Posts filed under ‘Melanie S’

Virgin Islands: Jost Van Dyke

Early Monday morning I woke to the boat starting its engines. I scurried on deck and watched as we travelled to our first of the British Virgin Islands– Jost Van Dyke.

I was incredibly nervous about being on a boat, but I weathered this first crossing without any trouble at all. I even took a victory picture! (Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be as victorious on subsequent days).


Crossing from St. Thomas to Jost Van Dyke


Vicky’s on a boat!

When we arrived at Jost Van Dyke, we anchored at Great Harbor. The adults boarded the tender and headed to shore! My uncle, Jonathan, and aunt-to-be, Kim, went one direction for a run. Meanwhile my aunt-to-be’s sister, Lee, and her fiance, Kevin, and I went for hike!

We ascended roughly 1000 feet and got close to the top of Jost Van Dyke. As I have advertised on this blog before, I’m slow at ascents. This trip was no exception, but this time I had a cohort! Without any prior coordination, Kevin and I both adopted the same strategy. We would hike a little bit, take a picture, hike a little more, take another picture, and so on. It allowed us to catch our breath without looking like total wussies. AND when you have TWO people, you can stop TWICE as much and STILL not look like wussies! It worked out well. I have decided Kevin is welcome to hike with me at any time.

The views on Jost Van Dyke were astounding!!! Once we got near the top, we could see our boat anchored in Great Harbor, as well as the other side of the island.


Great Harbor from near the top of Jost Van Dyke


View of the other side of Jost Van Dyke


Me near the top of Jost Van Dyke (Photo by Kevin)


Me at Top

The other great thing about this outing is I got to do one of my absolute favorite activities:


Vicky photographs a tree (Photo by Kevin)

I got to absorb all the new flora around me and I ate it up. I got to see cactii surrounding trees. I got introduced to Sour Sop, Seagrapes and Century Plants and I saw so many beautiful flowers.


A cactus chokes out a tree


Century Plant in the wild


Soursop Fruit


Unidentified flower on Jost Van Dyke

As far as fauna, near the top of Jost Van Dyke, we encountered– GOATS! I scrambled with my camera and was oh-so-disappointed with the one blurry shot I got off. I had no idea how frequently I would come to encounter goats and how many shots I could take with my mother in mind.


The first of many goat sightings.

The town at Great Harbor was nice and quaint. I especially appreciated how they embraced nature for function and decor.


This gift shop built their floor around a palm and and hung signs on it.


Ali Baba’s used an old tree trunk to hang beer advertisements


Foxy’s Bar used a tree to hang some decor, which was also from nature. A whale vertebra!

When I packed for my trip, I realized that all the shorts I owned were either ripped (And we are not talking benign rips here– we are talking full fledged, exposing the crotch, rips) or in storage. So I borrowed a pair…from Ryan Somma. When Ryan bought those shorts, I’m sure he had a set of criteria that drove his purchasing decision. Unfortunately, he left out one key, critical consideration:

How does Vicky’s butt look in these shorts?

If he had reflected on this matter before he handed over his debit card, I am sure he would have come to the resounding conclusion:

Not good.

And so on my very first hike on the British Virgin Islands, I opted to wear my beloved camouflage pants!

(That reminds me how Christina from An American Expat in Deustchand and her husband will not be letting their son wear camouflage which reminds me to tell you today is the last day you can vote for her for Best European Blog).

Apparently my wardrobe was a topic of discussion. When I met my uncle and my aunt-to-be at Foxy’s Bar after the hike, I was promptly informed that they were buying me some shorts. I was escorted over to the gift shop and just like that I was the proud owner of khaki shorts.

We returned to the boat and then it was time for watersports. The Sovereign crew came out and gave people some instruction on water skiing and wakeboarding.


Crew member Joe talks about water skiing to Melanie and Jonathan

I went out on the tender with the water skiing group. First up was my youngest cousin, Melanie. She did not manage to make it up that day, but it was incredibly heart warming to see her excitement at tackling a new experience, to listen to everyone cheer for her and seeing her get extremely close to her goal.


Melanie is all smiles!

When Melanie tired, it was Kim and Lee’s turn! Even though the water was very choppy, both women got up and put on a good show.


Waterskiing at Jost Van Dyke (Photo by Kevin)

Even the crew driving the tender were impressed.

“Wow. She makes that look effortless,” one crew member said to the other.

They were talking about Kim. Yup! One day, I am going to be the niece of a woman who impressed the seasoned crew of the Sovereign!!!

After a full day, I spent the evening on the boat with the kids. We watched “When a Stranger Calls” which kicked off a week long marathon of suspense films.

More pictures of Jost Van Dyke can be found on my Flickr site.

January 13, 2009 at 8:00 am 6 comments


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