Sailing the Virgin Islands
It is now much cheaper and a lot easier to fly into St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands (USVI) direct from Mainland US than it is to fly into the BVI. You don't have to fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico and then take a small plane to the BVI. Because of this and a change in the law affecting Charter Yachts, 40% of the yachts are now either based in the USVI or will pick up there.
It is so much fun to begin your charter vacation in St Thomas and St Johns and spend your first night, a few days or even the full week visiting these beautiful islands. Here are some of our favorite places to hang out.
Our all time favorite protected anchorage in St John is Waterlemon Cay on the North East side of the island. It has something for everyone. In this spectacular Bay there is great snorkeling, a night dive, a lovely golden sand beach, a fantastic walk along the shore path to the old restored Annaberg sugar mill. The water is warm and crystal clear. It is a beautiful place to watch the amazing sunsets with a Captains Cocktail. All this and drop dead gorgeous!
Christmas Cove is a wonderful afternoon or overnight anchorage on Great St .James Island. It is close to Red Hook and has good snorkeling and one of the new and very popular attractions in the USVI. You should not miss one of Tara's fantastic homemade Pizzas made on her boat, the famous Pizza Pi.
Cruz Bay is the funky little town on St John. It is where you check in and out of the USVI. It has some excellent restaurants, fun bars and is a great place to shop.
Frances Bay and Maho Bay are both in the same huge protected bay area on St John. Both are peaceful, beautiful and have great sunsets.
The USVI offers a variety of amazing dives, everything from wall dives, great rock formations, big old wrecks and very cool reefs. There are almost 100 different and varied dive sites that cater to everyone from the beginner to advanced so it is very hard to list all of them but some of our favorite dives are, Carvel Rock. This is a huge rock formation, very like the Indians in the BVI but the current here is generally strong for at least half of the dive and it is not for beginners. It has everything from shallows, canyons with Tarpons, to an 80 foot drop off. It is a great place to see crab , lobsters, octopus and squid. A great dive in the right conditions.
French Cap/The Pinnacle. This is an extreme kind of dive. It is not all that often that the conditions are right as it is quite far out and not protected. But when it is , what a dive!
Cow and Calf. This is a lovely shallow and protected dive for everyone close to Christmas Cove. There are arches, canyons and swim throughs with painted walls of different colored sponges.
The Tunnels of Thatch cay. This is another shallow dive that can have some current and is not for beginners. The Tunnels have rock arches, swim throughs, tunnels and tons of fish. It is a very cool dive.