United States...Caribbean edition.
  • Day13

    The Keys

    November 15, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    We arrived back in Miami. Cool city from the air on approach. Could almost see the carry on on South Beach.
    Got to our car and said we have to have some Cuban food. Little Havana it is. We picked Versailles. Sorry, Caroline picked it. I was driving.
    We had a fantastic lunch. I had a ham hock and Caroline had ropa vieja. The latter was yummy.
    After lunch we took off to a town called Marathon about 2/3 the way down the Florida Keys. Greg Fuller, a long time friend is holed up there on his catamaran.
    We had a grand get together. The drive to and from was all (in my mind) all about boats. I have never seen so many boat dealers. WOW! See photos.
    Back in Bradenton now. So stay tuned.
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  • Day12

    Fredericksted & Scuba

    November 14, 2020 on the U.S. Virgin Islands ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

    Back! Hey, had a grand time on the USVI’s. The time went by so fast. I think the last time I chimed we were in Christiansted. Or had just moved across the island to Frederiksted.
    Regardless, Frederiksted is a very quaint town. Calm seas, calm people and some nice places to eat and drink. However it has to be a mad house when the cruise ships stop at the pier. Yikes!
    So our week revolved around Caroline completing her PADI certification. Which she did with honors. So proud of her. She overcame a lot of her fears and is now a certified diver.
    What did we see? Leatherback Turtles, Snapper, Ray’s, Barracuda’s and an assortment of reef fish. Beautiful.
    My last dive with Caroline was an area that had lots of steel cables anchored to the sea floor. They were put there during WWII. They supposedly had listening devices on the cables to sense U-boats. The cables reportedly ran from USVI to Puerto Rico.
    Our last day on the island was fun. Caroline did her last dive and instruction. I went fly fishing. Caught a 5” snapper. Brilliant.
    Would I go back? Maybe. That’s a reluctant one at that. For the money I would take Sicily or Victoria any day. On to the next adventure. Can’t wait.
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  • Day8

    Daily Dose of Awesome

    November 10, 2020 on the U.S. Virgin Islands ⋅ ☁️ 77 °F

    Rain this morning until about 1, which cooled things off off nicely and added a great soundtrack to a delicious lunch under the canopy at 69 (thanks for making THAT weird to type in a travelogue) in downtown Fredericksted.

    Oh yeah, it was located just behind THE DIVE SHOP WHERE I SIGNED UP FOR MY PADI DIVES. Ahem. (Commence mild panicking)

    Beautiful and calm now. If it weren’t for a few late afternoon meetings, I’d be 🤿. Just have to settle for the view.

    P.S. Happy Birthday to the best Dad on the world! ❤️❤️
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  • Day8

    Big Question

    November 10, 2020 on the U.S. Virgin Islands ⋅ 🌧 79 °F

    Here goes. We have to be out of the condo in Bradenton by Dec 23rd. We were planning on driving back to Seattle then. Perhaps stopping off to see the lads and ladies in Dallas along the way. Then things changed slightly. A bunch of the lads from Seattle are headed to Florida late January for Rogers 50th to play golf. So Caroline and I have agreed to not head back to Seattle until after the golf outing. The question we are asking ourselves is where to hide out in January? Options are: stay around Bradenton? Go back to Savanna. Go to Panama City, Panama.
    Here’s the kicker. Flight and accommodation in Panama is less expensive than accommodation State side. Help.
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    Ian Comerford

    It really is a first world problem 🙄 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

    11/10/20Reply
    Christina Pratt

    Go for the new adventure! Always! ; )

    11/11/20Reply
    Ian Comerford

    #jealous keep us up dated. enjoying seeing what both of you are up to. 👍

    11/11/20Reply
     
  • Day8

    Fredricksted

    November 10, 2020 on the U.S. Virgin Islands ⋅ 🌧 81 °F

    Yesterday we said goodbye to Christiansted and drove across the island to the West side. The long arduous trip of thirteen miles. We setup camp in a nice oddly furnished condo by the beach about a mile from the quaint town. Definitely a more relaxed vibe here. And that’s saying something after leaving Christiansted.
    I did some snorkeling out the back door. A lot of small fish. Saw a small lion fish. These guys are quite invasive here in the Caribbean. They belong in the Pacific.
    https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/lionfish-facts.html
    I have also been reminded of another creature that lives here. The sand flea. Very friendly little creatures who it appears like attention. Even when you’re not swatting at them they let one know of their presence. Little shits leave a mark. See following photos.
    Weather has turned a bit damp. And is supposed to be that way till Thursday. Great excuse for Caroline NOT to do her PADI certification. Over and out.
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    Caroline Edwards

    Ha. Ha. Ha. 🤨 How’s that driving on the left going?

    11/10/20Reply
     
  • Day5

    Island Time Saturday

    November 7, 2020 on the U.S. Virgin Islands ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

    Walked around Christiansted—pretty closed up and run down. 😕

    Donny met a new friend (surprise- he’s ☘️).

    Whiled away the afternoon on the waterfront (actually made good progress on my PADI open water diver course 👩‍💻🤿🍹)

    Fed chicken wing 🦴 to a school of HUGE Tarpon 🐟 right off the boardwalk. (Wait, THOSE will be in the water I’ll be scuba diving in?!?)

    🛥 over to little island in the bay. Cocktails and floating in the perfect water—warm, clear, and sandy bottom. Perfect for taking in the sunset in 🧜‍♀️ style.
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    Derick Clack

    Of course, Donny would find a new friend 🤣

    11/9/20Reply
     
  • Day4

    Christiansted

    November 6, 2020 on the U.S. Virgin Islands ⋅ ⛅ 84 °F

    It’s been a day or two. Nothing major to report. Caroline is getting really good at left-left driving.
    We went for a drive two days ago in search of a beach to go fishing. Once we located that we continued driving. I was curious about what looked like an oil refinery on our deacent to the island. We found it. “Limetree” which was at one time one of the biggest refineries in the Western Hemisphere. It was laid dormant in 2012 and brought back to life 2017. When it was shuttered 5000 people left the island. Now people are nervous that the venture that is currently underway will succeed. Oil prices being a third of what they were 3 years ago.
    Other than that we went for dinner two nights ago. I’ll post a picture of the menu and what we ordered. Very local spot.
    BTW I have yet to find a stop sign that is plumb.
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  • Day3

    Sun Rise

    November 5, 2020 on the U.S. Virgin Islands ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

    Stayed up till midnight last night. The election stuff on TV had us sucked in. Drove around the island a bit yesterday morning and found a nice quiet beach—Shoys beach. Took a dive and did some snorkeling. It was nice but there has to be better visibility on the other side of the island.

    I tell you, I have to have a chat with myself every time I put the key in the ignition. Hug the curb!
    Went in search of lunch and discovered that a lot of places are closed and and need to update their online info. Nothing spectacular, wings and soup.
    Pretty quiet day as Caroline had to work the afternoon.
    Up early and got this lovely photo of the sunrise.
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  • Day2

    Driving lessons

    November 4, 2020 on the U.S. Virgin Islands ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F

    It feels like I was dropped into a different planet. Driving on the left side of the road, no problem. But here the steering wheel is on the left also. What a trip trying to drive the roads here and trying to stay in the correct lane. Even woke up last night from a dream that I was about to get myself into a head on. Yikes
    According to Caroline’s research Myanmar is the only other country in the world that has something similar. Driving on the Right and steering wheel on the right.
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    Fiona Foy

    Wouldn’t fancy that. No bevvies

    11/5/20Reply
    Caroline Edwards

    Funny enough, drinking while driving is legal here. Driving drunk is still illegal. Hard line to toe... 😂

    11/5/20Reply
    Fiona Foy

    🤣

    11/5/20Reply
    Caroline Edwards

    For the record, I drove a bit yesterday and, after the mental jolt of passing the first car on the “wrong” side, it wasn’t too bad. Must be all of Donny’s Irish driving hardwiring with the wheel on the right that’s weirding him out. 😱

    11/5/20Reply
     
  • Day1

    Arriving St Croix

    November 3, 2020 on the U.S. Virgin Islands ⋅ ⛅ 84 °F

    Feels like what it is—a mash-up of cultures. Whereas Hawaii very much feels like a tropical version of the US, this feels like someone sprinkled a little America on an established Caribbean nation. Which they did.

    Gas is cheaper here than in Seattle thanks to two big oil refineries that serve the region. In general, it feels a bit depressed and run down but you have to take into account that it’s probably still recovering from the effects of hurricane Maria in 2017.

    Funny story...slim chance that hurricane Eta in the gulf could take a hard right and end up here. Yippee!!
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