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CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! #227102
05/26/2020 01:26 PM
05/26/2020 01:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,660
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline OP
Traveler
Winterstale  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,660
Bradenton, FL
Greetings all! Hope everyone is surviving these crazy COVID times.

We were so frustrated at losing our May sailing flotilla to this fukakta illness.....that we threw all frustration to the wind this morning and booked a 7-night charter via CYOA.

Any and all suggestions on "don't miss" and "provision here" appreciated smile

We typically have the "heavy lifting" and basic stuff delivered and then shop ourselves for our meats, veggies, etc.

We are beyond excited to sail solely in the USVI for the very first time!


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Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227105
05/26/2020 03:17 PM
05/26/2020 03:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,647
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,647
St. John, USVI
Cool! CYOA will give you the tips on provisioning - Moe's does a great job. You can hit the Fruit Bowl for great vegetables, fruit, yogurt, etc.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227114
05/26/2020 07:08 PM
05/26/2020 07:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,061
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
Traveler
LocalSailor  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,061
USVI
You will have a fine time -- Captain Jay will likely chime in here so I defer.

Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227118
05/26/2020 09:41 PM
05/26/2020 09:41 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 510
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 510
Apex, NC
Winterstale - Capt Jay had a very nice write up of places to consider in the BVI forum under a thread of "St John". Assuming the link works here it is:
http://www.traveltalkonline.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/226625/st-john.html#Post226625

St John is the place to be assuming you enjoy peace and quite. Jay's description is very nice. In short - you will find some beautiful anchorages. You will not find a beach bar in every bay. I like it a lot but also can see if you are seeking those beach bars you may be disappointed.

There are several options for provisioning. Moe's sits on the bay front about 300 yards from CYOA. We have taken the dingy down there and tied up right across the street from Moe's. But last time we tried this someone had removed all of the cleats to tie up to, i.e., we could find nothing but smooth concrete and nothing to tie to. So we returned with the dingy and grabbed one of the carts from CYOA and went shopping with it. It's not a bad walk. Moe's is pretty compact but will have nearly everything you need. It is, however, a little bit pricey. Another choice is Pueblo which is about a quarter mile walk from CYOA. I've walked up there and taken a taxi back with the provisions. Pueblo is cheaper but more of a warehouse experience. Think Hilton vs. Motel 6 and you sort of get the picture. The other options for provisioning require a car ride. We very often rent a car from Avis and return it to the seaplane base next door to CYOA. I'm not sure if that rental counter is open right now so you would need to check. Or you can rent from one of the other CYOA recommended agencies who will pick the car back up from CYOA. I have not tried that yet but probably will in June. The cars we rent typically run somewhere around 90 bucks for a day by the time you add some insurance coverage. The taxi ride from STT to CYOA will be about $12/piece so you can quickly offset the rental car fee if you then use the car to go shopping. I typically go to Plaza Extra which probably takes fifteen minutes to get to. It's more like a "normal" grocery store and I find prices there are for the most part (there are some things that are stupid expensive... do without) around 20% higher than I pay here at home in NC. So not really too bad.

You will enjoy the convenience of being on your boat after a ten or fifteen minute ride from the airport. Enjoy!


Life's short - sail more!
Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227122
05/27/2020 12:12 AM
05/27/2020 12:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,660
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline OP
Traveler
Winterstale  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,660
Bradenton, FL
Thanks! We are so excited to experience JUST the USVI for the first time!


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Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227161
05/28/2020 01:50 PM
05/28/2020 01:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 735
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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cwoody  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 735
Middleburg, VA
Originally Posted by Winterstale
Any and all suggestions on "don't miss" and "provision here" appreciated smile


Maybe this is a "miss" suggestion...

The seas heading up the south coast of STT from CYOA to St John can be pretty agitated.

We were very anxious to get sailing and were fully rigged when we came out of CA harbor to head east and boom!
20 + k winds a huge seas coming from the SE. Took a while with everything beating around like crazy to drop/furl the sails. (Beneteau 48 mono)

Your results may vary but.......We motored up to Christmas Cay taking waves over the bow.

Just like the BVI... slog your way east the first couple days and the enjoy the sailing.


