And Live to Tell About It
11.02.2011 - 11.02.2011 79 °F
Yeah, I know what you're thinking. We're talking about a different kind of swimming with the fishes. Today featured several hours below sea level with mask, snorkel and fins. Great conditions on terrific snorkeling locations meant seeing way more varieties of fish that most folks even know exist.
We got out of the room quite early, zipped through the eerily empty streets of Cruz Bay and made the first stop of the day 5 minutes out of town at the Cruz Bay overlook ... Gallows Point is at the far right of the picture.
Five minutes after that we took one of the four prime parking spots at the Lind Point Trailhead. This rather steep trail will take you to Solomon and Honeymoon beaches. When we arrived at Solomon it was 10:00 AM and there were only two other couples there. A nice couple from New Jersey was nice enough to offer to photograph us. The pic even came out nice ...
Solomon is a great little beach with powdery soft sand and brilliant, warm blue water.
Some of the beach-goers were happy enough to pass the day under the shade of the coconut palms or sea grape trees, but others told tales of the undersea world of the fringe reef between Solomon Beach and Honeymoon Beach. We slipped on snorkel, mask, fins and stumbled our way into the water.
Here is a large sample of what we saw as we snorkeled around the fringe reef that separates Solomon Beach from Honeymoon Beach ...
Surprisingly, we did not drown and we were not sucked out to sea and we arrived safely on the shores of Honeymoon Beach where we briefly took in the lovely sites ...
Having graduated from beginner to amateur snorkeler, we easily made it from Honeymoon back to Solomon. After resting for a while on this wonderful beach ... now dotted with 10-12 couples ... we packed our gear for the hike back up the Lind Trail, ready to continue the day's journey. The only problem was there was an iguana blocking the way.
The journey away from Cruz Bay along the northshore road is so pretty we could not resist stopping at every scenic overlook that was not clogged with taxis loaded with tourist. First was the Caneel Beach Overlook. Caneel is the the place where you need to be a participant in Dad's trust fund, some type of high-paid criminal or have saved up for 5 years to stay here, because a basic motel room is about $800 and the prices escalate to around $2500/night for the most wonderful rooms available.
After that we pulled in at the Trunk Bay overlook. Trunk Bay is probably the most famous of the Northshore Beaches. It is truly beautiful ... worthy of us staying long enough to eat a sandwich and drink a beer while on of St John's famous brief rainshowers passed over.
Next overlook is of Maho Bay, where Big Maho (by the road), Little Maho (below the campsites) and Francis Beach are all calling out for you to come down from the mountain and stay awhile. There are so many boats tied off to the mooring bouys in the bay and one is nicer than the next. We have seen motoryachts and sailboats that are at least 100 foot and valued at somewhere in the millions.
We heard Maho Beach calling the loudest, so that is where we decided to spend the rest of the day. After descending the mountain, as you exit a hairpin turn, there is a tunnel of coconut palms that we really make you want to stop.
So we setup on Big Maho and prepared to do some more snorkeling. The water of Maho Bay did not even have a ripple on it and the water was shallow and warm.
After snorkeling and another rainshower, the weather turned to perfection with deep blue skies and the sun putting out an oh-so-right temperature. We had 3 more cold beers in the ice chest, one nice cigar and we sat there wondering how it could get any better. It turns out it was about to get worse because a Park Ranger pulled up and put his blue lights on, got out and walked toward us. Conversation went like this: PR "Are you guys on vacation"? Michelle: "Yes sir"! PR: "Get all glass bottle off the beach." Both of us: "Thank you, sir."
What a buzzkiller!!
We made it back to Gallows Point without running off these crazy roads. We peeked in the fridge to spot 2 possibilities for dinner: hamburger or filet. We decided on hamburger and Pinot Noir. Since we were hungry and we could not foresee and opportunity to eat any leftover burgers, we made two 8 ounce burgers and we topped them pepperjack cheese and sauteed red peppers and portabella mushrooms. You guesses right, they were totally out of this world awesome and we only gained 1 pound.
No pics, because the camera batteries went dead.