Sunday, January 20

Hit Hard by Maria, Laid-Back but Beautiful St. Croix Has Almost Fully Recovered

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St. Croix, the largest, and arguably the most laid-back of the U.S. Virgin Islands, has mostly recovered from Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September. As it turned out, Irma wasn’t too bad, but Maria was devasting. But that was then. Now 90 percent of the island’s businesses have reopened, power is restored, and the island’s oldest hotel, the Buccaneer, which housed relief workers for many months, is open for visitors.

For visiting boaters, the St. Croix Marine Center in Gallows Bay next to Christiansted Harbor is fully functioning. It’s a full-service marina with 44 slips for boats up to 150 feet, a 60-ton TraveLift, fuel dock, restaurant and chandlery. They told me they had damage to one dock but now they’re back in business as usual and are welcoming transients.

St. Croix, about 40 nm below St. Thomas, is a watersports center, with warm, calm water for snorkeling, coral reefs for diving and semi-deserted white sand beaches for relaxing. Buck Island Reef is a national monument where you can snorkel and search for sea turtles and rays. Rainbow Beach in Frederiksted, the island’s second-largest city, is always good for a beach party, and there’s a food truck for a snack after your swim. Shoys Beach, outside Christiansted, the main city and the island’s capital when it was part of the Danish West Indies, doesn’t have any amenities, but it probably won’t have large crowds either.

Here’s a good story from Coastal Living about what’s open and what you can do now in St. Croix:





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