Southern belle with a story to tell. Refreshing iced tea served after literary punches thrown.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Island Driving & the Funky Ferry From Red Hook!

One of da car ferries outta Red Hook, mon, complete with
palm trees, a bar, & great reggae tunes to sway to as you roll with the waves. 
When we arrived in St. Thomas last week, we rented a jeep, since we planned to visit many different spots on St. Thomas and St. John.  In case you haven’t visited either of these two lush islands with a decidedly volcanic ancient history, life seems to move at a totally different pace than here in the continental United States.  Everybody we met was easy-going and relaxed.  Unlike Jamaica, they don’t say “No problem mon”, they live the motto without having to utter the words.  HOWEVER...the one ‘ting that is frustrating and stressy is getting behind the wheel in the Virgin Islands.  And here’s why:
A)     Despite the fact the U.S. Virgin Islands are a U.S. Commonwealth, you drive on the left side.  Yep.  Just like our friends across the Big Pond do in Britain. 
B)      Everyone uses their horn.  Often.  Very very often.  In a span of say, five minutes, you may experience on St. Thomas several honks. Which brings me to...
C)      You must learn why you are on the receiving end of “the honk”. 
It took us several days to decipher certain meanings associated with the excessive horn-honking, and a honk could simply be a friendly way to say hi to a buddy driving past you, or “the honk” could be because they want to pass you quickly while you’re trying to turn and they think you’re taking too long, and with many of the roads being but only two lanes on narrow, hilly terrain, that’s not something you rush (turning).  Honestly, some people there drove like maniacs, and my hubs (we own a jeep by the way) is very adept at driving through mountainous terrain and maneuvering hair-pin curves and still was honked at frequently.
Over a few days, we came to ignore “the honk”, and towards the end of our vacation, we even honked a bit ourselves.  Why not?  When in Rome. 
Midweek, we decided to take the car ferry over to St. John to experience the beautiful beaches and isolated peace.  We were also curious if the honking was rampant on the island but blissfully it was not!  St. John was our little respite from “the honk”, and we found ourselves spending at least two honk-free days sunning on the secluded beaches and meandering the roads of the Juraissic Park-like island. 
To get from St. Thomas (home of “the honk”) to St. John (our island of ahhh) requires the use of a car ferry, and the whole element of “the honk” stops when you enter the marina at Red Hook.  You purchase either a one-way or a round-trip ticket on the car ferry, and as soon as you back your car over the ramp and onto the large boat, this is what you might be greeted with:

video
My video!  Many more fun 'tings to upload and show you soon!
Btw, you can't hear either my voice or the reggae music
 until I turn and video facing the bar area.

Palm trees, reggae music, and a bar!  All on a car ferry!  The mental strain courtesy of “the honk” melted away after listening to a musical reminder by Mr. Marley on how “every ‘ting is gonna be alright”. Who wouldn't love a boat like this?  The only things missing were Julie, Captain Stubing, Isaac, and a stateroom to crash in.  The views were gorgeous, and the feel of the salty air hitting your face was every bit as intoxicating as the beer and rum drinks savored by many of the passengers on board. 
But somewhere deep-down despite all the island fun, we decided we wouldn’t partake in the perpetual happy-hour on board, and opted to while away the twenty minute ride to St. John drinking bottled water rather than rum since we would be driving on even more mountainous terrain.
Feel free to enjoy a few moments from the honk-free, festive and fabulous car ferry, and remember, if someone honks at you, it ain’t nothing but a ‘ting.  Everything’s gonna be alright.
More island and literary musings to come!  

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Mayumi said...
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