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3 of the best toy-friendly destinations

3 of the best toy-friendly destinations

3 of 3 3/3

U.S Virgin Islands

When asked to identify favorite places for jet skiing and other water sports, more than one captain mentioned Magens Bay, a large, calm anchorage in St. Thomas’ north that is surrounded by land on three sides. And the U.S. Virgin Islands’ other islands provide additional opportunities for in-water fun.

Fly into Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, the USVI’s capital and the most visited port in the Caribbean, and cruise north to Magens Bay to spend the day exercising your Jet Skis, waterskis, wakeboards and Seabobs. The following day, travel south to peaceful Water Island, anchoring in Druif Bay on its western side. Here, snorkel to Honeymoon Beach, visit Fort Segarra (part of the U.S. defense strategy during WWII) and, if it’s Monday, join locals for an evening movie on the sand.

If you want to visit the largest USVI, head south to St. Croix, anchoring in the bay at Christiansted. Explore Salt River Bay, where Columbus landed in, via kayak, then return in the evening to experience the bay’s bioluminescence, where glowing jellyfish, glow worms and dinoflagellates create sparkling magic each time your paddle stirs the water. The following day, seek out deeper enchantment, either diving the wall at Cane Bay, which extends along much of the North Shore, or exploring the underwater world around Buck Island Reef National Monument, to the northeast.

Afterward, continue north to St. John, where percent of the land is national park. Anchor in Francis Bay, on the island’s north shore, and greet its turtles and fi sh as you navigate its clear waters via snorkel or paddleboard.

Finally, return to Charlotte Amalie — and if you’re craving a final dose of fast-toy action, call in to the captains’ favourite — Magens Bay — one more time.

Throw in the BVIs

Todd Likins, captain of Just Enough, suggests incorporating the nearby British Virgin Islands into your USVI itinerary. Jet Skis are prohibited there, but other toys will get a workout. Likins’ play recommendations include North Sound and Savannah Bay (Virgin Gorda) for paddleboarding and kayaking; Long Bay (Virgin Gorda) and The Bight (Norman Island) for wakeboarding and waterskiing; and Peter Island for diving and snorkelling.

Play by the rules

Rob Carlin, agent at St. Thomas Cargo and Ship Services, explains that using Jet Skis, Seabobs, waterskis and anything else pulled by a boat is prohibited in USVI national park waters. This includes Buck Island, Salt River Bay and most of the waters surrounding St. John.

*Bottoms up *

Quench your saltwater induced thirst with a bittersweet local drop named maubi, made from tree bark fermented with ginger root, yeast and herbs. Alternatively, grab a bottle of Tropical Mango Pale Ale, St. John Brewers’ flagship beer.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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