The fun begins! Salmagal is cruising, finally! Posts have been slow as we have been working hard to get SMG ready for the high seas. Here are some pics and a quick recap of what we have been up to. And did I mention it is Peter’s and Papa’s (my dad) birthdays today, Happy Birthday!

Pics are at the bottom if you want to skip down….

After SMGs launching on 14th we turned to a full systems check followed by a massive cleaning session. And by massive I mean every nook and cranny received a proper scrubbing. SMG has traveled many miles and has been closed up so she was really dirty. As it normally turns out, when you work on a project on a boat, you tend to find larger issues that you need to attend to. In this case, while cleaning we found that SMG was infested with cockroaches and Caribbean crazy ants. The ants were pretty obvious as they were everywhere, but with the cockroaches, we didn’t know what we were up against until we started working on the problem. Fortunately, Liz found an awesome blog post from another family that had a similar issue and we have been quickly solving the problem (we hope!) Thank you Windtraveler! And what is amazing, showing how small of a world it is, Scott from Windtraveler launched their boat shortly after SMG was launched and it turns out he was two slips down.┬áSadly the rest of his crew are not on the island yet, but hopefully we will meet up with them before we leave the Virgin Islands.

Anyway, we hope our bug infestation is under control, and we are expecting another round to pop up once the eggs hatch that we are sure are on board somewhere, but we have the weapons to combat the creatures and are ready to go!

As we get SMG ready to sail, the kids and Baba have been hard at work getting used to life in the islands. Shopping trips to help stock up the boat, visits to various beaches, and tons of friends. The marina has at least 4 boats (currently with more on the way) that have live aboard kids. The boat is their home and Nanny Cay is their neighborhood – pretty awesome and an amazing friendly community. As Mira and Peter do, the quickly made friends and we were sad when it was time to pull out of Nanny Cay. Hopefully we will see them out on the water!

The best news is that we are officially cruising. We left Nanny Cay Thursday morning and headed through Soppers Hole (west end of Tortola) to clear out of customs motored the short distance to Caneel Bay on St John. Liz’s parents have a room here until Sunday the 22nd when they bid us farewell and head back home to Gloucester. It turned into a longer day than expected… So as part of our 6 month adventure we decided a larger dinghy and dinghy motor were in order to be our true taxi and allow us to explore far away places and anchor further away from town than we have in the past. We upgraded to an 18hp engine and a 10 ft Zodiac. The engine we picked up on Tortola, but the Zodiac was being delivered to St Thomas. Before Caneel Bay, we went directly to the customs dock in Cruz Bay, St John to clear in customs. Liz, Baba, Mira, and Peter stayed on shore to explore and take a taxi to Caneel Bay while PaPete and Andy took SMG over to Red Hook Harbor on St Thomas to pick up the dinghy. We pulled into American Yacht Harbor at Red Hook and waited, and waited, and waited…. The dinghy wasn’t exactly ready and waiting as promised, but did eventually arrive and we were able to get back to Caneel Bay just before dark. Long day, but it all worked out.

So here we are, on a mooring at Caneel Bay with Mira and Peter sitting at the table doing homework, our adventure┬áhas truly begun. We are here until tomorrow, the 22nd, when PaPete and Baba head home. We have no set plan yet, but we will be in the Virgin Islands for a while exploring so stay tuned…