Quick St. Croix Trip Report

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morecowbells

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I am hoping to bump up this thread. In Feb my husband and I will be taking a dive vacation. We are looking into either Curacao or St. Croix. We have visited Curacao four times, love the island and shore diving. My husband is eager to try somewhere new and suggested St. Croix. My concern with St. Croix is: a)encountering rougher waters in Feb. b) Quantity of marine life. I have read reports that it lacks the abundance of marine life compared to places like Bonaire or Curacao.
 
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drrich2

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There's another thread on the forum, called Live to Dive, and while the plan there was to move to a place for a year or so, St. Croix is discussed at some length on down in the thread, and some of that info. might be useful for the traditional shorter term visitor.

Richard.
 

stcroixscuba

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While it is possible to find choppy (my wife, our General Manager) won't let me use the "R" word conditions in February that's not always the case. As mentioned in another thread here, we can get pretty brisk northeast winds mainly in January. Locally they're called "Christmas Winds" because they usually start up just after Christmas and last through January. Sometimes only for a week or two, sometimes for a month or more. Those same winds tend to make the rest of weather spectacular, i.e. lots of sun, bright blue skies, not searlngly hot. But it can make for bumpy conditions along the north shore where our wall diving is found. The west shore though is on the leeward side of the island so it's wrecks, reefs, and the famous Frederiksted Pier are almost always in flat calm conditions.
 

guppyman

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You should try St. Croix. We were impressed. To give you some background, we go to Bonaire each year (looking forward to our 5th trip in a few weeks). We have also been to the DR, Aruba, and St. Maarten. The Frederiksted Pier is one of my top 5 dives. I don't think you will find a better operator than SCUBA for your boat diving. Is the marine life going to be as abundant as Bonaire? Probably not. However, I think St. Maarten is more diverse.

The only shore diving we tried was the pier. The next time we go, I'd like to try the shore diving off Cane Bay.
 
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Good day Richard,
Excellent summary of the dives and very well done with the photos of the Pier from the Cruise Ship and the Dive Boats. Yes -- diving St. Croix is really that easy. :) St. Croix is famous for its diving. Waters are typically have excellent viz (always a factor of nature to change), creatures are prolific, dive site variety is diverse, and accessibility is easy.

What are the MUST SEE DIVES of St. Croix?
(1) The Frederiksted Pier -- WEST/FREDERIKSTED -- One of the Seven Jewels of the Caribbean. Also, #1 place in the Caribbean to find seahorses. Its like diving a Gothic Catherdral with pylons reaching towards the sky and the stained glass windows are replaced with a dazzling display of corals and sponges. There are still two sections of the old pier (destroyed by hurricane Hugo in 1989) with over 50 years of growth, too. This dive site will easily take several dives to explore, from the end at 90' (known as Three Amigos), to the end of the cement walkway at 42', or near shore and the old Pier remnants at 20'.

(2) Night Dive -- WEST/FREDERIKSTED -- The Frederiksted Pier. Bio-luminescence is a highlight! Moreover, the colors EXPLODE at night under your dive-light! Also, there are other creatures that come out at night... especially Octopus. :)

(3) The Salt River Canyon / The Wall -- NORTH SHORE -- 100 yards off shore and at ~40' deep, the Wall drops to several thousand feet deep (deepest point: ~13,500'). This brings a diversity of life that is not often seen in the world. Because this is on the north shore, conditions can be a bit chopy/bumpy. Waves can be knee high or 5'. Salt River Canyon is a boat ride to get to unless you use one of the dive companies that have a boat directly in the Salt River Marina. Salt River is a prehistoric underwater carved canyon/river/waterfall. Brilliant.

(4) The Wrecks -- WEST/FREDERIKSTED -- A: Deep Wrecks (2 @ 72-110'); B: Shallow Wrecks(3 @ 35=60'), C: Armageddon (the massive wreckage of the old Pier dropped at 90-120'). These are all quite close to each other.

(5) The Reefs -- WEST/FREDERIKSTED -- Calm waters, extended dives, and water features that can have the dive be 30-55', or 55-120'. There's a ridge on the west where dives can be either deep or shallow. The waters are almost always calm because this is on the wind-protected side of the island. The cover-story of a magazine was divesite: The Swirling Reef of Death. You'll have to ask for the funny story from the captain. There are over 40 divesites for both shallow and deep dives that'll keep you delighted. Very easy to book a 3-5 day package and see a lot! HUGE beaches for the non-divers, stand up paddleboarding, and the charming laid-back rest you've been looking for.

Please note: When Cruise Ships are in port, the US Dept of Homeland Security does not permit diving on The Pier (until after it departs).

Loads of options for dive companies that will rent gear, guide dives at the shore, or take you on a boat dive. TripAdvisor.com is a great resource to find out more. Lots of parking 100 steps away from The Pier.

Enjoy your travels and Enjoy St. Croix!
 

KathyV

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My favorite shore dive in St. Croix is the Fredricksted Pier. It's a surreal underwater experience and we saw many octopus (including daytime) and frog fish and other great sea creatures.

Sometimes, when I am longing for a dive trip, I spend time looking at web cams in exotic locations and day-dreaming. My favorite is Christiansted Pier in St. Croix at the link below. It is a live, hi-def streaming web cam and you can see the waves rippling and the palm trees swaying in the breeze. If only they had smell-cam!

Official Page for Live St. Croix Web Cam in Christiansted GoToStCroix.com
 

They call me Tater

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I just came back from a great week on St. Croix. Did 9 dives in a week with N2 The Blue. I wanted to dive the wall but it was breezy and N2 was so great I just dove with them the whole time. Next trip I will just make sure to avoid the Christmas winds and hit the wall too. This was my 5th trip to a different spot in the Caribbean and easily my favorite so far. A vacation with diving as opposed to a diving vacation. (I have done both)..
The Pier is a great dive for macro...
 

Karloss

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My favorite shore dive in St. Croix is the Fredricksted Pier. It's a surreal underwater experience and we saw many octopus (including daytime) and frog fish and other great sea creatures.

Sometimes, when I am longing for a dive trip, I spend time looking at web cams in exotic locations and day-dreaming. My favorite is Christiansted Pier in St. Croix at the link below. It is a live, hi-def streaming web cam and you can see the waves rippling and the palm trees swaying in the breeze. If only they had smell-cam!

Official Page for Live St. Croix Web Cam in Christiansted GoToStCroix.com

We did the Nekton Rorqual when they were still in business and dove Freidricksted Pier several times, it was awesome.
 
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