Cruzan dark rum
Coke 2L = $3.00 (on sale)
As for St. Thomas being a "stinking, festering, sore to be avoided", I disagree. There are areas that should be avoided (anyplace further back than Back Street unless you're in a car) but there are some great hotels and restaurants there. The "cool, North Side" can be a great place for dining, entertainment, and great vistas. In most any harbor town/city there are places where you simply don't want to be.
A big problem is that the main road runs along the waterfront and the smell of ozone, exhaust
, dripping antifreeze
, horns, radios, and other intrusions can make anchoring
in Charlotte Amalie Harbor less than pristine. Add in the cruise
ships, ferries, and other marine
traffic and the deep harbor can be less than tranquil.
on the west side of Hassel or Water
Islands can be quite nice. It's a longer tender
ride to shore and the Frenchtown/Crown Bay area can be intimidating.
You can head
over to Red Hook and anchor
there but the wave action is more than Charlotte Amalie. Red Hook has a number of stores and being away from Charlotte Amalie a bit safer.
Some folks like anchoring off Buck Island or Christmas
I liked Cruz Bay more but anchoring is very tough due to a small anchorage, a lot of boats, and the ferries that run early to late. Most of the time we took the ferry
over to Red Hook to shop or occasionally CA for the big items.
A very nice alternative is Coral
Bay, at the eastern end of the island. Getting anywhere is expensive as the taxis have a stranglehold on transportation (and therefore very high prices for a short ride). You can get a group together to go shopping
, take the boat
over to Red Hook for provisioning
, or buy locally. OTOH, Norman Island's a few miles upwind and a great quickie sail to the much subdued waters of the BVI
Are there better places? Depends on what you're looking for. St. Thomas/John in season is bursting with boats, but not as much as the BVIs, IMO. During hurricane
season, it is not the place to be. Need duty free items shipped in? USVI is hard to beat. Need provisions and want stateside brands? USVI is hard to beat. Want to make cheaper phone
calls? USVI is hard to beat. Want to get work
done? Want to have your mail sent somewhere or send mail out? USVI's USPS or DHL/FedEx all have regular flights.
Want a quiet, calm anchorage? Go somewhere else (generally south of Martinique
, IMO), although many of those anchorages
have been "discovered" by cruisers, charter
boats, folks looking for work
or needing work.