Snorkeling Trunk Bay
Trunk Bay's Underwater Trail may seem somewhat overrated, despite its fame, but it is good for beginners, children or anybody who wants to learn about marine life by reading the plaques located about 5 - 10 feet beneath you.
The coral is in suprisingly good shape despite abuse from winter storms and thousands of visitors yearly at this most crowded (but beautiful) St. John Beach.
Fish populations are abundant, perhaps enhanced by illegal feeding activities.
The island's biggest population of puddingwife fish seems to inhabit this bay, which along with Jumbie Beach is a no-take marine reserve.
Beyond the official confines of the trail the reef continues, fringing the western shore of the Cay.
There's not much to see on the Cay's tip or eastern side.
When winter swells are not rolling in, Trunk Bay is usually calm and clear.
The underwater trail is apt to be very busy from 10 am to about 3:30 pm.
Down at the left (west) end of the beach begins a fringing reef (see Jumbie Bay).
This diverse reef is a good place to see tunicates, also known as sea squirts.
This area is popular with tour boat snorkelers.
At the right (east) end of Trunk Bay beach begins a very shallow reef that hugs the shoreline to Windswept, another "private" beach.
The wind further out and the relative beat up look of the coral here may dissuade you from going any further.
Trunk Bay has the added attraction of lifeguards, flush toilets, showers, lockers, a gift shop and snack bar.
Courtesy of Virgin Islands National Park Service
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John "Big Hat" Walsh
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