A Travellerspoint blog

Virgin Islands National Park aka St. John

By Private Ferry and Taxi


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2011 Back to Back Enchantment of the Seas and Lighthousing Driving South & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

In October of 1995, my husband suddenly said to me - we are going to Bermuda for Thanksgiving and the Virgin Islands for Christmas. I persuaded him that I didn't want to be away for Christmas. We did go to Bermuda. Then finally at the end of January 1997 we went to the Virgin Islands. We stayed in Cruz Bay for four days. We took the Reef-Bay trail and other National Park Service walks, visited Annaberg Sugar mill,
1997 Bob with two other men at Annaberg Sugar Mill - they are going to pretend to be horses to run the mill

1997 Bob with two other men at Annaberg Sugar Mill - they are going to pretend to be horses to run the mill


snorkeled at Cinnamon Bay, shopped and visited various restaurants and then got on a sailboat for a charter. But we were without a car and we didn't really see a lot of the island outside of the town of Cruz Bay. Today, we are taking an island tour from the ship. I figured that by the time we paid for a taxi to the ferry dock, the ferry over, the ferry back and another taxi, that it would be about what I paid for the tour.
Afternoon tour ticket

Afternoon tour ticket


Problem - tour starts when we assemble on the dock at 11:45 and lunch does not start until 12:00.

Sunday 23 January 2011

We went to the Windjammer for breakfast, and there are some advantages to this - for one you can get toast that is hot- just toasted. The dining room toast is universally cold. I thought I could pick up some rolls and a banana to eat for lunch. The rolls were there, but the bananas had disappeared. Anyway, I got a roll and made a cheese and bacon sandwich. I also took a biscuit, and wrapped them in a napkin to take back - I already had a chocolate chip cookie from the dining room. I ate some scrambled eggs.

When we got back our room, the water had been turned off. We did have the melted ice in the ice bucket and I had two partly full water bottles - one of which I got in Samana so we had water to take our pills.
Me and Bob getting ready to leave - reflected

Me and Bob getting ready to leave - reflected

Taxis lined up in St. Thomas

Taxis lined up in St. Thomas


When we got out onto the dock,
Painters on the side of the ship

Painters on the side of the ship


they told us to get on board the ferry Island Girl which was between us and Serenade of the Seas. [and apparently Enchantment and Serenade (which started in San Juan) were the only two ships in port today]
Serenade of the Seas ahead of us

Serenade of the Seas ahead of us


We sat inside -it was hot in the sun outside and some of the people outside got wet from spray.
Sitting inside the ferry

Sitting inside the ferry

Sign on the ferry

Sign on the ferry

Danger sign

Danger sign


There were people from two ships and four different tours on board. One group was doing an Eco hike. One was going to the beach, one was going snorkeling, and our group was doing the tour of the National Park.
Getting off the ferry

Getting off the ferry


They put our group in three taxis. First we stopped at the National Park headquarters to use the bathrooms.
National Park VIsitor's Center

National Park VIsitor's Center

Map - Cruz Bay

Map - Cruz Bay


(There were also bathrooms on the boat). Back in the day, I had to go to the Visitor's Center to find out when the various hikes and tours would be. There are several guided tours available in the Park including; hikes, shore walks, bird walks, even snorkel tours. Now you can do a lot of this on the internet.

But the Visitor's Center is still a good place to go. There is a little museum which shows examples of reef fishes and coral. Other exhibits show the cultural history – from the pre-Columbian Tainos, sugarcane plantations during the late 1700's and early 1800's, to slavery emancipation.

Then we climbed back in the taxi
Taxi on St. John

Taxi on St. John


and drove out into the National Park

5114579-National_Park_Island_St_John.jpgVirgin Islands National Park sign

Virgin Islands National Park sign


From overlooks we saw
Caneel Spur Trail sign

Caneel Spur Trail sign

Overlook

Overlook


Caneel Bay
Beach at Caneel

Beach at Caneel


Hawknest Bay
Dinghy line-up from above

Dinghy line-up from above

St John beach

St John beach

Overlook

Overlook


and Trunk Bay
St. John Trunk Bay from above

St. John Trunk Bay from above


(Trunk has a snorkeling trail)
Snorkeling trail at Trunk Bay

Snorkeling trail at Trunk Bay


I never saw any of that on my previous visits.
Entrance to Cinnamon Bay campground

Entrance to Cinnamon Bay campground

b319dd30-d3a6-11ea-baaf-17d5e87d0804.JPGBlue water

Blue water

Looking into the distance

Looking into the distance


We saw Maho Bay from an overlook
Moored sailboats

Moored sailboats


and then went down
Driving on the left with a left hand drive car

Driving on the left with a left hand drive car


to beach level
Maho Beach

Maho Beach


I saw a hummingbird
Hummingbird

Hummingbird


and took its picture - Bob was on the other side and took a picture of a termite nest.
Termite nest

Termite nest


Then we went up the mountain to Centerline Drive where we stopped for refreshments at Chateau Bordeaux.
100_7867.JPGLunch menu

Lunch menu


I took some photos of the hairpin turns
Hairpin turn - driving on the left

Hairpin turn - driving on the left

Colorful local house

Colorful local house


We saw a goat balanced on the guard rail and a little one with him. I would have thought it was a mother and kid, except the big goat was definitely a male goat.
Goat on a Guardrail

Goat on a Guardrail

Cat at the refreshment break

Cat at the refreshment break

Conch shell in a wall

Conch shell in a wall

Coral Bay

Coral Bay


We noted that where there used to be a gas station in town (which trucks could only get into it coming from one direction because of tight turns), it is now a traffic circle.
There was a gas station here

There was a gas station here


We got back to the ferry dock (and it wasn't the regular ferry dock) with about 25 minutes to spare, but Bob did not feel that we could walk to anyplace to shop and get back in time.
Car rental place on St. John

Car rental place on St. John


On the way back on the ferry
Aid to Navigation

Aid to Navigation


I went out to take pictures of the lighthouse that I saw last year on the BOB trip, but it is very hard to get pictures using telephoto lens from a bouncing boat.
Buck Island Light

Buck Island Light

Hills of St. Thomas

Hills of St. Thomas


At least our water was back on by the time that we got back - I was hungry but too tired to go back up to the Windjammer and get something to eat. For dinner,
Tomato salad

Tomato salad


I was going to order pizza, but the waiter recommended against it so I got duck instead.
Asian duck

Asian duck


Leslie's main goal in St. Thomas was to buy a specific kind of white ceramic watch. She was very happy to have been able to do this. She and her husband go to have drinks before dinner every evening (because she is diamond). He doesn't drink, but she makes him get a drink and then she has two.

I did not go up and do the computer on the 23rd because we were watching the football games (we saw the first half of the Green Bay game before dinner at 6 Atlantic time which is an hour ahead of Eastern time), but we both fell asleep before the Jets game was over.

Our towel animal was a rabbit. We still have the monkey and the swan. The stingray is gone though.
Rabbit, Monkey, Swan, Bob and me

Rabbit, Monkey, Swan, Bob and me

Tomorrow is St. Maartin

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:10 Archived in US Virgin Islands Tagged national_park usvi st_john cruz_bay

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