It’s a rare morning in St. Thomas with the sailboats pointing in all directions trying to find the trade winds. As the Red Hook Marina comes to life, a few men stand rigging their lines on charter boats. The larger boats are complaining about the heat and lack of wind while the smaller boats, that normally don’t get to experience the luxury of steering far from shore, are excited to nose their way a bit further today.
Not many boats are fishing right now. The boats that have gone out are seeing 3-5 Blues a day. Most boats will begin fishing again this week as the next full moon approaches. Having my son here was a real treat and big help. He has been aboard many times and knows how to work the boat. It was nice to have him stand in instead of some green horn that has no clue. He is home now, though, and Tyler is back on board. And it’s great to have Tyler back.
Our days onboard this past week have been taken up with oil and filter changes. Fifty gallons of oil takes quite a while to change; I wish we could pull up to a Jiffy Lube. Waxing was another chore on a seemingly endless list of Sea-Do’s.
It hasn’t been all work, however. There have been a few lobster fee-diving trips. We may not get Big number of lobsters here, but they are Big. (Oh! By the bay, Lobster season is open all year round here.)
Yesterday, Tyler and I went out with the crew of Betsy. We explored areas that we had not before. As Tyler and I sailed off toward the clear blue water we passed by Tim who was poking around about 12 ft. down under a coral head. He came up to the surface and told me there was a big bug in the way back of the hole. I took a breath and headed down to give it an extra eye. At first glance, I saw a few lobsters squared off and facing my way. So, I stuck my head and body down a bit further. Just as I was getting ready to snare a good bug, I felt a sting on my left nipple. MAN! You hurt me! I had a shirt on, but it was not enough protection for the fire coral that struck me. You know, I would say it feels about as Fifty times as bad as Jellyfish sting. It’s much better this morning, but last night while lying in my bunk I couldn’t even let the sheets touch me where I had been stung. No lobster is worth that kind of pain.
Some of the reefs we are diving here are absolutely stunning! Even the best pictures wouldn’t do them justice. The plethora of hard and soft coral is amazing to witness. But, what stands out to me is constant great water clarity. Or is it consistent? Both! We are free-diving on rocks that are 10-30 ft. deep in water. Some spots are as deep as 50 ft., but they don’t look a foot over 20ft. deep. Sure, depth perception can be deceiving when it comes to water this clear. It may seem like a struggle to keep going deeper, but the difficult part is coming back up to the surface when you have dove in so deep.
For the most this year, tropical weather systems have stayed out of our way. But as the Saharan deserts wane, the inter-continental convergence zone is becoming more active. While the first system did not turn into anything, there is another far more foreboding storm just approaching from the Mid Atlantic. But we’re not worried.
Originally Published By: Captain Ed Thompson