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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)

asparagus

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, www.starwoodcaribbean.com.

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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There’s a lot to see just off the beach

Honeymoon Bay offers three different snorkeling opportunities. The most commonly snorkeled area is the reef on the western side between Honeymoon and Salomon. It’s one of my favorite snorkels. You can also snorkel the reef that lies on the opposite side of the beach between Honeymoon and Caneel Bay, which is also quite beautiful with colorful live corals, sponges and tunicates. For those that prefer to stay in shallow water close to the beach, snorkeling over the sandy bottom just yards off the beach can also offer unexpected rewards, such as sightings of pompano, crabs and rays.

Spanish Grunt

Spanish Grunt

geometric encrusting tunicates

sea fan and  geometric encrusting tunicate

gobi

Gobi

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St. John Brewers co-founder Chirag Vyas greets ultramarathon paddle boarder Shane Perrin as he comes ashore for a brief respite at Bolongo Bay

Ultramarathon Paddle Boarder Circumnavigates St. Thomas, St. John to Kick Off 2015 Adventure Challenge
From Andrea Milam

Paddle boarding has earned its place as a leisure sport in the Virgin Islands, with young and old alike taking to calm bay waters as a means of sightseeing and exercise. But no one had attempted to continuously circumnavigate St. Thomas and St. John — until June 14 and 15, when professional ultramarathon paddle boarder Shane Perrin took on the extreme challenge.

The 71-mile adventure took Perrin 33 hours and 57 minutes to complete, including the single hour of sleep that he stole during the early morning hours on Honeymoon Bay. Perrin is sponsored by Vertical Oar, a hub for stand up paddle boarders founded by J-P. Pesare, a childhood friend of St. John Brewers co-owner Chirag Vyas, along with his two partners Rafael Mercado and Rick Fitzpatrick.

“We’d had discussions with Vertical Oar about doing something unique in the V.I.,” said Vyas. “We wanted to showcase the potential for ultramarathon paddle boarding here in the islands.”

Perrin’s grueling adventure began at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 14, when he launched from Cruz Bay beach. He crossed Pillsbury Sound, then headed west along St. Thomas’s south shore.

“When I turned the corner on the west side of St. Thomas near Mermaid’s Chair, it got nasty and I was just flat out blasted with wind,” said Perrin. “There were headwinds and nasty swells, and if I stopped paddling I just went backwards at a pretty quick pace. After leaving Hull Bay, there was cross chop bouncing off the rocks and just washing me all around.”

Perrin took brief respites at various beaches as he made his way along St. Thomas’s north shore before heading back across Pillsbury Sound for St. John — in the middle of the night.

“Coming back toward Cruz Bay, there was a nasty wind coming through plus ferry boat traffic, other boat traffic, and huge swells rolling across,” said Perrin. “I hit the worst area when I couldn’t read the conditions well, so instead of timing things like I can during the day, it was more just reacting to the waves that came. The moon definitely helped, but I fell in a lot.”

Perrin continued on with his circumnavigation of St. John, again facing difficult conditions at Ram Head before meeting up with Vyas and the Vertical Oar crew at Salt Pond Bay for a brief moment of relief. He then paddled about three miles offshore to take advantage of a downwind that helped him complete his journey back into Cruz Bay, where he arrived at 4:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

At that point, not only did Perrin remain upright, he joined a cocktail hour in his honor at Motu, where he chatted with patrons. Perrin’s extreme paddle boarding adventure is amazing in its own right, but what makes his feat even more astounding is the fact that Perrin is a kidney transplant survivor. He essentially pioneered the sport of ultramarathon paddle boarding in 2011, when he decided to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the transplant by competing in a 340-mile-long kayak race — on his paddle board.

“It was a huge challenge, and I didn’t know what the impact would be; I just looked at it as a personal celebration,” said Perrin. “Out of 117 kayaks, I was the only paddle boarder and I placed 34th. I shocked people.”

Since then, Perrin has paddled thousands of miles in various races and expeditions, and ultramarathon paddling has taken on a life of its own. Perrin’s circumnavigation of St. Thomas and St. John was a kick-off of sorts for an event that St. John Brewers and Vertical Oar are planning for next year.

“We have some other things planned including an event next year that will essentially be a combination race/adventure challenge,” said Pesare. “We’re trying to incorporate Survivor meets the Amazing Race meets stand up paddle boarding meets eco-challenge. We’re going to try and bring business to the Virgin Islands while increasing the awareness of what you can do with stand up paddle boarding.”

Stay tuned to VerticalOar.com for more news on the 2015 challenge, or follow St. John Brewers on Facebook for more information.

St. John Events

St. John Live Music

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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feather duster wormI videoed this creature on the reef between Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches. They always fascinate me, because they certainly don’t look like worms to me. The worm attached itself to a rock or  coral by a hard shell-like tube. The feathery tentacles protrude, but will quickly withdraw to the safety of the tube if threatened.

St. John Events

St. John Live Music

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 80. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Education Officials on Hot Seat as Senate Discusses Guy Benjamin School Closure

The senators at Monday’s Education and Workforce Committee meeting pushed and prodded Education Department officials about the Guy Benjamin School closure but came away unsatisfied with the answers.

PSC Board Approves LEAC Decrease

During a lengthy meeting Monday night, the Public Services Commission approved a drop in electric and water Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause rates, reducing the average residential bill by 53 cents a month.

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