St Thomas, USVI

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Mon 16 Mar 2009 18:58
18:20.33N 64:55.72W    Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas
We are now in the main town of the USVI, Charlotte Amalie which is a very busy cruise ship, yacht and ferry harbour. The  "ferry" that goes to St Croix is not a boat, it is a twin-engine sea-plane, which takes off and lands right here in the bay every half an hour.  On the other side, the giant cruise ships, some of them up to 12 storeys high, arrive and leave each day, carrying up to 3500 passengers each. Tomorrow we are expecting to see 4 of these ships in town. It is quite interesting to be anchored so close to all this action.
The Virgin Islands, which had been settled by the Caribs, Arawaks and Amerindian, were "discovered" by Columbus in the 1490's.  Following this, there was the great pirating/ Spanish gold era, until eventually these islands (St Croix, St Thomas and St John) were formally taken by the Danes. In 1917 the USA bought these territories in order to have a military outpost in the Caribbean. The Danish influence remains, with very interesting place names and a street is called "gade" e.g. Dronningens Gade or Wimmelkskaft Gade.
We spent the weekend at Christmas Cove - a beautiful small bay off the east coast. On Saturday, Jane Dicola, whom I met through our mutual friend Heather, came over for lunch. Jane lived on a boat in this area with her husband and daughter for many years, before moving on to the island. I had met her the last time I was in St Thomas and we had some interesting catching up to do!  Naturally this was done with a few bottles of the Cape's finest, and the headache still lingers. 
On the fishing front, there has been little success for some time now.. Mike is getting somewhat frustrated and is looking forward to catching something in Cape Town when we get back later this month. He has also bought a Hawaiian sling - which is a kind of hand held alternative to a speargun - this, in anticipation of our trip through the Bahamas.
Our next stop is the Spanish Virgins, first the island of Culebra and then to Puerto Rico.