CaribbeanCruisingUS Virgin Islands

Who knew mangroves had such great snorkeling!!!!!

By April 12, 2016 No Comments
Mangroves with picture half out of water

Last week I had some guest come back for another adventure. Last time they were here we cruised around the Spanish Virgin Islands and this time we spent 10 days cruising around St John. What they love is sailing, snorkeling, and relaxing in quite secluded coves, so St John made perfect sense.

One of the places I wanted to take them to is Hurricane Hole in the northeast part of Coral Bay on the south side of the island. This is were all the  boats go during a hurricane to ride out the storm in the mangroves. This is where the sea meets the land and is kind of swampy like. There are multi rooted trees that help make the transition.

There are four “creeks”, which are more like finger bays, where the National Parks Service has put in 10 or so mooring balls to pick up so you can enjoy this tranquil spot. I thought it would be fun to take a break from snorkeling all the wonderful reefs around the island and see what fish we could find in the roots of the mangrove trees, which is like a nursery due to the protection provided. HOLY SMOKES was it good. In fact it might be my new favorite place to snorkel due to all the fish and coral near, in, and on the mangrove roots.

The best spot was the entire edge of Otter Creek with the out cove on the right side of Water Creek a close second. Princess Creek was only ok and Borck Creek did not have any mooring balls and anchoring is not allowed here.

Grunts hanging out

Here is a school of grunts hanging out within the protection of the roots.

Minnows and coral

A great representation of what we saw…fish and coral right in the mangrove roots.

Brain coral

I love the coloring on this brain coral that you can find in the roots.

During my hour long swim I took about 82 photos and these are the ones that I liked, but were not good enough for my “photo of the Day” (I bet you can’t wait to see those if these are the rejects 🙂 ). I even saw something I have never seen before….a Triton’s trumpet conch. What do you think of these shots? Which is your favorite? (You can click on any of them to make it bigger)

My final advice is if you are in the area take a couple days from your BVI trip and spend it on the south side of St John with half a day devoted to snorkeling the mangroves in Hurricane Hole.

my triton's trumpet

I am passing the Olympic torch.

shafts of light

I was loving how the shafts of light came through the mangroves.

Queen Anglefish

I found my favorite fish (a queen angelfish) within the tree roots.

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