Where is YOLO?

...Off to the Sea for Adventure

...Off to the Sea for Adventure

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nights I can't remember, friends I'll never forget...

Our final visitor Andrew James Plehal landed at the St. Thomas airport and after hightailing it 45 miles back from Virgin Gorda we dropped the hook 10 minutes before we saw his plane come in overhead.  Plehal got off his plane and found us, we walked across the street to where our dinghy was and were aboard YOLO within 15 mins.  Then we went for a swim to shore in Lindbergh bay all within the first hour of our visitors touchdown.  It was a great way to start a vacation and we followed it with a short sail over to Charlotte Amelie where our friends aboard Eventide were eager to meet the new guest.  That evening Andrew got a great look at the local St. Thomas nightlife!

Plehal's first night in St. Thomas, joined by the Eventide crew!
We realized there was no way we were going to make it to Tortola for the full moon party at the Bomba Shack.  So next on our itinerary was St. John's.  It was an easy sail on a beautiful day and we moored in time to hike across the island to Cruz Bay.  There was a Blues festival going on at the beach bar and we watched a great band for a little while but decided to make it an early night in order to feel good for our morning passage to Tortola, BVI.
Beach on St. John's

Our guest had the honor of hoisting the Q-flag for clearance into Tortola, BVI

First stop in the British Virgin Islands

Captain Ple-ditty was a natural at the helm of YOLO.  The Naval Admiral in his blood really came out!

We were eager to show Plehal our favorite place in the BVI.  Norman Island has it all; a beautiful beach, snorkeling, caves, and of course the Willy T's.  Dillon was working on the pirate ship again and was as excited to see us as we were to see him.  We anchored our little ship as close as possible to the huge pirate ship and took the dinghy over to say hi.  Dillon welcomed us with a drinks, dinner, and t-shirts on the house! He's was far to generous and we had a phenomenal time.  Earlier we heard Ultra and Sabbaticus on the radio and had planned a reunion.  We hadn't seen them since Luperon, and we all had a great time trying to hatch business ideas that could keep us cruising forever!  It still amazes me how quickly friendships grow when cruising, they already feel like old friends and we only met several months ago.
Great night with great friends at Willy T's pirate ship bar!

We finally met long lost fellow cruisers Bill and Joanne (Ultra), Kevin and Deena (Sabaticus)

Lance laughing about the cougar behind him...

This is Dillon, fellow Bristol owner, ridiculously fun guy, and bartender at Willy T's

Bill and Joanne felt good enough for a scuba dive the next morning.

Snorkeling in the caves on Norman Island

Giant beach Jenga loser buy's frozen drinks (Plehal)

Skype on the beach? typical of YOLO crew.
7am Andrew says:  Were we this close to Willy T's last night?  I jumped out of bed to see that we were indeed much closer!  The giant ship was swinging around it's anchor toward us so I roused the crew and by the time we got the anchor up we could nearly give Dillon a high-five while he was standing on the dock snapping pictures of us and laughing.  I hope some of those pictures will make the slideshow that is always playing at the pirate bar!
Early morning wake-up call, the Willy T' was swinging to within meters of us! We had to spring into action and raise anchor just before impact (we got much closer than this)

The time had come for our final sail back to St. Thomas to say our goodbye's to Eclipse, and Eventide.
Notice Lance bathing in the Dinghy whilst underway

Our guests always have to catch at least one fish, even if it's a nasty Barracuda 
The Hufford family has always been so hospitable to us aboard Eclipse and it was finally our turn to take them out for a daysail.  Geoff, Michelle, Miles, Jerome, and Jared joined us aboard YOLO for a short daysail around Water Island.  The quarters were a bit more cramped than what they are used to aboard their big catamaran, but a good time was had by all.  Both kids got a chance to take the wheel and feel the boat heeling over with the wind (something they're not used to).  We had heard about a beach concert and potluck on water island and Geoff skillfully took us into the bay with the party under sail power alone.  We dropped the anchor without starting the engine and all piled into the dinghy.  Michelle had come prepared with something to share at the potluck and that got us all in for a great meal, she's always ready for anything!  It turned into a gorgeous evening sunset, with a moonlit sail back to Charlotte Amelie.
9 Lobster tails for a dinner party abourd YOLO (all provided by Jared, the lobster slayer)

Jerome at the wheel on our sail to Water Island

Miles took his turn too

So did papa Geoff

Great daysail with the Huffords.

Water Island party, band, and potluck.  Mama Michelle was of course prepared for the potluck.

What a great family!

Water island was a stellar place to spend one of our last evenings together.

That's is one loaded up dinghy

Plehal looks pretty relaxed, he needed it after taking the bar exam.

Way too many people in Eventide's tiny dinghy!

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