Located across the Durloe Channel from Caneel Bay Resort, lie the three small cays that make up the Durloe Cays. Henley Cay is the only one that has a protected cove and beach. This tiny cay, rich in history and marine life, should be on every snorkeler’s St John bucket list.
Fed by the currents that run along the channel, the corals off the cay are thick and healthy.
St John is known for its world-class shallow water snorkeling off most of the beaches. This easy access has brought lots of visitors to these shores. And the impact of so many finned feet is evident on most of the reefs along the popular North Shore of the US Virgin Islands National Park on St John. But Henley Cay isn’t accessible from the beaches. It lies across the Durloe Channel. This remote location has provided protection for this amazing marine reef system.
Fed by the currents that run along the channel, the corals off the cay are thick and healthy. And a healthy reef means more fish and a greater diversity of marine life. And that’s what makes Henley Cay so special. There is perhaps no other place on St John where you can snorkel above “forests” of gorgonians and sea fans as thick as this cay. The density of hard and soft corals is truly amazing.
Visiting Henley Cay will require a stop by a local charter, a kayak tour or for the more experienced paddlers … you can rent a kayak and cross the channel. Be advised, the local tour guides and charter boat captains are experienced and know Durloe Channel and St John’s weather. Only the most experienced paddlers and snorkelers should even consider try to reach this location on their own.
Luckily VI Ecotours out of Honeymoon Beach offers professional guided kayaking tours to Henley and Caneel Bay. You can also request that your charter makes Henley Cay a stop on your 1/2 or full day St John snorkeling trip. For more information on charter companies and Virgin Islands Ecotours please see out Getting to Henley Cay page.