Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Maho Bay, Where Magic Happens and Serendipity Rules

Magic happens in Maho Bay, St. John. Maybe it’s the turquoise water, the pristine stretch of white sand beach, or perhaps it's the fact the famously calm bay is situated on one of the Caribbean’s most beloved islands and smack-dab in national park... but every time we come here - something extraordinary occurs.

Last year Maho played host to the >>>twin’s first birthday party<<< , as well as one of my >>>best friend's birthday parties<<<, which also happened to serendipitously coincide with the meeting of a couple of blog followers who were in the area on charter. Before the aforementioned festivities went off, Lauren and Brian dinghied up to our boat, introduced themselves, and a friendship was very quickly born. We talked all things boats and cruising; they were keen to check out of the rat race and join the cruiser set, but still apprehensive on some fronts. After the weekend with us and our friends from It's a Necessity and Where the Coconuts Grow, they put their plan into high gear.


Just over a year later, we are back at Maho bay. But this time, Brian and Lauren are on their own boat, a beautiful Whitby 42 (a sister ship of ours, no less) and are now full-time cruisers with some serious street cred (and a blog!) of their own. One year. In one single year they completely changed their land-lubbing New Yorker lives and became un-tethered cruisers of the sea. Magic. (...and a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and - most likely - tears too, but for the sake of the post - we're gonna call it "magic"). Either way, that's a pretty incredible timeline.

But it's doesn't stop there...We are also in the company of a whole slew of fellow bloggers and friends who happened to descend upon this little slice of paradise at precisely the same time. While it might seem that a multiple-day blogger-rally like this was the result of lots of email and planning, this weekend gathering occurred rather haphazardly and with very little preparation. As our friend Bo of Sailing B+ A so aptly wrote on his blog post of our incredible weekend, “this kind of epic cannot be planned or anticipated”. It just sort of...happened.

It all started when our friends, the Sunkissed Soeters, mentioned they were going to go to St. John for the weekend and that we should come with. I jumped at the chance and immediately alerted, Genevieve of It’s a Neccesity, knowing that this little jaunt would be easy for them being based just across the channel in St. Thomas. When that plan materialized, we knew that Jody and Peter of Where the Coconuts Grow would want "in" as well...And so it went down the coconut telegraph with every boat contacting another and another...and before we knew it, in less than 24 hours of "planning", six boats, twelve live-aboards, and seven boat kids converged on Maho Bay for one fateful weekend of fun in the sun. 

It was an amazing time with wonderful friends, new and old. The weekend has been well documented on social media and has been dubbed "Lobsterfest 2016" thanks to a bounty of seven "bugs" the men (and Lauren!) caught one day that turned into - quite possibly - the most logistically complicated yet perfectly executed cruiser pot-luck meal in history (See >>>Lauren's post<<< for full details of the amazingness!) The lobsters were cleaned on one boat, parboiled on another, grilled on yet another, all while Lauren (a bonafide chef and self-proclaimed foodie - ohmygodsheissogood!) prepped pizza dough and fixings for seven - COUNT THAT SEVEN - lobster pizzas. Once assembled, Eben collected and dispersed the pizza's to every boat where we cooked them ourselves and brought the finished products - along with some delicious sides - aboard a beautiful power boat who's caretakers, Amanda and Justin, we had met (again serendipitously) on the beach that afternoon. After meeting all of us and getting to talking, they generously offered to play host to our massive pot luck which was a good thing because no monohull cockpit is comfy for twelve adults and seven kiddos!  

I'm missing steps of how the meal materialized for sure, but let me tell you - it all somehow went off without a hitch.

The weekend was amazing, and most certainly the highlight of this season for us. Laughs, day drinking, hiking, swimming, paddle-boarding, kiteboarding (Eben and Scott), laughing, late nights, early mornings and - in general - all the goodness we love about the cruising lifestyle in the highest, most concentrated dose ever. While weekends like this are no longer the norm for us as full-time marina dwellers in the British Virgin Islands, it's serendipitous rarity made it that much more special to us. 


And that couple we met on the beach? The one's who so graciously hosted our motley crew and fit right in like they've been our friends forever? We've been writing back and forth because now they are "seriously looking and talking about buying a boat and cruising the islands" just like Brian and Lauren before them. "Maho Bay, the place where dreams are discovered...." Wonder what this next year will bring? 


Want to read/see more about the weekend? Check out these videos and blog posts by our friends:

And now for a photo dump of our weekend...
Sailing from Tortola to St. John is almost always a pleasure, down wind and smooth. Perfect for the littles.
Isla taking it all in. She's always been a very zen little sailor chick.
Ritz crackers were the snack du jour. 
Under full sail. St. John in our sights.

This is a typical moment underway for us.

When you make the Virgin Islands your home, these sort of sailing scenes are normal. #lucky
The girls having fun and getting excited to see all their friends.
This is what Haven does when you ask for a "thumbs up". I find it hysterical. 
Maho Bay, full steam ahead! 
As soon as we got our mooring ball, friends started to show up. Here is Bo and Allie of s/v Selah. 
And Eben, Genevieve, Arias and Ellia of s/v Necesse.

Our view of Maho Bay. It's bliss, not gonna lie. 
Lauren and Allison promptly came over during nap time for a little gab fest and some day drinking. Love these two. 
When Genevieve's girls woke up, they headed over too!
Darcy, Luuck, Stormer and Rio arrived too...
And there's the stern of s/v Nightengale Tune, Brian and Lauren's boat.

A gathering of friends and a little day drinking in our cockpit. Our garbage bag was FULL after this day! haha!
Luuck of Sunkissed Soeters took all the kids tubing, SO MUCH FUN! Here's Isla and Stormer. So many smiles!
Our good friends Jody and Peter of Where the Coconuts grow were there too!
Because, twins. They are just the cutest;
Lauren learned very quickly that giving a toddler a phone is an easy and quick way into their good graces! 
"Oh, yeah. You're going to find a few selfies of Mira and I on your camera" - Allison. Love her.
Snorkeling with daddy.

Scott taking the kids for a little spin around the neighborhood. 
Sunset in Maho.
Party boat! Or are those Pirates!?!?
The collecting and dropping off of lobsters and supplies for the epic Lobsterfest dinner.
Breakfast time at anchor is our fave. We are up and out with the sunshine! 
Oh, Haven!

Little Mira-belle and her sneaky grin.

Again, twins. The best thing ever.
Steely eyed wild child.
Our little mermaid. Sweet as pie.

Maho is full of sea turtles, all you need to do is watch for a while and you're sure to spot them.

Watching the sea life and bird life is standard practice when at anchor.

Beach time before we shoved off.
Homeward bound full of great memories from an incredible weekend.
My little sea gypsy. Love her so much.
Upwind sailing with three toddlers is a different ball game! More challenging for sure!

Girls were over tacking at this point, but man - Scott was thrilled we got to sail the whole way back. 
Captain of our ship.
Haven, thoughtful.
Family photo of our boat from B+A's drone.
Thanks for an amazing weekend, friends! Cannot wait to do it again! xoxo


Anonymous said...

What's the business use case for the boa? I'm curious to hear Scott's vision.

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