The anchorages on St John:
This is the entrance point for most visitors to St John island in the US Virgin Islands of the Caribbean. The vibrant port town is where most of the restaurants, bars and stores are found. It is located on the west coast of the island and is connected to nearby St Thomas with daily ferries. From here visitors can also travel by ferry to the British Virgin Islands.
This is a very small anchorage with space for a few vessels only. If you do get a spot the limit on the time is between 2-3 hours. All other moorings are not open to the public and using them is prohibited. Best to moor some distance off at Lind Point or off Caneel Bay and dinghy into town. For first time visitors, this is the preferred option when needing to visit customs for entry clearance located on the N shore of the Battery Pt peninsula.
If you do enter the bay, on approach be wary of the S side that is blocked by a reef. The seabed has relatively good holding and is primarily mud. Keep in mind that the wintertime is marked by stronger Easterlies that blow E to W across the Caribbean. Cold fronts from the north can also create large waves on the N side of the island.
The Caneel Bay Shipyard has some repair facilities and a fuel dock but is usually occupied with vessels from the locals. There are plenty of options with regards to shops, souvenirs, dining and bars. The Headquarters of the Virgin National Park service is also located here for more information on mooring sites around the island. Cruz Bay is probably the only place on the island where yachters can go to shore and have access to fuel and water.
Cruz Bay is known for its restaurants, hotels and shopping options. Many of the guided tours offered by the National Park Services that showcase the natural beauty, hiking trails and historical sites also depart or finish at Cruz Bay.
Things to Do
Lind Point Trail & Honeymoon Beach
This wonderful beach is located near the centre of Cruz Bay and can be quite popular but has enough space for everyone. This is due to the fact that you will need to walk (a relatively easy) hike to get there. The loop is 2.2 (3.7km) in total and will take about an hour total. Alternatively, you can access the beach by boat or car with the latter requiring a fee for transfer through private property.
Elaine Ione Sprauve Library
The public library has a collection of interesting photographs from previous decades and is housed in one of the most interesting buildings in Cruz Bay, the restored Enighed Estate House. It is great for a quick visit while walking around the streets of the town and is open Monday to Friday during business hours.