Despite being born and raised in St. Croix, just 42 miles to the south, I haven’t experienced much of what St. Thomas has to offer. Twice I made day-trips – the first to play tourist with my mom, the second for one singular business meeting. On two other occasions I visited to compete in soccer tournaments. There were also a couple of additional business trips too, but mostly my time here has been spent transiting to St. John or the BVI’s.
What little time I have spent in St. Thomas has certainly never included any real serious exploration of its undersea environs, something I may have to re-think for my next visit. My inspiration: the photo above.
The image was snapped by our photo-friend, Hiral Gosalia. If you’ve been with us for awhile, you might remember the nine things he gave us to love about St. Kitts awhile back. Hiral’s most recent Caribbean travels have taken him to St. John, the BVI’s, and St. Thomas, where he was fortunate enough to enjoy a little snorkeling at Coki Beach.
Located along St. Thomas’ northeastern shore, a good bit removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown Charlotte Amalie, Coki Beach has built a well-earned reputation as a snorkeler’s paradise over the years. Judging from Hiral’s photo, the undersea experience here is akin to swimming in a fish tank – a nice, clean one at that!
Like a lot of things in St. Thomas, though, Coki Beach is pretty touristy. Coral World, one of the must-attractions during that earlier visit with my mom, is right there. Vendors on site hawk all manner of souvenirs, and it can get pretty crowded when cruise ships are in port. (When aren’t they in St. Thomas?)
On the flipside, though, I hear there’s also a nice local vibe here, with St. Thomians and visitors alike flocking here for the sun, fun, and undersea show.
Either way, Hiral has me intrigued. After all, I didn’t get very far in my search for St. Thomas’ uncommon side during my last visit. Next time, at least I’ll have a good new place to start…
* Lead photo credit: Hiral Gosalia (hiralgosalia) via Flickr.