St John Day 2

29 11 2007

A great day in paradise! Slept in until about 9:00 – though it is Atlantic Time here – 2 hours later than Central time zone. We got ready and headed over the National Park Visitor’s Center, where we picked up a map and some pamphlets on snorkeling and hiking locations.

We spent most of our day snorkeling. First we went to Trunk’s Bay which has a guided underwater trail. Trunk’s Bay is often listed as one of the top ten beaches in the world. We thought the snorkeling here was amazing, until we went to our next two destinations.

Next we went hiking Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins. It was a very interesting self-guided tour about St. John’s sugar plantation era. The mill and other buildings were built in the late 1700’s, but a surprising amount of the structures were still standing. I’m sure the houses in our neighborhood will not be standing in 2200!

Then we were were ready for some more snorkeling, this time at Francis Bay. There were an abundance of fish here. We saw a stingray buried in the sand, and many colorful fish that I really wish I knew the names of. There were quite a few pelicans at this beach. It was neat to watch them swoop down and eat fish from the ocean!

Our last snorkeling adventure was at the Saltpond Bay. This beach is at the Southeastern end of the island, at the very end of the National Park. It was definitely worth driving to. It was very secluded and we were the only people there. We saw a hawksbill sea turtle– an endangered species. The turtle’s torso was as big as a full grown man’s. It was a bit daunting to be so close to it, but it just ignored us. There were huge schools of small silver fish. At times they were so thick that we couldn’t see anything else. I literally saw a million of those fish today! At one point they parted to reveal two huge fish – four to five feet long. We also saw a lot of squid here, although they weren’t as large as I expected they would be.

We finished the night off by eating at a restaurant called Morgan’s Mango. A guitarist sang and played nearby. The food and ambiance were both good.

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