March 25, 2008

Rags to Riches

Where do I begin. Its been an adventure. Our car got robbed in San Juan, it cost us $3,500 bucks, then we hopped the wrong ferry and landed in the arms of strangers who took us in with cold beers, our first hot shower in months and a bed with sheets. We danced the nights away in the streets at the Culebra Regatta. Sailed in the lee of the Virgin Islands during the largest waves this region has seen in years. Met wonderful people, landed a free dock for a few months, and have been escorted first class around these Islands by the great hearted wealthy community here. And to top it off we are gainfully employed now as eco-tour kayak guides in a beautiful protected lagoon here in St. Thomas.

The stories between here and there would clog up my inspiration from what has happened to us most recently, so I’ll just skip to now.
We left Culebra, a beautiful Island off the coast of Puerto Rico, full of locals and endless trails to explore for the big city lights of St. Thomas. A large Atlantic Cold front was came with mountainous waves and we didn’t want to get stuck so we pressed our luck against time in our little boat in the lee of the Spanish/ US virgin Islands. We made it to the big ship harbor of Charlotte Amale in St. Thomas. With out a clue of what to do, we hitched a $2 ride on a public “Safari” which is a truck with bench seats in the back which circumnavigates the island. We got off at the first hardware store and that is where our good fortune began.
Inside we met young Sybille, the owner of the USVI Eco-Tour company. She was looking for someone to splice rope, and I was looking for work. We carried on with her to her business, then to lunch at the yacht club, and on it went. We needed her, and she needed us. She owned a marina that needed more human presence for security and we needed a dock. We moved Noche to the dock and planned to head out to the British Virgin Islands for a full moon party. She was going already and knew everyone in the Islands we needed to meet. She offered to take us, “her treat”. So off we went.

We were hosted for the weekend in a beautiful marble home with cushy couches, fountains and open airways. We were treated as kings and shown the highlights of a beautiful Island by wonderfully generous people. Our host was AJ Sanger the renowned Chef / understudy of Wolfgang-Puck and the financier of the replica tall ship the Nina. Remember that boat Columbus discovered the new world with? AJ was a hoot, sharp as a tack and full of personality. She showed us how to cook an Omelet, the way a great Chef would. Lots of technique, great ingredients, high heat and eggs have never tasted so good, sorry Mom. :) Sybille, and AJ lead us around introducing us to numerous people, showing us the top restaurants, undiscovered beaches, and mountain hikes.
The highlight for me was Sybille dancing on Stage at the full moon party, champagne everyday and getting to Captain a Forty Seven foot Catamaran for the former BVI Chancellors family,
out to an Island for an afternoon of great food, and snorkeling in sea caves after Captaining a 47’ Catamaran.
Also I got to Captain a forty seven foot Catamaran. :)
This weekend was such a blessing and beyond our wildest dreams. Let this blog entry be a thank you letter to all those who’s generosity continues to inspire us to do good to others in this journey around the world by sea.

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