Some St. John Christmas Names

St. John Flora: Christmas Palm
Christmas Palm Fruit
St. John Sea Creatures: Christmas Tree Worm
Christmas Tree Worm
St. John Flora: Christmas Bush
Christmas Bush

Christmas Palm
The Christmas Palm, Veitchia merrillii, is so named for its bright red fruits that often mature at Christmas time.

Christmas Tree Worm
Spirobranchus giganteus, commonly known as Christmas tree worms, are tube worms belonging to the family Serpulidae.

Christmas Bush
Christmas Bush (Comocladia dodonaea) is also known as Poison Ash and is a relative of Poison Ivy. It has small, overlapping, spiny leaves that turn red with age. This mix of small red and green leaves, has probably led to its local name, Christmas Bush. The active chemical irritant in Christmas Bush is called urushiol, which is also found in poison Iivy, poison oak, poison sumac, cashew nut shells and in extremely small amounts in mangoes.

Christmas Winds
Every year, more or less coinciding with Christmas time,  the jet stream dips down farther to the south, resulting in the stronger trade winds that pass over St. John, locally known as the Christmas Winds.

Update me when site is updated

St. John Music and Weather

Spotted Eagle Ray
Spotted Eagle Ray
(Aetobatus narinari)

St. John Weather

High Surf Advisory Still in Effect – breaking waves on the north side beaches

Partly cloudy with rain showers in the morning, then overcast with rain showers.

High of 82F. Breezy.

Winds from the ENE at 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

St John Live Music Schedule Sunday 12/23

Aqua Bistro
Lauren Jones
3:30 – 6:30
776-5336

Concordia
Bo
Sunday Brunch 10:00 am

Cruz Bay Prime
Mark Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

Miss Lucy’s
Samba Combo
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
693-5254

Ocean Grill
David Laab
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
T-Bird
7:00 – 10:00

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club
7:00 – 10:00

Sun Dog Cafe
David Laab
11:00 am- 2:00 pm
244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

 

Update me when site is updated

St. John News and Happenings

Iguana

New NPS superintendent …Rafe Boulon retires

Changes are afoot at V.I. National Park. A new superintendent will arrive in March and Resource Management Chief Rafe Boulon, a longtime V.I. fixture in environmental science, is the latest in a handful of park employees to retire this year.

The previous superintendent, Mark Hardgrove, retired in August. And park rangers Denise Georges and Delita Roberts, who worked on the park’s contracting department, both retired within the last six months, Boulon said….read more
St. John Weather Advisory: High Surf Today

… High surf advisory remains in effect until 11 am AST Monday…

A high surf advisory remains in effect until 11 am AST Monday.

* Waves and surf: 6 to 9 foot north swells with large breaking
waves of 10 to 16 feet and locally higher.

* Timing: swells will peak tonight… then continue through Sunday
and Monday while slowly subsiding.

* Impacts: dangerous surf conditions with large breaking waves
and frequent rip currents. Localized beach erosion is also
possible.

* These surging waves will also create the potential for beach
erosion during times of high tide.

A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area producing dangerous surf conditions with large breaking waves, frequent rip currents and localized beach erosion.

Local beach goers… and inexperienced surfers and swimmers should stay out of the water until these dangerous surf conditions subside. Persons on the beach should be vigilant for large breaking waves surging upon the shore, which can carry people of all sizes into the ocean. You should avoid being near the shoreline and stay off of rock formations.

St. John Live Music Schedule Saturday 12/22

Cafe Concordia
ISH
6:30-8:30
693 -5855

Castaways
Mikey P 9:00
Dance Party 11:00
777-3316

Cruz Bay Prime
Mike Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

Morgan’s Mango
Luba
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:00 – 9:30
693-3304

Rhumblines
Lauren
7:00 – 10:00

Skinny Legs
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:30 -9:30
779 4982

See Weekly Schedule

 

Update me when site is updated

Anancy Story

Anancy Story

Notes: I don’t know if the tradition continues today, but most of my West Indian friends were brought up with tales of Anancy, the clever spider, who is a character taken from West African folk tales.

“Club” refers to the old Virgin Island custom of family and friends helping one another out when big jobs needed to be done. The one holding club would traditionally prepare food and beverages for the helpers and would be available if called upon to do club work for someone else.

The term “to resen” means, “to baptize”.

The man referred to as Roy is Roy Sewer, then seventeen years old. Roy Sewer was later to become the Island Administrator for St. John and the principal of the Julius Sprauve School.

