Location: 18.20.110 North, 64.55.583 West - or in Long Bay, Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas
We are having a wonderful time in St. Thomas—but it isn’t Grenada, and we love Grenada. As you know, the only way EW got me out of there was the promise of a terrific Thanksgiving with dear family here in St. Thomas. But many of our sailing friends have also begun heading north, so the Grenada we knew and loved since July had begun to change before we left.
It started with the arrival of the first cruise ship. One of the local taxi drivers has a VHF radio and let us know one morning on the Grenada Cruisers’ Net that, “All you cruisers, just want to let you know there is a cruise ship in town with twenty-five hundred passengers. If you have to go into town today, you know what to do: Get in and get out.”
We did have to go into town that day and had the opportunity to feel superior and knowledgeable around folks with white legs and weird outfits. We got in and got out as quickly as possible, and were thankful that we had done our touring, hiking, and waterfall jumping before cruise ship season. In contrast, we have arrived in St. Thomas in cruise ship season and before many sailing cruisers. Most of those who are currently here on sailboats came up to work during the winter to fill their cruising kitties. As a result, we have few folks to “play” with during the day, there is no St. Thomas Cruisers’ Net, and no cruiser organized events. This isn’t Grenada anymore.
Here are some other differences between St. Thomas and Grenada:
- It’s cooler here. We are still wearing shorts and tees, but my chin is no longer sweating. I never knew my chin could sweat until we spent the summer in Grenada. It felt as if I were drooling. I don’t miss that, but am willing to put up with it when we are in Grenada.
- There are no “Push to Walk” Buttons in Grenada. In St. Thomas, they save your life. They also have signs on the cross walks reminding us to “Look to the Right” before stepping off the curb.
- There are good laundry matts in St. Thomas and you can wash a double load for less than $10.00. That’s nice.
- There is a “movie” night in St. Thomas, as there had been in Grenada. In Grenada, the folks aboard S/V Ultra showed movies off the stern of their boat in Port Louis. We took chairs and pop corn and enjoyed Avatar and other films. In St. Thomas, the folks who live on Water Island offer a free movie night on Honeymoon Beach. The island folk arrive in four wheelers and golf carts and hang a huge screen between two palm trees. They present music videos and a cartoon before the featured movie. There is a snack bar with hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches and popcorn. We’ll attend whenever we’re in town. It’s a 20 minute dinghy ride from the anchorage off of Yacht Haven, but a cheap date night: $10.00 for soda and hotdogs for two.
- In Grenada, the Coke and other soft drinks are made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. I’m not into sugared drinks, but those with real sugar taste better and are slightly less sweet. Just sayin’.
- Wi-Fi is definitely better – and cheaper in Grenada. This is just wrong. Ricky and Kim of da Big Fish need to open a Cruisers’ Wi-Fi in St. Thomas. (NOTE: This was written prior to a phone conversation with the president of World Wifi in St. Thomas. We’re going to move the boat and try out their service. I’ll let you know.)
- Just like in Grenada, there are excellent local buses in St. Thomas. Here they are called “Safaris”, and cost $1.00. They do not have conductors and there is little communication between the driver and the passengers. I miss that. The locals do respond nicely to “Good morning” or “Good afternoon”, and willingly give directions and aid. The two buses in the top photo are from Grenada. The bottom photos are of a safari bus from St. Thomas.
Here’s a shot of Honeymoon Beach before sunset. I may love and miss Grenada, but (except for lack of Wi-Fi) I have nothing to complain about, and I know it.