Why didn't anybody ever tell me how great Drunk Bay is? Everybody, add The Drunk Bay Hike to your STJ must-do lists.
The guidebooks start by telling you what you can't do at Drunk Bay (snorkel or dive) but they don't describe how wild and beautiful and totally weird this place is. All the other beaches in St. John are Caribbean beaches - this one is on the ATLANTIC. Huge waves crash against craggy black rocks, winds whistle around your sun-baked head, and when the tide starts to come in it is downright menacing. The beach itself is composed of the bleached bones of ancient coral smoothed by the waves and twisted into surreal shapes and textures. Not just a few pieces lying around in sand or cobblestone - it's the entire beach - millions and millions of these twisted little sculptures stacked on top of each other for as far as the eye can see.
And then the people came along and made it all even weirder by sorting through the coral bones and piling them into cairns, sculptures, cryptic messages. The most common theme is skeletal, giving the whole place a strong Day of the Dead vibe. Driftwood, flotsam and jetsam gets pressed into service as hair, stiltlike limbs, whatever inspiration dictates.
We got up at dawn because we've been to Salt Pond before and know what a death march that little quarter-mile trail from the parking lot can be. Our plan worked for the trip out - the beach trail was still in shade and we had our pick of picnic tables. We dropped our snorkel gear on the last picnic table and took the trail past the salt pond to Drunk Bay. It's an easy, mostly flat trail, but even at 8am it was hot and airless, and kinda ugly. Then you come over the rise and see Drunk Bay. Wow. We just sat and watched the ocean crash for a while, admired the art gallery, and added our own creations. Then we noticed that the waves were crashing closer and closer to our feet and beat a retreat back over the salt flats to the beach. Snorkeled for an hour and went "home" to our villa. It was only about 10:30am, but the beach trail was in full death-march mode (no shade), so the next order of business was a siesta in the air-conditioned bedroom.
After siesta, off to Tourist Trap for their signature drinks and several variations on pulled pork. A couple hours just lounging around drinking frozen rum drinks in the villa and one final snorkeling adventure that was pretty much covered by my earlier post today.
And that's today's trip report. I hope tomorrow is as much fun.