Friday August 15

I woke up late on Friday. I may or may not have still been drunk. I also felt a horrible hangover coming. Not good. I’m too old for this shit.

I stumbled to the living room and I think everyone was already up. At this point, MerlotMan had pulled the umbrella and one of the chairs out of the pool. Good thing we’d been advised the night before by our property manager about that. One chair remained; submerged in the middle of the pool. I’d missed quite a storm.

Everything looked wet and ugly. Great Cruz Bay, never the most beautiful of bays, was brown and murky. The sky was overcast and it was hella humid.

Checking my email, I learned that I had a mission. I was needed! I was part of the cool kid group!

I’d been asked to drive out to Chocolate Hole to take pictures of the little pond and the construction site. Chocolate hole, one bay over, is home to a disastrous condo complex. It’s very slowly not being built and the bay and pond have been reduced to mud. I had a moment of energy and went to leave. JewelrySlut wanted to come and for some reason this took like 20 minutes. I think I got pissier than I should have and made her mad. I seek confirmation here. All I wanted to do was go take the pictures and drive around and see St John’s most overexposed villa.

We drove out to Chocolate Hole and tried to make our way up a hill so I could shoot down towards the bay. Well, there were downed power lines and I would have been forced to go off-roading to climb the hill. Opting for safety, we doubled back…just as Ashe passed us in his little beat up truck. Hi Ashe!

I found my way to Rock Ridge Road, took some shots of the pond and headed back to the house. I then cursed the internet for taking so damn long to upload my pictures.

By about 11:00 I was done. I went back to bed.

Time passed and I guess the other 3 did something or another. I was asleep and mostly dead.

I woke up at 12:30 feeling slightly more alive…but only marginally. All week I’d wanted to make sure I got out to the east end of the island and this was my chance. Snorkeling wasn’t an option, not along the north shore anyway. The bays were all cloudy form the night before. I got JewelrySlut and MerlotMan to come with me. ChurchBomber elected to seek out the remaining sun and stay at the house.

Up Gifft Hill Road we went and out to Centerline. We headed east. JewelrySlut had never been this far east on the island other than to be dropped at the trail head on Monday. Along the way, we saw some donkeys. They stopped to see what we were doing and one even stuck its head into the jeep. We got to the Coral Bay overlook and JewelrySlut ogled the sights below. Coral Bay really is beautiful, but it’s just too damned far from town for our needs. We’re on vacation, but we still need to be able to get to town in less than 15 minutes. Coral Bay is a long ride from Cruz Bay when you’re out of beer and hotdog buns.

The trip down the mountain into Coral Bay is easy and we all stared in wonder at the houses that dot the hillsides of the eastern part of St John. It’s hard to explain or understand how they get there. The roads up these hills are often nothing more than rutted gravel paths. How on Earth construction equipment gets up there is way beyond us. I have no way of understanding it. I also don’t know how one could live that high up the hill. It’s not the height, it’s the road. How do you get anywhere without skidding to your death? We figured that anyone who can own one of those houses and live in it can clearly afford to have someone come deliver you your food.

We got into town and ran smack into a herd of goats. Coral Bay is where people go to avoid the hustle of Cruz Bay. It’s a tad laid back. We made our way to Skinny Legs. I wanted to get back and I knew JewelrySlut wanted to see it. Well, as expected, Skinny Legs was awesome in its awfulness. It’s ramshackle and filled with oddballs. It’s really a great place. We sat at the bar and had some beer. Since they have fantastic burgers, we decided to eat. I figured we’d all split one. Little did I realize that because I’d been asleep nobody ate lunch. I pictured them all staring at the empty hot dog platter yelling “Damn you platter! Where are the hot dogs? We’re hungry and confused!” MerlotMan and JewelrySlut each got a burger and I nursed my ailing stomach. I had a few bites of JewelrySlut’s burger and felt somewhat better.

After eating and picking up some shirts, we went back outside. The goats had made their way down the road and were grazing in the middle of it. Time passes differently in Coral Bay.

I opted to drive us south from town out towards Salt Pond Bay and Drunk Bay. I really wanted JewelrySlut to see Drunk Bay. We bounced out along Rte 107 (don’t know its unofficial name) and marveled at the houses. They’re huge and tacked to the hillside. They’re also really isolated. At this point, you’re 10 minutes past Coral Bay. There’s like 1 or 2 convenience stores in Coral Bay. You’re 45+ minutes to Cruz Bay. You need to be able to deal with isolation this far out. But, the road is very smooth and curvy and winding in a nice way. We drive past Salt Pond Bay to take JewelrySlut all the way to the end of the road. We neared Lameshur Bay and turned around, again, not wanting to go off-roading in the jeep. We doubled back to Salt Pond Bay. MerlotMan and I had visited in 2004 and I wanted to see it again.

Salt Pond Bay has some really devoted followers and I wanted another look at it. To get there, you scramble down along a rocky trail from the road down to the bay. From what I understand, it offers fantastic snorkeling. There were a few people in the water, but it didn’t look that good (likely as a result of the storm). You walk along the bay to another trail. This trail takes you along the actual salt pond and to Drunk Bay.

Drunk Bay is odd. It’s not as isolated as Ram Head (a farther walk down another path from the Salt Pond area), but it’s out there. You’re on the Atlantic edge of the island and if you draw a line east from that point, the next landmass you hit is Africa. There’s nothing blocking you from the Atlantic Ocean’s wind and spray. And, is it ever windy. It’s hard to imagine that you’re probably no more than 5-6 miles (as the crow flies) from Trunk Bay. No 2 points could be any more different and be so close to each other. Drunk Bay is rocky and the waves are always pounding the shore. One does not swim here…not unless one wants to die. All sorts of driftwood, fishing equipment and other stuff washes ashore here. People have taken to shaping the various debris into little statues of people. It’s quite cute and clever. JewelrySlut was amazed by the sights. I wandered about looking at the sights and snapping pictures of the little statues. JewelrySlut was just amazed to still be on St John. For what it looks like, you might as well be on the moon.

We were done at this point and slogged back to the jeep. I drove us back…down Gifft Hill Road and back to the house. The trip passed without event. I’ll admit to working the ATS muscle pretty good though.

ChurchBomber was still cooking in the sun when we got back. Reality was setting in. This was our last night and we had packing and cleaning up to do. Fortunately, all JewelrySlut and I had to do was pack enough to get to St Thomas the following day. We’d neaten up once we got to out hotel.

I grilled the last of the food; pork chops and we ate the remaining assorted leftovers. MerlotMan and I resumed positions on the deck and discussed the week that was.

The house and everything surrounding it had been goofy, but it turned out OK. JJ’s closure, the pump, the massages had all gone wrong. But, it all worked out in the end and we’d had a good time. We eyed the cottage below us and were figuring out who’d sleep where when Shmuppie joined us in 2010. Despite the wackiness, we were pretty sure we’d return to Blue Skies.

JewelrySlut and I went to bed a little after 10:00 knowing we had a big day ahead of us but hopefully not too stressful of a day.

Never hope for that when the jumbies are about.
Or the Curse of Captain Magic and Ruthellen.

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