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Cinnamon Bay Estate Ruins

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After visiting the Annaberg Sugar Plantation with Peter’s Dad, Wiley, we continued our tour around the island of St. John.

In Cruz Bay, we stopped for fresh fruit smoothies.

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These handsome gentlemen were telling jokes all day long, making us all laugh :)

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The view of Cruz Bay, Great St. James Island and the Eastern tip of St. Thomas is breathtaking.

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We stopped at several of the postcard-worthy beaches…

 

…and we even got to see the wild donkeys along the roadside!

The Cinnamon Bay Estate was one of the most prosperous sugar cane operations on the island in the 1700’s. Situation on the North side of the island, ruins from the factory can be found along the Cinnamon Bay Loop Trail, preserved by the National Park Service.

We walked through the majestic forest and saw where the inner bark of the trees had been scraped off. This bark is dried to make raw cinnamon.

At the end of the trail we walked across the street to see what Cinnamon Bay looks like from the campground. We are used to looking in from the mooring field, never from land, so it was fun to see a new perspective.

 

Back at our boat we finished off the day with a gorgeous double rainbow! :)

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Annaberg Sugar Mill

I can hardly believe how the time flies. You might think we are lounging around with our feet propped up, drinking fruity drinks and basking in the sun all day, however that is far from the truth!! I honestly don’t know where the time goes. One minute we are tackling a project on the never-ending list of repairs and maintenance. Other times we are just keeping up with household chores like cooking meals, doing dishes, hiking to the Laundromat, or grooming Betsy.

Since there’s not much time in the day for relaxing on the beach, I usually have to sneak in a little bit of computer-time for blog posts and editing photos. We have just a few days before Peter’s Dad, Wiley, arrives to visit again and I’ve just realized I haven’t even posted all the photos from his last visit!!

Last time Wiley was here, he brought his sister, Emma. One of our adventures was to show them a tour of St. John. Our buddy Yisrael drove us in his taxi-van, taking the small car ferry from St. Thomas to St. John. It was a very strange movement, quite different from the way our boat moves through the waves, and also different from the way a passenger ferry feels. After a tipsy ride, we arrived at the West end of the island near Cruz Bay and set out to see the Annaberg Sugar Plantation.

Constructed between 1797 and 1805, the Annaberg Plantation spanned 1,300 acres and was operated by 662 enslaved workers.

The sugar mill ruins were officially turned over to the Virgin Islands National Park in 1956. We spent quite a bit of time talking to the National Park Service volunteers during our visit and really enjoyed learning about the history of this beautiful island. For anyone else visiting the US Virgin Islands, this stop is a great alternative if watersports aren’t your cup of tea!


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Bluebeard’s Castle

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When Peter’s Dad, Wiley, came to visit us awhile back, he brought along his sister Emma. They had a wonderful time touring around St. Thomas and St. John with us and they really got a kick out of Bluebeard’s Castle!

Bluebeard’s Castle is currently operating as a hotel in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, but they also offer tours of the old tower now filled with artifacts from the days of wooden ships and hidden treasure.

There are many shipwrecks and tales of forgotten treasure here in the Virgin Islands which have sparked our interest. We’ve seen pieces of old pottery and glass bottles scattered among ruins and we’ve even snorkeled over cannons!

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A truly interesting history lesson about Bluebeard’s Castle can be found in this 1967 newspaper article: Historic Castle

Based on the newspaper article, the earliest reference to this property being called “Barbe-Bleu” is in 1859. A quick google search led me to La Barbe Bleue, a French folktale dating all the way back to 1697: Bluebeard – Wikipedia

Is it a little weird that the Legend of Bluebeard printed for the museum tour happens to be almost identical to the old French folktale? I’ll let you be the judge of that ;)

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The Holidays are Approaching

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The holidays are approaching! Thanksgiving is just over a week away and we still don’t know where we will be. Most likely we’ll be in Christmas Cove gathering together with all of our friends in the neighborhood. We may or may not have turkey this year, but you can sure bet that I’ll be making my famous pumpkin pie wherever we are!

Ever since we moved onto the boat, holidays have been a little different. Instead of flying back to California or Washington to be with family, we usually celebrate with friends nearby. We focus less on presents, decorations and big to-do’s, and instead cherish the memories made and the time spent with those around us. As floating nomads, our fellow cruisers feel just as much like family to us as do our blood relatives.

It’s going to be my first Christmas without Gunner and I know I will be sad. He was always with me for every holiday whether I was with family, friends or alone.

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Last year my dad was here visiting us on the boat for Christmas. We were in Christmas Cove and invited a bunch of our closest friends over for dinner. We had 9 adults, two kids and two dogs – a full house :)

Genevieve, Eben and their two girls from Necesse, Kim and Jereme from Lahowind, my dad, Steve from Lunacy and Hoy from Goldilocks were all in the neighborhood. We feasted on a fresh caught lobster dinner and shared many laughs!

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We’re looking forward to having Peter’s dad, Wiley, visiting over Christmas and New Years this year. It’s always nice to have family around during the holidays :)

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Cruising BVI: Sandy Spit

 

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We couldn’t take Dad and Stacy to BVI without taking them to Sandy Spit just off of Jost Van Dyke.

This little spit of sand and reef has made numerous appearances in all the fancy in-flight and travel magazines. The aerial shot they use even looks like a heart. How romantic, right?

If you get here early enough you can beat the charter boat guests and take a leisurely stroll around the whole island in total privacy. With just a few lonely palm trees and some greenery in the center, the crystal clear water comes bubbling up on the white sand and you immediately feel like you’re in total paradise. The sand is littered with tiny pieces of white coral and a few little tiny shells. In the right light, the sand even appears a little pinkish in color.

The reefs don’t have very much sea life among them, but the water is warm, clear and so refreshing. True island bliss.

There’s so many gorgeous photos, I love them all!! Take a peek for yourself…

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Stacy even found a coconut lying on the beach!

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After enough fun on our own private island, we launched the dinghy and headed back to the boat for some lunch :)

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Want to see for yourself? Check back with us soon for some exciting news to learn how you can visit this very place!! :)