7 Days In Paradise. Pt. 2/4; Jost Van Dyke


Before we go

So if you are just joining me on my trip you are picking up in the middle. Why not head back to yesterday and check out the first leg of the journey. The rest of us will move forward; but we’ll be waiting for you at the Soggy Dollar with a painkiller in hand.

Disclaimer: Due to the amount of rum consumed during this leg of the trip the order of events or occurrences may not be as they happened; but you’ll get the gist.

White Bay

White Bay

Onward to Jost

Well on day 3 we woke up and were eager to get going as we were headed over to Jost Van Dyke to meet up with Pinky and Jack Dempsey who had already been hopping around the islands for a week now. So we jumped on the ferry at Red Hook and were off to Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands via Cruz bay in St. John.

Much like this time of year the weather was a nice 85 degrees and there was a small squall line pushing through forcing us to head below to the covered portion of the ferry. We made a quick drop in Cruz Bay of some locals heading home and then turned north towards the British Virgin Islands.

We passed by the northern edge of St. John in between Lovango Cay and Great Thatch island, watching Salomon Bay, Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, and Maho Bay pass by. The morning light was breaking the mist as we passed whistling Cay creating a beautiful aura around the islands. In that moment I couldn’t help but think how much I love it down there and how I know in my heart that is where I will one day call home. I had no idea though how much fun we would have on that northern shore in just a few days. But first we had to tackle Jost!

Cruz Bay Storm

Cruz Bay Storm

The storm had abated and now Jost was clear as we angled towards Great Harbor. We had gotten lucky as we went straight there; typically that ferry runs through Tortola. We pulled in an quickly cleared customs then got a cab over to Foxy’s where we planned to meet up with Pinky and Dempsey.

Face time with Foxy

When we pulled up in front of Foxy’s, the man himself was sitting and talking with a young boy. I had told Pinky to meet us there at 10 so to account for the delays of island time; but as the ferry was working like a fine clock that day we were about 40 minutes early.

So I exited the cab, paid the driver, and pulled out our bags, all the while Foxy is looking at us with an odd look. Elena decided to go about and sightsee in the area in front as she was unaware of who Foxy was; but I knew and took great pleasure in sitting with him for about 45 minutes and chatting as we waited for Jack and Cynthia to arrive. Now for those of you who have actually sat and spoken with Foxy you know how funny and colorful he can be; but he often makes some interesting points and statements. But today he was on a role and had us in stitches despite the onslaught of mosquitos making a feast of my legs. In the interest of length here I am going to skip ahead a tad but if you ever see foxy and his dog; ask him what kind of dog it is. Hint: it’s not a lab.

Sadly Foxy’s and all but Alibaba’s place in Great Harbor were closed during our stay because of the low season. When I ask Foxy if they were going to open he simply said, “If the bartender shows up sure”. But that is just how it works in the islands; especially during low season.

Time for a swim in the pool

Well Jack and Pinky got there and we all sat with Foxy for a few more minutes before we opted to make plans to head to the bubbly pool, which is on the east end of the island past Foxy’s Taboo (also sadly closed). On the way out we stopped and picked up some beer and juice to go with our rum I picked up on St. Thomas. Long story short the trip to the pool involved a walk through the bush and pass rocks painted with directions and warnings of poisonous trees. As described here the “Bubbly Pool” ” is still a closely guarded secret of Jost Van Dyke!!! Nature’s Jacuzzi, this naturally formed tidal pool is located behind jagged cliffs facing the open ocean coming from the North. When the North swell is up, this is absolutely a National Geographic experience as you wade in the pool and fearfully watch as the rolling sea comes at you with full force!!! Just at the last second as it looks as if the wave will go straight over you, the unique formation outside the pool prematurely breaks the wave and the resulting “bubbles” fill up the pool and give everyone a reason to be glad to be alive!!!

Here we spent the first part of the morning drinking and having a relaxing time. So after going through the beers we had and most of the bottle of rum we decided to head back to White Bay where we were all staying. Cynthia and Jack were staying in some great little villas called White Bay Villas that overlook the beach. Elena and I however decided we wanted to camp on Jost so we pitched a tent inside the sea grapes at Ivan’s campground. Neither Ivan, nor anyone else was there, but that was the plan so we went ahead with it. Admittedly it was so damn hot and muggy that night I couldn’t sleep very well, so the next night we stayed at the perfect Pineapple. I will write more on this place later but if you are going to Jost I highly suggest it. No beach views but you are right behind the Soggy Dollar and Gertrude’s; where we ate dinner that night.

