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Hotel On The Cay, St. Croix
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

The Peculiar Parochial History of Protestant Cay, St. Croix

This place brings out the naughty in me.

Well, at least it used to. During the carefree days of my youth in St. Croix, Hotel On The Cay was a frequent Saturday hangout among my group of friends… much to the chagrin of management.

All but one of us would swim the 200 or so yards from the Christiansted waterfront over to The Cay, the better to avoid the ferry fee. The lone rider was in charge of getting our cooler across so we wouldn’t have to buy beers at the restaurant. Economics!

We’d set up shop on the beach, always conspicuously close to off-island visitors of the fairer sex in hopes of enticing a bit of adventuring to the “other side” of the Cay, away from prying eyes.

We weren’t the first seeking to keep things hidden away here…

During the period of French colonial control over St. Croix (1625-1733), Catholics far outnumbered Protestants on the island. Somehow, as sadly seems typical of most religions, the two groups couldn’t see fit to coexist nicely… not even in death.

Protestants who passed away on St. Croix in those days were not afforded a final resting place on the main island by the Catholic majority. Instead, they were interred over on the same tiny cay my friends and I used to terrorize, thus explaining the islet’s official name, Protestant Cay.

I haven’t been back over to Protestant Cay/Hotel On The Cay in years, though I hear that the All U-Can-Eat West Indian Beach BBQ on Tuesday night is still a good time, complete with steel pan, limbo, mocko jumbies, and more.

All are welcome these days, no matter your beliefs.

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