Sunset over Trunk Bay
When we finally made it to Trunk Bay after the whole crashed-Jeep debacle, the only consolation was that it was so late now, we no longer had to pay to get in!! Because Trunk Bay is the most popular beach on the island, and maintained by the National Park Service, there is a small entrance fee to get in. (I don't remember how much, because we didn't have to pay it!) Tyler and I lugged our snorkeling gear and backpacks down to the changeing area, (they have several "change rooms" to get into your swimsuits, pretty close to the entrance) Then we walked over to the concession area. It had been our intention to eat lunch here, but it was after 3pm by now, and the grill was closed! You could still get drinks, or chips and candy, but no lunch.
Island off of Trunk Bay
The delay from the Jeep incident pretty much killed our whole day! Ty and I decided we could hold off until dinner time, and went straight to the beach to get some snorkeling in.
If you've ever seen a picture of a St John beach in a magazine, it was probably taken at Trunk Bay. It is consistantly listed among the top ten best beaches in the world, in periodicals such as Conde Nast Traveler, Islands Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, etc. It is notable for its underwater snorkeling trail, where they have informational plaques in about 10-15 feet of water, which tell you about the various corals and sea life you see there while snorkeling. Each plaque is imbedded onto a concrete block, sealed under glass, and resting on the sea floor.
View of the beach...from the water!
As you swim up to each one and read it, the block is pointing in a way that if you swim straight ahead, in about 20 feet or so you will come across the next block. If that one is pointing left, go left to see the next one, etc. The water is very clear here, and there is plenty of sea life to see, despite the crowds that this beach attracts. (If you visit St John by cruise ship, this is most likely the beach they will bring you too) Tyler and I followed the trail, then we went around the small island that sits just off the beach. The other side of the island was a little shallower, and had more fish, as no one else was swimming on that side. We got to watch several larger fish nibble at the coral, and on more than a few occasions, I witnessed them "pooping" out sand! They gather nutrients from the algae and other living organisims on the coral, chew off little bits, and excrete the chewed coral out to create fine sand.
I think he was building a kiddie pool...he left an opening to fill it with water!
This is why the sand in the area is much finer and not as coarse and gritty as the sand back home...it is created by fish as opposed to wave action over rocks!
After snorkeling for about an hour, we went back to the beach, where I went for a regular swim after ditching my snorkeling gear. Tyler decided to make a "kiddie-pool" on the beach, scooping out a hole with half a coconut shell that had washed up. He left a channel for the waves to fill it up. The sun was starting to set by this time, and I was hoping to get some good sunset pics for my growing collection, but there was a bit of cloud cover to prevent the perfect shot.
I was walking down the beach a bit to find a good photo opportunity, when I came across a wedding party who had the same idea.
There was a wedding going on there!
I took a picture of them myself, and immediately I was accosted by a woman who was part of the wedding photographer group, and she told me I was "not allowed" to photograph them! Hmm... last time I checked, this is still a free country, and you are allowed to photograph ANYTHING that is out in public view! No matter... I didn't really need any photos of them- it was just the only interesting thing going on on that part of the beach! I moved on, trying to get some good sunset/ island shots. Tyler eventually tired of his "pool", and we were both getting hungry. The beach was starting to clear out, and so did we... back to Cinnamon Bay
to make dinner! We also were planning to turn in early, as tomorrow will will be getting up extra early to take a bout tour out to the British Virgin Islands!