St. Croix in early May, 2022...

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DeepSeaDan

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Greetings, Divers!

Researching a trip to St. Croix, tentatively planned for an early May arrival date & a 10-day stay.

Liking the idea of Frederiksted as a general location, with an eye on the Pink Condos & other possible VRBO accommodations, but would appreciate other lodging recommendations.

From all I've read, I'm thinking of multiple dives on the pier, with some boat diving tossed in for good measure; if I had 5 mornings to boat dive, what locations would you recommend? Further, I love to use my scooter when diving, but have not as yet purchased a case to take it with me. Does anyone know if scooters can be rented on the Frederiksted side of the island ( or anywhere on the island, for that matter )?

Finally, as the Missuss doesn't dive - what are the odds of hooking up with others to explore the pier? I would think they'd be good, considering the popularity of the pier. A dive shop in close proximity to the pier would likely be my best bet, methinks.

TIA!

DSD
 

Scared Silly

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We have stayed on that side of the island at Northside Valley. We used Cane Bay Scuba for our diving doing a combination fo boat and shore dives. As your wife does not dive plan specifically to spend a day at Sandy Point which is only open on the weekends. And of course stop by for a beer with the swine at the Mt. Pellier Domino Club.

Locations to dive via boat, Salt River is one the better ones. We like North Star for a shore dive.
 

mwall04

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In Frederiksted, lodging that I see typically recommended are Sand Castle, Cottages by the Sea, and the Fred. Victoria House also gets some good reviews and is located directly across the street from the Pier. That said, AirBnb's/VRBO's are also very popular here and you can find good values.

For boat diving, there are 3 locations were you can catch the boats to dive. Downtown Christiansted, Salt River, and the Frederiksted Pier. Boats leaving from downtown Christiansted dive the north side of the island from the Salt River Canyons to right outside Christiansted harbor. The Salt River boat (run by the Cane Bay dive shop which is now located in Frederiksted) is a great location to catch a boat to dive the Salt River Canyons due to its proximity. The boats out of Frederiksted dive the west end which has a mix of wreck and reef dives. They all have their highlights and none are lacking. It primarily depends on your wish list, location, etc.

There is also a surprising amount of shore dives available. Cane Bay, Davis Bay, Northstar, and the Frederiksted Pier are the top shore dives. Sweetbottom Dive Center, located at both Cane Bay and the newly reopened Carambola Resort, specializes in shore diving at those locations.

To specifically answer a few more of your questions. Top dive spots: Salt River Canyons for sure. Dramatic wall dives dropping off to 1,000's of feet in depth, but relatively easy diving. I do prefer most of the north side dives to the wreck dives, but that is my personal preference and I mostly dive with SCUBA (dive shop here) and their Christiansted boat hits only the north side. Definitely hit Frederiksted Pier (shore dive) and it is also an amazing night dive with all the wildlife it supports.

I have not seen any scooter rentals, but will post back if I see any.

For the Frederiksted Pier dive, there is almost always divers entering and exiting the water. To keep it simple, there are a few dive shops located directly across the street from the pier that conduct guided dives there throughout the day. Its not a dive that requires a guide, but may make it easier to find someone else or a group to dive the Pier with. Last comment about the Pier. It is closed to diving on cruise ship days. We typically get on average one cruise ship a week, so not a big deal, but something to plan around.

Finally, the previous post referenced Sandy Point which is an amazing beach (was just there this weekend). However, by the time you arrive in May, it will be closed for the season as it is a National Wildlife Preserve and is closed during turtle nesting season. It is only open on weekends and cruise ship days during the winter and shuts down in a couple weeks to let the leatherbacks, green, and hawksbill turtles lay their eggs. Still plenty of other amazing beaches and places to see. I've lived here for a couple years and still haven't been to every beach and we try to explore a new one every few weeks. Same with restaurants, hikes, etc. So much to do here.
 
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DeepSeaDan

DeepSeaDan

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In Frederiksted, lodging that I see typically recommended are Sand Castle, Cottages by the Sea, and the Fred. Victoria House also gets some good reviews and is located directly across the street from the Pier. That said, AirBnb's/VRBO's are also very popular here and you can find good values.

