Upon our arrival in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands it seemed like the most popular option selected by cruise ship passengers were excursions to nearby St. John for relaxation on a beach, snorkeling or both. Choices included Trunk Beach, Megan Bay and Cinnamon Bay. Our daughters, Monica and Valleri, had been there previously and raved about Cinnamon Bay. We didn’t book a tour, but arrived in St. John via ferry and took a taxi to Cinnamon Bay.
The first difference we noted compared to previous stops in Aruba, Curacao, St. Lucia and St. Kitts was that St. John was lush with greenery and flowers. It was definitely a tropical paradise for the eyes. We drove through National Park land that was beautiful, as were the views from the winding road to the shoreline below. Our taxi took us past the other beaches until we arrived at our destination. We walked down a sand pathway and were greeted by a picturesque beach with very few people. The ship’s excursions all went to the other beaches, so we were two of perhaps one hundred visitors, at most, on the crescent shaped beach.
The wind blew fairly strong as we made our way to the right side of the beach and toward some rocks where we saw a few people snorkeling. Four double kayaks were in the bay and a couple sailboats were further off shore. Due to the wind we sought a sheltered spot and there were several available between huge outcroppings of black volcanic rock. We set up our towels and beach gear and marveled at the layers of the frozen lava – an indicator that this island was once an active volcano with fiery red lava flows.
Jill and I both did a bit of reading. Once again I was deep in a murder mystery being explained by Miss Marple in Monica’s collection of Agatha Christie’s short stories which she read during her high school days. We journeyed down to the water where small waves were breaking. Our lower legs were chilled by colder than expected water temperatures, so we didn’t get in much above our knees. The colors of the water were fabulous with different shades of crystal clear blue. I took a few pictures of the waves breaking on some large rocks and more pics of cacti growing right out of the steep, black volcanic hillside. How did the roots establish themselves?
After an hour or so of relaxation, we headed back toward the little gift shop and restaurant. I warned Jill to watch out for a bowling-ball sized black rock in the sand. As she went to step over it her back foot slipped in the powder sand and caught under the rock. You can guess what happened – she went down so fast there was no helping her to avoid the fall. Her hands and knees braced her body and she had no scrapes. She wasn’t as lucky with her foot as one toe turned from white to blue to purple over the next few minutes. We thought it might be broken, but she hobbled on despite the pain.
We inquired at the store about lodging on the beach and found out the rustic cabins and tent pads are available, but there were so few that they need to be booked way in advance. A taxi driver told us that he has a three bedroom, two bath place available that sleeps six and that there are other similar lodgings on St. John. Hmmm… I think a weeklong visit to St. John could be in the future. The beaches are great, the views are outstanding and both St. Thomas and Tortola are a short ferry boat trip away.
Postscript: Within a couple of days Jill’s toe was drastically improved as the purple faded and we concluded that it had merely been a bad bruise.