A few groceries were needed...

June 11 2017

Waking up in the USVI is definitely.... surreal, palm trees dancing in the sunset last night... surreal. Looking out onto a marina full of expensive boats... Surreal! This second day, giving way to a month of this kind of feeling will be life altering in so many different columns of my world. The opportunity to do this hasn't gone by me without a pause of appreciation and bewilderment... as to.... how'd this happen again. Dix was great and has been instrumental since I first met him some 26 years ago, yearly reminders of my love for water... sailing... and slightly following in his footsteps of being a sailor / nomad /  sea spray junkie type... I'll always blame him and I think he's OK with that, and his shuttle service from Yountville to SF airport, albeit in my Subaru, was nothing shy of amazing. Weaving in and out of the streets of San Fransisco (where's Karl Malden when you need him? / yes, if you're under 40 you'll have to Google that reference), hidden view points of the Golden Gate bridge and rolling through the GG park.... perfect timing to the airport some 2 hours early... capped with a full moon on my birthday no less.... Thx again Dix.

Side Note: on my 50th birthday I was able to celebrate it on a similar though different sailing cruise up into SW Alaska, I happened to be on the 50th parallel. This one I'm on the 18th parallel... nice tradition for sure!
 
Airport? Did i mention I was being ultra conservative with the two hours? Thinking I'd breeze through TSA... get an audio book chapter or two in before my flight.... Buuuuuut Nooooo! Every second chewed up by the lines, searches and customer service reps for United. Met a very pleasant woman in front of me, an engineer by trade at the elder age of 24 no less, Aparna by name, on her way to Philly to learn more about the history of the US... Liberty bell, Constitution and Nicholas Cage... (again... Google National Treasure)...

Uneventful flight, unless you call the charges, or should I say potential additional charges I tried to avoid.... WINDOW SEAT CHARGE / CABLE TV ACCESS CHARGE / INTERNET ACCESS CHARGE / breathing recycle air was free though... ;-}

Arrival into St. Thomas was unlike anything, even my multiple trips to the Hawaiian islands some 3 decades ago didn't prepare me for the remoteness of this locale. Far East then south.... welcomed by the steel drums.... who knew there's be so much to see and do on a remote island?

Plush resorts nestled alongside the coastline while 1/4 mile away less than affluence in the majority of islanders. Some great service and new smiles from a few locals that has made this last 24 very convenient; Daniel the driver / guide for our provisions run, local historian and Jason Statham-like driving skills... ALL ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ROAD! (first for this some town boy) Hope and Charice @ the market offering smiles, laughter and great assistance complete with singing, sharing local humor and a pinpoint directions up and down the aisle for every item requested... thank-you once again ladies. The bill for our two hour shopping / provisioning the boat..... more than any mortgage payment I've had.. ever! When you do the math however.... 3 people / 3 meals per day / 30 days (+/-) = 11.00 per person / per meal.... that works (tip not included... ;-})
 
Before and after the shopping included major cleaning aboard Maxim. We all seem to have a slight anality (spell check doesn't like that word i guess but you get the point) when it comes to cleaning. The vessel will leave port on Tuesday spotless, fully stocked and ready for the trip. Pushing 25 tons seems to be a heavy load, however I believe the (2) Caterpillar 3208 can easily handle the cruise North.. Capt. Craig gave us a brief 101 course on how they operate, seems there's a slight difference between them and the Toro lawn mower of 4 decades ago I'd mow the lawn with...(image shown for affect, ours are installed, not on pallets ;-})
 
Full Day, nice meal from Krystal, a local libation and it's off to slumberland in my V-berth cabin. Until tomorrow... or the next day...