Thursday, July 26, 2012

St. Thomas: Second Port-of-Call

Anyone who travels the Caribbean always comments about the beauty of St. Thomas. When I learned that was one of our port-of-calls I was ready to take the cruise. My enthusiasm was based on the many pictures I’ve seen of the island. The white sand lying between the turquoise water and Palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze. All I could imagine was my hammock tied between two of those Palm trees with me in it. Someday maybe.

St. Thomas came into view early morning on Friday, July 13th. It was a beautiful and exciting sight to behold.

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As you can see we had a 3D sunrise. I particularly like my second photo where I dared to lean over the rail to take the picture. Remember in my first Blog, Firecrackinmama's World: 40 Years and Counting, the top of a lifeboat was only one and a half decks below. Of course with my perceptual problems that probably looked closer than it really was. At any rate as we came nearer to the port, the pilot came out to meet us. I always love watching that tiny little boat pull up close to the moving ship and the pilot leaping aboard.

St. Thomas didn’t disappoint us.

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There’s no historical accounting for this port-of-call. Our excursion is purely pleasure: St. John Champagne Catamaran Sail away. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Real turquoise water, white sand beaches and of course Palm trees swaying in the breeze. St. Thomas, St. John look out because here I come!

We again had no problem disembarking and locating our excursion group. There were a lot of people going on this excursion. To transport everyone to the marina where the catamarans were docked, we boarded trams attached to trucks. The idea was to squeeze five Americans in a bench seat designed to hold four. I have to mention that not all of us are the ideal size for our height, if you know what I mean.

Anyway our group was split with hubby, son and significant other heading out before the rest of us. Upon our arrival to the marina I learned that we might be on different catamarans. That was absolutely not going to happen! Yes, I became a bit spunky, but they tracked hubby, son and significant other down and hauled them back to our catamaran. With all aboard we were off!

It should be noted that excursions are not like being at a resort. You only get a snapshot of places but sometimes that’s enough. In this case it wasn’t but I sure won’t forget the beauty. The view of the marina from the catamaran was very scenic. I was even able to find a houseboat that I believe we could afford.

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We motored out passing many tiny islands. The captain and crew enjoyed telling all of us which islands were for sale. Sounded good to me! 

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tim and leigh on catamaran       Melissa greg todd on catamaran      IMG_3908

We all enjoyed the ride and it got better when the sail went up. We were bookin’ then!

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Our private beach finally came into sight. The ad for the excursion mentioned that if you preferred to spend time on the beach rather than snorkel, you had to swim in. I was concerned as I wanted to take my camera with me. In reality the crew plopped you in their tiny rubber boat and motored you right in onto the beach. I should mention I’m not good getting into and out of boats of any kind. In my other lifetime it was no problem. The crew was patient and I didn’t knock hubby overboard climbing in. I imagine we were quite a sight in the little dingy. Three in our group decided to snorkel and meet us.

preparing to approach beach      Leigh and Melissa snorkeling      IMG_3941 - Copy

At long last I was on my Caribbean dream beach! Wait a minute there’s no hammock… It was beautiful and I enjoyed not only walking the beach but the swim. The water was the perfect temperature and the kids had a great time snorkeling. Let’s see, they saw a shark of some sort, a barracuda, and a turtle. Oh, I almost forgot. On our way to the beach we had three baby dolphins swim along with us for a bit and we saw two very loving turtles – fascinating.

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In too short of a time it was time to return to St. Thomas.

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On our return trip the champagne, soda and spiked punch were brought out with trays of snacks. The champagne was ok, the punch was weak and the snacks were so, so. I couldn’t help but compare the liquid refreshments with our trip to Belize described in Firecrackinmama's World: I Need A Cruise. The Rum Punch in Belize was really good! Maybe the difference was that the bartender on board the catamaran was licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard whereas the bartender in Belize was just a crew member.

We had a welcoming committee of one upon our arrival back to the dock.

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The middle picture reminded me of the movie Speed II where the cruise ship ran right on up into the town.

We were back aboard and ready to sail at 3:00p.m. to our final port-of-call, Grand Turk.

For now have a Firecrackin Great Day!

Tropical Thank You Card
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