Basically you will probably not find "nice" Cruising possibilities on St. Thomas... or most people including myself feel that way.
You do have some near by locations such as St. James's Christmas
Cove and most of St. John which is mostly a National Park with moorings and interesting snorkeling and hiking trails.
In the BVI you will find almost anything you want in cruising locations, from marina type accommodations to more "remote" anchorages
on a number of islands. The time of year will determine which will be better. The Northern Swells of the winter season make some locations uncomfortable to somewhat risky.
In the BVI you have lots of locations on Yost Van Dyke... I like most of them but prefer the more Eastern anchorages
is an interesting spot as it is the only coral
island in the group... all the rest are of volcano origin and totally different. The main islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda have a large number of locations of all types and with different things to offer depending on what your looking for. Tortola is you main location to re-provision/ resupply. Other smaller but interesting islands include must see locations such as Norman Island (Treasure Island of the book) which has several great locations and trails that can be walked with little difficulty to more difficult treks. Peter Island has several resorts and anchorages as does Cooper
Island. The smaller islands have anchorages that are great day spots but are often not intended for night time use particularly in some seasons and weather conditions.
can be done by sight as your normally in view of several islands at any time and with a Chart it isn't difficult to locate you position. Do understand that obstructions that would be well marked in the US are NOT in the USVI or BVI. Night time sailing in most areas near the islands is not recommended unless you really know the area.
While I have not gone the Thorny Path myself I know many who have... generally once and most say they would never do it again... It is not a fast or comfortable trip by anyones account. That is one reason I leave my boat on the hard
in Tortola when I'm away for the hurricane season. If I ever bring it up to the US I'll probably never take it back down as I don't really care to intentionally cause myself any more discomfort than necessary. Having it ready in the islands is the best situation for me and many of my friends who do the same from all points in the US/ Canada
and other locations.
You may find it difficult to actually recon most of the best sailing locations with out being on a boat similar to the one your going to bring down. Most of the BVI islands and some of the USVI's have minimal roads if any with the exception of St. Thomas, St, John and Tortola. While St. Croix is part of the USVI actually very few cruisers visit the location as it is set off well away from most of the others and has few outstanding anchorages with most only being acceptable in limited weather conditions as certain times of the year... it is a long way to go for the possibility of a marginal anchorage, but this next year. I'll probably go by as I head out of the Spanish Virgin Islands
and try to avoid the beat into the wind
by going East under St. Thomas which is often called Upchuck Alley in the winter season. Heading South East to St Croix then back to BVI should be easier beam reaches.
Once you are on location, you can spend years exploring the many coves and trails the islands have.