Meet the Badfish Booty Girls – the fantastic trio behind the up and coming Badfish Booty design and jewelry, which is taking Hollywood by storm.
It was the fantastically whimsical summer of 2000 that planted the seed for the incredible Badfish Booty journey that was to unveil…and still is. The air was ripe with anticipation and endless possibilities. The anthem was Sublime CD’s on repeat until we had to buy new ones due to overuse. It was the feeling that these groovy tunes belonged in our bones, in our souls and we were not quite sure how life existed before the lyrics “summertime and the livin’s easy”. This undeniable chemistry of feeling one with something is the identical magic that brought our friendship closer than Bradley and Lou Dog during this plunge into our teen years. When the three of us would get together, we called ourselves “badfish”, and together we represented the essence of this nickname with pride. We belonged in the water and took full advantage of the curiosity and exploration this new decade was promising.
We are Kate Hooven, Rachel Rife, and Rebekah Rife; a trio of soul sisters bitten by the travel bug who have been trotting California, the United States, and the world together since we can remember. It was long careers as synchronized swimmers that catapulted our friendship, but our vibrant imaginations, love for all things beach and a co-owned jewelry and clothing company called ‘Badfish Booty’ that have kept the bond very tight. Our hopes and dreams are to explore every inch of the world to better understand the diverse and mysterious places so many call home. We feel honored to be able to share with you our journeys, tales and adventures of the destinations that have kept our vagabonding spirits alive and thirsty. We hope that perhaps you feel inspired to check out a Badfish Booty Blog hotspot in the near future.
ST. JOHN ~ USVI ~ CARIBBEAN WONDERLAND ~ LOVE CITY
The United States is blessed to call the US Virgin Islands (USVI’s) their own paradise located in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The USVI’s consist of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. All of these islands are surrounded by many other British Virgin Islands, some so close that it is possible to dive in the water and take a nice swim over to the other side…that is if you brought your passport in a Ziploc. While they are each unique and different the small mysterious gem of St. John has stolen our hearts and we can’t go back enough. Covered in 2/3 Virgin Island National Park, this paradise is rich with life and history. As you cruise on the short ferry ride from St. Thomas to St. John you are immediately greeted with rum shots and friendly locals. The first things one might notice is the diverse eclectic mix of people and that rum that is cheaper than orange juice or milk at the local market. On an island where most things are shipped in, why not stick to the real local product…RUM….and the drink of the island… called Pain Killers! Many parts rum, with a splash of cream of coconut, orange juice, pineapple juice, shaken aggressively and fresh grated nutmeg on top. This drink embodies the cruisy delicious vibrations of the island and with just one sip you may find no reason to leave your hammock or sea foam green Adirondack chair for the rest of the warm humid afternoon. Choosing a beach is easy to do, you can’t find a bad one. There is beautiful Trunk Bay, popular for sunset weddings and its underwater trail. Cinnamon is right around the corner and picks up a decent swell every once and awhile. On Sundays you can catch locals fishing out of volleyball nets from the bushes or teenage boys running skim boarding contests. Really any beach you choose is a fantastic option, just don’t forget your cooler and to clean up after yourself.
On this island a rental car is a must, and with the hilly rugged terrain the best thing to do is rent a Jeep Wrangler. While hitchhiking isn’t frowned upon, it may not be the most reliable mode of transportation. The busier side of the island where visitors are dropped off hosts the biggest city on St. John called Cruz Bay. Here there is a stimulating multitude of bars, amazing seafood restaurants and souvenir shops where everything is walking distance. At nighttime this city comes alive with reggae and other soulful rhythms. Our favorite bar here might have to be Quiet Mon where rasta meets Irish littered with photos of all the good times. The best jewelry store to pick up the local hook ring or bracelet at fair prices is Free Birds and local grub spot is Cactus in the Blue owned by an amazing couple that ditched mainland for the Caribbean dream.
Hitching a ride across the island (8 tuff miles to be exact), you end up at a more colorful local side, Coral Bay. But this journey is no walk in the park. While concentrating on keeping left, passing idyllic mansions of Kenny Chesney or a cluster of Eco-tents, one must also dodge donkeys, goats, hikers, one very large pig and not to mention the Bus that gets the “most creative” award with the middle line. And for the poor soul that gets stuck behind a cement truck on a steep hill…better have the extra insurance! Coral Bay is a destination of gentle souls, pirates, salty dogs, musicians, artists (Annie Caswell and Sloop Jones), philanthropists, professional drinkers and a pretty mellow bunch. The harbor is filled with sailboats, some as homes others as cruisers. Silver Cloud, a 110-year-old Tall Ship, is undoubtedly the landmark of the harbor. This timeless piece built in 1899 and used as a rum runner during the Prohibition, endured sinking in Michigan, being rescued by missionaries and finally being brought to St. John by Elliot Cook Hooper in 1987 (a true descendant of Captain Cook). Upon arrival into Coral Bay, one notices the harbor ahead and fork in road boasting clusters of signs, known as “The Triangle”.
