Tag Archives: Jost Van Dyke

St. John USVI: A Visit to Jost Van Dyke

It’s been a great week spent with good friends visiting from America. On Monday we left St. John in the rain – because my friend Allan “didn’t want to waste a day” – and jumped in my trusty Carib inflatable and off we went into the squally seas headed for Jost Van Dyke.

Michael and Foxy and his famous photo op pose
Michael and Foxy and his famous photo op pose

We arrived fairly dry and making good time, cleared customs and walked up the stand to Foxy’s, who came down to the bar shortly after we got there.

There’s always something new and exciting with Foxy and this time was no different. Besides being a culture hero of the sailing world, Foxy has devoted much time, money and energy to Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society, dedicated to keeping alive the island’s unique culture.

The latest project has been the building of a traditional island sloop, an educational and cultural project funded by private interests, including a $50,000 donation from country singer, Kenny Chesney.

Over the years Foxy has received numerous awards and honors. A BVI postage stamp features “Foxy’s Wooden Boat Race.” He has been made an honorary “Kentucky Colonel” and now Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has appointed Foxy to be a “Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in appreciation of his contributions to the culture and economy of the British Virgin Islands.

Sometime soon, Foxy and Tessa will fly to London and will personally receive the commendation which will be presented at Buckingham Palace by the Queen herself.

sometime in the less crowded past
Last Monday
Last Monday

Bubbly Pool
After seeing Foxy, it was off to Abe’s in Little Harbour for a lunch of stewed conch, snorkeling at Little Green Cay and at about 4:00 we tied up to the dock at Foxy’s Taboo and walked over to the Bubbly Pool.

The Bubbly Pool that day was a bit of a dissapointment. Not only did the wave action leave a lot to be desired, but the sad truth is that the Bubbly Pool is no longer a little known secret. As we walked towards the pool, we passed by dozens of people coming from there. Upon arrival, there were still quite a few more and it wasn’t even a good day. Oh well, as the philosopher, Foxy Callwood, so often says, “such is life.”

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The Bubbly Pool, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Bubbly Pool Jost Van Dyke BVI
Gerald at the Bubbly Pool-Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin islands

The Bubbly Pool is a small cove located on the north east of Jost Van Dyke. Because of its orientation to the north and west, it normally would be completely exposed to the large breaking waves, we call ground seas, generated from storms and low pressure systems that come from the North Atlantic in the winter. It would be exposed if it weren’t for a line of large rocks that block the entrance to the inner cove such that when a large waves comes rolling in, it steepens as the cove entrance narrows and then breaks over the line of tall rocks. The full power of the wave is broken and a rush of bubbling white water from the wave top enters the pool filling it with white, foaming, swirling jets of sea water, a natural Jacuzzi , so to speak.

I fondly remember the very first time that I went to the Bubbly Pool. I was operating a small boat charter business taking out small groups on “off the beaten track” boating adventures.  On this day I had a special group of clients I really wanted to impress, Tisha Campbell, Thomas Mikal Ford and Tichina Arnold costars of the then popular TV comedy series, “Martin.”

The day of the charter, was cloudy and cool and the ground sea was particularly strong, which wasn’t favorable for snorkeling or exploring remote beaches. I could see that my guests were not too happy about the weather and I decided that perhaps I could take them to Jost Van Dyke and spend some time with Ivan at his campground on White Bay, so off we went.

Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea after all, I thought, upon discovering that White Bay was just about deserted and the bay was all churned up and the skies were cloudy and threatening. Ivan was there, however, and he suggested a trip to the Bubbly Pool as the conditions for that experience were almost perfect. He gave me detailed instructions on how to get there and off we went.

Meanwhile my charterers were getting grumpy and even talking about calling it a day. There we were on the trail to the pool, which was overgrown with scratchy moran bush and I could see that my guests were getting more and more doubtful about the day and about me.

Then we got to the Bubbly Pool. It was wonderful! The waves were very big, but not so big as to be dangerous. This was a new experience for me as well as for them and we all got totally into the spirit of children at play.

The rest of the day went well also. We had a delicious lunch at Abe’s – Lobsters and conch, and then went to Great Harbor and hung out with Foxy.

Some weeks later I got a package in the mail from my new friends – a complete set of “home-boy” outfits from California along with a nice letter thanking me for what trned out to be their best day spent visiting the Virgin Islands.

In those days, the Bubbly Pool was really a secret as you would rarely, if ever find other people there, but now the Bubbly Pool is a British Virgin Islands  National Park and although touted as one of Natures Little Secrets, is not quite so secret anymore.

To get to the Bubbly Pool, go to Foxy’s Taboo at Diamond Cay on the East End of Jost Van Dyke. From there walk along the water’s edge until you reach the mangroves where the trail to the Bubbly Pool begins. It leads you through the mangroves and then up a small rock face to a field of maran bush.  If the pool is bubbling that day, that is if the ground sea is up, you will hear the roar of the waves entering the pool from the trail as you approach the pool.


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St. John Viewed From Afar

View of St. John from a Helicopter
View of St. John from a Helicopter

This photo was taken on a beautiful day when we were preparing our book, St. Thomas. The photographer for the book, Don Hebert, called me and said that if I could make it over to the airport in one hour I could go up in the helicopter with him. He was shooting photos for a client of his and there was room for one more. Being that I had my trusty dinghy ready to go, and a dock space and a car on St. Thomas, this was a possibility. I dropped everything and ran out the door. With luck, and an intelligent route to avoid traffic, I made it to St. Thomas on time and rode with Don.

View of St. John from Sapphire Beach on St. Thomas
View of St. John from Sapphire Beach on St. Thomas

This photo was taken from Pettyklip Point, which juts out from Sapphire Beach, a popular wedding venue on St. Thomas. From the point you get incredible views of St. John, the islands of Pillsbury Sound and out to Jost Van Dyke and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

Sunset View of St. John from Jost Van Dyke BVI
Sunset View of St. John from Jost Van Dyke BVI

This photo was taken from the dock at Abe’s Restaurant in Little Harbour, Jost Van Dyke as the sun was setting in the west.

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