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Feather Duster Worm (Sabellidae)

feather duster wormThis creature has always fascinated me. When I first saw one, I thought it was some sort of underwater flower, and I was certainly surprised to find out that it was not only an animal but a worm. What looks like the flower’s petals are tentacles, which filter plankton from the seawater for food and increase the amount of oxygen that the worm can absorb. When hungry fish or a snorkelers finger come too close the tentacles retract to the safety of the tube that gives the species the name, tube worm. If a fish is faster than the worm and bites off some tentacles, the worm will regrow the lost parts. The tube is fashioned from parchment, sand, and bits of shell that is permanently affixed to a rock, coral or some other substrate by a sticky mucus secreted by the worm.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

USVI athletes vs. the world

St. John Weather

Mainly sunny to start, then a few afternoon clouds. Hazy. High 81F. Winds E at 15 to 25 mph.

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St. John and Virgin Islands News and Happenings

VI Olympic Academy

VI Athletes at Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China

VI Athletes head to the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China

 Five young athletes from the U.S. Virgin Islands are heading to an experience of a lifetime at the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Carlos Rosa and Ajai Sweeney will compete in Beach Volleyball. They are from St. Croix. Scott McKenzie, from St. Thomas, will compete in sailing. Also in sailing is Paige Clarke, who is from St. John. Kohun Eugene, from St. John, will participate in athletics.

At the airport on Monday morning the young athletes expressed excitement and nervousness. Scott McKenzie said; “I am really excited to see how I’ll do against the other athletes.” Carlos Rosa and Ajai Sweeney added that they were excited about experiencing a new place and culture. And for Kohun Eugene he expressed that it was a dream come true. He explained; “I was sleeping when my coach called me with the news that I had qualified to go to the Youth Olympic Games. When I was fully awake, I called him back to make sure that he had actually called and it wasn’t a dream.” Kohun added that he was excited about everything; “the sports, the culture, the new place, meeting other athletes.”

The Youth Olympic Games are an elite sporting event for young athletes from around the world. The sporting program is based on the Olympic Games, with 28 sports featured in the Summer Games. Unique to the Youth Games is an integrated Culture and Education Program that focuses on Olympism, Social Responsibility, Skills Development, Expression and Well-being.

For updates on Team ISV at the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China follow the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee’s Facebook page.

Sephardic Jewish families of St. ThomasCARIBBEAN GENEALOGY LIBRARY Presents:

Tracing Your Jewish Roots
Sephardic Jewish families of St. Thomas and their Caribbean Migration, A Workshop by Rob Upson
Sunday, August 17th, 2014, 2:00 p.m. At the Caribbean Genealogy Library
Al Cohens Plaza, on Raphune Hill, St. Thomas, Library is next to Mango Tango.

Learn About:
Tracing your Jewish Roots ~ Resources available at CGL including rare books, microfilms, family trees and more ~ Sephardic Jewish families of St. Thomas and Caribbean migration ~ Workshop of particular interest to genealogists and historians
For More Information Call: (340) 714-2136 or visit us online

Hearing to be held on Coral Bay marina

The hearing will be held on Wednesday, August 20 on the second floor of the legislature building in Cruz Bay from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

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banded coral shrimp

Banded Coral Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus)

barber pole shrimpTI photographed this banded coral shrimp along the eastern shoreline of Hawksnest Bay, heading out from Openheimer Beach.

Also known as barber pole shrimp, the banded coral shrimp are cleaning shrimp that eat the parasites off of passing fish, waving their antennae to attract any fish that want to be cleaned.

According to Paul Human’s Reef Creature Identification: “when approached, they retreat into protective recesses. If a bare hand is slowly extended toward the shrimp, it may leave its retreat and even attempt to clean fingers.”

I have to try this!

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Rampant credit card fraud in V.I. most likely cybercrime

Report: National Parks brought $73M into V.I. in 2013

organic eggs


Organic eggs “discounted” at St. John Gourmet and Dolphin Markets

Hallelujah! The price of organic eggs has gone down from the previous $13.95/dozen to only $9.95/doz. It’s expensive to eat healthy on St. John.


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St. John and Virgin Islands News & Events

Little Change to 93L

St. John Live Music Schedule

Boat Mishaps Illustrate Threat to Environment

Concept for New St. John School Unveiled


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 lemon shark great cruz bay  lemon shark Negaprion brevirostris  lemon shark

Fun facts about lemon sharks

St. John Music

Music Schedule Monday 7/28

St. John News

invest93Invest 93

Friends of National Park Launches New “Villas for the Park” Program

Wayne’s Word: In search of pelicans on a Caribbean vacation


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St. John Gourmet Almond Butter

Yummie! Almond Butter available at St. John Gourmet!

St John Prices

But the price ain’t nice! ($27.85)

Online Price

But there is an option ($11.99)


Looks good, but pricey

When I first came to St. John, the availability of food besides fish and locally grown produce was limited to say the least. All you could count on was salt fish, a big block of cheese and Saltine crackers. A lady came from Tortola with fresh vegetables once a week and we’d have occasional visits by a schooner from Puerto Rico loaded with fruit and vegetables.

Now we have three supermarkets and several convenience markets. You can even get organic stuff, but you better check prices before you decide.

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firewormBearded fireworm, Hermodice carunculata

The bearded fireworm is a slow creature, and is not considered a threat to humans unless touched by a careless swimmer. The bristles, when flared, can penetrate human skin, injecting a powerful neurotoxin and producing intense irritation and a painful burning sensation around the area of contact. The sting can also lead to nausea and dizziness. This sensation lasts up to a few hours, but a painful tingling can continue to be felt around the area of contact. In a case of accidental contact, application and removal of adhesive tape will help remove the spines; applying alcohol to the area will also help alleviate the pain. Cold water and ice soothe the pain of the poison that was injected from the bearded fireworm. More information


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Turtle at Maho Bay

Green Turtle - Maho Bay, St. John USVIOne of the attractions visitors seem to look forward to most is snorkeling with a sea turtle. In the past, this was a hit or miss thing. You needed a bit of luck. Now however, with a little patience, you’re just about guaranteed to have a turtle experience snorkeling over the Maho Bay seagrass beds.

St. John News

Starwood Caribbean Hotels & Resorts is offering a Sunsational Savings deal, with savings of up to 30 percent. The deal applies to four properties in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico (San Juan and Vieques Island). For example, at the Westin St. John Resort & Villas, pay $285 per night and receive a free fourth night plus a $100 food and beverage credit. Add 10 percent tax. Typical rate is $410. Book and travel by Nov. 20. Use promo code ZS4. At the W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island, receive a free third night and a $100 credit. Rates start at $409 a night, $100 less than the usual price. Add 9 percent tax. Booking and travel dates: Aug. 13-Nov. 1. Use promo code SS3R. Info: 866-716-8147,

Virgin Islanders Must Go to Puerto Rico for Emergency Passports

St. John Weather

Isolated thunderstorms during the morning hours, then skies turning partly cloudy during the afternoon. High 82F. Winds ESE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

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isopod Anilocra laticaudata

An isopod Anilocra laticaudata on a Spanish Grunt

Anilocora are usually about an inch long. They have a segmented body with seven pair of legs. See SnorkelSTJ for more information

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.


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More About Land Crabs

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Sunny, with a high near 80. East wind 18 to 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

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Brought to you by Gerald Singer, St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)