Saturday, January 18, 2014

Second Day on the Cay - Buck Island

On Saturday we arranged to go on a trip out to Buck Island with Miles, the owner of Caribbean Sea Adventures.  At 10am we left on his big motor boat out to Buck Island to go snorkeling in the Underwater Trail and then swimming on beach. 
 This is Miles and Marc talking about St. Croix, people they both knew and Dick Newick's boats.  Miles owns 'Trine' one of  the first small trimarans Dick designed and built.
This is 12 year old Marc sailing the North Star out to Buck Island.  After moving to the Cay when he was just 11 years old he went in to Dick Newick's Sea Rovers office and asked him for a job. (He could hardly see over Dick's big desk).  Dick told him that he didn't need any more crew but knew Marc had been sailing on his boats out to Buck Island and told him he could continue.  The next day Dick called Marc into his office and told him he would hire him for 50 cents an hour and all the orange soda he could drink.  They taught Marc how to sail and how to take customers snorkeling in the Underwater Trail at Buck Island.  Bomba would come out to the Cay and stand under Marc's bedroom window at 7am and yell for him to get up.  They would sail the boat over to the wharf and while Marc cleaned the boat, Bomba would go get his breakfast.
Here we are waiting to go to Buck Island.
Miles invited Marc to go up on the bridge with him as we pulled away from the dock.
 I took this pic of our Hotel from the boat.  Our room is the second  from the right on the middle level.
 Before we left the harbor, Miles had turned over the boat to Marc.
 On the right side of Buck Island we are heading up the lagoon inside of the reef to the east end to go snorkeling.
At the reef we moored alongside this big cat.  I didn't get any pics of us snorkeling, but we jumped off the boat with our gear on and snorkeled through the underwater trail twice before we left.  The trail had underwater markers that showed the different kinds of fish to look for and coral. Marc dove down and brushed most of the markers off so we could read them.  The coral trail was pretty dead compared to when Marc was a boy.  Fishing on the reef had killed a lot of the coral and fish.  The hurricanes didn't help, but with the protection of the National Park Service around the island now the coral and fish were just beginning to come back.  We saw some rainbow fish, parrot fish, blue doctor fish, barracuda, antler coral and little fish.but no large angel fish that Marc remembered.
Heading for the beach on Buck Island.
 This is Marcus.  One of the crew members.  He hooked a rope to the small children snorkeling and pulled them thru the trail.  He also took some of the people from our boat up the island trail.

 As we pulled up to the beach and Miles backed the boat up to anchor it to shore, Marc noticed the trimaran next to us and realized it was Llewellyn Westerman's sailboat.  Marc had already found out that Llewellyn was singing at Cheeseburgers in Paradise this night and we had planned to see him after our excursion.  Marc dove off our boat and swam over to see him.  Llewellyn was surprised to see Marc climb up the ladder of his boat at Buck Island!  I swam over after taking a few pics, too.

 Keep on swimming, keep on swimming, .....for hours until we left to go back to Christiansted.  It was over our heads getting off the boat so we didn't get any pictures from shore!  Marc got this one from the boat.
This is how the beach looked.  Lots of clean sand and clean warm aqua water to swim in.  Paradise

Marc to his delight got to drive the boat back to Christiansted.  We were quite sunburned by the time we arrived back at the hotel, but loved every minute of our trip.
  St. Croix shoreline.

Here are more pictures of Marc sailing as a boy.
 You can see the Cay in the background as Marc sails with Bomba on the Ay-Ay out of the harbor towards Buck Island.
This is Arthur Connor who helped teach Marc how to sail.  Marc sailed with Arthur, Bomba and Inglore.

This day Marc and Arthur sailed Jim Yeich to Buck Island.  Jim was a teacher from Pennsylvania who was the summer headmaster at Marc's school.  Jim is an accomplished photographer and took most all of the 'old' pictures.  You can see Marc has the tiller on this portion of the trip.
In this picture Arthur and Llewellyn were racing their sailboats up the Buck Island Lagoon to the Underwater Trail.  They were tacking back and forth thru the lagoon and Arthur is blowing his conch shell signaling victory on the North Star.  Marc said that when two sailboats took off for Buck Island, it didn't matter how many passengers you had or how big the boat was it was "the race was on!"
 The North Star moored at Buck Island beach.  Sometimes Marc would swim out to the reef and use a stick with a wire noose to capture some lobsters.  Then a fire on the beach with a big pot of water led to a lobster fest!
 Lots of great memories for Marc visiting Buck Island again!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh - the water is so amazing - and that perfect beach at buck island. I'm sold!