The day before we had to check in the boat we wanted to get as close to Red Hook Bay as possible for a short sail in for 10am. We also had to clear in customs in Cruz Bay in St John. We decided to go to Caneel Bay for our last night. We had been there before while land vacationing on St John. It’s home to a very expensive resort and has a couple of restaurants open to the public. We had eaten there before.
To get from Cane Garden Bay on Tortola to Cruz Bay we had to make several jibes across to Jost Van Dyke again and then back across the channel to St John. By the time we were on the way back, the wind had shifted and we were on an almost perfect broad reach. It was raining, windy and choppy, but we had a blast with the sails singing getting up to 8.2 knots. A great sail for the end of the trip.
We checked easily enough into Cruz Bay. It’s a little tricky as you have to anchor tucked in one corner and it’s very very shallow. The depth was reading 5.5′ and we draft 5′. You have to dinghy ashore with the whole crew to customs. As it’s US, it’s not quite so relaxed as the BVI, but we got through quickly enough and treated ourselves to fruit smoothies at a local stall right at the docks.
We then headed back over to Caneel Bay, just a quick 20 minute chug. As we were getting there it started to get very windy, and we were happy to grab one of the many moorings in the bay. It’s somewhat unprotected from the north winter swell, but we felt secure on our mooring.
We dinghied ashore and had a great dinner at Caneel Bay Resort. Not especially cheap, but the food was excellent and the service very very friendly. It’s actually a pretty good place for kids. For $15 they get their own little three course meal with a couple of choices for each course. They loved having their own menus and being able to pick what they wanted for each course and telling the waiter. We both got some pretty good sushi. With full bellies, we headed back to the boat and tucked ourselves in for another rolly and mooring ball bumpy night.
Of course we had more engine troubles, and again a mechanic was sent out via water taxi to fix the problem in the morning. This time it was a loose fuel cut off wire. He also gave us a tip to moor and roll less. The idea is to attach a line to the bow AND a mid-ship cleat and adjust the two lines until the boat is pointing into the swell. As the wind and swell are pretty constant, the boat should stay pointed.
Now all I need to do is figure out how to stop that fewking mooring ball banging against the hull when the wind drops!
Caneel Bay gets 3 stars from Sailing With Kids