STJ South Shore Moorings

Posted By: RickG

STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/18/2021 08:01 PM

Eating my words - today was the first day we got skunked on STJ south shore NPS moorings. When we can, we sail out of Coral Bay on Thursdays and return on a Saturday. With the north swell and strong NE winds we headed for Lameshur Bay. We say seven (!) cats and monohulls on the five Salt Pond moorings. Lameshur and Little Lameshur Bays were full. We waited for an hour and then headed back to Coral Bay and Round Bay/Hansen Bay. We also noted five boats spending the night on the day use only Hurricane Hole NPS moorings. At least we have a calm free anchorage where we can fish off the boat. We are surrounded by 100-250 foot boats anchored along with many cruising boats. Busy!

Cheers, RickG
Posted By: LocalSailor

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/18/2021 11:51 PM

WAY up inside Rendezvous Bay was always a go to anchorage for me - up by Ditleff Pt.beach ---- pick a nice sandy hole in the grassy bottom in about 10- 12 feet depth-- usually very quiet and calm if the N. swell was cooking.
So many charter captains prefer a mooring -- Seven in Salt Pond?? Rafting or anchoring??
Posted By: RickG

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/19/2021 12:44 PM

We like it behind Ditleff Point. Fish Bay is also outside the Coral Reef National Monument. The North swell is definitely up.

Some of the seven sailboats in Salt Pond were anchored. There were also day boat anchored. NPS could write some tickets. We keep our VHF radio on channel 16 and we have heard NPS get after a single ship (200'+) for going into Hurricane Hole at 5PM. Their boats occasionally visit Coral Bay, but they are gone by 5PM.

Cheers, RickG
Posted By: BaardJ

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/19/2021 06:35 PM

Rick - I left Salt Pond Bay at 7:00 am on Thursday. There were 7 boats including me that overnighted. The two extra boats were not anchored. The one closest to the rocks in the center of the bay was tied up to the sand screw of the missing mooring ball that's been scheduled to be replaced for several years. The other was tied to the remains of a three-way mooring that was condemned years ago. That said you're not supposed to tie up to these bottom anchors.

We sailed up to Leinster Bay on Thursday morning and the swell wad a non-issue there. There were still 5~6 of 18 mooring empty last night. Also plenty of empty balls today at Francis Bay at 2:30 pn and no swell. Still balls available at Maho.

Time for a Broken Flipflop at Maho Crossroads!
Posted By: RickG

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/21/2021 01:14 PM

Baard, good to hear that the boats were not anchored. We had a wonderful three days in Round Bay. We did have to scold a megayachts jet skiers who nearly hit our anchor chain and a day boat that blew past us closer than a boat length at 25kts while the dive flag was up; this has become a recurring theme if you follow the Facebook group USVI Boaters and Sailors.

Cheers, RickG
Posted By: BaardJ

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/22/2021 07:54 PM

I had to scold a couple of megayacht jet skiers that were flying throught the Magens Bay anchorage on Saturday. Doing ~40 mph in a 200 ft gap between the swim buoys and my bow.
Posted By: Orange_Burst

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/24/2021 12:02 AM

Any thoughts about it slowing down a bit after Easter.
Posted By: jpfitzy7

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/24/2021 12:46 PM

We are heading down April 9th. When we were down in November had no problems getting moorings and usually plenty of balls available. Hoping we have similar luck this time.
Posted By: RickG

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/24/2021 02:14 PM

Originally Posted by Orange_Burst
Any thoughts about it slowing down a bit after Easter.


Cheers, rickG
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/24/2021 03:03 PM

It won’t slow down much in the USVI until the BVI opens up. If the BVI is still closed in June the USVI will be mobbed when the kids get out of school.
Posted By: RickG

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/24/2021 05:43 PM

St. John on land has a cadence that is busiest for the holidays and spring break. On sea, it is busiest in Fall and Spring with cruisers commuting August and September, but many crewed charter boats and cruisers head to Grenada.

Cheers, RickG
Posted By: MIDiver

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/25/2021 01:24 PM

I am currently moored in front of Ivan's on JVD. Only boat here. Watching the parade of sails around STJ - we counted masts at Caneel/Honeymoon/Lind Point with the binoculars yesterday and so happy we are here. The craziness of our our 9 nights in USVI waters last month convinced us that the protocols in the BVI are worth it.
Posted By: BaardJ

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/25/2021 11:04 PM

It's equally quiet at St Croix. Spent 3 wonderful days at Buck Island. Sailing north tomorrow.
Posted By: LocalSailor

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/26/2021 12:10 AM

Is overnighting at Buck Island STX only by Special permit?? Was that a problem?

******An anchoring permit is REQUIRED for all private vessels visiting Buck Island Reef National Monument, including day use of the West Beach anchoring area and moorings located inside the lagoon. No anchoring is permitted inside the lagoon. The island is closed from sunset to sunrise. Overnight use is allowed only with a special permit and is restricted to the West Beach anchoring area only.

