A Travellerspoint blog

St John 2015

Best snorkeling conditions EVER

This would be our 8th trip to St John. Would we grow tired of our favorite place? The answer would be a resounding no, This would be our best trip yet. I never get tired of all the shades of blue green water. My heart still beats faster as I get a view of the beaches and water of the North Shore .My addiction still remains.

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Our trip started off rough. You know when you want to get out of Dodge and the weather is trying to keep you from going. Our road had been drifted shut on Thursday night with neighbors getting stuck before getting home for the night. On Friday after the plow went through Jim headed to work to wrap up everything so we could be on our way. We started out and our road was drifting again. The local highway was a mess and visibility was bad. They were diverting semi trucks from the interstate do to accidents closing down roads. We were 45 min out when I asked Jim if he had socks to wear with his sandals? He got this sick look on his face. He had forgotten is clothes, Zip off pants and shirt to wear to St John hanging up in our laundry room. The only warm things he had. We tuned around and braved the bad roads again to get his clothes. A hour and half later we were back on track. We stopped over in Valpo to see our grandsons before leaving. They hardly had any snow there. The lake effect snow is so crazy. We had a nice visit and were on our way to spend night in Chicago,

We stopped and ate at Applebees and made it to Park Sleep and Fly hotel in Chicago. When checking in they could not find our parking reservation. We had stayed here the last 3 years. We got a manager and finally they found the transaction. Note to self print copy when making reservations . Jim was asleep as soon as head hit the pillow. We were up and caught the 0600 shuttle to airport.

Jan 10th travel day
We caught the 0600 shuttle to airport. We got lucky and both got pre checked so through lines in no time. So good not to take shoes off, computer out and remove liquids and all. We went to Chilli's for breakfast. We fly direct on United and have their credit card with few perks, free checked luggage and we had a free pass for private lounge.We did not eat there but enjoyed the cappuccino, paper and free wi fi,,Flight was uneventful.

Love when first get off plane and warm breeze hits your face. Aww we are here. Slow down, enjoy. First stop shot of free Cruzan RumIMG_0319.jpgIMG_0318.jpg90_IMG_0322.jpg

We got our jeep from Curtsey got a new blue two door with 1200 miles. Stopped at Dolphin Market for few groceries and was home at Angels Roost.IMG_0613.jpg90_IMG_0408.jpgIMG_0619.jpg Supper was at Aqua Bistro for our usual first meal of trip crunchy grouper sandwich.

Sunday Jan 11th

We are early risers and usually eat in for breakfast. We had eggs, toast and bacon, We normally leave around 0830 for the beach. First beach Frances for the day. Love, love, love getting to the beach when it is deserted. This year we found more early risers. We picked out our space and began to decompress

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We snorkeled to the right but it was not a good snorkel very murky and poor visibility. We left the beach at 2pm to watch Packers in playoffs. I had a turkey breast I thought I had brought from home. When I started to make supper saw Jim had grabbed a whole chicken instead. No problem I put olive oil and salt and pepper and Jim grilled it along with potatoes in foil. It turned out delicious.Packers beat Dallas.

Monday Jan 12

We went to a beach we have not been to for a while. Jumbie. Had a couple pop up showers that lasted only a few minutes. Had the beach to ourselves for 2 hours. Read and enjoyed the crashing waves.During a potty break found this beautiful huge blue crab.

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When people started to arrive at beach around 11 we decided to stop off at Gibney.
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Tonight we thought we would try out the new restaurant Indigo Grill but it was closed till it had some inspections. We went to Shipwreck
IMG_0368.jpg, it was about 0630 so we did not have reservations. There were about 5 tables already seated. It cracks me up when hostess says oh you don't have reservations--------let me see what we can do. She goes and talks to someone and seats us on left side where you get seated if you don't have reservations, We laughed with a couple other groups who did not have reservations went through same process got seated on each side of us. Met a great couple from Minnesota who we would run across later on week. I am such a talker and take pity on anyone who gets seated by me. I pretty much can strike up a conversation with anyone.
My husband had fish and chips and I had a salad and mussels and order of bread. It was my least favorite meal of trip. My husband said his was ok

Tuesday Jan 13th

Kiddle was our destination for the morning with the first good snorkel of trip. Finally water was clear and calm. Able to snorkel quite a way to right. Saw octopus but he hid right away. Met a couple from Michigan who do a lot of hiking. We would see them a few more times on trip and take their suggestions to try Elk bay and snorkel Waterlemon to right out around point. I thing it is invaluable the information you learn from seasoned travelers.

