Water Island, USVI?

Aug 28th, 2004, 06:08 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 177
Keep writing, Im reading-taking it all in. Same scenario for us, have been
to STJ for the past 6 or 7 years.
Construction now abounds!!I can't imagine giving up St John, but always
looking for another alternative, just in case... Our problem is, I'm afraid
to spend the time or money on another
island adventure, for fear it wouldn't measure up to St John. For all I know, it could surpass St John, but am reluctant to give my precious vacation time trying to find out....
Sherri1 is offline  
Aug 28th, 2004, 08:29 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 899
Our last trip to STJ in 2002, we rented a 27 ft Mako from Ocean Runner boat rental in Cruz Bay. This, without a doubt, was the highlight of our trip! I was raised on vessels and own a 27 ft boat, myself, so navigating this vessel was no big deal. They do give you the option of "renting out" a captain if you are uncomfortable or lack the seamanship to charter the islands on your own. Our day began at 8:30 AM and were blessed with blissful conditions! Sunny skies and a light chop out of the south! After clearing customs in West End, Tortola, we headed for Norman Island. We stopped and snorkeled the Indians on the way....listened to some Jimmy Buffett....and cooked up a Bloody Mary while we waited for the Willie T to open so we could indulge in another Bloody Mary and buy some souvenirs! The Willie T is a 100 foot schooner anchored in the Bight of Norman Island. Women can obtain free t-shirts with topless dives off the top of the boat....pretty cool, unless it is your mom who is winning t-shirts! After Willie T, we headed for Sandy Cay for that unbelievable feeling of being on a deserted island with a couple of palm trees and nothing else but crystal clear water to snorkel and such. I think we were on disc 3 of Jimmy's Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads by that point. Then it was off to White Bay Beach and the Soggy Dollar Bar. For those have yet to get to White Bay Beach on Jost Van Dyke....it is probably to most beautiful beach in all the BVI. A few Painkillers at the SDB and it was soon time to navigate the vessel back to Cruz Bay in anticipation of the dark thunder cell movin in our direction....I had both engines full throttle! Needless to say....the cell moved to the east and we stayed dry....got through customs in Cruz Bay, refueled the boat and went through our check with no problems! Time flies soooo fast when you have a day like that! I swear it felt like 4 hours, when it was almost a full 8! After trip drinks at the Beach Bar (when I could finally let loose a little) and steaks at the villa....we were wiped out and in bed by 9 PM!
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Aug 29th, 2004, 01:37 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 511
Sanbar51, I can't even begin to describe why we will be going back to the BVI and especially JVD (Sandcastle) and Tortola.

We've been to places with better dining (except Sandcastle - 5 star!!!!), better snorkelling, better shopping (like, we care?), better scenery (marginally), better hotels (if you want to be in a FS - I don't want that on my vacation).

What is special about the BVI is the whole package. I love:

- no high rises
- no KFC, no McD, no Ramada, no Hyatt - no chains at all
- sails on every horizon, sailboats in every harbour
- sudden rain squalls followed by sudden rainbows
- being able to drive or walk anywhere without worrying about being in the "wrong" area
- dancing to a fungi band at Sebastian's on Sunday night and having the cook and wait staff come out to dance with you; having dancers drag locals in off the street to join in
- feeling like Tortola is just a big "neighbourhood" - runnning into the same folk again and again
- having every beach and shop within a 1 hour drive
- seeing people dressed to the 9's for sunday morning church service
- the warmth of the people
- knowing my money goes into the pockets of local business people, not the head office of some big chain
- the local dogs (everyone seems to own a dog of somewhat dubious chihuahua ancestry)
- finding great food at the most "dubious" looking places (by NA standards)
- flakey 50 something folk in retro hippie gear at Bomba's full moon party
- not ever having to feel guilty about having enough money to travel (trust me - we have to save and scrimp to do this!) because there no poverty extreme; no begging; no beach vendors; no drug floggers
- heart breakingly beautiful beaches
- a myriad of beaches, each with its own personality
- snorkelling from shore at any beach
- cows, donkeys and chickens on the road, even on the 1 mile stretch of 4-lane in Roadtown
- the children
- the sun hitting a century tree on a hill top and turning it golden just for me
- little (or not so little) villas hanging off every mountain side
- running into some internet buds from here and TTOL
- the feeling like I've "come home" instead of going on a resort trip

Enough? (Mostly intangibles, I know)

Linda

saharabee is offline  
Aug 29th, 2004, 07:34 PM
  #24  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 30
Thanks everyone for keeping this alive... you have provided so much input!

Saharabee... I love your passion about Tortola - it's somewhat infectious... I guess somewhere during my business travels I realized that 'when in Rome...'. I spent weeks traveling with colleages who would rather find a McDonald's or other US franchise than try the local flavors... what a waste... and yes, I did get sick on one trip (Philippines) - but I still wouldn't change hanging with the locals (I would just only drink bottled water).

As I told CaribbeanSoul in an email, I'm awaiting confirmation from Sugar Mill on the Adventure package - we had to change the reservation date by one day because of flights (award travel). So, if all goes as planned, we'll fly to STT & spend 1-night at Hotel 1829, do whatever shopping is to be done then ferry to Tortola the following afternoon. The package includes a car for 6-days - dinner for 4-nights, day trip to Anegada, day trip to another island... is it worth the extra? My thought is that it will give us a taste of things in the area for future travel!

As for the construction on St. John - I didn't mean to put a damper on anyone's planned travel. We still LOVE St. John & will probably go back next summer - it's just different now. When you pull into Cruz Bay & see how much excavation is going on to build that condo - we were like Cyclone... very sad. I think a lot of the other building is going on in the Coral Bay area - it's the only area still reasonably priced (according to the locals and relatively speaking). I guess when we saw they were partioning & selling off Lavongo, the reality of set in... we kayaked there last year to snorkel. Yes, it starts at $500K... but someone will buy it.

So, we're looking for another paradise - maybe we can all help each other find it! S
sanbar51 is offline  

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