St. John Beaches: Salomon Bay

Salomon Bay
Map-9Why Salomon?
Although Salomon is every bit as beautiful as any of St. John’s incomparable north shore beaches, this unconventional access, keeps the number of visitors down and insures a more intimate beach experience. Additionally, if you’ve come by ferry from St. Thomas for the day or are staying in Cruz Bay, you won’t need to rent a car or hire a taxi to get to the beach.

 How to Get There

 Hike from Town
Take the Lind Point Trail, which begins at the National Park Visitors Center in Cruz Bay.

Parking
For those who arrive at the trailhead by car, finding a place to park near the trail can be difficult, to say the least.

Now the Virgin Islands National Park offers a solution, of sorts. Hikers bound for the Lind Point Trail can go to the National Park Visitors Center located just across the street from the trailhead and obtain a parking permit that allows them to park in spaces reserved for the park employees. You’ll need to show the attendant at the center your drivers license, which they will hold until you get back. They will then issue you a sign for you to place on your windshield.

Be aware that empty employee’s parking spaces are limited and are often unavailable, and that parking anywhere else on the street will put you in danger of being ticketed by enforcement rangers.

If you opt for permitted parking, make sure that you return before the Visitors Center closes to get your license back. (The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Park back wheels to the curb, windshield facing out towards the street and enjoy your hike.

The Trail
From the trailhead, it will be a little less than one mile to the beach at Salomon Bay. When you get to the fork in the trail, you can go either way.

The lower trail is slightly shorter and less hilly. On the other hand, the upper trail is often better maintained and more scenic, passing by the beautiful Lind Point Overlook.

From either the upper or lower trails, take the spur trail to Salomon Bay, which will be on your left and leads downhill.

Combining a Drive and a Walk
For a shorter walk (a little over a half mile, but with a descent of 250 feet and the consequential ascent later on) to Salomon Beach, you can use the Caneel Hill Spur Trail.

Ttake Route 20 (the North Shore Road) past Mongoose Junction and up the hill. Turn left at the top of the hill where there is a blue Virgin Islands National Park sign.

Parking
Immediately on the right hand side, is a parking area for approximately four vehicles. Park here if you drove.

The Caneel Hill Spur Trail intersects Route 20 and is clearly marked with a sign. Take this trail north and downhill to the Lind Point Trail and turn left. Then take the first spur trail to the right, which goes down the hill to Salomon Beach.

The Name

Salomon Bay was named after the brothers Jannis and Isack Salomon, The Salomon brothers, were Dutchmen from a prestigious family, who came to the Danish West Indies from Statia in the early 18th century. They dedicated the Salomon Bay property to the production of cotton.

salomon bay kids
Salomon Beach is now more family friendly
Salomon Bay anti Nudity laws
Lacking federal anti-nudity laws the Park enforces Territorial Law

Old Reputation
At one time Salomon had the reputation of being a clothing optional beach. In 1997, a federal court decision allowed the Park, a federal entity, to enforce Virgin Islands territorial laws prohibiting public nudity. With continued enforcement, nudity was discouraged and today only old time residents remember the days when Salomon was “clothing optional.”

Snorkeling
Some of the finest snorkeling on the north shore can be found on the reef between Salomon and Honeymoon Bays. This easily accessible, shallow water snorkel can be thoroughly enjoyed by snorkelers of all experience levels.

Salomon and Honeymoon Bays can be reached via the Lind Point Trail or from the Caneel Bay Resort.

Visitors arriving from the Caneel Bay Resort will be subject to a $20.00 parking fee that will be waived for those spending money at the resort’s facilities.

Snorkeling equipment, as well as single and double kayaks, standup paddleboards and beach chairs can be rented at the Honeymoon Beach Hut. Cold drinks ice cream and snacks are also available for purchase. Other facilities available at Honeymoon Bay include rest rooms and lockers.

Most of the reef lies in calm shallow water with some sections even rising above the surface at times of extreme low tides, thus snorkelers should make an extra effort to avoid situations where the water is too shallow for them.

The coral reef here is in relatively good condition and the reef community is colorful and diverse. Snorkelers will encounter intricate coral formations and lots of fish with different varieties arriving at different times of the day.

Snorkeling in the center of the bays can also be a worthwhile experience. Stay in areas protected by swim buoys to minimize danger from dinghy traffic in the area. Here, the environment is sand and coral rubble. You will have to look more carefully to find interesting activity, but there really is a great deal of life here. The hills and holes on the sea floor are formed by eels, worms, shrimp, clams and crabs that make their homes on this underwater beach.

Snorkeling just off the beach is also a good way for beginners to get practice before attempting to snorkel over the reef where there is a possibility of danger to both the snorkeler and to the reef from accidental contact.

The reef on the east end of Honeymoon around the point between Honeymoon and Caneel Bays is also a good snorkeling area. It’s closer to the beach and smaller than the more extensive reef on the other side of the bay. There are always a lot of fish here as well as some excellent examples of colorful elkhorn coral.

(Excerpted from St. John Off The Beaten Track)

St. John and Virgin Islands News

New ferries are one inspection away from starting service
By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 8, 2014

ST. THOMAS – The two new passenger ferries still are awaiting a final Coast Guard inspection before they begin to take passengers to and from Red Hook and St. John.

The vessels, named Red Hook I and Cruz Bay I, were delivered to the territory in November and were supposed to be in operation by the end of 2013.

At first, a problem with insurance policies delayed the start of operations, but now the only thing holding up the boats is the final coast guard inspection, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said….

…The ferries are 85-foot aluminum catamarans, each of which can carry about 250 passengers and are loaded with state-of-the-art features. The current ferries in operation belong to Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services, the companies franchised to run the St. Thomas to St. John ferry route.

However, the two new boats will belong to the V.I. government and be operated by the franchisees. At the end of January, Smalls said he expected the new vessels would be operational for the public by the end of February.

On Friday, Smalls told The Daily News the last piece to be put in place is the final Coast Guard inspection and certification of the franchised operators.

Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said Friday that the inspections done in Louisiana, where they were built, were for sea-worthiness.

“These two ferries have already been inspected and received documents of inspection good for five years,” Castrodad said.

However, when the boats came to the U.S. Virgin Islands, they passed out of one port zone and into another. That requires another set of inspections, these more specifically geared to the operator.

“They will go over some drills on the proficiency of handling the vessel,” Castrodad said.

The drills will include an “abandon ship” exercise, a “man overboard” rescue and other safety and security drills, according to Castrodad.

The only obstacle is scheduling a time for the inspections with the Coast Guard and the two ferry operators…. read entire article

Vice President Joe Biden and wife visit St. Croix
By JOY BLACKBURN (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 8, 2014

ST. CROIX – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, again are visiting St. Croix.

Information from the White House Office of the Vice President indicates that the Bidens are visiting the territory Friday through Sunday, with no public events scheduled.

It is their second visit to the St. Croix in just more than two months. The Bidens last visited the island for a holiday vacation from Dec. 27 through Jan. 1.

They have quietly visited the territory around holiday time more than once in recent years, initially on Water Island and, more recently, on St. Croix.

Suspect Arrested in Women’s Murder
By Source staff — March 8, 2014

A 24-year-old woman from St. Thomas was found dead at about 10:15 p.m. Friday in a car in Tutu Valley, according to the V.I. Police Department, and one man was later arrested and charged in the crime.

Adisa Bertrand, a 34-year-old resident of Chocolate Hole, St. John, was charged with first-degree murder and other charges….

IMG_0544St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 75. East southeast wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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