Day 66 of 68 – Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, Virgin Islands (US)

March 10, 2018 Paul Groves

St Thomas is our last port of call for this cruise. It is another island with lush green vegetation and beautiful beaches. This island was also severely damaged by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. However, in contrast to Dominica recovery is well underway with 90% of the electricity restored. Signs of the damage are still evident as shown by the gnarled and twisted communication tower.

We did not have an excursion today as we chose to explore the city on foot.

The wharf area where the ship docked has 5 or 6 buildings of clothing, jewelry, and souvenir shops. We did a little shopping and then went looking for an ATM to replenish our cash.

On the way we were buttonholed by a local taxi driver (J.R.) asking us if we wanted a city tour. We started to refuse and then said “Sure, why not?” So we spent a great 2 hours driving around the island. The taxi could have held 12 people but we were the only two who signed up. J.R. was a great guide stopping every so often at a viewing point, explaining the history of the island, or talking about the effects of the hurricanes (actually there were two class 5 hurricanes within a week to hit the Caribbean islands).

One stop was at a huge souvenir shop at the highest point of the island. At the rear of the store was a balcony that overlooked the beautiful “Magens Bay” and beach. While there were very few people there today, at its busiest it’s known to be wall to wall with people.

When we returned to the pier, Paul went back to the ship to get lunch. I went to “Pirates Treasure, A Shipwreck Museum” displaying authentic artifacts and treasures from the Virgin Islands and other shipwrecks from around the world. The two-story museum incorporates history and interactive exhibits to immerse visitors in the world of pirates and the deep-ocean exploration technology used to recover treasures that were once thought lost forever. Great Fun! There was also an exhibit on female pirates. My favorite was Ching Shih. After I completed my tour I went back to the room to get ready for dinner.