Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April winds bring bread, muffins, and chocolate cake

April 27, we are now into our third day of a tropical front/trough that has kept us pinned in Francis Bay on St John, US Virgin Islands. We have read 5 books, and are now baking our way through the day. In the Northwest when we had stormy and rainy weather, we would hunker down below and make bread, cinnamon rolls, and cookies...some habits are hard to break. As the bread cooks we are icing down rum instead of drinking hot Spanish coffees...some habits need to adapt to the surroundings. The temperature here has stayed in the 80's, the gusts have been up to 30knts off and on night and day.

Since writing our last blog update we returned to St. Thomas to mail some forgotten items, bought fresh food, and restock our rum cabinet. We left there and went to Christmas Cove, where we met Ann and John Taylor on Livin the Dream. Over dinner they told us about 5 beautiful beaches within dinghy distance, the fabulous snorkeling, and the PRIME RIB NIGHT at the campground off Francis Bay on Friday nights. So we made plans to meet up later in the week for the great company, the beaches, the snorkeling, and the HUGE PIECE OF BEEF! As we ate, Dave stopped chewing when he ran into something solid and hard in his mouth--and discovered a cap on a tooth had fallen off. The next morning at 8 AM on the Coconut Telegraph, a radio net that goes from The Bahamas to Trinidad, Dave put out a request for a dentist nearby. Two people came back with names and numbers.
A quick phone call and Dave had an appointment with a clinic for 11 AM that same day. We sailed over to St John, found the clinic, and he had his tooth glued on by 11:10 AM, the cost ZERO DOLLARS! Needless to say we can highly recommend St. Johns Dental Clinic by the grocery store.
By sailing around the corner we were now in sight of the 5 beautiful beaches and we took our pick of places to tie up. Ann and John were right. We dove off the back of the boat and we were in a reserved for snorkeling. The first thing we saw was a turtle, followed by an abundance of coral, fish, sponges, and other sea creatures. Our new underwater camera came in handy as we learned how to take pictures that are worth keeping. Once we get internet again we will post some of the latest pictures. Five days in a row we snorkeled for 1-2 hours, and were lazy bums the rest of the day.
Before we realized it, it was Friday night and we headed off to PRIME RIB NIGHT. By climbing 99 stairs we were above the bay and had a front row seat for sunset. It's a bring your own drinks kind of place so we brought our box wine and toasted the sunset before getting in line for our 1 1/2 pound serving of beef, baked potato, beans, salad, and trimmings. After a great dinner we went to the craft store where glass artists show off their latest creations. They have a community here where they invite artists from other places to come and live, work, and sell their wares using recycled glass from the island. This night a very talented man and his wife from Vermont were working and made a beautiful intricate serving bowl. He was excellent in his teaching and explaining his process as he worked for almost two hours.
Saturday was another snorkeling day, and great weather. Sunday came and the weather began to change. The weather forecast told us that we should stay in this protected area and so we did. Which brings us up to date and why we are going to gain 10 pounds eating bread, muffins, and chocolate cake. The snorkeling is not so good on these wind blown days with surface chop white caps putting water into your snorkeling tube. So here we sit, reading, baking, sewing, reading some more, and eating our way through the days... no complaints from the captain or first mate.
Our plans are to go to the British Virgin islands of Norman and Virgin Gorda this weekend and then head back to St. Thomas to meet up with Panchita, (who we haven't seen in over a year) and then back to St. Johns to meet up with Solstice who we met back in 2007(they are returning from Europe). And with luck we will make another PRIME RIB NIGHT in Francis Bay.

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