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Starfish at Waterlemon Cay

Waterlemon Cay-St. John, USVI

If you consider yourself a snorkeling aficionado, Waterlemon Cay in St. John USVI is your dream snorkeling location. Waterlemon Cay is known as not just one of the best snorkeling spots in the Virgin Islands, but in the world.

What makes Waterlemon Cay (not watermelon) so amazing the fringing reef that surrounds it. A fringing reef is directly connected to a shore, or borders it with a shallow lagoon. This natural formation explains the lush underwater forest teeming with exotic fish, elegant sea rays, majestic turtles,bottlenose dolphin and even sharks.

Depending your point of entry, you’ll see a variety of angel and butterfly fish, parrot fish, and surgeon fish. Turtles, cuttlefish, sea cucumbers, rays, and sea urchins are everywhere, but perhaps the most amazing thing you’ll see are the hundreds of colorful starfish, resting on the sandy bottom like a stunning underwater constellation. Hundreds of brightly colored starfish dotting the white sandy seafloor through crystal clear waters is so amazing, your friends will think you photoshopped those incredible underwater photos you’ll get.

While you can swim to Waterlemon Cay from shore, the best approach is by boat, so you don;t use all your energy before you even get there. The solid mixture of sand and coral rubble bottom goes out about 2/10 of a mile, and then you’ll see the seagrass floating against the gentle current–this is where the sea turtles nest and feed and the sea rays glide through the water. Here, you’ll also see some large parrot fish and schools of blue tangs.

Bottom depths descend to about twenty-five feet on the west and north sides of the reef. Several varieties of corals can also be found on these parts. Although snorkeling at these depths might seem like you wouldn’t see much, think again, because the sea fans and plumes found here give you the feeling of hovering over an underwater forest, filled with vibrant orange, red and purple coral fans. It’s an incredible experience.

A word of caution-an offshore current is frequently noticable around Waterlemon Cay, St. John USVI, especially on the western side. It can be pretty strong, so we recommend you follow the current, and go counter-clockwise around the cay, and be sure you snorkel with a buddy.

If snorkeling is your thing, then Waterlemon Cay off St. John USVI is the place to do it.