Seeing Magens Bay in the company of busloads of cruise ship passengers, as most first-time visitors to St. Thomas no doubt come to know this most amazing stretch of beach, is one thing. Rising with the sun and arriving here long before the crowds, though, is an altogether otherworldly experience.
Maintenance men rake the sand while public works collects yesterday’s trash. Beach attendants arrange lounge chairs in anticipation of the cruisers to come. No lifeguards on duty just yet. No one to collect the entry fee to the beach either.
This is when the locals come out to Magens; most of them skewing older, all of them availing themselves of the cool and peaceful surroundings to get in a bit of exercise to start the day.
Some run the beach and footpaths that wind around the area. Others walk and catch up on old talk, both in and out of the water. You might even see a stand-up paddleboarder or two efforting atop the calm and gentle sea. Yoga enthusiasts also gather in small clusters in the sand.