Cruz Bay, St. John. St Thomas to the far right, Little and Great St. James center and Steven's Cay towards the front.
Hawksnest Bay, St. John. St. Thomas in distance.
From Annaberg, looking across Sir Francis Drake Channel towards Totola and the British Virgin Islands.
The south side of the island is a completely different story. Here you are faced with the wide open expanse of the Caribbean Sea. Here there are no cays and the nearest island is St. Croix, 40 miles away. Though the water tends to be warmer because the Caribbean is shallower than the Atlantic, it can be rougher. Because the south side is so exposed to the Tradewinds it is very desert-like. Giant century plants, thorny acacia trees, tall organ cactus, and many other cacti as well, cling to the rocky hill sides. And, except for a few beaches, the coast line is rocky, protected by snarly reefs.
Now the F. D. O. was small, only 12 feel long and yet we made several heroic journeys within her fiberglass hull.
Twice we went completely around St. John, a distance of 40 or 45 miles. We were very familiar with the cozy north shore. Many were the times we had trolled around the cays of Lovango, Congo, Mingo, Grass, Thatch, Little and Great St. James, to name a few. These water were home. There are places to land, beaches to explore. And there is water traffic. Boats of every sort cruise the north side of St. John. Ferries cross hourly between St. John and St. Thomas, there are speed boats and sail boats and fisherman. You have the feeling that if something were to happen help isn't be too far away.
But once we rounded East End and passed Flanagan Island, we were alone on a vast sea. We were like solitary explorers, cast-aways searching for a place to land.
We were Jason and the Argonauts. We were Ulysses and his valiant crew. When at last we passed by Chocolate Hole and Great Cruz Bay, saw the islands of Little and Great St. James and Steven's Cay, we knew we were safely home again. We had survived an epic.
The south side of St. John. The white cliffs of Reef Bay and in the distance Ram's Head Point.
Lamashur is one of the few beaches on the south side, and one of my favorites. There is a lonely and wild feel about the place.
We circumnavigated St. Thomas in the F. D. O too. A long journey, of 50 to 55 miles. Surely we were crew on Magellan's ship.