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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 12-12-2011
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USVI dreaming

It's in the 20's F overnight and 30's and 40's during the day, soon two months of snow and ice, then spring flooding.

So time for my annual dream about moving to warmer climes.

Any one moved to USVI?

I know BVI and Puerto Rico but have never been to USVI.

Sailing would be a positive, but what about cultural events; music, theater, arts,... I fear I am spoiled with what Philadelphia has to offer and close proximity to New York and Washington.
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Old 12-12-2011
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I have only spent a few weeks in St Thomas so take this for what it is worth. If you are into the cultural activities to be found in Philly let along NYC, you will be very disappointed. The weather and sailing are great and I imagine the people are friendly (seemed to be when we there), but the cultural activities?? How about Hawaii for warmth, US flag, decent sailing?
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Old 12-12-2011
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Usvi

My dad lived on his sailboat in USVI waters for several years. He enjoyed it, but crime is an issue on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The politics are really tough to deal with, too. If you want some feedback about someone who recently moved to St. Thomas and now works, find "Captain Jay" at CYOA. He moved from the mainland to work at CYOA Yacht Charters and has a blog which details his experiences. I'm sure he'd also respond directly to questions you have...

Live De Life Living in the USVI's : Journal of the relocation to USVI Saint Thomas
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Old 12-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
It's in the 20's F overnight and 30's and 40's during the day, soon two months of snow and ice, then spring flooding.

So time for my annual dream about moving to warmer climes.

Any one moved to USVI?

I know BVI and Puerto Rico but have never been to USVI.

Sailing would be a positive, but what about cultural events; music, theater, arts,... I fear I am spoiled with what Philadelphia has to offer and close proximity to New York and Washington.
I moved here about a year before CaptJay, a good friend. It is 11am and 80 degrees outside, much like the other 364 days of the year.

Sailing is excellent and, other than before a hurricane, can be done comfortably year round.

Not the level of arts that you can attend in Philly, then again there are only about 100K people in the VI. To get an idea of what is available you can look here UVI: Reichhold Center for the Arts and here Pistarckle Theater - Pistarckle Theater plus there is Carnival week (month) on each of the three islands. Liquor is cheap, the laws that regulate the consumption are lax making just about any reason a sufficient one to have some sort of a party. Decent free live music from a wide range of genres can be found everynight of the week if one wants to enjoy it.

Crime is a concern and I won't ignore that negative facet of life here. The politics must be experienced to be appreciated. It makes places like Chicago and New Orleans seem corruptionfree. At any time that I feel the negatives of living here outweigh the positives, we will move!

Cost of living is very high compared to most of the continental US. Getting specific foods, or anything for that matter, are just not always available.

One of the keys to flourishing here is to accept that you are not "back home" and nearly everything is done differently. If one can't accept that basic premise, most don't make it here for long. It is easier said than done. For example, read Jay's blog post from about his banking experience. I spent a total of 21 hours over the course of two weeks just trying to get a local dirvers license. I've spent as much as 4 hours standing in line to renew vehicle registration. Patience is required...
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Old 12-13-2011
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FarCry gives a very good summary... One thing that CaptJay mentions on his blog is the race issue. There is definitely a hostile undercurrent toward "outsiders" in the USVI and you must be the type of person that can just ignore and not react to situations where you're being singled out for unfair treatment. Sometimes it doesn't matter how polite you are, you will be treated poorly simply because you're an outsider. If you cannot swallow your pride and smile, you probably will run into big issues.
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Old 12-13-2011
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While I didn't live in USVI nearly as long as FarCry, I have to agree with everything he said. I would also like to note, that (perhaps due to my own behavior or outlook on life) I have not experienced any negative "race issues" - but then again, I haven't experienced them in other places where people complained.

The corruption and inefficiency seems to be no worse than that around South Florida - which is not a very high hurdle to overcome, of course Lack of certain basic services, like true high speed internet, reliable electricity or clean drinking water from the tap is something to get used to.

St. Thomas actually has a fairly urban feel, and a lot going for a relatively small place - but then again, if someone is looking for "cultural activities" moving to a tropical island seems counter-productive.

That said, USVI is definitely not for everyone. There is a steady influx of starry-eyed would-be "expatriates" every fall, and outflow every late spring (which is the best time to come over, as there are lots of apartments for rent and cars for sale in the Daily News)
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Thanks all for the quick response.

I get to dreaming of warmer climes when the bird bath, my office waterfront view, stays frozen during the day.

Violent and non-violent crime is just the normal background in most places, more so when the gap between haves and have-nots is larger.

I just like live theater and live music, even if the less than professional

As for politics, I don't think I have lived anywhere without some corruption and side deals for friends.

Maybe a USVI charter in early spring, with a few extra days to look around.
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Old 12-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
Thanks all for the quick response.

I get to dreaming of warmer climes when the bird bath, my office waterfront view, stays frozen during the day.

Violent and non-violent crime is just the normal background in most places, more so when the gap between haves and have-nots is larger.

I just like live theater and live music, even if the less than professional

As for politics, I don't think I have lived anywhere without some corruption and side deals for friends.

Maybe a USVI charter in early spring, with a few extra days to look around.
Ulladh - As a close neighbor, I share similar frustrations with the weather this time of year.

We're heading down to St. John for a week starting Dec. 26. We love it down there, but never considered anything more than a visit. We're staying at Harmony Studios in Maho Bay. I'm still not ready to do a bareboat charter.

I'd love to link up with other Sailnetters while I'm down there. I guess Ulladh, Denise, and the rest of us Philly area people should also start planning an early spring pre-launch Sailnet get-together.
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Old 12-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
Thanks all for the quick response.

I get to dreaming of warmer climes when the bird bath, my office waterfront view, stays frozen during the day.

Violent and non-violent crime is just the normal background in most places, more so when the gap between haves and have-nots is larger.

I just like live theater and live music, even if the less than professional

As for politics, I don't think I have lived anywhere without some corruption and side deals for friends.

Maybe a USVI charter in early spring, with a few extra days to look around.

Another good reference is the vimovingcenter dot com . There is a lot of good information in that forum covering all aspects of moving and livin' in de ilons.

If you do end up chartering here and use CYOA you will probably meet Capt Jay and possibly me.
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Old 12-13-2011
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For those of you in USVI, I have a question for you.

Last time we were down there we took a powerboat cruise from Cruz Bay to the Baths with a lunch stop at Cooper Island and Snorkeling in the caves at Norman Island on the way back. Our captain was outstanding, and I would like to go with the same company/captain again when we return there in a few weeks. Unfortunately, I don't remember who it was. All I remember is that the captain's "day gig" was at UVI teaching PE, and he lived on St. Thomas. He didn't own his own boat - he just worked for other charter owners who called him to run their boats for him. And although he was born and raised on the US mainland, he had lived in St. Thomas for over a decade.

I'm hoping that it's a small enough community that you guys might be able to let me know who the guy is, and what companies he captains for.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 12-13-2011 at 01:59 PM.
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