Saturday, March 30, 2013

St. John Moments

We decided to revisit the Petroglyphs on St. John that are accessible from Lameshur Bay via the Reef Bay trail. The last time we were here was in November after the rainy season and what a difference that makes. This time the water falls were completely dried up and we were able to scramble up over the 'falls' into the dry gut and really see the magnitude of the entire area. Compare this to the previous time we were here.

Previously Henry sat on this rock enjoying a bit of a 'shower'.
The top (third) level of the falls - one can only imagine the torrents that rush down here.
Honestly, this really was the easy way up - no thorns.
We must be a bit more acclimated to either the hiking or the weather since once we had finished the hike that we had once felt quite challenging, we both wanted to carry on and instead of returning back along the trail we turned the other way and continued on the Reef Bay Trail up to the Centerline Road. The name of this road is pretty self explanatory in as much as it traverses the centre ridge of St. John from Cruz Bay at the western end over to Coral Bay in the east. What amazes me is that every year the St. John road race has runners completing the run from one end to another in some insane time, including the climb up well over 1000'. Well, we traversed just a small portion of the road before turning off toward Bordeaux Mountain where we picked up the Bordeaux Mtn Trail which is a straight descent back down to Lameshur Bay and the welcoming cool waters.

The final descent to Lameshur - Mowzer, bottom left.
We completed the last portion of the trail in a light rainshower and the sun remained with us long enough for a good snorkel along Donkey Cove which always presents us with a great diversity of fish and coral - some of the best.

We have never actually been into Saltpond Bay but have heard it is a good anchorage so we tried to get in this afternoon but with only four mooring balls and the holiday weekend, they were all taken. It looked like some unsettled weather was heading in so we picked up a ball in the next bay directly under Ram Head. We don't know the name of this bay, it's not marked with a name on any of the charts we have, but we have nicknamed it 'stink-um bay' due to the fishy/seaweedy smell emanating from the shore. The smell is counteracted by the fact that there is only one other ball here so we are pretty much guaranteed a nice secluded and quiet anchorage for the evening. As we anticipated from the clouds the weather worsened into a full-blown squall that lasted about an hour so we were happy to have picked up a ball in this sheltered cove. In the middle of the blow another monohull arrived and I am sure to the relief of their crew were able to find the one available ball. They quickly tied up and disappeared below, most likely to dry out.

The front rolling in over St. John
Here are a sampling of a few more of the sights we saw during our hike of almost 15 km.

This tree is known by a number of names including the obvious, "Monkey No Climb"
Look carefully to the left of me for more carvings.
Nope, not scared at all.
The mighty roots of the Kapok.
Not completely unscathed after our scramble.

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