Posts Tagged ‘Virgin Island Beach Front Rentals’

Viewing the Islands from the Water

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Everyone says the same thing, and it is quite accurate. If you really want to enjoy the Caribbean, do it from a charter,on the water, where the views are wonderful and the pleasure is all yours. There are many different kinds of charters – variety that will match you taste, interests and budget. The charters range from about $200 to up to $2000, depending on what you are getting.

The least expensive and the least flexible are the large group charters, where the boat carries up to 20 people, or 12, depending on their insurance.  These will take you to some nice spots, but the experience is about what you would expect for a group charter of anything.  They provide the snorkels and the fins, and normally stop along with way at one of the restaurants close to the water.

If you want to scuba dive, the costs go up significantly — $200 to $350 per person generally, and you will go with a licensed dive instructor if you are not yourself certified.  Again, they provide the equipment and the craft, crewed with one of two people, and there is greater flexibility where you go.

Of course, there are sail boat charters, with or without a captain, and there are larger yachts that can be taken out for days and even weeks, usually with a licensed captain and crew, unless you have a captains license and are experienced in the Virgin Islands. The constancy of the prevailing Easterlies in the Virgin Islands makes the area one of the best sailing areas in the world.

The most enjoyment, of course, comes when you charter a luxury craft for a day, with your own captain and mate, a gourmet lunch, and you choice of destinations.  We offer two craft, POSH and Ponchis, for just such occasions.  Both craft are 48’ Dyna Craft, with three cabins, two heads, and plenty of room for lounging in the up top, on the back, or in the main cabin.  When you charter these boats, they can carry up to six people, plus a licensed captain and a mate who are there to take you to the best snorkeling or diving spots in the US and British Virgin Islands.

For business associates or simply family enjoyment, there is simply no better way to see the Islands, the wonderful beaches, the underwater world of the sea, and the spectacular views.  The family of the Virgin Islands is one of the most beautiful tropical island groups anywhere in the world.  St. John, for example, is largely a national park, so much of the Island appears the way it must have appeared to the first voyagers who arrived at the Islands on Columbus’s second voyage of discovery.

These are pleasure boats.  They are not equipped for fishing, and if you want to go deep sea fishing for Marlin or Tuna, our experienced concierge, Angela St. Hilaire, will assist you to find the right charter for you.  The Puerto Rico Trench is only a few miles from St. Thomas, and the drop off is one of the best places for Marlin fishing anywhere.

Both yachts have dive platforms for scuba diving, however, and dinghy’s take can take you to the beach or to one of the BVI towns on Tortola.  Remember, however, to bring your Passport, which is a requirement for travel to the British Virgin Islands.

Beachfront that is Not Beachfront

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

The villas in the Virgin Islands are often labeled ‘beachfront’ or ‘waterfront’, both by the owners and often by the real estate agencies that market the homes to the public. We have lived here now for five years and we have learned not to trust the descriptions any longer. I will start with some specific examples to make the point. We live in Peterborg, a narrow peninsula of land that is the border for Magen’s Bay.On the Ocean side of Peterborg, there are many properties listed as ‘waterfront’, and that might be true in a technical sense.  What the ads don’t tell you is that there is no beach at all, only rocky cliffs that overlook the ocean. 

On the Magen’s Bay side of Peterborg there are a very few houses that have actually small pocket beaches to which the property has access.  These houses are very seldom on the market; they sell generally for much higher prices per square foot, and rent for more than most other properties. Interestingly, the Western shore of Magen’s Bay, across the water from Peterborg, has some waterfront property, but there are no sandy beaches at all because of the currents in the Bay.

The truth of the matter is that there are relatively few houses on St. Thomas and St. John that can boast of being on the beach. More beachfront property exists on St. Croix, which is the largest of the three islands, but the surf is rougher and the sand generally less than on the other two islands.

So, when you read online that a villa is a “waterfront” or “beachfront” property, you need to understand the three meanings of that description, because the marketing materials seldom make it clear.  First, there is waterfront that has no access to the water at all, usually because the houses are located on cliffs above the ocean.  Second, there are homes where you can go down to the water, but where the beach is rocky, strewn with boulders, and not useable. Finally, there are a handful of properties that actually have direct access to a stable, usable, sandy beach. I use the word stable because many beaches on the northern coast of the Island disappear entirely when the Christmas winds whip up the surf.  I love Sandy Beach at Botany Bay, but it should be renamed boulder Bay in the winter season.

Villa Cote Sud and Villa Eau Claire are two villas that fit the third, and preferable, definition of “beachfront,” meaning they have direct access to a sandy beach.  Cote Sud has 345 feet of pebble beach, with a 100 foot pier into the Caribbean, which provides direct access to excellent snorkeling. The pier has been there for nearly 50 years, long before the coast was regulated, so it is permitted to remain under the CZM code. Cote Sud also has a 400 foot walk to Green Cay Beach, a half mile of largely deserted sand beach.  Eau Claire is, on the North side, is about 40 feet over a small sandy beach on Magen Bay, and has a private deck, shower and lighting for night time use.  So, if you really want to enjoy real beachfront, these two properties will provide that enjoyment.