Jumbie Bay, St. John Haunted? More Like Haunted By Beauty.

Jumbie Bay Beach, St. John USVI

Honestly, I hate to even write this post. This is by far my favorite no hiking that far beach to go to.

It is extremely private. It is because there is very limited parking.

I also like the location. It is adjacent to Trunk Bay. You see the beauty of the bay and the entire span of Trunk Bay without the admission price. Bada Bing, baby….. That is what Yummygal is talking about.

The reasoning on possibly the name of Jumbie Beach. Is that there are a few Jumbie trees (silk cotton trees) in the small little hike to get to the stunning beach.

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The sign to the infamous Jumbie beach

Now, legend has it spirits are in these trees and extreme bad luck will occur if you chop it down.

Also, many pirates would bury their treasure around the trees back in the day because they knew people would be scared to go near a Jumbie Tree.

The myths also state, that a beautiful woman will be found amongst these trees… you will bed her… then the next day die. A wonderful way to go, MATEY.

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Small hiking path to Jumbie Beach

The Virgin Island folks have used the leaves of the Jumbie tree for medicinal purposes over the last few centuries. Primarily they use it for a tea to help with fatigue. It’s a very treasured tree.

However, what I treasure most is the beach and there is nothing spooky about it.

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Your first look at Jumbie

You’ll come out of that small path and a little bridge and this will be the first thing you see.

Notice Trunk Cay in the picture above. Which is famous for the underwater snorkel trail.

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Another shot my friends

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And another

It is so very private. Laid back and serene… My type of beach. A great snorkel spot over at the rocks here.

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Rocks on the right of the beach

The beach is pretty large, not big like Trunk Bay, but you can see it across from you.

Also, you have full permission to point and laugh at the folks you see across the way at Trunk Bay.

They paid for admission and you didn’t have to.

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Hello there Trunk Bay beach! You paid an admission.. I didn’t!

This is just perfect in paradise, isn’t it?

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Hi turquoise water, it was nice to meet you

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Yummygal at Jumbie Beach, St. John

Definitely stop here on your trip to St. John.

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Yummygal’s and “Jane’s” Private Beach

You won’t regret it. Trust me. Some people say it’s haunted. Honestly, it’s haunted by beauty. Hahaha

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No caption necessary

Grab your drinks, a picnic lunch, throw them all in a cooler and head out here for the day.

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She’s a keeper

Enjoy this beach. You can thank me later.

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Remember, to tease these guys from across the way, they paid for this view. You didn’t

Crabby’s Coral Bay ~ St. John USVI

Crabby’s Watersports

Coral Bay, St. John USVI

If you want to snorkel around St. John and are looking for some equipment to rent…..

Crabby’s is the place to get your gear from. There is no need to look anywhere else.

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out front of Crabby’s in Coral Bay, St. John

For just $25 bucks for the week. You can rent yourself some snorkeling gear so you are able to snorkel to your heart’s content on all of the gorgeous beaches around the fabulous island. Including, Waterlemon Cay, which is my favorite. Hey, if you aren’t the adventurous type. Why not snorkel in your villa’s pool? Haha!

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One of the fabulous St. John beaches

Crabby’s also rents kayaks and other water-sporting gear. Did you forget to bring your underwater camera? Well… You can purchase one here! You will definitely want to take pictures of your snorkelicious journey with all the amazing water wildlife around you on your island adventure.

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Crabby sign

Also, you can book a charter boat to tour around the island, a sunset cruise, or go island hopping to the British Virgin Islands and see German men in their speedos. Yuck (I did see them in Jost Van Dyke though).

It was hot! Not!

Crabby’s has a lot of unique offerings. Definitely check it out of you are staying in St. John.

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Love Coral Bay’s sense of humor. It is all over the place!

As the sign says above, “Have a Crabby Day.”

There’s really nothing crabby about these folks. They are actually pretty nice. However, I appreciate the Coral Bay humor.

As you can see… They “maybe” will be open at these times, haha.

