Snorkeling at Trunk Bay

St. John’s Trunk Bay in the Virgin Islands is an ideal snorkeling location. With an average water temperature of 80 degrees year round and clear, calm waters, even beginners will have no trouble exploring the Caribbean.

The visitor’s center at the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John will provide a map which highlights the coral reefs in the waters surround the island. On the North Shore at Trunk Bay, you can begin an underwater trail complete with signage explaining the species found within the reef. The trail leads around Trunk Cay, and by the end of the self-guided tour, you will have an understanding of the unique underwater plant and animal species of the Virgin Islands.

Snorkeling in Truck Bay is completely safe, but there are a few things that you should know before you head to St John Island.

Know how to judge the currents. Sometimes you aren’t aware that you are swimming with the current until you turn around to swim back. Use the movement of soft corals to determine the direction and strength of the current.

Know the underwater threats. Sharks do not interfere with snorkelers. However, there are a few things that do. Sea urchins have spines that are quite painful. Fire coral – and really, any type of coral – should not be touched. Your best bet is simply view the beauty around you and keep your hands to yourself.

Know when to go. Some days, cruise ships arrive and the North Shore becomes overly crowded with cruise passengers lining up to snorkel. Even without a cruise ship full of tourists, Trunk Bay draws a crowd from yacht charter visitors and tourists staying on the island. Your best bet is to arrive early in the morning or late in the day to ensure a carefree snorkeling tour.