Tag Archives: blue water

Snorkeling Cinnamon Bay Cay

The beaches and snorkeling on St. John are fantastic! But I will admit to becoming a “beach and snorkel snob” since living here. While I don’t have a ‘favorite’ place for beach or snorkeling, I tend to eliminate some destinations automatically.  For instance, I often eliminate Jumbie as a beach to visit due to the shade and rough waves. It is not bad, but there are others I like better. Snorkeling is the same too. I snorkeled Cinnamon during vacations, and since living here found other reefs that I prefer. I have not returned to snorkel Cinnamon in years.

So I was long past due for a snorkel at Cinnamon and decided the calm seas and warm water of the summertime were the perfect time to swim around the entire cay off of Cinnamon Beach.  I wasn’t fighting against a current and was able to take my time looking, and since the water was calm, it was also very clear with no sediment kicked up!  The park beach was open but Cinnamon Bay services and campground were closed due to the government shutdown, so it was quiet and uncrowded, with everything green from the summer rains.

This visit was a good reminder that the snorkeling on St. John is good everywhere! It just depends on factors such as what you want to see, the type of beach you want to go to, and the weather and water conditions at the place you have chosen, which have a big impact on the quality of your snorkel!

I have come to prefer snorkeling here in the summer because we have just enough of a longer day to have more time for good visibility when snorkeling, and with the chill taken out of the water I will easily snorkel for one or two hours. The winter water usually chills me and chases me out much earlier.  Also the Parrotfish have got their summer pastel colors, which I love to see. It is like visiting another world!

P.S. If anyone knows the name of the coral in the 3rd image, please let me know!

beach path

beach shop

I am not sure what this coral is. I think Boulder Star Coral but if someone knows, I would love a confirmation or clarification!
I am not sure what this coral is. I think Boulder Star Coral but if someone knows, I would love a confirmation or clarification!
Colorful sponge and soft coral seen around the cay at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Colorful sponge and soft coral seen around the cay at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Flamingo tongue snail (a sea snail) leaves its trail on a sea fan in Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Flamingo tongue snail (a sea snail) leaves its trail on a sea fan in Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Love the color on these Christmas Tree Worms seen at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Love the color on these Christmas Tree Worms seen at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Blue tang, Grunt and Squirrel Fish gliding in the coral reef at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Blue tang, Grunt and Squirrel Fish gliding in the coral reef at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
A peach colored flamingo tongue snail perched on a sea fan in Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
A peach colored flamingo tongue snail perched on a sea fan in Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Finger coral with the polyps out during the daytime! Seen at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Finger coral with the polyps out during the daytime! Seen at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
School of Blue Tang, along with Bar Jack and Surgeon Fish, eating on the coral reef at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
School of Blue Tang, along with Bar Jack and Surgeon Fish, eating on the coral reef at Cinnamon Bay, St. John.
Large and healthy Brain Coral seen while snorkeling around Cinnamon Bay Cay this summer.
Large and healthy Brain Coral seen while snorkeling around Cinnamon Bay Cay this summer.
Cinnamon Bay Beach, St. John: The water feels as good as it looks!
Cinnamon Bay Beach, St. John: The water feels as good as it looks!

 

Maho Bay Tents: The Rewards of Extra Effort

Or “I Survived the Steps at Maho Bay Camp” in order to stay in the Best Tent!

Like so many others visitors I stayed in an A-Section tent on my first visit to Maho Bay Camp. Tent A-16 I believe it was. It had a porch overlooking the water at Little Maho beach and the weather was perfect the entire time. The location was perfect as far as the main boardwalk because it was mostly a flat walk under a shady canopy of trees. That flat boardwalk was decidedly nice when toting luggage on arrival and departure days, as well as after a hike up and down stairs around the rest of Maho or from Maho’s beach.

View of Francis Bay and Little Maho Bay from the A-Section of the now closed Maho Bay Camp on St. John, USVI.  I believe this was from A-Vip.
View of Francis Bay and Little Maho Bay from the A-Section of the now closed Maho Bay Camp on St. John, USVI. I believe this was from A-Vip.

We always booked our tent a year in advance in order to get the best chance at having our first choice, but somehow we never stayed in the A-section again.  Which turned out to be wonderful! Over the years I stayed in the D-section with it’s large volcanic boulders, the E-section with its newer style bathhouse and shady afternoons, the C-section with its lush green foliage, and even the B-section. But I never grew fond of the B-section because I stayed in the tent behind registration and next to the bathhouse.

One thing I discovered was that every section has tents with fantastic views! For instance, if you were in tent E15 you had a fantastic view of Big Maho Bay and an extra large porch (due to the fact you entered through the porch to get in the tent.)  The C-section tents had some nice ceiling fans and solid wood floors which helped when things were buggy. And last year my E-section tent had deer running around all day in September and October.

A quiet and shady E-section tent (taken during the final season of Maho Bay Camp, which is the reason for the poor condition of the wooden boardwalks.)
A quiet and shady E-section tent (taken during the final season of Maho Bay Camp, which is the reason for the poor condition of the wooden boardwalks.)

But better than all of those sections, my favorite was the F-section tents! When we first arrived and found out we were staying up there for the first time,we were a bit reluctant. It was more of a climb to the F tents and they felt removed from the rest of the property. But when we arrived at F4 to see the view, it took our breath away! It was like having a room at the Maho Bay or Trunk Bay overlooks, only better. We were higher and could see further. And we could plan our day by standing on our porch in the morning. If there were rain clouds anywhere, we were going to see them!  F-section tents were distinctly hotter during the day than most others since they were so high on the side of the hill and had minimal shade, but they had a breeze and the F-section had a relatively private bathhouse. Making the hike up to the F-section was more than worth it when you were rewarded with the view overlooking the north shore of St. John.

View of Maho Bay and Cinnamon Bay from the F-Section high up on the hill.
View of Maho Bay and Cinnamon Bay from the F-Section high up on the hill.

Good Morning from St. John

Early September morning view of Maho Bay Bay in St. John, USVI
Early September morning view of Maho Bay Bay in St. John, USVI

Good Morning! from Big Maho Bay beach! 

I am heading out today to the beaches (which are open again!) and take some photos and see what might be happening on the island. I’m back at my computer so more posts are on their way with plenty of shots of the water!    Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend!