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Colin Hanson

Colin Hanson

I came to St. John from my hometown of Sitka, Alaska when I was 18 years old. Now, over 25 years later, I’m still here. To say I love the island is an understatement. It’s not just the culture, people, and history that I love. The actual Island gives me a certain undeniable peace. The history of the island has captivated me from day one. I’ve had so many mentors on the subject to help me learn along the way including boat builders, native fisherman, archaeologists, and ancestral Virgin Islanders. Some still teach me to this day. 

Decades of researching on my own along with my wife Leah through what feels like countless medium – namely books, microfilm, the Danish archives, the SJHS records, maritime archives, Dutch records and so many more, fills every spare moment when we are not working on our charter boats or chasing our son around!  

My main historical passion is maritime history. For the last 10 years I have been locating and mapping all the old piers, turtle crawls, and historic shipwrecks around St. John as well as other Virgin Islands. To date, Leah and I have located 43 shipwrecks in the US in British Virgin Islands that date from the early 1700s to the late 1800s. Over 20 of these are on St.John. I’ve been extensively mapping all the St. John shipwrecks by drawing, photographs, and research and I’m putting it all together in two large files for the historical society to have. One of the things I’m most proud of is the historical tour we have been doing the past several years with our charter company FlyAway Charters. The tour, entitled “St. John: UNCOVERED “has been very popular with our guests so far.  

 I hope this helps tell you a little bit about me and my love of the island’s history. I look forward to working with the Society and continuing to help in any way that I can as a board member. All the best, Colin Hanson FlyAwayChartersVI@gmail.com