Best Waterlemon Cay Snorkeling

The 2nd most popular snorkel dive spot in St John.

  St John


  July 14, 2016

Northeast of Cruz Bay and northwest of Coral Bay on St Johns, the snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay (aka Watermelon Key) is popular for spotting marine life such as squid, starfish, sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, southern stingrays, angelfish, parrot fish, four-eyed butterfly fish and nurse sharks. Waterlemon Cay is a small island located in eastern Leinster Bay about 100 yards offshore. Snorkeling to Waterlemon Cay is only recommended for experienced snorkelers.

While most people refer to this area as Watermelon Key, most maps call this Waterlemon Cay.

To reach the Waterlemon Cay snorkeling from Santa Cruz, head northeast on North Shore Road (Route 20) past Maho Bay. Veer left heading to Leinster Bay on the grounds of the ruins of the Annaberg Sugar Mill plantation. Park on Bay View Lane in the plantations parking lot across from the water. The small parking areas get crowded fast. Then, hike east along rocky shore line on the Leinster Bay Trail for about 20 minutes to the sandy beach. Some people leave gear and non-snorkelers here. Then, continue hiking east along coastline to the closest approach to the offshore island before heading into the water. Overall, it's about a 25 minute hike. If you are approaching by boat, the bay gets very crowded and don't count on there being a free public buoy to moor to.

Once out at Waterlemon Cay, advanced snorkelers will want to snorkel counter clockwise around the entire island. The best sights are off the northern half of the island.

To reach the snorkeling on St John by air, you will need to first fly into the island of St Thomas using Cyril E. King Airport (STT). Then, you will need to take a taxi to one of the two docks with ferries heading over to St John.

Note: When snorkeling off St Johns USVI, be aware of potentially dangerous marine life including lionfish and sea urchins. Also, the coral reefs are in distress so be careful not to walk on or touch the coral.

Overall, Waterlemon Cay is the 2nd most popular snorkel dive spot of all 16 snorkeling dives in St John.

Local Contacts:  Virgin Islands National Park (340) 776-6201; USVI Tourism (800) 372-USVI

Best Season:  Any

Average Difficulty:  Difficult

Base Camp:  Cinnamon Bay Campground

Luxury Loding:  Caneel Bay Resort (340) 776-6111

Breakfast Restaurant:  Joes Diner; Tree Lizard, Cinnamon Bay

Reference Source:  click here

GPS:  18.366429, -64.722288

Date Published:  12/25/2011

Date Updated:  7/14/2016

ID:  22924

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