Last year we spent our time in Spain so this year it was time for a beach trip again. The full gallery is available here if you just want to browse the pictures, otherwise follow the page for a tour through our holiday.
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St Thomas map courtesy of http://tourism.virginislandsdailynews.com click for a larger version.
St. John map courtesy of http://www.usvi.net click for a larger version.
We were sitting on the first plane for some time when someone came over the speaker to say there'd be a longer delay while a maintenance crew came out to take a look at a minor leak. After waiting for some time they came back on to say that our plane wasn't going anywhere and we'd need to change planes in another terminal!
We booked it on over to the next terminal and proceeded to wait for our new plane to become available for boarding.
After an uneventful 4 hour-ish flight we landed in Puerto Rico and switched planes to a little American Eagle prop plane and flew on over to St Thomas. Wondering if our luggage was coming with us.
Landing in St. Thomas was a pretty sight.
After landing we waited at the baggage carousel and waited and waited. Our luggage never arrived and we had to fill out a claim in the hopes that it would meet us at our resort. On the upside, while Michael was standing in line to report the lost luggage (at least a quarter of the people on the plane were in the same situation) Susan was able to buy some duty-free rum to start the holiday with. A cup of soda later and we were ready to party.
Once we'd made our claim and our driver was ready we headed for Secret Harbor. On the way we saw plenty of pretty sights and one amusing sign reminding people to drive on the left, presumably because the Igs drive on the right and you wouldn't want to run over them.
After checking in and entering our suite we found a clean apartment with a good view of the bay and more than enough room for two people.
And a flag in the kitchen reminding us to drink lots of rum!
What a beautiful sight to wake up to.
After being on the beach a while, Igs started appearing. The first we called Rose because her coloring and she turned out to be a bold girl! Once Susan had given her a few raisins she started demanding more until we shooed her off.
But not before we were able to take several videos and pictures of her.
Later another long-tailed Ig came by long enough to be scared up a nearby tree.
And later in the day we were presented with frightening and amusing sights such as the guy with his butt hanging out (someone please find him and tell him to pull his pants up) and the old man with his shorts above his navel.
A much prettier close to the day was this flower found on the property. Anyone know the name of it?
Each morning we'd spend some time looking for the Igs as they climbed out of the trees below the pool. We could usually find 6-10 before we ended the game and went on down to the beach. The larger guys would glare balefully at us while the little ones would usually run away. One morning we saw a brief tussle as two Igs tried to claim ownership of the same tree.
Today was the day for our sailing trip. We set out from Red Hook on the SVA Rumbaba with Karen and Bobby. They took us over to St. John for snorkeling in Hawks Nest bay and lunch of grilled Mahi. The lunch was fantastic and largely prepared by Bobby and Karen on the boar. It was then off to <name forgotten> bay before heading back to Red Hook.
Some years ago the boat above was totaled by a hurricane and since the owner didn't have any insurance on it, he just left it. Some Haitian rastas have been living there ever since.
Evening shot of Sandy. We started calling him that because he was sitting there every evening, warming up on the sand. It turns out that he spent his nights underneath the pavement where he'd hollowed out a nest in the dirt.
He didn't really care for us looking at him and lunged at us so Michael fended him off with our small pack which Sandy chewed on.
We took a trip into Charlotte Amalie this day for some sight seeing and shopping.
But first we took a look at the world from our balcony and then
headed to the pool for some ig-spotting. Can you find the igs?
Once in Charlotte Amalie we shopped and even saw a Mini! Unfortunately Michael didn't have any of his spotters with him.
Along the way we saw pretty fountains, were annoyed by barkers (and avoided the shops that had them) and generally wandered about looking for souvenirs (and a ring for Susan).
We stopped off and had lunch in Cuzzins before continuing our exploration.
and at the end of the day stopped near the water for a break while waiting for "traffic" to die down.
This was a thoroughly relaxing day of sitting on the beach, snorkeling and watching igs battle
It started off with a morning walk on the beach and some photos taken from one of the docks at Secret Harbor.
Followed by the mandatory Ig sightings and later in the afternoon by
some Ig wrestling. It started off with a larger guy, Stumpy, chasing a younger Ig off his patch of land but then getting greedy and continuing to chase the loser onto an area owned by an ig that was almost as big as him but not tired from a recent battle. Stumpy ended up being chased back onto his patch of beach after 20 minutes or so of Ig wrestling.
Today was whopping in St John day and we spent the day wandering through upscale shops and at times staring at the pretty scenery.
Coming in to the dock on the ferry.
The bay during lunch of pizza and Cruzan Confusions.
There was a church in town that was run by people with a sense of humor.
More snorkeling. This time we went to Coki beach and Megans Bay.
Silliness. Susan at Coki Beach taken with the digital camera while it was in our dry bag.
We didn't spend much time on the beach but rather...
in the water looking at all the pretty things.
After a time it was off to Megans bay for us. Both beaches were pleasantly empty and the water was wonderful.
*sigh* It's time to leave St Thomas.
A last shot of the bay from our room.
During our last snorkel we saw a turtle and our first ray of the trip. We were out of film by this time so couldn't get a shot of the ray. We followed him around for some time though.
Charlotte Amalie from the hillside
Nearing the airport, a seaplane comes in for a landing.
The land photos that follow were taken with our little Canon PowerShot S400 Digital Elph. Undersea shots were taken with Kodak underwater disposables.
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All text and images Copyright © 2006, Michael & Susan Harrison. All rights reserved. No use without authorization.