Explore St. Croix

Explore

St. Croix

  • Words Jacqueline Raposo
  • Photograph Elizabeth Lies

Explore St. Croix

The water around St. Croix — the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands deep in the Caribbean Sea —  teems with such a high concentration of vital vitamins, amino acids, antibiotic and antibacterial microorganisms, and mineral salts that they create a natural floating effect on the body.

I hang my head out the taxi window as we weave through mountains to Christiansted, keeping my eye on the endless horizon the entire time.

The water chills my feet, reactivating the nerves in my body all the way up to my fingertips. I walk lost and content in my solitude, so far from New York City and noise, with only the lull of lapping waves and the cry of gulls for company. That’s why I’ve come early to this side St. Croix — a woman alone — and that’s what she offers so fully and so well.

A friend flies in at sunset, and we drink rum on the beach, eat on the boardwalk at night, and drunkenly stumble to bed, giddy at feeling like mere specks on the world map.

The next day, we cross to the island to Frederiksted. I put my suit on and walk down to where the water meets the sand.

It’s warmer than I’ve ever experienced the ocean to be when I touch only my toe to it, and so calm here – it almost feels wrong to slice into the still surface as I take one step in, and then another, and a third, my feet sinking into the fine white sand. By the time I’m waist deep, my arms float alongside my torso of their own accord. A few more steps, and I lightly hop my feet off the ocean floor, expecting to engage my muscles and swim. But the water continues moving my legs skyward, lifting all of me, my toes greeting the sunlight until I’m finally floating on my back. I’m completely suspended with aqua green water below and around me. I feel my exhausted frame release to the weightlessness. I finally exhale a deep breath I didn’t know I’ve been holding tight for so long a time. I sink my head slightly so that my ears drop below the surface, and then my mind is everywhere and nowhere – lost in the endless hum and pulse of the earth and the Atlantic.

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