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Honeymoon Bay, St. John Virgin Islands

St. John Beach Guide

(Excerpted from St. John Beach Guide)

Honeymoon Beach, St. John, US Virgin Islands

Why Honeymoon?
Honeymoon and Salomon Beaches exist within the same bay and are separated only by a small rocky point of land. They both contain the magnificent qualities common to all the beaches of St. John's north shore, but they differ from the other beaches primarily in how you get there. You can go by boat, but almost everyone arrives by trail.

Lind Point Trail to Honeymoon Beach, St. John Virgin Islands

Walking along these forest paths gives you the chance to experience the beauty and tranquility of the unspoiled interior of St. John. Although the hike is relatively easy, there is enough of a physical challenge to make your arrival at the beach, followed by a cooling dip in the crystal-clear Caribbean, a sensuous and welcome reward.

Honeymoon Bay St. John USVI

Consequently, if you like the idea of taking a trail to the beach, or if you want to experience the excellent snorkeling described for Salomon Bay, but prefer a venue offering a more traditional experience in terms of beach attire, Honeymoon Bay is a fine alternative. It lies just to the east of Salomon and enjoys the same natural beauty and fantastic views. The snorkeling reef fringes the rocky point between the two bays and is just as easily accessible from either beach.

Getting There
Like Salomon there is no road to Honeymoon. You need to walk the trail or go by boat.

Shortest Walk (steep)
For the shortest walk (less than a half mile, with a descent of 250 feet) to Honeymoon Beach, take Route 20 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.

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 marked with a sign that reads: "To Lind Point Trail." Take this trail north and downhill bearing to the right at the Lind Point Trail junction.

Lind Point Trail

Easiest Walk
The Caneel Bay Resort provides public land access to Caneel and Honeymoon Beaches. Unlike the narrow forest trail that winds down a rocky hillside, the dirt road from the Caneel Bay parking lot is well-maintained and there are no hills to climb. On your way to the beach, you can enjoy the magnificent landscaping that borders the road.

From Town
If you would rather walk from town, Honeymoon can also be reached by taking the Lind Point Trail. It will be a little over a mile from Cruz Bay to Honeymoon. Follow the directions to Solomon Bay, but when you get to the Solomon Bay spur, continue on the Lind Point Trail instead of turning left.

Honeymoon Bay St. John USVI

Facilities
Facilities available at Honeymoon include garbage cans and two portable toilets located in front of an old block and wood structure.

Shade
Honeymoon offers the possibility of shade beneath the large maho tree near the center of the beach or under one of the low-lying seagrapes.

Snorkeling
The excellent coral reef described in the Salomon Bay chapter lies off the rocky point on the west side of Honeymoon Beach.

Tip
Only the reef area on the west is protected by swim buoys, thus allowing boats to come right up to the rest of the beach. As the only north shore beach where this is permitted, Honeymoon Bay has become a favorite destination of day charter boats, which arrive in late morning and depart by mid afternoon.

The View
From Honeymoon Bay you can see most of the islands that define Pillsbury Sound. Looking from the west to the east you will see St. Thomas, Thatch, Grass, Mingo, Lovango, Ramgoat and Henley Cays and Jost Van Dyke, one of the British Virgin Islands. (The word "cay is pronounced "key" in the Virgin Islands.)

View of Lovango Cay

There is a popular but untrue rumor concerning how Lovango Cay got its name. According to the story, there was once a brothel on the island and sailors would "love and go." Actually, Lovango, Mingo and Congo Cays were named after sections of Africa from which slaves were brought to the islands.

The three small cays in the middle of the channel between St. John and Lovango, Henley Ram Goat and Rata Cays collectively are called the Durloe Cays after Pieter Durloe the founder of the Klein Caneel Bay Plantation (today called Caneel Bay).

View from Honeymoon Bay St. John US Virgin Islands

Henley Cay was once known as Women's Cay because during the slave revolt of 1733, surviving white women and children were placed there to await rescue and transportation to St. Thomas. The surviving white men made Durloe's plantation at Caneel Bay their stronghold, which they succeeded in defending against the rebels.

In the 1940s and 1950s Henley, Ramgoat and Rata Cays (The Durloe Cays) were owned by Roger Humphrey, the Marine commandant of the Virgin Islands during World War II. He built the concrete storehouse whose ruins are presently found on Henley Cay. In 1947 Humprey's son, a navy pilot, flew his aircraft over Henley Cay. He apparently was executing some air acrobatics, which he miscalculated, flew too low, crashed into the cay and died. This was the first time a plane had crashed anywhere near St. John. The wreckage of the plane can still be seen on top of the island.

After his son's death Humphrey lost interest in further development of Henley and rarely returned there. In 1948 he rented Henley Cay to Robert and Nancy Gibney, the parents of the present owners of Gibney Beach, who lived there for about a year before building their permanent home at Hawksnest.

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