Hurricane Hole at St. John’s East End is a great choice for paddleboarding on windy days. Hurricane Hole is the place where boats seek shelter in a hurricane and no matter how windy it is anywhere else on the island it will usually be calm and flat at Hurricane Hole.
How to get to Hurricane Hole
From Cruz Bay take centerline road towards Coral Bay. At the intersection with the colorful signs do not turn right but keep going straight, past Skinny Legs and then Estate Zootenval. Continue along the road until you pass the National Park sign and mile marker 10. Shortly afterwards you can park your car close to the water and access the bay in an opening between the Mangrove trees.
Hurricane Hole is fringed by Mangroves. Mangrove trees play an important role in the coastal ecosystem. Mangroves are tropical trees that have adapted to survive in salty, muddy, wet environments like the waters of calm bays or on the edge of salt ponds which are normally not good for plants due to low oxygen and high salt in water.
They have arch-shaped roots that start from the tree and bend over into the water.
Mangroves help protect the coast line from erosion and just like Saltponds they trap sediment that is washed down from the land and like this protect reefs (which need clear water, coral reefs and seagrass cannot survive in cloudy water). The roots of the Mangrove trees act like a filter, they trap the run-off and prevent it from flowing directly into the ocean. There are many microorganisms living off this debris and the Mangrove leaves, turning it into food for a wide variety of fish and other sea creatures.
Hurricane Hole Mangrove Snorkel
while the idea of snorkeling among Mangroves sounds muddy and buggy but it is a very rich habitat where can see lots of sea creatures: Spaghetti worms, upside-down jellyfish and much more.
It is advised not to wear fins to not kick up sediment or get tangled. Check out the amazing video below by Gerald Singer.