Part 5: St. Croix


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The Trip

The ship went back to sea after we completed our day on St. Maartin.  We traveled through the night and the next morning we docked at St. Croix.  Kathleen's uncle Douglas moved to St. Croix some years back and we arranged to visit him at his home in the hills above the harbor.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

When I awoke in the morning, I went outside to see what was going on.  The ship was using its thrusters to turn in place and approach the dock from the stern end.  Above, the turn is nearly complete and the ship is backing into the dock.

Nancy and Bobby get ready for a day out and about.

The ship landed in Frederiksted, St. Croix.  The buildings here were a mixture of old colonial and newer designs.  The building above, the old customs house, is barred shut.

To the north of the landing area was a small park that was occupied by the local vendors.

The vendors had a combination of semi-permanent structures and Ez-Up canopies and were selling the usual stuff: hats, Tee shirts, jewelry and art.

This old cargo crane served as the roost for one of the local pelicans.

Kathleen's uncle Douglas came down to meet us a the pier.

After initial greetings, we had to determine logistics to get to Douglas' house.  Our group was too big for one trip so Kathleen and I agreed to be on the second group and used the time to walk around town.  The rocks along the seawall were teeming with birds working for their lunch.  They would run to avoid the incoming waves then run back to see what the waves delivered for them.

To quote the plaque on the wall, this building was rebuilt after thet Fireburn insurrection of 1878 by the Doute family which owned the property from 1839-1924.

From Strand Street, we got a nice view of our ship tied up at the quay.

Next to 13 Strand Street was an older brick and stone building that is still in use.  The upper story is an office building, but the lower floor is blocked off.

Some of the older buildings were in quite sad shape and were in need of restoration.

This building has columns and arches built from hand-made bricks.

The Frederiksted Mall is just a bit smaller than the malls you are likely familiar with.

Several colorful murals adorned privacy walls and the sides of buildings.

These electric cars were for rent.

Since as I am drafting these pages without internet access, I do not know who Mr. Buddhoe was or what he accomplished.  Soon after I took the photo above, Douglas returned to take us to his home on the mountain.  It was a short drive, but too far to walk unless highly motivated.

One of the issues with living in the tropics is dealing with the "critters".  This lizard found his way into the dining area of the house and I spotted him on the drapes.  His is a translucent yellow color.  The good news is that they eat insects.  The bad news is that whatever goes in, also comes out.

The deck and patio were awesome.

The sitting room was very nicely appointed with comfortable chairs.

The dining room is good sized and functionally designed.

There is a nice pool and patio between the three wings of the house.  This house has water capture system that routes rain from the roof into a 17,000 gallon cistern under the floor.

From the patio Douglas has a great view of Butler Bay at Frederiksted.

The formal living room has 2 sets of double doors; one goes to the pool patio and the other to the garden patio.

Douglas was an interior designer before he retired and his professional skill is manifested in his home decor.

The garden patio is small but cozy.  Note the gutter connection into the water supply system.

The house is situated on a steep hillside.  Below the pool patio, you can go down stairs built into the face of the hillside to the gardens below.

One of the terraces below the pool had a brain coral left over from the previous owner of the property.  This type of coral is protected now, so specimens are rather rare.

In the brush and vines of the hillside near the driveway, we spotted a huge termite nest.  The large brown mud ball is the nest and there were mud tubes going from the nest to the ground below.

I broke a portion of one of the tubes to expose the termites within.  These insects are highly organized and build the nest and associated tubes to protect themselves from predators and the elements.

While we were touring the grounds, Douglas and Kathleen were slaving away on lunch.  Three kinds of salad were prepared and all were tasty.

In addition to the salad, cold avocado soup with sour cream was prepared.

The ship's movement schedule dictated our schedule and after a pleasant lunch and much catching up, we returned to the cruise ship terminal at Frederiksted.  While waiting for the group to assemble, I spotted these old cannons stuck into the coral reef.

The old fort that protected Butler Bay still had some antique cannons.

When we returned to the cruise ship pier the same pelican was on top of the old dock crane.

We enjoyed our time on St. Croix.  Douglass has a great house with a to-die-for view of the bay below.  The only fly in the ointment is the steep gravel road that he has as a driveway.  When tropical storms or hurricanes come to the island, the driveway will be difficult to impassible.

Next, another night on the ship and then on to Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas Island.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights reserved.
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