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Sayonara, St. John

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On a Sunday in June 2016, we sailed our boat, Violet, out of Coral Bay, St John, USVI, for the last time. Looking back at the harbor we had moved to at the start of this adventure seven years before, I experienced an array of emotions, but the one that reigned above all was excitement. A breathless anticipation. An exhilarating thrill. A thrill that had been around six years in the making. I was ready for the adventure of the Unknown!

It was a beautiful sunny day with the deep blue of the ocean complementing azure skies – not unlike most days in this part of the world. In the back of my mind I knew it wouldn’t always be calm and sunny sailing, and there would be times I would long for the security of our mooring in the creek. But I was ready for those times too. I wasn’t very confident in my navigation skills. We hadn’t sailed our boat further than our neighboring islands. We had never done an overnight passage. Instead we had spent most of the last seven years working too much, trying (unsuccessfully) to save money and traveling back and forth to the States by air. We had become caught up in the rat race and sometimes lost focus and faith along the way. But we finally made up our minds to make it happen. So we did. We were really doing it. As we sailed away, on the start of our new adventure, living that actual moment we had been dreaming of for so long, well, that feeling was pretty indescribable.

Rounding the reef by Johnson’s Bay, we blew the cow horn to our friends at Shipwreck Landing for the last time, I felt a fleeting sense of nostalgia. Then we pointed towards Ram’s Head and saw our friend Tahoe Dave headed towards us in his skiff to say a final goodbye and take some photos of us. He got some great ones I will be able to enlarge and frame, which makes me happy.


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Violet heads out to sea
Violet heads out to sea


The sail down the south coast of St John was one of the most idyllic we’ve ever had. Usually the south shore is rough, but winds were light and produced a comfortable downwind motion (very rare), and the blues and greens were astounding. Caribbean colors are my favorite, and I think St John was giving us a special goodbye.

We crossed Pillsbury Sound to St Thomas and stopped in Red Hook for fuel and water, then made our way down the south coast of the island to Brewer’s Bay to spend our first night. We arrived as the sun set and since it was Sunday and almost dark, and we were leaving first thing in the morning, we picked up a UVI mooring instead of anchoring. Shhhh …

Our cat, Marley, hates the engine and hides under our bed whenever we start it. She hid the entire day even though we sailed, and finally stuck her head out after we picked up the mooring. We discovered our running lights weren’t working, and Wil traced the wires under the bed and found that they had been pulled apart. Probably from Marley lying on them, but at least it was an easy fix.

Brewer’s Bay is extremely protected, so the boat barely moved. After sailing all day, the excitement and emotions, we crashed, hard.

Sayonara St. John …

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  1. We enjoyed meeting you at Nanny Cay a few years ago. Glad you cast off the bowlines and sailed off into the sunset. Fair winds and following seas! Tara & Sasha from PiZZA Pi

    • I just saw these comments! Thank you! It was great meeting you guys in the boatyard, hope you are still doing well wherever you may be now. We still have Violet, up on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia 🙂 although I find myself coming back to the VI time and again:) Happy new Year!

  2. Dear Kylie hope you are the girl brought up on Gaucho sailboat, my name is Santiago and I will like to know if it is possible to contact your parents in case they still own the Gaucho and also if they are thinking of selling it. Thanks in advance, my mail santiagoabud@gmail.com

    • Hi, I’m so sorry I only just saw your comment! Yes I did grow up on Gaucho, and mom and dad sold her almost 3 years ago to a family in Grenada. Hope you are doing well.


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So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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