Jaw-dropping to say the least, the view from Drake’s Seat on the north shore of St. Thomas is one of the more stunning sights you’ll ever see anywhere in the Caribbean.
Like Magens Bay below, I had avoided the popular look-out point for my entire life, the better to avoid tourist crowds. This was no easy feat, considering my upbringing in nearby St. Croix and my frequent business trips to St. Thomas in recent years.
The sublime good fortune I’d enjoyed on the beach, though, emboldened my spirit of adventure. It was still pretty early in the day, I reasoned. Perhaps I could stay one step ahead of the cruise ship crowd once more.
Arriving at the look-out, just a quick drive up the hill from Magens, I was met with a completely empty parking area. Success! I had the view all to myself.
Being alone up here, it’s easy to imagine Sir Francis Drake himself alert in his quiet, breezy perch to the sight of passing ships to plunder. It’s said that upon spying a ship worthy of attack, the feared privateer would race down from this spot to his warships ensconced in the bay below, the frequent raids yielding treasures he’d sneak into Charlotte Amalie on the other side of the island.
It’s also easy to imagine never leaving Drake’s Seat when you’re up here all by yourself. Even with the occasional passing car, it’s just so peaceful, so stunningly beautiful.
It wasn’t long before several truckloads of cruisers came along and crowded me out. They’d see and enjoy the amazing view just as I did, of course, but amid the din and general chaos that comes with such large groups, I had a feeling they’d miss out on a good bit of the special vibe.