The sail to St. John was mostly up wind, about 30 miles away.  After looking at the cruising guides, we decided to stop in Caneel Bay.  Skip and I visited there after our first sailing charter in 1995.  We sailed around the British Virgin Islands and then stayed a few days in St. Thomas.  We took the ferry over to St. John and rented a jeep to explore the island.  I remember Caneel Bay had the cleanest, clearest water I had ever seen.  (I also remember having a brutal hangover most of the day–too many Painkillers!)

sailing to St. John
Sailing to St. John

The Caneel Bay resort has private beaches.  The public beaches are part of the National Park and are a favorite spot for cruise ship passengers (the pasty white people with striped towels.)

Looking for a mooring
Looking for a good mooring

Ahhhh…we have arrived!

We enjoyed swimming and kayaking by the beach followed by a dinghy ride to Cruz Bay, the next bay over.  Cruz Bay is a touristy spot with many shops and restaurants.  We quickly found the nearest beach bar.  I asked if they had anything rummy and was quickly informed that the place was called The Rum Bar.  Duh!!!
Caneel Bay beach
View from the beach

Relaxing on the bow
Relaxing on the bow

First stop, the bar!
First stop, the bar!


Sunset – looking towards St. Thomas

The next day was spent exploring Cruz Bay.  We had a minor adventure there.  While Joyce was climbing out of the dinghy she accidentally dropped the key to the padlock.  It quickly disappeared in the sand.  A walk to the grocery store, pharmacy and hardware store solved the problem.  Limes, antibiotics (for Jeff) and bolt cutters! (Meanwhile, Jeff had taken a taxi back to Caneel Bay, swam to the boat, retrieved an extra key and kayaked back to Cruz Bay.)  After all that we were all ready for a beer or 2!

morning rainbow
Morning Rainbow

Joyce and I took shelter at the resort beach during a rainstorm. We were accosted by security as we were leaving. No boat riff-raff on the beach! What happened to ‘any port in a storm?’

Pretty surf
Pretty surf

Never get tired of the water colors
I never tire of the water colors

After a relaxing morning, we dropped the mooring and headed to Leinster Bay, a secluded spot on the southern side of the island.

Heading to Leinster Bay
Leinster Bay
Moored in Leinster Bay. No development here, just beautiful water.
Leinster Bay
We kayaked over to explore this little island. The island across the way is Tortolla.

Snorkeling here was spectacular. Lots of colorful coral and fish.Sea fan
Sea Fan

Elk horn coral
Elk horn coral

Coral Valentine
A coral valentine
Handsome bird
This handsome bird was very patient while we took his picture

Happy Hour
It must be happy hour!  Joyce was expert at preparing fruity, rummy blender drinks.
Evening sky over the BVIs
Cruise ship passes nearby
A cruise ship passes nearby
Morning evidence of a good time!
Morning evidence of a good time

Next part, Vieques…