Friday, February 23, 2007

Monday 19th February

Lameshure Bay, St John Island
US Virgin Islands

18 18.858 N
64 43.357 W

We thought we’d start out fairly early today and make our way over to a snorkeling spot known as The Indians, so just before 08.00hrs we hauled up the anchor – no easy task as it was set quite firmly and we were surrounded by charter boats which had anchored over top of our anchor. We thought we were going to have to wake some people up to get them to move away from our anchor but in the end we managed to avoid them and get our anchor on board. With Mark at the helm we motored out of the harbour following Dale and Lorie towards the snorkeling spot which was about an hour away. The water was like glass and there wasn’t a breath of wind anywhere so our motoring speed was pretty fast. At one point we had to radio Dale to ask where he was going as he seemed to be heading somewhere that we weren’t going to – he said that he was just doing the scenic route – yeah right Dale! Dale and Lorie arrived at The Indians a few minutes before us and were lucky enough to grab a mooring that someone was just vacating. The mooring balls around The Indians are limited, I think there are about10 of them and at any given time there must be 20 boats wanting a mooring, you aren’t supposed to anchor around places that have moorings so we had to put the motor to idle and spent the next hour waiting for a mooring to become available. With all the other boats waiting it gets to be a bit of a race to get to a mooring that is being vacated and there is no honour amongst charter boaters – they don’t wait for their turn, it’s a case of whoever gets to the mooring first wins! Once we finally got tied onto a mooring it was time to put the snorkeling gear on and hit the water. We had borrowed a spare mask strap from Dale to replace the one on Gerry’s mask that had perished so Mark had no excuse to stay out of the water this time. Mark claims he’s a crap swimmer – his words not mine! I’ve seen a lot worse and I think he underestimates his ability, he stays afloat and moves forward – that’s a good start. As it was his first try at snorkeling Mark found it a bit confining to wear a mask and had difficulty getting use to the breathing through the snorkel but he did very well for his first attempt, we just hope he will try it again as it does get better with perseverance. Rose and I took off and went all the way around The Indians, looking at the beautiful reef fish which are every colour of the rainbow. Gerry and Mark headed back to the boat and when we had finished snorkeling Rose and I joined them, showered off on the transom (back step of the boat!) and then we quickly dropped our mooring line as there were other boats waiting. The weather was supposed to be closing in and we were meant to be getting some rain so we decided to make our next stop at Lameshure Bay - back on St John Island in the US Virgin Islands. The Bay was protected from the weather which was coming from the North. As we motored around to the bay the clouds began gathering and the wind picked up, we snuck into the bay just ahead of the first few splashes of rain and tied up to a mooring ball. Gerry Rose and Mark took the dink into the ranger’s hut and paid our mooring fee whilst I fiddled about chopping up vegetables and fruit for dinner. On their return Gerry had a sleep for a couple of hours and then it was cocktail time, we were going to Dale and Lories’ boat for the event so I mixed up a batch of strawberry daquiries, made a crab dip and then it was time to go. Another couple that Dale and Lorie knew from their travels joined us for cocktails and we spent a couple of hours drinking and exchanging stories before heading back to our boat. We just beat the rain which began in earnest shortly after our return, Our Bar b que dinner almost turned out to be a steamboat but it was quite delicious anyway. We weren’t quite ready for bed so we dug out the videos and watched Johnny English for the millionth time before retiring.



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