Posted By: BaardJ

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/26/2021 01:54 PM

i got my anchoring permit in 2015, which consisted of a text message acknowledgement that my application was approved. In order to overnight anchor, I send them a text message of my intentions.
Posted By: LocalSailor

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/27/2021 06:46 AM

Another view and some thoughts on the South Shore STJ -- and implications for the entire USVI -- as a result of the very noticeable increase in vessel traffic we are experiencing. Many Captains are unaware of the USVI rules.

We also experience the lack of respect or knowledge of the local rule in STT - one example
Posted By: RickG

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/27/2021 12:52 PM

There are a few loud voices in the East End STJ home owners association who harass legal short term mooring and day use in Round Bay/Hansen Bay. The wreck mentioned is below the sand bottom and not marked. It is legal to anchor in Round Bay up to 14 nights per year; we note our nights there. DPNR has chased boats away twice in the last year, but only when the landowners complain at length. The biggest problems are the jet skis and boats anchoring over coral to access Pelican Rock.

The issues at Magens Bay are similar. NIMBYs play on fears to get boats out of "their" view.

Cheers, RickG
Posted By: LocalSailor

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/27/2021 04:57 PM

MAGENS BAY AUTHORITY is really the "concerned party" in the STT part of my post, they are not NIMBY -- but find many cruisers ignoring and disrespecting the beach, the lifeguards, the garbage bins, bathrooms and showers, admission fees and the swim buoys.

Posted By: CaptainJay

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/27/2021 05:24 PM

Magens Bay poses several challenges and tremendous opportunities. It is time to put the stakeholders in a room and figure it out. The Magans Bay Authority is stuck in the old economy. Their primary revenue stream has been cruise ship passengers paying user fees for years. On big ship days overcrowding, noise and trash can be overwhelming there. It also likely caused more environmental damage than all the boats in the Virgin Islands.

That business model is dead. Yes, we will see the return of a few ships over the next few years but nothing at the level prior to COVID. On the other hand, those guests on the charter boats and visiting yachts represent a tremendous value to the local economy. These are multi-day overnight visitors that spend money while they are here. They support marine jobs, retail jobs, the restaurant industry, etc. It is time that the Authority put together a management plan that works for everyone. Magens should be set up like a National Park Bay. There should be twenty or thirty pay moorings for boats under sixty feet. These could be priced at $50 a night, $30 for the mooring, and $20 for the user fee. A designated anchorage area further away from the beach for larger vessels should be set up. No additional anchoring, no jet skis, no wakeboards, or water skis. A dinghy/small boat access channel should be set up to allow beach access. A tie line for tenders just offshore as well. Pretty much a carbon copy of the park's usage plan at Maho/Francis in St John.
Posted By: jphart

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/27/2021 06:32 PM

I agree with Captain Jay. Local and other NIMBYs are missing a great opportunity to take advantage of change. Think long-term entrepreneurial - not short-term governmental authority.

We anchored at Magens for two nights earlier this month as we found it a nice refuge from strong winds. And we were glad to SPEND MONEY on the beach concession area and a nearby restaurant. No thanks due to the poor attitude of the lifeguards though. They discouraged us charter guests, told us we couldn't beach our dingy even though we came ashore at the far north end of the beach. Lifeguard tried to hit me up for admission fee, but I told him that Scott's Cruise Guide said that there was a charge if arriving by vehicle but there wasn't a charge from a boat. He demurred and walked off. One of the sport concessionaires told me to just come back after 5pm and we could beach our dingy and meet a cab for dinner. So one of us had to swim in and out from the dingy tie area. And we still managed to spend over $150 for lunch and drinks...where, BTW, we found pretty good service.

We found good sandy bottom holding, and many charter boats including larger +100' vessels. No need for moorings. We would have gladly paid a modest fee for an overnight if there was a corresponding value. Instead of complaining about impact of shore based facilities why not INVEST in an upgrade and earn revenue from the demand that could be created? Build a small dingy dock, upgrade bathrooms, offer WiFi access, charge a modest fee for garbage, sell ice, carry small grocery items, encourage a "deliverance" boat, etc. No long-term stays, maximum two consecutive nights to preserve the waters, etc. would be great!

As there are already kitchen, bar, and seating facilities, why not upgrade to include an upscale full-service restaurant? Can you think "Pirates West"? With fewer "beach bars" and restaurants in the USVI than BVI, there would be a great demand for a nice convenient land-side destination on the northwest part of St. Thomas for sailors. (While some may shudder at the thought of a Pirates West, run right I"m sure it would be tremendously successful.)

Why not encourage taxis to offer evening service for local west-end or downtown restaurants? Win-win for the Taxi Association, establishments, employers and employees. What's not to like? We dropped nearly $1,000 in two days! Imagine what that could do to the local economy if duplicated smartly.

My two bits, I'll step off the soapbox now. JP
Posted By: LocalSailor

Re: STJ South Shore Moorings - 03/28/2021 02:12 AM

THIS is where you offer your ideas -

The April meeting has not been announced yet.

a nice forum like this is basically anecdotal information.
The meetings will likely have a zoom component going forward so you off island voice can be heard.
Of course you can also cut and paste directly to their website.
I am not sure the article I posted about the Magens Board was as concerned about $$$ as the disrespect the cruisers treated the beach and facilities with.
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