Whistling Cay and Cinnamon Bay

We’ve been exploring.

First, we landed on Whistling Cay.  We toured the former guardhouse.  It was purportedly built or at least used during the period when Tortola had emancipation late 1830s/1840 and the Danish islands did not (until 1848).   Given that Tortola is only a bit over a mile away at the closest point, there were many escapes here.  We’ve read some of the stories.

Guard House on Whistling Cay, USVI

Guard House on Whistling Cay, USVI

The beach is rocky with many great tide pools.  The amount of life in a small tide pool is really amazing.  Usually, my tendency is to walk quickly past these.  Then, I slow down and notice views like this.  Note that this one was taken underwater.

Underwater at Whistling Cay

Underwater at Whistling Cay

We also landed again in Cinnamon Bay and hiked up to America Hill to see the ruins of the estate house.  The history isn’t entirely clear, but it seems it was built in the 18th century.  As things went downhill, the estate house was a ruin in the mid 20th century.

America Hill, St. John

America Hill, St. John

America Hill, St. John. 19 Dec, 2013

America Hill, St. John.
19 Dec, 2013

Here’s the only current resident of America Hill that came out to greet us.

Millipede, America Hill, St. John, USVI

Millipede, America Hill, St. John, USVI

There are also ruins down at the beach level both of a sugar plantation as well as a bay rum factory.  Bay rum isn’t as good as it sounds.  It is a tree.  They used the leaves to make aftershave and “toilette water”.  I’ll stick with Pyrat and Goslings though the leaves do smell good when crushed.

Bay Rum Tree, Cinnamon Bay, St John.

Bay Rum Tree, Cinnamon Bay, St John.

The estate house on America Hill had an amazing view of Francis Bay as well as St. Thomas to the west.

Francis Bay. Hurrah is in the upper left.

Francis Bay. Hurrah is in the upper left.

Though we climbed up 526 ft, the trail was in great shape and had a nice variety of local plants including the native Tyre Palm.

America Hill Trail, St. John USVI

America Hill Trail, St. John USVI

Meanwhile, we remain in the pattern of 6-8 squalls a day.  They don’t last long.  They start out with a few minutes of wind in the low 30s.  Then, it rains for 5 minutes.  Another 10 minutes of sprinkles follow before it wraps up completely.

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