On our third day in Pitcairn, we hiked to a magnificent natural ocean pool called St. Paul’s. The hike sported 360º views of the island including a stop off at the lookout over Bounty Bay where we paused for incredible pictures.
The paths that took us to our swimming hole were lush and quite beautiful; we passed through tunnels of trees and ferns and groves of Norfolk Pines. Towards the end, the hike traversed through a barren landscape of red clay. We eventually made it to a long staircase leading down to one of the most majestic places on earth.
The pool was formed by a natural rock barrier separating it from the open ocean, at the extreme south-eastern corner of the Island. At one end of the pool was an opening where water would flow through – or should we say, “detonate” through. It sported two enormous vertical pinnacles rising some hundred feet out of the water; between these, large waves that had traveled thousands of miles came bursting though the narrow passage with a bang sending water skyward in the most dramatic display of waterworks.
The opposite end of the pool was a rushing river with multiple waterfall rapids waiting to suck out unsuspecting fish or tourists- good thing we were the only ones! The water was a blue that has to be experienced, to be understood; and the clarity was better than a glass of water. The aquamarine blue contrasted beautifully with the red clay in the cliffs towering high above.
A few dozen fish swam through the pools and the coral-studded bottom. Natural jets would erupt from underwater lava tubes filled with trapped air and froth to the surface of the pool; this made a great source of amusement if one sat upon one of the jets.
Swimming here felt like swimming on the edge of the earth… as if straddling the ocean’s might yet safely in the cusp of Pitcairn Island. St. Paul’s left an impression on us that will last a lifetime.