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Posts: 54
Trusted Member
Topic starter

We will be on St. John in April. We have done quite a bit of snorkeling and I was wondering if the snorkeling off the beaches is so good that we might not have to take a snorkeling day trip. We plan on going to several islands via the ferry for day trips.

Also we might want to rent a dinghy for the day and was wondering if they have motors. I know this might sound silly but I can't imagine having to paddle all day- got to save my arm strength for more important things, rum, pina coladas and some nice cold caribs!



Posted : September 1, 2006 10:42 am
Posts: 1

The best snorkeling I experienced out in the islands was from the beach. Its nice to be on your own schedule instead of that of the day trip expedition. You are on St. John! The snorkeling is amazing off of SOO many beaches. Check out for great advice on beaches, hikes ect.

A ferry trip over to Water Island (from Crown Bay STT) to do the bike tour is fun too and the beach is very relaxing, though not as great for snorkeling as STJ (IMO).

A Dinghy does have a motor, so no worries there. That's also a great way to put around STJ and get to some of the less accessible beaches.

Posted : September 1, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 1138
Noble Member

cassidy is correct that great snorkeling is available from many of the beaches on STJ. That said, you can get a different perspective if you take one of the smaller (6) charters that can visit more remote areas. We always recommend Wayward Sailor out of Cruz Bay and have heard good things about White Wing from Coral Bay. Both tend to customize their trips rather than 'travel the circuit'.
My favourite beaches for snorkeling are Francis and Waterlemon Bays. Never disappointed.

Posted : September 1, 2006 1:12 pm
Posts: 1

Try mangrove snorkeling. Sounds gross but really isn't.

Posted : September 1, 2006 1:18 pm
Posts: 1634
Noble Member

Snorkeling is excellent in STJ and STT right off the beach. There are so many things to see. Water is warm, calm and relaxing.

If you do a search of these boards, you'll find numerous beaches that you can go to by car.

Although the snorkeling is excellent off the beach, I still vote to take a trip to the Baths where they will take you differen snorkeling spots. That way you can do it both ways.

Happy snorkeling....we loved it.

Posted : September 1, 2006 1:27 pm
Posts: 1

As everyone has agreed, there's great snorkeling right off most every beach on STJ. I'd suggest you pick up a guidebook. We have and use "St John: Off the Beaten Track" and also "Feet, Fins & 4WD". Both are good, either will do. Good directions not just to a beach, but also to the best snorkeling at that beach. Rent a vehicle, load up the gear and some food and head out. Generally, the further you get from Cruz Bay, the fewer folks you'll have to share the beach with.

I'd second Phil Chalker's Wayward Sailor if you do decide to take a daysail. He's an interesting man. Very knowledgeable. Definitely not a booze cruise, but a great experience for someone who wants to snorkel and learn a bit about the ecosystem.

And, yes, the dinghies do have motors at no extra charge.

Posted : September 1, 2006 1:45 pm
Posts: 54
Trusted Member
Topic starter

Wow! Thanks for all the great replies-love these travel forums!

We are staying at Villa Claudia. I have already reserved 2 4-wheel drives-there's 8 of us going, and am going to order the books you recommended.

I have snorkeled at the Indians and caves, Monkey Point, some little island off of Tortolla and several points in between on our last visit to Tortolla. We have also done Trunk Bay when we were there on a day trip from Tortolla.

This is our first time of staying on St. John and this board has been so helpful, everyone is so good about answering my questions. I know from my previous trips to the Virgin Islands and the BVI's that the information gained from experienced travelers makes for some awesome vacations.

Thanks again, and keep the tips a coming.


Posted : September 1, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 1

There are motorized dingys at the Beach Bar-

Posted : September 3, 2006 11:36 am
Posts: 233
Reputable Member

This is a snorkeling guide that I found done by the National Park Service for the beaches on STJ. I had to enlarge it to print it in a readable format. I laminated it and brought it with us. Here is the link.

We also went out with Captain Phil the Wayward Sailor who took us snorkeling off of little St. James. We really enjoyed snorkeling with him. A very educational experience. He is a warm friendly person with a great love for the area.

Posted : September 3, 2006 3:13 pm
Posts: 1

This is on a separate topic than snorkeling but you mentioned you are 8 and renting two cars. I visited St John and in hindisght we would have been better off renting one of the large open tour trucks. They hold a boat load of people and look like fine and everyone stays together. You might want to look into that if you all plan to tour together.


Posted : September 6, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 274
Reputable Member

I would do the baths and the indians

Posted : September 7, 2006 9:32 pm

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