St Johns, VI – Part 2

This is the second half of a retrospective from last year at this time. This was our last pre-Covid vacation. Yes, we have gone on vacation during the pandemic, but that’s another story. Resuming from where I left off yesterday, on day three of our four days in paradise. We hailed a taxi as it was pulling out of Cruz Bay that after a couple of stops, dropped us off at Trunk Bay. We got to ride in the truck’s cab. This gave us the opportunity to speak with the driver, who was full of great advice. It’s always nice to talk with the locals. We rented snorkeling gear and a locker, then we were off to the beach. Trunk Bay is the go-to beach in the Virgin Islands, but being so good, it I also very popular with the tourists. Meaning that it was crowded, but not too much so. At Trunk Bay there is an underwater snorkeling trail that we followed. We saw lots of sea beasties and tried to photograph them. After lunch, we swam again, but by then the cruise ship crowd had arrived. Making the reef very crowded. They didn’t stay long and soon the beach was empty again, but by then we were hearing the siren song of town too.

Another taxi dropped us off in town at a shopping center called Mongoose Junction. Like other animals, the mongoose was introduced to the islands. It was brought here to control the rats, which were also introduced here. But the rats are nocturnal and the mongoose is diurnal and never their paths do meet.

Then dinner. We were running too late for any Happy hour specials. Walking back to the apartment, we paused on Gallows Point for photos of what turned out to be a rather ho-hum sunset. A woman passed us and asked if we were going to the art party? Our host Bob had already clued us to this event, it was almost over, but with a second nudge, we took the plunge down the hill to Elaine’s art party on Gallows Bay. It was great! We met Kent again, our ranger hike guide from yesterday and Anne bought a painted floral tile.

OK, about that picture, there is an outfit here that does photo shoots for tourists. Think of it as Glamour Shots for the aquatic set. Called Mermaid Swim VI, it specializes in costumes of mythical sea creatures. I had only intended to ask to take their picture, but instead was invited for a selfie. Their costumes make it difficult to move about on land. In addition to the tight-fitting wrap that binds their legs together, they also wear a single two-footed swim fin, making their only means of land motion small two-footed hops.

Our guide for the day had stopped at this beach to pick up some stuff and I got lucky enough to cavort with them. We had contracted with an outfit called Arawak, to sea kayak and snorkel on the far end of the island at a place called Hurricane Hole. It is so named, because in the event of a hurricane, this where boats go to ride out the storm. Although, this plan didn’t work out so well in 2017 and quite a few ships were lost there. Compared to where we had been, we were the only tourists around. Anne and I shared a tandem kayak and our guide Arthur had his single. There were a couple of big catamarans about, but they seemed to disappear at our approach. We saw lots of wildlife, especially while swimming. We did some Mangrove swamps, the nursery of the sea and more coral reefs too. Our picture taking was way better than at Trunk Bay. There was some wind, but we powered through it as a team. It was a great adventure and a fantastic day, we had lots of fun that day and throughout our whole trip and would like to do it again.

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