Due to wanting to meet friends in the BVI, some in January and others until March, we needed to clear out of the BVI to avoid the temporary import tax on the boat. Although we hadn’t considered it seriously before due to not having a visa, the USVI were the nearest option and we decided to try the 2 year visa process via the ferry, which some said worked, others said didn’t. We are so glad we did as the National Park around Saint John is one of the most picturesque and unspoilt areas we have ever sailed in.
Well organised, spacious moorings for half the price of the BVI, crystal clear waters onto white sand beaches. Hardly anyone around, just peace and stunning scenery. There are rules enforced which means it is quiet from 2200 to 0600 and there are no charter boats around. Even at sunset you can take your pick of spare moorings in all the bays. We can’t commend it enough and the National Park officers who volunteer to keep it so beautiful, one of whom has his yacht moored in the bay near us and came over to say hello when we arrived and tell us about the octopus, turtles and best snorkeling sites.
Our typical day here, taking yesterday as an example, is to get up around 0730, bake croissants and eat breakfast in the cockpit where we actually spend 90% of our waking hours. Rob polished some of the stainless steel and I did some handwashing and hung it amongst the rigging to get dried and ‘ironed’ in the wind. Then we pumped up the kayak and paddled over to the shore to look at the reef, landed on a deserted beach which you can only access by sea, swam alongside numerous fish and sat on the sand for a few hours and paddled back to the boat for lunch. I then spent an hour swimming around the boat, knocking off the barnacles I could feel on the hull and practised getting into the highly unstable kayak from the water. Not a pretty sight but got in eventually!
We chilled out on deck for a while before dinghying over to the floating pay station to post the mooring fee in for the next 3 days, checked out another British boat and an ARC one and came back to cook dinner. Ran the generator to top up the batteries, heat the water and charge the laptop. We had a sun downer and watched the sun drop behind the headland before eating out in the cockpit and then watching a DVD. Another busy, active day!