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Old 14-12-2011, 10:52   #16
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

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My fiance is a nurse and was just looking at nursing opportunities in the US Virgin Islands. Strictly hypothetically speaking what would it be like if we went and lived down there for a year? Can you live aboard? What is the coast of living like? Are people generally sour about people washing ashore there?
USVI Relocation Message Board :: General/Relocating

STX is a "working" island with not a lot of tourism compared to STT.
Having lived at STX I can say hurricane holes are essentially non existent and the marina with a travelift is not terribly reliable about getting any given boat on the hard. Cost of living is high. Nursing jobs are generally available because the hospitals are not where anyone wants to work very long. Most locals are good people and if you respect their way of life and customs (just like anywhere else) and stay out of bad neighborhoods you will be OK. That and be back to the boat or the one secure marina by dark. Highest murder rate in the US is the USVI! However living on the hook in Christiansted can be absolutely delightful. Beautiful warm water and can follow the anchor chain all the way to the bottom. Above all everything moves much slower and get used to it or leave. Read "Don't Stop the Carnival" and take it to heart. "Life in the Left Lane" is a good read also IMO.

GoToStCroix.com: St. Croix Webcam, Christiansted Live, Virgin Islands Webcam, Caribbean Webcam

PS I would go back in a heartbeat but momma wants to be near her grandkids in frozen heck Ohio GRRRRR
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Old 14-12-2011, 10:54   #17
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

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The best I can sum it up is the government bureaucracy recognizes locals, transient tourists, and rich people... Everyone else they pretty much ignore or hassle
Oh...So the bureaucracy of the Hawaiian Islands have moved to USVI!
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Old 14-12-2011, 11:00   #18
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

We have a boat on St. Croix at Green Cay Marina. One of our boat neighbors is a live aboard RN. She works at the hospital until hurricane season and then goes to the southern islands until then end of hurricane season. They seem quite happy and have a great social life on St. Croix and meet up with other friends when they travel south. Green Cay is an excellent marina. Very friendly and helpful.
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Old 14-12-2011, 11:19   #19
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I lived on St Thomas for six months and I too will not go back. Between not being a local and the high crime rate I will pick another island.
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Old 14-12-2011, 11:49   #20
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

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My fiance is a nurse and was just looking at nursing opportunities in the US Virgin Islands. Strictly hypothetically speaking what would it be like if we went and lived down there for a year? Can you live aboard? What is the coast of living like? Are people generally sour about people washing ashore there?
Yes you can live aboard. I am looking at dozens and dozens of live aboards right now. Many people live aboard all year. Some leave for hurricane season or move into marinas. Cost of living is very expensive.

It is and can be done.

There are many traveling nurses here.

Tee, there are at least 10 marinas I can think of on St Thomas. That's without trying too hard. Many of them do require the vessels to leave before the arrival of any named storm. A few do not.

If I owned a marina and had a mooring, I'd put my boat on a mooring to make more income too!

Not sure about the population density comments but do know there are large pieces of all three islands that have zero development on them. True the cities are very densly populated but it you are living aboard, so what?
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Old 17-12-2011, 20:03   #21
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

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In other words they may not be super accommodating to a seasonal workforce?
In St Thomas, the workforce is very "seasonal" and is centered around the cruise ship season from December to May. The rest of the year things are real sparse with most tourist/cruise ship stores/shops shut down or on minimal staffing.

I was there from Jan to May of this year and the marinas all had a lot of space available as the world financial crunch has hit there also. But prices are still up. As live-aboard, but active cruiser, I have always liked St Thomas and the other US Virgins, but then again I am not living on land there. - And I leave in a couple of months or so.

I have lived there on my boat for several months a year every year or two over the last decade. Most of my time was "down island" with trips back to USVI mail, and the ability to purchase supplies from the mainland USA without having to deal with foreign customs b.s.

Medical services leave a lot to be desired down there and funny enough when I was hospitalized here in Orlando quite a few of the nurses were from the USVI. They said working conditions and pay down there was not good and they could do much better back on the mainland USA.
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Old 17-12-2011, 20:51   #22
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

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Originally Posted by michaeldsusa View Post
USVI Relocation Message Board :: General/Relocating

STX is a "working" island with not a lot of tourism compared to STT.
Having lived at STX I can say hurricane holes are essentially non existent and the marina with a travelift is not terribly reliable about getting any given boat on the hard. Cost of living is high. Nursing jobs are generally available because the hospitals are not where anyone wants to work very long. Most locals are good people and if you respect their way of life and customs (just like anywhere else) and stay out of bad neighborhoods you will be OK. That and be back to the boat or the one secure marina by dark. Highest murder rate in the US is the USVI! However living on the hook in Christiansted can be absolutely delightful. Beautiful warm water and can follow the anchor chain all the way to the bottom. Above all everything moves much slower and get used to it or leave. Read "Don't Stop the Carnival" and take it to heart. "Life in the Left Lane" is a good read also IMO.

GoToStCroix.com: St. Croix Webcam, Christiansted Live, Virgin Islands Webcam, Caribbean Webcam

PS I would go back in a heartbeat but momma wants to be near her grandkids in frozen heck Ohio GRRRRR
I Second READ!! "Don't Stop the Carnival" but if you haven't lived here you will just think it's a story.

Cheers
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Old 17-12-2011, 21:18   #23
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

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I Second READ!! "Don't Stop the Carnival" but if you haven't lived here you will just think it's a story.

Cheers
Who wrote that? That's not the Jimmy Buffet one is it?
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Old 18-12-2011, 04:56   #24
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

Herman Wouk is the author. He and Jimmy Buffet dreamed up a musical based on the book, which I'm not sure gained any traction.

