Sunday, June 10, 2012

What To Do in the Virgin Islands When.....Part II House Guests

You are waiting for your business license.

As you know a week ago we had our first house guests, Larry the Water Guy and Teresa from Reno, NV. Larry is my well and pump person for selling rural property. They flew on the dreaded flight from Reno, one which Shannon and I have experienced all too well. Reno to LAX at 7 PM, 11 PM red eye to MIA, 10 AM to STT arriving at 12:30 PM. They arrived on Sunday, but as we experienced were too tired to do much and just stayed at their timeshare.

Monday morning they arrived at the house, and after a quick tour it was off to the dock for a day of snorkeling off of St John. A quick stop at Marina Market for our favorite subs and off we went. The beauty of St John is 2/3 of the island is part of the US National Park System, and to prevent damage to the coral, they have mooring balls all over the place, so much easier than anchoring. Whistling Cay was our first stop, and Teresa is not a swimmer so the three of us snorkeled while Teresa worked on her tan (burn). Then after having lunch, off to Water Lemon Cay, a really nice shallow water snorkel around a little island. With a little encouragement and some help, we had Teresa in her snorkel gear.

Teresa was a great sport and really liked looking underwater for the first time at all there is to see! We are hoping this Summer she finds her way to a Red Cross swimming program so next time she can really enjoy all there is to do and see here!

Happy Hour on the boat and back to the dock for our next adventure!

Tuesday - Off to Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands for a day at White Bay and Soggy Dollar Bar! We made it through customs and were parked off of the beach by 10AM. After helping a boat from Puerto Rico get anchored correctly (they bought me a painkiller later that day!), we did the usual White Bay routine with breakfast of Bloody Mary's, Lunch at Jewels, and afternoon drinks at Soggy Dollar (both Larry and I were not successful at the tree ring toss). I have become more prepared and made a crock pot of turkey chili prior to our departure!

Larry with Heat Miser Hair!

Wed. was the day for installing the reverse osmosis system, followed by a swim at Megan's Bay and dinner at Latitude 18.

Thursday was our big fishing day. We chartered Captain Tyler of Double Header. This guy is a fishing fanatic and if you ever want to go fishing here, he is the guy to go with if you want to catch fish. In our case we caught fish, along with sharks, big ones! We left at 1PM with a stop at Mandahl Pond for bait fish and off to the North Drop where we trolled. 15 mins later we had a small mackerel on board. Then a small blue fin tuna, followed by a stray peanut Mahi (Mahi season here is about over but I guess it was not a banner season down here, at the Mahi Tournament, the biggest was 15 lbs, a joke!).

Then there was nothing, until we ran into a school of tuna. They were big and jumping out of the water! Larry had a big one on, he reeled and reeled as hard as he could, but.....

Larry almost beat the shark, but hell, tuna is tuna right, even if it has to be shared with sharks? Well unfortunately, that was the case the rest of the afternoon other than a couple of Bonita, as soon as we had a tuna on, you would be reeling and all of a sudden it really got heavy like you had a ton of cement on the line. These sharks are Silky sharks and the ones we had circling the boat were about 4-5 feet and 100-200 lbs. Good news is we were 5 miles out and these sharks do not come anywhere near shore (there has not been a recorded shark attack in the Virgin Islands).

One of the weird things about charter fishing down here is you only get to keep 20 lbs of the catch, the captain sells the rest to restaurants. That is fine if you are here for a few days and have to get on a plane, but for a local, I wouldn't mind filling my freezer with fresh fish? It is what it is, I guess on the bright side, the captain is motivated to catch as many fish as he can? In our case we had grilled seared tuna and mahi on the grill for the next two nights and Shannon and I made tuna long roll sushi on Saturday night! The vacuum packer came out and we have 12 packs of 2 fillets in our freezer!

Friday was spent getting our pool pump lines in order (our next blog post will be the pool) and a farewell swim at Megan's Bay. Larry and Teresa were going to check out of their timeshare on Saturday morning and catch their 1 PM flight. It is warm here at night 78 for a low with 60 % humidity, and there were 3 fans going in the apartment bedroom, but our power company, WAPA had some issues, the power went out at 5:30 AM. I awoke around 6 AM and there was Larry in his rental car with the A/C on and Teresa scrambling to pack up. Larry had had it, he was dripping in sweat not to mention he had some sun burn, they were off to the timeshare that has a generator and central air! Please keep in mind that Reno has an average humidity of about 15-40% humidity and there are studies done that show the human body takes 2-3 weeks to acclimate to our tropical weather here.

Thanks Larry and Teresa for all the fun, and thanks Larry for all the hard work on our house, can't wait for you to come down again soon!

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