December 2016 – Our second visit to St. Thomas started with a mile and a half walk from the cruise port to the shopping area in town. The town was just starting to open since we docked early in the morning, but we were able to pick up a couple of souvenirs and explore some of the shops. We only had a couple of hours until our excursion, so we didn’t spend long in town before we started back to the port. We met up with our tour group and got on a trolley-like bus to take us to a marina. The ride was about 45 minutes long and scenic, but the drivers are pretty crazy. Most of the Caribbean has wild drivers, but this island is at the top of the list for the craziest of the places we’ve traveled to. It seems that they like to take risks at just how small of a space they can squeeze through and how far onto the shoulder they can drive without tipping over into a clearing below. We passed one accident where the driver went too far, and the car could no longer be seen through the ravine and down the hill. The policeman didn’t seem too concerned.
We arrived at the marina and boarded our catamaran to travel to Honeymoon Beach in St. John. The crew was awesome. They were attentive, cheerful, and instructive as they
explained safety procedures and gave hints on the best snorkeling spots in the area. The boat ride was about 45 minutes, but we were able to see the length of the coast of St. Thomas, a few other islands along the way, and finally the coast of St. John. The crew told us stories about some of the islands we passed, including an island where an eccentric man lives with his hundreds of imported palm trees of different varieties that don’t normally grow in the Caribbean. The crew also pointed out Kenny Chesney’s house near the highest point of St. John.
The crew picked up a mooring ball among the other boats in the water near St. John, and we geared up and headed out to snorkel. We were warned not to get too close to fire coral. We headed toward the area the crew had pointed out as one of the top spots, and it did not disappoint us. We snorkeled for an hour over the corals and saw many fish and some eels. It didn’t seem like enough time had passed when the horn was blown for us to start back.
After reboarding the boat and starting the ride back to St. Thomas, the crew brought around rum punch for everyone. They had some other drinks available, as well, and they circulated several times during the ride back. They allowed us to sit with our legs hanging off the side of the boat and just absorb the view, salty air, and sunshine.
When we got back to the marina, we hopped back on the bus for a ride back to our ship. St. Thomas and St. John are both gorgeous islands with idyllic beaches to castaway worries and thoughts of home. The weather and the snorkeling are both fantastic. If I ever make my dream a reality and sail away to the Caribbean for good, St. Thomas will likely be my new home.