If I did not already know it then the island of St John let me know this week. You see Sunday I had a day charter with some returning guest and we sailed from Charlotte Amalie to Jost Van Dyke in the BVI (I think he spend more to clear us in then he did on lunch for 6 people). I dropped them off in the evening in Cruz Bay on St John and went around the corner to Hawksnest Bay to spend the night. On Tuesday I pulled out my bike and attempted to ride it to Cinnamon Bay. These hills seemed so steep the only thing I could think of when I was peddling/walking my bike up them is the song Stairway to Heaven except I replaced stairway with the word incline. I worked my butt off to go three miles and I am pretty sure I left a lung, heart, and kidney on consecutive hills. You would think the good news is that what goes up must come down and it was at first. I thought I would gather up more and more speed and then use that to carry me up the next hill. Well I got going faster and faster until I think I heard myself burst through the sound barrier near the bottom of the hill. I am all ready to use this energy and get to the top of the next hill like a cannon shot until I come around the bend at the bottom and then I see them….speed bumps. What kind of jerk puts speed bumps at the bottom of a hill I am riding on! Well I apply the brakes hard enough to have a fire start between them, get past the bumps, and then I get to start the process over.
Once I made it to Cinnamon Bay I was highly rewarded. This bay is the site of the NPS campground so besides the cabins, campsites, and shower facilities there is a nice restaurant and a great little general store all on a beautiful beach (see 1st photo), which I thought was nicer than Trunk Bay next door. Plus the mooring balls are right off the beach so swimming from your boat is not an issue. Across the road is a half mile trail starting at some sugar factory ruins, but these are not as old as Annaberg or Reef Bay. Half the ruins are for the production of Bay Rum, which was popular as a cologne at the beginning of the 1900s. The trail is nice, flat, short, and goes back into the forest for some nature time. On the hike you come across several old Dutch graves and several of the bay rum trees have termite trails going up them (see 2nd and 3rd photos). Before I left I took another hike, this one to the top of America Hill and was amazed at the view of Francis Bay (4th photo).
The rest of the week I spent scrubbing the hulls to get rid of growth (this has to be done once a month), changing the oil, and other small jobs while I visited other anchorages in St John and Christmas Cove on Great St James. During the week I got two e-mails that keep me in a great mood. The first was from dock mates in Kemah, TX. They are going to be here within the week to hang out and pick my brain for places to go. This is a double bonus because I love meeting up with cruisers I hung out with in the past plus I get to share the knowledge I have gained while cruising. The second e-mail really touched me and reconfirmed one of the reasons I like to write my blog each week.
“Hello Shane. We met two summers ago? in Mystic CT when you were anchored above Mystic Seaport and we were lazing about in our center console. I have checked your site infrequently but now find you a GREAT source of entertainment and inspiration. We are about to move aboard a new (to us) 42 Silverton motoryacht (I know a stinkpot), berthing at Viking Marina in Westerly RI. If you are coming Northeast at all, stop by for a meal and some updates or if we can be of any assistance in the CT & RI area.”
I would love to hear from more of you either with an e-mail or through the comment section of each blog.
PS – as a follow up to last week’s blog, both the part and package finally arrived this week.