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A New View

It’s Hurricane Season here in the Caribbean and we’ve got a new backyard view! We’ve actually been here since just days after Brig was born but it’s been hard to find time to keep up on the blog during these first newborn weeks ;)

It’s a time of year where anxiety can make you sick to your stomach. When your home is floating in the path of a potential named storm, all kinds of thoughts start racing through your head.

We spent our first two hurricane seasons down in Grenada, which is statistically in a zone that gets less hurricanes, luckily without any action.  Last year we hauled out in BVI and this year we are staying aboard in BVI. So far we have not experienced any named storms (knock on wood!) but we are always making sure we’re prepared.

This year has already been fairly active and there were a few systems that looked like they were coming our way but either dissipated or redirected before reaching the Virgins. Peter and I have spent countless hours discussing what we would do in the event of a named storm.

While we trust our mooring ball (that we’ve spent the last two years on) in heavy weather, we don’t necessarily trust it in a named storm especially because now we have Brig. For the duration of Hurricane Season this year we decided to move our boat into a marina that is tucked way inside a designated hurricane hole here on Tortola just so we don’t have to worry about moving it if something comes up. Also, since we have to wait until the end of September to get Brig a passport, we can’t just haul our boat out of the water and fly back to the states to wait out the rest of the season there like we did last year. Not to mention, it’s incredibly expensive for us to do that. Aside from sitting on a mooring, hauling out, or moving to a dock, the fourth option would be to anchor out and hope for the best. We know a few people that have literally been the last boat floating while being anchored in a major storm.

Unfortunately, there are very few spots in BVI to anchor your boat – let alone considering if they would be safe. There are so many mooring balls installed for the charter boats that it leaves very few places left to drop the hook. Given our options here in BVI, we are pretty happy with our current situation from a safety standpoint. We will make every effort to secure our boat the best we can in a named storm, but when it really comes down to it, we’re insured. In fact, I’ve been finalizing our renewal this week. It’s definitely a relief to know we are completely covered for crazy things like hurricanes.

While I ABSOLUTELY despise being tied to the dock, it does have a few perks. For one, the Virgin Islands are H-O-T this time of year so being plugged into shore power allows us to use the air conditioning 24/7. Well, it actually requires us to run the A/C 24/7 because if we didn’t we would roast. Its even hotter tucked away inside this hurricane hole than it would be back on our mooring in West End. There are also a ton of mosquitoes when you’re close to shore so that’s another reason we have to keep the boat all closed up. Even though I’m not pregnant anymore, I’m still concerned about Zika. I must admit it’s also nice to have air conditioning when I’ve got a fussy baby though. Secondly, it makes it much easier to take Betsy for a walk. She can practically take herself potty – something she can’t do from our mooring.

Then of course there’s the fact that we can park our car right next to the boat, there is laundry, a gym, our favorite restaurant, and a little grocery market all within a very short walk. Sure it’s convenient, but it’s just not the same as floating out on the water away from everyone else. I look at dock life like being in an apartment complex and our mooring as more like a neighborhood with big spacious lots :)

I cannot wait to get back to our beautiful home in West End!! Yes, I’ll probably miss the air conditioning, but I sure do love when the fresh Caribbean breeze blows through our hatches to cool us down.

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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Cruising BVI: White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

One of my favorite places to spend the afternoon is in White Bay, Jost Van Dyke. When Dad and Stacy visited last December I got a little click-hapy on the camera. I deleted a few hundred photos from this particular visit, but below are the photos that remain. For the life of me, I could not decide on the usual 10-15 photos I usually post so I am sharing them all with you instead.

If you’ve ever been to White Bay, you can appreciate the magic I feel when I see these photos. I personally prefer to enjoy this paradise during the low season, and early in the morning before the charter boats arrive, before the craziness begins.

Peruse the gallery or click on each individual photo to leave a comment! Enjoy :)

Do you prefer a quiet white sandy beach all to yourself, or a rockin beach bar scene at the hottest destination in the islands?

Celebrating Island-Style

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This past December, Stacy got to celebrate her birthday Island Style! We did a quick tour of the British Virgin Islands and Norman Island is where we took her for a nice birthday dinner.

If you’ve been on a boat in BVI but have never visited The Pirate’s Bight restaurant, you’re missing out. It’s a bit pricey but not more than any other local restaurant in the popular anchorages and well worth the splurge. I wish I took more photos of this place but we were to busy enjoying the scenery.

The food is incredible, the atmosphere is beachy and ever-s0-charming, and they even had a Christmas tree decorated in the lobby! Even the dinghy dock is impressive. The white sandy beach is clean and inviting and far enough away from the craziness over at Willy-T’s. We definitely prefer the relaxed beachy feel ;)

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Family Photo!

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Before leaving Norman Island we took Dad and Stacy to The Caves and did a bit of snorkeling nearby. Gunner and Betsy even got to share nap-time with Grandpa! ;)

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It was a fun stop on the whirlwind tour but little did they know, Dad and Stacy still had some pretty amazing places to see before we sailed back to St. Thomas.

Stay tuned for some gorgeous photos of Dad and Stacy’s adventures in Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke! (I’m currently catching up on old posts from the anchorage here inTyrell Bay, Carriacou. We leave for Grenada in the morning!

The Windtraveler Twins Turn ONE!

You probably know by now that Brittany and Scott have returned to Asante with Isla and the twins to pick up where they left off cruising around the Caribbean. It’s even more awesome that just a few days ago the Windtraveler twins, Mira and Haven, turned ONE! Can you believe it?Haven and Mira First Birthday-3

We had sailed over to Maho Bay, St. John earlier in the week for Genevieve’s super fun surprise party on a local floating bar, Angel’s Rest. I still can’t believe Genevieve and Brittany got me to jump ;) Be sure to check out all the shenanigans >>here<<.

For the twins’ first birthday, March 6th, we got everyone together again on shore for a little celebration which turned out to be a picture perfect location for this very special event. With Arias and Ellia (SV Necesse) and Isla, Haven and Mira (SV Asante) the beach was overflowing with cuteness!

It’s pretty obvious from the photos, but these darling babies really are THIS happy in person! Their little personalities are bigger than life and so different from one another. Hats off to Brittany and Scott for living on a boat with three under three and making it look so easy!

I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to capture all these gorgeous photos on such a special day, though it was so hard to choose my favorite photos. There are dozens more, but these are the ones I couldn’t wait to share…

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