On to the U.S. Virgin Islands

Our flight from Florida headed first to Puerto Rico where we would be switching to another Jet Blue 737 for the short hop down to Charlotte Amelia on Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It was just a brief stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico but for airplane junkies like me the 1 hour wait for our flight to Saint Thomas was easy to handle. A few old DC3’s sat on the outskirts of the airport. I’m not sure if they fly but for an aviation junkie a DC3 is great to see. My last flight in one of these workhorses was in 1967, Trans Australian Airways, almost 50 years ago! Cape Air also has a wonderful assortment of small aircraft, primarily Cessna’s they fly within the Caribbean, we will enjoy one of their aircraft on our way home.

Jet Blue has been good so far, this is my first experience with them. When flying on the American Airlines MD-80’s I felt like I was in another era. I really don’t understand how they keep flying somewhere around 300 of the old fuel inefficient airplanes competitively. Most MD-80’s are owned by developing countries now. Don’t get me wrong here however, I’m a huge fan of vintage anything; racing cars, street cars, aircraft, but… for a major US airline I was a little surprised!

The flight to Saint Thomas was short and uneventful, but as always seems to be the case we arrived when two other large aircraft touched down. No problemo however, we are almost here and time doesn’t matter! Something I keep on thinking about however is that a small professional quality point & shoot camera would be really cool. I keep on seeing things I would like to photograph but getting my large equipment out is too much work. Either I’m lazy or not dedicated enough! Maybe it’s time for one of those Nikon V1’s.

Taxis on Saint Thomas work on fixed pricing which certainly has advantages over places like Bangkok where they try to squeeze 200 baht out of you regardless of the distance travelled. We get smart eventually and the taxi drivers have good humour when they get busted, but.. we are not in Bangkok. It’s a little more expensive but there’s no BS. Typically from the airport they will pile about 10 folks in their vans and drop you off at you r desired locations on the island. We were fortunate with a grand tour of some steep roads, some heavy rain and a view of the far side of the island before our arrival at Red Hook. As in England and the BVI, in the US Virgin Islands you drive on the left (or wrong) side of the road. This is amazingly strange at first and takes getting used to. As the vehicles are imported from the US, the driver is on the left side of the car, what seems like a somewhat dangerous combination. At least the locals drive slowly and have figured out the apparent strangeness of this driving peculiarity.

The view of Red Hook from our B&B, U.S. Virgin Islands

The view of Red Hook from our B&B, U.S. Virgin Islands

Our B&B was excellent and only a short hop from Secret Harbour so we walked down to the resort and had a very pleasant evening at The Cruzan Beach Club listening to music, a sales hype and silly games  (or cruise ship routine) for the resort guests, a few more margaritas and our first Caribbean sunset of the trip although it certainly wasn’t worth photographing. Very pleasant. We have arrived.

Photography notes – not much today but I’ll be talking about photography likely every day for the rest of the trip. Late this afternoon I shot a few lousy photographs from the balcony of the B&B of Vessup Bay but that was about it. Dreamt about Nikon V1’s but my photography equipment budget is totally shot after last year, donations are always welcome if you have a spare camera or extra cash. Tomorrow on to a new country, kind of England although I expect most of England doesn’t know they exist. The weather is warm but overcast, we are feeling relaxed; life is good!

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