Here's a piece of the map of St. John published by the National Park Service showing what is, in our opinion, the relevant part of the island. We stayed in Cruz Bay (right on the point next to the words "ferry dock") and drove out to the beach at Trunk Bay each day, except for the day we went snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay. I'm embarrassed to say we've never even looked at the other beaches or seen the Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins, but then a holiday on St. John was never about diligence. I do really want to see the ruins someday; perhaps next time.
The complete map can be found on the National Park Service's Virgin Islands web site:
|This is the view from the lawn just in front of our deck looking west-northwest. The closer island (more green than the further islands with the mountains) protruding from the left is Steven Cay.|
|View from the same point facing almost due south. The inlet on the left is Frank Bay and the house with the orange roof is extremely prominent if you look at the satellite photo on Google Maps.|
|View of Trunk Bay from the hills just to the west. The little island in the foreground is Trunk Cay and the underwater trail runs just alongside it. Nope, we've never done that either -- just too damn lazy. But we've been to the snack bar several times and can assure you the cheeseburgers are excellent.|
|View from the same spot facing north.|
This is a view of Leinster Bay from the parking lot at the trailhead. Our favorite snorkeling expedition is to hike out the Leinster Bay Trail a ways and then snorkel across Waterlemon Bay to the cay. The fish around the cay are both bountiful and beautiful.
P.S. What the hell is a waterlemon anyway?
|The west-bound one-way section of Route 20 between Leinster Bay and Maho bay. The lushness of the jungle closing in on the road seemed striking when we were tearing through there in our rented Hyundai. The lousy mobile phone photo doesn't really do it justice, although I think the white spot on our windshield came through admirably.|
|Maho Bay Beach from the hills overlooking it from the west. Although you can't see it in the photo, the road is right up against the edge of the beach. There can't be more than five yards between the edge of the pavement and the gentle lapping of the waves.|
|Route 20 between Maho Bay and Cinnamon Bay.|
|View of Cruz Bay from the hills just outside of town. Gallows Point Resort (where we stayed) is the row of cabins on the point on the right edge of the photo.|
|View of our deck and the ocean beyond from the kitchen looking down through the living room. Unfortunately, none of the lizards who hung out on the deck are visible.|
|The most ambitious thing I did was get up early one morning and drive over to the east side of the island to have a look around. On the way, I encountered one of the wild donkeys that inhabit the island (no, I'm not making that up). His (her?) legs look funny because it's early enough for me to have my headlights on.|
|My goal was to see Saltpond Bay. Here it is just as the sun is coming up. The lousy camera makes it look like it was a whole lot darker than it actually was.|
Goddammit, if I'm going to get up before sunrise when on holiday to go look at Saltpond Bay, you're going to look at as many pictures as it bloody well takes to satisfy me.
|Salt Pond, which was just a few steps away. The most notable thing about Salt Pond which the camera was unable to capture was the vile stench.|
|I figured I should take as many pictures as I could, because I can't imagine ever wanting to go back and be confronted with the utter malodorousness of the place. (Come on, how often do you get to use the word "malodorousness"?)|
|Rocky shore, nasty brown water, putrid stench. Yep, Salt Pond is a real slice of heaven.|
|Coral Harbor from the hills.|
|The wrap truck that seems unlikely to move from the intersection of Routes 10 and 20. Not open for breakfast. Lola and I ate there more than once on our 2006 trip, but didn't get there when it was open this year.|
|Sunset from our deck.|
|A little fellow who slipped into our room one night and tried to sell us car insurance. He made a run at getting into my suitcase and expressed a wish to visit New York, but I was able to convince him the bugs are tastier in the Caribbean.|
|*sniff* The heavenly island of St. John off the stern of the ferry.|
|Posted 16-Mar-2008 by James Spier.|