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The Beginning – St Thomas to Tortola

Great vacations for us usually start with a long trip from airport to airport and then a little recovery time. This one was that with a little added exaggeration which I will explain later. We started with a red-eye flight out of Phoenix, connecting at JFK and then arriving in St. Thomas USVI the next day. When this is our flight choice we like to add a one day hotel stay before going on to the catamaran for our sailing trip. It also helps to adjust to the time zones changes… somewhat…

After arriving at the hotel, we enjoyed a lovely walk along the beaches at our first night hotel in St. Thomas, USVI; the Sapphire Village Resort.  The hotel was located higher up on a hill a short walk to the boat docks and the beaches.  In the picture of the docks, you can see the Villas in the background.    We had a great view of the boat docks, but limited view of the ocean.  The room was appointed in typical Caribbean style with bamboo type furniture.

Marina at the Hotel
Marina at the Hotel

During our walk along the beach we, of course,  came across several beach birds and I, of course, couldn’t resist taking a multitude of shots at the little darlings.  This White-cheeked Pintail was begging for food but we didn’t have anything to feed him.

Beach Duck
Beach Duck


Staying for one night on the May 23rd at The Sapphire Village which turned out to be a good thing since Gus’ suitcase was nowhere to be found at the airport. Most of that first night was making phone calls, checking email and tracking the bag that the airline lost.   Finally, it was located not in JFK New York where it would have been put on a plane to STT (airport code for St. Thomas) to then be delivered to the hotel.

Imaging my surprise to find it was heading to  Dubai via Ireland and the next day we were leaving St Thomas to go to Tortola BVI.  Then we would be on Festiva Sailings Catamaran island hopping.  Just image the airline trying to island hop Gus’ suitcase and catch up with us.  I can tell you that would have been a nightmare.  So, after calling the airline and explaining Bob Dylan’s Style as in Alice’s Restaurant, the tale of the suitcase, the agent was able to reroute the bag.  It arrived the following day just hours before our ferry left to take us to Tortola.  And it was not the unnamed airline that found out where it was.  It was me.  I finally changed my method of search and tracked the bag via our connecting airline.  The bag was in Philadelphia ready to go on a flight to SLL (airport code for Dubai).

After convincing the airline agent that if they didn’t get involved the suitcase would have been following us by slow boat as we Island hopped and would probably never catch up. suitcase Poor Gus.  No swimsuits, no clean shorts of any type.  All was not lost though and the bag did finally reach us.  It appears that TSA took a look at the bag and it missed the plane.  It was then sent back to Phoenix where it was then rerouted using the code SLL instead of STT.

I was so aggravated by the lost suitcase that I can’t even remember much about the hotel.  Enough of this ranting, suitcase in hand, we are now on the Ferry and motoring onward to Tortola for a fun and relaxing Catamaran trip with Festiva Sailing.

Leaving St. Thomas on the Ferry
Leaving St. Thomas on the Ferry


5 thoughts on “The Beginning – St Thomas to Tortola

  1. Great images!

    1. Thanks, Greg.

  2. Interesting post, with nice photos too. How did you track your lost suitcase yourself?

    1. When we reported it lost, they gave us a tracking number so that I could check the status of the bag. I was working with two affiliated airlines since we had the connection at JFK. When looking at the tracking number on the final destination airline it showed the bag not located. I then decided to track it on the website for the departure airline and found out where it was then. This is what happens during a merger. Not to mention any airlines. 😀

      1. Thank you. You are very smart!

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