US Virgin Islands

December 27th

Alley in Charlotte Amalie This was to be our easy day, with not much to do. We slept in until 7:30, which is late for us. We slowly got ready (and I typed in my journal) and caught the 9am ferry into town. The ferry is a nice way to travel, very relaxing and much nicer than the cabs. Since they depart every half hour it isn't so bad to time them.

Once in town we were after our pates. The biggest problem with our hotel is that there is no local food to be had, but since we were in town for the morning we could get some good local fare. After a little searching (and help from the people on the streets) we found a snack vendor and bought two pates, beef and salt fish. The beef was the best; but the salt fish was good. I still think the best beef patties I've ever had were on the Cayman Islands. After cleaning the grease off our fingers, we were off to find a camera.

Cruise ships We had called the night before to make sure that we could find the Canon Digial Elph (also called the PowerShot S100). I had researched a little bit about cameras and I wanted the Elph or the Canon PowerShot G1, which wasn't out yet... or so I thought. We were talking to the salesman and when I said Canon G1 he said, "oh, we have that in stock," so out it came and it is a very nice camera. It saves the photos a little slower than the Elf (the pictures are bigger), but it had features to make up for it.

Now, we just needed a real underwater case for it. They had one for the Elph, but not for the G1. We decided on the G1 because it is a more full featured camera. It would be nice to have a little camera to put in your shirt pocket, but probably better to have one that is so much more versatile. The price was decent at $750. I didn't know if I could get it cheaper on the Internet, but I knew it was certainly a decent price and we now had a camera for the rest of our trip.

We wandered the other shops looking for gifts for the kids. I liked the larimar stone since it was local to the Caribbean (and not mined anywhere else). So we got a set of jewelry made out of it for Beth and a polished rock of it for Ben (he collects rocks).

Morningstar Beach Resort We were not very hungry but we wanted to eat lunch in town at Glady's Cafe, local food and good. We got the old wife (fresh fish of the day), conch fritters and conch chowder. The chowder was the best. Though it is interesting because they do white chowder here. In Eleuthera, they did red chowder. The fritters were good and the old wife was very yummy. We tried their hot sauce, too. The heat really stays with you for a long time.

We stopped on the way back to the ferry to pick up rum. I had previously tried some orange rum that I really liked (they give samples in the store) and Bernie, a friend of mine, had let me try some of his 4 year old rum so I also bought some of that. We also stopped at the chocolate store to buy some little rum cakes and, of course, chocolate. We ran down to the ferry and just made the 1pm.

Joel had fun with the new camera taking photos of town and the cruise ships. And boy there were a lot of cruise ships in today. We counted five. The docks only hold 3 so two had to be moored further out and the passengers ferried in.

And yet another perfect sunset This afternoon we took it easy, read in the room and rested. We read on the beach and played pool in Coco Joes as soon as it opened up. We went to the Captain Cooks for diner. Joel had the grouper sandwich but it wasn't as good as the day before. The fish was old. My Caesar salad with grilled shrimp was decent though. I tried and Islander to drink. I thought it weird that the Islander was made mostly of cranberry juice, maybe it got its name from Nantucket instead of the islands down here.


Town was nice. Much nicer than I expected given that it was mobbed with cruise ship people shopping. There were stores everywhere, on the main streets (wide enough for 1 car) and down side alleys (wide enough for a few people), Jewelry was most common but there were souvenir stores, clothes stores, electronic stores, liquor stores, etc.

I actually had a good time walking around with Daphne looking for things for the kids. Good thing Daphne was not looking for clothes because that would have been too much.

I missed the old camera. We lost it yesterday afternoon so I could not take pictures of the town as we cruised over this morning. We bought the new camera second thing (right after breakfast), but Daphne said we would have to wait until we got back to the hotel to charge the batteries. But at lunch I tried it and the batteries had a charge so I was able to take some town pictures and some pictures from the boat ride going back.

At first I tried the large size, medium compression, but when I used up the 16MB flash card in just an hour or two I decided to switch to smaller pictures for now. We do not trust the flash card that got wet so we are down to out last 64MB for the sailing trip tomorrow (which turned out to only be 48MB because of a flash memory problem).

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Text and images © Copyright 2000 Joel and Daphne Gould. If there are any problems or questions email Daphne Gould.