DAR Cruise Day 2: The American Revolution in the Caribbean

Written by: Gloria Flathom, Illinois State Regent
November 14, 2018

Where can you look out your ship board window, see a rainbow, dark clouds hanging over the lush green mountains; but just wait, the wind picks up, salt spray pounds the veranda and what was there a minute ago disappears into a gray menacing ship-rocking short lived storm?  On the DAR Caribbean Cruise of course!  Off to the left is another ocean going cruise ship, the dark rainy clouds are now hanging over those sea-going passengers.  Within two miles of this are houses of blue, yellow, pink and mint green nestled into the street scape.  At first glance vehicles driving “on the wrong side of the street” darting to and fro as residents head off for the day.  Postage stamp sized deep green fields hang on to the gently sloped mountains.

St. Thomas’ territorial capital city, Charlotte Amalie (named after the King of Denmark’s wife), was discovered by Christopher Columbus’ second voyage to the new world in 1493.  This tiny island of 32 square miles bought by the United States for $25 million in gold in 1917, along with St. Johns and St. Croix. At various times during the island’s history it was Norway-Denmark’s a conquered island in 1666, British or French or both, who also occupied this island. The islands population of 51,000 are of largely Afro-Caribbean, Hispanic and Caucasian descent.

St. Thomas, Virgin Island– where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea; finds roads of steep cork screw bends climbing up the mountain side as we climbed higher and higher to Drake’s Seat overlooking Magens Bay.  Blackbeard’s Castle was the goal as were able to drive completely around the walled steel gated estate.

The Pirates Museum was a true “treasure” as we saw and learned of thousands of years of piracy along with true booty including gold coins, cannons, holy statues, navigation instruments and telescopes.  Jack Sparrow would have been proud!

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