The U. S. Virgin Islands

Considered an American Paradise, this unique blend of green mountainous islands offers one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean. Just a few miles from St. Thomas is St. John, a serene island with unmatched natural beauty and The Virgin Islands National Park. The most beautiful place to travel on St. Thomas is a place called Magens Bay. This picturesque bay is often frequented by President Clinton. I first traveled to the Virgin Islands in the fall of 2006 and I returned to visit the beautiful Island of St. John in 2007.

The Virgin Islands lured more foreign nations than any other U.S. territory. The flags of six countries have flown over the islands. Major settlements date to 1500 BC. However, people lived here in small numbers 1,000 years before that. The first European settlement on St. Thomas dates back to the early 1500's. Now known as Charlotte Amalie today, the capital, was once a haven for pirates. Legitimate trade did not gain popularity on the Islands until the 1700's, when Charlotte Amalie was declared a free port and a major trading center. In the 1800's, slaves gained their freedom, just as the shipping trade transitioned from sail to steam. This brought about faster ships and more trade. During the First World War US forces feared St. Thomas would fall to the Germans, so the US purchased the islands from Denmark for $25 million dollars. In the 1950's, the islands became a tourist mecca, enjoying that status today. More than 1.7 million cruise ship guest visited the islands in 2005.     

The British Virgin Islands

Secret Harbour, St. Thomas 2006 

Beautiful Magens Bay

Charlotte Amalie (The Capital)

Mr. S at Turquose Bay

Leinster Bay on St. John's Island in 2007

An Interesting Native