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27 March 2016

St. John and Great St James (St. Thomas) USVI

12 March St. John

Did you say traffic?
We had never explored the US Virgins and were interested to see St. John, much of which is a National Park. They do not make entry easy. Cruz Bay, the only entry point, is a ferry-infested tiny harbor with no space, plenty of reef and a customs dock always full except when you return by dinghy. Once cleared and duly briefed by the Park Service on mariners' duties, we headed north to the mooring field of Caneel Bay, with beautiful views of St. Thomas, Great St James, Jost Van Dyke and a series of small US Virgin islands.  It is very spectacular, but not peaceful, as cruise ships, fast motor boats, ferries, tour boats et al. all zoom by on this highway between the USVI and the BVI. 

The next day, we moved to the South coast, and it was a different world - quiet, just a few boats in the mooring fields of the Park. 

We moored in Little Lameshure,a delightful small circular bay. 

Don't step on me
We went snorkeling among the rocks, many fishes, nice rays, but also the most sea urchins we had seen in years. When we walked the parallel trail the next day, we realized we had swum close to a mile total.
Termite nest

We spent the next day walking through the nearby park trails, very nicely maintained, enjoying old plantation ruins, beautiful vegetation and some animal life.

14 March St Thomas

Ever ordered a pizza while snorkeling? The place for it is the anchorage West of Great St. James Island, in the south of St. Thomas. 
Floating pizzeria and delivery vehicle

This bay has a reef in the middle which makes for good fishwatching, and best of all there is a floating pizzeria anchored near the shore. We swam there on our return from the reef and ordered their specialty, Pizza Cubana, basically all the components of a cuban sandwich on a pizza. 

After an hour or so of swimming in the (comparatively) colder water of the Virgins, this was quite a welcome treat.

And some more Virgin Gorda pictures, just because:

Saba Rock Hotel
Lunch at Leverick Bay

Racing in style

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