Beach bars aren’t just for telling stories – they’re for creating them as well. Guest blogger Tom Hicks tells us all about his at Sapphire Beach and its beach bar in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.
“I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank Piña Coladas. At sunset we made love like sea otters. That was a pretty good day. Why couldn’t I get that day over and over and over?” – Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
I moved to St. Thomas for the first time not very long after Hurricane Marilyn in the 90’s. Unlike some of my other wanderings through life, this move was initially all about an all-encompassing job opening a resort. In fact, it was my first real job a few years out of school. The hours were brutal and the pay meagre, but it was the tropical adventure I wanted.
For the first few weeks in St. Thomas, I was completely overwhelmed. Every day, I was in the office for nearly 18 hours and exhausted. Eventually, my boss noticed I needed some fun. He required I take a day off and suggested I check out the Sunday beach party at Sapphire Beach. I jumped at the suggestion.
In case you aren’t familiar with St. Thomas, Sapphire Beach is this wonderful stretch of sand just outside Red Hook coming from Smith Bay and Coki Beach. There is a very small marina, a number of condos, a couple bars and a restaurant. Since it is on the East End of STT, the views over the water are otherworldly beautiful. It doesn’t matter how jaded and well-traveled you are, looking at St. John and the BVIs from Sapphire Beach is spectacular. It might not be the best beach in the Virgin Islands, but it blows most places away. Snorkeling from the shore is decent enough when you are on a beach vacation as well.
In general, it’s just a really nice place in the Virgin Islands. So the first time I went there for the Sunday beach party, it made my jaw drop because I was still fresh off the boat. The weather was obviously perfect and there was a great band playing. The beach was crowded with people partying, families, honeymooners and more.
The bar was 3 or 4 deep, but seemed to move along pleasantly enough. Even though I am a beer drinker, that afternoon I had my first BBC. Within minutes of getting my drink a stunning red head walked up and introduced herself. We partied the day away into the night. Later I found out we worked together and she was more than a bit of a nightmare.
Over the multiple times I lived in the USVI, I doubt I ever had another day like this. About once a month I’d find myself at the bar there either for the party or just some random occurrence. The drinks never tasted as good again and the music was always a bit too touristy for me. That said, I think this one day at the beach bar in Sapphire welcomed me to living in America’s Paradise.
When I saw Groundhog Day a few years later, I had already moved on to the next St. Somewhere. For a minute though, I thought it was pretty cool that I could truly relate to Bill Murray’s character.
About the Author
Tom Hicks has been chasing the sun since Clinton was president. In either Caribbean or Mediterranean islands for 20 years until recently, Tom can now be found writing about various exotic beach spots from the comfort of his Pacific Beach, San Diego home.
If you’d like to contribute to a blog post, please send me an email at info (at) beachbarbums (dot) com. You can write it yourself of just send me a synopsis and I’ll write it. Probably not as well as you would write it but hey, it’s guaranteed to get posted. Either way, I’d love to feature your story!