On Sunday I started a blog about different things to see outside of the BVI if you want to get away from the crowds. Today I am going to continue with snorkeling and adventure locations and on Thursday I will finish with historical sites and anchorages. I hope you are enjoying this three part blog.
SNORKELING – This is the reason so many of us come down to the Caribbean. We want to swim in the crystal clear water and see all the amazing sea life up close and personal. From the colors to the variety you never get tired of the coral or fish. In the BVI the Indians, Dogs, and Rhone are some of the favorites, but sometimes it is so crowded with people you get kicked in the face more than you see fish.
Tektite Point – On the south side of St John is one of my favorite snorkeling sites. It is at the south end of Great Lampshur Bay and has everything you could ask for, from the fish and coral to the amazing rock structures. Additionally there are underwater chambers and tunnels to swim through. The depth is 5 to 50 feet deep and this is the best place to see nurse sharks. A lot of my guests say this is their favorite place I take them including all the BVI sites.
Otter Creek – This is a site I have written about over the last couple months, because it is rarely known and unbelievable gorgeous. This bay is in Hurricane Hole on the south side of St John also. The bay is lined by mangroves, which are trees, and swamp so you would not expect much. Then reality sets in and you have very colorful coral growing right on the roots of the trees and fish hiding in the roots that are not at all afraid. This one is becoming one of my favorite spots. Every time I go I slowly drift around the edge of the bay without encountering another soul.
Waterlemon Cay – On the north side of St. John island you will find Waterlemon. This cay is hiked to by people staying on St John and has more vistors than the other two, but still the numbers are way lower than elsewhere (BVI). Why come here? Well in my opinion this is one of the best places to see soft corals in this area. Plus the fish are numerous, colorful and large.
ADVENTURE – Ok I will admit that the Baths are the #1 site in the entire Virgin Islands (British or US). They are amazing as you explore the nooks and crannies between the rocks (more so if you have me lead you on my own trail, but that is another story J ). The problem is that when the cruise ships start ferrying guests over there it is a line of follow the person in front of you through the maze. How about these alternatives for the adventure you seek?
Caravel Rock – Off of Lovango Island between St Thomas and St John there is a rock that on top of good snorkeling you can literally swim through the island via a underwater hole. You can only come here when the seas are calm, but if they are you can climb up the cliff and do a heart thumping 40 foot jump back to the water. The scariest thing is that the water is so clear the elkhorn coral you saw 20 feet below the surface looks like it is a the top of the water when you look down from 40 feet up.
Annaly Pool – This site is similar to the Bubbly Pool on Jost Van Dyke and the Jacuzzi on Culebrita in the Spanish VI, but is on the north coast of St Croix. You want to visit when you have a good north swell running, because the waves will come crashing in and hit the rocks protecting a small pool of water. The water will spray up and cascade down the natural rock wall in several small waterfalls. In order to get here you must do a two mile walk of moderate difficulty and that amount of effort makes sure this is a rarely visited place by the everyday tourist.
Monkey Island – Way over in the Spanish VI a couple miles from the east coast of Puerto Rico you will find tiny Santiago Cay. Of course it is better known as Monkey Island because of the 700+ monkeys living on the islands. You are not allowed to step on the island, but you can watch them from a dinghy 30 feet offshore. The best place I have found to watch is the north side on the east end of the causeway. It seems like I spend at least an hour just watching the monkeys…..well monkeying around.
Bio Bay – This is one of the best locations to see bioluminescence at night in the world and it is on Vieques in the SVI. Here you can kayak or ride a pontoon boat around the almost closed off bay and see the microorganisms light up from almost any agitation in the water at night. When I was there a small thunderstorm blew in and the crest of each wave was illuminated in a breathtaking display.