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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 3:22 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Sarasota FL
St Croix in the US Virgin Islands is a wonderful place to ocean kayak and has an awesome Hobie dealer and guide in Bryan Updyke at Virgin Kayak. He's a character and you never fail to get a history and nature lesson when you go with him.

My favorite kayaking spot on the island is Great Pond on the southshore of St Croix. Great Pond and its adjacent beaches feature several miles of long and rather deserted beaches, lots of sea turtles, and a barrier reef that keeps the water relatively flat. You need a four-wheeler to get to the beach, but it's worth the trip.

Image

My other favorite spot to kayak on STX is on the dramatic NW coastline known as "Ham's Bluff". On a calm day, which is about 2 out of every 7, it's spectacular. Put in at Carambola Beach Resort.

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Kayaking over to Buck Island is also a great open water adventure. Buck, a Natl Park, is about two miles off the north shore on the east end of the island. Currents and winds make it challenging some days, but the mirage system makes the difference and you'll likely be joined by green turtles and dolphins. Riding the current down the north side of the island to the main city is another favorite trip, ...when I could convince someone to come pick me up!

Lived on STX for four years and enjoyed it immensely. Great diving and beautiful coastlines to kayak.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:03 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA
Awesome. Am tentatively planning a trip to the USVI in spring of '13. Surprised I don't see more kayak trip reports from this area.

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Graduating from adventure junkie to dealer. Get your fix at http://www.fasterfarther.com


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 3:22 pm
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Location: Sarasota FL
Connect with Bryan and Jill Updyke at Virgin Kayak on St Croix (a Hobie Dealer). Super knowledgeable about the best spots and the local history.

Not a lot of people kayak the NW coastline of St Croix because they think "Ham's Bluff" is too rough, and it can be. But if the water is calm, the coastline there (pictured above) is amazing. You can launch kayaks from Renaissance Carambola Hotel which is very near some of the best spots on the NW coast.

Kayaking the Salt River Bay is nice, especially as an alternative to what can be rough open waters. Turtles in mouth of bay. Pull ashore on the west end of the mouth of the bay and hike up the hill ...which is the site of Ft Sale built by the French in the early 1500's at the site where Columbus came ashore in 1493. (Yeah, 1500's!)

Great Pond (pictured above) is the hidden gem. You just need to know where the access road is and have a sturdy vehicle to get down it. Once you get their, it's usually deserted. In the morning, the west end of the "pond" (bay) has a lot of turtles grazing in the nearshore sea grass. An offshore reef most days keeps the bay waters calm, and spectacularly beautiful.

For a leisurely 2.5 hour ocean trip, put in at Dugan's Reef restaurant beach on the far northeast end, and ride the current down to Christiansted. Pull out at Fort Christianvaern and walk over for a microbrew at the Ft Christian Brew Pub (and call for your ride).

On the westend of the island, put in at Rainbow Beach and kayak out to "Shallow Wrecks" and tie off at the mooring for some snorkeling. Get a local dive map for the locations of the moorings.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 3:22 pm
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Location: Sarasota FL
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Mt Fancy, southshore of St Croix


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My race buddy getting us ready for St Croix's Annual Kayak Race around the NW coast of the island.


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