Updated: Mar 30, 2022
Flying in to St. Thomas, your first glimpse of land is a beautiful collection of bays, beaches, and a couple of small cays just off of the Westernmost point of the island. This is the Preserve at Botany Bay, and for a very special period of time it was a place I called home.
It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Botany, and I am very excited to see some good friends, walk the beaches where so many memories have washed in and out with the waves, and introduce some of my favorite folks from the Timbers Kauai Ohana to one of my favorite places.
As the plane touched downI felt that relief that always comes with being back in one of your places. I felt the island welcome me back with the warm tropical humidity of that first breath stepping out of the plane and onto the boarding stairs.
After an overnight jaunt over to St. John to reconnect with my dear friend and partner in crime Mia, we are preparing for the arrival of our guests for the next 2 weeks. I know Art and Victoria as part of our family of owners at Timbers Kauai. Their friends Dan, Kathy, Mike, & Traci have been out to Kauai as their guests, and we all became fast friends. They’re coming to St. Thomas to relax at Botany Bay for a few days before we all set off on a sailing adventure through the British Virgin Islands.
For our home base at Botany Bay, we have rented a home my friend Bob Schmidt built at the hilltop peak of the property. Langarra was purpose-built as a vacation home, and it shows. With its open floor plan and expansive glass doors, the house is immediately welcoming. As our crew approaches from the garden entrance, they’re practically speechless as they look right through to the view of the sparkling ocean beyond the infinity edge of the pool out back. Victoria sums up what everyone is thinking with a whispered “Wow… just… wow.” I think we’re OK calling this place home for a few days.
Our time on St. Thomas was a comfortable combination of whirlwind island tours and relaxing hours by the pool and over meals on the lanai. I was able to take everyone for an adventurous hike to the spectacular natural stone pool at Mermaid’s Chair. Our jaunts around the island included everything I could pack in from Red Hook to Mountain Top to Maegan’s Bay to downtown Charlotte Amalie. And on our last night there I wanted everyone to get to know what makes St. Thomas so special – the people.
So I did the thing you do on St. Thomas when you want 20 interesting people to come to dinner - Call 3 of them and tell them what time the drinks start flowing. This will remain one of my favorite nights for a very, very long time. I got to introduce friends from different phases of my life to each other and watch the conversation bloom. I had a blast playing with the kids who were just babies the last time I saw them. And I knew right away that I had to come back to this place and spend time with these friends much more often. We all picked up right where we left off a few years ago, and the one common thought was that it had been much too long.
Now the party is over, our guests are sleeping and it’s time to load the van full of our bags and provisions for the next 2 weeks and head to the Marina to prepare our chartered catamaran for a week of sailing. As the colors of the sunrise reflect off the Caribbean, I am taken back for a moment to Kauai and the Hi’u Wai ceremony that has become such an integral part of my experience there. I take a moment to pause, welcome the day, and consider the adventures that lie ahead.
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