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Trip Report Sailing trip in the USVI and Spanish Virgins

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Eight of us in our 50's and 60's -4 from NY, 3 from NJ and 1 from NM, sailed from Red Hook in STT on a 44 foot bareboat catamaran for 7 nights. There were 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, with a kitchen and dning table, as well as an outside table and sitting area, lots of room for everyone. First night, we had a tasty dinner at Bambooz in Red Hook (good crabcakes), then got provisions at Marina Market and slept on the boat. Day 1-Next morning we set off to Francis Bay on STJ. It was quite a rocky start. I noticed a fender floating behind us. Yes, we had lost it. As we turned around to get it, we accidentally jibed, which tore the main sail's attachment right off the deck. We could not sail and had to call the charter company for help. They came and fixed the attachment and we were off again. As we sailed, we noticed the dinghy had somehow gotten under the boat, and its line was snarled in the sailboat's propeller. One of the guys had to dive under the boat and cut the rope. He was successful, but had lots of cuts on his arms and legs. A very scary start!! We continued on to STJ without further incident, thank goodness. We stopped to snorkel and lunch at beautiful Francis Bay. We continued on to Maho Bay. Some swam and snorkeled, while others hiked to the Annaburg ruins. We ate dinner at Maho Bay campground and spent the night in quiet, beautiful Maho Bay. Day 2- We sailed uneventfully to Magen's Bay in STT, ate a great pasta dinner on board. Day 3- was a long sail with great wind to the town of Dewey in Culebra. We swam off the boat and then went to Dinghy Dock for drinks and on to a wonderful meal at Mamacita's. Day 4 Breakfast at Dinghy Dock. Then we shopped for provsions. Later we took a cab to Flamenco Beach, where we swam, snorkeled and had lunch at one of the kiosks. We had drinks again at Dinghy Dock and another great dinner at Mamacita's (fried red snapper). Day 5 -We set sail for Culebrita, a tiny, uninhabited island. We stopped to swim and snorkel at a small beach, then continued on to Tortuga Bay, seeing lots of sea turtles along the way. We again swam and snorkeled on the beautiful, almost deserted beach, only accessible by boat. We spent a rocky night there because of high wnds. Day 6- We hiked to the ruins of the lighthouse, which has beautiful views across several bays. We even stopped to pet a small herd of friendly goats along the way. Next, it was a long,motor-sail back to STT because of very little wind. We stayed overnight at Nazareth Bay, STT, where we dinghied in to have dinner at Blue Moon restaurant at Secret Harbor under a beautiful full moon on the water. A lovely ending to a great week. Day 7- return the boat to Red Hook . A wonderful week in really beautiful, pristine places. The only disappointment was the snorkeling. I had snorkeled in STJ years ago and had seen a great variety and amount of fish. This time I was surprised to find very few fish, even on Culebrita, which is uninhabited.

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