the dink (we had our own one back now so it was a tighter fit going back) and roared back out to the boat where after showers and cups of tea we settled in for the night.



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