White Bay, Painkillers, and sunsets

Following the Bubbly Pool we headed over to white bay, winding our way through the steep roads and switchbacks. I really enjoyed the rides here as there are few roads with a bad view. But once back at White Bay we headed straight to the Soggy Dollar for some lunch and many painkillers. The rest of that day was spent relaxing in the sun, drinking a lot of painkillers (I have the bill to attest to that), and just relaxing as there were only a few boats in the bay or patrons at the bar.

Before nightfall we decided to make our way up the hill on the west side of the island to watch the sun set. I should note here that Jack and Pinky had a jeep the entire time; we haven’t been walking. We may have died. Anyway, we made our way to the top of Saddle Bay point and saw an amazing sunset. Saddle Bay is bordered by steep cliffs that seem to rise from the Caribbean like a fortress wall protecting her from would be intruders. Here, below us at the base of the cliffs where the water was crashing on the rocks, seagulls and pelicans played in the waves and on the upwelling breeze. We sat there and watched as the sunset behind Great Tobago ending our first full day on the island.

After this we ate dinner at Gertrude’s and as this night was the Blue Moon we headed back over to Great Harbor to meet up with some other vacationers to decide on our party plans for the night. But the night was short lived as the ware of rum and sun had taken its toll and things just sort of organically ended. To be honest hear I don’t recall exactly how we wrapped up the night. I guess a little more than pain was killed for me that day; but all in a day on Jost.

Travel tip: During low season call early in the afternoon and place your order for dinner otherwise you may find the places are closed and you will be going hungry that night.

Camping at Ivan’s

At some point we ended up back at Ivan’s in the sea grapes and after a night swim in White Bay we called it a night. The night was hot and muggy and the air was still, and what little breeze there was was blocked by the sea grapes. I would have found a hammock to sleep in if not for the mosquitos hoping I would make such an error. I got little sleep because of all this but I did get to lie there and listen to the waves crash on the beach all night, which was a win in my book. But the sea breeze picked up early in the morning and I was able to get some sleep for a few hours.

I woke up, surprisingly refreshed; I think the sleeping in the salty air has that effect. But the prize was when I was able to exit my tent, take a few steps through the sea grapes, and be on White bay with nobody there but a few boats that had anchored up for the night. For me, this was a really magical experience as I swam in the bay on a deserted beach just a coconuts toss from Ivan’s place. I couldn’t have been happier and I am sure the smile on my face was as wide as White Bay itself.

Somewhere in the sun

But happiness aside I needed a good night sleep and a shower so the pineapple was our next stop. We met back up with our new friends from the day before and the rest of the day though we decided to just relax and was spent laying about in the shade, discussing music and life, and consuming copious amounts of painkillers again from the Soggy Dollar. The rest of that night was spent in good company drinking rum and enjoying ourselves and our lives at that magical place and time.

As this was Labor Day there were many boats in the bay and lots going on at the Dollar. Now again the rum wins the night. We had made dinner reservations at Gertrude’s and planned to meet with our new friends to eat and then head out for our last night on the island. We made our way from the beach to our room at some point that still remains unclear to me. Next thing I recall is being woke up by Elena at 1am. So we called it a night and fell into a drunken slumber to get ready to head to St. John the next day.

On to the next adventure

The next morning we all eventually made our way to the ferry docks to leave the island for St. John. For our new friends we met that weekend as well as Pinky and Dempsey it was the start of their trip home, but for Elena and I it was the start of the next leg of our journey. And St. John would prove to be the best and most interesting part of our Caribbean journey thus far.

Come back tomorrow as we continue on our trip together and explore the island of St. John



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4 Responses to “7 Days In Paradise. Pt. 2/4; Jost Van Dyke”

  1. Corey September 13, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    thanks Shawn…these blogs are great. But what exactly is low season? I’m assuming it is during the summer when there aren’t many tourists around?

    • Shawn Martin
      Shawn Martin September 13, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      You are correct in that one man. Low season runs from April to December and during that time a lot of places close down or cut way back on their schedules.

      On some islands they use this as a way around paying out full benefits to their employees (which many can’t afford to do and could kill them). So they “close” officially but if the kitchen staff/bartender, etc want to come in they are more than welcomed to do so; but it’s off the clock and off the books. But most are just closed or only have a few staff.

      Gertrude’s for example would stay opened if we ordered dinner in the afternoon and came back; but if we didn’t order they’d close down mid afternoon.

      I like low season as it is more relaxing and there is never a wait. To me this is more of the real island as you get a chance to hang out with the locals that typically avoid the tourist areas in high season.

      Glad you liked the post. Cheers!


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