Arrived in Red Hook on Monday morning about 10, having motored straight across from St John. Got onto the fuel dock at the American Yacht Harbor and went to check out where the slip was that we had been allocated.
Hey, guess what, a boat is in it! So off I tronk to the marina office and wait patiently for the young lady to finish her telephone conversation and her VHF radio call (and the chat with the guy in the back office). I must be getting onto island time now though as it didn’t irritate me particularly – I just waited, smiled and watched CNN news on the monitor until she was ready to deal with me.
After a little while we finally get it sorted that I want to stay for two nights….want a slip with a finger pontoon (some of them are just between pilings) and I don’t need power or water. This took some time to organise and then she realised that we were taking up valuable space on the fuel dock while we were sorting it out…. So quickly it was all resolved and we were legal. I was shocked, however, to find that ‘check in time’ at the marina is 2pm and that I would have to pay an additional night as I was going onto a dock at 11.00 am – my horrified look must have been enough – cos she softened and waived that bit!
We are on the fishing boat dock – think large luxury motorboats that you pay to take you out Marlin fishing – so pretty interesting watching the comings and goings. The entry onto our dock also has a stuffed record-breaking Marlin on top of it.
Pulled into the dock and Richard and I went separate ways….me to do pink jobs – think piles of laundry – and him to do blue jobs while waiting for the guys to turn up on board to resolve our electronics issues. Long story short but we ended up having to replace the windex sender unit (for receiving wind information from the top of the mast) and upgrade the VHF radio to resolve compatibility issues with the RAM mic in the cockpit. We’re convinced there is a BVI-triangle for electronics – everything seems to go crazy and act weird when we go there! We also returned the outboard we had borrowed to Island Yachts.
While all this was going on, I carried on ticking off other jobs – going to the bank to get some cash and doing a bit of food shopping…. When I got back and the others had left, I hoisted Richard up the mast to put up some lines for courtesy flags and to check out his new climbing harness while in the safety of the marina. Phew that was a workout for my right arm! Hope I don’t have to do it too often….and we could both do with losing some weight…
That said – in the evening, we headed to Molly Molones (an Irish restaurant / bar on the dock) for a bit of dinner and a catch up with Sharme the top top bartender…. Although I at least had the relatively healthy stirfry while Richard had fish and chips…. It was funny to see Santa had turned up alongside Irish families / pirates and American memorabilia. All looks a bit odd and definitely not making us feel like it’s Christmas yet.
Up early this morning for more shopping…..more crates / more domestic supplies and more items from the chandlery. Every day we make lists and thankfully it looks like we are almost there…..and down below is less chaotic and more organised. There is a huge amount of storage on Morpheus – but knowing what should be put where is going to be an evolving science I think.
This afternoon we took the ‘dollar’ bus downtown. This is a hop on / hop off service for two bucks for any distance…. pretty good value although the experience can be likened to being on the tube in London on a hot day at times. We planned to have a look around the posh shops near the cruise terminal – think Gucci etc – and we were amazed to see five cruise ships in Charlotte Amalie completely dwarfing the anchorage. Even the marina was stocked full of very large megayachts of both the sailing and motorboat variety. And, in the midst of all this, was the overcrowded dinghy dock from all the people who have come ashore from their boats in the anchorage.
Downtime was mad……people everywhere, including one very very large woman who tried to fall over me whilst protecting her rum drink in her hand. I think she may have over-indulged! We have never seen so many people – and so many ‘ushers’ around. If one more person asked me which ship I was returning to; trying to heard me onto a bus back to the terminal; or usher me into a very expensive (albeit duty-free) jewellery shop then I was going to lose the plot! What was that about I said about becoming more tolerant of island time? I know many of our friends love the cruise ship experience – but even they would have been shocked at the chaos today. It seriously could not have been a great experience for a lot of the people on board these huge ships this afternoon.
Didn’t buy anything – which our bank account was thankful for – and we’re now back in Red Hook on board. Enjoyed a spectacular sky as the sun went down. We’re both very tired and we’re chilling out – neither of us are hungry or fancy going out….so might just stay on board and have a quiet night in.
Bye for now