Most of my time in St. Thomas was spent on eco excursions and the first was to historic Hassel Island. From the lovely Frenchtown Harbor pictured above, I kayaked with my trusty St. Thomas expert Karen, to Hassel Island.
Now a part of the Virgin Islands National Parks, Hassel Island was originally a peninsula with a narrow isthmus between it and Frenchtown. The St. Thomas Harbour formed on the west by Hassel Island, was the major entry point for vessels sailing the Caribbean. There was once a coaling station for ships to refuel and a marine railway. Today, Hassel Island is a picturesque strip lined with crumbling 17th century forts and because of its tradewind heavy location, lots and lots of trash.
Our group of 10 volunteers spent an hour picking up the bottles, cans,straws and cigarettes that wash up on the island's shore. The sun blazes down on the sand and there's little shade. It was definitely a task of eco love made more lively by the talents of our guide Frank.
A self-taught harmonica player who ripped out hearty blues tunes, Frank knew just the right accompaniment for toiling under the sun.