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St John anchorages #87173
02/19/2016 10:05 AM
02/19/2016 10:05 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 364
Ohio
jagmansr Offline OP
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jagmansr  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 364
Ohio
We have yet to spend time at St Johns when sailing in the BVI. We're heading down in 3 weeks and plan on spending 3 nights starting on Sunday in St John. We seldom have issues finding a mooring in the BVI. What should we expect in St John? And would appreciate hearing about your favorite places there. Any "traffic patterns" there as in the BVI?

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Re: St John anchorages [Re: jagmansr] #87174
02/19/2016 10:52 AM
02/19/2016 10:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 363
NC
leeguice Offline
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leeguice  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 363
NC
With over 20 trips we have only once had a mooring ball availability issue. We love the "south side", less crowded.
Do not plan on BVI style night life!

Re: St John anchorages [Re: leeguice] #87175
02/19/2016 12:50 PM
02/19/2016 12:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
Twanger Offline
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Twanger  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
We're more a north-side bunch...
Francis Bay has a huge mooring field that I've never see full, but I've only been there in the off season.
Trunk Bay is a nice fun day-anchorage.
We usually take a ball in Cinnamon Bay on the first night, after sailing from St. Thomas. Lots of turtles. There are only maybe 8-10 balls there.
We have stayed in Leinster, but not in a number of years. It's very nice and it's fun to snorkel Waterlemon Cay.

Re: St John anchorages [Re: Twanger] #87176
02/19/2016 01:26 PM
02/19/2016 01:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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sail2wind  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
if you like diving or snorkeling Salt Pond on the south side is not to be missed.

Re: St John anchorages [Re: sail2wind] #87177
02/19/2016 04:55 PM
02/19/2016 04:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
Twanger Offline
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Twanger  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
Thanks for the tip Evan!
Might see about that next trip.
My only issue is that I'll have landlubbers aboard and sailing the south side of STJ might be a bit wild for them.

Re: St John anchorages [Re: Twanger] #87178
02/19/2016 09:09 PM
02/19/2016 09:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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sail2wind  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
no doubt, but Salt Pond is very protected and you get a pretty good AT&T signal for wifi. Instead of going parallel to STJ, tack out to south drop and motor in with a fresh fish dinner.

Re: St John anchorages [Re: sail2wind] #87179
02/20/2016 09:57 AM
02/20/2016 09:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
We've had to anchor once at Caneel Bay in order to check in at Cruz Bay. If you draw less than 6' you can anchor in the creek near the customs house. Otherwise, high season/low season no problem getting a mooring in the National Park. Normally I would link to the NPS mooring map, but its no longer up on their web site. They updated the fees to $26/night in January, so maybe they are going through an update.

Our favorite Caribbean village in the VIs is Cruz Bay. It is completely walkable and has over 20 restaurants and bars. Dolphin Market is walkable for provisions. There is an ice house in the Lumber Yard development. Too bad the nearby Caneel Bay anchorage gets ferry wakes from 5AM-1AM. In our monohull we pretty much have to stow gear at that anchorage as if we were underway. Bonine for dessert.

Our favorite anchorages in the park are Maho/Francis Bay, Leinster Bay, Great Lameshur Bay and Salt Pond. All three have lots of turtles/rays/fish. We had an eagle ray jump next to our boat in Maho in January. There are no houses on the hills above Lameshur and it is incredibly nice at night. Hurricane Hole has lots of free day use moorings. Great spot for kayaking in the inner bays - Princess Bay has the best mangrove snorkeling.

Outside of the National Park, we love the anchorage at Hansen Bay inside of Coral Bay. The campground is there and friends can park and we can pick them up. Lots of good snorkeling at Pelican Rock and good holding in sand.

Coral Bay Harbor has provisions at Dolphin Market on the west side of the bay. No dinghy dock, but there is a dinghy line for tie up. Aqua Bistro there is a good restaurant/bar. The nearby Caribbean Oasis has good home cooking. Island Blues location is getting ready to reopen and is now owned by the group at Woody's in Cruz Bay.

At the north end of Coral Harbor is the floating dinghy dock. Its crowded, but most folks leave at least 6' painter so that you can tie up. Skinny Legs has solid bar food and is a good value. Indigo Grill, owned by the Rhumb Lines folks in Cruz Bay, is 100' west on the road and has good pizza and some Caribbean interpretations.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: St John anchorages [Re: RickG] #87180
02/20/2016 11:45 AM
02/20/2016 11:45 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,189
Saint Thomas, USVI
CaptainJay Offline
Traveler
CaptainJay  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,189
Saint Thomas, USVI

They have a new interactive mooring/marine resources map.


ST John Marin Resources

Re: St John anchorages [Re: CaptainJay] #87181
02/20/2016 07:53 PM
02/20/2016 07:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,048
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,048
USVI
You will have to pay close attention to the wind and swells when over nighting on the N. STJ bays.


Today for example has been 20Kts+ all day and serious N. swell - a good STJ S. side hide out day
wind:
http://www.sailflow.com/spot/48694?&...widgetWindStats

swells:
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/show_plot.php?s...;time_label=GMT

Re: St John anchorages [Re: LocalSailor] #87182
02/20/2016 08:56 PM
02/20/2016 08:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 55
NC
GoneSailing Offline
Traveler
GoneSailing  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 55
NC
To pile on, there are lots of good places around the island of St John and its surrounding smaller islands. As "leeguice" said above it isn't the night life but it is a real treat when you find a good spot. Evan & I even went treasure hunting in Christmas Cove a few years back..... Remember that? We salvaged a highly valuable battery that some as$hole dumped there. But all kidding aside it is a great place to visit.

