St. Thomas + St. John
After a day relaxing at sea while we sailed south, we woke up in the beautiful US Virgin Islands. We sailed into St. Thomas as we ate breakfast on the Lido deck and took in the colorful houses on the lush and hilly countryside reminiscent of the South of France. The port town had shops of all kinds ranging from souvenirs, boutiques and jewelry at every turn. We bought a couple postcards and mailed them home at the US Post Office on the island. Venturing past the tourist shops, we found Mojo’s Bar –complete with swings for counter stools and wi-fi!– and enjoyed local Virgin Islands beers.
After meeting up with our excursion group a while later, we rode an open-air bus across the island to our catamaran. The island roads were bumpy and windy, but offered beautiful views as we reached the top of the mountain and made our way back down towards the shore. Our catamaran crew greeted us with laughs and jokes as we boarded and began to set sail. While we couldn’t drink until after snorkeling, we made friends and took in the sights of the gorgeousness around us. Sailing away from St. Thomas, we could see most of the US and British Virgin Islands. As we neared St. John, our adventurous crewmate from Michigan explained that the Rockefeller’s used to own the island and eventually sold it back to the government, but not without a few stipulations. The island was to remain a National Park with less than 6,000 residents and upon arrival, its uninhabited landscape was pristine. We anchored at Honeymoon Beach, grabbed our snorkel gear and jumped off into the crystal clear water. Although there weren’t many fish, we saw a few Dori’s, lots of sea urchins and fan coral and were surprised with a couple sting rays too! They were amazing to see in their natural habitat and without knowing there were any around! I snapped a bunch of photos and videos with the GoPro and am so happy to have that. We swam up to the beach and took some photos before heading back to the catamaran and grabbing some rum punch topped with champagne for the sail back to St. Thomas. The beaches were stunning, the water was gorgeous and we had a blast!