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Wonders of St. Croix: Buck Island & Turtle Beach

{All of today’s images were captured by iPhone or GoPro}

Buck Island was proclaimed a national park by President John F. Kennedy in the 60’s and all 162 acres still remain uninhabited today.  It’s just a 30 minute boat ride from Christiansted and the cruise to your destination is a nice one as you can see St. Croix from a different perspective.  It’s truly beautiful.  So beautiful that National Geographic named Turtle Beach on Buck Island to be one of the most beautiful beaches and you can see why.

The entire island is a no-take zone {not even shells can be taken back} and is known for its rich surrounding marine life.  The west part of the island is also home to one of the most active turtle nesting sites in the world.  The elkhorn-coral barrier reef is something unique to U.S. waters and is home to 250 fish species and many threatened and endangered ones.  Snorkelers can follow one of only three underwater trails in the United States here.

It’s important to protect the life here {and everywhere} by being mindful when you snorkel/dive.  It helps to keep your head in the water and avoid abruptly standing up as whatever you break off from the coral system dies.  It’s also greatly advised to wear reef-safe sunscreen {my sunscreen is even safe for babies} and allow it at least 30 minutes to soak into your skin before going into the water.  So much of what we apply topically gets washed into our waters and bleaches our coral and hurts our marine life.  It’s also what was reiterated to us on our bioluminescent bay tour.

J snorkeled pretty much our entire stay and he came face to face with a few barracuda.  He also saw Dorie from Finding Nemo and schools of colorful fish and a variety of coral.

Obligatory post rum punch, of course.

 

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