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St. Croix

History, nightlife & cheeseburgers in paradise

Let’s start with the basics: St. Croix is pronounced “Saint Kroy,” not “Sin Kwah.”

St. Croix Aerial

The most beautiful & diverse island

St. Croix is virtually ignored by bareboat charterers. The reasons are simple. Many of the charter companies out of the BVI and St. Thomas won’t let you go there. They cite insurance company rules but I think the objection is more based on the difficulty servicing vessels 40 miles from base. And more’s the pity.

St. Croix Yacht Club

St.Croix is arguably the most beautiful and diverse island in the archipelago. The east end’s subtropical desert sports pope nose and organ pipe cactus, while Blue Mountain to the west is home to a unique rain forest replete with jungle vines festooned over giant mahoganies. There are countless secluded beaches only a few miles from some of the Caribbean’s most exclusive hotels. There’s a casino, the St. Croix Yacht Club and the Cruzan Rum Distillery, the latter being the more significant. —JR

Though the spelling is French, they said, “au revoir,” three hundred years ago. It is odd that the current spelling persists when the two French stints on the island were among the shortest and most disastrous occupations in the island’s history.

The pronunciation rule carries one caveat: St. Croix was named by none other than The Great Navigator himself who visited the island on his second voyage in 1593. He named the island Santa Cruz (Holy Cross), so today Spanish speakers rightfully call it Santa Cruz (pronounced sahntah croos—with an “s”, not a “z” sound).

Next, anything originating from, or native to, St. Croix is Cruzan. The “uzan” is pronounced “usion”, as in fusion, confusion, contusion, Cruzan Rum. Some malcontents spell it Crucian, but the pronunciation is the same.

In case you feel we skipped over that reference to Cruzan Rum too quickly, Joe shares some of colorful history of the rum trade in The Vicious Triangle and the fascinating history of processing cane in Cane, Sugar Molasses & Rum.

A visitor to St. Croix will notice occasional references to seven flags on signs or in casual conversation. There’s even a bar in Fredriksted called Seven Flags. The reason is simple. Unlike the other Virgin Islands that have been ruled by one or two countries, St. Croix has borne seven political or quasi-political entities since its discovery by western civilization in 1493.

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