Trapped in Paradise
Blog post by Kevin! Video by Linda
Trapped in Paradise! Spent the last 12 days on the south side of St. John in Little and Great Lameshur Bays. Came over to this side of island in order to avoid the last of the craziness remaining from New Years week and all the boats. For the most part they completely avoid this side of the island since there are really no amenities available here. We completed some boat projects such as replacing the lines for dinghy davits, traveler and main sheet along with rebedding some hardware that was causing some leaks and replacing the helm light. After enjoying the solitude for a few days and some decent snorkeling the wind/sea forecast changed so we had to remain in place. Winds outside the bay were greater than 40 mph with seas 15 feet along with a northern swell of 5-10 feet.
We found a protected mooring in Great Lameshure tucked up against the shore and a mountain and avoided all the swell and waves but could not completely hide from the winds that wrap around the mountains and blew us in circles continuously. We got to know the surroundings well seeing the same various sea birds hunting for food and visited by the large resident barracuda. While we have seen deer before we were able to see a pair of male rams come by our area twice and watch them as they went about their activities including asserting their dominance and fight by “ramming” heads and horns together and bizarrely running for shelter every time it began to rain.
We were able to take the dinghy to shore to get off the boat and maintain some sanity. There is a beach in the bay next to ours which does have some activity from those on St. John that have four wheel drive jeeps which are required to get to this remote area. However by 4pm they all have to leave in order to make it back to the main roads before dark. For the most part we have been here either by ourselves or with one or two other boats in the bay.
One day we were able to go on a great hike. We had tried this hike years ago but we weren’t able to complete it. This time the significant winds penetrated the rain forest canopy which made it much more tolerable and we brought plenty of water. Hike ended at a waterfall which was just a trickle this time of year along with some petroglyphs from Taino Indians. Also hiked by some sugar plantation ruins and through tropical rain forest with many different landscapes as we hiked from sea level to top of mountain and back down a couple of times.
Internet is pretty nonexistent and very intermittent allowing us to only get weather forecasts and email. The only radio station that would come in consistently was NPR…
Spending 12 days in one spot on the boat in such an isolated area fending for ourselves is our record thus far…and we haven’t killed each other!
Conditions have improved today and our plan is to move away from St. John to Xmas cove on Great St. James island.