Rose, Hurricane Roger, and the 11,000 virgins

Cramer Park

The US Virgin Islands (USVIs) are like siblings—related by blood and separated by disposition. One is a popular socialite who wears glitzy jewelry and talks loud. One is laid-back and loves the outdoors. Another is an introvert with an abiding respect for history and culture. They are, in turn, Saint Thomas, Saint John, and Saint Croix (or, as nicknamed by the locals, Rock City, Love City, and Twin City).

I have a cousin who lives with her family on Saint Croix, the largest of the three. Before returning to Europe in the spring, I decided to accept her offer to enjoy island life for a few weeks.

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The Saga of Sagitta (Part 2)

Sagitta and friend
Sagitta (left) and friend

I’m at sea on a 120-foot three-masted sailboat, Sagitta, touring some of the Leeward Caribbean islands and feeling somewhat disconnected from the real world. To readThe Saga of Sagitta (Part 1),” please see the previous post.

Day Six: Sagitta sailed west from Marina Cay to Jost Van Dyke (pronounced YOST). The island may be named for the seventeenth-century Dutch privateer, Joost van Dyk, who used its harbors as a hideout. (A privateer is a mercenary, essentially a pirate paid by a government.) On the way the dinghy circled the ship a couple of times, allowing us to take beauty shots of Sagitta under full sail for our photo albums. I saw several sea turtles on the surface during the trip along the south side of Tortola.

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The Saga of Sagitta (Part 1)


I was stuck in a fake tropical village built at the cruise-ship docks near Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. Four huge ships were parallel-parked, each spewing thousands of passengers into the gated duty-free jewelry stores and rum bars.

I had two hours to kill before boarding Sagitta, the 120-foot three-masted sailboat that would be my home for twelve days on a tour of some of the Leeward Caribbean islands. Time for a tab of Dramamine.

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