One of the best perks about running a blog in paradise is that I get invited out to do some really fun stuff. Yesterday, for example, I was invited out on a boat trip by Busy Bee Charters. Busy Bee is a boat charter company out of Coral Bay that specializes in trips that circumnavigate St. John. I love a good day out on the water, but it typically involves some sort of debauchery over in the BVIs. So when Captain Bryan invited me out on a wholesome day around St. John, I was pretty excited.
I met Captain Bryan out on the dock in Coral Bay at 8:30-ish. (I was born 11 days late, so that’s my excuse as to why I’m a good five to 10 minutes late for everything in life.) I hopped aboard the Busy Bee, a 26-foot power catamaran, and we headed South out of Coral Bay.
Captain Bryan offers two trips that circumnavigate the island – one includes a homemade lunch served at Newfound Bay and the other includes a stop at Pizza Pi over in Christmas Cove. I opted for the Pizza Pi trip. (Being from Connecticut, I simply cannot get enough good pizza in my life. How many of you have had New Haven pizza? My goodness, it’s delish!)
Almost immediately after getting on board, I asked Bryan if he could find some whales for me. (By now, I’m sure you’re all well aware of my whale obsession that peaks each year between January and March when the humpback whales migrate through the area.) Captain Bryan of course said “sure” but we both knew that would be a hard one to pull off. Or was it…
Our first stop was at Beehive Cove, also known as Tektite. For those of you unfamiliar with Tektite, it was an underwater laboratory back in the 1960s where scientists lived underwater for two weeks and observed fish and other aquatic species in their natural habitat continuously for the first time ever. Very cool stuff. There also happens to be some great snorkeling in the area, which is why we stopped there. I lounged on the boat while the snorkelers snorkeled away. The water’s a tad too chilly to hop into during the winter months for this island girl. Just as the last snorkelers were getting on the boat, we saw a huge splash in off to the South. “A whale,” my friend yelled! No way, I simply didn’t believe it.
But then I looked up and saw something I had never seen before… An adult humpback whale completely breached straight up, out of the water! So much so that we could see the tail! A whale! A whale! I nearly died right there at Tektite! Now you probably are wondering if I got a picture. Well of course not, I was too darn excited and shocked to see it. Plus I was living in the moment. Sorry folks.
Captain Bryan scooped the last folks out of the water and we drove South to see if we could catch up with them. At this point, I think the others guests may have been getting pretty tired of hearing about my whale obsession, but they graciously let me carry on. So a big thank you to all of you on Busy Bee yesterday if you happen to be reading this.
We were cruising South and then turned West for a few minutes when Captain Bryan spotted one right in front of our boat. I had my iPhone in hand and tried my best to get a pic. I apologize but my excitement got the best of me and this was all I could capture: However… Thanks to the iPhone 6+ live video feature, I was able to capture a few seconds before I snapped the pic. Here it is super slowed down:
Again, I am so sorry that I was not able to capture what I saw yesterday, but please know, it was unbelievable cool. And Captain Bryan is now on the top of my “my favorite people on St. John” list because of it.
So after my whale obsession died down a bit, we stopped over in Christmas Cove, which is located behind Great St. James island off of the southwest coast of St. John. It’s called Christmas Cove, according to Captain Bryan, because it’s a protected cove where boaters hunker down when the Christmas winds start picking up, naturally around Christmas time. The snorkelers did some more sight seeing here, and I did some more lounging and chatting with Captain Bryan.
Once the snorkelers got their fix, we cruised over to Pizza Pi and ordered some of the best pizza in the Caribbean. For those of you unfamiliar with Pizza Pi, it’s literally a boat that typically hangs out in Christmas Cove where it serves fantastic pizza. We wrote about it last year. Click here to check out that story. From there we took a quick stop at Lovango Cay and then cruised up the North Shore, around the East End of St. John and toward Coral Bay. Our last snorkel stop of the day was over at Hansen Bay where we happened to bump into another St. John favorite – Angel’s Rest. Angel’s Rest is the USVI’s only floating bar. It’s very cool and we happened to have written about this too back in 2014. Click here to read that story. After a quick cocktail, we jumped back onto Busy Bee and headed back to Coral Bay. I have to say, this was an absolutely fantastic day. Captain Bryan was great, the trip was great, and the whale sighting was simply icing on the cake. I highly, highly recommend taking a trip out with Busy Bee Charters if you’re looking to get out on the water and do something different.
Captain Bryan offers the Lap of St. John with the homemade lunch every Wednesday for just $150 per person. His Lap of St. John with the Pizza Pi option happens every Tuesday for $140 per person plus lunch. There must be a minimum of four people and Busy Bee can carry up to six. All trips leave at 8:30 a.m. at the Coral Bay dinghy dock.
For more information on the Lap of St. John and Busy Bee Charters, please check out their website at www.busybeevi.com