One of the things we truly love about St. John, USVI, and especially the Coral Bay side of the island, is that it isn’t crowded. I think that there are three reasons for this.
One is that unless you are on a relatively small boat, you can’t get there directly. If you want to go there, you have to fly to St. Thomas and take a ferry over. It’s not really a big deal but for people who don’t want to wait to start their vacations, it might be an issue.
The second reason is that large cruise ships can’t dock there as there is no deep water harbor available. On this trip, we noticed that some smaller cruise ships are stopping by and tendering their passengers onto the beaches and sugar plantation ruins and you can certainly buy excursions from St. Thomas to St. John if you are a cruise ship passenger, but Royal Princess’s Behemoth of the Oceans isn’t going to be docking at St. John and letting off thousands of people seeking good beaches and cheap rum drinks. I certainly have nothing against cruising or cruisers per se, but it is nice that they have to “work” to get to St. John.
The third and probably most important reason that St. John is not crowded is that Laurence Rockefeller purchased a lot of land on St. John and in 1956, he donated most of that land to the United States National Parks Service. That means that about 60% of the island is national park and will not be developed further than it already is. This also serves to help protect much of the coral reef that is included in that park. Thanks, Mr. Rockefeller. You did a truly good thing there.
But beware if you are planning a vacation to Coral Bay. The driving on the island is not for the faint of heart. I mentioned yesterday that it takes seven switchbacks to get us up to Reef Madness. We like that the road is paved. At our last villa, it was not. It made it kind of exciting to get home especially after dark. And, well, all that driving is on the wrong side of the road…sorry, I mean on the left side of the road. We’re just lucky that Greg has yet to meet a driving challenge that he won’t take on and we are more than happy to leave all the driving to him. And while there may not be much traffic, you do run into (not literally, I hope) donkeys and goats moseying along and the occasional iguana or mongoose.
Things such as food and gas are expensive there. It’s an island after all and most stuff needs to be shipped to the location. And water is at a premium so it has to be used sparingly. Sure St. John is surrounded by water but it’s not so good to drink. Water is caught in cisterns on the roofs of the buildings from rainfall and filtered for human use. Conservation is a good thing. Something we need to consider even in this wet climate.
And don’t get hung up if a chicken, lizard, cat or dog wanders into the restaurant where you are enjoying a nice island lunch. That’s just the way it is, mon.
Here’s the payoff:
|Looking down on Trunk Bay. This is often considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. |
Good for snorkelers.
|View unobstructed by sunbathers and other living things. Can you spell r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g?|
|Goats in the road. No worries...|