We made the short sail from St. Thomas to Cruz Bay on St. John, squeezed our way in among the moored boats next to the ferry dock, and dropped anchor. Now trying to cram five into our sorely overworked little dinghy, we wanted as short a commute to land as possible.
A quick canvasing of the town and we found the perfect watering hole to watch the Superbowl in, a pour your own drink bar. Just like in an old western movie, the bartender sets a glass and a bottle on the bar in front of you. We were still pretty tired from the night before and although we made a valiant effort, nobody's heart was really in it. I don't even remember who won the game. Mark is the only real sports enthusiast of the group. Jenny fell asleep at the table and was drooling into her lap by the start of the fourth quarter.
The next day, I answered some emails while the crew plus one went for a hike in the national park. Another evening out on the town followed, this time playing a game Jenny introduced us to called pub golf. We were joined by Cassie and Scott, two United Airlines pilots on vacation who, for some reason, thought we looked like a good time. With our numbers now swollen to seven, shenanigans ensued, but the evening ended early when Jenny disappeared. A concerned crew divided the town into search quadrants and wandered the streets in the wee morning hours calling her name. Jenny had headed back to the dinghy alone where she was eventually discovered sleeping softly in an inch of standing water.
Scott and Cassie turned out to be an excellent addition to the group. They even took part in our stumbling search efforts. As we parted ways at the end of the night, I invited them to come sailing with us the next day. A meeting time and place were set and the next morning, still half asleep, sunglasses firmly in place, I dragged myself ashore for the rendezvous. Imagine my surprise when they actually showed up. They seemed equally shocked to find that I'd remembered as well. Happy reunion. They'd brought lunch and beverages.
With seven aboard Strolla, people were starting to get in each other's way but, the weather was perfect and the distances were short. We were headed to Carvel Rock, only a couple miles off, where there was an 80 ft jumping cliff. We'd been told that there had once been a rock climbing company that led climbs up to the top but now was no more. The jumping spot was a local secret, difficult to get to, difficult to get up. Mark, Nate, Jenny, and I climbed to the top. Becca, Cassie, and Scott took a pass. However, of the four of us, not one had the guts to jump from the full height. We all chickened out and scrambled down to lower ledges from which to leap in the churning ocean below.
In total, we spent three days and nights in Cruz Bay and all agreed St. Johns makes our top five favorite places of the trip so far. We made our goodbyes to Cassie and Scott and set off along the coast towards the British Virgin Islands. Halfway along the north shore, just outside the national park boundary, we ducking into a small inlet protected by reefs. Our own private cove. Conch hunting, snorkeling, campfire on the beach, hammock in the trees. Perfect.