Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tektite/Carabitte Horn Hike and Snorkle

When we go on vacation, we like to do things where we are unlikely to run into other people and go places that not many people have seen. This is why we love going to St. John so much. We have this great book called "St. John Off the Beaten Track" that we use pretty much every time we go, and it always helps us find something new to do on every trip that we haven't done before. This time we spent 2 days finding and enjoying a new-to-us trail. The trail is on the way to Lameshur Bay, but is not maintained by the National Park. It made for an interesting day finding the trail and following it. The main trail was named for the Tektite Project, a joint project in the 1960s involving an underwater habitat. We then picked up the Carabitte Horn Trail Spur, which took us all the way out to the tip of the peninsula.

Photo preface: The lighting was kind of crappy and as a result, the stuff taken with the DLSR/polarized lens lost a lot of the color on the land, and the pictures taken with the point and shoot we borrowed from Chris and Jess are a washout for the water. So combine the two and you get a vague sense of how pretty things really are. Its been a while since we've shot in this kind of setting so we're rusty!

View of Rams Head/Salt Pond Bay off in the distance (furthest peninsula/bay to the left). It was very hazy this trip. September is not my favorite time of the year to go to St. John, but its better than not going at all!
View of the Carabitte Horn Peninsula.
Brad and I with Lameshur Bay, White Point, and then Genti Bay in the background.
Did you know: The cool little fruits that grow on barrel cactus are edible? They look like little pink jalapenos when you pull them out. Nothing special about the taste, but I wanted to learn things you can eat if you should ever get lost on St. John. :-)
Monstrously huge hermit crab!
Gorge at Carabitte Horn. I love places like this, they make me feel small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, while giving a sense of wonder and a feeling of being on the edge of the world.
Feral goats along the point.
The views were spectacular.

Yeah, Brad's more adventurous than me.
HUGE spider. I don't even know, but EW.
Brad taking pictures on the point.

The geology in St. John always defies words for me, especially coming from our pancake of a state. Its just beautiful.

Lone barrel cactus growing on a rock spire.
This video is from two different overlooks along the trail. I wish that the wind were not so loud, so that you could hear how peaceful it was out there--nothing but the waves crashing along the shoreline. Pictures just don't do it justice!

We went home, had lunch and recharged, then headed back--this time to Lameshur Bay to do what is called a "Shore Scramble"--basically hiking along the shoreline. The goal was reach Donkey Cove, which is just inshore of Beehive Cove, where the Tektite Project took place.

This is where we started from. Where we hiked to is between the two rock outcroppings toward the center of the picture. It was an easy hike, just enough jumping from rock to rock to make it fun. If you ever do it, don't wear flip flops--my hiking boots laughed in the face of the lady we passed wearing flip flops!
Cool geologic thing going on with this rock. Again, I'm mildly annoyed with all that I have forgotten about geology since graduating college.
A sampling of the awesome stuff going on along the shoreline on the way to Donkey Cove.

And a look back at some of the stuff we crossed.
There is nothing like getting in the water and immediately finding a sea turtle! Unfortunately as soon as he stopped eating whatever he was going after, he swam away very quickly.

Squid x3and then squid x6!
Cup coral on one of the many walls.
I'm not sure what was more impressive-the geology above or the life AND geology below.

Brad got some great macro shots!
Pillar coral is so cool-something we just don't have Florida.
Closeup of a spire.
Can you find the moray who makes his home here?
And some diadema under.
This was pretty much the last major thing we did on the trip. We spent all day Friday RECOVERING from all of the adventures on Thursday. We briefly went to Francis Bay but didn't take any pictures. We read. We relaxed. We cleaned the house, packed, and went out to eat. A week is never enough.

One last view at St. John, looking back from the Ferry.


Leanne said...

Looks like a beautiful trip for you two!!! Can't wait to hear about it in person! Glad your back:)

Anonymous said...

love the photos!!!! Jess

MonkeyTailes said...

Looks like you had an awesome time! St. John is beautiful!! So glad you had fun!