And, yes, it's "true" fiction. Anyone thinking of moving to the islands should read it, just to be prepared for reality when they get here.
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Old 18-12-2011, 07:46   #25
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

Ha ha that's okay I don't plan on buying a hotel. In fact I don't plan on doing much of anything.
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Old 18-12-2011, 14:35   #26
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

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. . . What is the coast of living like? . . .
Don't anybody has addressed that - but in most of the islands there is a clearly 2-sided economy. First is the tourist side with hotels, stores, shops and restaurants with high prices and all the nice stuff money can buy.

- - But the workers there are not paid that well and cannot live with that level of costs. So there is the "other side" of the economy with stores, shops and food places with low prices. It takes awhile to ferret out where these places are located, but once you do, the living costs are much lower or at least significantly below "tourist" levels. St Thomas has many "local's" places to shop and eat with very reasonable prices and some are even located buried back in the corners of the "tourist" areas. After all, the "help" have to eat.
- - So depending upon your own personal "standard of living" you can live there as economically as in the mainland USA.
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Old 21-12-2011, 11:33   #27
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

Sorry Osirissail But I have to respectfully disagree with you on the most part regarding cheap stuff for locals. One of my best friends has lived on the island for 5 years and I have visited him a few times a year since then. NOTHING is cheap on the island simply due to the freight situation first and second the tourists. You can definitely find stuff cheaper than what is offered at the tourist shops but you could never compare it to what it would cost you at a Walmart in USA or Puerto Rico for that fact. Do not mislead people into believing their is some secret cheap places in St Thomas or all the USVI to buy supplies etc.

The only good deals are probably the happy hours and the duty free rum/alcohol/tobacco. this is cheap.. so if you can live off cigs and rum the USVI is a sweet deal.otherwise it is much more expensive than USA or PR.. Even the food sold at the street trucks for lunch/dinner/late night is more expensive than usual US prices.

The Kmart on the island charges way higher prices for everything. so much so that my friend buys everything including his laundry detergent from PR and takes it on the plane with him.

I also wanted to add that St. Thomas has the highest per capita murder rate in all of the US. It is getting more and more dangerous so be cautious.


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Don't anybody has addressed that - but in most of the islands there is a clearly 2-sided economy. First is the tourist side with hotels, stores, shops and restaurants with high prices and all the nice stuff money can buy.

- - But the workers there are not paid that well and cannot live with that level of costs. So there is the "other side" of the economy with stores, shops and food places with low prices. It takes awhile to ferret out where these places are located, but once you do, the living costs are much lower or at least significantly below "tourist" levels. St Thomas has many "local's" places to shop and eat with very reasonable prices and some are even located buried back in the corners of the "tourist" areas. After all, the "help" have to eat.
- - So depending upon your own personal "standard of living" you can live there as economically as in the mainland USA.
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Old 22-12-2011, 06:28   #28
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

And I would also respectfully disagree that your "second hand" information from someone living on land or visiting a land based person is biased whereas my personally living there on a cruising boat is quite different. Nothing wrong with that "bias" it just means that other people, especially long term cruisers have a different experience,
- - I don't have to pay "rent" or "car expenses" which is more relevant to cruisers. Personal tastes and habits make an enormous difference in what you will perceive as the "costs" in a particular place. We don't really "eat out" (drinking out is a different matter) and normally buy "basic foods" rather than manufactured foods and junk food. So the bias comes in comparing apples to pomegranates rather than the costs a cruiser would encounter of food shopping and getting around.
- - There are a significant amount of cruisers both single-handers and couples who arrive each year to work the cruise ship shops and services from "down island." Their wages are low and they need to save money which is how they replenish their "cruising kitty" before heading back south again for the hurricane season. Since our way of living is significantly different from land-living folk, our purchases and shopping habits are also quite different.
- - We don't shop at Walmarts as there is nothing there a cruiser needs. We may pop into the KMarts in Long Bay but not for much. There is even a "Cost-U-Less" just up the road on the way to Red Hook for those who want a bulk purchasing experience. And a Home Depot near it.
- - Again, for most of long term cruisers, we are not "tourists" and our budgets are very limited what with the extra costs of repair parts for the boat, etc. So we pass on to each other where we can get stuff at reasonable prices, sort of like a network. The long term cruising life is significantly different from land-living folk and our buying habits are also quite different.
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Old 22-12-2011, 09:21   #29
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

You are right, I am comparing land lovers vs. sailors expenses.

But not from a tourist point of view. A person living on an island 320 days out of 365 for 5 years is someone I would consider a "local". I would consider that more "local" than sailors who are seasonal and not there all year...
I applaud you and the other sailors for finding stuff "cheap" on an island where everyone else finds it expensive, so much so that the minimum wage is $10.00 because life is so expensive their.. The Federal minimum wage applies but the vast majority of people working normal jobs start at $10.00 or more due to higher living costs.

All of this though is irrelevant as you are 100% right that I am comparing "apples to pomegranates". So blue skies and happy sailing to one and all...
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Old 22-12-2011, 10:05   #30
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Re: USVI Live Aboard Situation

Either way I am sure that people living there DO find things inflated. You can go to the market and \get your groceries cheap but what happens when you need to buy clothing, supplies, boat parts? There are hidden expenses in "simple" living.

I grew up on Martha's Vineyard where a bag of groceries starts at about $45 and fuel is consistently 50% more than on the mainland. The real expense of living on an Island comes from being in a rural place and having to drive everywhere, that and getting on and off of the Island. I won't know until I get there will I?
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