March 2020: Spring Breakers Onboard and the Corona-pocalypse

It is March and time to have some fun with friends, and Mak and Ella celebrating their college spring break! The Coronavirus is starting to cause some concerns and travel is being discouraged. However, this did not stop Makenzie, Ella, plus their friends, Anna, and Lily, from coming to spend a week with us on the boat.

It takes an early morning flight and a stopover in FL, but they do not mind.

Welcome to Spring Break 2020!!

The girls took a taxi to Brewers Bay on St. Thomas where we were anchored. We picked them up on the beach in the dinghy.

We are very excited to have them on board!

Our first stop was Maho Bay on St. John’s.

We did lots of relaxing in the water:

And paddle boarding:

Anna, Makenzie, and Chance. Mak sure does miss Chance when she is away!

Lily and Ella hanging out on the beach:

Anna, Makenzie, Ella, and Lily walking on Maho beach.

Anna and Mak modeling on the beach:

Addie practicing her modeling skills on Maho Beach:

Makenzie and Anna chilling with the dogs on the boat:

Ella and Lily in the Safari Bus on the way to hit the town (Cruze Bay):

We snorkeled around Maho Bay and saw a bunch of turtles and fish. Caper always wanted to come with us!

On one of the days, even the sun had a corona!

We made our way from St. John’s over to the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. It is a short sail, taking just over an hour.

The girls were so excited to get to Jost, they swam to shore:

And headed straight to get Painkillers at the famous Soggy Dollar Bar!

Of course, this is also a good place to hang out at the boat, enjoy a cold one, and be kept company by Caper swimming around.

The next day we dinghy’d over to the next bay to check out Foxy’s Bar. Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke is always a good place to enjoy a cold beverage.

We try hard to keep guests happy and hydrated!

And ourselves of course 😉

Lily, Mak, and Anna at Foxy’s:

After Foxy’s, we all headed over to Soggy Dollar and Hendo’s Hideout.

We were all trying to make sense of Corona, not really knowing what was about to come.

After lunch and hanging out, we decided to get ice cream:

After a couple of days at Jost Van Dyke, we had to head back to St. Thomas so the girls could fly home. We took a family picture on the boat at St. Thomas:

We then went to lunch at a cool restaurant (Stone House Cafe) in downtown St. Thomas before putting them in a taxi to the airport.

The girls at St. Thomas airport:

Ella and Lily on the plane getting ready to fly home:

While the girls were waiting at the airport, we sailed the boat back to Brewers Bay, which is next to the airport runway. We took a video of the girl’s plane taking off:

We are grateful for this week with all of our girls and their friends! While they were here, the university extended spring break, closed all dorms and buildings, and moved all classes online. The girls are headed back to a new world and they weren’t excited to what was coming up for them.

With a few days on our own, we headed over to Norman’s Cay in the BVIs and tried to teach the dogs a new trick.

A dog ramp attached to the back of the boat is supposed to give easy access in and out of the water. Caper used it just fine. Chance really was not having any part of it! We even tried to get him to fetch a stick – his favorite game on the beach. Unfortunately, he really only likes getting into the water from the beach.

Resting on the trampoline after play time:

Our friends, Don and Melissa Marlett, came to visit us in late March and stayed for a week. We took them to some of our favorite spots. On their first night we decided to go out to eat in Charlotte Amalie because we knew that eating out would be limited for the rest of the week with beach bars and most restaurants starting to close. It was a wet and bumpy dinghy ride, going against the current and into the wind. We were all soaked by the time we got to shore.  Turned out to be well worth it; the food and drinks were yummy at the Green House. The USVI’s closed all restaurants for sit down dining the very next day.

The next morning before sailing out, we took the dogs to the beach on Hassel Island. There is a swing on Hassel, so we all took some time to just hang out.

Don and Melissa on their first sail aboard Aventis:

We spent the next few nights at Ditliff Bay on St. John’s. We love this bay because the beach is dog friendly, it is an easy swim or paddle boat ride from the boat to the shore, and there is good snorkeling. It is usually pretty quiet too, with only a handful of boats. The dogs love to paddle board to the beach.

Rainbow after a quick morning shower:

Our next stop was Maho Bay on St. John’s. Sadly, the Paddle Up Tiki Bar was closed, but we had no problem finding drinks at the Aventis floating bar. Plus, all old salty dogs are welcome!

Addie and Mel did some paddle boarding at Maho.

We all also had fun jumping in the water and hanging out by the boat.

We saw lots of turtles at Maho:

And beautiful sunsets:

We spent the Marlett’s last two nights at Waterlemon Cay on St. John’s. We hiked around the water’s edge and then went a short distance up the hill to Annaberg Sugar Plantation. Addie did a great job teaching everyone how the plantation worked.

Here is Aventis in Watermelon Cay:

Shannon and Don hiked another area of Waterlemon Cay and found the old plantation owner’s house.

And local wildlife…

It was a relaxing and fun week with the Marletts!

After dropping Don and Melissa off in Charlotte Amalie, we sailed back over to Brewers Bay. After a great month with all of our guests, the boys were depressed to be alone. They had been spoiled with so much attention!!

Brewers Bay sunset:

So, living on a boat is pretty much an isolated way of life already. In normal times, other than going to the grocery store and going on hikes, we may leave the boat a couple of times per week to eat lunch out. This month, with the restaurants and bars serving take-out only, not being able to eat out was the only thing that really changed for us. There were really no known cases of the virus in the USVI during March, so we felt pretty safe. At this point, our plan is to head over to the BVI for a week or so, and then start sailing through the Caribbean toward Grenada, where we are going to live on Aventis during hurricane season (July-October).

Coming Up Next Month:
Another fire on the boat!, Makenzie social distances on the boat with us, and the impact of covid-19 shutting the world down

13 thoughts on “March 2020: Spring Breakers Onboard and the Corona-pocalypse

  1. Still can not thank you all enough for letting me come and spend a week with you!! You guys are the most generous and loving family! One of the best trips I have ever been on!!

    • Thank you! We are so happy you had a good time – we had a great time with you too! We really hope your summer plans work out. Stay in touch!

  2. Love the happy experiences and memories you create on AVENTIS!
    Til we meet again!…soon, we hope!

  3. Julia and I think that really looks and sounds like a great month! We know you were sorry to see the girls leave. We are so glad that you seem to be living the life you want to live (actually the life a LOT of people would like to live). By the way, when you preview the next blog, it is wrong to say something like “another fire on the boat”, and then say see you next time. First, we didn’t know about a first fire, and second, is everything ok? Other than that minor issue, have a great May. Love you,
    Dad and Julia

    • Ha! Good point! We had a small electrical fire in early January while we were in George Town, Exuma Bahamas. It was a loose screw that caused an arc and ended up melting some wires. This time we had another electrical fire that was caused from some really bad splicing and corrosion. Why is there even splicing? Who knows. It was still contained to just a bunch of wires that had to be replaced. Needless to say, we are checking out the wiring as best we can to avoid any more issues. Love you!

  4. It sure looks like everyone had fun!! You have posted great pictures! Miss you all but sure seems like a great way to live. Love you all

    • Thank you! We definitely have fun! Miss you too. Hope you are doing good and staying safe!

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