December 13, 2010

Virgin Islands II

Just for all of you that have asked: No, we did not go to Magen's Bay. We drove by and it was $10 to get in and from what all the locals said, it's just a tourist trap and there are much better beaches. I'm regretting not going now. We went to so many amazing beaches, but I would have liked to have said that we visited the most famous beach, Magen's Bay. Also, you're probably going to start wondering why we are both still so pasty in these pictures. Well, we slathered ourselves in 50 spf every day. I'm not the sun worshiper I once was... On another note, did you know that I have curly hair? Well, you're about to see it in all it's humid and frizzy glory. Do try and look past it. Anyway, back to our adventures...
On Monday, we went to a beach that a local told us about on Sunday, Secret Harbor Beach. The snorkeling there was awesome even though the beach wasn't that great. We saw tons of fish and some nice coral, but as we were heading back to the sand after about an hour of snorkeling, Christian grabbed me and said, "Look, quick!" I looked down and there was a sea turtle, about a foot and a half long. People told us those are really rare to come by, so we were really excited. Christian chased it for a while, trying to "pet" it. He said he got a little hand on it, but it was unexpectedly fast. We laid out on the floating dock for the next couple hours at the resort there and we met a nice couple from Wisconsin.
On Tuesday, the weather turned a little crummy. It was cloudy, gray, and kind of windy. We were determined to get out, though, and so our first stop was at Coki Beach. It's a major tourist trap and people were trying to sell us stuff the whole time we were there. It took me a while to get in the water because it was a little colder and windy, but I did eventually get in and I'm so glad I did because the snorkeling was INCREDIBLE! The coral was so pretty and colorful and fishes were swimming right a long side me. The water was so clear and blue, despite the choppiness from the wind. I could have stayed out there all day. Christian saw a HUGE lobster hiding under a rock in the coral. He tried to get it out for a while, pulling on it's long antennae, but to no avail. He was convinced that we could have just brought it home and cooked it up at our hotel. Crazy kid. After Coki, we stopped at Point Pleasant Beach and then decided to move on to Sapphire Beach, where we had heard the snorkeling was great as well. By the time we got there, though, the weather had taken a turn for the worse and it was windy and chilly and the water was really choppy. So, we just hung out for a bit on the pristine beach and met a cute couple from Texas who gave us some tips for our trip to St. John the next day. We went back to the hotel and jumped right in to the hot tub and listened to the live music for a couple hours at the pool area.
Wednesday was probably the highlight of our trip. We got on a car ferry to St. John Island, just a few miles from St. Thomas. We were told that St. John is everything that St. Thomas is not and that is so true. Most of the island is a national park so there are almost no homes and the commercial area is very limited. The whole place is rolling green hills and mountains. It's like out of a movie for it's green and jungle-like appearance. We drove on steep, winding roads with the jungle draped all around and above us. It was gorgeous. There are nature trails all over the place. We would have loved to explore this island for a week. We both said that if we ever came back, we would like to stay on St. John. It's just so much more of what you might imagine a tropical island to look like. Our first stop was Lienster and Waterlemon Bay. It was a little hike to get to it, but we finally got our snorkel gear on and got in. We had to hurry whenever we were on the beach b/c both of us just got attacked by what we assumed were sand fleas. They were everywhere at this beach and we were constantly swatting at ourselves. We're both still suffering the effects of these bites. Again, the water was so beautiful and clear. I could reach out and touch all the fish swimming around me. They were swimming in schools of hundreds or thousands and would change directions in an instant, all in unison. Christian has an eye for finding sea life and he called me over to see a little octopus. It was what appeared to be black and white spotted but then Christian tapped it and got it to move and it opened up its tentacles and it was like this florescent purple. It was so neat. Then, I swam off again and Christian caught up to me after a while and said that he had seen a shark! It was 4-5 feet long and was about 30 feet from him. He guessed it might have been a reef shark but it swam away pretty quickly. He saw it for about 10-15 seconds. Let me just tell you, that shark made Christian's dreams comes true. I can't think of anything he would have liked to see more than a shark. He was on cloud nine and wanted to tell all the passing tourists on our way out about it. Next, we stopped by Maho Bay, but there was no beach at all and the tide was a little high b/c of the weather, so we decided to move on to Cinnamon Bay. The beach there was also pretty short b/c the tide was up, but we found a place and got right in to the water. I tried body surfing, but was quickly taken under by one of the first big waves and swallowed enough sea water to convince me to take a little break from the ocean. Anyway, so after lunch we headed out to the most famous beach on St. John, Trunk Bay. People say this is where they shoot the Corona beer commercials and I see why. It was absolutely the most gorgeous place I have ever been. The water was clear blue/turquoise and the beach was white, soft sand and off in the distance were beautiful, green islands. The palm trees and jungle carved a perfect beach. It was about 4pm before we got in the water, so the tide was now quite high and it even rained a bit so even despite those less than perfect conditions, the beach was still amazing. We just enjoyed swimming in the warm, clear water for an hour or so before we had to leave to catch the ferry back to St. Thomas. I could have stayed there all day, though, and wish we would have come earlier.
Thursday was our last full day in the Virgin Islands, but both of us just felt like taking it easy. We picked up some souvenirs at the local cruise ship dock and then spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool at the resort.
We had such an amazing time. We miss it, but are so glad to be back with our little ones. Life just isn't complete without them. I'm so grateful that we got to go and I would LOVE to be able to go back some day.

Coki Beach

Sapphire Beach.

Sapphire Beach

Overlooking Cruz Bay in St. John. This is the town center and the ship dock.

Cruz Bay

Caneel Bay

Trunk Bay

Cinnamon Beach

Cinnamon Beach

There were all these beautiful homes on the hill above Cinnamon Bay.

Showing us how big the shark was that he saw at Waterlemon Bay.

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay

Last pic of Trunk Bay:)

Beautiful sunset at our hotel.


Jo said...

My goodness-- you went to so many different beaches, and every one is just gorgeous! I loved looking at them, as well as the very handsome couple in the pictures.

That one of the sunset is amazingly beautiful. Way to catch it!

Jamie Jensen Hill said...

Wow that sunset is unreal! Looks like an amazing trip! :)