Welcome to Day 4 of our 2023 St. John, USVI Travel Study Trip. Today, we had the pleasure of experiencing the beauty of Francis Bay with a seashore walk and snorkel.

Despite the brisk breeze and swells, we made our way onto the limestone shelf rock where marine organisms shelter until they are big enough to live in deeper waters. Although the swells made it difficult to see into the water, we were lucky enough to spot brittle stars, which we all got to hold.

We then headed to the calmer waters of Maho Bay where we were able to see a variety of sea creatures, including blue tang, spiny-finned fish, sergeant majors, and parrot fish. Some of us were even able to spot sponges and brain coral. It was a truly magical experience, and we felt like a school of humans as we swam through a school of bar jacks.

As the sun set, a National Park Archaeologist shared the history of the early peoples of St. John. We learned about the spiritual significance of Cinnamon Bay for people traveling from South America and Puerto Rico, the colonial period when St. John was owned by several European countries, and the sugar plantations run by the Danes until slavery was abolished. We were fascinated by the artifacts from all periods, which helped tell her stories.

To end the day, we shared our favorite watercolor pages and gave each other compliments and suggestions. It was amazing to see the incredible artwork created by our Phoenix School’s EarlyAct Club. Our artists incorporated information about our experiences into their masterpieces like pros.

Join us for more adventures on our 2023 St. John, USVI Travel Study Trip!