Chuck W.
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Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: cwoody] #227172
05/28/2020 06:16 PM
05/28/2020 06:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,843
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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sail445  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,843
VI,GA,AZ
When heading into winds blowing 20+ you’re going to have a bumpy ride but thankfully in the VI it’s for a short time and then on the way back you’ll have a smooth run

Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227183
05/29/2020 10:02 AM
05/29/2020 10:02 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,647
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
Traveler
RickG  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,647
St. John, USVI
We do that sail from Charlotte Amalie to Coral Bay, STJ about every other week. We had towards French Cap and then tack towards St. John. It's a good sail with good fishing. If you motor, it is straight forward; the main hazards are Pilot Rock (marked) and Cow & Calf Rock (above water).

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227198
05/29/2020 02:35 PM
05/29/2020 02:35 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 710
C
Cleobeach Offline
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Cleobeach  Offline
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C
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 710
Not a sailor, just a long time STJ visitor -

Cruz Bay is a great town for strolling and bar hopping. When on VG, we miss having a town like Cruz Bay to wander around. If you looking for meals on land, our favorite restaurants are the long established Morgan's Mango, Lime Inn, La Tapa. Extra Virgin was very, very good during our last visit. We haven't tried Lime Out yet but all reports are excellent, its the same owner as the Lime Inn. There is food truck/bar stand at Maho, across the road from the beach.

Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227245
05/30/2020 10:34 AM
05/30/2020 10:34 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,660
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline OP
Traveler
Winterstale  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,660
Bradenton, FL
Well geez....now y’all got me nervous! Lol

We were thinking we would do a Coral Bay early on but let us know if there is a better sail plan — I know the whole “counter clockwise” thing in the BVI is what we usually do so any itinerary help is much appreciated. We have certainly been in frisky seas in the BVI as well so that’s not a huge deal.


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Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227246
05/30/2020 10:56 AM
05/30/2020 10:56 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,196
Saint Thomas, USVI
CaptainJay Offline
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CaptainJay  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,196
Saint Thomas, USVI
Do a Figure Eight. Up the south side of St Thomas, then the North Side of St John, back around the south side of St John then the North Side of St Thomas to Megan's Bay, back around the west of St Thomas. It is rare for us to have the kind of winds that Cwoody had is the spring and summer.

You will not be able to cover everything in a week. This list is a good start but a long way away from "Everyting".


Buck Island, St Thomas as a day stop. Turtle Cove and Shipwreck Cove. (Day Use Moorings)

Christmas Cove, Great St James A great place to spend the night, snorkel the cay in the middle of the harbor, and share a Pizza from Pizza Pi with your crew. (Some public moorings and room to anchor)

Cruz Bay, St John Moor your boat at Lind Point or off of Caneel Bay on a national park mooring. Dinghy into town to see the attractions. Dinning and Limin for every budget. Shopping from trinkets to T-shirts, Jewelry, and provisions. Everything in one funky little town. (National Park Moorings)

St John National Park The interactive Marine Resources guide. (Google this map) This has it all the mooring fields, snorkeling spots, pretty much anything you want to know about the Park.
Link to the National Park Marine Resources Interactive Map

Hawksnest Beach, St John Named for the Hawksnest Turtles that call this home. A white sandy slice of heaven. We could tell you about Mermaid’s Seat but it is a secret. (National Park Moorings)

Trunk Bay, St John One of the most photographed beaches on the planet. It really is that pretty. Check out the snorkel trail around Trunk Bay Cay. (National Park Moorings)

Trunk Bay with the Underwater Trail is a great place for beginners and anyone who wants to learn about marine life by reading the plaques along the trail. The trail follows the west side of Trunk Bay Cay for about 300 feet before making a U-turn back to the beach. The coral and fish are well represented here. The reef continues beyond to the cay's northern tip, however, do not venture past where you are in view of the lifeguards. The farther out you go, the rougher the water is. (National Park Moorings)

Cinnamon Bay, St John Hang out with the rich and famous as well as the turtles and Conch. Spectacular water views, snorkeling, and views of some of the most incredible Vacation Villas in the Caribbean. (National Park Moorings)

Francis Bay Beach and Maho Bay Beach This is a two for one deal. Two great beaches in one great anchorage. This spot pretty much comes with a turtle viewing guarantee. (National Park Moorings)

