The anchorages on St John:
One of the most secluded and seldom visited spots on St John Island, Reef Bay is found within the Virgin Islands National Park boundaries. The area can also be accessed on foot after following the Reef Bay Trail. There are two beaches in the area, Reef Bay Beach to the east and Little Reef Bay Beach on the western side.
This is a large and wide bay that is completely open to the S and unsuitable for prolonged stays. You may also prefer to enjoy the view from the Reef Bay Trail above and watch as the waves crash against the rocky shores. Yacht charters prefer this spot for the secluded nature and privacy it offers. Great swimming along Genti Bay on a small sandy beach. Lots of interesting wildlife.
Anchoring on Reef Bay is forbidden. As you approach Genti Bay closer to the shore there are a couple of mooring balls available for day use only.
Reef Bay anchorage point is not suitable for provisioning. The closest place for yacht charters that need access to fuel and water is the Caneel Bay Shipyard in Cruz Bay further north. You will also find no organized facilities or amenities in the area so best to come prepared.
Things to Do
Reef Bay Sugar Mill Ruins
The Reef Bay Sugar Mill Ruins is arguably the best-preserved site in the Virgin Islands that showcases the history of the United States Virgin Islands. The land was used for cotton production since at least the late 1600s but the Estate was established after the 19th century when the Dutch formed large plantations and sugar production became the main activity on the island. Since the 1960s, the sugar factory ruins and the surrounding area have been under the control of the Virgin Island National Park and are open to visitors.
Near the trail’s end, you will spot ancient symbols carved on the rock. These petroglyphs date back over 1,000 years ago and were made by Taino Indians. The hike through the moist forest grounds from the trailhead to the beach is challenging at certain points and takes 2-4 hours in total. In addition to the sugar mill ruins and lush vegetation, there is a stunning 40-foot waterfall. Yacht charters approaching from the water have the option of mooring close to shore and walking the 20-30 minute hike in the other direction towards the Petroglyphs.