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St. John is the most beautiful of all the Virgins, and this cottage is located in the heart of its dynamite views! The boat anchorage of Coral Bay lies dead ahead of us. A little further East the Hurricane holes etched into rugged mountains are clearly seen from our deck. East End continues from Hurricane Holes, and is the eastern most point of the United States. Norman Island and the rest of the British Virgin Islands continue in the distance forming the Sir Francis Drake Channel, all under your watchfcul eyes. The right quarter of our deck is framed by the tallest of St. John's mountains, Bordeaux, which climbs majestically out of the valley. Our tiny settlement of Coral Bay lies directly below, separated by 400 feet of elevation, a distance enhancing tranquility, yet only a stones throw from the action.
Have a taste for local cuisine? Skinny Legs, Island Blues, Cases By the Sea & Aqua Bistro can be checked out right from your deck, affording you 'panoramic coctails', before venturing down to the village. Just beyond eyeshot lies Donkey Diner, Sputniks, Shipwreck, and Miss Lucys where a scrumptious buffet is served Sundays on the water accompanied by live music.
But, forgive me, I became so excited about island life I neglected to describe the cottage and its inception. My wife and I embarked on our honeymoon, aboard our sailboat, ENCOUNTER. We contemplated worldwide travel, but became enamored with the Caribbean, spent months in the Bahamas, visited all of the Windward and Leeward Islands, spent the better part of two years off the Northern coast of Venezuela and surrounding islands. Ultimately we returned to the Emerald Isle of St. John. With luck we purchased property, and with limited resources physically built our little cottage. Its design features outdoor access. One six foot slider and an eight foot slider pockets into the walls in a 12'X16' structure. The result is open air living under a roof. Covered decks help deter driving rain. The shower is another 60 sq. ft. of open air, tiled and privitized with a strategically placed arbor. Our 'ship's wheel chandelier' originated as salvage from a sunken vessel. The roof rafters and collar ties are typically West Indian. Our galley, (kitchen), has everything needed to prepare the family meal, when you're not lured to the local cuisine. Spacious decks surround the cottage as well as the pool, and the sun is easy to catch on those poolside lounge chairs. Evenings cool to the low 70s. Trade winds keep most folks under a blanket even in summer slumber, but an AC unit is installed should you prefer to close the sliders.
Our daughters, Carrie & Jane, accumulated during fifteen years of cruising aboard boats, were afforded a small bedroom below our cottage with one single bed...they thought it was a mansion!!! It is tiled, clean and a great retreat for one person.
Beaches are the highlight of St. John. Trunk Bay is rated #2 in the world by National Geographic, and there are probably two more that are superior to any other Caribbean Beach! The North Shore Beaches are reached within 15 minutes of the cottage. But don't forget to visit Coral Bay's showcase: Salt Pond, Lameshur, and Haulover (great coral).
Key to St. John's pristine tranquility is the National Park which owns two-thirds of the island. All major beaches are managed by them as well as a multitude of hiking trails located throughout the island. These trails connect much of our island's history in the form of Sugar Mills, ruins from plantations dating back to slavery, and cryptics etched into stone from Indian tribes of long ago. It is truly a bonanza for history buffs.
The Hurricane Holes are special. My daughter Jane is currently doing her Masters Thesis on the Coral & Mangroves within its confines. I visit this secluded haven in my kayak often.You are welcomed to use the kayak to venture there and to many other places on island.
The activities list is endless for an Outdoorsmen or Romantic: Sailing, charter fishing, parasailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, beach combing, hiking. What do you want to do? Let's talk about it.
Finally, I'd be remiss not to mention our big city, Cruz Bay. Only 8 miles from Coral Bay one can 'have it all.' Restuarants flourish and pubs overwhelm. How about a 3 hr. Happy Hour, daily, at Woody's with $1.00 drinks. Our two main grocery stores are in Cruz Bay, as well as our only gas station, and a flurry of shops surround the town park. Only thing to remember is that one drives on the left side of the road, and there are no traffic lights on island. Speed limit is 10 mph in town and 20 mph in the country. 'Open container' is permitted while driving, but you must wear a seatbelt....and a shirt while in town. Always say Good Morning before conducting business....the locals will luv Ya! So what's keeping You :o)
May 15th-Nov.15th $145/night-$870/week
Nov. 16th-May 14th $175/night-1050/week
Mini Bedroom: Add $10/nite-$60/week
Please add 10% for VI Room Tax
Note: Until confirmed, rates are subject to change without notice.
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About the owner: Tom & Dee: Our photo is of a typical Friday night at SKINNY LEGS.
We are from Michigan, both of us taught school & coached. I was in the Parochial system 13 yrs... Archdiocese of Detroit. Dee lived and taught in Kalamazoo. Friends introduced us and we were married one and a half years later at the tender age of 40. Our honeymoon was on a boat, cruising....for 15 yrs. We navigated the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, down the Eastern Seaboard, and the Gulf of Mexico. Our lifestyle was funded by stints as waiters, managers & cooks, captain of private vessels, and contractors in the construction industry. Eventually we dropped down into the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico to the Virgin Islands. Our 1st daughter, Carrie was born a year later, 1986, in Tortola. After a short construction stint we continued down the windward/leeward island chain to Venezuela, visiting all those islands in between, and returning a year and a half later to the Emerald Isle of St. John. Jane was born in 1989, also in Tortola. That year HUGO, the most powerful hurricane of the century hit our Virgin Islands. We sustained 150 mph winds most of the night, only to be leveled by three funnels in the morning...our mast taken under water each time. We managed to beach the boat into the mangroves before swimming ashore, a 3 month old baby in one arm and a 3 yr. old in the other. In 1990 we bought property in Coral Bay, and with family members only we built the cottage you're viewing. A year later the main house went up. In 1998 we returned to St. Augustine, Fl...on a boat, for education. Dee and I were able to coach once again, this time with our daughters on the bench. And now our mission is accomplished. Both girls graduated college, while Jane still pursues a Masters in Marine Biology, University of the Virgin Islands. Dee and I have returned to our beloved St. John. With us is our surviving boat cat of 17 yrs. CORAL...All of us are retired :)