After Linds and Chris leave, we head back to Red Hook on St. Thomas to do errands and get ready for Christmas. We stay at the dock thinking we’ll make some progress on boat tasks. A bunch of issues have cropped up (sadly, reality intrudes even in Paradise). Some hitchhiking ants came aboard in Bermuda and need to be dealt with; for some unknown reason while motoring to shore, the dinghy engine died (we had to grab oars and row the rest of the way); the fridge belt is about to go and needs to be replaced; the stove ignitor isn’t working so I have to light each burner with a match; the wi-fi system we just bought isn’t functioning; the bow hose isn’t working; and the water pump ran too long between switching tanks so now there is no water. We arrive at the dock and a local quickly helps us rectify the water situation.
It stays fixed for about 10 minutes and then goes out again. Matt left the boat so I hook up the dock hose and drag it down into the galley to tackle the mountain of dishes that has accumulated. Matt gets back to the boat and is able to fix the water pump. The learning curve has been steep but he’s getting pretty good at understanding the boat systems and fixing things. It feels great to have a real shower at the marina even though there’s no hot water. It’s been pouring rain all day but we take a safari into town and go to Staples and then to K-Mart. It’s a cheaper place to load up on supplies. I get a few Christmas decorations and things for the boys but most toys are just too big for the boat. After leaving St. Thomas, we anchor in Great Cruz Bay on St. John. The local paper had a story about a family living on a boat. While the parents were at work, someone on shore started yelling at the kids saying the boat was anchored too close to their mooring ball. The husband moved the boat when he got home but re-anchored under windy conditions. The anchor didn’t hold and within 15 minutes the boat was on the rocks. The family was rescued but their home was gone. We think this is the boat. Things can change in an instant so, if there are no major crises going on, be grateful.