Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas in St. Thomas 2007
Picture: Merry Christmas Everyone!!
Now that we are where we need to be, our guests arriving on December 28th, we started to plan our Christmas. We had never been to St. Croix, and understood there were lots of Christmas celebrations planned so we decided to go there. It is a 40 mile trip, with a very tricky entrance (read reef protected) into Christiansted. Having never been there, we definitely wanted to arrive in early afternoon with lots of light to guide us in. We were up before dawn and underway by 6am. But the weather gods were still not being kind to us, and after 3 hours we turned back, knowing we would not get to St. Croix in daylight. The waves/currents were pushing us the wrong way, and there just was no reason to take unnecessary risks for a pleasure trip. We would have to find something else to do for Christmas in St. Thomas.
And for this, the boating community did not let us down. We were not expecting "Diesel Duck" to be in St. Thomas, but when we heard them on the radio, we quickly made contact. We had been following Benoit and Marlene in and out of anchorages for nearly two years, and only had personally met on a couple of occasions. We accused them of branding us as fleas, because it seemed as we entered an anchorage, they were making their exit.
We met up on their boat for drinks, and planned to share Christmas dinner on RAFT. As they were anchored off Crown Bay, we decided to move RAFT over there. Anchoring off Crown Bay is difficult, as you must choose a spot among moorings, long term residents on multiple anchors. Plus the bottom is debris and coral covered, and the depth quickly changes from 4 ft to 30ft. Not an ideal anchorage, and one that caused us difficulties when we were there in 2006. However, Benoit had snorkeled and determined a spot that we could "just" fit in.
We had a lovely Christmas dinner, since we couldn’t be with our family, new boater friends are the next best. Benoit and Marlene know many of our Ontario boater friends, having built Diesel Duck through the OBBC (Ontario Boat Builder Coop), living and sailing out of Toronto.
Marlene showed Bev how to take the safaris to the "upcountry"shopping areas after the holidays, something not high on Ross’s desired activities, but the girls had a good day out.