While located on St. John’s north coast, USVI, this bay is an simple sail from Tortola but make sure you check in with Customs if you’re coming from the BVI. This picturesque, well-protected bay has Watermelon Cay at one end and the ruins of the Annenberg Sugar Mill at the southwest corner. Place your dingy on the sandy beach, and snorkel along the shore and out toward Watermelon Cay after making sure it’s well protected. Just off shore the grass flats are home to sea horses and a number of hamlets. Follow the Cay toward the rocky shore. The reef is named home by schools of grunts, trunkfish, flounder, and parrots. We came across a field of around 100 rusty orange stars at sea on one day. We had the privilege of snorkelling alongside sea turtles and rays on another outing, as well as coming face to face with a moray eel. The bay is very calm, and therefore great on a sailing charter for the inexperienced snorkeler. Visit Maui Snorkel Charters.
The main anchorage on Norman Island is the Bight, an extremely well-protected anchorage which is popular with many charterers on sail. The reef at the eastern end of the harbour, just south of the shore, provides excellent snorkelling. Hook up at the dinghy dock at the Pirates and walk down the beach just past the gift shop a short distance. The reef is remarkably safe along the rocky outcrop, and stretches several hundred yards. Quietly floating over this garden of fans of the sea, sponges, parrotfish, wrasse, elk horn and brain corals is a wonderful introduction to the aquatic culture of BVI. Recently we have spent almost 20 minutes circling over a reef squid school completely fascinated by their prehistoric presence.
Everything suits the whole family, from beginner to seasoned snorkeler. Each of these sites has mooring buoys accessible from either the National Parks Trust or Moor Safe, to protect the coral beds.