A First Timers Account of Sailing in the Virgin Islands
08.12.2009 - 16.12.2009
Our last day....
Wednesday, December 16
I woke up and couldn’t believe this was it. This was the last day. Was the trip really over? I had come to love the boat, to love my companions, to love the relaxed rhythm of our days as they drifted with the winds and the waves. I hated that it was almost over.
We made our way from Francis Bay back toward Frenchtown Marina on St. Thomas.
As we rounded St. Thomas, we saw a little boat that was obviously stranded, being tossed mercilessly as the wake of the ferries hit it again and again. Mr. Scubagirl headed to the rescue. We couldn’t help but laugh when we saw the name of the boat was the S.S. Minnow….maybe not an optimal boat name choice? We pulled the little boat toward St. Thomas as a friend of his was headed our way. When his friend neared, we untied him and waved good bye and good luck.
It was bittersweet as we pulled into the Frenchtown Marina. As we were greeted by the Frenchtown Welcoming Committee (the trio of iguanas that hang on the rocks), I was happy that I had just had a wonderful trip. I was sad that it was almost time to say goodbye.
As we hit land, Matt and I said our goodbyes to Gromit and Mr. Gromit who had an earlier flight than we did. After several rounds of hugs, we grabbed a cab and headed into Charlotte Amalie, somewhere I have not been once during all my trips to St. John. We had a few hours to kill so we strolled around downtown and did some shopping. We also had a great lunch at Gladys’ café, ordering so much food she actually laughed and asked us if we were hungry. We also had a couple of overpriced, under-rummed drinks at some bar that looked like a Cancun throwback that was ready for the cruise shippers. CA is not my cup of tea, but it was an ok place to kill some time.
We headed back to Frenchtown for one last shower, which I managed to accomplish without mishap, and a sandwich to go from the Frenchtown Deli. Then Scubagirl, Mr. Scubagirl, Matt and I said goodbye to Jay and the wonderful staff of CYOA and headed for the airport.
We flew together as far as Charlotte.
It was eventually time for us to part. As I waved goodbye to my new friends in the Charlotte airport, I smiled on the inside, warmed by the post vacation glow that only comes from a great trip.
I sat in my seat on the plane….thinking back on the past 9 days. I couldn’t believe that only 9 days ago Matt and I had climbed aboard Island Sister with 4 near-strangers. For those first couple of days, I was consumed with lack of space, wondering when my next chance to escape the boat confines and get on land would be, dreaming of my next shower and worrying about just how bad my hair looked, and anxiously waiting to see if we’d all get along. Somewhere, somehow, sometime during our voyage, everything shifted. I was consumed with nothing but the waves and the wind and the sun, wondering when my next chance to feel the wind in my hair at the front of the boat as we soared through the sea would be, dreaming of plunging my sun soaked body into the cool water beside the boat and not worrying about how I looked, and anxiously waiting until the day that I would be forced leave my wonderful new friends.
I had learned another lesson.
Boat Lesson # 33: Agree to spend a week on a boat with strangers and be prepared to make friends for life.