Since we keep our boat at Sapphire Beach on the east side of STT we always make a stopover at St John. Even after a coupe of years we are still finding new stops to enjoy.


Be Happy or Leave
Re: St John anchorages [Re: Twanger] #87183
02/20/2016 11:06 PM
02/20/2016 11:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 489
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 489
Apex, NC
Quote
Twanger said:
..... We usually take a ball in Cinnamon Bay on the first night, after sailing from St. Thomas. Lots of turtles. There are only maybe 8-10 balls there.


We always stay a night in Cinnamon Bay - usually the first night out from CA and sometimes even our last night (we check in with C&I in Cruz Bay then go back to Cinnamon for the night). We enjoy it - very quite. Only downside is that for a mono it always seems a bit rolly especially if it's a first night before you've gained your sea legs. Cats seem to be flat as a pancake so probably no problem if you are sailing one of those.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: St John anchorages [Re: GoneSailing] #87184
02/21/2016 02:23 AM
02/21/2016 02:23 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
Traveler
sail2wind  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
That was with Kristine and Doug aboard MeiNu I believe. Long Overdue was right next door, great dinner. Love Christmas Cove. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: St John anchorages [Re: GoneSailing] #87185
02/21/2016 04:33 PM
02/21/2016 04:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 124
Victoria, BC, Canada
J
JD_Midnight Offline
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JD_Midnight  Offline
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J
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 124
Victoria, BC, Canada
Never had time to do the south before but planning for this trip. Salt Pond I presume has NPS moorings? Hansen bay sounds good for anchoring... Other good suggestions?

Re: St John anchorages [Re: JD_Midnight] #87186
02/21/2016 06:42 PM
02/21/2016 06:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
Traveler
sail2wind  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
yes, Salt Pond has mooring with self service station

Re: St John anchorages [Re: sail2wind] #87187
02/21/2016 09:00 PM
02/21/2016 09:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
Traveler
RickG  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
Check out the NPS map sail2wind mentioned. No anchoring on the south side in the national park of the national monument. That pretty much leaves Coral Bay for anchoring on the south side. Johnson Bay has an anchorage with liveaboards that is closer to Coral Bay Harbor than Hansen, but we prefer Hansen Bay.

Day moorings at Ram Head, Kiddel Bay, Reef Bay and Hurricane Hole. Fishing moorings at Cabritte Horn Point. Dive moorings at Booby Rock.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: St John anchorages [Re: RickG] #87188
02/21/2016 10:40 PM
02/21/2016 10:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 124
Victoria, BC, Canada
J
JD_Midnight Offline
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JD_Midnight  Offline
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J
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 124
Victoria, BC, Canada
Thanks. Hansen Bay sounds good. Is it crowded or mainly open? Are there day moorings in Coral Bay or a place to hook for the afternoon before going over to Hansen?

Re: St John anchorages [Re: JD_Midnight] #87189
02/23/2016 09:12 AM
02/23/2016 09:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
Hansen Bay has no moorings. Plenty of room to anchor over sand. I've never seen more than a half-dozen boats there.

There is plenty of room to anchor in Coral Harbor. The bottom is sand and clay and holds like glue. We just anchor at the outer edge of the anchorage. Hansen Bay is a quick jaunt, about 2nm.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: St John anchorages [Re: RickG] #87190
02/27/2016 05:08 PM
02/27/2016 05:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,193
Colorado and Sailing the World
Maria_and_Steve Offline
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Maria_and_Steve  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,193
Colorado and Sailing the World
Has the dinghy dock in Coral Bay been enlarged any? It seems there is little room for visitors since the more permanent residents take up most space?

Re: St John anchorages [Re: Maria_and_Steve] #87191
02/27/2016 08:35 PM
02/27/2016 08:35 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
The Coral Bay dinghy dock still has the concrete section plus a long floating section. Posters on the bulletin board adjacent ask visitors to leave slack in your line/security lock to allow people to pull up and to keep your outboard down. There is plenty of room when all follow those suggestions. Will it ever be larger? The current dinghy dock is not permitted, so all it takes is initiative to expand it.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: St John anchorages [Re: GoneSailing] #87192
03/16/2016 09:40 AM
03/16/2016 09:40 AM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 23
St. Paul, Mn.
Genie Offline
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Genie  Offline
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Joined: May 2014
Posts: 23
St. Paul, Mn.
We love spending a few days in St. John. Francis and Maho are great places to stay. We stay at Caneel near honeymoon beach often. Most of the time it has been fine. Over Christmas it was rolling but it has never been terrible. People scared me away by saying it was very rolly. The ferry ways were the most noticeable. We are on a Cat though. I would highly recommend if the conditions are mild. I am sensitive to seasickness and we've been overnighted many times this year and haven't had a problem. Knock on wood I'll be there this weekend.


Cool Change
Re: St John anchorages [Re: Genie] #87193
03/17/2016 09:12 AM
03/17/2016 09:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,630
St. John, USVI
On our monohull, Caneel Bay is untenably rolly even with no wind or swell. The ferries run 20 hours a day and they all wake the Caneel mooring field at 20 kts.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: St John anchorages [Re: RickG] #87194
03/17/2016 12:11 PM
03/17/2016 12:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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sail2wind  Offline
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Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
no doubt, Hawk's Nest is no picnic on a mono either


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