Thursday, 26 April 2012
Be careful what you wish for
We wanted to avoid going to the US and British Virgin Islands if we could help it. We felt asa though it wasn't going to be our cup of tea. Countless charter boats unloading masked bandits into our water, scaring our fish; beach combing tourist kicking up sand, disturbing our utopia! We certainly didn't tread the thorny path all this way to put up with that. Sure we wanted internet access and good provisioning, maybe a bar stool to kick off our sandals from at happy hour, and still feel like we were a world away from civilization. But at what cost?! The serenity of it would surely be ruined by the hoards of sun worshipers stepping on our sandy toes. Turned out St. John in the US Virgin Islands had enough beaches, palm trees and enough water for us to displace into our own little paradise. No elbow pushing necessary. Most of the island is a very well managed National Park with small settlements and resorts dispersed throughout. We joined our friends on Katarina in Caneel Bay, just outside a quaint little town of Cruz Bay. At 4PM it was still bustling with the day's activities. Large catamaran charters were picking up schools of beached snorkelers who had spent the afternoon exploring the area, but by 6 it all began to quiet down. We settled in for the evening on a mooring ball provided by the park. Anchoring is discouraged, because it damages coral and sea grass beds. We were happy to oblige. We set in the bay with a great view of St.Thomas on the other side of the channel. As the sun set over its hills, the city lights began to glow in the distance, serenaded by quiet lapping of waves against the nearby shore behind us. We were able to pick up internet from a resort close by, Cruz Bay and all of its conveniences were just around the corner, beneath us 30ft of clear, cool water arrested by a long stretch of a palm fringed beach. It was perfect. And we hated to admit it. We knew we were going to enjoy it, despite ourselves.