St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

We are still in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. After being in Luperon, Dominican Republic (DR) for six months – it was a shock to arrive in a major tourist destination. In fact, we have been here for six weeks and I’m starting to find my groove.

In Charlotte Amalie, there are cruise ships, and mega yachts. Crowds ride about the town on open-air, safari-style buses while wearing sensible sandals and sun visors. Here, you can experience buyer’s remorse over the purchase of a Swiss-made watch while drinking an overpriced coffee.

The weather is warm. We swim everyday. And, I shouldn’t complain but a trip to the local Kmart gave me a case of the grumps. I later confided to my husband, Rick, that I didn’t rent our house in Ottawa – and donate most of our belongings – so that I could shop at Kmart.

My reasoning was that if I wanted to buy heavily packaged, generic merchandise then I could have stayed at home. Don’t get me wrong, in Charlotte Amalie, the selection of goods is amazing. But, I have grown to enjoy buying things with character.

In Luperon, I liked the eggs with the occasional feather stuck on the shell. Bell peppers were rather crinkly, and arrived to the corner stores in straw panniers on the back of a motor bike. Some farmers brought their milk to town by donkey.

Fortunatley, my Kmart meltdown was short-lived. While in Charlotte Amalie, I have enjoyed an outrageously-priced latte. As well it has been nice to order some things from Amazon, although WIFI has been very sketchy. We needed to order some spare boat parts, and that has been easy to do here. We have started to eat lettuce again because it seems to be free of insects.

But, the cruise ships were anchored near us. Tired of all the boat traffic, and looking for something different, we headed over to Water Island. Water Island is a 10-minute dinghy ride from the center of Charlotte Amalie. But, it has two beach bars and attracts people, mainly a younger set in bikinis. We knew that our friend, Will Aitken, and his two dogs were there. Our kids adore Will.

While we were at Water Island, a beautiful 179 foot sailboat named Adele anchored next to us. And, we introduced ourselves to the owners of the St Francis 50 catamaran named Paradigm Shift. It’s always exciting to see other St Francis 50s. Our boat, SV Aphrodite, is hull number one. That means we were the first boat of this design. Only about 20 boats of our boat type have ever been made.

We left Water Island a few days ago. The winds were fierce and it was rather rolly even though we are on a catamaran, which is known for stability. We are now anchored at Brewer’s Bay, which is where we spent Christmas.

Today, a 108.9 foot sailboat named Toto came into Brewer’s Bay and appeared to be practicing anchoring. In Brewer’s Bay, we can take a bus to town for a dollar. We can dinghy to the beach. Yesterday, we went snorkeling and saw turtles and sting rays. I will write more about Brewer’s Bay, hopefully with some video.


  1. Good to hear from you again. Sounds like you have a little bit of culture shock. FYI. Elizabeth is now in Guatemala. She arrived on Jan. 16 and is staying in a lovely guest house in San Pedro on a massive lake.


  2. So happy to read your latest update and that you are all well. The swimming and snorkelling sound glorious. Interesting that you too can feel done in by tourists even from the sanctuary of your boat. Happy 2017!!


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