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Mar 03

St. Thomas: Tourist Paradise

We’ve spent most of our time in quiet, sparsely-populated anchorages. Because we prefer it. So in St. Thomas, we thought it would be a fun change of pace to go where all the crowds go. So we went: The Inner Harbor.

Getting into the inner harbor was interesting – we had a giant cruise ship follow us in. Already anchored in the inner harbor were three other cruise ships! I couldn’t believe they could fit so many of these floating cities in one place. Landing just on the other side of the harbor, a plane. No big deal – he doesn’t need much room and there’s no marked “runway” in the harbor – he finds the space he needs and goes for it. Amazing.

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Entering the Inner Harbor @ St. Thomas – check out the cruise ship just behind us! Coming in hot!

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Free Range anchored amongst the giants. Slow Flight to the right of us.

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Dwarfed by the giants.

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Maneuvering around the big boats.

 

Every Wednesday afternoon, the little town of Charlotte Amalie is overrun from noon until five and then breathes a sigh of relief as the cruise ships exit the Inner Harbor off to the next scenic island / duty free shop.

Tourists pour forth from the Norwegian Cruise, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity Cruise (are there actually celebrities on board or do you just feel like one with all the pampering?). Fairly easy to spot with pasty white skin and sporting the obligatory Hawaiian shirt and palm-frond hat, the cruise ship tourist prefers to spend his limited time in foreign countries surveying the selection of exotic booze at the duty free shop; he is often tempted into purchasing such goodies as chocolate diamonds (the newest trend-  your wife will LOVE them!) or a Breitling watch (Swiss; you know the Swiss make only the best watches).

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Ogling the weird booze at the duty free shop. “Wild Africa” has a soft, leopard-skin cover…

 

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Shiver me timbers!

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View of the Inner Harbor from the top of the “99 Steps” (a tourist attraction). You walk up “99” steps (actually there are 102, our friend Mark counted them) that are made from old bricks that were once used as ballast in British and Dutch ships. At the top, you have this very scenic view of the harbor.

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This is a crazy story. Last July, we almost bought this boat! Stéphane flew out to St. Thomas to check out Nereia. Her owner, David, was my old neighbor in Montrose!!! SMALL WORLD. Anyways, as we are cruising through this anchorage in St. Thomas, looking for a spot to drop anchor, we see Nereia AND David is in a dinghy, on his way to the airport after being in St. Thomas for two months. NO WAY!!! We were bummed we couldn’t catch up with David but we did get a chance to check out Nereia (since I didn’t get to the first time). Small, small world. I feel like I say that a lot on this blog, but it is true.

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During a dinghy exploration through one of the St. Thomas anchorages, we discovered a sad sight – a half-sunken sailboat. Just left to rot. Apparently the Coast Guard approves, though.

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Can we salvage some of the parts? Is that kosher?

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Happy hour with old and new friends. We spent most of the evening chatting with Gregg, who has inspired us to sail to Guadalupe (over St. Marten) to practice our French.

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We check out a third anchorage in St. Thomas called Honeymoon Beach. Every Monday night for the past ten years, the locals show a movie on the beach – it’s projected onto a sheet tied to palm trees. They set up plastic chairs and you can buy popcorn and drinks at the beach bar. Minus the nasty mosquitoes at sunset and the HORRIBLE movie (The Interview), it was a fun experience.

 

 

 

 

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Missing our Colorado friends, but this helps a bit: Stéphane made Tom’s famous Jalapeño Poppers on our grill.

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. Grandma

    St. Thomas – I remember it. Your grandpa and I had a stop there in 1990 when we booked a cruise for our 40th anniversary, Nice! XO

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