Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wrapping It Up - St. John USVI

Day 5 - Thursday

Finally… a day at Trunk Bay, which is one of the top 5 prettiest beaches in the world… ranked by someone. Someone is right.

As soon as the sun came out, we headed to Trunk. It was Veteran’s Day, which meant admission was free. It is only $8, but when you spend the kind of money required on St. John, every bit of savings feels like you have won the lottery.

Since it such a pretty beach, it is also a rather populated beach. Even though the surf was high, we were able to do lots of swimming and body ‘surfing’, if you can call it that. No snorkeling… too rough of surf to see anything. But the view and the incredible soft sand was worth it.  Love Trunk Bay!

That night, we ate at the Banana Deck in Cruz Bay. We all enjoyed the scrumptous steak, and spent the rest of the evening finishing up our shopping for souveneirs.

Day 6 - Friday

First, we snorkeled in Klein Bay, which is the bay that our beach house sets on. Although I was very hesitant to go in (because of the spotted eagle rays), Matt talked me into it. It was a calm, peaceful morning, so I figured I couldn’t waste it at the pool… as much as I wouldn’t have minded it.

At first, we saw many familiar beautifully colored fish along the right hand of the bay. Because of my self-diagnosed attention deficit disorder, I couldn’t hang anywhere for long, so we headed across the bay. And, as we did… SPOTTED EAGLE RAY! HUMUMGOUS. Probably 4 ft in width with a 5 ft stinger thingy.

I was completely paralyzed in fear. But, it was super cool. Beautiful large creatures, that look like they could zap me dead in an instant. We did see some grey stingrays, as well, which I was much more comfortable with.

As Matt and I were headed back in, we saw another eagle ray. I didn’t feel any better the second time around.

We then packed up our stuff and headed to Salt Pond Bay. Salt Pond is on the south side of the island… as south as you can get… and it looks out over Rams Head, which is to have the best views of the sea.

To get to Salt Pond Bay, you have to hike downhill about 0.3 miles. All of it dirt and rocks with brush on both sides. And then, the view opens to the most beautiful water and a small, but very pretty beach, that had taken a hit from the recent storms. The water was just as I remember the waters of St. John from 15 years ago. Calm, shallow, and crystal clear.

We immediately snorkeled, and I was pretty excited because the day before I had read about the bay having sea turtles, octopus, sting ray, and barracuda.

Our snorkel was pretty typical, until Colleen came upon a SEA TURTLE! There is nothing as cool and beautiful as swimming with sea turtles. So gentle and graceful and S-L-O-W. And, then we saw another one! And then we saw one of those spotted rays again! And, lots of grey rays. The fish life in Salt Pond Bay was also incredible.

Colleen and Wayne ventured back to the actual Salt Pond, but because of the heavy rains, but the water level was too high to collect any salt for the trip home (salt scrubs anyone?). Matt and I didn’t even venture back there after the poor report.

Matt and I ended up scooting out for lunch, and we went to Shipwreck Landing in Coral Bay. It is where we had one of our meals 15 years ago when we were on St. John. We then headed back to Salt Pond to collect Wayne and Colleen.

We were all exhausted, so we headed home. I was in bed sleeping at 6:30pm… if that gives you any sense of just how tired we were.

Day 7 – Saturday

We woke up, needing to still pack for home. Matt saw some people snorkeling in the bay though, so he had to join them. Thankfully he did, because he was able to check off squid and eel from our snorkeling ‘wanted’ list.

Once we were packed up, we headed back into Cruz Bay toward the ferry dock. We still needed breakfast, so we stopped in at JJ’s Texas Coast Café off the square for some yum and one last island drink. Our waitress was admittedly hung over, so service was slow but the food was awesome.

We sat close to the park, which is a sight on a Saturday morning. Lots of new tourists to the island, many of them leaving, and a few homeless being woken up on park benches { so the new tourists didn’t have THAT vision as their first sight of the island }.

Ferry to St. Thomas… HOT.
Red Hook Ferry bar on St. Thomas… HOT.

Cab ride to the airport was awesome. We had the coolest islander driving us, and he gave us an awesome tour because we were the only 4 in the van. We finally saw St. Thomas in a different light.

And, here I am in the Newark airport waiting for our trip into Cleveland. Uneventful trip so far. ‘Cept Colleen just about passed out from low blood pressure, and THAT would have set us back. Thankfully, she is awake and is eating across from me. But, oh wait, Matt is deciding to stay in Newark to get a free flight. Yes, he did. To head to Cleveland in the morning.

Some takeaway thoughts from our trip:

- No-seeums are of the devil. Nothing protects you from them.

- If you have ever thought of going to St. John, I suggest you do it soon, before it becomes even more crowded.

- What do people actually do ON the island if they don’t work in a restaurant, gift shop, water sport place, or taxi service? People like you and me. Sitting at the same place in the makeshift bar, every day in the morning. They have to be making some sort of dough to be able to afford an $8 beer.

- If we were to go again, I think we would stay on the south end of the island. And, I would love to take the kids. I think they would be shocked at much of the island, but would be completely in awe of God’s creation.

- People who experience the sunshine are MUCH, MUCH, MUCH happier folk.

- The food in St. John is completely and totally overpriced. $52 for pizza for two, people.

- I wonder how non-natives live on the island? Like, if you didn’t live in a $300K home or a $50K home, where is it that you live and under what conditions?

I posted all of our pictures on Facebook, but since some of you aren't on there, I will post some favorites to a few posts here on the blog. Stay tuned.


  1. I'm always blown away when I visit Trunk Bay. The view from the beach reminds me of the rocks out in the water in Goonies, where they line up behind that skull medallion.

  2. I'm always blown away when I visit Trunk Bay. The view from the beach reminds me of the rocks out in the water in Goonies, where they line up behind that skull medallion.