After spending Saturday chopping and burning brush all day, we figured our aching legs, back, and arms needed a break. The water was still amazingly calm and with a brand new trailer under our boat, the obvious choice was to go boating. We spent all day Friday at Buck Island (I know, tough life) and wanted to go somewhere different so we decided to boat to Shell Island. This island is a man-made island just south of St. Croix. It only takes about 5-10 minutes to boat to Shell Island and there is a small protected cove with a beach hut and a sunken boat in the water. It is a very special place that not many people know about.
We headed out to Shell Island around 10ish and there were no other boaters on island. This was the first time in 4 years that we were all alone on Shell Island. We typically always bring friends or family with us or other boaters are there so this was a treat! The beach hut was all ours so we unloaded all of our gear and soaked in some sun.
Buddy and Bonnie were pretty tired after a few hours and hid out in the shade for a while. This is actually the place that they really learned how to swim and not be scared of the water. Buddy will swim after me if I go too far :)
We did try to find some lobster but got skunked :( Saw two big puffer fish though! After a long day of relaxing, we headed back in before sunset. After cleaning up the boat, the dogs, and ourselves, we sat down with some pizza, ice cream and watched Captain Ron. Perfect weekend!
The water has been as smooth as glass since last Thursday and Aaron and I both were dreaming of putting the boat in the water. Unfortunately we had to work on Thursday and Friday and had to wait. We did both consider playing hooky :) Isn't that what sick days are for when you live on an island?? Shouldn't we get the equivalent to snow days??? Maybe I should consider discussing this with employers here :)
Well, of course we didn't play hooky and Saturday morning finally arrived with the water still looking calm and smooth like glass! So, we packed up our gear, loaded the boat, and were on our way to the boat ramp before noon. Our boat trailer is not the best and there are many rusted spots that keep us asking "I wonder when this is going to break?" But the mentality of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" usually takes over in our mind and we tended to ignore the trailer issues.
After unloading the boat, we headed out to sea and glided through the smooth water. It was the most gorgeous perfect day: clear blue water, cool drink in hand, and sunshine. Could it be more perfect? We did some free diving for lobster but came up empty handed. The reef and fish were awesome though!
Out of nowhere, we heard thunder rumbling. Could it be possible that we were heading into a squall? Looking Northwest, we saw ominous dark clouds forming and lightning striking on the mountain ridge near our house. Well, what can you do? Head the other way of course! Turning our nose the other direction, we were off to Buck Island :)
Buck Island.... It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and it never gets old. The sand is powder soft and the water is beyond blue. We had a little picnic, some cold drinks, and lots of sun.
We left Buck Island to stop by a beach birthday party for our friend's five year old son. After eating some great food, courtesy of Cafe Fresco, and relaxing with friends, we took the birthday boy and his sister on a short boat ride. The birthday boy even got to drive the boat! The sun was getting low and we decided to turn in for the day. At the boat ramp, we aligned the boat on the trailer and while driving off the ramp we heard a loud crash..... RATCHET FRACHET!!!.... It finally happened.... The trailer finally broke....
Kind of stunned, we just sort of stood around for a bit trying to decide what the heck to do. I held back the boat while Aaron and another guy pulled the trailer out. The tongue of the trailer completely broke in half! We never even noticed the rust on this spot, but man was it rusted!
While we were staring at our broken trailer, the guys pulling out their boat next to us offered a trailer for us to borrow the next day. What luck! So, we just had to store the boat somewhere overnight. Our fall back plan (if this ever happened) has always been to beach the boat at my boss's house who lives on the beach on the East end of the island. So, I drove the truck and Aaron drove the boat to his house. We pulled the boat up to the beach, took out all valuables, and tied the boat to some large pilings. We were both hesitant to leave her overnight and debated on the chances of someone stealing her. In the end, we really didn't have a choice and decided we had to try and salvage the trailer if possible. So, we just crossed our fingers and drove off.
At the house, we grabbed our tools and chopped off the rotted metal with a chop saw. Then, we headed to the boat ramp where thankfully the other half of the trailer was still there (we were concerned a fisherman would have wanted it). At this point, it was dark and we were working by flashlight and headlights. One of our friends (Thanks Greg!) came down to help and we were able to remove the old bolts, drill some new holes, and replace the tongue of the trailer in no time.
After fixing the trailer, we parked it at Greg's house and headed home to get some sleep. The next day, we headed East to pick up the trailer that we were able to borrow and parked it at the boat ramp. Then, we headed to my boss's house to see if our boat survived the night. As we got to the beach, she was sitting right were we left her between the palm trees.
So, what should one do when they are just moments away from a Sunday Fun Day at Buck Island with a perfectly good boat (notice how close Buck Island is behind the boat)? Go there of course! We loaded the boat, zoomed over to Buck Island, and did some serious relaxing until the sun started hanging low.
We headed to the boat ramp to test out the new trailer. She fit perfectly on the trailer and we were out of the water in no time. Local kids were jumping off the boat dock and people were cooking and fishing all around the lagoon at sunset. It was a wonderful ending to a great weekend.
We were actually able to purchase the trailer we borrowed and no longer have to worry about any trailer issues (for a while). Hopefully we will see this as a reason to boat more often!
Aaron and I live very near the rainforest where it rains very often and the bush grows and grows and grows. This is the perfect environment for lots of critters including tree frogs. These little guys sing us to sleep every night and sometimes come to visit like this one below who was hanging out on our deck :) Isn't it cute?!
They also love to hang out by our fountain and no matter what I do, there are always tadpoles in the fountain. The guys below were really little (about 1.5 inches long) and super cute!.
I would love to figure out how to get coqui frogs here near our house. They are everywhere in Puerto Rico and we love the noise they make. Maybe next time we visit Puerto Rico, I can bring one back in my purse :)
While driving along the North Shore of St. Croix, you will come across an area where it appears that you just stepped inside the realm of Narnia. The forest is lush, hanging vines are floating in the air, birds are singing, and for a moment it seems that time has stopped. Even though we have driven past this area many many times, we always feel the need to slow down here and stare in wonder. Sunlight sneaks through the canopy of trees and the soft breeze taunts one to wonder what is past the canopy of vines.
Theresa and Aaron
This blog is dedicated to our life here in St. Croix and the experiences we have each day.