We just got back in from a delightful (yet costly) voyage on the south side of St Thomas.
First, my wife and 3 yo son went to Charlote Amalie and berthed alongside at the Custom Welders shop and started bending anodized aluminum
tubing to fabricate a stern arch for mounting solar panels
, dinghy davits
, rod holders, shower
, lights, bells and maybe even a whistle or two over the back of our Hylas
49. I'd fabricated one of similar design on our last boat while in Guam
and came to appreciate the safety
, versitilty & shade that it provided.
This time around, I thought it would be best to have an arch built professionally.
We had it all basically bent, cut and tacked together two days later and then removed it from the boat and walked it inside the shop for final details and proper welding.
Next, we cast our lines and made best speed to Lindberg Bay and anchored right next to the airport
just in time to see our friend's plane landing. They (my wife's old friend and her 8 yo son) were coming from Australia
and had no idea of what lay in store for them.
We met them at the terminal, collected their gear
and walked them out of the airport
parking lot, toward the beach. They were looking perplexed and completely surprised when we suggested they remove their shoes and throw their bags into the dinghy
We motored out to our boat, quickly raised anchor
, opened a round of beers and sailed a mile across the channel to Honeymoon Bay on Water
Island. Anchor down - in for a swim - cool off - catch up - snacks and catch our breath after what had just been a few hectic days for all of us.
Next day brought a Haloween costume party, pig roast, haunted house & pot luck dinner on the beach. Pure magic. There were a few other boats at anchor in the bay and most participants were the kids
& families we're getting to know who are residing on Water Island. They don't do Haloween in Ozzy, so it was all quite exotic for our friends. And the kids had a ball!
We luxuriated, swam, explored and ate well for the next few days while allowing our friends to get aclimated with life aboard a boat in the Caribbean
We returned to our marina berth a few days ago. The girls & kids loaded up our car and are are now off riding horses and camping at Cinimin Bay on St John. And they're out of my hair while I'm dismantling shelves and cabinets inside the aft cabin
. The arch should be finished and delivered by truck tomorrow and I hope to have it all bolted down before they get back from their camping adventure.
The past few months have brought a hard top over our center cockpit
and a robust stern arch. It looks good and gets a lot of "wows". My neighbors are starting to refer to our boat as a "Hylas Hummer".
I reckon I'll be raising the waterline during our next haul out
will begin to come down next for our bi-annual Thanksgiving feast and sail to Jost Van Dyke in the BVI's. They don't do Thanksgiving in Ozzy, either, and I'm sure our friends from Down Under will go home with many fond memories of their visit in the Virgin Islands