By Alain M. Brin
We have traveled the world over in search of soul-stirring adventures. Let us use our knowledge to help guide & create the perfect escape adventure for you in our backyard, “far from the madding crowd”
It’s a sense of adventure that keeps the best relationships interesting.
My wife and I have an unspoken understanding that no beautiful day should ever go to waste in paradise. That means, whenever our schedule allows (in other words, between running one of the top wedding destinations in the USVI, coordinating corporate events, wedding and event photographers and caterers), you can expect us to be off somewhere exploring, hiking, free diving or capturing the essence of the Caribbean in photographs. And there’s no better place than our backyard, home to pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear water and plenty of off-the-beaten-path cays and uninhabited islands. Nearby Hans Lollik, St. John, and the British Virgin Islands, just a short boat ride away, are three of our favorite backyard destinations to truly disconnect, relax and immerse in nature.
Hans Lollik Island
A dreamy paradise island, the setting for so many interesting tales shared by my father growing up, Great Hans Lollick is a private island about 1.5 miles off the north shore of St. Thomas (and Villa Norbu), across the rich blue Leeward Passage. This large island is completely uninhabited and famous for beautiful Coconut Bay, with a powdery white sand beach for beachcombing and rich and diverse coral habitat for snorkeling. Hans Lollik is the ideal island for a day-trip; for picnicking, hiking & snorkeling. Expect to see lots of diving pelicans and hear the occasion bleat from island goats roaming the hills behind the palm trees. Little Hans Lollik lies just north of his big brother, with another stunning beach, remote and private. Both islands are accessible by boat or helicopter.
The smallest of the three main US Virgin Islands, St. John is considered the crown jewel of the territory with the Virgin Islands National Park protecting 60+% of the island from development. With a nickname of “Love City,” this island offers the perfect opportunity for wanderlust “Instagram Dream” adventures. I find the best way to get to secluded beaches & bays is by 4x4 jeep or with a 15-20’ inflatable boat (both of which can be easily arranged). As a professional photographer, my favorite secluded beaches for photography include Salomon Bay, Denis Bay, Scott Beach & Turtle Bay for their remote beauty. Waterlemon Cay offers some of the best snorkeling as the fringing reef on the northwestern part of the cay is thriving with biodiversity and the sand flats on the northeastern part are the home of many sea turtles (mainly Hawksbill turtles, which the Virgin Islands are known for) and bright orange sea stars. Riding by boat to Salt Pond Bay followed by a hike to Rams Head is perfect way to end an amazing day in this island paradise.
British Virgin Islands
Mention the BVIs anywhere in the world and epic accounts usually follow, tales of the Caribbean’s most infamous modern-day pirates, from Foxy (founder of Foxy’s Bar Jost Van Dyke, who was knighted by the Queen of England, but insisted on going barefoot), Bomba (of the Bomba Shack on Tortola), and Ivan (founder of tiny Ivan’s Stress Free Bar, where sometimes you just leave money for your drinks in a basket) to Richard Branson. With over 50 islands & cays, including Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada & Jost Van Dyke, the British Virgin Islands is simply a must-see to believe tropical adventure destination. And yes, you have lots of choices depending on your mood: from empty white sand beaches where you can safely discard your bathing suits and spend a private day on a remote, palm-studded beach, to world-famous beach bars packed with some of the happiest & craziest characters you will ever encounter.
Add to the adventure!
Capture your adventure forever with a Love for Water session with award-winning photographer Alain Brin of Blue Glass Photography.
Enjoy the very best paradise has to offer with an intimate, all inclusive boating day trip adventure in the USVI or BVI, guided by the native island knowledge of licensed boat Captain Raymond Peterson.