Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Buck Island #2

We left Leinster Bay at 8 am and rounded the eastern edge of St. John. Once we had our bow pointed toward St. Croix the engine was shut down and we had a beautiful 30 mile sail to Christiansted. The windvane did the steering and we spent most of the time lounging down below keeping out of the sun. The first two night's were spent at St. Croix Marine to arrange our haul-out date, do laundry and load up on food and water. We also went to the fort downtown to get a permit for anchoring overnight at the Buck Island wildlife refuge. 

The national park service is trying to remove all invasive species and foliage off Buck island and return it to it's natural sate. They reintroduced the St. Croix ground lizard to the island and the beach is a frequented turtle nesting area. That said, there are no dogs allowed.

During the day a bunch of sailing charters showed up and would pull up right to the beach by dropping an anchor off the stern and then stopping abruptly as one of the crew launched another anchor onto the beach. Pretty impressive to be doing under sail. At dusk a few powerboats would show up and leave after sunset leaving us alone with the island creatures and turtles. 

 Not to pleased with the rules (we did sneak her to shore twice though… shhh)

 View from the observation deck, the entire reef north of the island is protected as well. Talking to locals... the reef could be seen poking out of the water before hurricane Hugo came and knocked it down. 

 View of St. Croix from the hiking trail

 Some interesting rock layers on the beach caused by tectonic upheaval. 

A huge tamarin tree that must have fallen over in a hurricane but is still growing like nothing happened. Not sure how the national park service plans to remove this thing...

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