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St James Bay (Christmas Cove)

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St James Bay (Christmas Cove)
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St James Bay (Christmas Cove) is an anchorage in St. Thomas – South Coast.

St. Thomas – South Coast is a charter location in St. Thomas, a yacht charter area in US Virgin Islands.

The anchorages on St. Thomas – South Coast:

Overview

St James Bay, also called Bahia de Santiago or Great Saint James, is a part of the US Virgin Islands.  The island is privately owned and mostly undeveloped, but the area around is famous for Christmas Cove, located just by it. The cove serves multiple purposes, providing a place for snorkeling, kayaking, and mooring. Unlike a few other popular mooring spots, Christmas Cove is a quiet cove. Only the sounds of birds in their natural habitat fill the night air. The water is pristine and flows with diverse wildlife.

Navigation

The island is about 0.4 kilometers (0.25 mi) southeast of Saint Thomas, while Christmas Cove is located on the west side of St. James Bay. It belongs under the administration of the East End sub-district of Saint Thomas. Conveniently situated between St. Thomas and St. John, it is accessible from St. Thomas by a 10-minute boat ride. To get to Great St. James Beach, one needs to hire a boat or register for kayak or snorkeling trips to the area.

General Information

One of the islands set between St. Thomas and St John, the vegetation on Great St. James is lush and undisturbed. Daily flights from St. Thomas Airport will bring you to St. Thomas, from where you can get a place to stay and food to eat before your trip out to see Great St James or visit Christmas Cove. No trip to the island or its surroundings is complete without choosing at least one water activity. For added benefit, you can get a pizza from Pizza Pi and enjoy a glass of wine or a bottle of your favorite drink while you watch out of reef fish.

Where to Anchor

Christmas Cove is protected from the winds on the North, East, and South of the cove. When coming from the West, watch out for breaking rocks that can cause havoc to your boat. If coming from the East, beware of the current. The delicate coral formations on this beautiful Caribbean Island only allow for mooring balls to protect coral areas. There are 22 mooring balls available for use in this anchorage, though not maintained. There is floating signage that explains the rules of usage.  There is room to anchor in sand and light grass east of the small island in the middle of the cove (Fish Cay).

Christmas Cove, Photo by @Pizzapivi (Source: Instagram)
Great Saint James Bay, Photo by Jacopo Werther (Source: Wikipedia)

History and Culture

The story goes that Christmas Cove is named such because on one Christmas Day long ago, the renowned Christopher Columbus had to anchor his boat there waiting for a storm to pass. For a short while, it was under the ownership of a woman and then transferred to family members of Christian Kjær, the Danish politician in the late 1970s. However, it was bought by Jeffrey Epstein before his death and is currently held by The United States Virgin Island government.

Beaches

The Great St. James Beach

This island is private property.  But under the laws of the Virgin Islands, you can use Great St. James beach up to the tree line. Though it is pebbly and the waters can be choppy because of the passage of boats, it is a quiet beach to relax.

Things to do

Join a scheduled snorkel group

The intensely blue waters of Christmas Cove provide an unforgettable snorkeling experience. One can swim with diverse wildlife like sea turtles, reef fishes, conches, and even spot the occasional dolphin or spotted eagle ray.

 Sunset cruise or swim in the cove

Whether you charter a boat for the day or half a day and swim in the beautiful waters of the cove along with the aqua life, or you watch the sun go down while you sip on a glass of wine, this cove always beats every traveler’s imagination.

Christmas Cove, Photo by @nronen (Source: Instagram)

Places to Eat

Pizza Pi

Thinking of dining out at sea? Pizza Pi is a 37-foot sailing vessel that is now a floating Pizza joint. This Pizzeria has been here since 2014, serving up New York-style pizza on the Caribbean Sea. If you’re in the area and you smell pizza, they’re the culprits. Boat out to them and tie up, get a slice while you watch reef fish and turtles.

Places to Stay

Bay View Condo

Bay View Condo is located on the beach in St. Thomas. This well-equipped hotel gives tourists everything they need to make their stay unforgettable. They offer BBQ grills, a fitness center, nightclub, an outdoor pool, an outdoor tennis court, and restaurants less than 5 minutes away.

