⛵ Charter notes from our USVI land-based stay


Hi Reader,

We just returned from an amazing land-based trip to St. Thomas for Spring Break. We stayed on the north shore, close to Magens Bay, and enjoyed wonderful vistas stretching all the way to the palm tree-lined shore of White Bay, Jost Van Dyke.

Though our sea legs took a brief hiatus, our spirit for exploration remained as we ventured into locales beloved by bareboat charter crews. Here are the pearls of wisdom we unearthed during our visit that might help you on your next USVI or BVI charter.

Magens Bay: horrible timing

Our visit to Magens Bay coincided with the arrival of three cruise ships, turning the quest for a beachside lunch into an hour-long ordeal. Good thing we brought our own cooler of cold Caribs! This experience underscored my stance on the delicate balance destinations like White Bay face with increasing cruise ship tourist influx.

We stuck it out and as the afternoon waned, the crowds returned to their ships, and we enjoyed some relatively peaceful moments on the beach.

The next day, the presence of 4 cruise ships, including the largest cruise ship afloat, Icon of the Seas, solidified our decision to enjoy the tranquility of a day at home in our pool.

Maho Bay: expectations vs. reality

Maho Bay is my favorite of the north shore National Park beaches on St. John for its beautiful setting. We caught an early ferry and secured a great spot under some trees before crowds began to arrive by 9.

A couple of takeaways:

  • The snorkeling was disappointing this time with only one turtle sighting. Despite settled conditions, the water was also a bit murky.
  • I had some of the worst tacos of my life at Maho Crossroads - the number one ranked Caribbean Beach Bar. I think this culinary misadventure will leave some scars.

Lindquist Beach: a perfect hideaway

In our quest to dodge the cruise ship crowd, Lindquist Beach revealed itself as a haven reminiscent of Hawaiian landscapes. It's buffered by a reef that also helped break up some of the northerly swell that had arrived.

This slice of paradise now features first-come-first-serve Boatball moorings, which recently dropped anchor in the USVIs. It's worth a visit, but in more settled conditions than we experienced.

North Swell

Midweek brought a magnificent northeast swell, and we enjoyed watching the big rollers come in and crash on the north shore of St. Thomas.

Check out this sunset timelapse clip of Magens Bay - you can see the swell coming in and how some of it even wraps its way into the anchorage.

Provisioning

We had another great experience using ViProvisioning to stock up our kitchen. I had previously used them for a USVI/SVI bareboat charter back in 2022. There were no errors, and most importantly, no crazy substitutes! You pay up for the service, but it's worth the convenince factor.

If you'd prefer to do your own shopping in USVI, my go-to stop would be Cost-U-Less. It's a tropical twist on Costco. Prices are great and many things you don't have to purchase in bulk.

Transportation

Foregoing a rental car, we leaned on P-Nut, a local driver whose expertise and warmth made our daily trips seamless. A highly recommended companion for navigating the island’s charms (and its roads).

If you need a trip from the STT airport to the public ferry terminal, Red Hook, or elsewhere, give him a call and let him know Matt at the Yacht Warriors referred you. He'll take good care of you and the crew.

P-Nut: 340-643-5777 (you can also try him on text, but phone worked best for me).


That's it for this week! I'll leave you with a few snapshots capturing the essence of our stay, from the unexpected guest of an Elkhorn Fern to the serene vistas over Lovenlund Bay.

For those stirred by the call of a USVI charter, check out our resources to help you navigate these waters, often overshadowed by their BVI counterpart.

Have a great week!

- Matt Weidert

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