April and May 2020: Hanging Out in the US Virgin Islands

April and May were fairly quiet months for us. We stayed around St. Thomas and St. John’s in the USVI bouncing around our favorite anchorages. Restaurants and bars were all closed by order of the governor until mid April when the restaurants opened for take out only. Luckily we got to spend some extra time with Makenzie and Ella because travel in and out of the USVI was still possible. Makenzie stayed with us for three weeks in early April. Then both girls came down in May. Mak stayed for one week and Ella stayed for 2 weeks.

But first, our boat played an April fool’s joke on us with a little electrical fire! Apparently at some point, tucked deep inside the wiring, someone spliced some wires that corroded over the past couple of years and eventually caused a small fire and a couple of days of time re-wiring everything that melted.

Why are there splices on such a new boat??? Uhggg! Look at that corrosion!
Notice all the wires that Shannon had to label to ensure they were replaced and put back on the control panel correctly.

After spending the day fixing the wiring, and running into town to get wires, connectors, etc at the hardware store which involves a dinghy ride to the beach, a 1/2 mile walk to the bus stop, and then a 15 min bus ride – then repeat backwards to get back to the boat from the hardware store (which Shannon had to do TWICE that day!) everything was back together and working.

The next day, Makenzie flew into town!

The girls had lots of fun swimming to the beach and then taking a rest on the boards.
We all enjoyed lots of water time.
Mak loves her pups.
And the pups love her.
There were daily paddle-board rides to the beach for morning walks.
We ran into Addie’s friend Ben (from Zenubia). They met in FL at Harbour Town Marina in November 2019.
Mak learned to drive the dinghy. And she was really good at it.
We stayed about a week here at Ditlef Beach on St. John’s.
Very quiet anchorage with great snorkeling.
The Beach Bar is open! Pets welcome.
We shared Ditlef with a handful of other boats.
The dogs got to go for a real walk.
We went over to Maho Bay on St. John’s but only stayed one night because the internet was not good and we had to keep Mak connected for school work.

Our next stop was Magen’s Bay on the north side of St. Thomas. The beach here is one mile long of beautiful white sand. You must have good timing for entering and exiting this bay, as the north swells can make the process very uncomfortable if not. The bay was very empty of other boats and the beach deserted. We got excited thinking we had our own private beach.

As it turns out, the governor closed all beaches from April 6 to April 20. And they were serious. The National Guard was out patrolling the beach everyday from sunup to sundown. This may not seem like a big deal except you could not even walk across the beach to get to the road to go for a walk. We were essentially stuck on the boat or swimming around the boat.

We did find this small spit of sand that we could swim over to. As long as we stayed in the water they let us be there. We were able to have Chance play fetch and Caper could swim and eat bubbles.

Dolphins came into Megans Bay to visit one day…

We all found plenty to do during this no land time…

The girls did schoolwork and drank root beer together while Chance supervised (napped).
Ashley crafted things with treasures from the sea.
Addie relaxed with her iPad watching YouTube and listening to show-tunes.
Mak enjoyed downtime listening to music.
The dogs made sure to keep a close watch on Shannon.
Addie practiced her modeling skills.
We even found Kenny Chesney’s house on St. John’s.
We had a simple Easter.
We missed Ella!! Looks cold in Boone. We think it actually snowed.
It was a great visit with Mak!
One last kiss…
See you soon Mak!

We spent two nights at the dock in Charlotte Amelia doing laundry and re-provisioning. This was our first dock time since early January.

An added benefit was we got to eat take-out food from Tickles Pub, so we did, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was a nice treat!

We went to the local grocery to provision the boat for the next couple of weeks. Look what we found here in St. Thomas, USVI!

Then it was back to the anchor and back on the hunt for more treasures from the sea. The beaches are even back open now!

This starfish has a diameter of 12 inches. He does not look the same once he dies. so we left him to enjoy his life.
I bet this sand dollar was amazing to look at when it was alive.
These starfish were dead when we found them.
Caper and Chance have their own sea treasures (fish) they like to hunt for.
Shannon stayed busy fixing things.
And making us yummy dinners of homemade french fries with chili cheese sauce and of course an order of plain fries. Can you guess which one is Addie’s?

The first week of May, Ella and Makenzie returned for another visit. Mak was only going to be on the boat for a week and we had lots to celebrate since we did not know when we will see the girls again. We are headed to Grenada at the end of the month and they are still pretty shut down. No air travel expected into the island until July or even August.

We started our celebration week with Mother’s Day which was actually on the day. Very Cool! Who knows when that will ever happen again!! Super special!!
Next we celebrated Mak’s 20th birthday which is actually on May 26th.
Then we celebrated Ella’s 18th birthday which is on June 21st.
Then mom and dad needed a break for a minute but don’t worry boys we are coming home.
And we celebrated Father’s Day which is actually on June 21st (same day as Ella’s birthday) with a great sail!

Then we had to say bye to Mak. She needed to get back to Boone and start training for her life-guarding job at Grandfather Country Club.

We rented a car and drove around St. Thomas to show Ella some of the sights. This is Magens Bay where we were anchored just a week or so ago.
What an amazing view up here from Sir France Drake’s Lookout. He would stand here and watch for enemy ships. We then went down for a swim and some beach time.
It was awesome having Ella with us for an extra week. We were very sad to see her go. Wish she could have stayed longer.

Addie shared a lot of info in her posts about the new friends we made this spring, but I had to include this photo here too. Getting to visit and dine with Bob, Louis, Mimi, Fabio, Rita and Patrick at the restored Fortuna Mill Plantation was a very unique experience. Bob is so kind to open his home to all of us.

He has an amazing view from the top of the windmill of Brewer’s Bay where our boat is.

We hope to see our new boat friends again too!

Maybe we will visit Fabio and Mimi (on Endless Summer) in Italy this fall!

We are excited that we get to see Jake and Stephanie (and Daisy and Roscoe) from Dream Catcher in Grenada later this summer.

The month of May had one more celebration for us…

We celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary on May 19th. We are so fortunate to have each other, our amazing daughters and to be on this incredible adventure!

May 26th we got to sit down and dine inside at the Green House restaurant on St. Thomas. This was the first day for dining inside. It was momentous because we ate here on the last day before they closed everything for Covid on March 20. Hoping it is a sign that things will get back to normal before long.

We are thankful everyday to be on this awesome adventure!

Coming up next month:
Sailing to Grenada!

11 thoughts on “April and May 2020: Hanging Out in the US Virgin Islands

  1. Fantastic! Looks like everybody is enjoying themselves and you are certainly in the ideal place to be on lockdown for COVID-19. Enjoy!!

    • Hey Les! Hope you are good and all is well at the marina! We ended up enjoying the USVI much more than we anticipated. Take care and tell everyone hi!

  2. Love all your beautiful pictures!! Do you find a lot of sea glass ? Bet your stuff is beautiful. You all look so tan and healthy!! Miss and love y’all .

    • Thank you! Ashley has a talent for finding sea glass. She has a bunch and is very creative and talented with it. Miss and love you!

    • Hey Mak! We always have a good time – but especially when you and Ella are with us! Hopefully Grenada opens up soon so you can come see us. Love you!

    • Thanks! Love reading about you guys too on FB. Grenada airport may open back up fully by August (we hope). Fall/winter is a better time down here anyway…

      • Sounds like a plan. Evan’s middle school graduation class trip to Disney was cancelled and we received the refund today. Might make for some easy traveling around that time frame right before we head off to Africa (in Nov/Dec of this year!) 🙂

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