National Geographic : 1966 Jul
KODACHROMEBY JIM HANSEN. JACKSON HOLFPRFSFRVF INr ( N r c Heave ho! Vacationing sailors beach their craft at Caneel Bay Plantation in Virgin Islands National Park. National Geographic Society Trustee Laurance S. Rockefeller donated the first 5,000 acres for the tropical park, which now embraces two-thirds of St. John Island and extends offshore to include a dazzling world of marine life. Snorkelers leap overboard to explore another underwater preserve in the Ameri can Virgin Islands, new Buck Island Reef National Monument. Gliding face down, they drift above gar dens of living coral in waters so clear they can see a hundred feet ahead. They follow a trail marked by submerged signs, occa sionally stopping to rest on giant brain corals that grow almost to the surface. The more adventurous strap on Aqua-Lungs and swim down into the iridescent Caribbean. A barrier reef protects this calm and shal low lagoon, only five miles east of Christian sted on St. Croix Island. The Park Service plans a similar preserve in the Florida Keys, where John Pennekamp State Park already safeguards some of the reefs.