Aye matey! St. John – Part II

Yep, it’s fall and while blue seas and beaches are the last thing on your mind, if you’re thinking of taking off next summer, now is the time to start planning. If you have airline miles to cash in on, you’ll want to go ahead and snag those free seats before they’re gone. Other discounts can be had by booking early as well. Plus you’ll have longer to save if you start now. And before you start cussin’ me, please know that we don’t vacation in places like St. John often (although, wouldn’t that be nice), we didn’t even have a vacation at all in ’08. And we don’t have any plans yet for next year but I’m hopeful.

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The night before last we watched Pirates of the Caribbean III – At Worlds End, again. The first Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl, is regularly reenacted in our home – sometimes the kids join in too. While watching the movie that night I was reminded of these photos and the day we charted our own seas. Well, sort of.

Our vacation this past summer to St. John, USVI was filled with many great highlights but I would have to say that our favorite was the day we rented a boat and beach hopped up the northwest shoreline. I use the term boat loosely. It was a dinghy. A cute yellow dinghy. It allowed us to visit many of the excellent beaches of St. John in a short amount of time.

(Read more about our trip to St. John here.)

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We packed a picnic lunch, a boat load (tee hee) of water, our snorkel gear, sunscreen for the whole crew and set off on our adventure.

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Look! Who goes there? Could they be pirates? Possibly The Yellow Pearl? Argh!

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{This is where there was formerly a picture of my lovely 14 year old daughter, who, since she is 14 and doesn’t like the way she looks in any photos right now, because she is 14, made me remove it. Just imagine a beautiful young lady in an orange life jacket sticking her tongue out at her mom because, since she was 13 at the time, she didn’t want her picture taken.}

Just look at this view! Doesn’t it look exactly like a scene from Pirates? So dramatic with the mountains plunging straight down into the sea and from a boat it’s even more stunning.

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Look! They’re gone. Tip: if you rent a dinghy, get one with a bigger motor. They left us in their wake. Those show-offy pirates!

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See these hills? Massive hillside retreats are scattered along this stretch of shoreline. It is said that one Kenny Chesney owns an abode somewhere here on St. John. Hey Kenny! You up there? You think our little yellow dingy is sexy? Yeah, it is. I know it is.

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This is a closer match for our budget but even this would be over-the-top expensive as it’s ocean front and probably historic too. I think I’d need a roof… and a door.

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We skirted past all the beaches heading to Waterlemon Cay for our first snorkeling of the day. There we moored and hit the water.

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Lunch time. Lay’s barbecue chips, you’re a welcome friend. What a cool snorkeling dude. Could you get any cooler? I’d say not.

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After Waterlemon, we cruised through all the bays where we saw sea turtles (sorry couldn’t get a picture of them), kayakers, sailboats and other interesting scenery before stopping to snorkel more at Jumbie Bay.

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Isn’t this the cutest little boy? He’s not mine but if he were I’d just have to pinch his chubby little cheeks! Many beaches on this side of the island are so kid friendly you can actually relax a bit as the little ones explore. Don’t forget the water shoes though.

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While snorkeling to view the fishies and other creatures is always fun, I love hunting for sea glass. Our last stop was at Henley Key (or Cay?), a teeniny island (which is what a key is) off of Honeymoon Beach where we found a treasure trove of sea glass snorkeling along the rocky (but smooth rocks) shoreline.

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My imagination tends to get away from me as I conjure up pirate ships gliding through those waters long ago, tossing their empty bottles overboard only for me to reap the bounty from their trash.

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Please, no one tell me that the sea glass is probably from Bubba on his yacht littering a couple of years back. Leave my imagination alone! Let it be.

Our day trip on the high seas (okay, medium seas) was a fun filled adventure we’ll not soon forget.

Where are you planning your next vacation? Any place new? An adventure? Please share!