Memories of St John US Virgin Islands – Sailing the Caribbean
Excerpt from –  Sailing On the Edge (i)

For several days we sailed among the Virgin Islands on the Rebel Runner, a forty-foot ocean sailing boat. I was part of the crew that sailed it from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Tortola. It was on my way to Barbados.

jost Van Dyke Virgin Island

The boat stopped at Tortola to meet up with the owner, who we called GG (the Gentle Giant). I stayed on to spend some time with GG and explore the nearby virgin islands before I headed off to my new life in Barbados.

Dinner At Foxy in Jost Van Dyke

We took a short trip to Jost van Dyke and dined at Foxes bar and Grill, the most popular bar in the Caribbean, they say. Our table was next to the big cat party, 15 strangers on a catamaran sailboat equipped with windsurfing scuba and other sporting gear. Earlier that day, the hostess had performed an impromptu striptease to the eager prompting for the rowdy boys anchored nearby. We watch them dance to the music of a live band bumping along the edges of the Dance floor.

Cruz St John US Virgin Islands -Woodys’ Double Rum

St John US Virgin Islands -wWodys bar in cruz

Rebels Runner pulled up anchored and left early in the morning, heading out to St John US Virgin Islands. We found our way to Cruz, the capital of Saint John, and walked to town. It was full of old hippies hanging around the colorful Caribbean bars where food and booze was served in a friendly, likely mood.

Later that night, we ended up at Woodys Bar and Sea Gill. Woody welcomed us with a bright smile and effervescent attitude. He looked like Woody from the TV show Cheers as he spun bottles in the air catching several on the fly, pouring drinks and mixes with astonishing speed and flair. A parrot sat on the shoulder of the girl beside me. She borrowed it from a tattoo hippy with a cricket face, smoking like a chimney.

We met a range of people; many stopped to chat. One of them was a lonely girl down on luck, trying to be happy in the busy feeding crowd.

Lonely Nights and Lonely People

White and tanned and wrinkled, we never knew her name, but white and tanned and wrinkled was looking for a game.

We met her at the bar in Woody’s and offered her a drink. She wasn’t any beauty, but she was slight, well tanned, and fun. She got to be quite pretty as Woody poured his double run.

The wrinkles seemed to smooth as we plowed into the booze, and Woodys’ bar was hoping that lonely night in Cruise. She would be happy to come with us to our little ship. Just $10 for us both, and what she would not do, we would not want to know.

But we left her there that night, a sad and lonely girl looking so much older than her troubles thirty hears. She wore the scars of trouble on her face and in her mind, but she deserved much better, for she was genuine and kind.

It was late when we left Woodys, not many people there. Cruz itself was closing just late night hangers-on as we walked the weary streets in the capital of Saint John. I put $50 in her hand as she sat alone at the bar. She was down on cash and luck that night, a sample of her life. But for the moment, she was happy that she had met someone who cared.

(i). Excerpt from Sailing on the Edge.
Adventure In a Troubled Time

By Ian R Clayton, Author of Rogues in Paradise


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