Once Was Not Enough

If we had to pick a single word to describe the island of St. John, it would be “pristine”. A whopping 60% of the landmass of the island is within the lush Virgin Islands National Park.
The park boundaries also extend to most of the sea around the island. In addition, even more underwater areas are protected by the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument.

St. John has two small, quaint towns: Cruz Bay and Coral Bay; but the main attraction of this small island is unspoiled nature.

The view from a local restaurant

For a cruiser, the towns serve as stops to dine, refuel, and stock up on groceries. They are also very popular with vacationers who want to avoid the multi-story, chain hotels that seem ubiquitous on the coasts of so many Caribbean islands. We may be biased, but, in our opinion, the only way to truly explore St. John is by water.

We found a herd of wild and friendly donkeys roaming around Coral Bay
Even some larger sailboats come here
We found a small fixer-upper we could live in
The ruins of a sugar plantationThe ruins of a sugar plantation
Francis Bay - Land tour (8)
Francis Bay - Land tour (5)
This crumbling coal-burning stove reminded us of the Hermann-Grima Historic House, where Kimberly used to workThis crumbling coal-burning stove reminded us of the Hermann-Grima Historic House, where Kimberly used to work


For some reason, the bays on the north side of St. John are full of pelicans and boobies. They are not shy around boats! I would spend hours with our camera pointed at the sky watching their aerial shenanigans and hoping to capture them in action.

Pelicans (6)
Pelicans (10)
St John - Boobies (12)wm


On our first circumnavigation of St. John, we were limited to land activities because of healing tattoos, so the second time around, we made a point to go diving. The underwater topography is quite different from bay to bay. Despite its small size, St. John offers a surprising variety of underwater scenery.

Dive - Tiktek (1)-1
Dive - Tiktek (4)-1
Dive - Tiktek (2)-1


Perhaps TWICE was not enough!

Moored in Francis BayMoored in Francis Bay
Sunset Hansen Bay
Sundowner manhatan (1)



  1. Too short John-Michael…..I want more details & more of your beautiful pics! Guess I’m going to have to go on FB to see more?

    1. Glad to hear you want more!
      We’re trying to do shorter but more frequent posts. British Virgin Islands coming soon with tons of pictures!

  2. I know of a good place to remove those nasty tats when you return to reality!
    Jk. Enjoyed your short story.

  3. I’m finally catching up on old posts!

    Surprised no one commented on St Johns being full of boobies! 🙂

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