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Trip Report St John - Gull Cottage Trip Report

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A quick trip report for my January 2010 trip to St. John. This was my first trip to St. John, but I have previously been to the BVIs. I loved all the beautiful white sand beaches - we hit a new one every day! The drving was a ittle more difficult than I remembered - its amazing how quickly you can put that out of our mind.

Accomodations - Gull Cottage on Gret Cruz Bay -
This is a lovely stone villa right on Great Cruz Bay (a few doors down from the Westin). It was pricey, but worth it for our requirement of being right on the water. There is a sea wall, with room for seating on top, so we spent a lot of time drinking coffee and cocktails watching boats in the harbor and sun (and moon) sets. The house is just 5 minute ride to Cruz Bay and 10-20 minutes to the Northshore beaches, so we found it very convenient.

Beaches - We went to Trunk, Hawksnest, Cinnamon, Maho and Caneel on the North Shore and Salt Pond on the East side. We had my MIL who doessn't get around all that easily, so I must say that Trunk, Maho and Cinnamon were best for her. Hawksnest had a lot of surf while we were there and she couldn't get in the water. The trail to Salt Pond was more difficult than she expected, but she did make it. I found snorkeling the best at Salt Pond (healthiest reef out by the submerged rocks right side), Caneel - thousand of herring, a few big tarpon and lots of turtles, and Cinnamon - rays, turtles and interesting fish among the rocks around the island.

Restaurants - none we really amazing, but we liked Rhumblines, Lime Inn, Morgan's Mango for Lobster night (Wednes), Skinnylegs for burgers. High Tide ws good for drinks, apps and sunset.

Caneel Chill Out Package - Usually we do a boat/snorkel excursion, but with my MIL limited in mobility we decided do Caneel Bay's Chil Out Package. A one hour massage, lunch and use of hotel facilites for the the day for $140 pp. This was a great deal. The massage was 1 hour, and was good (not great - I guess I had high expectations, since it seems to me that this should be the best massage therapy job in the US!) The lunch was amazing - it included appetizer, entree and desert! At Caneel prices - this was definitely a bargain.

We had some excitement while snorkeling off of Scott beach. I could feel a pretty strong current pulling us towards Turtle Bay. Just then I heard a whistle - a couple on Caneel floats had drifted out close to the boat lane (where the Tortola ferry comes around the corner) and needed help. My GF ws a lifeguard in her youth, so she swam over to help. I panicked a little at being left alone, so I swam over too. GF need to rescue swim the wife in, and I joined the husband on his float and we kicked towards shore. I was the only one with fins on - so I felt fortunate. When we got to shore at Turtle Bay, the Caneel life guard was just arriving. Someone on shore had alerted him, but he had no boat, so came via golf cart. We were surpised that for all the $$ that Caneel guests pay, there were very few beach staff and no signs warning of the currents between Scott and Turtle Bay.

All in all a great week in St. John

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