Since leaving St. Lucia we have spent time in Antigua and St. Croix before sailing back into Tortola in the BVI's, we felt we had arrived back home. So much has changed for us since November though, we are returning here with a fresh point of view molded from the experiences that we've had the past six months. Time has flown by.
We loved Antigua for it's history. English Harbor with it's old stone buildings, hikes to hill top forts and amazing look outs, local barbecue, steel band and reggae music at Shirley Heights, anchoring out at Jolly Harbor, hanging out at the local yacht club, and riding the buses to hunt for island art and produce in the streets of St. John.
St. Croix was so fun to explore with visiting family. An epic hike to tidal pools, kayaking among the mangroves at night to witness the glowing bio-luminescence, shopping and eating our way through the streets of Christiansted, sailing across to the secluded beaches of Buck Island, tasting rum at the Cruzan Distillery, visiting the eastern most point of the USA, and getting lost as we attempted to navigate our way through the windy, bumpy, unmarked roads while trying to remember to drive on the left.
Now that we are back in the British Virgin Islands we can appreciate them more for all they have to offer, we now understand why this is such a sailing destination. Traveling through the Caribbean sailing was mostly the long passages between islands, but once there it was short sails to often rolly anchorages and exploring on land. Back in the BVI's it's all about the sailing. Tacking through the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea to protected anchorages and different islands daily.
When we returned we were anxious to see the progress made rebuilding since we had left, but there is surprisingly little. It makes you appreciate just how extensive the damage was and how daunting and frustrating it must be to try to rebuild their lives on the islands. It is encouraging though that boats are returning, anchorages are full and people are visiting again. We enjoyed the lack of crowds early in the season but vacationers are the best way to get the islands back in business.
It has been a bit bittersweet to return here, nice to be sailing in familiar waters again but sad that our time in the Caribbean is coming to such a quick end.