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USVI Trip Report Oct 16-25th #238442
10/29/2020 11:27 AM
10/29/2020 11:27 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 65
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Rush Offline OP
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Rush  Offline OP
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Like several who have recently reported, we had a terrific experience with a USVI only charter 2 weeks ago. I would encourage other BVI lovers who have not chartered there to give it a try. This was a make-up trip from July where we encountered the only real storm of the season (Isiais). We never left the marina and made for a short 2 day trip. This time it was just Jessica and me and left the kids at home to fend for themselves. Here are the highlights:

Chartered a well-equipped FP Lucia 40 with Virgin Island Yacht Charters (Compass Point Marina). Had a great experience with VIYC and the boat was ideal for the 2 of us (owner’s version). It did have an icemaker which is very helpful for sailing around St. John.

We rented a car and did most of our provisioning at Cost U Less (Like a CostCo). Really good pricing and selection – particularly booze. Grabbed some other items at Moes at Redhook. We had great delicious sushi at Raw in Redhook the first evening. Paradise Car Rental picked the car up from the marina the next day.

Enjoyed staying on mooring balls at Maho, Honeymoon/Caneel, Lamshur, and Salt Pond – basically had a lazy week around St. John. Only boat at Great (or Littlle) Lamshur for the evening. Only one other at Salt Pond.

Snorkeling highlights were Waterlemon (Leinster), Lamshur and Salt Pond. Coral and sea life were abundant.
Hiked Ram Head (and Salt Pond to Drunk Bay), Maho to Annenberg, but otherwise fairly lazy with plenty of swimming and paddle boarding.

While we had a great time just the 2 of us, we also had plenty of “beach bar” time at Maho Crossroads, Bikinis on the Beach (Honeymoon), Cruz Bay (High Tide and Beach Bar), and Lime Out (floating taco bar in Coral Bay).

Since we really stayed around St. John, there were plenty of things we missed (Christmas Cove – Pizza Pi was not open yet, and Water Island will definitely be on our next trip).
Sails were somewhat short and many without a purpose (i.e. head out and back just to get out on the water). But we thoroughly enjoyed them. Winds were down during the beginning of the week and picked up towards the end.

General takeaway was that it offered an excellent change of venue (from the BVI) and there was plenty to keep us busy (or countless beautiful spots to do nothing). We just cancelled our February BVI trip with the kids and moved it to USVI - they are excited for the change. Also, we are headed to the SVI over Thanksgiving for the first time, and will report on that.

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Re: USVI Trip Report Oct 16-25th [Re: Rush] #238453
10/29/2020 12:05 PM
10/29/2020 12:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
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jpfitzy7 Offline
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Thanks for the great report. We used VI Yacht Charters on our last charter and had a great time. We are heading down in about 2 weeks and chartering with CYOA this time. I think we plan on hitting a lot of the places you did but we will also hit up Magen's Bay and Water Island. Where did you anchor to go to Lime Out? I have heard it can be crowded and sometimes tough to find anchoring room. Your beach bar tips sound great. Any recommendations for dinner in Cruz Bay?


Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in hand - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"
Re: USVI Trip Report Oct 16-25th [Re: Rush] #238479
10/29/2020 03:34 PM
10/29/2020 03:34 PM
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Posts: 65
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Rush Offline OP
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On our July Trip, we did actually spend a day at Magen's Bay and it was beautiful. On the first morning of our charter, we found out we had to get off the boat due the approaching storm, so I scheduled our flights for the next day, packed up all of the provisioned booze I could fit into our coolers and spent the day there.

I had heard the same thing about anchoring around Lime Out and will concur that it looked tight - there were lots of day trip boats around as well. So we took another approach. We went over to Hurricane Hole (~1.5NM away) grabbed a ball there and took the dinghy over. However, we did have a 20 HP dinghy for the 2 of us and conditions were calm.

In Cruz Bay, we ate at Beach Bar and High Tide. Can't beat the location, right on the beach. But I know there are plenty of other good options. Make sure you have 2 good flashlights coming back at night. We stayed at Honeymoon and it is not a short dinghy ride. Again, we only had 2 of us. Saw 7 or 8 going in a 9.8 HP dinghy. I expect it was wet and slow.

Re: USVI Trip Report Oct 16-25th [Re: Rush] #238485
10/29/2020 04:08 PM
10/29/2020 04:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
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jpfitzy7 Offline
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We were hoping to make a lunch stop at Skinny Legs before heading to Little Lameshur for the evening. There will be 5 of us with a 15 hp dinghy so you have given me another option. Also thanks for posting about the entry process. I will make sure my crew is aware of what to do/bring so there are no issues


Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in hand - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"
Re: USVI Trip Report Oct 16-25th [Re: Rush] #238493
10/29/2020 05:20 PM
10/29/2020 05:20 PM
Joined: May 2008
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Cleobeach Offline
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We will be on Catatonic for a USVI and SVI trip in February. We are 25+ year visitors to STJ (with short trips to STT) and I an excited to approach from the water.

Jpfitzy7 - there are lots of great dining options in Cruz Bay within a short walk from the dock. It’s a fun village for drinking, eating and strolling.

Re: USVI Trip Report Oct 16-25th [Re: jpfitzy7] #238518
10/30/2020 04:47 AM
10/30/2020 04:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,345
Bucks County, Pa.
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Bucks County, Pa.
For dinner in Cruz Bay, Morgans Mango has very Caribbean menu. I also ate at the restaurant inside Mongoose Junction, sort of open air, do not remember the name. the best little lunch spot is at the back of Mogoose Junction , I think it is called Sun dog Cafe, Their jerk tacos are wonderful. I know there are many other wonderful spots too.


Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane
Re: USVI Trip Report Oct 16-25th [Re: Rush] #238538
10/30/2020 09:34 AM
10/30/2020 09:34 AM
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Posts: 765
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Cleobeach Offline
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Morgan's Mango is a favorite of ours. They have been around a long time, our first time there was in 1995.

You are correct, Sun Dog Cafe is on the top level, to the rear of Mongoose Junction.


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