Trip Report St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, March-April 2021

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Ironborn

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We tried to do the giant stride on the North side when the gates were open, I have a bad back and can't carry the gear around the fence over to that entry if the gate was closed. The south side is what I was referencing.

Yes, it was a bit annoying that they locked the pier gate sometimes. If there was any rhyme, reason, or logic behind when and why they locked it, I could not tell. It did not stop any one from getting in, unless they had some physical impediment (as in your case) that prevented them from walking along the narrow top of that low wall running alongside the pier; it just made people risk hurting themselves trying to get in, if they lose their balance.
 

Scoooter961

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Yes, it was a bit annoying that they locked the pier gate sometimes. If there was any rhyme, reason, or logic behind when and why they locked it, I could not tell. It did not stop any one from getting in, unless they had some physical impediment (as in your case) that prevented them from walking along the narrow top of that low wall running alongside the pier; it just made people risk hurting themselves trying to get in, if they lose their balance.
According to one of the owners of Nep2une they decided to close them because that Wednesday-Monday were all different holidays down there. It wasn’t a big deal going in at the rocky area, it just could’ve been a lot easier :)
 

Ironborn

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I agree that diving in Cozumel was better (in my limited experience), but the charms of St. Croix (which has a variety of topside natural vegetation - from eastern grasslands to northern 'rainforest' (I still balk at that term, but the 'woods' are nice). For a rustic (i.e.: not a bunch of cruise ship excursion activities), beautiful island with sandy beaches, natural variety and some varied good diving including some shore diving, it was really nice.

@drrich2 Aside from the obvious differences (walls vs. reefs, deep vs. shallow, shore dives vs. boat dives, and varying surface conditions, etc.) how would you compare the diving on the north side to the diving on the west side? Did you get the sense that the coral and reef growth was in any better shape on the north side? Or did you see more fish or bigger animals on the north side? In other words, did you get any sense that the north side was a healthier or richer environment?
 

Ironborn

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On the issue of people acting strange; my wife noticed one in Christiansted, and I happened to converse with a psychologist who was a fellow diver on a boat one day. From what she said, at least when I was there, St. Croix didn't have an inpatient psychiatric mental ward. In other words, there was no on-island place to put markedly mentally ill people when they were decompensated. I don't know what they do with them (e.g.: ignore, jail, send off-island). Any society setting with substantial numbers of people will have some schizophrenics, some of the more severe bipolar disorder cases, etc... As long as they're harmless and non-disruptive, I imagine they're either left alone (or kind, charitable people unofficially look after them some; I was told some of that goes on).

That would explain it. It was not clear to me if those people were mentally ill or on drugs, but now that I know this, the former explanation makes sense. But I did hear one person loudly proclaim his desire for cocaine to anyone within earshot, and I did smell some ganja as I walked back from a night dive to my hotel.
 

drrich2

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My 2 west coast boat dives were on a cruise stop; the shallow Butler Bay wrecks and Spratt Hole, at a different time of year so hard to compare much. The wrecks dive was nice! I didn't see any reef sharks on those 2 dives. I did one Frederiksted Pier shore dive on my trip to stay on the island (family trip with diving for me) - no sharks.

The north didn't strike me as having remarkable reef on the boat dives, though I thought Cane Bay's shore dive was quite nice and my favorite of the trip (but that was one long swim out), and the reef at Davis Bay (another shore dive) was also quite good. I saw a number of Caribbean reef sharks, and the Captain tried to get us in the water in front of oncoming dolphins, but they passed right by while I was bobbing at the surface. I did see them (a couple within 10 feet or so of me).

I remember a couple of octopus, a green moray, general Caribbean reef diving. It was not as lush as extreme southern Bonaire (e.g.: Sweet Dreams), and I don't recall a lot of 'big' animals. But every place has its pro.s and con.s; in 9 trips to Bonaire I've never seen a shark of any kind, and while Cozumel had more big stuff, not everyone likes drift diving. St. Croix's topside is more naturally beautiful than either...but I liked San Miguel (Cozumel) and Kralendijk (Bonaire), too.
 

TTPaws

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Yes, it was a bit annoying that they locked the pier gate sometimes. If there was any rhyme, reason, or logic behind when and why they locked it, I could not tell. It did not stop any one from getting in, unless they had some physical impediment (as in your case) that prevented them from walking along the narrow top of that low wall running alongside the pier; it just made people risk hurting themselves trying to get in, if they lose their balance.
They were locking the gate to keep cars from parking on the pier.
 
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