Maho Crossroads In their own words. “A minimum footprint pop-up village at Maho Beach in St. John, USVI. Enjoy the Paddle-In Tiki Bar, Love Maho Beach Boutique, and Terrapin Beach Club.” (National Park Moorings)

Leinster Bay and Waterlemon Cay Did we mention snorkeling? This spot can keep your whole crew in the water for hours. You can snorkel around Waterlemon Cay, Snorkle the reef along the shore or dinghy into the shallows in the mangrove area and look for juvenile fish. There are more starfish here than any other place we have ever been to. (National Park Moorings)

Coral Bay, St John The little village time forgot. Don’t come here looking for commercialized attractions it is not that kind of town. You can find art, food, and drinks. A dive shop and a floating Taco Bar. It is that kind of town. (Anchoring in the public anchorage)

Lime Out, Coral Bay Speaking of floating Taco Bars, because who doesn’t want to go to a swim-up Taco Bar with Rum Drinks? This one speaks for itself. (Anchoring)

Hurricane Hole, Coral Bay St John Made up of several day mooring areas in the National Park, this is a great place to spend the afternoon. Swim and snorkel along the mangroves on shore to see countless juvenile fish and sea life. (Day Use National Park Moorings)

Salt Pond, St John This one is a secret so do not tell anyone. There are a limited number of moorings surrounded by unlimited beauty. (National Park Moorings)

Rams Head Trail, Salt Pond, St John This hiking trail runs from the beach at Salt Pond to the top of Rams Head. Pack some water and comfortable shoes. The views are spectacular. (National Park Moorings)

Great and Little Lameshur Bays Quiet coves, snorkeling oh, and did we mention stargazing? With almost no light noise from shore due to the remote location in the park this is like taking a walk around the milky way. Make sure to put a stargazing app on your phone or tablet. It is good for hours of fun. (National Park Moorings)

Reef Bay, St John Limited to two moorings this is an advanced hike.
“By Ken Wild
Within the deep interior of the Reef Bay valley rests one of St. John’s most important clues to a lost culture from the island’s past, the petroglyphs. This captivating place is located at the base of the valley’s highest waterfall, surrounded by the island’s lush tropical vegetation. Here, mysterious faces are found carved into the fall’s blue basalt rock. A spring-fed pool beneath reflects a 20-foot wide panorama of carvings year-round with other petroglyphs visible nearby. For those who may be unfamiliar with the term petroglyph, the term petroglyph refers to rock art carvings whereas pictographs are rock art paintings. (National Park Moorings)

Red Hook, St Thomas Does your crew want to spend a little time in town? In Red Hook you can either anchor out or get a slip in the Marina for the night. Either way there are a dozen or so Bars and Restaurants. Some diverse shopping opportunities and even a Grocery Store. (Marina or Anchorage)

Magens Bay, St Thomas Take a nice downwind sail around the north shore of St Thomas. You will get to view lots of small cays like Hans Lolick on the north side on your way to Magen’s. This is a truly magical spot with a large crescent beach located between two peninsulas. Anchor in the middle or closer to shore. The pelicans are sure to put on a show. (Anchorage)

Way Out West, St Thomas As you leave Magens you can continue on your downwind sail around the west end of St Thomas. Once you have cleared the west end it is back up towards the anchorages west of Charlotte Amalia.

Brewers Bay, St Thomas The first of the western anchorages. This anchorage is tucked in by the University of the Virgin Islands. It features a large sand beach and a very protected area for swimming. (Anchorage)

Linbergh Bay, St Thomas Next up is another large sand beach. The hotel located onshore has a small beach bar and restaurant. This bay is home to lots of turtles and conchs. (Anchorage)

Druif Bay, Water Island Home of Honeymoon Beach, a great spot to waste a day snorkeling and swimming with the turtles and rays. Lime away the afternoon at a beach bar. Then have sundowners watching, wait for it the spectacular sunset to the west. (Anchorage)




Last edited by CaptainJay; 05/30/2020 10:59 AM.
Re: CYOA Newbie! USVI here we come! [Re: Winterstale] #227250
05/30/2020 11:56 AM
05/30/2020 11:56 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,660
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline OP
Traveler
Winterstale  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,660
Bradenton, FL
Thanks, Jay! Talked to Nick and Monica this morning and they send you their best.


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