Our fourth visit to St. John and the longest time spent on the island. It was a trip of unexpected twists, great snorkeling and new places visited.
Day 1 - Arrived in St. Thomas, supposed to stay overnight at Hotel 1829 but get a cell phone message that we've been diverted to Blackbeards Hotel, no reason given. Stay at Blackbeard's Hotel not bad. Staff was gracious.
Day 2 - Head to Red Hook, ferry on over to St John. Weather is very warm and humid, as it will be throughout the trip. We get the rental jeep at St. John Car Rental, and make our way to Centerline Rd, discover that the Texaco is gone (yay!). We stop near Bordeaux Mt, get out to take some pics and discover the joys of mosquitos, who not satisfied with chasing us back into the jeep, invade the jeep so we're driving and trying to kill the buggers at the same time. We get lost for a bit but eventually make our way to Coral Bay, then to our first stay of the trip, Concordia Suites. Arrive in time for dinner (very good) and settle into our unit. Remained muggy for much of the evening and the fan was weak.
Day 3 - Snorkeled Salt Pond Bay, which was unfortunately somewhat murky this trip. Did see some squid and lots of fish but it was hard seeing anything 10 feet in front of you. We also hiked over to Drunk Bay, where I made a Snoopy in the rocks. Had dinner at Skinnylegs (Blue Cheese Burger - YUM!) and spent a second humid night at Concordia.
Day 4 - Checked out of Concordia, attacked by mosquitos again on the walkway to our jeep. My legs are starting to look like I have smallpox. Have lunch at Shipwreck Landing (very good!) Drive back to Cruz Bay and settle into Gallows Point, room 7A (great view!) We snorkel at Gallows, find a spotted drum and several trunk and trumpet fish. Late evening takeout from the Beach Bar (pretty good) and settle in, relishing the AC!
Day 5 - Spent the day at Hawksnest. Had some pretty good snorkeling. Coral looked healthy. Noticed alot more soft corals this trip than in the past. Stayed to watch the sunset and had dinner at the Lime Inn (so so).
Day 6 - Trunk Bay, went around Trunk Cay, coral here is more healthy than I've seen it, given how busy it is, especially on the far end of the cay. Also noticed many more trunk fish than I've seen in the past. Dinner at The Balcony (very good, though the place was virtually empty.
Day 7 - Moved to unit 3C at Gallows (supposed to be 3D but the AC unit was broken). Snorkeled Maho. Great snorkelling on the point between little and big Maho. Nassau Grouper, large angelfish (french & Queen) and tons of schools of silversides, with various species of jacks darting in and out, grabbing a snack. Mosquitos in abundance here so we stayed in the water and ran like the wind to the jeep. Still got munched. Now my legs look like I belong in leper colony. Take out dinner at Joes BBQ (Always great!). Found out about Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett so we turned the TV on for the first time all trip to catch up.
Day 8 - Drove to the Annaberg ruins and hiked the Leinster Bay trail to Waterlemon Cay (not a bad hike and the bugs were tolerable). Spotted a 5 foot nurse shark, and large Green Sea Turtle. Corals here are spectacular and the current was strong but not too bad. More Nassau Grouper, huge parrot fish and several large Southern Stingrays. Dinner at the Fish Trap(Excellent).
Day 9 - Worn out from Waterlemon so stuck close Gallows. Went to Coconut Coast Studios for some art shopping and snorkeled from there back to Gallows. Another takeout Joes BBQ.
Day 10 - Attended the food fair in Cruz Bay (fantastic local foods. We ate fish and conch patties and tried a sour sop) We watched a new St. John Festival Queen be coronated and then watched the boat races from the platform in the middle of the snorkel area at Gallows. Packed late into the evening to prepare for an early flight home