Christmas Cove, off St. Thomas USVI

An excellent overnight stop, this place is popular with USVI charterers on the first or last night out because of the close proximity to Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook. And you still feel very much like you’re out in the islands, not out in town.

 

Approach:

If from the West, make sure to find the Cow and Calf on your charts and get a visual. These breaking rocks have a habit of falling right into the middle of your course, and are small enough to slip into your blind spot behind the genoa. If coming from the East, Current Cut is your main concern. It’s a good idea to fire up the engines through here as a preventative measure, as the current can be tremendous and the headland of Great St. James cuts the wind at just the wrong time. There are wrecks on the pebble beach here just to remind you. After that, swing on in just about anywhere, minding the extended shoal area between the tiny Fish Cay and Great St. James.

 

Anchoring/Mooring:

As of Spring 2011 there are 22 mooring balls here, in order to protect coral areas. Look for floating signage explaining the rules, as they might not stay free as they currently are. There is still room for a few boats to anchor in sand and light grass just to the east of Fish Cay (the small island in the middle of the cove). Tie up or drop the hook, then settle on back. Great St. James provides excellent wind protection, but the breezes over the saddle keep the place cool and bug free.

christmas cove, off st thomas usvi, great st james

Ashore:

Nothing really, although much (all?) of Great St. James is currently for sale for a pittance. Something like $40 Million. (I keep checking my pockets and the spare coin jar). Check out the sign on the northern point and make a bid...

 

Don't Miss:

The best place to moor if you like the breezes and want to snorkel a bit is just to the north of Fish Cay. Remnants of the trades flow through the saddle to the east and keep you quite comfortable during sunset cocktails, without the wail of an exposed anchorage. If you're looking for it, there is good snorkeling off the southern point at The Stragglers, and lots of people dive at Cow and Calf in calm conditions.

 
waterlemon cay st john usvi chart

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