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US Virgin Islands

The first island of the US Virgin Island we made landfall was Saint Croix.  The USVI consists of three island, St John, St Thomas and St Croix.  St Croix is the most underrated of the three.

St Croix’s nickname is “Twin City” for its two towns, Frederiksted on the western side and Christiansted on the northeast part of the island.

I almost cried when I saw a USPS truck in Christiansted.  I felt like I was back home in California!  The only strange thing is that cars here have the steering wheel on the passenger side but you still have to drive to the right hand side of the road.  Weird.

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As we come in the harbor, we were welcome by a beautiful wooden gaff-rigged schooner launched named Roseway. She is currently operated by World Ocean School, a non-profit educational organization based in Maine.

Roseway

On the east of Christiansted, there is a beautiful island called Buck Island Reef (it’s a national monument). Snorkeling there is very nice.

Buck Island

Unfortunately we could not visit the fort in Christiansted because it was closed due to Covid restrictions.  It was built in 1738 and it’s very well mainteined.

The fort also served as the colony jail at some point. A notable inmate was the mother of Alexander Hamilton, Rachel Faucette:

Christiansted fort

The other town it’s even more spectacular, especially now that you don’t have big cruise ships:

Frederiksted

Snorkeling under the pontoon reserved for big cruise ships was very interesting.  Nature regained ownership of the place:

Coral under the pontoon

We had a great time in St Croix.  Not sure if this place will be the same in the future.

I heard that the long-shuttered, pollution-plagued Limetree refinery in St Croix restarted operating last month. It’s one of the world’s biggest oil-processing facilities.

The refinery was shut down in 2012 after a series of massive oil spills and air-pollution releases prompted the EPA to issue a $5.4 million fine.

We feel so lucky to have visited the island.  People were very nice to us.

St John

This beautiful island is 90% National Park.  I think the first National Park in history was instituted in 1735 in Procida, a small island off the coast of Naples, Italy.  And In 1872, the Yellowstone National Park was established as the United States’ first national park by President Theodore Roosevelt.

You will never see in the whole Caribbean, an island as well preserved as St John.  There are hundreds of well maintained trails around the island.  Anchoring is strictly prohibited to preserve the coral at the bottom, you can only use mooring balls (which are perfectly maintained).

St John
St John
St John

From the north coast of St John you have a clear view of the British Virgin Islands.  A pity that they are closed to sailors since last year, and we couldn’t visit.  But we had a very clear view of them from our anchorage:

We had a great time in St John, and we’ll never forget its beauty.

British Virgin Islands

St Thomas

After St John we sailed to St Thomas.  In this beautiful island there is the synagogue with the longest history of continuous use on what is now United States soil, the second-oldest synagogue on United States soil and one of five in the world that features sand-covered floors. It’s not a tropical affectation, it dates back to the Inquisition-era custom of using sand to muffle forbidden prayer.

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Charlotte Amalie is a lovely town, we had a lot of fun walking in its deserted streets:

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We had a great time in St John, but soon it was time to leave for the Spanish Virgin Islands!

#Christiansted #Frederiksted #StCroix

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