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
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
Our next stop is the Spanish Virgins, first the island
of Culebra and then to Puerto Rico.