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Part 1 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Travel discussion for St. John

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Part 1 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Postby ArkieLovesSTJ » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:17 pm

Here the first part of a trip report my wife put together. Sorry in advance for this very long and detailed report. If you don’t like long trip reports, please skip this one. LOL This was our 10th trip to St John. To get a flight from Little Rock to St Thomas using frequent flier miles we had to stay the night in Miami on the way down. We got a room at Residence Inn since we had a free Marriott night and Residence Inn’s have a full fridge. We brought down a backpack cooler full of frozen food, so we could put it in the freezer at the hotel overnight.

On Sunday we arrived in St Thomas about 15 minutes early and were excited with the possibility to catch the 4:00 ferry. We bring our own snorkeling equipment, so we end up having to check a bag. The first-class bags (which was not us) came out then the conveyor belt stopped. They informed us the bag scanner had broke and it would be a little bit before the bags would be out. We didn’t make the 4:00 ferry. Rachel picked us up and since we were running late, she asked if she could stop and pick up another couple that she was supposed to pick up after dropping us off at the ferry. We said sure and she picked them up then took all of us on a little trip around the island since we had time before the 5:00 ferry.
Got on the ferry, texted the villa owner and he let us know where he had left a car for us (we have rented from him 8 times now). We got the car, went and had dinner at Café Roma for the first time. It was good. We then went and got groceries at Starfish and St John Market (had to go to both looking for Diet Coke). The Villa we stay in is up above Chocolate hole, but we spend most of our time at the East End beaches. We unpacked then tried to find the World Series on tv with no luck. We have been huge Red Sox fans since Andrew Benintendi started playing for them as he played for the Arkansas Razorbacks. We got lucky enough to go to 5 Red Sox games this year, so definitely wanted to see them win the World Series. Ended up streaming on our phone to watch.

Monday- Since we stayed up late watching the World Series we slept later than we normally do when on STJ. Cooked Chocolate Chip pancakes then off to Maho, our first beach every time we come. It is nice to get used to snorkeling again at this very calm beach. We made it to the beach by 9:30 and had a great snorkel on the right side of the beach. We snorkeled over to Little Maho. We saw octopus out about and swimming around, several turtles, a big tarpon and French angel fish. We had a late lunch at Greengos. This was our first time here and it was really good. The nachos were huge. We were tired from travel the day before, so we came back to the villa and hung out in the pool. We got to visit with Steve and Adrian our NY friends. This is the fourth time we have been on island at the same time and they have become good friends over the years. Dinner was marinated steaks we had brought, fried potatoes and salad with dessert being Tiramisu from Sam & Jacks.

Tuesday- Up at our usual STJ time around 6:30 and saw a double rainbow. Cooked breakfast, Egg bites, bacon, sausage, fried potatoes and toast. On the road to Waterlemon around 8:00. The walk out seemed so different than in the past and the beach looks different but still just an awesome place to snorkel. We started out snorkeling around the cay counter clockwise. Water was extremely smooth. We then snorkeled in front of the beach area. We saw an octopus swimming along then going into its den, three spotted eagle rays, turtles, sting rays, barracuda, and a peacock flounder among many other fishes. After we left here we stopped and had lunch at Aqua Bistro. We then went on to snorkel North Haulover. The path out to the beach was a little overgrown compared to past trips but we made it fine. It was a great snorkel. We snorkeled to the left almost all the way out to the point. The further out you go the better it looks. We saw two nurse sharks, one around 6 feet long and the other around 4 feet long. There were tons of fish everywhere. We only snorkel here on calm days and this was the calmest we had ever seen it. After a long snorkel, back to the villa to shower and clean up. We went to Morgan’s Mango for the first time (trying hard to visit restaurants that we haven’t been to before). We had the lobster dinner and tuna and it was good. One of our more expensive meals, but it was nice.

Wednesday- Up early, cooked stuffed French toast for breakfast, made sandwiches to take for lunch then off to North Haulover by 8:00 (pretty much pattern for whole trip). Since we knew it was calm the day before we were hoping to would be again and it was. Snorkeled the left side again but went out the point and around to get a glimpse of the beach on the other side (Mennebeck Bay?) and then snorkeled back. We saw two nurse sharks, probably the same ones we saw he day before. Again, a great snorkel with lots of fish. Stopped to eat our lunch and meet a lady from the fb forum, Lisa, and visited with her for a while. We then snorkeled the right side of North Haulover. Not as great of snorkel as left side but still enjoyed it. We then went over to South Haulover. Visited some more with Lisa and her friends. We then snorkeled both sides of South Haulover. The right side was much better snorkel. We saw 5 octopus today as well as turtles, sting rays, barracuda, and a lot of squid. Came to the villas to clean up then went to eat at the Tap Room. It was Halloween and there were a lot of kids at the Tap Room, kind of crazy and very loud but we enjoyed seeing all the kids dressed up and having fun. We had pork nachos and BBC pizza, and both were very good. Back to the villa and to bed early.

