Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column – St. Thomas #VirginIslands by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Travel Talk with D.G. Kaye

 

This month in my Travel Column over at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord, we’re going to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands!

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column – St. Thomas #VirginIslands by D.G. Kaye

This month D. G. Kaye takes us to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. A beautiful island with crystal blue seas.. as you will discover from our travel correspondent.

 

Welcome to this month’s edition of my Travel Column at Smorgasbord Travel Magazine. This month we’re visiting the beautiful island of St. Thomas – one of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

History

 

St. Thomas is one of the trio of islands that make up the U.S Virgin Islands along with St. Croix and St. John. The capital city of St. Thomas is Charlotte Amalie, boasting a population on that island of over 52,000 people and a land mass of approximately 32 square miles. St. Thomas has almost 50% more population than the other two islands.

Christopher Columbus discovered the island back in 1493, and the Ciboneypeople were the first to inhabit the island. In 1666 Denmark and Norway conquered the island and by 1672 the island was run by the Dano-Norwegian chartered company, taking over the island and dividing the land into sugar cane plantations, resulting in the importing of slaves to tend the plantations. Some of the largest slave auctions in the world were held in St. Thomas.

In 1691 the primary settlement on the island was renamed after King Christian V’s wife, Charlotte Amalie. The island was later declared a free post by Fredrick V, son of Christian VI of Denmark. The term, ‘free post’ was used to determine light taxation, and often no taxes at all were placed on companies and their goods to stimulate economic activity.

In March of 1801, the British invaded the Danish West Indies and took over the island, until returning the islands back to Denmark-Norway in 1802. A second invasion by the British again in 1807, lasting till 1815 when once again, the island was returned to Denmark-Norway.

Sugar trading had made the island prosperous until the 19th century when too much damage from hurricanes past and drought had brought lots of competition from American sugar traders. By the time the Danish revolution began in 1848, slavery was abolished which left the island with escalating labor costs, diminishing sugar production. By 1917 the islands were poorly managed, and the U.S. eventually purchased St. Thomas and it’s two sister islands for a cool 25 million dollars in gold in efforts to keep control of the Caribbean and the Panama Canal during World War I. By 1927, the U.S. had begun granting citizenship to the island’s residents.

 

Climate

As with most islands, the beautiful Caribbean climate in St. Thomas runs steady throughout the year with average highs anywhere from the mid-eighties to low nineties. Average lows typically hover around the mid-seventies. Lowest precipitation levels run February through June. And of course, as all islands’ danger, hurricane season. Where Irma devasted this island in 2017.

 

Beaches

 

Courtesy of Paradise-Islands.org

 

St. Thomas has many natural bays and harbors and is known for some of its beautiful beaches. Magens Bay, a heart-shaped protected bay, is one of the most popular white sandy beach beaches with a mile long of gorgeous public parkland offering an array of water sport rental equipment, food stands and beach chairs. Other beaches are located on Great Bay, Jersey Bay, Long Bay, Fortuna Bay, and Hendrik Bay. All beaches are gorgeous with their turquoise, calm waters where one can scuba dive, snorkel, sea trek at Coral World or swim with the sea turtles, sea lions and sharks!

Please continue reading HERE for lots more!

 

Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column – St. Thomas #VirginIslands by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

24 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column – St. Thomas #VirginIslands by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  1. Your travel posts are always fascinating, Debby, and I love hearing all about the places you visit. Your posts help to broaden my knowledge of the world, even if I never get to see the places for myself.

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  2. Hi Debby – I’ve never been to the Caribbean – one day I must make the jump. The history sounds so interesting … while the area is truly beautiful – loved the read – cheers Hilary

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  3. Hi Debby! I’ve been to all three of the Virgin Islands but St. Thomas is my favorite. It’s great to read about the history of the island. Thank you, Debby. I’m going to head over to Sally’s blog to finish reading. 😀 xo

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  4. I’ve never been to St. Thomas–only St. Kitts and Nevis. I’ve heard wonderful, luscious things about St. Thomas though! Thanks for a great article–perfect reading for me on our first snowy day of the season! Brrr!

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  5. I’m glad you’re writing what you love. You keep finding new ways to make it work. It would take a lot to get me to go on a trip other than to spend time with old friends, partly because I love being rooted here and partly because of my hearing and partly because my favorite travel companion died. Still I feel the lure of Mexico to visit the Monarch Biopreserve. I talked with a Spanish speaking friend who loves ritual as much as I do about the possibility last night. Maybe next year.

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  6. It sounds glorious, and I love the added colour of the turbulent history – your travel posts are always enlightening and make me want to visit, though I doubt my other half would be impressed with my shopping skills either!

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