“Roy…heard the discussion, and heard us speak of Anancy, the clever spider who figures in West African folk tales as a kind of culture hero. That night…Roy brought us some of the Anancy stories current in St. John, all written out by himself. Here is one:

The Club

Once upon a time, there were two spiders, one name Bru Tuckomar and the other Bru Anancy.

One day, Bru Tuckomar said to Bru Anancy, “Bru, would like you to help me cut some wood.”

Bru Anancy said, “Surely. I will willingly help you.”

So Bru Tuckomar said, “I will cook peas soup for your lunch.”

So, when the day came for the wood to cut, he cook the soup before they began to work. After he finish cook, he said, “Let us go to work.” And they went.

About 9: 30, Bru Anancy said, “Lord have marsey, every day resenin’ bastard child! Resenin’ child so!”

But, before they went to work, he hang a pan in the tree and whenever the wind blow, the pan made a loud sound much like a bell.

So he would say, “Bru, I have to go to resen that child.”

Bru Tuckomar said, “All right, you go.” He went right where the pot was and began to eat. He ate one third of the soup and went back to work. When he reach, he said, “Well, I resen the good-for-nothing!”

Bru Tuckomar said, “What the child’s name?”

“Just Begin,” said Anancy.

They work until about eleven and the pan made the same noise. Bru Anancy stop work and listen. Bru Tuckomar said, “I hear a call, Bru. They must be calling you to a next resening.”

Anancy said, “Hell! Then I wish all them damn children would die. Anyway, me go.”

And he went, and he did resen the child! He ate about three fourths of the food and went back.

What this child’s name?” said Bru Tuckomar.

“Half Gone,” said Anancy.

Bru Tuckomar said, “Quare names, indeed!’

Anancy said “Half Gone” because there was less than that in the pot from what there was at first.

So they work and conversed and, all of a sudden, a big wind come and the pan call again for the rest of the food to be finish. Bru Anancy made as if he didn’t hear a sound and Bru Tuckomar said, “Bru, them is call again for you to resen another bastard child.”

Bru Anancy made believe that he didn’t want to go. Bru Tuckomar said, “You know it is your duty to go, so go.”

And Anancy began to swar and say all manner of thing so Bru Tuckomar would think he didn’t want to go. But it was just from joy. He want to make a finishing touch.

He went and all was gone this time so, when he went back, Bru Tuckomar said, “What’s the name?”

“None Left For You!”

“What? None Left for Me! The idear of such a name for a child!”

When the club finish, the two left for food and rest. But, to Bru Tuckomar surprise, the pot was empty. They look at one another.

Bru Tuckomar said, “I know the children had funny names!” and he rush for Anancy. But Bru Anancy, being too fast, side-slip him, and cut his head off with a cutlash.

And since that, spiders never keep club.”

(From the book, Escape To The Tropics, by Desmond Holdridge, Harcourt Brace and Company, NY 1937.)

 

Update me when site is updated

Cas Cay

Cas Cay
Cas Cay

Cas Cay Maphermit crabsCas Cay – Mangrove Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary & Marine Preserve
Cas Cay, at the mouth of Jersey Bay just off the southeastern coast of St. Thomas, is part of the Mangrove Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary and Marine Preserve. You’ll need to get there by boat, if you have access to one, or you could sign up for a tour with Virgin Islands Ecotours for a kayak trip to the cay. There are trails throughout the island that take you through a seaside dry forest and mangrove lagoon to the rocky point with its tide pools, blowhole and sheer cliffs. It’s also a great place to watch seabirds and see huge colonies of hermit crabs.

Update me when site is updated

NPS Closes Eastern Entrance to the White Cliffs Trail

National Park officials have placed a sign at the Europa Bay entrance to the popular White Cliffs Trail.

In response hiking trail advocate, Bob Garrison, has sent the following letter requesting specific information under the freedom of information act concerning the trail closure:

Dear Sirs,
I recently noticed that part of the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John has been closed to the public. The sign indicating this closure is located near Europa Bay and I have attached a copy of a photo taken recently. There do not seem to be any boundary markings to show what area is closed, other than this one sign.

Under the Freedom of Information Act,

1. What are the boundaries of the closed area? If the boundaries are not marked, an accurate map with GPS coordinates of the corners or a .GPX track file of the boundary is requested.

