Wednesday, April 21, 2010

St. John (Day 4)

Today we drove out to another bay we'd not been to: Lienster Bay. A bit cloudier today so maybe that's why it looked so unpromising. It seemed very rocky and dark, so we skipped it and went to another new bay: Maho Bay. Maho Bay is pictured in this post (it's a big pic so be sure to open for a closer look).

Maho Bay had a very nice beach and, as you can see, we were virtually alone for the early part of the day. In fact it never really picked up. This may be because the snorkeling wasn't really all that good (or that parking was really limited and chickens climb on the jeeps). Despite the lackluster snorkeling, we did have one great sighting. Jim spotted a hermit crab the size of a dinner plate, complete with a big, spiny conch shell on his back. He looked wicked!

As I was swimming, I stood up to adjust my mask when someone from the beach called out to ask how the snorkeling was. I looked up to see...lesbians! They were very nice, and we traded a few bay stories. They told me a giant stingray had been in the water swimming in the opposite direction as Jim and I. That's a metaphor for life, ain't it?

We didn't spend too much time at Maho, so we went back towards Lienster Bay to hike around some of the Annaberg Sugar Plantation ruins. St. John has ruins of sugar plantations all over the place, but these were the least ruined we have seen so far. What bothers me about some of these places is the tendency to sugarcoat what was going on. I mean, they don't hesitate to say that labor was slaves or anything like that. However, Annaberg has a room called 'The Dungeon' that was found with a post and shackles in one corner. It was here that (so the placard said, and I'm paraphrasing): 'severe discipline was dealt'. Can't we just say 'where the slaves were whipped and tortured'? After all, we all know what went on. I may be getting picky over language, but what's the harm in being upfront about this stuff? I noticed they hadn't yet found time to replace the post and shackles as part of the upkeep of the ruins.

After the ruins, we went to Cruz Bay for lunch. We chose J.J.'s, which is an open air bar right next to the ferry and what functions as a sort of town square. The place is full of hardcore tourists arriving from the cruise ships (you know the kind of people I mean) and chickens. The two groups make sounds that are often indistinguishable from one another but, luckily, there was a kettle drum player to listen to. Good burgers.

Back to Andante for - you guessed it! - siesta, tanning, pool, tanning, dinner, book, bed. I was looking a bit red today, but that just means a tan is in my future. Despite some of the snags, it was yet another beautiful day!

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