"St. John Beach Guide" a guide to St. John's world class National Park beaches
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Nurse Shark at Honeymoon Beach


Nurse sharks are nocturnal creatures that usually spend the daytime resting under ledges or crevices in the reef. They are generally docile and do not present a threat to divers, although there are some, rather rare, reports of divers being bitten.

Nurse Shark
Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)

Unlike most other sharks that need to constantly move in order to breathe, the nurse shark can remain stationary and breathe by pumping water through their mouths and out gills.

The nurse shark hunts at night looking for crustaceans, mollusks, eels, stingrays and other fish. They often catch their prey that otherwise would be too quick for them by either going after fish that sleep at night or by using suction created by their small mouths and large throat cavities.

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Hairy Clinging Crab (Mithrax pilosus)

Hairy Clinging Crab
Hairy Clinging Crab

I saw this guy clinging to a sea fan on the Trunk Bay Underwater Snorkeling Trail. You never know what you’ll find. Always a treat!

St. John Weather (Rain – Maybe)

DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT
THUNDERSTORMS…THERE IS A CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAINFALL AND BRIEF GUSTY WINDS THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS AND SURROUNDING WATERS.

FLOODING…HEAVY RAINS COULD LEAD TO URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING.

DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY
A TROPICAL WAVE IS EXPECTED TO CREATE PERIODS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS THROUGH EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING IS POSSIBLE WITH THE HEAVIEST SHOWERS.

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Rain – Maybe

driftwoodMaybe

For some reason the word “maybe” reminded me of a day in early June, when I had first come to live on St. John. I was speaking with Basil, an old fisherman,” who was showing me how to make fish traps.

At some point in the conversation, I has used the word, “maybe.” Basil, who was fond of local expressions, interrupted me, and with a mock serious expression on his face, said, “May bee don’t fly in June.

Anyway, maybe some rain, I hope. We do need it!

Here’s what NOAA has to say:

DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT

A TROPICAL WAVE IS EXPECTED TO BRING AN INCREASE IN CLOUDINESS WITH SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE REGION. URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING IS POSSIBLE IN LOCALIZED AREAS.

DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY

ANOTHER TROPICAL WAVE IS FORECAST TO MOVE INTO THE LOCAL AREA BY MONDAY. AT THE SAME TIME…THERE IS AN UPPER TROUGH TO THE WEST OF THE LOCAL ISLANDS. THERE IS TOO MUCH UNCERTAINTY AT THIS TIME SO CONFIDENCE IS LOW…BUT IF THIS PATTERN WERE TO MATERIALIZE…THERE WOULD BE A GOOD CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE LOCAL AREA.

So maybe the May bee will fly this June…

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A Description of St. John in 1888

Cruz Bay dock 1941
Cruz Bay Dock 1941 photo by Jack Delano

St. John is a free port, and its soil is very fertile. Coffee of a superior quality, as well as sugar and tobacco, have been cultivated there to a considerable extent in former years, and might have been to this day, had sufficient labour been forthcoming since emancipation. Its gradual decay may be attributed to this, and to the fact of many of its planters having transplanted their capital and industry to St. Croix and other places. Only a small quantity of sugar is produced on the island at the present day.

Now only the Judge and a couple of policemen represent the majesty of the law in this peaceable and-well ordered island. Dutch-creole was once the prevailing language, many of the planters being of Dutch descent. The population, which now numbers about 900 speak English and is represented in the Colonial Council of St. Thomas by three members, one appointed by Government, and the others elected by the people.

There is no resident doctor; this want being supplied by occasional visits from the Lordsphysicus of St. Thomas. Society is virtually nil, probably on account of the difficult roads, and the distance of estates from each other. It is only on horseback that one can ride on the steep cliffs and mountains of the whole island, and it is not without a certain sense of fear that you traverse some of the pathways, which are cut out of the hill and overlook an abyss of several hundred feet.

Charles E. Taylor, 1888, Leaflets from the Danish West Indies

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