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Archive for July, 2010

Not for Everyone!
You can snorkel around the point at Whistling Cay and return through the passage between the cliffs on the cay.

Whistling Cay St Jhn US Virgin Islands (USVI)

Passage Through Whistling Cay

Whistling Cay Map

Whistling Cay Snorkel Map

There’s a really cool snorkel route around the reef and rocks on the eastern side of Whistling Cay. It’s not for everyone though as you will need to be an experienced snorkeler for this one.

Beginning from the moorings head out north to the rocks on the eastern tip of the island. It’s really a beautiful snorkel, still very colorful and very dramatic.

Instead of returning the way you came, however, you can continue around the point and come ashore on the little passage through the rocky cliffs of Whistling Cay. The water on the north of the cay can be rough and you’ll need to take care climbing on to the island, particularly to avoid sea urchins and corals.

From land you can now walk through the passage and snorkel back to your boat avoiding the slight northerly current that sometimes makes getting back from the rocks on the point to the moorings a little more difficult than heading out.

Whistling Cay Satellite Image from Google Earth

See Whistling Cay Snorkel Blog Entry

See Whistling Cay Website Description

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Sandcastle Hotel, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
The founders of the Soggy Dollar Bar and Sandcastle Hotel are George and Marie Myrick. They first came to the Caribbean and cruised the island- on the Water Lily, a 53-foot motor-sailer, which they ran as a charter operation and for the owners. They then leased Little Thatch and ran a hotel there. They built the Sandcastle in 1970 and ran it for ten years after which they returned to the America and toured the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Belize. The couple, now in their 80s, live in Florida. They wrote a book about their experience called Incredible Virgin Island Adventure (Which I’m having trouble finding.) and have at least one post on their blog.

More Soggy Dollar Bar 40th Anniversary Party videos:

Lets Have a Party

Conga Line

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st. john usvi flora: paddle cactus

Paddle Cactus

Paddle cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica)

Both the fruit and the paddles of this commonly found St. John cactus are edible.

Nopales or nopalitos are the grilled paddles of the cactus. The fruit is also edible, but you have to be sure and get rid of all the spines.

A friend of mine, the Ghost, told me that he knew how to eat the fruit without peeling it first. He ended up with a tongue full of cactus spines and spent the next half hour plucking them out.  I know you shouldn’t be laughing at the misfortunes of others, but I couldn’t control my laughter.

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Soggy Dollar Bar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Saturday the owners of the Sandcastle Hotel and Soggy Dollar Bar celebrated the 40th anniversary of the establishment.

Originally built by George Myrick in 1970, the Sandcastle passed through two more hands, before evolving into it’s present incarnation.

The Soggy Dollar Bar is, among other notables, renowned for the drink invented there by George Myrick, the Painkiller

Anatomy of a Pain Killer:
Caribbean Travel and Life [April 2009]
PAINKILLER
4 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce Coco Lopez coconut cream
2 1/2 ounces Pusser’s rum or dark Jamaican rum
Powdered cinnamon
Ground nutmeg
Shake juices, Coco Lopez and rum with plenty of crushed ice.
Pour unstrained into a tall glass.
Dust with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Garnish with a pineapple wedge, cinnamon stick and orange wheel.
by George and Marie Myrick
Soggy Dollar 1971

Soggy Dollar Bar, Jost Van Dyke, Trish and Jerry

Trish and Jerry, Owners of the Soggy Dollar Bar and Sandcastle Hotel

Liston DJ's

Gerald, Mario and Darth Vader, Soggy Dollar Bar, Jost Van Dyke

Gerald, Mario and Darth Vader

More Videos

Teri and Chin Dancing


Girls Just Want to Have Fun

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St. John Blues festival

ST. JOHN, USVI – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Steve Simon, the creator, producer and Blues Boss of the world-renowned Johnnie Walker St. John Blues Festival proudly announces that the 9th annual Johnnie Walker Blues Festival will have 2 nights of celebrity concerts in the Coral Bay Ball Field…….Friday evening March 18th and Saturday evening March 19th. “With record breaking attendance year after year, we have decided to add another evening of world class Blues under the stars this coming March.  For the very first time the Johnnie Walker St. John Blues Festival will be held on two consecutive nights with two star studded shows,” stated Steve Simon.

On Friday evening at 8:00 pm we will present International Blues Challenge winner Grady Champion and his band, the Superhero herself Ms. Candye Kane and Blind Pig Records recording artist Albert Cummings.

And then taking the stage at 8:00 pm on Saturday evening will be Telarc recording artists Moreland & Arbuckle, the “Queen of Memphis” Reba Russell and her band and then the man who inspired John Belushi to create the Blues Brothers, Curtis Salgado and his Big Band.

Tickets will go on sale right after the 1st of the year and will be available on St. John at Connections in Cruz Bay, Connections in Coral Bay, Chelsea Drugs in the Marketplace and on St. Thomas at Chelsea Drugs in Red Hook.

