St. Croix USVI Real Estate & Other Good Things

Category: Favorites

Kitchens, Doors, Tile…

Today we stopped in at Armrey Industries, part of a new group of businesses located just outside of Christiansted, USVI. Armrey and their partners at Richmond Design Center have a unique business model that umbrellas three companies under one roof… kitchens & bath products, windows and doors, and tile products. Plus each company helps with design and does professional installation. What a great idea!

The three showrooms offer great ideas and knowledgeable employees. Everyone was friendly as we browsed around and learned about their different products. There are many styles of granite, CorianĀ®, and even bamboo counter tops available. We saw dozens of floor and bath tiles plus beautiful mosaic designs in the tile showroom. And in the door and window showroom I was impressed by the beautiful wood and glass folding doors that would be perfect for opening up any tropical home to the outdoors. Later, we got a quick tour of one of their manufacturing facilities and watched craftsman fabricate custom granite counter tops.

armlogowebmod.jpgIf you are looking to build or remodel we recommend stopping by. For contact information or to visit their websites click here for Armrey Industries for St. Croix kitchens and baths or visit Wooden Bridge Trading Company and Mark Hansen Designs for windows and doors.

Below are a few photos I snapped during our visit (click to enlarge)


Obama Wins Presidency!

obama5.jpgIt’s been a long campaign but tonight Obama pulled out the big win. The first ever African American has been elected President! Down here in St. Croix we’ve seen many Obama signs and bumper stickers (and USVI residents can’t even vote for President). It’s apparent to me St. Croix was rooting for Obama / Biden.

The people I talk to are genuinely excited about a future with Obama as President. Even though times are tough economically people are optimistic. New, secure jobs created from investing heavily in the renewables industry seems like a smart direction for the country. Getting out of Iraq will certainly allow us to redirect 10 billion per month to other areas. That’s 300 million per day. Plus, a tax cut for 95% of Americans will help.

Comments from Obama supporters usually revolve around his intelligence, thoughtfulness and inspirational abilities, many make parallels to John F. Kennedy. My hope is that he’ll set a good example for America on the world stage and accomplish what he has proposed to do here at home. Congratulations Barack Obama and Joe Biden!

Below are a few photos I liked…


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…


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.

Full Moon Beach Bar

dsc_1296.jpgJust across the street from Cane Bay is Full Moon Beach Bar (or Cane Bay Beach Bar depending on who you talk to). This is the quintessential bar Jimmy Buffet would be proud to frequent. The views are of the beautiful beach, ocean and the North shore mountains of St. Croix. Grab a seat and relax, you might be staying a while!

Today we took the family for Sunday brunch and listened to live guitar. To make it official we ordered some tasty Bloody Mary’s. The bar has live music frequently with acoustic, reggae and other eclectic sounds. Other days of the week are lunch, brunch and dinner specials including a great all-you-can-eat shrimp special (which I think is every Friday). You’ll find a couple dozen seats up at the bar plus another dozen tables for conventional seating. Choose a seat at the bar if you want to overlook the Cane Bay beach action. The open air decor is typical beach bar… wooden deck floor, plastic chairs, funky murals and license plates from all over the world.

Behind Full Moon Beach Bar is the Cane Bay Dive Shop, where you can take Scuba lessons, rent Scuba equipment or buy island style items like t-shirts, sandals, sun screen and more. Then behind the dive shop is the Virgin Kayak Company for kayak rentals and tours. To the left are cute little St. Croix rental cottages.

Click photos to view larger, or click to visit Full Moon Beach Bar on St. Croix…


Aboard the Roseway

dsc_1215.jpgLast night we took a sunset sail aboard the 137 foot schooner Roseway. Built in 1925 to defend America’s honor in the annual race between the Nova Scotia and Massachusetts fishing fleets, the Roseway stood as a shining example of a fast fishing schooner. Despite her limited fishing history, the oak-built Roseway set a record of 74 swordfish caught in one day in 1934. The distinctive rust-orange sails and dark blue hull are hard to miss even today.

