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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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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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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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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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Freedom 39
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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!:mad:

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.
 

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Captain Obvious
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While we have a local on the thread - what do you think of this mosquito bourne illness? Chikungunya ... I think. Do you see a lot of this? Panic or ignore?

I will be there for two weeks next February.
 

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Freedom 39
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Assuming I'm the loco, I mean local, you're referring to....

Well, how to answer the Chikun problem???? My wife and I have taken reasonable measures to avoid it. Those would include, avoiding mosquito prone places, wearing lots of repellent with the highest percentage of DEET we can find, wearing pants and long sleeves along with avoiding areas that we know are hotspots. That said, we have been lucky so far and are healthy. Statistics for this epidemic are worthless IMHO because there is no treatment or benefit at all in contacting a doctor, thus the vast majority of cases are never documented. When the CDC started publishing statistics in the paper of 500 verified cases on St Thomas, I personally knew over 40 people that had been infected at that time. There are about 50,000 people on the Island and I may know a few hundred. I'm comfortable guessing that 1 in 6 residents had/have it. With that ratio you can see the published statistics are way off.

That being said there was a very detailed article describing a phenomenon known as "herd immunity". In essence, once the majority have been infected, are no longer contagious and are immune, it will go away. The CDC believes the tide turned awhile ago. I agree with my unscientific data gathering from acquaintances.

If I were coming to visit, I would use some caution, move elsewhere if you find mosquitoes around you, Google Chinkungunya so you know what the symptoms are if you get it and apply bug spray with DEET.

Friends that have been infected report hugely varied responses in symptoms, duration of fever and relapse pain. A friend who had the high fever for a couple of days with rash had very bad joint pains for 48hrs and then returned to normal with zero problems after. Another friend was down and out with fever and such severe pain that walking was nearly impossible for nearly 2 weeks. Symptoms improved gradually for a couple of weeks and then the intense pain came back with a vengeance. OTC pain meds and fluids are the standard treatment. I DO not want to get it!!! I've spoken at length with friends and relatives that are scheduled to visit in the next 45 days. They are still coming. I think spending time on a boat in a breezy anchorage or in air conditioned buildings greatly reduces your risk factors.
 

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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
PK--In a word, they're not worth the bother, even remotely.
 

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Freedom 39
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If you've got two weeks I think it may be worth the effort to spend a few days in the waters of St. John. St. John is a beautiful place and everything is better from the water. Checking in and out can be a hassle but if you stay a few days, what's a few hours lost standing in line?

If I go this winter, I may try it myself. I've sailed around Tortola plenty of times by now.
 

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I used to live on St. Thomas and I agree with all that has been said. However there were secluded spots along the north shore only accessible by boat that were as close to pristine as you can get. That may have changed over the years but might be worth a look. Also if you are into SCUBA diving one of the best spots I found was just off the east side of Hans Lollick island. There is an excellent wall that goes well past 100' deep and is an excellent drift dive - or it was when I lived there.
 

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Freedom 39
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captainjay,why would you show some of the beautiful places to visit in the USVI? Next are you going to tell everyone about your favorite fishing hole? If the contributors here have decided that the USVI is an evil dump, let them believe!!! There will be more room for you and I around here...
 
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