C R U Z A N A

St. Croix USVI Real Estate & Other Good Things

Month: August 2008

Out on Buck Island

dsc_1622.jpgOn Sunday we arrived at the St. Croix Yacht Club to meet up with some friends who had graciously asked our family to spend the afternoon out on Buck Island. We’d never been out before so we were excited!

We hopped aboard their boat, untied and off we went. The trip out was half the fun. We were fully loaded and all smiles. Just being out on the water is beautiful… azure blue water, sun, and the backdrop of lush green islands. We skirted the reef for a bit then Gary banked through a cut towards Buck Island. During the next five minutes we spotted two huge turtles swimming at the surface. Both were large, perhaps 5 feet in diameter! I tried to snap a quick photo but missed.

In twenty minutes or so we were at the main Buck Island beach. Gary is good at navigating his boat anchoring only 25 feet or so from the beach in just the right depth for jumping off the tuna tower. Right away the kids jumped in one after another. Splash!

Taking in my first view of the island the one thing that struck me was the color of the water. It’s such a light blue it almost seems there isn’t any water, like a boat floating in thin air. Amazing. Buck Island has been left completely natural, no houses, no buildings… just blue water and the most perfect beach I’d ever seen. Time for me to jump in…

We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, talking and mixing Cruzan Rum drinks. The kids explored on kayaks, played on the beach, and jumped off the tuna tower about a hundred more times.

For us this was one of the most beautiful days on St. Croix so far. If you get the chance visit Buck Island, it’s definitely at the top of the Cruzana list of good things!

Click to enjoy a few photos of Buck Island, St. Croix, USVI…

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Going Green on St. Croix

green_usvi.jpgPerhaps it’s just me, but there seems to be more going on with solar energy, wind power, recycling and green building on St. Croix. Since electric rates in U.S.V.I. are 3.5 times the average of rates in the continental United States the level of interest in alternative energy makes sense. Everywhere I look folks are moving in the green direction. In this article I’ll discuss some of the “good things” we’ve discovered lately.

The Big Picture – The USVI government, lead by Governor DeJongh, is actively trying to make positive changes to the environment through various programs. The VIWMA has started a “Preserving Paradise Campaign” and the VI Resource Conservation & Development Council is working hard and in fact received a 2008 EPA Environmental Quality Award. There is also an environmental educators network if you are interested.

Alternative Energy – St. Croix USVI has great potential for solar and wind power. It seems a little ironic we also have one of the largest oil refineries in North America, Hovensa, located right on the island. Here are some links we came across…

Recycling – When we first moved here our trash (bottles, cans and paper) all went in the same can. There was no option to recycle. Recently we’ve discovered the St. Croix Recycling Association is making significant progress to change things for the better. Join or learn more at the St. Croix Recycling Association…

Here are some of their initiatives:

  • Aluminum Cans & Non-Ferrous Metals Recycling
  • Books, Clothing &/or Household Items Recycling
  • Car & Truck Battery Recycling
  • Cardboard Recycling
  • Glass Recycling
  • Old Newspaper Recycling
  • Packing Materials Recycling
  • Plant Pot Recycling
  • Plastics Recycling
  • Printer Ink / Toner Recycling
  • Used Motor Oil Recycling
  • Biodegradable Cleaner Suppliers
  • Organic Food Suppliers
  • Recycled Paper Products

Litter Control – St. Croix has a problem with litter. The road sides are covered with bottles, beer cans and paper. In my opinion, Governor DeJongh has more workers cleaning up litter from roadways these days, unfortunately it keeps coming right back. It’s a shame that such a beautiful island is being trashed. There’s a video out called “Leave Only Your Footprints” produced by the Ivan Butcher of the St. Croix Hiking Association that discusses the problem and perhaps it will help. Check out this St. Croix video called Leave Only Your Footprints…

Who Ships to St. Croix?

There are lots of online stores that ship to St. Croix for about the same price as other states. And there are lots of online stores that don’t. It seems many stores don’t understand you can drop something in a US Priority envelope and it arrives within a few days, same for FedEx, UPS, and all US Mail. Anyway, here’s a list of places that ship here right through their online checkout.

Online stores that ship to USVI: 

Do you know of other online stores that ship to the USVI? Please send us an email so we can add it to the list. Email eric@cruzana.com

10 Tips for the Tropics

So you want to move to a tropical island? And you’d like to enjoy daily island life? Here are our top 10 tips for making your island experience more pleasurable.

  1. top-ten.jpgHere’s tip #1… When you find a place to live don’t store your cardboard boxes. Cockroaches love the glue in cardboard. Better to just get some plastic storage boxes and throw your extra items in there.
  2. Run your A/C once a month or so, whether you need it or not. You can do this in your home, condo, truck or car. Letting your A/C run for a bit helps to keep the system working and charged up.
  3. Looking to rent a tropical condo or house? Make sure it gets a breeze! You don’t need a gale wind everyday but you do need a little breeze most days. Breezes keep you cooler and blow the mosquitoes and no-see-um’s away.
  4. Learn to love rainy days. Chances are there will be very few, but you’ll get a break from the sun, it’ll be cooler, and if you own or rent a tropical house your cistern (the big tank under your house) will fill up with water. A full cistern is like money in the bank.
  5. Get used to weird bugs and small animals. If they freak you out then don’t move to a tropical place because I guarantee you’ll see all sorts of strange little visitors. Most don’t harm you, but a few can. The good ones are: bats, lizards, tarantulas and frogs. The bad ones are: fire ants, centipedes, and brown recluse spiders.
  6. Buy and wear a wide brimmed hat to keep the sun off you. Although the sun feels great it will damage your skin and turn it into leather fast. Remember, this is not a 10 day vacation… you’re living in the tropics day in day out. Protect your skin with hats and sunscreen.
  7. Respect the ocean. Yes, 99% of the time the ocean is a wonderful azure blue playground, but be careful and stay smart. A simple five foot wave at the beach can flip you over and pound you into the sand or coral. Stepping on a prickly little sea urchin can put you out of commission for a day or two. Use your common sense when you’re in the ocean.
  8. Take care of little boo-boos. A little sting, blister, or cut will get infected faster in the tropics. Keep a first-aid kit around with topical antibiotic creams, band aids and whatever else you need. There are lots of good simple remedies out there too… just ask a local.
  9. Slow down and relax. The pace of life on a tropical island is much slower than you’re probably used to. Locals take their time and enjoy their day, some even stop right in the road to talk to a friend, others stop to chat right in the checkout line (usually when you’re in a hurry). If you start to feel angry try to stop and remember… it’s another beautiful day and you’re on a tropical island.
  10. Smile and say hello to other islanders. You might be surprised how receptive local people can be when you smile and say hello.

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