For boat diving, there are 3 locations were you can catch the boats to dive. Downtown Christiansted, Salt River, and the Frederiksted Pier. Boats leaving from downtown Christiansted dive the north side of the island from the Salt River Canyons to right outside Christiansted harbor. The Salt River boat (run by the Cane Bay dive shop which is now located in Frederiksted) is a great location to catch a boat to dive the Salt River Canyons due to its proximity. The boats out of Frederiksted dive the west end which has a mix of wreck and reef dives. They all have their highlights and none are lacking. It primarily depends on your wish list, location, etc.

There is also a surprising amount of shore dives available. Cane Bay, Davis Bay, Northstar, and the Frederiksted Pier are the top shore dives. Sweetbottom Dive Center, located at both Cane Bay and the newly reopened Carambola Resort, specializes in shore diving at those locations.

To specifically answer a few more of your questions. Top dive spots: Salt River Canyons for sure. Dramatic wall dives dropping off to 1,000's of feet in depth, but relatively easy diving. I do prefer most of the north side dives to the wreck dives, but that is my personal preference and I mostly dive with SCUBA (dive shop here) and their Christiansted boat hits only the north side. Definitely hit Frederiksted Pier (shore dive) and it is also an amazing night dive with all the wildlife it supports.

I have not seen any scooter rentals, but will post back if I see any.

For the Frederiksted Pier dive, there is almost always divers entering and exiting the water. To keep it simple, there are a few dive shops located directly across the street from the pier that conduct guided dives there throughout the day. Its not a dive that requires a guide, but may make it easier to find someone else or a group to dive the Pier with. Last comment about the Pier. It is closed to diving on cruise ship days. We typically get on average one cruise ship a week, so not a big deal, but something to plan around.

Finally, the previous post referenced Sandy Point which is an amazing beach (was just there this weekend). However, by the time you arrive in May, it will be closed for the season as it is a National Wildlife Preserve and is closed during turtle nesting season. It is only open on weekends and cruise ship days during the winter and shuts down in a couple weeks to let the leatherbacks, green, and hawksbill turtles lay their eggs. Still plenty of other amazing beaches and places to see. I've lived here for a couple years and still haven't been to every beach and we try to explore a new one every few weeks. Same with restaurants, hikes, etc. So much to do here.
Thank you, mwall04! That's an excellent post of local information & I shall follow your lead.

DSD
 

living4experiences

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I did a 10-day dive trip to St. Croix in May 2021 and stayed at Sand Castle, an adults-only resort. Had a great stay and it's beachfront, with a short 5-minute drive to the Frederiksted dive shops. A rental car is a must to get around. I used S.C.U.B.A. and they did a good job, no complaints. I was disappointed with the reefs being bleached out and lack of the typical tropical reef fishes, but the pier is amazing, both day and night. Since I was a solo traveler, I hired a private guide for the pier, and he knew where all the cool stuff was. I would return to St. Croix just to dive the pier.

If your travel takes you there during the new moon, Virgin Kayaks does a really nice night kayaking trip in the bioluminescence bay.
 
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DeepSeaDan

DeepSeaDan

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I did a 10-day dive trip to St. Croix in May 2021 and stayed at Sand Castle, an adults-only resort. Had a great stay and it's beachfront, with a short 5-minute drive to the Frederiksted dive shops. A rental car is a must to get around. I used S.C.U.B.A. and they did a good job, no complaints. I was disappointed with the reefs being bleached out and lack of the typical tropical reef fishes, but the pier is amazing, both day and night. Since I was a solo traveler, I hired a private guide for the pier, and he knew where all the cool stuff was. I would return to St. Croix just to dive the pier.

If your travel takes you there during the new moon, Virgin Kayaks does a really nice night kayaking trip in the bioluminescence bay.
Thank you LFE's, much appreciated.
 

Ironjock

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Just got back from 2 months in St Croix. The Pier is not to be missed especially at night. We saw multiple seahorses. Plenty of turtles and this year the Octopuss were very active. There are 4 shops very close to get tanks and pass on advice. We used Cane Bay Dive shop as they are who we did our boat dives with. Great bunch of people!!! They mostly run their boat out of Salt River Marina but they do bring it over to the west. We dove Butler bay wrecks,Armaggeden, Sprat Hole with them. On the north Salt River canyons, Rust Op Twist, Gentle winds. On shore dives we used Sweet Bottom for tanks,another great group to work with they are at Cane Bay. We dove Cane Bay, Twin Palms drift, Pavillians, and North Star . Ususally Black tips and turtles on every dive
 
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