March 11-22, 2011... Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI

We have certainly settled in. We are back in the USA and everything just seems so easy. Its hard to put a finger on exactly what it is that makes it so, but we do feel like life is simpler. Our encounters with officialdom here have been nothing but pleasant and professional, from Customs, to Park Rangers, to the Coast Guard. We saw our government in action from our cockpit as the Coast Guard upgraded the markers in the harbor (including our own #13) to LEDs.

Christiansted is sort of off the beaten track for most cruisers -- they seem to stay north in the other USVI islands and the BVI -- but we find this town just beautiful and the water and landscape worth seeing. The 200-300 year old Danish buildings have all been refurbished and integrated into every day life -- shops, restaurants, offices -- not just tourist attractions. The cruise ships don't land here but west in Frederiksted, so the town doesn't get overwhelmed with hundreds or thousands of visitors at once.

This is a very low key place. Except on St. Patrick's Day! This day is turned into a major celebration with a parade and lots of music in town afterwards. The best part of the day is watching all the people who come to town dressed in green wearing outlandish costumes including green hair and body paint. (Sorry we have no photos -- but we knew we'd be dancing at the Luncheria to the blues of Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys, so we didn't want to be weighed down with the camera... BTW - the Reverend and his band were super!)

We are now waiting for weather. Next stop Buck Island (5 miles away) to snorkel in the marine park. Big winds and seas expected today-tomorrow, so we'll head over after Mother Nature calms down again.

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