US Virgin Islands Day 1

Day 1
My trip to St. Thomas and St. John derives from a couple different purposes.  It began with winning an all expenses paid fishing trip to St. Thomas from Fishtrack.com and Otterbox.  Stoked on winning with my now popular Snook Hunters image.  My wife Cristina and I also really needed a little vacation so we extended the trip to include some more exploration on St. John.

The first part of our trip would be just Cristina and I exploring St. John.  We would fly into St. Thomas and a pretty quick flight from Ft. Lauderdale and then rent a car, drive across St. Thomas, get on a car ferry (40 min) and then drive across St. John to Concordia, and Eco Resort I had booked a couple nights with.
I had no clue that driving here would be similar to driving up Mt. Everest.  The roads were really steep and our Toyota Yaris seemed to prefer non inclined surfaces.
FYI, this trip will not include any surfing!  I know thats a rarity on my shooting trips but it will include catching (not just fishing).

We awoke the next morning high on the mountain side over looking Salt Pond Bay on our balcony in our own little studio.  Concordia has no air conditioning and is mostly off the grid!  The cottages all sit on a very steep mountain side where there are stairs lining it to get around.  We really just relaxed this first morning.  Making breakfast from going grocery shopping the night before with our premium priced groceries.  After about an hour, we were done with the relaxation on the trip and were ready to start the adventures.  Oh, and did I mention St. John is 2/3 National Park!

We packed up an hiked a 30 min trail to the beach way down below us.  Coming into the beach we realized we weren’t the only ones there and that there was a parking area near!  There goes our hike in only thought!  We got into the water and explored the entire bay for about 1.5 hours in which I forgot to put my SunBum sunblock on the back and got some tomato action.  My beautiful wife mermaided around while I shot some images.
Back to the beach we chilled out for a while in the shade and watched the tourists be tourists.
We hiked back up to Concordia and hoped in the pool cooling off from the strenuous hike back up (in flip flops).  Made lunch and then headed out in the Yaris, where I now embraced its power by trying to patient when going 2 mph hour up some of the hills.
Cristina’s good friend Jimmy, a marine biologist for the USGS living here gave us a tip on a spot to  go check out of the beaten tourist path.  We headed to Princess bay, lined by mangroves on the one side of the back and a rock face jutting down deep into the little bay creating a very diverse environment to possibly fine many different species of wildlife.  It turned out to be a really neat spot.  A little creepy at times but awesome!  Noseums worth very healthy after eating us upon entrance and exit of the water.
That night we met Jimmy in town as he was having a get together before he left for grad school in Chili.  Long but very productive first day!  Tomorrow starts the real hunting for images.

Ben Hicks
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