US Virgin Islands

Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Virgin Islands US  ,
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

After leaving Sint Maarten (the Dutch side), we headed to the British Virgin Islands. This was a 15 hour trip, so we did an overnighter. We arrived in Virgin Gorda by noon on a Sunday and waited on board until we could clear customs on Monday morning. It was good to have to stay on board and do nothing...

On Monday we did a bit of a walkabout and walked to a Catholic church that showed a tall cross at the top of a hill. As we arrived, a car pulled up and Fr. Larry introduced himself. I asked about daily Mass, and he told us that it was usually just him, usually at 8:00 am. He said if we wanted any other time, he'd be happy to change it. We said, no, we'd be there at 8:00 and we enjoyed a three-person celebration of Mass the following morning. The view from the top of the hill was wonderful. Chris and I noticed a gecko crawling the walls during Mass - it must have been a Catholecko.

We headed back to the boat and decided to head to The Baths - which are granite boulders strewn on the beach.

We wandered around, over and even through some of the rocks as we explored the incredible area. Chris and I had been there 27 years ago when we chartered a boat. It is still amazing. After a few hours of snorkeling and bare-footed, bathing-suited rock climbing, we swam back to our dinghy and headed back to Quest for a quick lunch and sail to the next anchorage.

Before leaving the British Virgin Islands, we had one more stop. The Caves, on Norman Island provided us yet another incredible snorkel experience. We dinghied over to the face of The Caves, tied up to the provided mooring and got on our fins and masks. After jumping in, I worked on fixing my mask and when I was finished and looked around me, there were about 15 fish within three feet of my face. Some were larger (12 inch or so) light silver with a yellow streak along the side, others were smaller (5 inch or so) yellow ones and others were even smaller zebra-striped fellows. My goodness -- how amazingly beautiful. We enjoyed our brief stay here and then went back to the boat for another anchorage. We had a short sail and spent the evening on the Island of Tortola in a small cove that provided mooring buoys (Soper's Hole). We cleared out of Customs and Immigration in the morning after a dump of rainfall cleaned our decks nicely.

Our next port of call was St. Thomas on the US Virgin Islands. Finally US land - even if it didn't feel much like the US. We stayed here for a few days - Chris had a friend from work who lives there. There was also a K-Mart - don't laugh, but we haven't seen a for-real department store on the entire trip. Most of the things we've found the hard way, but it was nice to know where to get vitamins, measuring spoons and nail polish - all in one store.
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starlagurl on

Civilization in the form of a K-Mart. It's also very nice to come back to a place you haven't been in a while and find that not much has changed.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

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