From St John, it was just a short trip across to St Thomas, where we were able to anchor right below the old fort in Charlotte Amalie, the main town on the island. This place was completely different from the St John nature park – around us, the water was full of cruise ships, small tourist boats, and even small planes that took off from and landed on the water right next to us. We landed the dinghy right next to a busy street and a tourist market, and made our way to the fort while repeatedly telling the vendors that no, we are not interested in buying a colorful batique t-shirt, or anything else. The fort itself was very small, and almost empty. In the dungeons, we saw the cells, where slaves used to be kept before they were sold off, and we read about the islands’ slave history. According to the infographics, 12.5 mio Africans were transported to the Caribbean from West Africa, and the Danish ships were responsible for bringing 120.000 og the Africans across the Atlantic. So many people. And the USVI certainly didn’t seem like the islands with the happiest descendants of the slaves. Nowhere else have we seen so many black homeless and sick people on the streets as we did in the Charlotte Amalie. And the fact that a high end shopping street with Rolex watches and fancy clothes for the cruise ship tourists went through the town certainly doesn’t make the situation any nicer.
After visiting the fort, we went up in the old part of the city, which had a beautiful view of the bay. And then we were ready for our next adventure; the Spanish Virgins.
We started early in the morning from Charlotte Amalie, and hoped for a day of nice sailing, but the wind never came, and we ended up having a very warm day motoring the whole way to Culebra. We anchored in Honda Ensenada, the big main bay of the island, and even though Culebra is part of Puerto Rico – which is part of the United States, just like St Thomas, which we had just left, we had to check in again. This time by first calling them on the phone, then filling out our information in the CBProam app, then another phone call, and finally we were allowed to walk to the tiny airport to do the check in. On paper again, of course. But the officer was nice, and soon we were outside again, checking out the tiny airplanes that landed and took off constantly.
Before arriving in Culebra, we had heard rumors about Zako’s Tacos restaurant, and had decided that it was time for a restaurant visit. It turned out to be a very cool and relaxed little place, with very good food and even better beer. Mattis didn’t have time to eat though, he was busy playing with the local kids.
Allegedly, Culebra has one of the nicest beaches in the world (it seems every country has one of those 😉 ) and this one was double perfect for us because the waves fit exactly with the skills of entry level surfers like Runa and Mattis. The beach was 3 kilometers away, and the kids went every single day in about a week. They LOVED it there, and we actually ended up staying a bit longer than we had meant to, just to let them surf. Only problem is that we will have to arrange the rest of our trip around the good surf beaches…
Culebra was a really nice and relaxed island, probably one of our favorite places, with friendly people and all amenities on land. We did try a couple of other anchorages on the island, but ended up back in the main bay again – because surfing.
To see our most current position, click here.