Saturday, January 31, 2015

USVI 2015 - Day 1 - Red Hook to Christmas Cove, St. Thomas

 1/16 continued! 

Bags claimed and welcoming rum samples sampled, Jenn and TQ and I jumped in a taxi van that took us on a beautiful ride over the mountains to Red Hook. Island Yacht Charters is based at American Marina there; we paid our driver, grabbed our bags, and went and found the boat. Here she is, the Kinja, our Island Packet 440 - I actually took this on the last day because on the first day I forgot to, too much excitement, I guess!

Capt. Kat was checking in with Skip, the owner, and suggested that we drop our bags off and then run on over to the grocery store where Lenore and Dave were already doing the shopping. 

Groceries in paradise! The market was right across the street and a couple of the staff helped us bring it over to the boat. 

Stowing it all was a bit of a process, but with five of us helping out, it went pretty fast. Capt. Kat's plan was to be underway by 4:00, sunset was going to be around 6:00 and although our first anchorage, Christmas Cove, was right around the corner, we still wanted to be there while there was enough daylight to sort out anchoring, if necessary. 

I think we were underway pretty much on time; we did have to make one stop when Capt. Kat realized we'd forgotten our snorkel gear (an absolute MUST!), but Skip was still with us at that point (Island Yachts sees their boats in and out of Red Hook) and had us pick up a mooring ball and run back to the dock in the dinghy to get our stuff. Phew! After that we were properly underway. I think we even sailed a little bit.

Our first night's anchorage, Christmas Cove. No mooring balls - there were something like 4 here and this is a popular spot. 

Preparing to anchor. Or maybe pulling the anchor back up after the first try didn't go well. Or preparing to try again. Or pulling up the anchor again after the second try didn't go well. Etc., etc. You get the idea. The primary anchor on this boat turned out to not be a very good one - it was a plough anchor, and Skip had told Capt. Kat that it might need somebody to swim down and plant it by hand; we didn't do it this time and we weren't sure it was really set when we finally stopped trying, we'd let out a ton of chain, but it seemed to be holding, and there wasn't much wind forecast for the evening so we decided it would be do; we watched our position like hawks for the rest of the evening and it continued to look OK. 

Tired from the anchor dance, we had a simple dinner of salad, chips and salsa, and pepperoni slices, along with a celebratory bottle of champagne, then we all turned in for a good night's sleep. 

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