Thursday- up by 6:30, cooked Chocolate Chips pancakes and bacon. Headed to Great Lameshur and pulled up there around 8:30. We did the Tektite snorkel and it was one of my favorite snorkels of the trip. We have a collapsible backpack that turns into a fanny pack type of thing. When we do long snorkels, I put two water bottles in this and wear it snorkeling. This snorkel ended up being around 3 hours total from time we left Great Lameshur until the time we arrived back here. We first snorkeled to the left and stopped at Donkey Bight for a rest and to drink some water. We then snorkeled over to Beehive Cove, which the area out in front of this beach is where the Tektite project took place. We got out here and rested for a few minutes and finished drinking the water I had brought. The snorkel over was great and we were able to find the cave that has the opening at the top of it. This was just a great snorkel that I can’t wait to do again. We were the only ones at Great Lameshur. We ate the sandwiches we had brought then we drove to Little Lameshur. We hiked the Yawzi Point trail then entered the water on the left before you get out to the point. We snorkeled around the point and then back to Little Lameshur. We saw a lot of Lobsters, two which were fighting. Really cool to watch. We saw a Hawksbill turtle twice and a Queen Angelfish, which is one of our favorite fishes. We then walked out to the ruins at Little Lameshur and took some pictures. We stopped at Jolly Dog and got a great deal on some t-shirts and half priced Reef Sandals. We went to Skinny Legs for a late lunch/early dinner. Good food as usual. Stopped and bought a few more groceries then to the villa.

Friday- woke up early by loud thunder. We are used to rain on STJ, but not lightning and thunder. Cooked egg bites, sausage, bacon, fried potatoes and toast again. The villa we stay in is in a sharp curve and there are always big trucks honking when they get to it. This morning there was a dump truck and when he hit the horn it played different tunes. He did it several times coming up the hill. We heard him again in the afternoon when we were in the pool. I just had to mention it because it made me smile every time I heard him. It’s amazing what small things we find joy in. We stopped by Sam & Jacks to get some muffins for breakfast tomorrow since I am running out of stuff to cook for breakfast. We then went to Maho again. This time we snorkeled the left side first. It rained hard during the snorkel, but it really didn’t affect us. We then went and snorkeled the right side of Maho over to Little Maho. We saw a nurse shark on the way over and on the way back. Saw a hawksbill turtle as well as many other turtles and fish. Had a small lunch at Sun Dog Café and dessert was pumpkin cake from North Shore Deli that was good. Decided to go spend the afternoon at the pool since we would be driving over to Coral Bay for dinner at Aqua Bistro. My husband’s favorite meal is there Ponzu Tuna, which he said was great. I had the roasted vegetable flatbread that was very good. Since this was Oasis first day back open, we stopped and got some Mac-n-Cheese and a brownie to take back to the villa. Drive back is always a little scary since we are not used to driving Centerline in the dark.

Saturday- woke up around same time and had muffins from Sam & Jacks for breakfast. Both the Blueberry and Pumpkin were good, but we both liked the pumpkin the best. Stopped at Oasis to get a breakfast sandwich to eat later at the beach. Pulled up the Salt Pond around 8:30. We could tell the water was chopper than normal, so we decided not to try to do the rocks in the middle. Snorkeled the left-hand side first and the snorkel back was hard due to the wind. We then snorkeled the right-hand side almost out to the point. The snorkel back was again tough. We saw several turtles, a big barracuda, and Queen angelfish. When the water is calm we typically snorkel over to blue cobblestone beach and hike back (we snorkel in dive boots which makes for easier hiking back) but we didn’t attempt that today. The hike back up to the jeep seemed much harder than usual today. I think we are just wore out from all the snorkeling. We stopped at Wok on the Beach for lunch. This was our first time here and it was so good we can’t wait to go back. I had the Bang, Bang Shrimp and Caesar Salad. My husband had the tuna and fried rice. We then shared a dessert of fried bananas, pecan ice cream and honey drizzled over, and it was so amazing. We can’t wait to eat there again!! While we were eating the wind really picked up and it rained hard. We stopped in Jolly Dog and got our daughter a t-shirt. We then went to Princess Bay with the intention of snorkeling the mangroves and looking for starfish (previous trip we saw 30 starfish here). The water was choppy, and we really like for it to be calm to snorkel the mangroves, so we decided to go to Francis instead. We got to Francis and decided to just rest on the beach and not snorkel this afternoon. We stayed until the bugs were getting too bad. We found a parking spot in Cruz Bay, so we decided to do a little shopping. Husband got a shirt at Beach Bum (his favorite store and store owners on the island) and I was going to get coffee at St John Spice, but it was closed (not sure why since it was 2pm). We then got a hat from the people with tables set up in front of Cruz Bay Landing and then got a couple of drinks at Cruz Bay Landing. Came back to the villa and was going to get in the pool but it was cloudy so just decided to watch college football. Got a pizza from Ronnie’s pizza (again first time here) and it was good, and we even have leftovers.
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Re: Part 1 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Postby Chris @ Work » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:15 pm

Thanks for sharing. I am always envious of those frequently seeing octopus as I have only been able to sight three in all our trips and no one else in the family has been fortunate to do so. Looking forward to your follow-up.
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Re: Part 1 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Postby BAILEYBAY » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:13 pm

I love long trip reports! Can't wait to read your next installment.
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Re: Part 1 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Postby hoosierdaddy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:14 pm

Great report and sounds like a great trip. Lots of success while snorkeling. Looking forward to Part 2!
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Re: Part 1 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Postby toni » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:34 pm

Thanks for the report! Oasis opened up? I was worried they were closing. And I agree the Beach Bum people are so nice! Surprising how there are always new places that we have never eaten. We found Gwens’s this last time for several meals.
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Re: Part 1 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Postby mahojim » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:36 pm

So far, so great!
Thanks for sharing.
Can't wait to try out Greengoes,-and Chocolate chip pancakes with bacon?!? THAT SOUNDS MAGICAL!
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MJ
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