US Virgin IslandsThursday, 10 April 2014
From British Virgin Islands my little group continued on to the US Virgin Islands (with an unexpected interruption by US immigration which I’ll cover in the next report!).
◄ We started with St John Island, which offers plenty of walking opportunities for energetic visitors. We walked from Francis Bay to the ruins of the Annanberg Sugar Mill, this is the old windmill that used to crush the sugarcane. The hard work here was done by slaves, but despite being in an American colony the slaves were Danish. This was a Danish colony until the Americans purchased the islands in 1917, fearing that they might have fallen into German hands which might have posed a danger to shipping through the Panama Canal. From the mill ruins we continued along Leinster Bay and up to the ruins of the old plantation homestead overlooking Leinster Point.
I dived Eagle Shoal off the south-east corner of St John. According to the old Lonely Planet Pisces dive guide to the US Virgin Islands it’s an iconic USVI dive site with a big ‘cathedral’ arched area. It was the second Virgin Islands highlighted by an encounter with a beautiful (and big) spotted eagle ray quite unconcerned about my finning along with it..
▲ From St John we continued to St Thomas, cruise ship central of the Virgin Islands and our final stop. From here we all flew out to Miami. Charlotte Amalie, the main town of the US Virgin Islands, features some attractive old colonial houses around the centre.
◄ You can ascend the 99 Steps, constructed out of ship’s ballast stones and a reminder that the town climbs steeply away from the harbourside.
▲ Charlotte Amalie is also a good place to sample Caribbean cuisine.