I got a fun filled day on order for you. So get up early at Sopra Mare or Bordo Mare, pack a cooler with drinks (don't forget your water), load your snorkel gear, a swim noodle or two, towels and of course; my Tommy Bahama Beach Chairs (nothings too good for my guests). Oh, and by the way, bring two small re-sealable baggies. You should be ready to hit the road by 8:00 am.
First stop at Sam and Jack's Deli located in Market Place two floors up from Starfish Market. Get at least one of their great sammies - I like the Uncle Peep or Sammy Hammy, whatever, they're all great and huge. Now to the beach! Today, I've chosen Francis Bay below.
This beach is a little harder to get to and it's out on the East End, but definitely worth it. Take the North Shore Road past all the National Park Beaches and curve around after Maho. The road divides - remember to "Keep Left." Keep going and you will come to a Y - keep left in about a quarter of a mile you'll see the entrance. Take the bumpy dirt road to the end. You've arrived at Francis Bay. Assuming you started out early you should easily get a good parking place and a picnic bench for your stuff. I like to snorkel on the right side where the rocks are - lot's of fish and turtles popping their heads up pretty close to shore.
Don't leave your Sam and Jack's sandwich on the table. The mongoose love to steal your food. Best to leave in your cooler until your ready for breakfast and wash it down with a good frosty cold one. See on St. John, no one thinks you're an alcoholic if you start drinking Heineken at 9:00 am and nothing goes better with your Sam & Jack's than a morning beer.
Ok, after spending a couple of hours here til 11:00 am or so you need to pack up. Hey, but it's your day, so do what you want but we got other places to go, see and experience. Let's get moving! Retrace your drive but at the Y now go left and keep left. That will take you up a steep and winding road, good thing you got a Jeep. At the top of the hill, at the intersection turn left and go past Colombo's Smoothie Stand. By the way, great place to get a smoothie and you can add your own rum. But not now.
Continue downhill past the donkey's in the middle of road. If you stop they definitely will put their heads into your vehicle for a photo shot. Great for pics, but please don't feed them, occasionally they can get aggressive and really they shouldn't eat "people" food. You are now entering Coral Bay keep straight past the firehouse and Skinny Legs and about a half mile on the left you will see a shack and I mean shack. This is Vie's Snack Shack on Hanson's Bay. For many years I never stopped because I thought it was just a roadside 7/11 and not worth the effort. Boy was I wrong!
Now Vie and her shack have been a Hanson Bay establishment for a lot of years. She use to make the best fried chicken and conch fritters on the island. But after years of smelling like grease she quit making them a while back. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have great food. Park and get an order of beans and rice with her delicious meat sauce, one order should do it for two of you. Pay her I believe $2.50 each for parking and her beach access. Unload the car, take your drink cooler, snorkel and noodles if you packed them. Vie is only open Tuesday - Saturday so best you give her a call the day before to make sure she and the beach are open for business. (340) 693-5033
Its time to use one of your two baggies take the other with you. Lock your car and hide the key in the baggie around the vehicle. See these electronic Jeep keys don't float and it will cost you a lot of walking and at least $250.00 to replace the key if it gets wet, which would be an unexpected and unpleasant adventure.
While your eating beans and rice look out about a hundred yards and you'll see a yellow house floating on the water with a sign that says "Bar." Yep, that's right a floating bar only reached by boat or swimming. This is "Angle's Rest" owned by Captain Pete Hoschl. After you do a little snorkeling off of Vie's Beach grab you gear, put your money in the second baggie and snorkel or use the noodles and swim out.
Now this 40' houseboat is a blast. Many say Pete makes the best rum punch on the island and I certainly don't disagree. Pete is a hoot with lots of stories and he'll keep the drinks coming. Get up on top, enjoy the sun. There likely with be a varied group at Angel's Rest comprised of locals, tourists and boaters. Best to leave by 4:00 pm and swim back cause Vie locks her beach gate at 5:00 pm and you don't want to be climbing through or over her fence especially if you had more than a couple of rum punches! Again call a day or two ahead to make sure Pete will be in Hanson's Bay the day you plan this adventure. He sometimes takes private parties out and about. Give him a call at (340) 514-6270.
Now it's back to the villa, use the outdoor poolside shower, grab a libation, get in the pool rest your elbows on the pool's edge with a smile or your face and reflect on an amazing day as you watch a great sunset over the islands. Phew, I'm tired just thinking about the great day I just described above.
As expressed in my last newsletter I am attempting to move away from VRBO and have my website up and running at stjohnoceanfrontvillas.com where of course, you can book either Sopra Mare or Bordo Mare without any "Service Fees" as charged by VRBO, Flip Key or Airbnb. However, both villas are still listed with VRBO. For Bordo Mare 465589 and for Sopra Mare 251854. Also, look for me on Facebook as I just got the page up and running. You can find the link at the bottom of the page.
It's not too late for summer reservations. I have ten nights at Sopra Mare beginning June 30th to July 11 and August right now is pretty much open. There is a 25% discount for Saturday to Saturday during my value season of August 13th til the end of September.
Don't forget if you just mention this newsletter I offer a 5% discount and of course, if you are a returning guest regardless of time between my villas I give a greater discount.
If I sent this newsletter to you twice just email me back and put duplicate in subject line and of course, if you don't want to receive future newsletter do the same and put "delete" in the subject line.
Until Next Time!
Mike Mullen - But everyone just calls me "Mulley"