Wednesday

St. John, U.S.V.I./Kayak Surfing!

Well, after all the excitement of paddling around, going on treasure hunts and getting engaged it was time for a vacation! So with that said, it was off to St. John, an island in the Carribean that is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Because the island is a part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, you don't need a passport to go there if you are a U.S. citizen. Still, a passport is never a bad idea if you plan to do any traveling. St. John is a smaller island and does not have an airport, so unless you plan to sail there on your own boat, you'll need to fly into St. Thomas and take the ferry over to St. John. It's a beautiful island and still somewhat unspoiled, which is why me and Starr loved it there.

Here is me and Starr as we first arrived on the island after taking the ferry over!


We stayed at a campground called Maho Bay which had what I would call cabin/tent hybrids. Here you can see the wonderful view from our room! It was definitely nice waking up to this view every morning! We didn't want to leave, and I'm sure you wouldn't either.


We took a ton of pictures while we were there, but most won't be shown here. We got some awesome underwater shots and we went to a different beach every day we were there and snorkeled a different reef every day we were there. But, what would a vacation be if we didn't take some time to go kayaking? We went out kayaking on the most windy day of all the days we spent in St. John. We rented a tandem kayak and headed out to a little island that looked interesting to us. They call the island Whistler's Cay and it was about a mile or mile and a half from the beach we left from. This is a nice shot of the back of Starr's head and the island to the left is Whistler's Cay.


This was an abandoned little shack or something on the island, and one of the main reasons we wanted to paddle over so we could check it out. The surf was pretty rough on this day and made for an interesting approach to the small beach area there by the shack, but we made it just fine.


Now that we made it, it was time to do a little exploring and check things out a bit. This was our transportation for the day. Yes, we were not faithful to Conch Crusader and Floridays, but they were simply too big to fit in our luggage.


After a bit of exploring, Starr found these interesting rock people that someone had put there. It's said that people make these to ward off evil spirits, but I'm guessing this was just for fun.


Another pic of the small shack.


Here's Starr showing the terrain we were dealing with on our little hike.


This is another shot of our kayak for the day.


We finally decided to head back and when we got back we started chatting with the guy who owned the kayak rental place. He asked us if we wanted to go surfing and we agreed, thinking he meant surfing on a surfboard. To our surprise, he actually meant surfing on a kayak! Huh? Apparently after doing a little research when I got back to the States, this is a pretty popular sport. It also seems there are even special kayaks made specifically for kayak surfing. However, we were going in the same tandem Ocean Kayak that we paddled to Whistler's Cay. Since I can't remember his name, the guy who owned the kayak rental place will be known as "the guy". Here is me and the guy as we were heading out for some kayak surfing.


It's kind of hard to see, but this is me and the guy riding a wave.


Basically kayak surfing is just like surfing on a surfboard. You paddle out, wait for what looks like a good wave, them paddle your ass off till you catch speed with the wave and ride it into shore! The only difference is, when you're paddling out over some big waves, you cannot duck under the waves like you can with a surfboard, you can only ride over the top of a big wave. You are a lot more at the mercy of the wave, and you do not want to have to try to paddle through a big wave as it's breaking. Good luck staying in your seat! The other thing is, when riding the wave, you have to lay back and use the paddle to keep the boat from turning and flipping right over. This is a pic of me and the guy, going back out to catch some more waves!


I have to say, being completely unexperienced at kayak surfing, I got my ass worked by some big waves on that trip! But, I had a blast at the same time! It was an awesome experience and, I would love to go kayak surfing again soon! If you ever get the chance to, do it!