When approaching virgins

The incomparable beauty of it. Approaching from the sea it seems like one second everything looks normal, you look down, scan the instruments, you look up and suddenly there they are in the gathering early morning light. Magic, plus a color we haven’t seen in a while. Green…lots of green. Green covered hills. Green covered mountains ever more pale misty blue as one island overlaps and recedes into the distance as far as the eye can see. Heady stuff after seeing nothing but lumpy seas and clouds for eleven days.




Suddenly even the VHF radio perked-up after days and days of silence, the coastguard was broadcasting a securite warning about closing the Charlotte Amalie Harbor. Didn’t catch the reason but they’ll run the warning again.

After such a long hard fought passage it seemed like we were suddenly at the mooring field so quickly that we weren’t sure if it was the Caneel Bay anchorage. We still had a full days chores to do plus it was a haircut, shave, and a cockpit shower for the skipper.

After gathering up ships papers and launching the dink we were off to see the wizard…in this case customs officials of St John USVI. At Spanish Wells, Bahamas I had seven pages of forms to fill out. This time I brought along my secret weapon who loves to fill out forms. As Marce and I walked out of the customs office we looked at each other and we both started to laugh, we actually pulled it off. We sailed to The Virgin Islands, but then we’ve always believed in special dispensation for spunky fools.

This is my kind of place, laid back with a heavy dose of island funk. Small shops, cute little plaza, restaurants. All very tidy.


We were on a mission. Food. Specifically pizza. Don’t know why. Several locals pointed us towards a beautiful little multi-level beehive collection of artsy shops called Mongoose Junction. The Sun Dog Cafe turned out to be a Vender caravan with a couple of shady tables backed up by a very interesting menu. Nice dark & stormy with bitters.

Back aboard Escape Velocity we had our celebratory dinner of champagne and Fritos Flavor Twists Honey BBQ, impervious to damp salty air. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.


As we sat in the cockpit sipping the last of the champagne in the gathering twilight when it happened again. I looked up and St Thomas had disappeared and had morphed into a thousand twinkling points of light across Pillsbury Sound.

All you have to do is get here.


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One Response to When approaching virgins

  1. Anita

    That picture is well worth the trip. Thanks Marce and Jack for allowing us to live your dream with you.

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