Hawksnest Is One Of The Best

Hawksnest Beach

St. John
US. Virgin Islands

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beautiful pathway to the beach

There is a Hawksnest Beach and Little “Skittles” Hawksnest Beach in St. John. Both beaches are just separated by rocks and the water.

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Posing away in my granny swimsuit on the left. “Jane” my friend on the right

 

At Hawksnest, there are great little BBQ grills (bring the charcoal) and bathroom facilities in case you need to go tinkle winkle to your heart’s content.

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Come on in. The water is warm

It’s the first beach to hit after Cruz Bay on the North Shore Road of Route 20. It isn’t one to miss as most head straight to Trunk Bay, but this is a great little gem of turquoise splendor.

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Hawksnest is the best, baby!

There are no lifeguards here on duty so use caution and parking is limited.

There is GREAT snorkeling here, amongst the rocks between both beaches. Also, if you venture out just a bit you’ll encounter small reefs of great fish.

I saw a parrot fish and a Manta Ray at Hawksnest. Truly splendid.

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Yup, she’s a keeper

It can also get a bit crowded, but it is a lot of fun.

I saw plenty of folks with coolers of beer…. ahhhh. Delightful.

FYI, did you know it is legal to drink at 19 years old in the Virgin Islands?
Also, open containers are permitted while driving your car, hahaha. Crazy.

I actually fell in love with Hawksnest on my trip and can’t wait to return. I’ve always just driven past this location, but I am quite pleased I got to see it. It will be a definite return in the future.

Hawksnest bay is definitely a great snorkel spot. Just be careful of the tide. It tends to pull you out here.

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I’m calling your name!

 

Sometimes Paradise… Is Just Not Paradise …When You’re In The Dark.

Sometimes Paradise… Is Just Not Paradise …When You’re In The Dark.

The Yummygal tends to get caught in a little snafu from time to time. Usually, it’s quite hilarious. I’m one of those nutbags who always over packs and does tremendous research prior to any engagement.

I recently ran into trouble here in the states on an adventure. I had to call 911 (in which I never called before). I will air the story in the future and explain the details.

However, I have been out almost every single day exploring our area. There are great posts to come on fantastic museums and unique places which are extremely economical, if not free. I know some of you folks are hurting from this tough economy and I’m trying to show you an exciting array of activities you can do without busting your wallet.

Read below for the funny story about a lesson learned in St. John.

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Cinnamon Bay, St. John USVI= Paradise

 

It was our 2nd night in St. John. “Jane” (not her real name) and I had just gotten back from dinner and it was still light out. We decided it would be an excellent (stupid) opportunity to walk to Coral Bay (including the Skinny Legs area) to take pictures of the firehouse and police station.

We brought a flashlight from the villa with us.

You know just in case, right?

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It’s getting dark in paradise

By the time we got to the school near the restaurant, it was dark. No worries, there were street lights on so we walked to Skinny Legs than turned around to head back to the villa.

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Coral Bay Fire Truck

We were not prepared on what we would encounter. We got to the villa road and we literally couldn’t see inches in front of us. Most roads in St. John don’t have street lights since electricity is about 4 times the cost of the mainland. The lighting they have is horrible to begin with. Street lights are predominantly on the major roads. Most villas are not on the major roads.

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Police Station

We got out the flashlight, it didn’t help at all. The two of us were walking literally hand to hand at this point.

If anyone has ever encountered the back roads of St. John, they are deadly. They are not paved, rocky, go up and down very steep inclines, and there are massive crater potholes in some areas. I’m talking meteorites just landed sort of potholes.

We thought we were destined to:

A) break a bone,
B) fall, sprain an ankle,
C) get attacked by the wildlife,

or all of the above.

We actually discussed all of these possibilities in full detail.

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The literal walking nightmare

I have never been in such darkness in my life to where you can’t see ANYTHING in front of you.

We relied on a flash of a camera about every couple of feet. Slowly walking one step at a time.

I believe the road is about a half mile to a mile long. We heard lots of rustling in the woods. Perhaps, goats or donkeys? Bats were flying all around us (the only mammal that is native to St. John, btw).

