Sunday, February 26, 2017

On Board the Star Legend: Lounging and Barbeque

The Star Legend (and all the Windstar ships) are very comfortable to lounge around and, with a little over 200 passengers, there are always spaces to sit and relax.

 Lounging over lunch

One night, we have a real treat, an on-deck barbeque, with great food, band in the middle, and line dancing for both passengers and crew at the end.

 Barbeque and band as the sun sets

 With paella and lobster cooked on the deck

Line dancing with the crew

A few days later, the barbeque moves to the beach.

 Beach barbeque

 And, in addition to working really hard to keep our cabin spotless, our cabin attendant occastionally leaves a little towel-animal treat.

Towel animals waiting our return

And, off the back of the ship, there is a water sports platform for swimming and more lounging, with lines extending into the current and a large trampoline a short swim from the ship.  However, the current is so strong that, this trip, I dive off the trampoline and can't get back to it.  I am swimming as hard as I can and the current keeps carrying me farther away.  Laura gets the attention of the attendant, who hops into his Zodiac and comes and gets me.  Otherwise, I would have been ashore in a short while, walking back around the island to take the tender back.  We didn't take a picture of the water sports setup this cruise (too busy enjoying it), but we'll share a from a previous cruise.

Water sports activities behind off the back of the ship

We know several of the crew from previous years and its always great to see who's on the ship this year and hear what ships the other crew we know are on.

Another great, relaxing holiday cruise!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Prickly Pear Beach, BVI

Prickly Pear is a small island just off the coast of Antigua and just east of Virgin Gorda.  The island is uninhabited and a British National Park, and, most importantly to us, contains Vixen Point, another wonderful white sand beach with clear turquoise water (we're starting to get the theme)?

 Approaching Prickly Pear

The beach is set up for a barbeque, with chairs and beach toys for all of us.

Beach adventures

 Steel band


Other boats pull in, one collection of rental catamarans all tie themselves together, and come ashore for lunch or a drink.

Catamaran convention

 What a great way to end our trip, followed by an early departure as we head back toward San Juan.  As we cruise out, the captain tells us that the yacht we are passing rents for $450,000 per week, not including fuel and port charges.  Must be nice!

 Sun sets as we head back to San Juan

We arrive in San Juan, head to the airport, and return home to start thinking about the next adventure.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Jost Van Dyke is a quiet little island and the ship's tender drops us off in Great Harbor, a sleepy town with a few bars and fishing boats.  On the other side of the island, about two miles away over a steep hill, is White Bay, a fabulous and popular beach.

 Walking to White Bay beach, joined by someone also going that way

 View of the beach from the crest, view back at the ship

As we head up the hill, a dog comes out of a house, looks around, and joins us for the walk to White Bay beach.  He escorts us for the entire walk, but as soon as we reach the beach, our new dog friend noses around the edge of the road and scares a young goat tied to the tree.  Both are startled and jump up fast.  After recovering, our new friend completes his escort duties and runs into the water and starts playing with the kids.  What a great dog life!  We were his ticket to the beach.

Scaring the goat (and dog)

At White Bay, we settle in at the Soggy Dollar, which gained its name because people would swim ashore from boats in the bay and pay for their drinks with water-soaked dollars.

Settling in at the Soggy Dollar

A Painkiller and lunch

 View out from the Soggy Dollar - a popular place!

We order lunch (conch poppers, grilled cheese sandwich (with pasta salad), and fish & chips), a few beers, and their specialty, a Painkiller (dark rum, cream of coconut, pineapple, orange juice, nutmeg). We've settled in at the table and go for an occasional swim, although the swimming area is limited by all the boats, many of which have come over for the day from nearby islands, and start to head back as we get further into the afternoon.  Even if limited to the water close to shore, the swimming in the clear water is amazing.  Other non-swimming people are waving to their friends back home on the Soggy Dollar webcam (Painkillers involved), check it out.

But, eventually, it is time to hike back over the hill and away we go, no local island escort dog this time.

 Hiking up the hill, away from White Bay

 And, down the other side into Great Harbor

We wander through Great Harbor,  just to see what is there.  Great Harbor has 200 residents, most of the permanent residents on the island, five restaurants, and our new-friend dog.

 Great Harbor

After our stroll through town, we head over to the pier and catch our tender home.  Another great relaxing day!

 Departing Great Harbor