Saturday afternoon we dropped off the jeep in Cruz Bay and hung around downtown waiting for a 3:00 rendezvous with the owners of a 47-foot sailboat on which we would spend the night.
A squall blew through, dumping a torrent of water for about an hour before moving off. We watched it from the comfort of a restaurant's covered patio where we were having lunch.
But it was nice and sunny when we met Troy and Lauren, owners and captain and first mate of a beautiful roomy, luxurious, and breezy ketch which Ben had found last fall when he was noodling around airbnb.com, which is like eBay for lodging. The next two photos are from their Airbnb and Facebook sites.
With authoritative ease they got us and our luggage onto their dingy and before we knew it we were enjoying a brisk sail out of Cruz Bay, St. John, over to Christmas Cove, near St. Thomas.
Troy then took us snorkeling around a cay in the cove which offered outstanding views of numerous types of fish. And we saw a lobster and an eel. It was the best snorkeling in a trip filled with good snorkeling.
When we came back on board we took hot showers and then relaxed with a drink up on deck while Lauren started dinner.
Here's one way to hold a wine glass on a boat. Nothing like relaxing after an interesting snorkel while someone else makes a great smelling dinner!
Although we were given the master berth, I've found I have less problems with sea sickness when I get lots of air, so as night fell Ben and I made ourselves comfortable in the cockpit and Paul took the hammock. We all watched the stars and drifted off to sleep.
The task of the next day was to get to the airport for our flight, so after a quick but gourmet cup of coffee we sailed to Water Island, conveniently located near the Charlotte Amalie airport. Paul steered the boat for about twenty minutes, and it was serious steering, going through shoals and making several jibs. Pretty good for a first timer!
At Water Island Paul and Ben enjoyed one last swim in the amazing Caribbean.
Then we made a short sail to a beach right next to the airport, Troy and Lauren helped schlep our bags to the terminal, and our vacation was officially over. It was the first, and probably the only, time that we've gotten to an airport by boat!
I had been a tad worried about being on a sailboat overnight, and it is true that each of us was a bit queasy on the flight home, but we all agreed that Troy and Lauren were so capable and so laid back that we felt taken care of and comfortable. Spending time with them on their fabulous boat was a wonderful and enjoyable adventure and a great way to end our trip.