welcome party in the Virgin Islands

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St. Thomas, US-Virgin Islands, day 471
Biking total: 43 days, 1877 km, 13’400 altimeters.
Climbing total: 186 days, 3040 km, 106’500 altimeters.
Sailing total: 242 days, 6904 nm
Friday the 5th of March was Sabine’s birthday and we celebrated it together with our new Dutch friends Pieter, Claire, Klaas and Jelle.
Monday 9 p.m. we arrived in St. Thomas after 58 h sailing. We lost some time when we were trying to help a vessel with problems at the SW-Cap of Martinique. The sailing was windy and wet: We were lucky that the sea is warm in the Caribbean! So it was not too bad when the big waves flashed over the deck of Pachamama. Till the Island of St. Christopher we were sailing almost with maximum speed and we enjoyed it. Early Monday morning we went around the Island of Saba to avoid the dangerous swell on the Saba Bank.
On shore in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands our TOPtoTOP-member Jean Braure and his wife Choupette invited us for dinner. The next morning we went to Custom and Immigration: They told us first that we have to pay a fine of US 3000.- each because we have had no visa for the US. Fortunately the officer was very pleased with the expedition and together with a letter from Senator Hill we did not have to pay the fine.
Yesterday evening Senator Hill and Colette Monroe have organized a welcome party in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, V.I. for the TOPtoTOP-Expedition with a great banquet. After our presentation to about 100 V.I. citizens we have had a fantastic response. TOPtoTOP member Jean Braure is really a super organizer: In the first 48 hours we have had already a TV interview, 3 interviews to newspapers and a talk showon WSTA Radio Station.

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