Saint Croix.....First Time Thoughts

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mwall04

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Location
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Headed there Friday and cant wait!
You will be coming into some really good weather. It was a bit windy last week, but the winds have settled down along with the seas and looks to be a great week ahead. Lots of sun and light wind and seas. Water temps are also peaking about now and my dives have ranged from 82-83 degrees.

Also good timing on crowds. A couple months ago when COVID #'s were low, the island was crawling with tourists and it was hard to find places to eat without advance reservations. Things have quieted down quite a bit. You will find some restaurants closed for the week or month now, but that is regular seasonal closings during slower months and there are still plenty of great dining options. Overall this time is a great time to visit bar the occasional tropical weather events, but nothing on the forecast in the near term.
 

Scottmurillo

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Chicago, IL, USA
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You will be coming into some really good weather. It was a bit windy last week, but the winds have settled down along with the seas and looks to be a great week ahead. Lots of sun and light wind and seas. Water temps are also peaking about now and my dives have ranged from 82-83 degrees.

Also good timing on crowds. A couple months ago when COVID #'s were low, the island was crawling with tourists and it was hard to find places to eat without advance reservations. Things have quieted down quite a bit. You will find some restaurants closed for the week or month now, but that is regular seasonal closings during slower months and there are still plenty of great dining options. Overall this time is a great time to visit bar the occasional tropical weather events, but nothing on the forecast in the near term.


Sweet!! I'll report back in a week or so..
 

Scottmurillo

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Just got back and here's a little on our trip.

Getting in and out of the airport was no problem at all. Rented a car from Avis and also had no problems at all. We stayed at the Fred and liked it a lot. It has a beach club vibe but I enjoyed it. There is a pool, bar, restaurant and nice little beach. For me best part is adults only since I don't have kids. The town was very quiet and don't know if that was good or bad. Good part was no waiting in long lines but bad part was not a lot open. Driving on the left is no problem. Also I didn't think the roads were too bad. I live in Chicago and they are pretty bad here also!

I really enjoyed the diving. We went with Nep2une and really enjoyed them. Everything was really laid back and the staff was super nice. Did the pier one time on our own and one night dive with a guide. The only bad part is that its so big there is no way to make it all the way to see it all! We also did 4 boat dives and also enjoyed those. dive sites were sugar reef, chubbs hole, baby blue and aquarium. The weather and water conditions were great.

Overall I really enjoyed it. It was just a quick get away for a few nights. I'm not sure it is for everyone. The reason
I say that is if you're use to islands that are super touristy and there is a lot to do this is not the place. The other thing that I didn't expect was the amount of poverty there. Its pretty sad to see. With that being said I would go back for sure. Just the pier makes it worth wile for me since I'm really getting into unrderwater photography. It is so easy to rent a tank and just shore dive. I finally got a macro setup and brought it in for the first time so being able to dive for 80 min was great. I still need tons of practice but will be posting some pics on my instagram @scottsoceanpics if you want to check some out. Might be a few days before some get up. Hopefully I'll be able to go back soon! Any questions just ask!
 

drrich2

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Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the Frederiksted Pier is enormous! Some people prefer places that aren't too touristy. Did you do any topside excursions like visit the rainforest area, etc...?
 

Scottmurillo

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Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the Frederiksted Pier is enormous! Some people prefer places that aren't too touristy. Did you do any topside excursions like visit the rainforest area, etc...?


That is one of the main reasons I liked it. Also why I like going on vacations in Sept/Oct. lots of people are not traveling.

No we didn't. Just drove around the island and chilled on the beach. I am happy with that.
 

jonhall

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Indianapolis
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and aquarium

Glad you enjoyed the trip and that Nep2une still has a great staff. I requested Aquarium every time I went to St. Croix. Lots of fish.

Quick story - just last week, my wife got my attention to look at the tv (not sure what show it was) as there was a tiger tail sea cucumber which she had never see before. I had to find and show her a picture I took years ago at Aquarium of the tiger tail I saw. About 5 feet sticking out from some coral - I had never seen one before - scared me a little (okay, more than a little) - I thought it was some sea monster and that was just one tentacle!!!!
 

Regulatrix

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The pier is so cool, and yes, enormous. FWIW, we did two DIY (daytime) dives there at the end of July. We had a Plan A for dive #1: back swim along the north side to the very end of the pier, then descend and explore some of the deeper areas--80-90 ft.ish; Plan B: backswim to mid-pier and then descend in shallower water. We easily made it past the halfway mark toward the end of the pier (count those sets of pylons!), but the swell started to kick in a bit and neither one of us had brought our snorkels. (A much lesser concern was that we were trying to hug the north side of the pier, but the surface current was taking us northeast towards the shore. Not a huge deal at all, but it was noticeable.) In the end, my sweetie was taking a lot of water in the face and getting uncomfortable, so we opted for Plan B. Ended up having a lovely dive around the mid-pier area and then a second dive a little shallower. The encrustations of corals and sponges on the pylons are just spectacular.

Next time we go and want to do the end of the pier area, we'll bring snorkels and thus have the option of turning face down and keep swimming out in the surface. (Obviously, you could do this with your reg in, but then you'd just be wasting gas that you could use underwater.)
 

Rob9876

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The encrustations of corals and sponges on the pylons are just spectacular.
Really the best coral and sponge growth that I have seen on any man-made structure so far. I'm sure a lot is location based, but I wonder if there is anything special about the surfaces of the pillars, etc. that makes a difference which we might replicate in other places?
 
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