St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 39 Old 10-23-2014 Thread Starter
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St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

Hi everyone,

I'll be in the BVI for two weeks next month. My second trip. The charter company's limits include St Thomas and St. John. Are these islands fun to visit? Is it worth the hassle of dealing with customs? Someplace new would be fun.

-PK

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post #2 of 39 Old 10-23-2014
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Re: St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

St John is a great stop. From beaches, bars, diving, hiking and general a good place to hang. you can refuel, water and provision without angst located across from customs at Caneel shipyard
Customs is ez. there's an anchorage on the starboard side of customs creek that you can anchor for up to 3 hours. Next to customs, about 2 doors up is 'uncle joe's' ribs/chicken. good local stop. for fine dining, there are several places. in the same area of customs, fuel and national service dock is a dinghy dock, and across the street is Morgans Mango, great food. there are several other places. depends on your likes/dislikes. shout for more info.
have fun. C O Joe
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post #3 of 39 Old 10-23-2014
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Re: St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

And Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas is the "big city", which I kind of enjoy in cruising, though not every night.

Cruz Bay on St John was fine as i recall.


Caveat: I've only been once, in 1977. We had 3 42-footers, 19 prep school kids from New England, and 5 "adults", meaning us 20-somethings.

We sailed out of Charlotte Amalie, to the nearby Islands, stopped in at Red Hook, then Cruz Bay, then Jost Van Dyke to enter with Brit customs, then Road Town Tortola, then the Baths, then Trellis Bay, then finally Virgin Gorda, then made our way back to Charlotte A. It was a hoot, more fun with the damn high school kids than without them, as it turned out.

So that 's how it was in 1977. But it made an impression, since I remember all our ports almost 40 years later...
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post #4 of 39 Old 10-24-2014
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Re: St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

I hope I don't offend anyone, but St. T is one of the seediest places in the US/BVIs. Downtown Charlotte Amelie feels like a lawless third world country, especially when the cruise ships are not in harbor. If not for the cheap flights, I would never return. I still may fly direct to Tortola next time, I dislike it so much.

St. John's is beautiful and literally right next door to Tortola. However, I have been reluctant to go through the bother of clearing in and out of customs, just to visit one particular island. BVI has plenty of their own and I've seen no reason to add bureaucracy to the middle of my vacation.

I did not start visiting the Virgin Islands until much later, but my wife has been going since the 70s. From the stories, it has all changed substantially.


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post #5 of 39 Old 10-24-2014
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Re: St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

Minnewaska, I am guessing it has changed for the worse?
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Re: St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

I agree with Minnewaska. I really found Saint Thomas unpleasant. I loved Saint John.



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Re: St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

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Originally Posted by Lochmoigh View Post
Minnewaska, I am guessing it has changed for the worse?
Not entirely. Just substantially more visited and built out. In the BVI for example, there would have been real beach side local shacks. I still find them in out islands in the Bahamas. All BVI beachside places are technically modern now. Some, like Foxy's, have straw tiki roofs and sand floors, but they were professionally designed to. The big screen TV is a dead giveaway.


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post #8 of 39 Old 10-24-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

Thanks for the info everyone. Definitely going to check out St John. Sounds like fun.

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Re: St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

Also Saint John is better visited sans boat in some ways, so can fly or ferry in there before or after a BVI charter and thus avoid some hassle with clearing in a boat.
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post #10 of 39 Old 10-29-2014
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Re: St. Thomas & St John worth visiting by boat when in the BVI?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I hope I don't offend anyone, but St. T is one of the seediest places in the US/BVIs. Downtown Charlotte Amelie feels like a lawless third world country, especially when the cruise ships are not in harbor. If not for the cheap flights, I would never return. I still may fly direct to Tortola next time, I dislike it so much.

St. John's is beautiful and literally right next door to Tortola. However, I have been reluctant to go through the bother of clearing in and out of customs, just to visit one particular island. BVI has plenty of their own and I've seen no reason to add bureaucracy to the middle of my vacation.

I did not start visiting the Virgin Islands until much later, but my wife has been going since the 70s. From the stories, it has all changed substantially.

I'm very offended and will kick your butt should your ever set foot here!

Not really, just kidding! I don't go downtown much myself because there's nothing there for me. It's oriented towards cruise ship passengers during the day. The architecture is very interesting along with the history. Unfortunately most people, and I don't want to offend anyone, only see the waterfront from a packed taxi van chugging through traffic trying to catch a ferry. Or they spend the night at a hotel in downtown and want to walk someplace to eat or drink after dark, not an activity I would suggest... There is much of St Thomas that I am very comfortable in at any time of the day or night, but that's for another time. Many towns I've spent time in have areas I wouldn't visit during the night or day, in the USA...

St John is beautiful with numerous undeveloped beaches and $15 mooring balls. If one is looking to go ashore to visit the beachbar ala BVI, St John is NOT for you. If one wants to sit in a quiet anchorage to watch the stairs and not listen to amplified music from shore, St John IS for you.

Last edited by FarCry; 10-29-2014 at 08:57 AM.
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