2. What species of rare plants are being protected by this closure? Are these plants on the endangered species list?

3. Who requested that this area be closed?

4. Is this a permanent or a temporary closure?

The area near Europa Bay is one of the most spectacular areas in the VINP. There are a large number of beautiful wild orchids that grow in the area and flower this time of year. The area is one of the more remote parts of the VINP and not visited by many people but there are quite a number of feral goats that live on the steep hillsides and live off the vegetation in the area. These goats cause far more damage to all the plants in the area than a few people walking through the area and enjoying their National Park. There seems to be an ongoing effort on the part of the VINP to corral visitors on a few main beaches and trails. I suppose this is convenient for the NPS, but National Parks were created so that people can enjoy beautiful areas and that these areas be protected for the enjoyment of future generations. Visitors both present and future cannot enjoy a National Park area that is closed to all but a few. There is more to the VINP than sitting on a beach with hundreds of other tourists. Many of us like to explore the more remote sections of the park and enjoy the beautiful scenery, including the plants that grow there. All the US National Parks belong to all the people and not to any special interest group.

If there are rare or endangered plants in Virgin Islands National Park, it would be far better to put a wire mesh (Think chicken wire or stronger steel mesh) fence around the few rare plants than to close the area to visitors. This would protect the plants from the goats and allow visitors to enjoy viewing the plants in their natural surroundings instead of looking at a picture in a book. Again, National Parks belong to all the people and not to any special interest group.

Sincerely,
Robert Garrison
P.O. Box 394
Henniker, NH 03242
rgarrison@mcttelecom.com
603-938-2529

St. John Trails: White Cliffs
White Cliffs Trail

 

Update me when site is updated

Cruz Bay: Post Office Parking

Friday morning and the Cruz Bay Post Office has a line of customers that’s pressing against the door, the counter is piled high with packages and on the floor are four huge mail sacks. There’s one person working behind the counter and another working in the back room. Everything’s moving slowly. Outside in the parking lot, as usual, are several cars parked outside of the prescribed parking areas.

This unusual parking situation has developed in response to the lack of adequate parking in Cruz Bay, such that some Post Office customers will park temporarily, as best they can, while they send and get their mail often carrying packages into or out of the building.

Some sort of social contract has governed this tradition, which has developed both out of convenience and lack of police enforcement to the letter of the law. Specifically the parked car should not impede the flow of traffic around the parking lot and the driver should remove their vehicle as soon as they’re finished with their post office business. Most of the blocked in vehicles are aware of the situation and will wait patiently or ask at Patricks West Indian Delight to ascertain the identity of the driver and their whereabouts of the blocking vehicle if it needs to be moved more quickly. It’s clearly not the best scenario possible, but it has seemed to work out.

But last Friday, for whatever reason police officers began ticketing the illegally parked cars while the drivers were waiting inside the post office and Saturday – No police – no tickets.

Such is life in Love City.

David Wegman Christmas Party
Tall Ship Trading
3:00

Art Show – Music – Treats!!!

St. John Live Music Sunday 12/16

Aqua Bistro
Lauren Jones
3:30 – 6:30
776-5336

Concordia
Bo
Sunday Brunch 10:00 am

Cruz Bay Prime
Mark Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

Miss Lucy’s
Samba Combo
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
693-5254

Ocean Grill
David Laab
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
T-Bird
7:00 – 10:00

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club
7:00 – 10:00

Sun Dog Cafe
David Laab
11:00 am- 2:00 pm
244-971

 

See Weekly Music Schedule

 

Update me when site is updated

St. John Views and Overlooks

St. John Trails: Tektite - Cabritte Horn Point
View from the Cabritte Horn Point Spur Trail


Where to Find the Best Views and Overlooks on St. John

St. John Overlooks: Caneel Bay
Caneel Bay Overlook

Today we’ll talk about ocean view overlooks. Not including that fantastic view from your own house or rented villa, the easiest to enjoy are those that can be had from highway overlooks, like the Caneel Bay Overlook, pictured on the right.

The second possibility for that island panorama experience are the overlooks to be found on the many trails throughout the interior of St. John, some easy to reach, some not so easy. Check out St. John Off the Beaten Track and Pam Gaffin’s, St. John Feet Fins & Four Wheel Drive for invaluable trail and island information.

Cabritte Horn Spur Trail
The Tektite Trail is probably the most scenic of all the St. John trails. Ones you get to the top of the first rise, you’ll be treated to view after spectacular view. While you’re on the Tektite Trail, be sure and take the opportunity hike the Cabritte Horn Spur whose awesome scenic overlooks will rival even the best ones on the main trail.

New St. John Website from Hillcrest Guest House
Link to Hillcrest Guest House Webcam

St John Live Music Schedule Thursday 12/6

Banana Deck
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
693-5055

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
James
9:00
777-3316

Miss Lucy’s
Jazz with Rich and Greg
6:00 – 9:00
693-5354

Morgan’s Mango
Mark Wallace
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

Inn at Tamarind Court
Steel Pan
6:00 – 9:00
776-110

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated