Hiking, Swimming with Turtles, and an Injured Captain

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 1/1/2023 – 1/8/2023

You can watch our latest YouTube video here!

Sunday morning, we were rudely awakened by our mooring ball banging against our hull, an annoying consequence of a calm morning. I reluctantly got up and watched the sunrise from the salon.

After breakfast, we ditched our mooring ball in Caneel Bay and motored over to Lovango Cay. We were able to purchase day passes for the Lovango Resort + Beach Club, so we dinghied to shore and pretended to be fancy resort guests for the day! We shopped and drank bubbly while we lounged around in our beach chairs/took the occasional dip in the pool. 🥂

We watched a spectacular sunset, then ordered quite the spread for dinner at the resort while listening to a local performer play guitar and sing Coldplay covers. If you ever find yourself here, you MUST get the lobster guacamole- I’m still dreaming about it. 🤤

Lovango is known for its coral reef restoration project, which provides an excellent snorkeling experience right off the back of your boat! We jumped in on Monday morning to check it out. It was beautiful, but something stung my face while I was under, so I called it quits early and dug out our hydrocortisone cream. We left Lovango Cay shortly after that and headed over to Maho Bay. Just within the time it took us to get onto our mooring ball, we saw at least 5 turtles! Once we got settled, we jumped in to see if we could swim with one. 🐢

Within 10 minutes of swimming around the boat, we saw a turtle on the ocean floor, munching on seagrass! We all hovered around it and watched… After a while, he propped himself up on his flippers and began swimming up for a breath. As he moved toward the waterline, the remora on his back moved around to his belly, then back again as he returned to the ocean floor- it looked choreographed! 

We climbed back aboard Sabado and marveled at the GoPro footage while the mooring field filled up with charter boats. We watched from the bow as the bay became crowded with snorkelers, thankful that we were able to have our turtle encounter without anyone else around! 

That afternoon we went to shore to hike a nearby trail we saw on Google Maps. It ended up being a lackluster stroll around some swampy pond, but we made it an adventure when we stumbled upon some ruins to poke around in.

We grilled some chicken thighs for dinner that night and watched a movie. The next day we motored over to Leinster Bay. We beached the dinghy and went on a significantly prettier hike! We started on a gravel path along the beach and ended at the Annaberg Sugar Plantation. We had a great view overlooking the water and spent a while wandering around, reading the signs about the area’s history.

On our way out, we stopped by their garden, where we learned about and sampled some of the local medicinal plants they grew. I’m surprised my parents didn’t yell at me when they caught up and saw me eating strange berries that “the man over there” gave me. 😂 “He said they were medicinal!!”

We made the trek back to the boat and mixed up some margaritas. After the evening rainstorm had passed, we “ooh’d and ahh’d” at the rainbow that had appeared over the moon.

With a few cocktails in us, we decided to have a game night. We played Ransom Notes and Cards Against Humanity until we were all crying from laughter. My dad would kill me if I didn’t mention here that he won- both games. 🙄

Wednesday morning, we took the dinghy over to Waterlemon Cay. We had heard it was excellent to snorkel, but it had been pretty stormy the night before, so it was too murky for us to enjoy. Plus, we all kept getting stung by something… nothing serious, but it was uncomfortable nonetheless! We rinsed off and left Leinster Bay to head over to Coral Bay. Coral Bay is home to Lime Out, a floating taco bar we wanted to visit for lunch. Unfortunately, we made it about 30min into our trip before deciding to turn around. We were motoring straight into the wind in rough seas, and no one was having any fun. So we headed back to Caneel Bay instead. We hopped onto a mooring ball, made sandwiches, and enjoyed the sunshine. Unfortunately, Ray took a spill that afternoon… 

He was stepping from the dinghy onto Sabado when a wave hit the dinghy, moving it under the lowered davit arm and forcing Ray’s foot off. He went down, with his upper body making contact with the sugar scoop and his lower half in the water. Here’s a photo of that portion of the boat, if you can imagine… OUCH.

I poured him some whiskey and propped a pillow under his arm. At this point, we were pretty sure he had broken a couple of ribs. For those of you who know Ray, it’ll be no surprise that he still wanted to take the dinghy into town for dinner and drinks that evening. 

Thursday morning, Ray was hurting. With no apparent bruising, the outlook was good, but that didn’t negate the pain that he was in. My dad (a pharmacist) got him on an anti-inflammatory/painkiller regimen and sent him back to bed. I took my parents into town for breakfast and a grocery/trash disposal run, and we spent the rest of the day relaxing on the boat! I finished editing our YouTube video for the week and did some cleaning while my parents sunbathed. Ray got up later that afternoon and made us all gin and tonics, which we sipped together on the bow.

That night we popped popcorn and watched a movie.

Friday morning, we decided to do some sailing! We finally had a workable wind angle, so we hoisted the main, got off our mooring ball, and headed back toward St. Thomas. Sabado did well; with ~15kn of wind, our average SOG was ~6.5kn. The seas were choppy at first but calmed down once we made it through the cut. 

We decided to drop anchor in Frenchman’s Bay for the night, the first place we took my parents when they arrived! We swam all afternoon and grilled out for dinner. The following morning we moved to an anchorage around the corner to be closer to town and the airport. It was a gloomy day, but we brought the jib out and shut the engines off just for fun. 🤷🏼‍♀️  One last sail before our family left! 

We dropped anchor, did a few chores, then headed to shore for lunch. We took my parents to Ideal Restaurant, our favorite spot on the island for Caribbean Roti (they loved it!), then lounged around on the boat until our dinner reservations. We ate at Enkai Sushi Bar, a spot Ray and I have heard everyone rave about since we arrived in November, but we hadn’t yet tried! It was delicious, and we ended the night at a nearby bar with friends. 

My parents’ flight back to Texas is this afternoon, and despite our best effort to convince them to miss it, they’re packing as I’m typing this. It’s been so fun having them aboard, and we can’t wait for them to return. ❤️ Once we drop them off, we’ve got heaps of boat chores and projects to catch up on, so I better go make a to-do list!

PS- Ray is alright! As of today, he is still in quite a bit of pain, but he’s been good about keeping himself moving (gently) and resting when he needs to.

I hope you had a great week! ❤️

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