The anchorages on St John:
Hurricane Hole is an anchorage on the island of St John in the United States Virgin Islands. It is located on the southeastern side of the island and makes up the north-central part of Coral Bay. It is part of the Virgin Islands National Park grounds and as such special restrictions are in place to protect the ecosystem and prevent harm to marine life. Yacht charters that are interested in exploring the area around Hurricane Hole are in for a treat. Lush vegetation, thick mangroves and intimate coves await, set within the backdrop of the tropical island of St John.
Hurricane Hole is made up of half a dozen bays that offer plenty of options for yacht charters to explore. Anchoring is forbidden at all points. It is only possible to use mooring buoys during the daytime in specific locations. Starting from the W side, Borck Creek is open to the S and as a result, can be quite uncomfortable during a SE swell. Directly next to Borck Creek, Princess Bay provides excellent shelter. Moving to the south side of the bay, both Otter and Water Creek provide good shelter and are surrounded by thick thorny scrub and mangroves. The most open part of the bay is Nathaniel Bay.
Most visitors head to the north and west coast of the island first and miss out on exploring the area around Hurricane Hole. Nearby Coral Bay is the second-largest residential area on the island, yet is seldom crowded and has retained the charm of years past. Visitors arrive here to experience a different side of Caribbean life away from the crowds. As the name implies, the area of Hurricane Hole has been a refuge and destination point for yachters during hurricane and storm season. While that was once the case, the designation of the area as part of the Coral Reef National Monument in 2001, meant no anchoring is allowed except for emergency situations. The National Park Service has since instituted a public draw system. Yachters that are interested in securing a spot at Hurricane Hole Refuge for hurricane season are requested to submit an application around early May. There are usually around one dozen berths available. More information regarding the storm berths can be found here.
Hurricane Hole is not suitable as a provisioning stop. Anchoring is forbidden and there are only a limited number of mooring balls available. Tying ropes to any vegetation or mangroves is illegal. No amenities nearby. The closest place for provisions is Coral Harbor on the western side of the bay. Keep in mind that night use of moorings is prohibited.