Christmas and New Years will never be the same aboard Bel Ami since Brian and Kathy came aboard (note: just re-read this blog, and it sure is lengthy. Time might be best spent just looking at the pics!) These two hearty souls brought with them peace, love and knowing how to have a good time! We picked them up at the airport on x-mass day, and rather than heading right back to the boat, they decided on an island tour of St. Thomas. This was complete with Banana Daiquiris, donkey’s, and incredible views. Then on to Bel Ami, where their bottle of champagne awaited them in their aft master cabin (as well as their condommints, for the prevention of bad breath). We shoved off and they had their first meal on the foredeck, chowing down before we got to the raft up Christmas Day party at Christmas Cove on Great St. James Island. What a way to start the trip. Friend Sammy (aadivers.com) was there with Ocean Express and a bunch of friends, and the party went on and on till sunset. Next day found Brian doing his exercises as we made our way to Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke to check into the BVI. Lunch at Foxy’s and then relaxing on White Bay finished the afternoon. We took a late afternoon sail to Leinster Bay on St. John in time for another great sunset, with some rainbows along the way. Next morning found us admiring Brian’s Butt preceding our visit to the Annaburg Sugar Mill ruins. Brian got a really good shot of the interior wall painting on the jail. Also check out the roots on the tree growing on the wall. We then hiked up to the ruins overlooking Waterlemon Cay. Fine snorkeling was had by all as we enjoyed the underwater sites. We shoved off and made our way up the Sir Francis Drake Channel, stopping at the Indians for more underwater fun and then on to the Bight at Norman Islands where Brian demonstrated his electric drum set on his ipad, using hands and feet. The evening was capped by fun at the Willy T. Next day found us taking a morning hike along the ridge line of Norman Island with incredible views. The on to Wreck of the Rhone and Salt Island. Landing the dinghy at the dock at Salt Island, Bobbie Rae managed to fall in the drink and came out looking like a drowned turtle! On Salt Island we came across an incredible coconut shell that was filled with baby hermit crabs. Then onwards we sailed at night to Spanish Town, where Brian and Kathy enjoyed a romantic dinner at the Rock Cafe. Bobbie Rae and I joined them afterwards for a little dancing at the piano bar. There was an incredible 3 masted schooner at anchor outside of Spanish town which we inched towards in the dinghy to get a good picture. Early next morning we swam into the Baths, which we had to ourselves because of the early hour. Then up to the North Sound where we watched the Packers loose to San Francisco at the Bitter End. A very sad day indeed! Next day we shoved off to Anegada and had a great sail up there with smiling faces all along the way, passing Richard Bronson’s new house on Necker Island. Bloody Marys were the reward for our arrival at the Anchorage, then on the safari taxi to Loblolly Bay, where we were entertained by Richard the fire and knife juggler. Sunset was back on Bel Ami, then dinner on the beach at Anagada Reef Hotel. Next day, sail to Cane Garden Bay for New Years Eve at Quitos, which was a blast. Sadly, the trip ended New Years Day when Brian and Kathy flew to Puerto Rico to visit Brian’s long lost cousins. But we were left with many happy memories and New Years 2013-14 will be one to remember!
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