The tree frogs were croaking away. It was scary and funny at the same time.

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The road using flash from my camera to see

I thought about calling our villa owners because I know they would have come and gathered us, but we were determined to do it alone. Jared our villa owner is awesome. He owns Starlit Escape Villa, but if starlit isn’t your cup of tea, he also manages other properties on the island and they are just as reasonable.

It’s best to work with folks on the island in case you ever run into situations such as this. Which is why I strongly suggest working with the Starlit folks.

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What the heck is in front of us?

We were literally shocked when we got to the villa unharmed. No sprained knee or fall.

Folks, if walking around St. John at night, make sure you have a strong bright flashlight. It’s exceptionally dark especially if not a full moon. You are surrounded by a jungle-like canopy because the island is mostly a National Park. This also applies to some areas of Cruz Bay.

It was a lot of fun in some ways. We learned our lesson and drove at night everywhere from there on out.

You can laugh at me, it’s okay.

Francis Bay is where I want to spend the day :)

Francis Bay

St. John USVI

I enjoy Francis Bay, in St. John because it is a little farther out of the way and off the main “beach road” of the National Park. Which means.. Ding! Ding! Ding! Less of a crowd.

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See no people….hear no people my friends

The best parking is at the beginning of the Francis Bay Trail entrance. It’s a short hike down to the beach and a definite to see. The trail is pretty shaded so it’s not too hot.

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Ruins at Francis Bay

Continue walking the trail, you’ll soon end up seeing these ruins to your right. Only look, don’t touch. They aren’t that stable to hold your skinny butt. It is awesome to see a bit of history amongst your short hike to Francis Bay.

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More ruins along the Francis Bay Trail with use of the native stone bluebitch. Yes, it is the true name of the stone my friends.

As you stroll down further to your left, you will notice an old salt pond that they used back in the day as a ways to dry the precious mineral. Salt was a huge commodity since it was used to preserve meat before refrigeration… Kind of crazy how far we’ve come along in such a short time, eh?

You are getting close my friends…

Eventually, you will come out along this clearing with a few picnic tables to sit at for your pleasure.

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My manly Mangroves.

These picnic tables are about the only facilities here. Make sure you pack accordingly. Snorkeling to the right is probably the best spot here. Near the rocks.

Francis Bay is a bit rockier than the others. However, it’s EXTREMELY calm and sheltered well on each side. Making this an AWESOME snorkel location. It’s a pretty long beach which makes it ideal because you can almost always find a great spot to sit at.

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Francis Bay

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A friend I met at Francis Bay

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My sailboat out there in the distance

This is a great kid friendly beach. A lot of fun and pure St. John tranquility at it’s best.

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My Francis Bay Artwork. It is worth a Million Dollars, fyi.

This is “Jane” and I putting our trademark on Francis Bay. I used rocks from the bay for this masterpiece.

It seems like a common artistic occurrence here. Leave your “mark” when you are here!

Definitely put it on your list for something off the beaten path for your exploration of the beloved island.

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A man swimming or twiddling his thumbs, not sure.

This is probably one of the lesser crowded beaches of all of St. John’s north shore, but just as beautiful.

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True Splendor

If you really take a look at my photos and other blogs I have posted. You can really see how unique each beach is in St. John. Every single beach you see, the more and more you will fall in love with the island. It’s pretty much how it goes.

There will also be many other beaches featured on my site in the next few weeks.

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See you again soon my little buddy!

St. John has my heart forever.

She will capture yours with love at first sight. I can bet you on that!

The Baths of Virgin Gorda

The Baths of Virgin Gorda

Referred to as the 8th wonder of the world.

Things to do while staying in St. John. Take a charter to see the Baths.

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The majestic baths of Virgin Gorda…. A fat lady that sings!

These geological formations have developed over millions of years.

These boulders are made of granite. The pressure of these rocks over the centuries has pressurized into these magnificent large creations of massive rock from volcanic sediment.

We took the Bad Kitty Charter tour from St. John to see these babies. It was an extremely busy day. There was a cruise ship that docked in Tortola. I think some folks didn’t realize that you have to be in shape to wander through these boulders.