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Arrived a little later than we wanted at 1215 and there were about 5 table 's seated already .We ordered and was pleasantly surprised to be out of there in under a hour. The view is to die for put you must be willing to wait. it usually takes about 10 min per table before your food comes out. This is one of our favorites and in my opinion worth the wait. We split the grouper Ruben and ordered an extra order of homemade fries served with remoulade sauce.

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Maho was our beach for afternoon

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Wed Jan 14th

Haulover North There was hardly any breeze and it looked calm enough to get in although there was a large amount of sargassum on the shore

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I always enjoy Haulover South It is always calm here

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Took a drive up Dreekets Bay I love the view from up there

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Driving back to Coral Bay we came across the newest donkey I think someone said they were calling Pumpkin

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Tonight we went to Lime Inn for all you can eat shrimp and I had grilled lobster! Rick the owner always remembers repeat customers and makes sure you are happy.

Thursday 15th.

Today Dorothy a friend we had met 8 years ago when we did a Princess Tahiti Cruise was coming to see us from St Thomas. She lives in Mississauga Canada, She is our same age. We have not seen her for two years.She is one of those people who is easy to get along and enjoys snorkeling and the water,;She was on a cruise for two weeks and was porting in St Thomas. The ship got in late so she came on the1000 ferry. We got some sandwiches at Sam and Jacks and went to Frank Bay. Met a lady who was picking up sea glass. She was kind enough to take our picture.

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We picked her up about 1030 and decided to show her Caneel and Honeymoon beach. We parked and walked to Honeymoon.Caught up with each other and Dorthy and I snorkeled to the left. I was surprised that the coral was in pretty good shape here. It drives me CRAZY with all the excursion
snorkelers who do not respect the coral and stand on it. We relaxed and went to Caneels main beach and snorkeled to the right around the point. We only got one picture but sure enjoyed her visit. She bought us a drink at the bar and we validated our parking ticket. She bought us a bottle of ice wine to enjoy later. I had worried about forecast because it projected 40% rain. I am glad that the weather forecasters are as accurate as ours are at home. It was a sunny day with no rain in sight.
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Friday Jan 16th

Hiked to Brown Bay lots of Sargassum along shore. It was calm and clear once we got out to left towards point.

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We went back to Maho for afternoonand finished up chicken salad on sandwich
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We had reservations at 6 pm for Virgin Fire. We were most excited because Inner visons are playing on Fridays. It would be our first time hearing them. We got a seat at the rail on the balcony. I had french fry appetizer and taco appetizer for entree. Jim had jambalaya.
We enjoyed our evening.
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Saturday is turn around day for a lot of vacationers. As we had been by Salt Pond earlier in week we noticed how busy the parking lot had been. Jim hoped maybe it would be less busy on turnaround day. Good choice lot less people today. The weather was Sunny, hot with no breeze.We arrived at 0900 and picked out our spot. The water was up and less beach than normal. We started the hike to Rams head. Most of the time once you reach the top you need to hold on to your hat. Not today No breeze we still spent about a 1/2 hour at the top soaking in the 360 degree view. Met some great people and took pictures of each other. One couple from NY was visiting with their parents. In conversation shared our love for Coral Bay and the villa they had rented before Lunazul. We would later book Lunazul for our second week next Jan.I took a small tumble coming down and was lucky just to have cuts and not a sprained ankle,

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My battle scars of St John80069E94C53D279C913A2EB939A54B33.jpg

Very calm snorkel to left got clear around towards Blue Cobblestone

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We stopped at tourist trap and had Boom Booms's So good on a hot day. Talked to table next to us who happened to be Jane and Larry's neighbor in upper Carolina. Her husband is author of October Sky and many other books.

Tonight we finally got to try Indigo Grill where Donkey Diner used to be. We met the co owner Allison who co owns with owners from Rumblines in Cruz Bay. What a transformation of the old Donkey Diner. Bar outside continues inside. Seating out or in. We chose outside and really enjoyed this place. Nice menu had sandwiches or nice dinner choices. Our waitress Cassie was the best server we had all vacation. I had Margaretta pizza and my husband had gourmet hamb on tater tots. Devilish!!

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Sunday October 18th

Started in Haulover South and hiked rugged trail to right to Elks bay. What a surprise much bigger bay than we expected. Snorkeled to left and Jim found a pretty shell that had just died. Wow is it hard to get that smell out! This bay is really isolated and we saw no one the few hours we were there. I would like to come back and see if can find trail that gets you over to mangroves.

