Island Vacation Day 6- People! WaterLemon Cay is NOT a theme park!

Our day started with a beautiful sunrise, pink, yellow and white with the sun bright in our eyes through the villa bedroom window. We talked over breakfast about where we wanted to go. We talked about how on our first visit to St John 6 years ago we had hiked the Leinster trail.
It is a flat 0.8-mile trail that follows the shoreline of Leinster Bay just outside of Annaberg plantation. It leads right past Water Lemon Cay and we had not snorkeled there on our first visit. We remembered our prior hike as a quiet trek we did after visiting a vacant Annaberg. We walked over a wide and easy trail with one boat moored in the bay to visit a peaceful, empty and serene beach six years ago.
So we all agreed a nice peaceful hike and then a refreshing snorkel was a great activity for the day. We packed up our snorkel gear, a cooler to leave in the car with drinks and snacks and grabbed some towels. We needed ice so we volunteered to go pick it up in Coral Bay and meet the rest of our group after.
In Coral Bay we picked up the ice, put it in the cooler and decided to take a “road less traveled” back up Rt 20 instead of taking Rt10. The road goes past the Love City Mini Mart and is paved, until it is is no longer paved. We had a 4 wheeling fun trip up and when we were almost to the end we saw a woman on the road with a very large dog and a pet goat. I’m not sure who was more surprised, us or her, as I am fairly confident that she does not see many cars on this road. The road came out right next to the Columbo Smoothie stand- if you drive by there, it is very difficult to spot where the road comes out, but we popped up and over and right on to the continuation of Rt 20 and over to the parking lot at Annaberg.
Well let me tell you the shock upon arrival! My how things have changed………a lot! The parking lot was totally full with cars double parked and the road lined on both sides with cars. This was very different from any other visit we had made to Annaberg. We parked on the roadside and met up with my 2 brothers and then started our hike.
As we walked we met several groups and couples, I was just in disbelief of the number of people. I commented to one woman as we passed about the crowd saying I thought it was quite unusual. She and her husband were just coming back and said, “yeah it’s like Disney World of St John out there- too crowded to even get a good snorkel.” As we continued we understood what she was saying. The beach was full, every mooring, and I think there were at least a dozen was occupied by a boat and there were tourists clothing, bags, shoes and towels hanging from branches everywhere along the shore. There were people, kayaks and dinghies on the shore of WaterLemon Cay. She was not kidding! We set down our towels, popped on our snorkel gear and dropped in the water to at least try to see some fish. After having 3 people swim into us and fighting a fairly strong current we decided that this is not really the “peaceful” snorkeling experience we are accustom to and after about 30 minutes we decided to dry off and hike back. We watched a large group of 10 file past us, they had beach chairs, coolers, beach toys, noodles, and bags of food and towels. I’m not sure where they thought that hey we’re going to set up, but I don’t think that they realized that this area is not a sandy and open beach. It is a trail, with large boulders, a rocky beach and path that is narrow and currently well traveled by many. By the look on some faces of this group, they were a bit annoyed at whomever had the idea to take that hike.
Back at the parking lot we had a snack and talked about how unusual it was to see so many people. We all needed some peace and quiet so we headed back to the house. Our dinner that night was a beautiful prime rib we had brought from home in our checked cooler. The meal was amazing, and we hit the pillow early as we had a big day of snorkeling on our “lap of St John” planned the next day with an early start.

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