Choosing to go left, you pass a field dominated by either a herd of 50 whining goats or a roaming family of donkeys and on some Tuesdays a battle with the local ultimate Frisbee teams for field space. On your left you have the historical Monrovian Church (constructed in 1750) and an opening to the Johnny Horn Trail, a beautiful jungle-type hike connecting Coral Bay to the “other side”. Here you will also see one of our favorite marina front spots to hang out, Skinny Legs, deemed “A pretty OK place”. Inside you may find yourself bonding with friends over a game of horseshoes and a mouthwatering burger or a Greek salad. The crowd is a colorful bunch ranging from multimillion-air yachters to wayward tourists to your local pot dealer. Once you have had your share of rum drinks you can mosey on out through a couple shops for some local threads. Jolly Dog is home to rasta piratey swag with a kick of Vermont humor. Continuing on past Skinny’s, you venture into the unknown of the East End, the most desolate unpopulated side of the island. With rolling hills filled with hippies and naturalists this slice of the island may be the most pristine, untouched and magical; definitely worth the trek.
Now if you chose to go right at the triangle, you will pass what some call the “Star Wars Bar”, Island Blues. A great place to listen to live music, but on most nights you’ll find some strange looking characters with little to no teeth, generally resembling something out of “The Empire Strikes Back”. A couple trees down, lays Cocolooba shopping center, home to Aqua Bistro and friendly boutiques. Aqua Bistro is famous for its Boston native Chef MJ, the spectacular ponzu tuna he whips up and their great happy hour. In the artsy spirit of Coral Bay, you will find live entertainment on any night of the week. Whether it is the smooth duo of Lauren and Bo (our favorites), the soulful Luba, local Inner Visions, or funky Ish, you will not leave without your ears being serenaded. Continuing on, leaving Coral Bay you will stumble upon a cluster of cars gathered at Salt Pond, an exquisite bay hosting crystal clear water full of fish and Caribbean lobster. Adjacent to the Bay is a huge salt pond where locals treat themselves to a very “organic” smelling mud bath. The mud, heavy in salt crystals, exfoliates and tones your skin leaving it feeling baby butt smooth. Once the spa treatments are done, you can throw on some hiking shoes and head up Ramshead. Mostly popular for its spiritual vibrations on full moon nights, this hike is more like an unchartered treasure map with no clear path directing you up. As the story goes, the slaves led a revolt and were pushed back to Ramshead. They had the option of going back to slavery or jumping the shear cliffs to a rocky, watery freedom. The majority didn’t think there was an option, and they bravely jumped off the rocks freeing themselves from their oppression. With this history, the presence of these souls still echo through the wind and waves.
In addition to Ramshead, the Reef Bay Trail is one you definitely don’t want to miss. Starting off the main road in the middle of the island, it twists through Sugar Mill ruins and jungle, one of the lone St. John beaches with a surf break, Reef Bay, and spits you out at Lameshur Bay, a serene hideaway. One of the finger trails off the main path will bring you to a mysterious freshwater pond. During the right time of year, this pond turns into a cascading waterfall donned with wild orchids and petroglpyhs carved onto the rocks. The origins of these carvings are unknown but some say they were created by the Taino Indians, while others say these markings are closely related to African heritage, meaning, “Plunge in to cleanse and dissolve away impurity and trouble; this is water for ritual ablution before devotions”. Either way, the energy embodied in this water and atmosphere is most definitely positive.
Chartering a sailboat on St. John is a must. The day trip that is vital in our opinion is a nice sail over to Jost Van Dyke, a close British Virgin Island. The mind-baffling thing is that this island has even more clear vibrant blue water due to very little population and pollution. Here the customary thing to do is an all day pub-crawl of the beach-lined bars. Yes this day gets intense but the only way to prepare is to stick a couple twenty-dollar bills in your bathers, jump off the boat and start swimming to One Love Bar. Here get the local fix of fresh blended Bushwackers and enjoy the decor of shipwreck and the kindest family running the joint with no shame in a modest top off of extra rum. Next a light stroll will land you at the infamous Soggy Dollar Bar that boast the original Pain Killer. Maybe it’s their ever so secret proportions or the satisfaction that you get to keep the awesome cups these delicious beverages are poured in, but Soggy Dollar Bar does not disappoint. As you contemplate leaving for the next stop on the beach bar crawl, they leave you thinking, “We are going to come back before our soggy dollar swim back to the boat, right?”
A light swim will land you at the next mind-blowing establishment called Ivan’s Stress Free Bar. The name says it all. Not one employee, just a fully stocked bar, you as the bartender and an honor box to throw in some bucks of what you think you owe. Groovy or groovy? The walls are tagged with writings from all the visitors, and if you plan ahead you can stay at the hostel in the back or bring your own tent to pitch. Perfection. Our best advice for this unforgettable day is to stay hydrated, soak in the simplicity, have a good lounge under the magical trees and plan your sail back home with the glistening sunset. On your way home, stopping at Sandy Spit is a requirement. Ever see those Corona commercials, on pure white sandy beaches with nothing but turquoise water and not a soul around? Well, this is that place. A small little spit of perfection right smack in the middle of the US and British Virgin Islands. Just a couple stops over rests Norman Island. Within its harbors lies an old pirate ship by the name of Willy T. Tie your vessel up to this rowdy sight and let the fun begin. Enjoy some amazing pirate food, but make sure you behave or they will make you walk the plank…for real! And as the rumor has it, there are T-shirts to be won for the ladies that jump off the plank commando…but you didn’t hear that from us! The weather is here, wish you were, beautiful!
For more tantalizing Booty stories, check out the next issue of Superstoked Magazine or visit us at www.badfishbooty.blogspot.com and feel free to drop us a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also become our friend at www.facebook.com/badfishbooty and for all your jewelry and gift needs check out www.badfishbooty.com. Find your treasure….
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This article is available in its original layout in Superstoked #3, which is freely accessible through the link in the top-right corner. Enjoy!
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