Advance tickets are $25 for each night or $45 for a two night pass.  Tickets purchased at the gate will be $30 each night.  All children under 16 are admitted free.

There will be $5 safari taxi rides to the Coral Bay Ball Field from the Cruz Bay passenger ferry dock and from the Coral Bay Ball Field to the Cruz Bay passenger ferry dock all night long both evenings.

There will also be a late night ferry from Cruz Bay to Red Hook at 1:00 am both nights.

Food and beverage will be available both nights so bring a blanket or bring a chair but please be cool…….no coolers.

The 9th Annual Johnnie Walker St. John Blues Festival is brought to you by Johnnie Walker, The Lumberyard Complex, Merchants Commercial Bank, the U.S.V.I Department of Tourism, Rotary of St. John, The Gifft Hill School, Shipwreck Landing Restaurant, Rhumblines, The Beach Bar, Sun Dog Cafe, Jeff & Bonnie Simon and Steve and Helen Simon.

For additional information please go to stjohnbluesfestival.com or contact Steve Simon directly at stevesimonlive@yahoo.com or call Steve at 340-643-6475.

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Chocolate Hole St. John Virgin Islands Rainbow

Rainbow
The rain keeps coming.  Not normal July weather here on St. John. Looks like our weather system has developed into a tropical storm, TS Bonnie, heading into the Gulf of Mexico.

Yesterday was clear most of the day and I did get to see a cool rainbow late in the afternoon.

Earthquake
21st July 2010 –An earthquake measuring a magnitude of 4.48 on the Richter scale was felt throughout the Virgin Islands at approximately 8:00 pm July 21st 2010.  The report indicated that the epicenter was located in the Virgin Islands Platform near 18.55 latitude and -64.96 longitude … read more

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Cinnamon Bay Waterfall

Cinnamon Bay Waterfall

A St. John Waterfall
July is said to be one of the driest month on St. John, but not this year.

There has been so much rain this week that the there was a beautiful waterfall which could be easily seen right where the gut crosses the North Shore Road just east of Cinnamon Bay. Check out the video below.

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When visitors come to St. John, they are ultimately expecting to take part in activities such as swimming, snorkeling, beaching and hiking. During these periods of prolonged and heavy rains with thunderstorms, however, the conditions for these activities are poor, to say the least.

For today’s rainy day blog, I’ve put together a list of activities to do in the rain. If anyone can think of more to add to the list, please let me know.

Things to do on a rainy day on St. John

1) Health and Fitness
There are several spas on the island where you can get massages and facials and manicures and pedicures – might be a good time to check it out.
Work out at the gym “Hardware Abs” at the St. John Marketplace

2) Watch a movies
Video rentals are available at Kaleidoscope at the St. John Marketplace

3) Check out one of St. John’s restaurants

4) Curl up with a Book

Books are available  at Pink Papaya Cafe at the Marketplace
Check out the Elaine Ione Sprauve Library

5) Shopping
There’s plenty of shops to browse and good stuff to spend your money on in both Cruz Bay and Coral Bay.

6) Kids of all ages
The game room at the Westin Resort

7) Culture and Educational
Check out some of the art galleries on the island

8) Bars
We have plenty of bars on St. John. Drink up, play pool, play darts people watch or watch the rain fall

9) Try your Luck
Check out some of St. John’s new casinos

10) Do Something Productive
Residents of St. John, who’s day off is a rainy one, might want to use that day to do something productive, clean the house, do a laundry, deal with the bureaucracy or take care of  paperwork

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Blue patch of sky on a stormy Tuesday Morning

St. John weather: squally Tueday

Squall

There was a promising patch of blue sky peaking through the Tuesday morning cloud cover here on St. John. Within minutes, however, a squall came out of the east producing heavy rains and strong gusty winds.

It’s 6:30 am. The internet is down, I image due to the storms, so I’ll post this later on today hopefully. There’s the sound of heavy rain falling on the metal roof and the distant sounds of thunder. The high winds are blowing water under ten feet of overhang porch roof and into the sliding doors, which due to some design flaw, I guess, allows some of the water to be driven underneath the doors and into the house. Towel time.

Leading Edge

Today’s forecast for St. John from the Weather Underground

“Flash Flood Watch in effect through this evening…

Cloudy with numerous showers and isolated thunderstorms. Locally heavy rainfall possible. Highs 89 lower elevations ranging to 82 higher elevations. Mainly southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.”

By the way:
Judging from what’s happening outside, I believe we can make that 70% chance of rain into 100%

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St. John Virgin Islands: Lets talk about the weather…
I suspected that all this unsettled weather would evolve into something. In meteorologist speak it’s called Invest 97, which means that “this area of disturbed weather has the potential for tropical development.”

You can check it out at the Weather Underground website.

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