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Friday, December 25, 2015

The Grand Tour - St. Croix, Part 6


As our clothes spin in the dryer in the beach side laundry room, we’re waiting in the lobby with a half-dozen other guests. Elizabeth Armstrong, the owner of the Buccaneer Hotel, is regaling us with the history of the island and the hotel itself.

The earliest known existence of man dates back two and a half millennia. Groups of natives gradually emigrated up the island chain from South America, becoming the Caribs. Of course, you can see where the region got its name.

More recently, Spanish, French, and Dutch traders opened huge sugar plantations here  run on the backs of slaves. Eventually, the slaves were emancipated but the Dutch governors bankrupted the island with their lavish ways.

The United States, looking for a strategic location during World War I to protect its Panama Canal interests, took it off the Dutch’s hands for $25 million dollars. Now a self-governed territory, and administered by the Department of the Interior, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, and many other small islands are still part of the USA under the name U.S. Virgin Islands.


Ms. Armstrong leads us on a short walk over to the old sugar mill where we had Happy Hour last night.

She points out several birds and plants of the island around the area. This old stone structure was a cistern for the old mill.

Inside the mill itself, we’re told of the fruit bats that like to live here.


Finally, we get to inspect the fruit of the calabash tree, which is used for making maracas.

I had told my wife that I’d treat her to a massage at the hotel’s spa. Instead, she asks, can she use the money to buy a bracelet she saw in Christiansted?


Off into town we go where we park at the Fort Christianvern National Monument (great place to find free parking downtown, by the way).  Sonya jewelers is nearby, where my wife finds her souvenir.

Afterward, we head over to our new favorite island hangout, Fort Christian Brewpub. It’s Thursday and today’s special is $10 pitchers and 10 wings for $7.

We get the bargain basement specials and I get an idea.

The water is very clear in the harbor, clearer that the beach at the hotel where I did a little snorkeling but it was a bit murky. I’ve got an underwater camera but, so far, it isn’t doing me too much good but there is a ton of fish right off the dock here in clear water.

I ask the bartender if I can borrow a broomstick. He finds one, I clamp the camera on it, lower it in the water while Letty feeds the hungry tarpon our leftover chicken bones.


Watch The Video!

Watch the video above for the results and to acquaint yourself with the soon-to-be-famous chicken bone eating tarpon of St. Croix. Just as fun but less smelly than the world famous beer drinking pigs up in the jungle.

We’ll wrap up our time in St. Croix in our next report.

Darryl
Copyright 2013 – Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

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