USVI  November - December 2021

After getting our boat launched in the water, we spent a week revisiting Puerto Rico's islands, Vieques and Culebra.   It's a one day trip to our next island which is St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands; this is our third visit.   We arrived on November 25 and anchored on the west side of Hassel Island.  St. Thomas is a good place to stock up on food.  There are too many cruise ships in and out, and the stores and restaurants cater to them.  Onward to St. John, where more than half the island is national park.  There are many moorings offered to boats in the many bays, and a few anchorages.  The moorings protect the seabed and coral, which is wonderful.  It costs $26/day, but since we are seniors, we paid half price, $13/day.  They have on the water and land payment stations in the bays; it's an honor payment system which we hope everyone contributes to maintain these beautiful bays.   There's a 7 day limit for boats to stay in any location, and a 30 day maximum stay in the island.  It's to limit the amount of boats in the area, as there are limited moorings and anchorages. 

We love it here; the water is clear most days and there is abundant sea life.  In addition, there are numerous hiking trails across the island; sometimes you will encounter goats and deer.  There are wild pigs too, but we didn't see any.  It wasn't crowded when we were there, perhaps the holidays and Covid kept the crowds away. 

Our first stop was Francis Bay.  It's quite large with many moorings here and on the adjacent bay, Maho.  There's a beach and snorkeling along the rocks, as well as a short walking trail. 

After a few days, we moved to Watermelon Bay.  It is our favorite bay in St. John because of the weather protection, abundant sea life and two great hiking trails.  After snorkeling Watermelon Cay, we discovered there was good snorkeling around our boat, including several large sea turtles.  We were able to swim with the turtles for quite a while; they are used to people.


There was a big barracuda under our boat when we went snorkeling....I don't like them following me!


There's a trail from the small beach which leads to Murphy's Great House, the former home of James Murphy who was a merchant, shipowner and slave trader.  He bought Watermelon Bay in 1796 and renamed it Leinster Bay.   He bought more land and planted sugar cane, where he processed it into sugar at nearby Annaberg Sugar Plantation which he built.   We visited the ruins of the house from where you have beautiful views of the islands of St. John and the BVI. 

We took the trail along the water to the well preserved ruins of Annaberg Sugar Plantation.  The signs explain how the sugar was processed in the early 1800's.  The views from here are also amazing!

One day we took a hike along the Johnny Horn Trail which takes you to Coral bay on the other side of the island.  It took us 1 hour and 10 minutes one way.  We stopped at a small grocery store, and started back to the boat.  It was hot (go early!) and very steep at the beginning.  We were glad to jump in the water off the boat upon our return.

We grabbed a mooring in Honeymoon Bay, and we dinghied over to Cruz Bay where we stocked up groceries.  We went to the Market Shopping Center, where they have an excellent grocery store, Starfish Market.  In addition, the shopping center has a hardware store, a pharmacy and several delicious delis.  We didn't eat at any restaurants, but we did stop at a food truck where we picked up chicken roti. 

Great Lameshur Bay was our next stop.  We got a mooring close to shore.  The beach is a pebble beach, but you can walk over to Little Lameshur Bay (only a 3-4 min. walk) if you want a sand beach.  Since we weren't looking for a beach, we enjoyed our stay at this quiet, less crowed bay, due to the limited number of mooring balls.  There's a dock which is available for dinghies, and from here, we took a long hike to visit the ruins of the Reef Bay Sugar Mill.

After a few more days in our favorite anchorage Watermelon Bay, we are off to Guadaloupe.  We had briefly visited this island 17 years ago; we're happy we were able to spend a month on this beautiful island!


Home    Back   Next Page