Monday, 20 January 2014

St Croix 17 50N 64 40W

15th Jan 2014
Crossing to St Croix
Weds 15th Departed early from St John crossing to St Croix, the wind as usual was higher than the expected 15 -17 knts, so was the sea. SOG 9.1 knts for a while, it was fast but I'm not too fond when the wind is on the beam at 22 -24 knts and heeled over. Anyway 38. nm miles later we were in Green Cay Marina.

St Croix is the largest of the US Virgin Isles and from what we have seen so far its the nicest. The island is the furthest point east of the USA, we plan to visit the most easterly point before we leave.
The decision was made to go into a marina to get some proper sleep and avoid the "unknown reefs" was a good one.  St Croix is surrounded by reef and the wind was still doing what it wasn't forecast to do.

The marina is a "cute" place, small and has very helpful and friendly staff. The rates are stay for 7 nights pay for 5 help us make up our mind and as we are still waiting to hear about the chaps delivery we are delaying our checkin with the BVI's.

The beach with sunshades and beds in the resort
Its a 10 minute walk away from the marina so its quiet where we are
The marina is quite a way out of town, its on a resort so we can use the facilities, swimming pool, bear chairs, kaiaks, restaurant and beach bar / cafe. The resort has lots of Danes on holiday no doubt checking out the island. So we hired a car to go around the island for a few days as paying for a taxi both ways into town pays a days car hire, there are no busses that come into the resort and we fancy exploring more of the place then later need to provision with some fresh goodies.

Here the traffic drive on the left, no big deal, but the steering wheel is on the left too, I can say it makes for very nervous passengers, it doesn't seem quite right somehow.

Looking East from Frederiksted
Friday 17th.
We were picked up and taken into the town of Christiansted to collect the hire car, drove to the West side of the island to Frederiksted, parking was easy and we strolled around  and went to the Fort Frederik now a museum dating back to the year 1760, it has lots of information but it could have been better displayed and the place is in need of updating and painting. The Danish built it to protect St Croix against pirates smugglers and european powers. Since then it served as a police station, jail, courthouse and a fire station.

Taken from the courtyard inside

Big guns face out to sea
The sugar industry was the economic mainstay for over 200 years but no longer
St Croix, St John and St Thomas used to be owned and run by the Danish but sold out to the US in 1917 for 25 million dollars. The museum shows previously the land was worked by african slaves who came here on a slave ship called Fredensborg there are records of sales of slaves that occurred in St Croix.

It was here in July 1848 that 8,000 slaves surrounded the fort and demanded their freedom.  Just outside the fort is the customs house with a statue of a man blowing a conch shell, its said that the slaves blew the horns to inform everyone of the rebellion.
The conch blower
The clock tower outside the park and customs house

This area is just outside the boardwalk, a shady area not too far from the cruise ship entrance   

There is a lot of information that I can't put on the blog but it is available if you search for St Croix and the Forts here.

Its quite nice here
The boardwalk
Nice places to walk
One of the places we wanted to visit was the Cruzan Rum distillery so we went to go on the tour. The place was busy with big groups of Danish folks and we don't speak Danish the owner took us on the tour, she was very informative, the smells in the facility were very tempting, I would hate to fall in one of those huge open vats.
The sampling after the tour was given by the same lady and as most folk had left we chatted for a while it turns out she has a boat in the same marina. As we needed to refresh our rum supplies the offers were very tempting so three boxes of six and 3 other bottles later only left us with the thought where the heck do we put them all. I was determined to pack them safely but still at hand should we need to partake in a few cocktails. Success! I threw away all the food and now we have rum, just joking. No the boat does not look like a floating bar, yet!

The return journey took us past a couple of huge supermarkets and we only intended for a couple of items, 202$ later we came out and so we had even more things to pack away.

Back soon
Don and Glenys
Agua Therapy having fun in the Virgins

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