Checking into St. John

Cruz Bay is the only town on St. John where you can clear in or out, and the harbor is very crowded. With help from a couple of local cruisers, we found a spot with room to anchor for a while, not long though, as you can see. I placed a call to Customs and Immigration to be sure nothing had changed with respect to clearing into or out of the USVI. As U.S. citizens with a U.S. flagged vessel, and having already cleared into Puerto Rico, we were fairly certain we were not required to clear into or out of the USVI, and we were told that is still the case. When we sail in the opposite direction though, we are required to clear back into Puerto Rico even though we will have already cleared into the USVI as we pass through their waters. Formalities differ from one region to another, and it is much easier to go with the flow of things rather than run afoul of the authorities. It is not so easy to correct a mistake with these folks.

They Want you to Move On
They Want you to Move On

Just as we were getting ready to hoist the anchor to head out, Joy spied a U.S. Parks Service boat, so I waved them over to ask a couple of questions. All the anchorages on the north coast of St. John fall within the U.S. Parks jurisdiction, and you are required to have a permit to anchor or to pick up a mooring while in the parks. I tried to obtain a permit at their office, but found no one home. The park rangers told me that all I had to do was stop at one of the floating pay stations in any harbor where I could pay the mooring fees and obtain the permit at the same time. Simple, so off we went looking for safe harbor.
No Room in Cruz Bay
No Room in Cruz Bay

From Cruz Bay on, each day’s run would be less than three hours, just a hop and a skip to wherever we wanted to go. Look below – What could be better? StJohnChart
We didn’t have to go far as Hawksnest Bay is right around the corner, and this bay is well-protected in most conditions. So, what can we tell you about St. John? Breathtaking, gorgeous, quiet – you pick all the superlatives you like and those words might begin to describe this cruiser’s paradise. Jet skis and personal watercraft are not allowed; fishing is prohibited; no water skiing; no loud parties permitted. Close your eyes and take a deep breath while you try to take everything in and plan just how you want to recharge your personal batteries. 
Ocean Angel on a mooring in Hawksnest Bay
Ocean Angel on a mooring in Hawksnest Bay

More … More