It is finally here, May 26, 2009 (Happy 45th Birthday Sister Janice!!). The end to our countdown and the revealing of our big announcement. We have received several emails and a few comments on the blog from our loyal followers speculating what the news could be. A few of our favorites have been, "Are you having a baby?" or "What bar did you buy?". Thanks for the laughs, but the answer is NO to both of these.
Crazy enough, we have decided to purchase another boat. Not just any boat, but the USVI famous Sadie Sea. She's a shiny red 40' Lindsey Trawler with shaded seating downstairs and a sunny upper deck. Mechanically she is a lot less complicated than the 'Piper so we feel confident the work can be done between the two of us. The business side of the boat is where the challenge will arise for us seeing as how neither of us have any experience in running a small business. Since the boat has been in operation for years on island, it is somewhat of a household name and legend that we plan on carrying on for several years to come.
The current owner, Captain Ben, has been nothing short of amazing to work with on this deal. The boat has been in his family for over 20 years and has always been operating as a charter. He's not only let us job shadow himself and his crew Kristi these last two weeks, he's been a great friend to us since day 1 of our arrival. We have shared several drinks and meals swapping sea stories and he's even let us use his shower!
The boat runs half and full day charters around the island taking in some of the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters where the snorkeling in our opinion, is the best in the Caribbean. Since St. John is two-thirds Nation Park, one of the most popular tourist activities on island is hiking. The National Parks run a 'Reef Bay Hike' anywhere from 1 to 4 times a week with a maximum of 37 people down the 3 mile trail and the Sadie Sea is there to greet you at the end where we will run everyone back to Cruz Bay. This trip is so popular and with a 37 passenger limit there is constantly a waiting list during busy season. When you come to visit us be sure to book this St. John 'must do' well in advance.
She also does a lot of work with VIERS (Virgin Islands Environment Research Station). These are usually school groups of all ages, scout troops, and environmental enthusiast groups. They can book the boat for a half or full day charter where we take them to some of the great snorkel stops on island.
Today we helped with an Arawak trip, a 5 day kayak trip from the BVI's back to the USVI's. Sadie Sea was loaded up with kayak's and gear bags and off we went to West End, Tortola to check all passengers in to customs. Then just a few miles from there we drop them off on a sandy beach with their gear and guide on Peter Island, BVI, where they will camp and paddle thier way back to St. John with a few other stops in between.
It is definitely still a learning process for us seeing as how we don't know all the exciting history and secret spots just yet. But we have been busy picking Ben's brain on a daily basis. One lesson we have learned thru this process is 'island time' really does exist. We were hoping for today to be our first official start day. But 'island time' has pushed this back just a few days and we are now shooting for June 1st.
With us now busy being workin' folk, our blog posts won't be as often as previous. But we do plan to still keep it up and running. We also plan to put the Sandpiper back on the market. So if you are looking to buy the World Famous Sandpiper, she is available.
Be sure to check out the Sadie Sea website and start making your plans to come and visit us.
Amy and Tom