Saturday, February 17, 2007

Thursday 15th February

St Thomas,
US Virgin Islands

18 20.252 N
64 55.728 W

After a short sleep in and breakfast we loaded up the dink and set off for the town dock. I wanted to do some window shopping, preferably without Gerry hurrying me along, but he wanted to come along. We met up with Dale and Lorie and split up into the boys and the girls and then set about doing separate jobs. The boys needed to go to the internet café as Dale had a problem with logging off his internet connection, meanwhile Lorie and I began browsing the art store and then the first gift shop we came across. It seemed no time at all and the guys were back with us asking where we needed to go next – they just don’t understand that window shopping isn’t an exact science – Lorie and I were just going where ever our fancy took us! Gerry wanted to go to a nearby marina to see if there was a chandlers there as we want to replace the jib furling line, the marina was a bit of a distance away and we were best off getting back in the dink and going around the harbour to another docking place. The other dock was a very rickety old floating pontoon which had half a dozen dinks already tied up to it when we got there but we managed to muscle our way into a space and secured our dink. We then set off walking to the new marina, which we discovered is still being completed, the docks are in place but the shops and facilities are not all complete and the chandlers we had hoped to find doesn’t exist yet. Having bombed out on that Lorie suggested that we make our way to the supermarket which was a short distance further on and she pointed out the laundry on the way. We had to buy a couple of grocery items which then meant a long walk back to the dink and then a trip out to the boat to drop them off. Having rid ourselves of groceries we returned to the town dock and stopped for coffee and then an early lunch. Lorie and I insisted that we wanted to continue our window shopping and told the guys that they could go back to the boats if they wanted – we didn’t need them to keep tabs on our spending but they said they wanted to come with us (I think they were just afraid to let us loose with all the duty free jewelry shops that exist here to satisfy the cruise ship patrons). Anyway we made them weary by going up and down each alley way of shops, with us looking at “stuff” whilst they tried to find the “bored husband seats” that seem to be strategically placed throughout the town. Lorie and I went into one jewelry shop where Lorie enquired if they had any conch pearls – she wanted to see what they looked like as I had told her about one we had seen in the Bahamas which was beautiful and cost about $5000. Anyway we were handed over to the owner of the store who produced 2 of the rare pearls from her select boxes beneath the counter and she proceeded to tell us all about how rare they were and the attributes of one of the particular pearls she was showing us, I didn’t think it was anywhere near as pretty as the one in the Bahamas but it was larger. The owner also drew a couple of settings which she though would show the pearl off to its best advantage, showing us chains that would complement the designs. Eventually Lorie asked the million dollar question – the pearl cost $7000 without any chain or setting, at this point Gerry appeared in the shop to see what was keeping us for so long. I jokingly asked him if I could have the pearl, his face was a picture and he just replied that he’d see us outside. I think at this point the shop owner realized that she wasn’t going to make a sale and packed away her pearls and other bits that she had got out to entice us without uttering another word. Lorie and I politely thanked her and left the store but I think she was a bit miffed at us for not being rich cruise liner patrons instead of grotty yachties! Lorie and I were unperturbed and continued our browsing with the guys following along, eventually they got bored and started to buy themselves drinks as we went, oh and some Belgian chocolates too! When Lorie and I stopped for a cold drink the guys finally agreed to take one dink back to the boats and leave us the other dink so we could finish our browsing and return to the boats when we were ready. By now there was only about another hour until the shops closed anyway so we made the most of the hour browsing finally making our way towards the open air market where I purchased a couple of sarongs then we headed back to the dink and Lorie dropped me off at our boat. Gerry had cooked up a batch of spaghetti sauce, Lorie made salad and we shared dinner before retiring for the night.



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