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Don’t get stuck! I’ll have to rub baby oil all over you.

There are very small stairs and rope all clustered throughout the rocks and takes general strength to hike through the caverns. I would not recommend this if you are overweight since you may not fit through the boulders.

You don’t want to get stuck and someone has to rub baby oil all over you just to get you out.

Also, do not wear shoes. Just go with bare feet since the rocks are extremely slippery.

You will be thanking me my friends.

Christopher Columbus ventured here and the name, Virgin Gorda, was derived from overlooking the island’s horizon in that it looked like a very large fat woman lying down.

The slaves use to run away from their masters and hide in these boulders. Since it was hard to navigate through.

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As seen from the Bad Kitty, Meow!

There are also tons of many minerals that have developed in the sand and water that has led to the legend of the fountain of youth.

Hint: When walking through the inside of the boulders.  Rub your feet in the water.  You will see dark minerals floating in the water and the sand.

Also, you may want to scrub up with that sand.  The last I checked.  We weren’t getting any younger.

This was also the location of many famous movies and for Tyra Banks’ fame which won her worldly recognition in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

So check it out. It’s definitely something you got to see.

St. John VI Hidden Reef Kayak Ecotour

St. John VI Hidden Reef Kayak Ecotour~ A Tour You’ll Adore

 

Ahhhhhhh and on the 3rd day was the Virgin Island Ecotour.

Located on the east end of St. John near the sign that says, “End of National Park”.

“Jane” and I were psyched to do this…pumped and ready to go….

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The road getting to the east end. This overlooks Brown Bay

We set out with Justin, our tour guide. The coolest most hippest guide ever, from Kansas.

Us girls set out on a double kayak. I was upfront. “Jane” in the back the steering queen.

We ventured over to Haulover Bay for this adventure. GREAT SNORKELING here.

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Haulover Bay

A nice amount of reefs allowed for awesome fish and sea turtles and took great shots with my underwater camera.

“Jane” got to touch a white sea urchin…Nope not me, I don’t have the balls to go near an urchin.

We explored the inlays of the bay. It was very fun and exciting. Plus, got to ride some waves and learn about St. John from Justin.

Towards the end of our adventure I became sea sick, sun burnt, and exhausted. (I was red like a lobster)

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Kayak on the bay

 

I literally kissed the land when we were done.

It was a great way to see St. John with a wonderful guide. (He also pointed out the “Death Apple Tree” I was standing under).

I went back to the villa and crashed out until evening and I never nap! Hahaha

This is an awesome inexpensive way to learn about the island and get a great workout.

Great way to learn about St. John and otherwise see sights you normally wouldn’t see. By kayaking to other portions of the bay and snorkeling out much farther than you normally would from the shore. Justin is a great tour guide and has true passion for his beloved St. John.

And if you already didn’t know, St. John is my beloved island as well.

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Road to the east end of the island for the kayak tour

 

Things to Do in St. John USVI

Things to Do in St. John USVI~ A Random List Of Ideas:

 

 

Make a reservation and dine at Zozo’s in Cruz Bay.

 

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View of neighboring St. John Islands

Dine in Coral Bay at Aqua Bistro.

After your beach hopping days, grab a fresh fruit smoothie or adult milkshake from Colombo’s (intersection of Route 10 and Route 20).

MUST TO TRY…THE FUNKY MONKEY, YUM.

Hike the Reef Bay Trail and see the waterfall and petroglyphs.

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Salt Pond Bay

Snorkel at Waterlemon Cay.

Unwind at Jumbie Beach (my favorite) which has the views and beauty of Trunk Bay. No admission price and no crowds because of lack of parking.

Rent parasailing equipment or a dingy to check out neighboring beaches at Cinnamon Bay.

Rent Snorkeling equipment for the week for only $25 from Crabby’s in Coral Bay (best deal on the island).

If staying in a villa, buy your groceries at Love City Market (cheapest alcohol and groceries on the island).