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I wanted to snorkel Haulover North to the east towards point. We drove up Dreekets road and parked, There is a rough drive that goes down to beach. This would end up being my yuckiest snorkel ever do to the conditions. The Sargassum was built up on shore and as we stepped in sand by water, millions of bugs seemed to be hatching where we had stepped. The water was brown and snorkel did not get good until we got clear out by point. No pictures we could not wait to get out of water and get back to shower.

We are huge Packer fans and was excited to see Packers and Sea hawks in NFC championship. We were ahead by 12 with 5 min to go. They ended up tying the game and we lost in overtime. We were very sad but Hey we are in paradise we can not let a game get us down. Had pork loin on grill, corn and pasta.

Monday Jan 19th.

We got to trunk bay at 0800. It is suppose to open at 0730 but no one was there when we arrived and we were able to just walk in. We walked the beach for a mile and read for a while. The tide was up so less beach but still beautiful.

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Left when Trunk started getting busy at 1000 and went to Dennis Bay

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Rhumb lines for supper. Always a favorite. Had champagne mango mojitos.We had spring rolls and vegetable samosa.Pad Thai for both of us I have them lower the spice down for mine .Only able to eat few bites and I bloated up. It was so good but had to get to go for another meal later in the week.

Tuesday Jan 20th

58th birthday what a lucky girl to get to spend it here on the island I am truly blessed. We got to Leinster Bay around 0900. Walked down to bay and set up camp. Tide again was up and very little beach. We went back to three mooring balls and enjoyed the snorkel. Saw a huge ray. We went back to bay and read and had lunch. Instead of snorkeling the cay we took the advice of some people we had met and snorkeled to the far right out to the point. The water was very calm and very little current. This was a very interesting snorkel and really enjoyed it, even better than cay IMHO.

Woke up to clouds and mist rolling in8FD38248AD63BE57201E4962BF76B621.jpgIMG_0550.jpgIMG_0551.jpg

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For Birthday supper had reservations at Asolare table at the rail for sunset
James was our waiter the only disappointment was our drinks. I had a lemongrass drink and Jim had a cosmo We should of sent them back but I am not a complainer.The food was good, I had Thai ribs with goat cheese polenta. Jim had very good sweet and sour chicken. We both shared almond cream brulee.

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Wed Jan 21

We went to Great Lameshur and snorkeled all the way to Cabritte Horn Point. Saw turtles, stingrays, squid and a mean looking barracuda. The rock formations were amazing. Snorkeled for about 2 1/2 hours when we got done my legs were like jelly.

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Miss Lucy 's for lunch The pet goat Molinda got loose and came to visit Jim

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Gibney was the beach for afternoon. James our waiter showed up with friends and was kind enough to ask how my birthday turned out.

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Thursday Jan 22

We got to Caneel at 0900. Left our chairs and cooler on Honeymoon beach. Hiked to Salomon, There was a photo shoot of mermaid being done by Steve Simonsen. I have always admired this local photographer and enjoyed watching him work. I talked to his wife for a while. She said they met 30 years ago on St Thomas. I asked the mermaid if she minded if I took her photograph. Here are my amateur photos with i phone.

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We went to Honeymoon to eat our lunch and only stayed a hour beach was CRAZY busy.

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Snorkel at Caneel beach to Scott Bay

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Jackie our favorite bartender was serving up our favorite drinks

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Friday Jan 23

We stopped at Maho just for some photo's with the beach empty

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Hawksnest beach always get early sun and the parking lot was empty so we stopped. So I am not anti social but how do you feel when have whole empty beach and someone sets up camp 2 feet from you???? We get there early to enjoy peace and quite. I guess we had picked the best spot because after 2 hours of quiet bliss 2 caffeine charged women broke our trance. Time to move on!!

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Last day favorite beach here we come

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Just as the name imply' s peace is what I feel here. Normally we do not snorkel on our last day but it was so calm we just had to get in the water

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Last night we have reservations at Aqua Bistro if you are coming here on Friday night you have to have reservations or you will wait a long time.

Saturday Jan 24th

All good things do come to and end. But I was not sad we had the best weather and snorkeling conditions EVER for us.We had great sunrise this morning. Ate at High Tide and caught 1 pm ferry. Excited to stay at New place second week next year Lunazul.

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Ferry Dock

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Until next year and have view from Angels Roost our home away from home and Lunazul for second week

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Posted by Cindygad 07:40 Archived in US Virgin Islands

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Comments

I was so happy you had amazingly calm waters for this trip! I loved your report. Thanks for sharing!

by Lisa

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