We boarded The Arabella on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at Red Hook on ST. Boarding the ship we were greeted by the crew and a frothy rum punch. Debbie the First Mate and Jack of all trades was ther to ease the sign in process. Debbie is the person that every organization is lucky to have. After check in we motored to SJ and dined at the tonyCaneel Bay. It is a swanky place and had a great meal there.
We motor/sailed to Viequesand arrived there at noon. After a great lunch, we headed into town and checked out Esperanza.Our mates went snorkelling and enjoyed it. After 3 Viequensees we head back to the ship for cocktails and apps.After dinner, we went to The Bio Bay which was amazing.We hopped on a bus which brought us to a pontoon boat for our trip to Bio Bay.We educated on plankton that reacted to our body and lit up. Upon entering the water,we were all astounded. Lifting my arm out of the water and watched what appeared to be diamonds rolling down my arm. These were drops of water. This was a ball and I slept like a baby.
Tuesday:Culabrita and Culebra
At 0600 we motor sail to Culabrita. Arriving at Culabrita, I pack 3 Caribs in a ziplock bag with ice.After a vigorous 20 minute hike to the Lighthouse, I climb to the top and enjoy a breeze and great view.Here, I pop a cold Carib and enjoy the heck out of it.After a great afternoon, we head to Club Seabourne on Culebra for a great meal at a beautiful hotel.
Wednesday:Christmas Cove on ST and Saint John.
Leaving Culebra, we sail to Christmas Cove for lunch an good snorkelling. Arabella is a great sailboat and sails at 10 knots in a proper wind.We head to SJ for the night and anchor off two great beaches; Salomon and Honeymoon. After a relaxing afternoon we head to Zozos for chilled bottle of white and and the best sunsetview on SJ. Il Tapa lived up to its rep and was superb. We split five great apps. Plenty of food. There was an open mic at Morgan's Mango which was great fun. The local talent was amazing.
Thursday:Norman Island and Willy T
This was the best snorkelling on the trip. We took the RIB to The Caves and it was like descending into a fish bowl. The water was as clear as drinking water and the color of the fish was amazing. 75 minutes flew by and it was time to jump into the RIB and get squared away for the BBQ at Pirates Bight. After dinner a few of us headed to the infamous Willy T which lived up to its name. Something about half naked women, whipped cream and Baileys. What a hoot. This boy could only handle one hour of those antics. As always Caleb picked us up in RIB and returned us to our orderly home, Arabella.
Friday: Jost van Dyke
We arrived at noon off White Bay on JVD. After lunch, I checked into my favorite bar in the world, Ivans.Although, Kenny Chesney wasn't there, great folks were. You can't help but have a ball at Ivans. It has sand floors, superb bushwackers and icy cold beer.This side of the beach is uncrowded and as beautiful beach as you will ever see. I genuflected to Ivan as he was holding court in the bar. Ivan is a Vietnam Veteran. After 4 hours, we unfortunately had to leave. We motored around the point to Great Harbor. At sunset we headed into town and enjoyed the sunset and a cocktail or two at Corsairs which is a great place. Iam told Vinny's Pizza is the best. We moved onto Foxy's for the BBQ. It was really good, we wee invited first and there was a large crowd at Foxys. They had a great live band and everyone enjoyed themselves. Sadly, I caught the 10 oclock boat back to the ship and the dreaded packing for departure.
Day 6:Saint John, Saint Thomas and Departure
At 6:30 we motored to SJ to clear customs. Subsequent to this we motored to Charlotte Amalie and departure. This was all well handled and painless. We left the boat at 10:30 and headed for the airport.
Breakfast and lunch is served everyday on the boat. John Hawkins ,the ship's cook is talented and does a great job. All dinners save one is provided onshore. This gives an opportunity to enjoy local culture.
The rooms are small but comfortable. You control the AC and the hot water is plentiful in the shower.
Arabella is as clean as a whistle and the boat gleams. Public spaces are numerous and comfortable as you never feel crowded.The crew is attentive as can be. The bar is manned at all times and the BLOODYS are the Best.From all aspects this a high value experience which I can't wait to repeat.Captain John is very approachable at all times and loves to share the tech and sailing with all. Debbie is the glue that makes Arrabella a great experience. The entire crew will help you at all times. My hat is off to them