St. John, US Virgin Islands

Honeymoon 2004


















































On May 2nd, 2004, my life took a wonderful turn when I married Susan Arbetter. We fell in love the moment we laid eyes on each other and being married to her has been the greatest treat of my life.

Caneel Bay, May 2004

Our wedding was outstanding, but our honeymoon was truly spectacular. We went to Caneel Bay on St. John and it was the first time I have ever been to the tropics.

We spent several days snorkeling through coral reefs, basking in the golden sun of the tropics, and soaking up drinks made with rum, but there was no way I was going to miss out on such an amazing opportunity to capture images of the flora and fauna of such a beautiful place. So, with the support of my new wife, I brought almost all of my photo equipment with me.


The Tropics Are Dry?

For me, the most surprising thing about St. John was the fact that it was so dry. Like almost anyone, I was of the opinion that a tropical island covered with palm trees would have the feeling of a lush, vibrant jungle.

In reality, most of the palm trees that "covered" the island were only living within a perimeter that was irrigated by the resort. Once I walked any distance beyond the reach of the hoses I was amazed to find the sorts of plants that I normally associate with arid places. I even found cacti growing at the edge of the sea!


Truly Tropical Birds

One walk was particularly memorable for me. On the last morning of our trip Susan decided to sleep in and I decided to go for a hike. It was still fairly early in the morning, which meant the heat wasn't too bad, and I headed off for the Lind Point Trail. I went up a fairly steep path where I ran across lizards, mongooses, a hive of bees, and all manner of prickly plants, and on the way back down I had a close encounter with a bananaquit.

Few birds bring the tropics to mind more clearly than the bananaquit and I consider myself very lucky to have been able to spend almost an hour following this male around until he sat still.


The Calm Blue Waters of the Tropics

The most stunning part of the trip was the landscapes. The Virgin Islands are volcanic in origin and in places there are many little "rocks" out in the water forming an archipeligo. I took this picture at Cinnamon Bay while I was walking on a white sand beach several miles long and completely free of people except for me. It was quite, calm, and tranquil and I can still hear the sounds of the placid Caribbean Sea washing up on the soft coral sand.

I have no idea if I will ever get to go on a trip like that again so I am very pleased that I decided to lug so much camera equipment through customs. I am also very lucky that the weather was so perfect for the entire length of our stay. It allowed me to take photos whenever I wanted and allowed me to share a wonderful experience with my readers.

Copyright 2010 William Danielson