Thursday, December 9, 2021
Home Nautic Life Destinations Hundreds of yachts are crowding the waters around the US Virgin Islands...

Hundreds of yachts are crowding the waters around the US Virgin Islands as other Caribbean islands close their ports, and it’s creating a trash problem on top of coronavirus fears

The US Virgin Islands are one of the few territories in the Caribbean currently not turning away boaters. As a result, yachts have been flocking to their ports in record numbers.

The New York Times’ Emily Palmer reported that as many as 600 boats have been seen in the territory’s waters at a time, nearly 400 more than is typical for this time of year.

Many mariners interviewed by Palmer were vacationing in the Caribbean when the pandemic struck and were turned away from the ports of other countries. The US Virgin Islands, which are an American territory and have a population of just over 100,00, consists of four islands: St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, and Water Island. The islands’ government can’t completely close the ports or airports because doing so would stop food and medical imports from making their way in.

The islands are also not adequately equipped to handle a massive coronavirus outbreak. The territory has been dealing with the coronavirus since March and had 51 confirmed cases of the virus by mid-April. On March 13, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. declared a state of emergency for the islands. He issued a stay-at-home mandate on March 23.

Because of these restrictions, mariners have to stay on their boats and are only allowed on to the islands to pick up essential supplies. The island of St. John does not have a pump-out station, so boaters have to travel out to sea to get rid of their waste in a disposal.

As The Times reported, boats parked near the Virgin Islands National Park, in particular, are dealing with an overflow of trash as garbage collection in the park has ceased. The park has allowed select residents to help with the collection of garbage as well as grocery delivery.

Nate Fletcher, owner of Blue Line Yacht Charters, told the Times he is using his boat to collect trash twice a week from mariners at sea. He is charging $5 a bag, and it’s helping him pay his bills.

The Hamptons, Sedona, and Jackson Hole are also adapting to an influx of visitors

The situation in the US Virgin Islands is similar to the one in many parts of mainland America.

Popular vacation spots across the country are dealing with an influx of people, the sheer numbers of which are creating a strain on local resources. Business Insider previously reported that city dwellers who flocked to the Hamptons have caused rental prices to soar. Local grocery stores have reported food shortages. 

In Sedona, Arizona, out-of-towners are crowding campgrounds and hiking trails, prompting the mayor to ask tourists to “stay away.” Meanwhile, on the island of Nantucket, officials are worried about people fleeing big cities and taking shelter in their second homes on the island during the pandemic. The island, which has been described as a medical desert, has only 14 hospital beds. 

- Advertisment -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.


Baiona and Barcelona bookend historic 10th year of the 52 Super Series

he 52 Super Series, the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit, will mark its historic tenth year of continued success with an...

Alinghi filed their entry to the 37th America’s Cup that could be contested by up to six international teams

Like the finest timepiece created on the shores of Lake Geneva, Alinghi filed their entry to AC37 like clockwork on the stroke...

Will Smith, Sean Combs and Kevin Durant are all investors in Arc’s Electric Speedboats

Arc, a startup that launched 10 months ago with ambitions to electrify everything on the water, starting with a limited-edition $300,000 boat,...

Less than 5 months to the Grand Return of Antigua Sailing Week

With less than five months to the start of Antigua Sailing Week, over 60 boats are already on the scratch sheet including...

Marstrand to Host First-Ever 49er Short Track World Championship

The Short Tack World Championship is an action-packed tournament format that showcases the best of sailing in a fan friendly package. The...

International Maxi Association leads the way in yacht club co-operation

The IMA works closely with many yacht clubs and race organizers around the world who run racing for maxi yachts. In the...

First eight cities unveiled in an expanded SailGP Season 3

SailGp returns in its third season with additional new teams, more iconic cities and thrilling racing as it reaffirms its status as the...

Sir Peter Blake remembered on the 20th anniversary of his passing

December 5 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Sir Peter Blake, aged 53yrs, in Macapá, Brazil, following an armed robbery...

Stellarcat introduces 25m tri-deck model in its series of all-aluminum

StellarPM has announced a new 25m tri-deck model in its series of all-aluminum StellarCAT power catamarans.  Chris Holmes, Principal and Founder of StellarPM...

Last night, two heroes were honored for their bravery, courage and talent: Yannick Bestaven and Jean Le Cam

Last night, two heroes were honored for their bravery, courage and talent: Yannick Bestaven, Vendée Globe winner and Jean Le Cam, Kevin...