the island from blue yonder
When most people think of the Caribbean, they immediately see white-sand beaches lined
with leaning palms, lapped by cobalt seas and drenched in sunlight. Yes, St. Croix has all
those things. But St. Croix isn't paradise just during the day -- it's also one of the ideal
places in the world to stargaze.
Isa Mohammed is the director of the Caribbean Institute of Astronomy (CARINA). In his
excellent article on the website, "Six Benefits of Doing Amateur Astronomy in the
Caribbean," he explains how the unique positioning of the islands allows visitors to see an
expansive and extraordinarily brilliant night sky. The wind-cleared transparency of the
atmosphere, as well as the low light pollution, allows travelers to see stars, constellations,
nebulas and star clusters they have never seen before. As Mr. Mohammed notes, quoting
the famed astrophotographer Damien Peach: "The Caribbean is probably the finest site at
sea level I have ever observed from with regard to the astronomical seeing conditions, and
I've been able to obtain many detailed images of the planets that otherwise would not have
Blue Yonder is largely on the windward side of Mt. Washington. The access to the trade
winds blowing from the sea not only help keep the house cooler during the day, but also
provide excellent stargazing opportunities from its expansive deck area. After a long day of
enjoying all St. Croix has to offer, kick back and enjoy a superlative view of our galaxy.
Blue Yonder is only minutes away from some of the finest snorkeling and
scuba opportunities on St. Croix.
If you'd like to stay close to home for superb snorkeling, drive a few minutes to
the peaceful seas of the Chenay Bay Resort. The Tamarind Beach Resort,
also close by, offers a more challenging but utterly fascinating reef to explore.
Both places have food, drink, friendly people, and comfortable beach
accommodations available should you want to soak up some sun in total
Going further afield, a trip to the Buck Island snorkeling trail is a must-do.
Buck Island is a National Marine Park that features an underwater trail
through some of the most extraordinary coral and fish environments you'll
ever see outside a National Geographic television special. Bigbeard Tours
operating out of Christiansted (ten minutes away from Blue Yonder), is
probably the best known of the companies that provide tours to Buck Island,
but there are many others with superb reviews.
Terrific scuba opportunities can be found in nearby Christiansted. There are
many shops available with excellent reputations, but Dive Experience is the
shop we have repeatedly booked (one of its divemasters is a member of the
Women's Scuba Hall Of Fame, and they discovered a beautiful scuba site
called "Little Cozumel"). St. Croix is notable for "The Wall," an undersea
ledge winding around the north shore of the island that quickly drops off
thousands of feet. It's regarded as one of the scuba wonders of the world for
its variety of fish and corals. Christiansted-based dive shops do Wall dives
(as do shops on other parts of the island), but it's best to call ahead and find
out the scheduling.
We've focused here on opportunities on the East End of St. Croix, but it's
important to remember that the West End, and other parts of the island, offer
extraordinary facilities as well. When you arrive at Blue Yonder, your guides
will be happy to help you choose whatever adventure you wish!
When you come to Blue Yonder, you'll be well-prepared to start your
explorations. Information about restaurants, shopping, driving, nightlife,
island holidays and celebrations will all be waiting for you, and your
guides will be happy to provide individualized recommendations.
Below, we've described some unique features of Blue Yonder and St.
Croix. There are so many others -- come to find them out for yourself!
Blue Yonder is surrounded by stands of Ginger Thomas and Tan-Tan
bushes. Not only do they provide privacy, they host the beautiful
bananaquit birds and Anguillan black hummingbirds. You can watch
them and hear them sing while you sun on the deck -- or you can take it
one step farther and feed them on the deck rail while you enjoy your