March '04: St. Martin to Virgin Islands

After the Heineken regatta, we decided to take a small land journey to nearby Saba, renown for its diving and not so renown for its harbors. Its a unique island and the diving was probably the best we've done. St. Martin to the Virgin Islands were familiar waters, and it was all down wind from there. In the BVI's we met up with some old friends and met some new friends sailing north on a J-42. In the USVI's, we hiked and snorkeled in the National Park.

Hiking on Saba.

Spooky rainforest summit.

Dive instructor Marco at the helm. We went to some amazing dive sites. We saw about six sharks on one dive.

Dive instructor Hester, getting ready to dive.

At the Ecolodge on Saba, the cottage where we stayed. It is accessible only by hiking trail, run on solar power and had gourmet food made with vegetables and herbs grown on-site.

The short landing strip on Saba required special planes and left little room for error.

The staff at Simpson Bay Marina, our "home-away-from -home" port.

Dan from Reality was our neighbor in the marina. He runs the radio station and business center.

We left Simpson Bay in a downpour.

Our French courtesy flag had one final use on the French side of St. Martin - looks ready for retirement.

After arriving in the British Virgin Islands, we opted for wind surfing lessons at the Bitter End.

We can sail, but could we wind surf?

Bitter End Yacht Club where we got engaged over two years ago.

A couple on a charter boat we met on Yost Van Dyke.

Back in the USA, sort of - the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John's, hiking the national park. These are "love leaves" - you can scratch your names on them, hang them up and they'll sprout if it's true love. Ours is still growing in Boston.

Indian petroglyphs on the hike.

Coral was used in building by the European settlers - reef conservation hadn't yet caught on.

It was a very rainy hike in the rain forest.

Snorkeling off St. John's.


Our anchor chain was caught on he anchor of a wreck in Red Hook St. Thomas.

Big stingray resting on the bottom.