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Francis Bay

Pack a picnic lunch from Sam and Jack’s Deli in Cruz Bay for the beach. A great gourmet NY style deli.

Eat breakfast at the Donkey Diner in Coral Bay. Great prices and you will not leave hungry.

Hire a private charter to see the neighboring islands of Norman Island, Cooper Island, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda (8th wonder of the world, The Baths).

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Maho Bay lookout

Great Charters that won’t break the bank and to see other islands: Bad Kitty & Palm Tree Charters. They both offer an open bar and best bang for your buck to see all the gorgeous sites.

Sail around St. John on the ship, “Breath” which is a St. John legend and was built on the island.

Go to Happy Hour at Woody’s in Cruz Bay in which they are famous for and best drink specials on the island.

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Jumbie Bay

Shop at Mongoose Junction & Wharfside Village.

Hike the Brown Bay Trail.

For Nightlife:

Go to the new sports bar, 420 to Center Bar, in Cruz Bay. It’s a baseball saying where the name is derived from.

Ask for “Sharkmen” (nickname of owner) great local flavor here. Great cheap drinks. Awesome new bar. They just opened not even a month ago and fully renovated.
Already becoming a great place to hang out.

Island Blues in Coral Bay. Awesome bar right on the bay overlooking the water and great drinks. With Kat the best bartender ever.

Skinny Legs, also a great bar to relax with the locals and have some awesome cheap eats for nightlife.

For Brunch or Lunch: Driftwood Dave’s in Cruz Bay. Great specials and awesome owner and staff. Probably the best Bloody Mary I have ever had. The chef trained at the infamous Johnson and Wales University in Culinary Arts (one of the best cooking schools in the country. Usually ranked in the top 5 schools in the world).

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Plants on Cooper Island

Also on certain days of the week: Live Music at the Westin, Shipwreck Tavern, and Aqua Bistro.

For just drinks on the beach.. The Beach Bar in Cruz Bay.

Best Lunch-The Tourist Trap, Sam and Jack’s, and Miss Vie’s (on the east end)

Take a Virgin Island Eco Tour (kayaking)

Check out the visitor center in Cruz Bay.

Gambling at the Parrot Bay.

Sunset hike at Ram’s Head (the most gorgeous sunset, ever!)

And after all, just relax. There are many “private beaches” here on the island to explore that I am not ever giving away and will NEVER post on this blog.

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Coral Bay Valley

Infamous Skinny Legs in St. John

There’s Nothing Skinny About Skinny Legs in St. John USVI

 

After a long day of beach hopping, Skinny Legs in St. John seemed to be the best place to go and get a bite to eat.

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Don’t feed the wild chickens

 

This is a local eatery for cheap eats, great beer, and a fun atmosphere. An equivalent to your fun little pub around the corner at home. However, Skinny Legs, definitely has that extra “oomph” and “pizazz”.

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Al Fresco Dining at Skinny legs

A place to let your hair down and be yourself. A place where the community comes together and does fundraisers to help each other out. It’s sort of Coral Bay’s unofficial community center.

What I find cool is every restaurant you go to, you don’t have to wait to be seated. If you see an open table go and take a seat. Nice relaxed atmosphere folks.

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“Jane” enjoying her Mahi Mahi sandwich

Our server came over right away. Told us about the specials. Put in our order for drinks (red stripe, please) as we took the quirky surroundings in.

I had an awesome burger with bacon and my friend had the Mahi Mahi sandwich (I got her hooked on a new fish she never has tried). Mahi seems to be the “local” fish in abundance and it’s delicious. Fresh is best, baby!

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Souvenir store

Food was great and cheap for the islands.

After dinner, we strolled around the property into the cute little souvenir shops. I of course bought my son a “Skinny Legs” onesy.

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Another souvenir shop

A great little spot, that won’t leave you penniless and fills your belly belly.

A definite to visit just to experience the “locals”. They’re a great bunch of people.

The Food is good, the drinks are cheap, and the funkiness is vibing in the air….

It’s like your hole-in-the-wall spot back at home, but far away from home.

I’m in love.