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Old 25-12-2008, 15:19   #1
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St.Thomas or Bust

Hi all,
I got the cruising bug about a year and a half ago (had only sailed once). So i bought a 25' boat as a learner boat and have been river sailing (Ohio river as I live in Indiana). I want to go to St. Thomas and see what it is like. I do not have the experience or the money to do a charter. So I am looking for a liveaboard or someone cruising there that I could pay a couple hundred dollars to cruise with for about a week. I bought a ticket and will arive January 27th and return to Indiana Feb 3rd. It may be a stupid thing to do (time will tell), but I just have to go. My jump up and go spirit gets me in trouble sometimes, but I always have an adventure. If any one is interested please e-mail me.

Thanks Mike
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Old 25-12-2008, 15:24   #2
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If no one takes you up on it here I suggest you just hit the bricks when you arrive in St. Thomas and find out where the cruisers hang out. Buy a few drinks and I bet you will be at least able to hitch a ride for day sails. I know as a live-aboard I would not invite a stranger to come and live on my boat for even a week. Remember this is my home. It would be like knocking on a door in a neighborhood you like and asking the folks if you could stay in their home with them for a week. Get a hotel and look for some rides.
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Old 25-12-2008, 18:14   #3
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Your raw amibition is obvious.

Chuck's comments are on target. I would suggest you have a more specific plan or a big wad of cash (probably best to have both). You may have already done all the research and know how incredibly expensive things are here compared to Indiana. If you don't understand that large issue than I would suggest to read up on USVI Moving Center - The Ultimate Resource for Relocating to and Living in the Virgin Islands to get an idea of costs even though you are not moving here. That forum would also be a good resource to try and make some local additional contacts who may be willing and able to assist you.

A good strategy might be to put in some hours online by contacting some of the independent charter websites and get something set up before you leave there. This tourist season is starting very slowly and the live aboards that charter their boats may be willing to "make a deal". Finding those folks after you fly done could prove challenging and eat up a lot of your time and money...taxis and hotel rooms. If you want to try and get on a boat after you get here, you might wish to try and hit the bars at the marinas.

Feel free to send me a PM if I can help you any further.
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Old 26-12-2008, 21:35   #4
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Thanks guys,

I am hoping to line something up before I go, but if I can't I will look for day sails once I get there. But hopefully I can corespond with someone and get to know them before I go.

Mike
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Old 27-12-2008, 05:28   #5
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Ok well I did exactly what you are doing but in 1988 and I was flying there on a one way ticket. I had decided that I needed to go and I bought my ticket and had 500 USD in my account.

When I first landed I took a taxi to Yacht Haven and went to the bar and started meeting people. The first nigth I had to stay in the Hotel, so I was down to about 350 dollars on the second day. I was lucky to have met some great people and the second day at the bar, I was offered a boat to live on until I found a job and other accommedations. The boat was an older wooden sloop, about 28 feet long. I had agreed to do brightwork to it for my lodging.

So I guess I would recommend taking the taxi to the Marina Bar and start meeting people, walk the docks, and just be friendly. If the worst happens and you can not find a place to stay, take a tent with you and keep in mind that there is a State Park on St. Johns. Very inexpensive accommedations.
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Old 27-12-2008, 17:11   #6
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Waverider, Very interesting. How long did you stay in St. Thomas? Are cruisers as friendly as I have read about. I have read alot of mags, books, and threads and it seems that if you are a fellow cruiser that you are family. Being from Iniana this would be kind of foriegn thinking to me, except that I lived in Australia for 4 years. It was unbeliveable to me there. You never met a stranger. I can't tell you how many people I met and they invited me hone to tea that day. I could make more friends there in a month than I can here in 5 years.
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Old 30-12-2008, 06:33   #7
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I met lots of people and had no problem finding a boat to stay on. If you are willing to do work on board for your accomedations then it shouldn't be a problem. There is no doubt that the british virgins are cleaner, friendler, and have more charter jobs availible. St. Thomas is more of a Sport Fishing Island then Sailing.