We bought our tickets, met some of the crew of the World Ocean School, and boarded on the Gallows Bay, St. Croix wharf right around 5:00 PM for a three hour tour… a threeee hour tour. After living on the island for months, gazing out at the azure blue ocean almost daily, it was exciting to finally get out on the ocean! Everyone we talked to seemed equally excited to be there.

dsc_1188.jpgAfter the usual safety announcements we were underway, albeit by engine power for the first five minutes until we reached deeper waters. The first mate explained we’d be needed to hoist the sails because the mainsail weighs over one ton! About 10 men and women lined up on each side and gave heave-ho’s on the thick ropes and soon we were “under sail”. The engines cut off and let the evening’s light tropical winds power us. What a feeling of peacefulness!

For the next 2 hours we enjoyed a fantastic sail out on the open ocean while sipping rum punch, champagne, wine and Red Stripe. We talked with the Captain, the founder of the World Ocean School, the first mate and the crew. Almost all the crew lived somewhere in Maine. We chatted with other interesting folks and had some laughs about “life on St. Croix”. One man aboard, Craig Alexander, had recently won the St. Croix Half Ironman Triathlon (last weeks story). Another interesting gentleman I met, at least to a geek like me, is the Executive Director of the UVI Research & Technology Park. All in all we had a great evening.

Click for more information about the Roseway and the World Ocean School…

Below are a few photos of our adventure…


St. Croix Half Ironman

This morning around 9:00 AM we walked up to watch the road race portion of St. Croix Half Ironman Triathlon. Our location was the sharp corner at the back entrance of Carambola Golf Resort. Each biker raced down the slight hill and braked into the hairpin turn then accelerated past us toward the straightaway. I stood on the sidelines with a dozen other observers, cheered them on and took a few photos with our Nikon D40. It was fun!

The weather was at first overcast, then raining, then sunny (typical North Shore weather). The rain made for a tricky corner and one biker actually skidded off the road, almost lost control, bumped up over a concrete embankment and ended up in the grass. Phew! Within 10 seconds he was pumping back into action. The road was surely getting slick with the mild downpour.

We got there a little late and managed to miss the leaders go by, but I do think we saw the first “Ironwoman” cruise by. Every participant looked to be in very good shape (of course), some even had smiles on! The bikes were very high-tech looking with many sporting those funky wide rims. We all commented how loud the bike tires sounded when they whooshed by… I think we were all expecting near silence.

For more info about the race, the results and other info please visit…

Below are some pictures of the St. Croix Ironman Triathlon. Enjoy.


Creque Dam Farm

Today we traveled through the rainforest and followed the signs to Creque Dam Farm, home of the VI Sustainable Farm Institute. The long and winding dirt road lead to an agricultural oasis in the mountains of St. Croix. Fields with tidy rows of vegetables and picturesque vistas made for an enjoyable trip.

Once we parked, the main building took center stage. It’s a beautifully crafted tropical building with tin hip roofs, rich woods (harvested from sustainable forests), and local stone. Breezes blow through as the aroma of freshly harvested fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs swirl. Inside is an open kitchen, tables of produce, books, t-shirts and a 1/2 dozen smiling “farm crew”.

We spent about 45 minutes looking around, petting baby goats, talking story, buying fresh produce, and snapping a few photos. It was amazing to see what can be created in only a few years time… off the grid systems, a successful organic farming institute, beautiful architecture, all run by a crew of happy people.

For more details please visit their website at…VI Sustainable Farm Institute


Salt River Marina

This may be the sleepy tropical marina every boater pictures in their mind when they think about paradise. There are perhaps 30 to 50 slips, a restaurant, a kayak tour company, a dive operation, and various other facilities. Palm trees hang over the road, people live aboard their sailboats and motorboats, and the atmosphere is low key and welcoming. Another name the marina goes by is Columbus Cove Landing.

I have eaten at the restaurant and the food was good. It’s a very casual open-air atmosphere. Boaters, patrons and the owners dogs stroll in and out. The service was timely for us, unlike some places on the island where you may wait a long time to be served.

Just around the corner is Salt River Beach. It’s a great spot to see boats thread the needle in between the shoals as they enter and exit the bay. It’s a good location for swimming in the shallows and the waves are usually small due to the protecting reef. Sometimes fishermen dot the shoreline with their handlines.

Salt River Marina phone #: (340) 778-9650
More info about Salt River at…

More great marinas and Boat Shows here…

Click photos below to enlarge…


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