Flounders and Paradise Point
I know, weird subject line. I had 2 questions for the wonderful people of the forums:
1) I just started snorkeling, I am totally addicted, but yet since I am new I know nothing and do not push the limits or risk my life at all. That being said, a couple of days I was at Sapphire, just a few steps into the water, and saw the coolest thing ever! Again, I have not seen much yet as I am still new to this, but I did do the shark encounter at Coral World the day before (which is also VERY cool especially for new people like me that are afraid of everything they see). Anyway, the coolest thing I saw turns out to be just a flounder. I say "just" a flounder, because I was wondering if these are common, especially just a few steps into the water? It was the coolest acting fish ever! I got great video of it too! It like saw me, then ran to the sandy part of the ocean floor and tried to hide. I know I'm just a beginner, but I have seen peoples videos of different rays and there was a pretty big ray in with me during the shark encounter, but this flounder thing was absolutely beautiful! I guess my question is, are these common this close to the shoreline at Sapphire Beach? I did not see any at any other beach I went to, even on St John, but for the last time these are REALLY REALLY COOL! I'm just excited because I caught the snorkeling bug 🙂
2) We tried the drive up to Paradise Point three days ago. We got to the point with the gates. One gate was opened, like you could sneak through with a car, but the other was closed with a sign you cannot miss that says "NO TRESPASSING". Well, I told everyone it was ok, but my buddy driving the car, who also rented the car in his name was freaked out and would not go. If one side is open can you still drive through the gates even though it clearly says "NO TRESPASSING"? And there were 6 cruise ships in and the tram cars were running.
Very glad to be here! 3 of us in my group always said we loved St Croix and just want to go back there, but taking a full week on St Thomas (and St John), WOW! We are really falling in love with it as well! I think I will get one last painkiller and calm down 🙂
Flounders are common but hard to spot. If they are not moving, they are practically invisible.
Your excitement for snorkeling is great! Flounders are common. There are a few types, most common in this area is the Peacock Flounder. They camouflage extremely well, cool to see.
You might pick up a little pocket fish guide, there is good one called "Corals & Fishes Florida, Bahamas & Caribbean". You can read about it and order it on our website at: http://www.vitraders.com/product/21-62.html. If you are interested, and since you are on island, you might look for it at one of the dive shops. There are also some fish id cards, but the little book has brief descriptions and more photos, basically more information.
The gate to Paradise Point is usually open during the day. There have been a couple times in the past where they closed the gates making the tram the only way to get there. Best bet might be to give them a call and ask if the gate/road access is open.