Water Sports & Water Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Things to Do, What's New — By conniemotz on June 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Scuba Diving St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

With so many beaches to choose from throughout the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John, it’s no wonder that water sports are at the top of everyone’s list.

Offering some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean, on St. Croix you can explore the coral reefs, enjoy a wreck dive, do a wall dive and a pier dive, all in a single day. The abundance of colorful sea life, average water temperatures of 81°F, and visibility from 70 to 100 feet, makes the U.S. Virgin Islands a scuba divers paradise.

The wall dives take place on the north side of St. Croix and include locations like Davis Bay, Cane Bay, Salt River Canyon, and Craigs Canyon, where you’re sure to see eel and lobster underneath the many overhangs. For viewing coral life, popular dive sites include Blue Chute, Eagle Ray, and Twin Anchors which may date back to sugar plantation times.

Expect to pay approximately $95 for a two-tank dive and $65 for a one-tank afternoon dive; a night dive will run you $90 for one-tank and $105 for two-tanks, definitely the better deal. Many dive operators on St. Croix offer packages that include diving alone or in a combination with accommodations. If you’re not yet certified as a diver, you can take your open water certification course through select dive operators around the island.

Now, if you’d rather skip the water sports and explore, a day trip to Water Island, the smallest and lesser known island of the U.S. Virgin Islands, makes for a perfect outdoor adventure. Only 491.5 acres in size, it’s easy to rent a bicycle and ride around the island in no time; or you can also hike your way around the island stopping at gorgeous Honeymoon Beach for the perfect cool down swim.

Water Island is home to many military structures left behind which include bunkers, platforms, and underground Fort Segarra, where you can check out the rooms and tunnels below; don’t miss the views from the fort’s observation deck. You’ll also find plantation ruins dotted throughout the island many of which were run by non-white landowners which make these ruins historically unique and valuable.

The small Water Island passenger-only ferry departs St. Thomas about every half hour; be sure to check the schedule but generally the ferry runs from 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday with different hours of operation on Sunday. The ride from St. Thomas to Water Island only takes about ten minutes and costs $10 round-trip per adult, $5 per child, and $1 each for boxes and luggage.

Tags: accommodation, bicycle, cane bay, Caribbean, davis bay, diving, hike, package, scuba, scuba diving, snorkel, st. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, USVI, water, water island, water sports