I was there for just 1 season ( 6 months). The sailing and jobs are there if you look hard enough, sometimes the bar is the best place. Sometimes just walking the docks is a good idea. You can always put an add in the local paper too. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 24-01-2009, 16:06   #8
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Well, I was hoping to have something set up before I got there, but that hasn't happened. So let the adventure begin. I will post my experience when I get back. Thanks all for the info.
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Old 24-01-2009, 21:41   #9
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Good Luck

Cheers

Bill
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Old 25-01-2009, 15:23   #10
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Have fun!!!!! If you get in a bind while visiting, send me an email and I'll see what I can do to help you out.
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Old 25-01-2009, 16:25   #11
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Thanks Rubikoop,

I printed out the info you gave me earlier and am going to try that and see what happens. I think the first night will be the toughest, as my flight arrives at 10:30 pm. Hopefully it will get alot more fun after that.
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Old 04-02-2009, 17:44   #12
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Just got back last night. Wow what an adventure. On the flight into St. Thomas I asked one of the flight attendants if she new of a really cheap place to stay in St. Thomas. She said she would see if she could find any info for me. About 5 minutes later she told me she had found a guy that lived there and he would come back and talk to me. So a little later a guy named Tom came back and sat beside me and said he lived there and asked my plans. I told him of my hope to find a boat to stay on and would pay or do work for the oppertunity. He said he had a friend that had a boat yard and he could probably arange something. We talked for a little while and i got a litle funny feeling about him, but I thought I would see were things went. A few minutes later the stewardess brought an older lady from Holland back to talk to Tom. She needed a place to stay. She came to crew on a catamaran, but it was going to be a day late in getting there. He said he had a place she could rent for the night. Tom went back up front and Elizabeth (lady from Holand) and I started talking. From Tom's demeaner nether one of us were too comfortable with him. When we got to the airport, Elizabeth was getting things sorted out, she was apprehensive and asked me not to leave her. I told her I wouldn't and I when to look for Tom. He was waiting in the parking lot. He asked where Elizabeth was. I told him I would go and get her. He said "no get in the truck, lets leave her". I told him no and went in to talk to her and he took off. So we stood there trying to figure out what to do next, as niether one of us had much money. She suggested splitting a hotel. Since it was about 11 pm and the last taxi was about to leave, I didn't see any other options. So we took a taxi to Bunker hill and split a room for $65 apiece. The next morning she took the ferry to meet her catamran, and I walked to On Deck and asked if the knew of any one looking for crew. They said no and sent me to talk to someone else, and so began a whole day of going from here to there talking to people with no luck. So after walking all over town and talking to I don't know how many people, I decided to take the ferry over to water island and camp on the beach for the night. On the ferry over I met a guy named Jeno and told him of my grand adventure. He thought for a minute and said he had a Morgan 38 at Honeymoon beach (on Water Island) that he had been reworking and I could stay on it if I wanted. Perfect, exactly what I was look for. So we went to his place and I met his girlfriend. We had supper and stayed up and talked to 1 am. The nest day I went to work with him for half a day (we are both carpenters) and then at lunch he got me set up on the boat. He lent me a kayack to access the boat. It was a real blast. I had never kayacked before. After I got the hang of it, I kayacked all the way around Water island. One day I kayacked over to Crown Bay Marina and back. I bought some snorkel gear and snorkeled for the first time. So my days were cleaning the boat, kyacking, snorkeling, or laying in the cockpit enjoying the view. Definitly one of the best weeks of my life. Tuesday morning Jeno came with the dinghy and took me to Crum bay, and I walked from there to the airport.

The icing on the cake was that the night I left we got the worst winter storm in 25 years, 3 inches of ice and 5 inches of snow. The power was out for five days. But I was warm and happy!
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Old 04-02-2009, 18:23   #13
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Old 04-02-2009, 18:27   #14
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Nice work READY2GO!!
Good Karma brings great rewards!!
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Old 04-02-2009, 19:24   #15
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READY2GO,
Glad to hear that you had a great adventure and things worked out for you. It doesn't sound like you got to do much exploring on St Thomas. Water Island would be a good place to get used to "the life".

During one of our house shopping trips before moving here my wife and I stayed at Bunker Hill as well.
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