In my last post, I promised to tell you about my second magical snorkeling experience on a recent trip to St. John. We packed the Jeep on a gorgeous day and headed north to Maho Bay.
After parking our chairs in the white sand (under a sea grape tree for shade), we watched a baby lemon shark cruise the beach at the shoreline. Apparently, it was something of a local celebrity (or so we were told).
A shark sighting before we entered the water – this was going to be a good day.
We excitedly donned our snorkeling gear, readied the cameras, and headed to the north side of the bay underneath the Maho Bay Camps.
There’s no reef in this particular spot, so we swam out to the sea grass beds where green sea turtles are known to procure their afternoon snack. We were lucky enough to spot several of these beauties…
…as well as a few Southern Stingrays…
…and a conch or two.
I was pretty satisfied by that point and could happily have swam to shore, but I still wanted to explore the area beneath the camps. That’s when this foray turned into one of the best snorkeling experiences of my life.
As the water darkened, I realized I was swimming into an enormous bait ball (easily the size of an Olympic swimming pool, or maybe two).
The water was teeming with life like I’ve never seen. And then the tarpon came to feed.
Every few minutes I would hear a crashing noise and look up to find one of these guys staring at me. The pages of National Geographic were coming to life right before my eyes.
The tarpon kept coming – growing in number. At one point we estimated at least two dozen.
Here is a short video of the experience.