I am really enjoying simplicity, collecting my own water and power, sleeping under the stars, making progress on the boat. And finding more dogs to greet now that more northerners are down here.
On the down side, I find more and more items to worry about and deal with (and, yes, I know how to phrase that correctly, but it is just awkward!). And, despite my efforts to force myself into social situations, I have fallen upon wifi that works in my boat and find myself staying aboard for days rather than going ashore. Not only that, but I've gotten more efficient at shopping and do not make nearly as many trips to local grocery, much less Cruz Bay or St Thomas. All in all, I'm finding things growing a bit more isolating.
On the other hand (yes, I know that is three, but I'm special), hanging with Peter when he motors Angel's Rest a couple miles to Hanson's Bay or Vi's Beach and chats with old friends and new acquaintances is quite fun....and I am forced to spend social time, despite my urge to stay home and read and eat.
And Monday morning, a week ago, Peter and I took his house/boat/bar to Johnson Bay where he spent the day cleaning the bottom and painting and I went off and explored the coral barrier beach (where I met many hermit crabs), paddled the lagoon, and snorkeled over grassy shoals, looking at coral heads. Found little staghorn corals trying to grow in the grass and a couple anchors and lines that people had apparently forgotten. Also found sand collars that are quite unlike the ones produced by moon snails on Cape Cod, but almost certainly the same purpose.
And I took a nice walk to Waterlemon Bay a couple days back and saw my first turtle! I nearly passed it by, half hidden under a coral head in fifteen feet of water, but with a bit of mental post-processing of the images, realized what I had seen and turned back. I watched it for about five minutes as it shifted around, perhaps nervous, perhaps scratching belly or back. Then I swam off and left it in peace. On that same dive I also saw a moray eel and wonderful spider-like shrimp. Later in the day I saw another turtle near my boat in the harbor and, the next day, saw live pen shells and a very active sea star that writhed and wriggled across the sea floor like an octopus. Cool stuff!
Now I need to get the jib functioning so I can take my first sail! Maybe tomorrow....or maybe this morning. Already cleaned and lubed the winches, so I am getting close.... Soon I'll be able to sail away into the sunrise....