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Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. #219866
03/07/2020 05:57 AM
03/07/2020 05:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 56
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Shifty Offline OP
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Shifty  Offline OP
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Greetings friends.
It’s been awhile since I posted, but I’m aboard our 50 foot CYOA cat at Norman this morning, with 2 nights left on our 10 day charter. Half of my crew are newbies and everyone has loved hitting all of the traditional favorites. I was thinking about giving them a taste of the “old days” with an overnight at one of the less travelled bays at Lameshur or Salt Pond. But it’s been over 20 years since I visited St. John’s south anchorages. I do understand that there are now balls there maintained by the Park Service. For those of you more familiar with those anchorages, I’d love advise on preferences between Salt Pond, Great Lameshur and Little Lameshur...both in terms of suitability for overnighting and with respect to snorkeling and other daytime attractions.

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Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: Shifty] #219882
03/07/2020 09:42 AM
03/07/2020 09:42 AM
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cyclingdoc Offline
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Love the south area. You can search for a recent thread about this.

Salt pond is most protected and least rolly in my experience. Allows for a hike to Rams Head too. 5 balls there. Be careful with entrance. Big reef in the middle.

Great lameshur is the prettiest I think, but typically I find it too calm and rolly in a monohull. Probably not an issue in a catamaran.

Little lameshur is nice too.

They are all close to each other so you could check them out pretty easily.

Do not tell many people how nice it is down there.

Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: Shifty] #219890
03/07/2020 12:32 PM
03/07/2020 12:32 PM
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Posts: 502
BaardJ Offline
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These are among my favorite anchorages in all the VIs. When entering SPB, keep the reef in the middle of the bay to port.

SPB and Little Lameshur have nice sand beach, while Great Lameshur beach is rocky. Little Lameshur is most exposed. SPB has 5 moorings, and Little Lameshur has 4 or 5. Close to 2 dozen moorings at Great Lameshur.

Good snorkel spots in all 3 bays. Lots of turtles in SPB with frequent southern stingray and eagle ray sightings.

Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: Shifty] #219892
03/07/2020 12:48 PM
03/07/2020 12:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,061
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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South side anchorages you mentioned are all excellent -- fewer moorings in Salt Pond than either Lameshur - better beach -daytime activity in salt Pond -- good hike out of Little Lameshur over to Reef Bay and petroglyphs.
All 3 choices are usually very calm and sheltered.
Coming from Norman IS. -- you really should enter the USVI at Cruz Bay for Customs and Immigration - you may have the ROAM app onboard or other plans.

Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: LocalSailor] #219894
03/07/2020 12:53 PM
03/07/2020 12:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,196
Saint Thomas, USVI
CaptainJay Offline
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Saint Thomas, USVI

We have customs decal and ROAm available on all of the CYOA boats. You can send the arrival in as soon as your in US waters. I would check Salt Pond first then go to Lamesur next if it is full. There are only six or so moorings in Salt Pond. All of them are great. Some of the best stargazing near the shore that you will ever see.

Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: Shifty] #219903
03/07/2020 02:30 PM
03/07/2020 02:30 PM
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cyclingdoc Offline
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Regarding ROAM check in. I’ve used it many times. Sometimes it takes 3 minutes to be cleared and other times it has taken 3 hours. Only once I was asked to do an “interview” over the phone. It was voice only, no video.

I’m curious as to other peoples’ experiences.

Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: Shifty] #219955
03/08/2020 06:22 AM
03/08/2020 06:22 AM
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Shifty Offline OP
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Shifty  Offline OP
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Thanks All. We checked out all 3 and ended up in Little Lameshur. It was/is superb. Only two other boats. After a terrific week at all the usual hot spots, it was a serene contrast and my whole crew loved the place. I can’t imagine skipping the south bays on future trips. Can’t believe it’s been over 30 years since I was here with my dad.

Checked in on ROAM when we pulled in. That was a breeze.

Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: cyclingdoc] #219965
03/08/2020 07:47 AM
03/08/2020 07:47 AM
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FLJim Offline
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ROAM usually takes me about 10-15 minutes, but on a couple occasions much longer - I eventually called in and found out that my request had gotten lost in the system. So, now I call if I haven't cleared after an hour or so.

Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: cyclingdoc] #220253
03/10/2020 09:09 PM
03/10/2020 09:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 510
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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Originally Posted by cyclingdoc
Regarding ROAM check in. I’ve used it many times. Sometimes it takes 3 minutes to be cleared and other times it has taken 3 hours. Only once I was asked to do an “interview” over the phone. It was voice only, no video.

I’m curious as to other peoples’ experiences.


I have used it now several times. Oh how I wish they would improve it just ever so slightly. If you would have some clue as to when it would get processed you could chill out. But not knowing the status is aggravating. My wait time has been closer to an hour each time. One time I nearly gave up and gave them a call. Then got blasted by a very nasty agent that explained to me that they were "busy" and would get to the request soon.

I have learned two things (the hard way):
1. They don't open until 10:00. I have tried in the past to submit before they open but that seems to be a bad idea, i.e., seems like it takes much longer to get a response back. I now only submit after they are open.
2. Do not submit anywhere close to the border. Make sure you are well inside US waters. I submitted once when I was barely inside (according to both my chart plotter and my Navionics app) and ended up waiting an hour before they told me I had submitted outside US waters and was thus rejected. Now I make sure I'm well inside before I hit the send button.

One other thing I have learned. It's really hard to hold the camera still over the passport to scan the information if the boat (my case a monohull) is rocking. You are better off scanning all of the passports from a quite anchorage.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: Shifty] #220442
03/12/2020 02:53 PM
03/12/2020 02:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,647
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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I wait until we anchor to submit. The longest it took us to get a confirmation was about 8 days. We usually get the confirmation same day. I've stopped worrying about it. We've used ROAM a dozen times. The only time we had a live conversation was checking in to PR from DR. It helps that my crew all have trusted traveler numbers.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: RickG] #220491
03/12/2020 09:38 PM
03/12/2020 09:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,061
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Originally Posted by RickG
The longest it took us to get a confirmation was about 8 days. I've stopped worrying about it.

Cheers, RickG


After 8 days I imagine worrying about it might not really matter!

Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: Shifty] #220649
03/14/2020 09:53 AM
03/14/2020 09:53 AM
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cyclingdoc Offline
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We have used it several times.

1. Once we tried to use it coming across from JVD to Maho and we knew the cell reception was better in the open water then in Maho so we tried halfway across and got rejected immediately due to being outside US waters. Definitely wait as mentioned above.

2. One morning we initiated at 8:03am, phone interview at 8:05am and cleared in 2 minutes. Only time out of 5-10 times that we were interviewed.

3. Other times it has been from 10 minutes to the more typical 2-3 hours. It’s problematic because it you can’t clear in then you have to commit to changing plans and heading to a customs office, which at 5 knots can significantly alter plans when you “anticipate it working.” Example. Sailing from JVD to Maho and spending the day and night at Maho. If it doesn’t work then you have to head to Cruz Bay to clear in and back which is a 2-3 hour commitment.

4. Once we were cleared in 5 days later. Already went to Cruz bay and cleared in person.

5. Another time our friends needed to catch a taxi from Maho to Cruz, then ferry from Cruz to Charlotte Amalie. We tried for 2 hours in Maho. They separated from us, risky I know, and when they got to Charlotte Amalie customs they explained the situation and the nice agents immediately cleared us all via ROAM. Completely unexpected outcome. They said they were busy.

6. I was under the impression it goes to some regional or national office, but the local agents said they process the local requests. Not sure I can confirm this.

Overall I very happy the option exists. Isn’t everything a work in progress?

Last edited by cyclingdoc; 03/14/2020 09:53 AM.
Re: Overnight at Lameshur or Salt Pond. [Re: cyclingdoc] #220708
03/14/2020 03:22 PM
03/14/2020 03:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 510
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Posts: 510
Apex, NC
Originally Posted by cyclingdoc
We have used it several times.

It’s problematic because it you can’t clear in then you have to commit to changing plans and heading to a customs office, which at 5 knots can significantly alter plans when you “anticipate it working.”


I agree. This is exactly the issue with the process. If you got some sort of estimate right away when someone was going to process the submission you would know better what to do. If I arrived at Maho and was told it was going to be 4 hours I would probably head in to the CBP office in Cruz Bay to make sure I could get through the process that day. The concept is great and I really like it. I just wish for a small tweak to make it really work.


Life's short - sail more!

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