The anchorages on St. Thomas – South Coast:
Red Hook is located on the eastern coast of St Thomas, at the head of Magens and Vessup Bays. It’s a quieter, more laid-back alternative to Charlotte Amalie, with a resident boating community. However, there are plenty of shops and restaurants, and lively nightlife. The bay itself has two main parts – a wide section with a white sandy beach and a long narrower section where you’ll find the marina and moorings.
Red Hook is mainly known for its stunning beaches, excellent water sports facilities. It’s also the heart of a community of local mariners and fishermen. Taxis to Charlotte Amalie and nearby beaches can usually be found near the ferry dock.
The American Yacht Harbor Marina, which is on the North shore of Red Hook, has five docks, The second dock has a fueling facility. Most of the shops on the shore are situated along the American Yacht Harbor Marina. When you take a long walk down the street of the central town, you will see a supermarket and some provision shops.
Position of the entrance to Red Hook bay: 18 19″81′ N, 64 50″54′ W
Because the anchorage is fairly exposed, it’s unlikely to be comfortable for a long stay unless you enter the marina itself. Navigation buoys are in place and reflect current conditions.
Vessup and Muller bays can be approached from the west, via Red Hook Bay. From there, set a course for the centre of Vessup, which is long and narrow. Muller Bay is to port as you enter. If you need marina facilities, head farther into Vessup Bay
The central town of Red Hook is close to the ferry service, but it is difficult to take a turn because of the lack of clearance facilities. The ferry service is controlled by the New York Water Taxi. It operates between Pier 11 and IKEA between the hour of 10 am and 9pm, but sometimes stops over at Van Brunt Street. The ferry service is available from Mondays to Fridays at the cost of $5/trip.
Where to Anchor
The American Yacht Harbour
This harbour contains 120 berths, maximum length 120′. Fuel, provisioning, waste disposal, and maintenance services are available. Chandlery, laundry, private showers as well as restaurants, and shops are also available along with this harbour.
Vessup Bay Marina
The channel is easily spotted and marked with good depths. Inside Vessup Bay are several amenities, including some marinas with transient facilities.
If you’re anchoring, Muller Bay, to the southeast is more suitable, because the many private moorings and constant traffic in Vessup Bay mean that anchoring is sometimes difficult and uncomfortable.
History and Culture
Being the earliest settlement of Brooklyn, Red was initially a village established by the Dutch in 1636 and was named after its red clay soil. When the Atlantic basin was made open in 1850, the town became economically busy. The town is known to have produced a criminal who ended up with a nickname “Scarface” due to a wound on his face. Red hook also has a history of greats movies such as “The Horror at Red Hook” in 1925 “, and “The Last Exit to Brooklyn”, which was representing the lives of the dockworkers in 1952.
The rugged coastline around Red Hook hides multiple beautiful bays which are perfect swimming and snorkelling spots. Among the best known are:
20 minutes walk to the north is Sapphire Beach, known for its white sand and coral reefs. You’ll find some shade provided by sea grape trees. An artificial pond attracts local wildlife including iguanas and ducks. A water sports booth that provides gear for windsurfing, kayaks, and snorkelling, as well as beach chair rentals.
Secret Harbor Beach
A stunning beach further to the south. It’s just outside the small, laid-back town of Nazareth, where you’ll also find plenty of first-class restaurants
The long shoreline of Vessup Bay is largely undeveloped and home to a variety of flora; sea grape trees, cacti, century plants, and other indigenous species. The sea is usually calm and it’s not uncommon to come across seagrass in the shallows or washed up on the shore. The beach is quiet during the week but at weekends its a popular choice for residents holding parties, barbeques, and picnics
Places of interest
Red Hook is a mecca for watersports and sea-front activities. However, if you’re interested in immersing yourself in the unique culture and heritage of St Thomas, Charlotte Amalie, only a 20-minute taxi ride away, is rich in historic buildings and places of interest.
The Presidential Library
The presidential library in Red Hook is counted among the fourteen (14) presidential libraries in the US. The creation of this library was the idea of Franklin D. Roosevelt who was a believer.
The Bard College
The Bard College is located directly overlooking the Hudson River. It is one of the ancient buildings that were built in the 18th century and measures 380 acre.
Places to eat
When evening comes, relax with a refreshing beer at one of the seafront bars. Eating options are plentiful. Snack on fish and chips while ambling along the harbour or sit down at a table at one of the high-quality restaurants in town to sample freshly caught fish with local spices.
Lattes in Paradise – on the water at the American Yacht Harbor, is one of the most popular. They do great breakfasts – it’s always busy.
For a special meal in sophisticated surroundings, the Easterly, the Caribbean Fish Market, and Pesce Italian are all frequented by locals as well as tourists.
Duffy’s Love Shack
The Duffy`s Love Shack Restaurant is very clean with a tiki bar decoration. It is very famous for local and Caribbean cuisine, Pub and vegetables.
Sudi’s Caribbean Bar & Grill
The Sudi`s Caribbean Bar is located in Sapphire central village, outside the eastern end of St. Thomas. This restaurant is known for having the best Burger and chicken sandwiches.
Places to Stay
For the ultimate in luxury, the Ritz Carlton is the obvious choice – even if you just stop by for afternoon tea. There are also plenty of other high-quality resorts to choose from, such as Sapphire Beach and the Secret Harbor Beach Resort.
Bluebeards Resort is located on the hills of the centre of Virgins Island. It is standing face to face with Charlotte Amalie, and it was just renovated after one year of consecutive working on the project. It offers 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom suits.
The Ritz-Carlton is in the heart of St. Thomas, was recently renovated and has 180 bedrooms. It has a baby sitting service and a fitness centre.
Things to do
Red Hook is all about watersports, and equipment is available for hire. The waters off the east coast of St Thomas are famous for great fishing: tuna, sharks, wahoo, and some of the biggest blue marlins in the world can all be found in abundance.