SAILING ST. THOMAS
St. Thomas is unquestionably the sailing capital of the USVI as well as one of the top yachting destinations in the entire Caribbean. With 46 megayacht-ready berths, Yacht Haven Grande in Charlotte Amalie is a beacon for boaters with its extensive dining, entertainment, provisioning, and service options, and also serves as the base for the Moorings charter yacht operations in the USVI.
It’s a moderate walk or a short cab ride into town from the marina, and Charlotte Amalie has a lot to offer St. Thomas visitors, including duty-free shopping along narrow colonial streets and alleys, the history of the 99 Steps, Fort Christian, and Bluebeard’s Castle, and the thrill of taking a cable car to the top of Paradise Point for tasty frozen mudslides and amazing views.
Both the north and south coasts of St. Thomas have destinations for boating, swimming, diving, and exploring. Lovango Cay, a small island located off the northeast coast of St. Thomas, was always a popular snorkeling spot for USVI boaters, and it’s even more appealing now that the Lovongo Resort & Beach Club is open. The private island resort manages a mooring field and also welcomes boaters to visit the resort’s beach club for dining, drinks, or shopping.
Turtle Cove off of St. Thomas’ Buck Island, a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge, is renowned for its local population of green sea turtles and attracts both bareboat yachts and day-tripping dive charters, while Christmas Cove off Great St. James Island on St. Thomas’ east end is a popular overnight anchorage. If you don’t feel like going ashore in a nearby Red Hook for dinner, the Pizza Pi VI pizza delivery boat will be happy to bring food to you. Four marinas, including Compass Point Marina make nearby Banner Bay another option for moorings, provisioning, and other boater services.
Magens Bay consistently ranks on lists of top beaches in the Caribbean, and a St, Thomas north shore sail brings you to the anchorage on the southeast end of the bay, which is close to the dingy landing if you want to hit the beach (or bar) while visiting. On the far west tip of St. Thomas, you’ll find the Mermaid’s Chair, a double-sided beach —Caribbean on one side, Atlantic on the other — that’s an off-the-beaten-path destination for snorkeling and sunning. Arriving by boat is certainly superior to the 3.6-mile hike in and out.