Easter in St. John’s

On Tuesday, I returned to St. Thomas, my recent home away from home. After clearing in, I met up with several friends from my last visit. One of these, Zach, had three of his friends visiting. Colin, Jay, and Eugene were on Spring Break from Northwestern, where they are getting their masters degree in biotechnology. We proceeded to explore the vibrant culture that St. Thomas has to offer. Despite a few previous disappointments, Duffy’s Love Shack, the famous bar in St. Thomas located in the parking lot of a strip mall, finally redeemed itself on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

The highlight of Wednesday was several hours spent leering at two eastern European models. Our lame attempts at making a pass were met with failure as a result of neither model speaking English. That and they were so far out of our league that we are lucky we were not smote down with lightning just for having the gall to make eye contact with them. Who would have guessed that I would spot probably the most beautiful girl I have ever seen dancing in the parking lot of a strip mall?

The next morning, we went spear fishing and found a patch of coral teeming with fish. I have never been overly fond of snorkeling since looking at fish doesn’t do much for me. However, it turns out that these fish are a lot more interesting when I am attempting to kill them. Despite being able to swim right up to them, I managed to get only a couple of small fish. The rest of the group fared about the same with the exception of an eight inch fish caught by Zach. The fact that I was able to get so close and just barely miss hitting fish so many times made this bloodsport extremely addictive. I immediately went out and bought a spear gun for my own endless amusement. I justified the purchase by rationalizing that the spear gun can also be used to fend off pirates, as long as the pirates are less than 2 feet away and stand still while I take aim with the long pole.

That afternoon, I picked up my relatives at the airport. Not to imply that northeastern Ohio is not a paradise in its own right, but they were obviously thrilled to be in St. Thomas. It did not take them long to get a taste of my frugal sailing lifestyle. Instead of having everyone take an expensive taxi to Red Hook, I convinced them to have my Aunt Nancy take the expensive taxi with the heaviest bags and we would take the “dollar taxi.” This decision meant that we had to hike a mile to the main road, wait 15 minutes for a communal taxi, which is nothing more than a pick-up truck with three or four rows of seats in the back, and then slowly creep for an hour and a half through rush hour traffic.

My cousins Christopher and Andrew got an introduction to life on the islands when the guy sitting in front of us was openly drinking beer and the guy sitting behind us was openly smoking grass. After a slow tour of the island, we finally met up with Aunt Nancy and returned to the boat for a dinner of grilled burgers.

The next morning, we enjoyed swimming around the boat before heading over to the Rolex Regatta, taking place at St. Thomas Yacht Club. Several of my friends were racing or serving as “meat,” unskilled crew that was along solely to serve as weight on the rails. Unfortunately, we only saw the fleet in the distance. Instead, we went to a secluded beach and I shared my newfound spear fishing addiction with Andrew and Chris. Once again, we caught nothing, but we did scare a lot of fish. Saturday was spent in Charlotte Amalie before returning to Molly Molone’s in Red Hook for a nightcap. At Molly’s, sailors were recounting the highlights of the regatta. According to them, the race attracts world-class sailors with several Olympians taking part. There were a number of collisions, with the damage ranging from the losing of a rudder at the start to a catamaran that was broken in two (and left to fend for themselves by the perpetrator). All sailors present blamed a 60-foot charter boat participating in the race and they proceeded to tell horror stories of their experience with incompetent charter customers.

The most famous urban legend was about a sailor who called up the charter company on his fourth day out complaining that he had run out of anchors since there were only three on board. Instead of hauling the anchors aboard when it was time to leave, he just cut the line and left the anchor behind. The aforementioned Zach participated in the race on a Hobie catamaran as the only crew for a 72-year-old captain. On the first day, they finish EFL (End F#$*in’ Last) since the competition was so far ahead that they went around the wrong island and missed the finish line completely. To be fair, they did tie with a boat that failed to show up.

This morning, my relatives and I picked up anchor (we decided to take ours with us) and had an enjoyable Easter sail over to St. John’s, where we sit comfortably at a mooring in Francis Bay. Audentes wishes the readership a Happy Easter and, for those who are not of the Christian faith, a pleasant Sunday following the first full moon on or after March 21.

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