Somewhere in the South Atlantic at 38,000 feet
We’re on our way home after a week in St. Croix. I really like it there, although I suspect that the temperatures we experienced were likely comparable to home. The sea breezes were great, and did a good job keeping us cool.
The night before we arrived, our condo was damaged by water draining from the unit above. The hot water tank in the unit above broke, causing water to drain into our place, soaking the ceiling drywall and collapsing it in a couple of places. The housekeeping folks turned off the water and Colony Cove staff had already mopped most of the mess up when we arrived that afternoon. Unfortunately, we were not able to use our condo this week, but a replacement was made available – a second floor unit in the same building. I had access to my unit and brought the essentials upstairs (wireless router, boom box, kitchen stuff, cooler, etc.) so it was almost as nice as staying at our place. The manager at Colony Cove (who arranged our alternate accomodations) is getting estimates for the repairs, which should be covered by the liability policy of the upstairs owners. Hopefully, this won’t be a big deal. More to come on this later, I’m sure.
The replacement unit had the alternate floor plan, sharing the sea view with the master bedroom (instead of the kitchen). It was nice waking up to the sun reflecting off of the water. Most of the time, one could not see the beach from the second floor windows, making it seem like we were on the deck of a boat, somewhere just above the water. Cool, but I would have rather stayed in our own place.
As it was summer in the tropics, we had pop-up thunderstorms almost every afternoon. They didn’t last long – a little like being in South Florida at this time of year.
Early in the week, Monica got to try snorkeling. Having never done so before, she was a little apprehensive, but soon she was swimming around quite well. We found the tire reef just west of the condo and the small but colorful fish that frequent that area.
We hit Foodtown for provisions, picking up fruit, bread and coffee – necessary things for breakfast, planning on eating out for dinner. We also took a trip to K-Mart for the inevitable essential things that didn’t make the trip (not that much, really).
Sunday, we took a trip to Cane Bay, where we spent a day enjoying the beach. A few days later, we spent a day at the beach on the west side of the island, where we did a little more snorkeling. I was able to point out a scorpion fish sitting on the sandy bottom, and I saw a small ray in the same area.
Unfortunately, Monica caught a cold, slowing us down for a few days, but we still had a great time. I read some novels – plenty of stuff in the condo to read, while we took things easy (the whole point of vacation, isn’t it?). Between occasional rain showers, we enjoyed the pool, and we did have dinner out every night.
Wednesday, our last full day there, we went to Cane Bay again. Monica set up stuff on the beach while I went out on a shore dive with Rick, a Cane Bay Dive Shop employee. We spent about an hour on the reef and had a great dive. I will never get used to how cool it is when the sun comes out from behind a cloud and lights up a reef. It’s awesome every time it happens.
Rick was a great guide – he showed me a “sea horse”. Someone had stuck a carousel horse’s pole in the sandy bottom. The horse was there, already starting to crust over with coral and just begging for a diver to climb into the saddle – I suspect that this is a Cane Bay underwater photo opportunity that is seldom missed. We saw a ton of reef life, but not too many really big fish (St Croix has fishermen – it’s not a marine preserve). Rick also found us two turtles. One of them reluctantly left his station and slowly swam away as we approached. The other one didn’t see us, and we were able to approach within a foot or two of him without being noticed. We took turns peeking over a coral head at the sleeping turtle for a minute or so and then swam off, looking for other cool stuff and allowing the turtle to continue his nap. As we were swimming away, hundreds of blue fish with yellow tails paraded past us in the opposite direction in an unbroken line. Kudos to the nice folks at Cane Bay. I just showed up without warning and they sent a guy out there with me. I could have gone diving by myself, (not really a smart idea) but I would have not had the same experience.
Dining out in Christiansted was a little disappointing. On our first night, we walked up to the Brew Pub and sat down at one of their outside tables on the dock. Although we tried, we couldn’t get a waiter’s attention (even though they passed within feet of us). I suspect that the Brew Pub was shorthanded on this Friday night. We ended up walking away and going somewhere else (Angry Nate’s). We had a great time there and stayed until late. We didn’t try the Brew Pub again this trip. All in all, dinners on the island seemed expensive and except for one terrific dinner that we had at Breezez, the food was nothing special. Next time, we’re going to have to explore some alternatives.
All in all, a very nice week.