Surfing season on the US Virgin Islands is November through March. During this time, the waves can reach between six and eight feet in height, with bigger days reaching as high as double overhead. The rest of the year, the waters are pretty flat and unsurfable. The breaks on the US Virgin Islands are all reef breaks, and long coral heads are not uncommon.
Surfing here is generally recommended for experienced surfers, and it’s also advisable that you go out with someone who is familiar with these waters. There are a few windsurfing shops that have shortboards and longboards for rent, but most local surf shops here do not offer board rentals, only sales, so you might want to bring your own board. The steady trade winds off the Atlantic attract a lot of windsurfers, and bodyboarding is also very popular.
Water Island, which is about a 10-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas, has a spot known as Sprat Bay that’s great for swimming and snorkeling. At times, the surf breaks at Sprat Bay can accommodate all skill levels, including beginners. The last of the US Virgin Islands, it’s small (about ½ mile wide and two miles long), with not a lot of development, so it’s a good place to go if you want to escape the crowds at St. Thomas and “lime” (relax, chill). Sprat Bay is about a one-mile walk from the ferry dock. The break is a hollow, fast and fun right reef break that can get long at times. Another spot that sometimes breaks and is okay for beginners is called Santa Maria (in St. Thomas). Santa Maria also attracts a lot of kiteboarders.
Hull Bay on the Atlantic (north) side of St. Thomas is the beach that’s most associated with surfing. When the swells are rolling in from the northeast, Hull Bay will get a four-foot or bigger point/reef break that attracts surfers from all over the island. Other places to surf on St. Thomas include Caret Bay and Botany Bay (which is accessible via boat from Hull Bay), but localism at these spots can be intense. There are problems with theft, violence, and drugs, and in general, it’s not advisable to go off the beaten path. If you decide to explore, keep a low profile, do not bring any valuables with you, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
What makes one earn the title of a true Island Girl, I wonder? I thought long and hard about this question and I came up with a few different attributes and have jotted some of them down below. Whether you were born and raised in the Caribbean like me or decided to make these magical islands your home, you are bound to identify with a few. And if not, you will hopefully at least get a good laugh out of it. There, my good deed for the week is done. You’re welcome.
YOU MAY BE A TRUE ISLAND GIRL IF:
You get inexplicably excited when you hear the words happy and hour used together in one sentence.
You automatically lift your arms, press your lips together and whine your waist every time you hear a soca song (or any other Caribbean tune for that matter).
You think it’s completely acceptable to arrive half an hour late for a meeting or appointment.
You continue eating long after you’re full because leaving food on your plate is a big no-no.
You stay at a boring party just because they promised that there will be food, cake or rum.
Your perfect breakfast must include Johnny Cake and/or saltfish.
You are solemnly convinced that jumbies, malediction and obeah are all viable threats.
You own and have pride in your flip-flop collection.
You try to find ways to justify wearing flip-flops to formal occasions.
You are always “sick” around the same time each year, mainly duringcarnival.
You prefer to wear a bikini top rather than a bra even though the bikini probably does not offer any support whatsoever.
You stop in the middle of the road to have a 5-minute chat with a friend on the opposite side of the street, completely disregarding the dozens of horns blowing you to keep it moving.
You grab a cold bottle of beer rather than a bottle of water on a hot day.
You come up with excuses not to meet up with friends on the other side of the island (even if the island is tiny) because you do not want to make that “long” drive.
You call in sick when it’s raining cats and dogs because honestly, who drives in this weather?
You have mastered the art of “chupsing” or sucking your teeth and know when to use it to make a point.
You have an extensive shorts collection.
You are convinced that the sea cures everything from a simple cold to common STD’s.
You find yourself explaining to friends visiting from abroad that you were not arguing with your family but merely exchanging pleasantries.
You used to (or still do) wear a shirt and/or shorts over your swimsuit when you go swimming.
You are a skilled island driver.
You get inexplicably mad if at the end of a party or God forbid, a wedding you do not get a plate of food or cake to take home, let alone plates for your mother, auntie and the sweet old lady down the road.
You refrain from going into the ocean from December till about April because the water is simply too cold.
You cuss out the bartender that dares using a measurer when making your cocktail.
You give up making a deposit because there was no parking in front of the bank.
You try to lose weight without losing your sexiest asset, your butt. Let’s face it, it’s all about the butt in the Caribbean.
You are fluent in Creole English.
You are disappointed and contemplate not attending when you find out a party you are invited to is only serving snacks. Where is the buffet with peas and rice and stew goat?
The sight of cows, goats or donkeys blocking the road (or airport landing strip in some cases) does not surprise you.
You compare the price against potential lifetime of a pair of shoes or bag before purchasing cause you know it’s going to start peeling in this heat sooner or later.
The F-word is the most used word in your vocabulary.
You are simply not OK with lizards, centipedes or roaches.
You know to block out a whole day when dealing with the census office and most other Government offices.
You consider slow internet to be annoying but an unfortunate part of reality.
You are quite skilled in creating a parking space where there are none.
Christmas Cove, less than three miles from St. John on Great St. James Island, part of St. Thomas. Christmas Cove combines the best of the National Park on St. John—immaculately clear waters, abundant sea life and a completely undeveloped shoreline.
Santa Claus had nothing to do with the christening of this sparkling blue cove in St. Thomas. What is certain is that Christmas Cove today still provides a scenic safe harbor for boats traveling through the Virgin Islands. Dock your vessel here for an hour or two and have a lobster bake at a waterside restaurant, or spend a night in the many luxury resorts.
Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. It is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle. A kayak is a low-to-the-water, canoe-like boat in which the paddler sits facing forward, legs in front, using a double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side and then the other in rotation. Most kayaks have closed decks, although sit-on-top and inflatable kayaks are growing in popularity as well.
Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually fins.Use of this equipment allows the snorkeler to observe underwater attractions for extended periods with relatively little effort and to breathe while face-down at the surface. The primary appeal is the opportunity to observe underwater life in a natural setting without the complicated equipment and training required for scuba diving.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand up paddle surfing and stand up paddle boarding are sports originating in Hawaii as an offshoot of surfing. Unlike traditional surfing where the rider is sitting until a wave comes, stand up paddle boarders maintain an upright stance on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water.
The Reef Bay Trail petroglyphsare a group of Taino petroglyph carvings found in the Virgin Islands National Parkon the island of St. John, USVI. They are located in a part of the park called the Reef Bay Trail.
Some of the carvings are located above a reflection pool of water and were thought to be the symbols for "water". There is no exact way to confirm they are authentic Taíno carvings but the most popular theory is that they are from pre-colombian inhabitants.
A new petroglyph was found in 2011 after several people from an organization called "Friends of the Park" went on a search. This is because an old park photograph showed there was a petroglyph unaccounted for. The newest found symbol is thought to be thousands of years old and artistically similar to the pottery of the Saladoid culture.
The petroglyph site was listed under the name Petroglyph Site in the National Register of Historic Places on July 7, 1982.