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the boyfriend’s roommate joe’s mama lives in paradise. he was nice enough to invite us to come with him to visit her and her husband, randy, at their gorgeous home on st. thomas.

as if that wasn’t lovely enough, randy’s been making sure our days are full of adventures. first, we sailed out to the most beautiful beach i have ever seen, water island. randy scooted us over there in his old boat, ruby tuesday, which he lived on for ten years. then yesterday, we hitched a ride over to hassel island, where there are ruins of old british bulwarks against the dutch from the early 1800s. but first!

we were waiting for randy’s friend to pick us up in his dinghy and scutter us over to hassel island. i asked some west indian dudes who were cleaning fish if i could take their picture. they said no, but they did toss a bunch of chum over the dock to scare up these enormous fishies.

manfred dittrich is a gnarly old german sailmaker, the only one left in st. thomas. he took some old warehouse on hassel island and build himself a home/studio. and he’s pretty handy with the dinghy.

when we got there, his lovely lady jan was making a lot of griddle cakes.

here’s part of the workshop. manfred made a roof for the place entirely out of sails.

the yard was strewn with these orange flowers.

jan said to manfred, “put on a shirt for the picture!” so he put on a hat.

after exploring manfred’s compound, we hauled our tushies up and all around the island, trampin’ on ruins. found some odd flora along the way.

the light was perfect at the officers’ quarters,

where it started to rain, so we took shelter in some dead redcoat’s old bedroom.

reception was terrible up there.

the hermit crabs were hogging all the good shells.

we used this sweet old machete to clear catch-and-keeps and other thorny buggers from the trail.

josh harassed the fauna.

but how could you not want to snuggle this loaf of a turtle?

next up, photo ops at the battery.

and the old garrison house.

{ gargoyles }

we refreshed ourselves with some coconut water,

collected some treasures on the way home

and got back to the big island in time to see a rasta guy wearing a crown he claimed was given to him in africa because he was gonna be a prophet. turns out, he was more of a drug dealer, but whatever.

walked around the shopping district a while, saw a lot of ugly watches and made friends with this guy.

more later.

3 thoughts on “hassel island

  1. Love the photos. Nope, don’t want to snuggled with a turtle. Was that sea glass I saw among your treasures?

  2. I crewed on a schooner in ’69 – ’70 that was. based on Hassel island. He was only 33 then but definitely German – hard working, talented, and a bit eccentric. If l remember correctly he made the sails for Aristotle Onassis’ yacht. There was an enormous concrete slab where he laid out the canvas.
    Beside our crew there was a young couple who also lived on the island. He walked the entire circumference of the island multiple times each day gathering “reeds” and weaving them into hats as he walked the beach. She worked in town at the liquor store in CA and would bring the hats to market each day.
    I arrived there three months after returning from Vietnam and three weeks after attending Woodstock. I celebrated my 21st birthday there. Sweet memories.

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