US Virgin Islands

Thursday, 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!).

USVI licence plate 542

Annaberg Sugar Mill, St John, USVI 271◄ 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..

Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, USVI 02 542▲ 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.

Frederick Lutheran Church, Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, USVI 542

99 Steps, Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, USVI 271▲ And a handful of notable old buildings like this one, St Fredericks Lutheran Church. Along with the second oldest Hebrew temple in the Western Hemisphere, St Thomas Synagogue.

◄ 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, St Thomas, USVI 542

▲ Charlotte Amalie is also a good place to sample Caribbean cuisine.