Ritz Carlton Club Condo

The Ritz Carlton Club Condo is a stunning 2 Bedroom residence about a minute away from the Great St James Island. This well-furnished, child-friendly condo has three bathrooms and two rooms. It sits right at the edge of the sea and is four minutes away from Restaurants and The American Yacht Harbor.

    Yachts available in St James Bay (Christmas Cove)

    34 reviews
    Scuba Onboard

    FOXY LADY

    Captain Nationality: UK
    Flag: BVI
    From $31,500/week
    4 cabins
    62 ft
    Lagoon
    8 guests
    Built: 2011

    View

    12 reviews
    Scuba Onboard

    ABUNDANCE

    Captain Nationality: USA
    Flag: USA
    From $16,000/week
    3 cabins
    44 ft
    Fontaine Pajot
    4 guests
    Built: 2019
    1 US Gall/Hr

    View

    5 reviews

    THE ANNEX

    Captain Nationality: RSA
    Flag: Cayman Islands
    From $30,500/week
    5 cabins
    58 ft
    Leopard
    10 guests
    Refit: 2020

    View

    25 reviews
    Special Offer
    Scuba Onboard

    GRACE Lagoon 52

    Captain Nationality: US
    Flag: USA
    From $30,000/week
    4 cabins
    52 ft
    Lagoon
    6 guests
    Built: 2020
    3 US Gall/Hr

    View

    37 reviews

    MOON BLOSSOM

    Captain Nationality: Zimbabwe
    Flag: USA
    From $20,050/week
    3 cabins
    50 ft
    Leopard
    6 guests
    Built: 2019

    View

    7 reviews
    Scuba Onboard

    ISLAND HOPPIN’

    Captain Nationality: American
    Flag: BVI
    From $29,000/week
    4 cabins
    52 ft
    Lagoon
    8 guests
    Built: 2018
    3 US Gall/Hr

    View

    11 reviews

    PELICAN

    Captain Nationality:
    Flag: USVI
    From $20,000/week
    5 cabins
    58 ft
    VOYAGE yacht
    10 guests
    Refit: 2009
    2 US Gall/Hr

    View

    4 reviews
    Jacuzzi

    LADY DEENA II

    Captain Nationality: Brazilian
    Flag: US
    From $45,000/week
    4 cabins
    101 ft
    Hargrave
    8 guests
    Refit: 2016
    50 US Gall/Hr

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    WINDQUEST

    Captain Nationality: USA
    Flag: Cayman
    From $70,000/week
    4 cabins
    85 ft
    JFA Chantier Naval
    8 guests
    Refit: New
    10 US Gall/Hr

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    7 reviews

    NAUTI CAT

    Captain Nationality: USA
    Flag: USA
    From $20,700/week
    4 cabins
    50 ft
    Lagoon
    8 guests
    Built: 2020

    View

    4 reviews

    SOMEWHERE HOT

    Captain Nationality: Guyana
    Flag: US
    From $16,000/week
    4 cabins
    51 ft
    Leopard
    8 guests
    Built: 2019

    View

    8 reviews

    Crystal Dreams

    Captain Nationality:
    Flag: United States
    From $28,000/week
    6 cabins
    54 ft
    Bali Catamarans
    12 guests
    Built: 2021
    1200 L* Litres/Hr

    View

    6 reviews
    Scuba Onboard

    ETHER

    Captain Nationality: Canadian
    Flag: Jamaica
    From $25,000/week
    4 cabins
    50 ft
    Lagoon
    8 guests
    Built: 2022

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    VOYAGE 590e

    Captain Nationality:
    Flag: USCG
    From $36,858/week
    6 cabins
    59 ft
    VOYAGE yacht
    12 guests
    Built: 2020

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    Bavarian Bliss

    Captain Nationality:
    Flag: TBC
    From $20,000/week
    4 cabins
    48 ft
    Bali Catamarans
    8 guests
    Built: 2022

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