Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wellness Week in St Croix USVI

St.Croix-The Gentle Virgin

Floating over lavender, green and yellow fan coral doing a graceful underwater ballet beneath the turquoise waters of Tamarind Reef, I lost track of time. Blue see-through fishes darted among enormous brain and pipe organ corals. A baby green turtle swam with us for about 30 seconds letting us see his black mottled markings on his head and flippers, then he wafted away. My breath became in sync with the wash of the waves as we glided over the reef balanced on foam tubes called noodles. This was the first day of my wellness week for equestrians with Sharon North Pohl of Zealous Horses fame. She invited me to test drive what I concluded is a week, not just for equestrians, but for anyone seeking to recharge their batteries in the translucent waters of the Caribbean Sea.

The second day began with breakfast at Dirty Nates on the sleepy boardwalk in Christiansted, a colonial town built in the 1700’s overlooking yachts moored in the aquamarine harbor. A seaplane landed bringing in tourists from busy St. Thomas sitting on the horizon. We watched day-trippers boarding boats headed for Buck Island, a marine preserve with a well-marked snorkel trail, and powder white sand beaches. Sharon wanted to hike down to  Jacks & Isaacs Bay, a less-traveled beach on the eastern tip of the Island, with superb snorkeling where we picnicked and lazed away the day.

St. Croix, known as the “Gentle Virgin”, is the largest island in the USVI and offers the most diversity in terrain with a host of outdoor activities that include hiking through a verdant rain forest to tide-pools as warm as bath water for a soothing soak at the end, a sunset sail with outrageous colors taking over the stratosphere, kayaking, and horseback riding along sun-splashed beaches where lapis- lazuli waters kiss the shore. I looked forward to “limin'” at the beach bars after a day of exploring. My favorite was Rhythms on Rainbow Beach featuring lobster salsa and jerk chicken tacos.
Sharon and Lawson at Rainbow Beach

Mornings start off easy with a mushrooming clouds framed in gold and yoga on the beach. A week of adventure, with plenty of time to slosh in the soothing water made my heart sing. Sharon hopes to offer an all-inclusive week in April 2016 when the town comes alive with one of the best carnivals in the Islands. If you prefer independent travel she is happy to help you plan your trip to her beautiful Island home. You can contact her through her website Zealous Horses.

Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, shares Great Outdoor days in L.A, as well as a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon