Notifications
Clear all

Little island off the West End STT & Charlotte Amalie

Please Sign in / Register to take part in discussions about the Virgin Islands.


FL Barrier Islander
(@fl-barrier-islander)
Honorable Member

In celebration of my 50th revolution around the sun, We're renting a sailboat and are planning to sail around the US and British Virgin Islands. Prior to owning our home, we sailed the US and BVI for about 20 years. We are very familiar with the north, east and Charlotte Amalie of STT and the BVI but we've never sailed any further west of Charlotte Amalie. We have dinghyed around Flamingo Bay, Elephant Bay, Lindbergh, etc......our "water neighborhood" around Water Island.

There's a little island off the west end of St. Thomas. It's called Savana.....Savana Passage. From our porch on Flamingo Point USVI on the southwestern most tip of Water Island we have been staring at this little island for years now. We are strangely intrigued and are interested in picking up the boat out of Benner Bay, sailing from Benner Bay out to that island off the West End, mooring overnight, and then heading northeast - steering a course to Jost Van Dyke.

Here's the thing.............my husband, the Captain, is wondering the following:

1. Is this little island "officially" part of the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico. If PR, then would we be required to "check in" with US customs or anyone 'official' prior to spending the night.
2. Are there mooring balls around this island? Or, can we drop anchor and if so, what areas should we avoid? We're conscious of our fragile environment and of course want to avoid damaging coral or other sensitive areas.
3. Has anyone sailed from East End of STT to the West End of STT......by way of the south side of STT? What's your estimate of the time it would take.....under both sail and power? (I realize this "time question" is filled with lots of variables. Just trying to get an idea based on your experience.)
4. Any other tips you veteran sailors out there want to volunteer regarding sailing west of Charlotte Amalie?

Quote
Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 7:44 am
Linda J
(@linda-j)
Prominent Member

Don't know the answer to any of your questions except one. No customs between USVI and Puerto Rico.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 5, 2010 9:04 am
FL Barrier Islander
(@fl-barrier-islander)
Honorable Member

Good morning Linda J! I guess I should have said....do we have to check in/out through customs and immigration if we have an overnite stopover on Savana island. I'm assuming you (rightly) read into my ommission and knew what I was really asking. Someone told us if we sailed closer to PR (which we're not going to do), then we had to check in/out of customs & immigration (even tho we started our trip in St. Thomas and were already IN the United States). I don't know if what we heard was true and thus my query regarding check in/out if doing this overnite on a teeny island a stone's throw from STT. So, just to confirm, we do not have to check in/out of US Customs & Immigration in this specific instance - Savana island. Of course, once we get into BVI, we'll have to check in/out and then check back into US once we leave BVI.

Thanks!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 9:32 am
docric
(@docric)
Trusted Member

I have a book that lists the island as belonging to the V. I. Government. I hope that helps.

It used to be a goat farm.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 5, 2010 11:04 am
RockyDock
(@rockydock)
Estimable Member

Linda J wrote:
Don't know the answer to any of your questions except one. No customs between USVI and Puerto Rico.

Linda J: You are 100% wrong. Everyone going from any USVI location to Puerto Rico is required to clear through US Customs. Little bit different clearing procedure via commercial aircraft/ships and private planes/boats, but all must clear US Customs or be prepared to pay a hefty fine and worse.

Savana Island is an islet of the United States Virgin Islands. It is located off the West End of St. Thomas at 18°20'N 65°05'W, approximately 7 miles west of Cyril E. King Airport. Savana island is the "5 mile out" reporting point for incoming aircraft. You will get to see the underside of all incoming aircraft, and listen to the noise also.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 5, 2010 12:59 pm
Linda J
(@linda-j)
Prominent Member

Rocky Dock, I believe you incorrect. If you are flying between STX and PR, with PR being your final destination, you do not pass through customs.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 5, 2010 1:38 pm
exit zero
(@exit-zero)
Prominent Member

Back to the island Questions -- no moorings as far as I know of , my last time there was over 2 years ago - there may be a dive mooring I suggest you call the dive shop in Crown Bay - I have never overnighted or anchored - protect yourself from a N swell and put down in sand , look for 25' or under if you can is a good starting plan.
It is part of the USVI - no Customs etc. - I don't think the time to there on the S side will be a worry -- the upwind N side sail may be longer than you suspect and you should look for possible overnighting options there.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 5, 2010 5:05 pm
RockyDock
(@rockydock)
Estimable Member

Linda J wrote:
Rocky Dock, I believe you incorrect. If you are flying between STX and PR, with PR being your final destination, you do not pass through customs.

I'm not interested in belaboring the point, except that your information may cause problems for someone wanting to make a day trip between PR and USVI and find themselves without proper documentation. No customs coming from PR to USVI. However, going from USVI to PR clearing customs is required. I make the trip on a regular basis from St Thomas. On Cape Air you clear through customs at the St Thomas airport. Using Seaborne, you clear through customs after arriving at the Isla Grande Airport in San Juan. A Passport is not required but customs officials get really concerned about seeing something that shows place of birth, which a drivers license doesn't provide. Flying to Puerto Rico from the USVI without the correct documentation will cause problems. Just saying.

The USVI is the US. So the same as flying between any city within the US.

No. The USVI is an UNINCORPORATED territory. Like most Carribbean islands trips, you CAN get in and back in the USA on a birth certificate and a photo id, but its is always best to have a passport. Also, it is NOT a part of the USA customs zone. That means that you have to clear US customs. The same basic rules apply to Guam, American Samoa, and the minor US Pacific Islands as well. Puerto Rico, however, is "just like a state" and does not involve border controls.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 6, 2010 3:53 am
FL Barrier Islander
(@fl-barrier-islander)
Honorable Member

RockyDock, thank you for the confirmation about the flight path. I wasn't sure if we would be enough out of the way to avoid noise from the airplanes. Sounds like a noisy place for overnight/anchorage.

We'll be on Water Island prior to picking up the boat in STT and then sailing. Not sure if that makes a difference regarding customs/immigration since Savana is an "islet of the US Virgin Islands" which I guess would mean that we wouldn't be departing US territory until we check into JVD/BVI even if we did a stopover on Savana. We're re-thinking the cruising on the West End now anyway. It sure would be nice to sail around those islands we see off the porch but there's a reason charter/bareboaters don't sail from east to west - - time constraints.

LindaJ, thank you for your input. I think we're all in agreement at least for MY plans that I don't have to go through C&I process.

Exit Zero, thank, you for the sailing information. If we do this, it may end up just a stop/adventure during the day and then find other overnite. Will stop in at Crown to get the scoop.

Docric, ..........a GOAT farm you say. Interesting!

I appreciate all the advice and support!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : April 6, 2010 6:44 am
Close Menu