Enjoy the slide show of Paul and Jeanne’s trip aboard Bel Ami. I have also posted a “travelogue” to follow the slide show.
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Paul and Jeanne’s travel log: I don’t normally go into this much detail about our cruises, but I though, what the heck, here goes. Should perhaps give you a better flavor of life aboard Bel Ami with our guests. 10:30 AM Sunday. Paul and Jeanne from Alabami joined us for a cruise in mid-May. We joined them the night before the cruise at Tavern on the Waterfront, listening to some great Jazz. Then Bobbie and I returned to Bel Ami for a midnight launch out of our slip to catch the high tide, and motored over to Secret Harbor, where we set a stern anchor to ride out the surge. Next morning was glorious on the hook. Went for a swim, then drove and collected Jeanne and Paul from their hotel to bring them to the boat via Mountain Top (Banana Daquaris), Drake’s view, Charlotte Amalie overlook, Carigas for lunch with the Inguanas in the mangroves, and then finally to our anchorage at Secret Harbor. Jeanne and Bobbie went snorkeling while Paul and I did a little shopping in Red Hook, searching for the elusive visor for Jeanne. We ate a light dinner of Louisiana red beans and rice (Bobbie’s request—yummy) and enjoyed a lovely evening. Later the surge got to be too much so we hauled anchors and sailed over to Christmas Cove under a gorgeous moon (Paul slept through the sail while Jeanne stayed up and chatted with us in the cockpit). This morning awoke to another beautiful day, fabulous breakfast (Paul cooked fresh ground/milled Alabama slow cooked grits), and off we go to our next destination (as yet to be determined…we take it moment to moment). 9:07 PM Monday. Last night we ended up in Mary’s Creek just west of Leinster Bay. We first picked up a mooring in Leinster Bay and snorkeled along the shoreline, seeing a sea turtle right away. Also notable was a peacock flounder Good eyes, Jeanne! Back at the boat, little mosquitos were having their way with us, so we moved out of Leinster Bay westward to Mary’s Creek, away from the pack of moored charter boats. We had Mary’s Creek entirely to ourselves, and after dinner it was accordion man time. Who says sitting around singing in the cockpit wasn’t fun! Rousing versions of Runaway and Herb Alpert! This morning we sailed to Soper’s Hole, had breakfast and checked into the BVI. Then we sailed to Norman Island, stopping to snorkel at the Indians. I got some great pictures, including a drum fish, yellow faced angel fish and a trigger fish. Then into the Bight where we set anchor and Paul showed me how to cook homemade pasta while Bobbie and Jeanne snorkeled. The evening ended with Paul’s recitation of the Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service. 7:55 PM Tuesday. Started the day out with an early morning run complete with breathtaking views. Then back to the boat for my morning swim, breakfast, and a lazy morning. Jeanne (the snorkeling queen) and Bobbie Rae snorkeled, with Bobbie Rae snapping pictures. Lunch was grilled, and afternoon Bobbie Rae and I took a hike while Jeanne snorkeled some more and Paul anchored himself in the newly built Pirates Cove restaurant. Happy hour Pain Killers, Pina Coladas, Coconut Rum and Ting, and a Bushwacker topped with rum for Bobbie Rae. Back on the boat for a very light dinner and now to bed. Feel like we’ve been bushwhacked! 9:26 AM Thursday. Whoa, what happened to Wednesday? Lost in a rum-induced haze, that’s what happened. Where to begin…Spent a restful Tuesday night in the Bight, snorkeled in the morning to discover a carpet of green algae on the bottom between coral formations. Unbelievably beautiful. Such rich colors, and me without my camera! Shoved off after breakfast making for Salt Pond Bay, where we arrived in time for lunch. Tied up to a mooring ball fore and aft to better ride the surge. Girls went off snorkeling and Paul and I got introduced to the demon rum. Arrrrrgh! Should have known better, my body just can’t take it anymore. And me at 138 (and a half, if you please!) pounds trying to keep up with Paul’s 235 pounds, ….but I live to tell the tale. After spending a miserable Wednesday night patiently waiting for the alcohol to exit my body, I’m pleased to say this morning “Ain’t it great to be alive!” 5:29 PM Sunday. What happened the rest of Thurs, Fri and Sat? I’ve been remiss in my documentation duties. So what else is nu? OK, here goes. The rest of Thursday was spent snorkeling at Salt Pond Bay, and by the afternoon it became evident the surge was going to continue to do its thing and we decided to shove off. It was still too early to return towards St. Thomas, so we headed east and north and then northwest to Jost Van Dyke, having a lovely evening sail. We threw the hook down in Great Harbor, had a light dinner, and crashed. Next morning, Friday, we scurried over to White Bay and of course had to go get some painkillers at the Soggy Dollar Bar. Miss Mermaid (Jeanne) went off snorkeling while we hung out and enjoyed the ambiance of party time, party time, party time! Later that afternoon after having absorbed enough party time we shoved off for a late afternoon sail to Francis Bay. There was another boat on my favorite mooring by Whisper Cay and just as we missed the first mooring pickup at Francis Bay, the Whisper Cay mooring became available and there we went. Lovely evening in an anchorage we had all to ourselves (excepting the turtles that kept coming by and saying Hi. Saturday we set sail after Jeanne got back from snorkeling (she spotted an octopus!), checked into the US of A at Cruz Bay on St. John where we enjoyed some smoothies and ice cream. We were hoping to make Turtle Cove on Buck Island, but the wind was too light and it got too late, so we just went back to our slip in Compass Point, had a light dinner, a few drinks at the Dive Bar, and called it a night. Next day saw us having breakfast at Molly Malones, then it was drop off Paul and Jeanne at the airport. Whereas Paul was saying the week went so fast, Jeanne was saying the week seemed to take a while. But both were happy with their experience aboard Bel and we hope they can come again soon.