We have been busy this week and it will get busier.
So, back off the coast of Guadeloupe, we were in a misty almost foggy air, but the temperatures were above 70 degrees. We turned on a course of 300 degrees True in a light rain.
Looking to our right a few hours later, you could see Montserrat in the distance. I almost felt a little sad we weren't making a stop on the island mentioned in the Buffett song, "Volcano". But the word was that there was virtually no one there, due to the recent volcano activity.
Whatever. I was tired of the begging I had seen in St Vincent and St Lucia, beautiful islands in paradise, but an impoverished population with no hope. At least the French still controlled their islands and had a reasonable social security scheme.
Look below, and be sure to enlarge the Google Map and you can follow along with our short trip.
View Basse Terre Guadeloupe to St Croix in a larger map
Mostly rain as the hours passed and the winds were mainly out of the East/Southeast. At 0100 we had slowed to 5 knots and were kind of rolly with the sloppy ocean and lightening breeze. We kept the motor on so we could ensure that we arrived when planned in the morning of the next day.
1220 found us at the halfway point, I had awoken from a really decent five hour sleep. The Spousal Unit was always good to me for letting me sleep while the sun climbed in the sky. Morning is the best time to be sailing, but I rather had the snooze. About 1300 she went to the right settee and began her well deserved slumber. The water was relatively smooth as we motorsailed to the Northwest.
1500 I noticed a squall to the right, about a mile or two which included a really bitchin' waterspout. I could acutally hear the wind spinning and sucking up water vapor. This was not a time to awaken sleeping beauty, I was pretty nervous myself, and the last thing I needed was for her to start spooling up about the little threat to our starboard. I may start to resonate and get upset, too. Besides, I was sterring us clear.
Note; Water spouts are something to be avoided, but they are not nearly as dangerous as the land based version (Tornado). But still, I prefer to watch rather than be directly involved.
The sun finally chased the squalls away about an hour or so later, so I broke the normal rule of "no alcohol" underway. I cracked open a cold Lorraine beer, a tall boy. Mmmm, Good. I had acquired a case of the 16 oz cans just because of the label. I mean, who wouldn't want a beer with the Cross of Lorraine on it?
The symbol of the French Resistance in WWII on a can is all the excuse I need to have two beers. Oh, and a great day at sea.
It was a beautiful sunset and we had some canned chacroute (Saurkraut, ham, sausage and pork in white wine) Outstanding dinner.
The winds began to switch to the North, so the waves began to get confused and the motion became a bit bumpy. This lasted through the night but we were unaffected; We are heading for American waters, home of cheeseburgers and 110 volt ac power.
Sunrise came as usual, early in the morning and we could make out St Croix in the near distance. We came around Point Udall about 0830, perfect for observing the coral heads as we passed Buck Island National Underwater park.
The Spousal Unit took her position up on the bow to observe the shallow waters. She gave a shout to avoid a coral head which turned out to be a eight foot wide turtle. The turtle ignored us as he went his way and we continued for Green Cay Marina, in Southgate Pond.
View Larger Map
You can see the coral along the North coast and the saddleback we had to cut through at Cheney Bay.
The Wildebeest had been away from United States territory since August of 1996, and the crew had been away since September 1995. Channel fever was definitely a concern, so we tried to keep professional about our approach to Green Cay. The left turn into a narrow cut was made and we called the Marina on VHF 16. They directed us to this dock and we tied up without difficulty.
Wildebeest III tied up to the second dock from the top right pier.
View Larger Map
I plugged into the shore power without having to use a transformer or plug adapter. Things were in control and we had no runs, no hits and no errors.
We went to the Marina office, checked in and helped ourselves to long showers. Next stop was "Cheeseburgers in Paradise", a cafe about two miles up the road.
Cheeseburgers in Paradise
Located on St. Croix’s East End- Cheeseburgers in Paradise feels like you are at a friend’s backyard bar-b-que. The open-air restaurant serves lunch and dinner seven days a week starting at 11am and Sunday Brunch from 11am to 2pm with live music Thursday through Sunday nights. Enjoy tropical frozen beverages, soda, tea or anything from their full bar to go along with- what else- your cheeseburger! But there is so much more to this menu- chicken sandwich, burritos, steaks, salads plus daily specials that include fresh fish and pastas. And for dessert? The finest Soft Serve ice cream on island made with whole milk, as well as, homemade rum cake, key lime pie and brownie ala mode. Truly a St. Croix family tradition- don’t miss out on this one! Be sure to check out the calendar to see who is playing this week. Safe, secure parking.
After a great burger with a rum and coke, we stumbled back to the boat for a quick nap before dinner.
Ahh, paradise! Just a hundred feet from the boat, as a crow flies.