St. John Snorkeling--besides Trunk Bay

Apr 9th, 2003, 09:14 AM
  #1  
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St. John Snorkeling--besides Trunk Bay

Hello everyone!
I'm happy to say that I'm making a return trip to St. John. We stayed at Caneel Bay on our previous trip, which was awesome, and had great snorkeling. During that time we also visited Honeymoon Beach, Salt Pond Bay, Trunk Bay, & Waterlemon Cay. We also took some boat rides to offshore sites. We will be renting a car this time & would like to know if anyone has visited off-the-beaten-path snorkel sites (maybe Haulover Bay, Brown Beach, etc.) I have the book, St. John Off-the-Beaten-Path, but I wanted to get some eyewitness accounts. Thanks!
Avery is offline  
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:15 AM
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We've had good luck using the Off the Beaten Track Book as a resource. Of the locations you mentioned we've been to Brown Beach....extremely private, but the hike is about 2x as far as the book indicates. We didn't go snorkeling there, but it didn't appear to be an ideal snorkeling spot. My favorite snorkeling spot is Waterlemon Cay....around the little island
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Apr 14th, 2003, 05:56 AM
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Cyclone--thanks for the response. It's good to know that the hike is much longer than indicated. We also loved Waterlemon Cay & we'll probably go back there, but we would still like to try other areas. Any other suggestions out there?
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Apr 14th, 2003, 10:29 AM
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We did the Tektite snorkel described in Off The Beaten Track at Great Lameshur. Saw an abundance of fish but a very distant swim to get there and it's very isolated. Would have loved to have spent more time there, it was an incredible area. Yawzi Point on the opposite side of Great Lameshur Bay is also supposed to be great and not as far out. Would best be done from a boat on a calm day. We also snorkeled to the far right of Haulover out towards the point. It was nice but I've heard the snorkeling to the left is better. Brown Bay is on my list for our next trip, heard the hike there is quite challenging. We also enjoyed the right side of Cinnamon by the rocks (lots of fish, not so much coral) and Honeymoon/Salomon.

Have a great time on your trip. Where are you staying?
Cindy is offline  
Apr 16th, 2003, 06:40 AM
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Thanks Cindy!
It's hard to tell from the book how challenging a hike or swim is. I'm a little apprehensive about swimming too far from shore since it will be just two of us--I'm much bolder in a group--so all this info helps.
In the past we stayed at Caneel Bay. For this trip, we got a great 5-night package to the Westin. Since frequent-flyer flights required 9 nights, we'll stay the remainder of the trip at Caneel. I can't imagine going to St. John & not staying there. So, the first half of the trip will be for adventure & the second half will be for relaxation.
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Apr 16th, 2003, 09:56 AM
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It's not off-the-beaten-path, but we loved snorkeling at Cinnamon Bay. We have snorkeled quite a bit and have high expectations and we thought the snorkeling was great. We saw lots of fish, nice coral, lobster and even a shark. Walk all the way down to the right or swim out to the small island. The beach is very nice too - few people there and lots of private palm-covered spots to set up your blanket. Have fun. We will be there again in May.
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Apr 17th, 2003, 11:42 AM
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We always enjoy the snorkeling at Jumbie Beach as well as the solitude there. You really can't go wrong with any of the beaches on STJ. Francis Bay is wonderful as well.
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Apr 19th, 2003, 10:22 AM
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The other places we've snorkeled are Francis Bay and Salt Bay Pond, both were also pretty good, but not as good as Waterlemon Cay, imo. Would also love to try Haulover and some other remote spots on our next trip. However, the best snorkeling we've had as on a day trip with Cpt. Phil onthe Wayward Sailor. He snorkels with you and points our interesting marine life. On our last trip with him we saw an octopus
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May 29th, 2003, 06:04 AM
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ttt
Avery is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:21 AM
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Avery,
We loved Dennis Bay, it's a 7 minute easy walk with great snorkeling to the left as you face the water. You'll be alone but never more than 10 yards from shore. Snorkel around the island at Cinnamon Bay it's little way's out there but you are never in water deeper than 8 feet, well worth it. Did you ever snorkel the main beach on Caneel - to the right of the dock facing the water? It's really quite good. Have fun we'll be ther in Aug/Sept but only for 7 nights
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May 29th, 2003, 12:01 PM
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This may help you out, although I don't know the depths of these sites. REEF has conducted reef surveys throughout the St. John region, and compiled species lists for dive sites aroung St. John's. I'm unfamiliar with these sites, but perhaps other readers could inform if they're visited by snorkeling excursions. Or, you could contact the dive ops in St. John to see if they snorkel these places.At any rate, the richest were Mingo Cay, Al's Cut/Jaws, Grass Cay and Carval Rocks, in that order. The most prevalent reef fish species were: Stoplight Parrotfish 92.6%; Foureye Butterflyfish 91.6%; Blue Tang 90.4%; French Grunt 85.9%; Bluehead Wrasse 81.7%; Sergeant Major 81.7%; Ocean Surgeonfish 78.9%; Yellowtail Damselfish 78.2%; Trumpetfish 75.7%; Redband Parrotfish 72.2%; Yellowtail Snapper 70.9%; Bicolor Damselfish 69.9%; Bar Jack 69.9%; Yellow Goatfish 69.9%; Princess Parrotfish 66.4%; Spotted Goatfish 64.5%; Barred Hamlet 62.6%; Striped Parrotfish 61.6%; Doctorfish 60.7%; and Yellowhead Wrasse.
You could purchase a reef fish ID manual and snorkel for a real purpose; i.e., to id the above fish. At lease you'll know what you're seeing. Unfortunately, you can see the grouper species isn't listed because of over-fishing. Don't eat the grouper on the menu! It appears the waters of St. John are still rich with reef fishHope this helps. Robert
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May 30th, 2003, 09:53 AM
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I liked the snorkeling @ Watermelon Cay the best.

We also did a day trip through the Westin to Foxy's on Jost Van Dyke that included a snorkel stop @ a Cay. it was great snorkeling---and they keep the drinks flowing on the boat. We got a discount b/c we toured the Westin's timeshare. Based on the hard sell pitch we heard, I wouldn't advise buying the time-share though.
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May 30th, 2003, 10:51 AM
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Caneel Bay accomodations and St. John snorkeling sound perfect. Does anyone have any experience/comments on the nightlife at Caneel Bay or Cruz Bay? Is there just the small bar here and there or is there anything in the way of live music and/or dancing. Thanks
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Jul 17th, 2003, 07:28 PM
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Hi, we'll be in St. John next month and would like to snorkel either Honeymoon Beach or Watermelon Cay. Does anyone know which is harder to get to? I heard that you need hiking boots and the swim over to Watermelon can be a little scary, they saw sand sharks and it was probably 20 feet or so deep? How hard of a hike and swim is it? Did you encounter an undertow? We are and in our 50's and not what you'd consider athletic, do you think we'd be pretty tired once we got to Watermelon? Or is the hike to Honeymoon easier? The snorkeling is supposed to be very good at Honeymoon also, what did you think? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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