Ah our last island. How can it be over so fast? So many gifts left to find in the Caribbean Sea.
St. Thomas. We decide to take the ferry over to St. John with our two favorite Dutchies, Eva & David. There, we'll snorkel at Honeymoon Beach.
Just off the ship and harassed by hard-working (pushy) men assigning us to taxis. How much to the ferry station? $10 each. What? We're pressured. Pushed. Intimidated. Not liking it, we succumb to their demands, pay the money and get to the station (making a vow not to be THAT naive again!)
The ferry ride is quick and peaceful. Gentle azure sea. Gorgeous rocky shores. Colorful homes dot the hillside. Quaint sailboats bob all around us. We reach St. John, just to be bombarded by more HARD WORKING (even pushier) taxi guys. "No thank you," we say.
But the dilemma is now how to get to Honeymoon Beach ALL the way around the other side of the island. Too far to walk. Buses too unreliable here. Sounds a bit like the taxi guys designed the island transport systems.
We get an idea. Let's go ask a ranger. (St. John Virgin island--a National Park!) Rangers are always so...nice. And we're right. We don't need a taxi, or a bus for that matter. Honeymoon Beach is too murky today. We can hike (yes, hike...yay!) to a better snorkel spot for today. Soloman Beach. Aquamarine water. Seems almost photo-shopped. How could anywhere be this serene?
The hike is perfect. We enjoy hanging out and chatting with Eva & David. Finding out all about their life back home. They sail, live near Amsterdam. David's a detective & Eva a teacher. It's so great to discuss life; differences and similarities between countries & cultures. They are truly lovely people. Friends we look forward to visiting in Holland soon--if they'll have us!
Soloman Beach is a dream. White sand. Palms waving. A back float in the water. So light.
David and Eva lend us a snorkel/mask so Dan and I can snorkel together. Great temperature. Warm sea. Gorgeous fish--more pipe and trombone fish, huge schools of angel-types. Red. Purple. Two treasures of the day: a HUGE hermit crab--I spotted a shell bookin it across the white sand bottom. Dan pulls it up out of the water, and HELLO! He pops out, waving his big claws, eyes at least and inch and a half long. He makes me laugh, and every time I do, the mongo-crab hides. He comes out. I laugh. He hides. We do this little dance for five minutes, and he's had enough. Back to the ocean floor. Next we spot a ray--gracefully hovering over the sand. He's got a few companion fish, swimming along, cleaning him and gaining protection. We follow above him and it's peace. It's a nothing-else-matters kind of moment.
Back to shore. Eva & David snorkel. We relax (sleep) on the beach. It's a bit cloudy--but still warm. Still inviting. Still a paradise.
It would be so easy. "Just stay," the ocean calls. "Right here. Forever."
Why did I wait so long to go to the Caribbean?
No responsibility suits us well. But we miss our beautiful kids. Our crazy family. And naughty dogs too much.
Back off the ferry, we evade the taxi guys, and find our way to another "two-dollar" bus. It's a roller coaster ride through town . Yippee! We zip and zoom past the taxis. A fun, cheap, and fast way to get back to the ship.
Time to head north. West. Home.
Taking island dreams with us.