87. Sailing in the Virgin Islands

 87.  Sailing in the Virgin Islands

I pushed the camera out as far as my arm would reach, so the fish could read KODAK, and wouldn’t scoot away behind the rocks, colorful coral, and reef vegetation.  The gentle waves rolled me off balance so it was impossible to see through the viewfinder to center on the fish meandering around fans, purple rocks, and stirred up silt.  By a miracle I was able to get these pictures of the coral.


We were snorkeling in the clear shallow water of Hawk’s Nest Bay, St. John Island, US Virgin Islands. Hawk’s Nest Bay was a horseshoe of sand  beach with no houses visible through the trees.  We were the only boat anchored inside, and no one was visible on the beach.  It was a perfect beautiful place.


We were on a weeklong cruise of the Caribbean on the CARNIVAL ship PARADISE visiting the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

The ship docked at Charlotte Amalie, where we and four of our friends, grabbed a taxi van and were driven to the end of the island to Red Hook and the American Yacht Harbor where we had chartered a 36′ sailboat for the day.  We were welcomed by a large iguana and the charter boat captain.

Captain Omar and his wife sailed us the four miles across to the island of St. John.  I got to take the helm sailing into Hawk’s Nest Bay where we anchored.  The captain’s wife, Sharon and Debbie went ashore to look for shells along the beach, while Dale, Betty and I snorkeled.  The ladies wandered further than expected, and we had to motor around the end of the island to pick them up.  With gray clouds forming off in the distance, we took a straight course back to St. Thomas.

I asked the captain, who was a retired Canadian air force officer, why he picked the U.S. Virgin Islands for his retirement business instead of the British.  He said, “Because it is the United States.”  That made me proud.

Back on board the ship, we showered and went for dinner.  It had been a tiring day, but super fun, and another “once in a lifetime experience!”

Next up:  Nassau