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


Enjoying another extra vacation here at the beautiful beaches of Aruba. Went off for a Sunset Sail on the Pelican catamaran which was much more than expected. The first extra, the captain and mates accompanied the music with bar equipment for drums and the other ladies on board went extra out of their way to attempt to teach me and Britt how to do the slide. Sorry, nothing helped. After we enjoyed a splendid dinner at the Pelican Restaurant overlooking the ocean. Great Food.

None of these pictures have had any editing.

We were tossing out bread pieces trying to attract fish for the snorkelers but this sneaky fellow got in on the act in a split second and stole off with the goods. This is my first post after returning from the British Virgin Islands aboard the catamaran Sealandia where this seagull stole off with his treasured meal.



Beach Birds Catching a Few Rays
Beach Birds Catching a Few Rays

This picture was taken on Paradise Island Nassau with my old and trusty MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA (DiMAGE X). So, that accounts for the somewhat lower resolution image. But I still enjoyed sneaking up on them and catching a few shots. I couldn’t believe the just stood there and occasionally re-positioned themselves just out of my reach.

We were headed for the Prickly Pear Cays on Day 2 of our catamaran¬†cruise but couldn’t venture through the opening to get to calm side on seal island. ¬† So we continued on to Maunday’s Bay and dropped anchor off of the beach side near Juluca Hotel which is on the southwest side of Anguilla for a lunch and swim in the area. ¬†



Played in water for several hours with noodles, snorkel and paddle board.  Basia and Gus gave a try on the paddle board. Basia did great.


Gus not so much. Durf.. paddle board to paddle board ace.  Later Gus got the hang if it and paddled for a while.