SI Vault
 
ITEMS FOR A HAPPY CRUISE
Carleton Mitchell
January 11, 1960
CHARTERING A YACHT: There are vessels available in both St. Croix and St. Thomas, but the latter fleet is much larger, thus offering greater selection of type and size. Also there is less danger of being wind-bound operating out of Charlotte Amalie as there is no long open water passage to other harbors. Generally speaking, most yachts are best suited to a maximum party of four, although some can squeeze aboard six. Prices range from $450 to $800 per week, usually plus a flat charge of $5 per person per day for food and drink—alcoholic and non-alcoholic, although a wine lover would undoubtedly be expected to bring his own.
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January 11, 1960

Items For A Happy Cruise

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CHARTERING A YACHT: There are vessels available in both St. Croix and St. Thomas, but the latter fleet is much larger, thus offering greater selection of type and size. Also there is less danger of being wind-bound operating out of Charlotte Amalie as there is no long open water passage to other harbors. Generally speaking, most yachts are best suited to a maximum party of four, although some can squeeze aboard six. Prices range from $450 to $800 per week, usually plus a flat charge of $5 per person per day for food and drink—alcoholic and non-alcoholic, although a wine lover would undoubtedly be expected to bring his own.

The charter fleet divides roughly into two categories: boats operated by the owner (sometimes with his wife as cook) and boats absentee-owned, with a West Indian crew. In the former group, as the owner is trying to build a business based on doing what he wants most to do, he is likely to try harder to please the guest, run an efficient ship and be generally agreeable. On the other hand, he will have his own way of doing things, tend to be one of the party and, naturally, assume command. The West Indian crew will be more inclined to let the charterer make the decisions.

Information on the St. Thomas fleet may be had through Colonel or Mrs. Frew Henry, Blue Water Cruises, P.O. Box 748 (cable address: Blucru); or St. Thomas Charter Boat Association, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. As Mrs. Henry puts it, "It is important for people writing down to tell something about themselves—age and, especially, inclinations: whether they really want to sail or will be content to sit in snug harbors, whether they want to hit the hotels and native bars ashore or want solitude, whether they like spearfishing or trolling or any other special sport." She also points out that to avoid misunderstanding the price of a telephone call is a good investment.

TRANSPORTATION ASHORE: There are auto rental agencies in both St. Thomas and St. Croix. Presentation of a valid stateside license plus payment of $1 issuance fee entitles an American citizen to a temporary driving permit. St. Thomas offers Volkswagens, Fiats and shocking-pink surrey-fringed jeeps as well as conventional American cars.

UNDERWATER EQUIPMENT: In St. Thomas everything is available from the simplest snorkel and flipper outfit to aqualungs and cameras, either on a purchase or rental basis. Claude Caron, father of the glamorous actress Leslie Caron, has a well-stocked store of American and European items at the usual low costs; the Virgin Islands Spearfishing School operates daily expeditions; and Virgin Islands Pleasure Boats will introduce either beginners or experts to the fascinating underwater world. In St. Croix, aqua-lungs and related gear may be rented from Bill Miller in Christiansted and Kim Hurd in Frederiksted on the western end of the island.

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