Mega Yacht Al Mirqab Visits St. John

Al Mirqab visits St. John
Al Mirqab

The steel, 133 meter long (437 ft) mega yacht, “Al Mirqab,” anchored off Great Cruz Bay, St. John US Virgin Islands. The mega yacht, owned by the Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister – Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Than, accommodates 60 guests and 60 crew members.

Features: one helicopter pad, 2 Jacuzzi,one modern cinema, water jets, one bar, and one small speed boat.

Total engine power output 13400 HP /10000 KW. – Cruising at a speed of 21 knots. – Top Speed: 23 knots. –  Gensets: 5 times 3345 Kw. – Thrusters: X2. – Beam: 19.5m/63.98ft. – Draught Maximum: 5m/16.4ft.

Looks like security watching us, watching them.

Watching us, watching them

Is that a weapon on his belt?

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St. John Virgin Islands News

JetBlue takes off from Boston to U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The sights and sounds of the U.S. Virgin Islands greeted travelers at Boston’s Logan International Airport this morning as the Department of Tourism showcased VI culture in celebration of JetBlue’s first flight to the Territory from the continental U.S… read more from South Florida Caribbean News

Best national parks to visit during winter
By Elaine Porterfield , contributor

Lots of folks know about Yosemite’s festive lodges in the winter, the excitement of viewing buffalo in the snow at Yellowstone or alligator spotting in the Everglades. Emphasis on lots of people. But there are a number of other lesser known national parks that are gems in the winter, when crowds are down, stargazing is amazing and temperatures range from temperate to pretty terrific.

“Some of the beauty of going to any of the parks in the wintertime is that you’re not going to encounter the crowds you would in the summer or fall,” said Kurt Repanshek, editor of National Parks Traveler, a website devoted to the national parks.

Slideshow: America’s lesser-known national parks

Repanshek, who has had a lifelong passion for preserving and protecting national parks, says some of the most memorable visits he’s made to many of the parks happened in the off-season. One of his faves: Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John. The park includes 5,650 acres of submerged lands that protects beautiful coral gardens and seascapes… Read more

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St. John and Virgin Islands News

Virgin Islands Tourist Arrivals Up, But Spending Down
…Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean actually increased in 2010, with 23.1 million more people choosing to stay “over-night” versus taking a cruise and spending a few hours at a port of call.

This has not, however, translated into a return to pre-2008 incremental spending by tourists.

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) are a prime example of this.

Located close to fellow US territory, Puerto Rico, and one of the Leeward Islands, the USVI consists of three main islands. Saint Croix, St John and St Thomas, along with the much smaller Water Island and several other minor islands.

During the recent Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) conference in St Thomas, USVI Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty, said per visitor expenditure have decreased even as arrival numbers increased over the last year.

In addition, many of the people who do take a Caribbean vacation spend less time here than did prior to the global financial crisis. The drop in spending is likely due to the origin of USVI visitors and their new economic mind-set, with many now choosing to save rather than spend and others just not having the “extra” money to spend on souvenirs and special tours while on vacation… Read more

Extention of Maho Bay Camps Lease – Miami Herald
Maho Bay Camps on the island of St. John has received an extension of its lease through June of 2013, giving the eco-friendly resort at least two more winter seasons. Owner Stanley Selengut vows this will be the last short-term extension: “We will either get a long-term lease which will allow for some wonderful capital improvements and investment in new technologies or close at the end of the lease in June 2013”

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St. John Relay For Life Press Release

St. John Relay For Life: Lighting a Path Towards Hope

The Luminaria Ceremony is the soul of the Relay For Life. At 9:00 PM on February 11th at Julius Sprauve School ball field, Cruz Bay, St. John, we will quietly remember those whose lives have been touched by cancer. Candles in white tribute bags will line the track, each bearing the name of your loved one. In the soft glow of the candles we reflect on the courage and strength of all who are affected by cancer.

Your donation of $5.00 will ensure a light in honor of your loved one. Remember a loved one lost, and honor the survivors

For many people who attend Relay For Life, one of the most moving parts of the event is the Luminaria Ceremony. As the lights dim over the field and team member’s complete laps, the night is brightened by the glow of lighted bags called Luminaria, each of which has a special meaning. Some Luminaria celebrate the survivorship of people who have battled cancer and lived to tell the tale. Many commemorate the lives of those who have been lost to this disease. All represent a person who has been profoundly affected by cancer and the family and friends who continue to be touched by that experience.

Please light a candle in support of or in memory of a friend or loved one who has had cancer. Your contribution will help save lives, give hope and empower people through the American Cancer Society and its lifesaving mission.

Luminaria bags will be available for a donation of $5.00 most Saturday and Sundays mornings at the Marketplace and the following Saturdays at Post Office, January 7, 21, and February 4. Just look for our Relay For Life sign. You can make a $5.00 donation for a Luminaria at the St John Community Foundation Office at the Marketplace, or by calling Karen Radtke @ 779-4419. Luminarias  are also available on our website at

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