Photo Blog Featuring:

Outdoor Travel, Adventure & Landscape Photography

Saturday, July 4, 2009

St. John Journey

After taking a plane to St Thomas a taxi ride through some of the smallest one way streets on the island and then a ferry to St John we finally arrived at our destination. We picked up our jeep rental in the town of Cruz Bay and headed over to our tree house at Maho Bay where we would be spending the first 3 nights of our trip. Arriving at the Eco Lodge we realized that the heat and humidly was overtaking us and Sue was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I swear they thought she was an Italian pastry from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx!! We checked in to what would be a very interesting 3 day stay. Our tent in the trees had electricity but no fan. With no breeze and 100 percent humidly the first night was a challenge. With the heat getting the best of us we decided to head back into town and grabbed a drink at our favorite ocean side bar on the island, the Beach Bar, and then some dinner. The next day felt even hotter and with a thick haze in the air that was a result of Africa’s weather pattern. We decided to bag hiking and hit the beaches for some snorkeling. It wasn’t until we reached the Coral Bay the following week that we hiked. Oh, and we did search out a local store to buy a floor fan which made our tree house a little more than tolerable at night. To improve the accommodations we also made sure we had plenty of beer from a local island brewery. Even with the heat, humidly and Sahara dust from Africa being in St. John is total paradise. The island has some of the most amazing beaches in the world, great local people that are by far some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met in America who take pride in their island. If you didn’t know, more than 3/4 of the island is a National Park with some amazing hiking trails. The three times Sue and I have been there we have hiked to some of the most secluded and pristine beaches that most people who visit the island don’t even realize exist. Most of our time on the Maho Bay side of the island was spent in the water snorkeling because of the heat and haze. It wasn’t until we arrived in Coral Bay 3 days later that the heat started to break a little and the haze was clearing up. The place we stayed at in Coral bay was called Concordia Estates, which is also an Eco Resort. Our eco tent cabin was built into the side of the mountain and was purely powered on solar energy! Our view from our porch and bedroom was of Ram’s Head which is a part of the island that over looks St. Croix more than 40 miles away and can be seen on a clear day. Being on this side of the island is much more laid back and life is taken at a much slower pace than the Cruz Bay side, if you can believe that. With the weather breaking a little we decided to do a hike out to Ram’s Head, check out some of the beaches and do some photography along the way. On our way we crossed a beach called Salt Pond Bay where a sail boat had been docked for 2 days. Being able to see the boat from our tent we were wondering “who are those people”? When we arrived to Salt Pond we met the couple who owned the boat. They docked there the night before took their dinghy from their sailboat to shore and hiked Ram’s Head for the day and snorkeled the bay. With no real plan they were sailing around St. John stopping where their adventurous souls would take them. By far my favorite beach on the island which happens to be on the way to Ram’s Head, called Blue Cobblestone Beach. The beach is made up of, what else but blue cobblestones and chunks of white coral. The contrast between the stones, white coral, teal green water and blue sky is so amazing that it almost puts me at a loss for words. The next day before sunrise Sue and I hiked out to Nanny Point which is off to the left of Ram’s Head and Drunk Bay to do some photography. This part of the island has some of the roughest sea due to the sea cliffs and rugged terrain. Walking on to this beach instantly reminded me of the movie the Planet of the Apes. It felt like we were on another planet or on earth thousands of years ago! The rock outcroppings and jagged cliff formations left me speechless. As I hiked around the beach taking photos and trying to set up the next “ultimate shot” I found myself climbing higher and higher into the massive rock formation that made the ocean so rough in this place. I started to climb through this vertical seam between two towering rock walls that took me through the center and out the other side to a view of the ocean that photographs or words could never explain. Sitting just outside of this crevasse, staring at the waves hitting the rocky terrain below made me feel as if I had reached the end of the world and it put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

St. John is by far one of my favorite places in the Caribbean because of its little quaint towns, great people and untouched natural landscape that will stay like that forever due to its National Park status. One of our favorite things to do when we go away is to talk to the locals and people who relocate. We found so many people who were our age that had come to this little island, loved it so much that they never left or came back to work there and live the true meaning of paradise. They may never become millionaires but that have something that is far more important, and that something is called quality of life and a dream that is coming true for them. All the photos in this blog were shot on this trip. I’m hoping to have a good amount of stuff ready for purchase in my new gallery in Suffern this coming Fall along with stuff from my journey out West that will take place next month. I now find myself on a plane flying back to New Jersey on a flight that has been delayed more than 2 hours due to rain back in the New Jersey area. Rain in NJ this summer? Really? You’re kidding me right?
If you would like to see more photos I shot from this trip goto my facebook page by clicking here. Got photos then to the St. John gallery.

No comments: