St. John is a beautiful place and a variety of nice people. The people range from local west indians to very rich statesiders to statesiders working very hard to get by on the island. There is a building boom of giant multimillion dollar houses going on and thus affordable housing is an issue. This influx of big money has caused some tension on STJ, but overall, it is much more peaceful than on STT.
- Coral Bay: 20 min drive east of Cruz Bay (main town, port for ferry to St. thomas). Quiet, boating centered, safe, can be packed with boats. Close to Hurricane Hole (only good hole on STJ, new chains going in, etc.)
- Johnsons Bay: S of Coarl Bay, nice place, but Dept of Nat Resources (DPNR) is trying to kick all out, even those with legal moorings.
- Chocalate Hole: S Shore, legal moorings available, not sure about dinghy spot.
- Great Cruz Bay: protected bay w/ Westin at beach, tons of boats, Dinghy dock. Not sure if legal moorings available.
- National Park: The best deal is to be a Bay Host (like a campground host in the USA). free mooring for a few hours of greeting visiting boaters a day. Many prtected bays on the N Shore to choose from.
Schools: Public are horrific. No public HS on STJ. Private: lower and upper private schools merged into St. John Gift Hill school and it is a good school. 20 min ferry ride to Red Hook on STT and you have VI Montessori school which is a great school with a good community and some STJ folks there.
Cost of Living: it is not cheap here. Food in the markets on STJ is expensive. Restuarants are all high... a $15 entree is considered cheap.
Cruising area: This is a big +++... lots of gorgeous places within a few hours sail. And a day sail to the Spanish Virgins or St. Barts, etc.
Convenience: This the USA and thus we get many things via USPS, direct dial to the US, 2.5 hour flight to Miami, etc. Much easier than down island in that regard. There is even wireless internet (long distance) that works in many places on STJ on a boat.
Hope this helps you in your process.