Monday March 21, after the morning rain had stopped we went by dinghy to customs and immigration to check in. One form, no duplicate questions it was simple and quick, next we had show our QR code’s from USVI Travel Portal. No passports stamp, no checking in required when get to Florida, officially we’re back in the US of A!
The Dutch West India Company established a post on Saint Thomas in 1657. The land was divided into plantations and sugarcane production became highly profitable traded item that became dependent on slave labor. In the late 1680’s the largest slave auctions in the world were held there. After the Danish Revolution of 1848, slavery was abolished resulting in higher labor costs weakening the status of the sugar producers.
In 1917, Saint Thomas as well as other islands, were purchased by the United States as a defensive strategy to maintain control over the Caribbean and the Panama Canal during the World War I. US troops were also based here during WWII. After the embargo on Cuba, tourism greatly increased.
Several years ago along with Dan’s siblings we took a Carnival Cruise that stopped in St Thomas. I don’t remember there being shop after shop of jewelry stores or the picturesque alleyways. As with most shopping areas we’ve visited there were many closed stores too.
Tuesday March 22, it rained the majority of the day, so we stayed on Trance. A few boat projects were worked on, there are always boat projects!
Wednesday March 23, Dan and I took a taxi in the morning to the St. Thomas Yacht Club. There is a big regatta this weekend we decided to see if they needed any volunteers, they told us they didn’t need anyone. Had lunch at the club then called a taxi, went to a Cost U Less for a few items. It was like a Costco without a membership, they even had several Kirkland brand items and it smelled like a Costco.
Thursday March 24, another rainy day here in the Caribbean. much of the day was spent on the boat, till late afternoon we dinghy’d in for dinner to a little restaurant off the beaten path to The Sugar Cane Grill.
Friday March 25, walked around town to see some of the nearby sites and explored a few grocery stores. Blackbeard’s Castle was boarded up closed as it it still under repair from the last two hurricanes that hit St. Thomas. Later we hung out at The Box, an outdoor bar, for happy hour then returned to Trance.
Saturday March 26, departed our anchorage at Charlotte-Amalia for Red Hook. Our water tank being almost empty, we had a slow ride around the corner to make water. We are renting a mooring ball from Skip and Andrea at Island Yacht Charters. They offer bareboat charters with their fleet of Island Packet Yachts.
Sunday March 27, the day was spent with Hayden and Radeen Cochran s/v Island Spirit. They administer the Island Packet Owners Facebook group and are great ambassadors for the yachts.
Tomorrow, Monday March 28, we will depart St. Thomas USVI for Ft Lauderdale. It will be around 1000 miles and should take about 8 days. The circle is almost complete!