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Chocolate Hole Sunrise

St. John Virgin Islands News

Chickengunya is officially an epidemic. I personally know several people who have or have had the illness. Their symptoms were such that it is highly probable that their problem was chickengunya, but none of them sought treatment or were tested. My point is that the problem is way worse than the reported numbers. The Virgin Islands Daily News has an excellent article which explains some important facts about the disease like why fogging won’t help and what steps one can take to minimize one’s chances of catching the illness and an explanation of how the epidemic will someday peak and then wane a phenomena called “herd immunity.”

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sea-wasp-9You’ll need to look carefully to see the translucent jellyfish in the above photo, but seeing it in the water is even more difficult. It has a dome shaped head and four tentacles. It’s a sea wasp. It stings hard and it’s hard to avoid. If you are unfortunate enough to get stung, pour vinegar on the the affected area and in severe cases seek medical attention.

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 angel-9  evil twin-9
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Chickenette (Also known as pitaya and dragon fruit)

St. John and Virgin Islands News

I met two people yesterday who just recovered from a bout with what we strongly suspect was Chikungunya. Read Virgin Islands Daily News article: Chikungunya spreads on St. Thomas, St. John


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upsidedown jellyfishI saw quit a few of these strange jellyfish while snorkeling the southwestern side of Maho Bay. They were resting on the bottom in about ten feet of water. While most jelly fish swim around with their head up and tentacles down, the Cassiopea spends most of its time with its’ head down resting on the sea floor and with its tentacles extended upward, hence the name, upsidedown jellyfish.

The upsidedown jellyfish can give divers a mild sting, which can be very itchy. According to Wikipedia: “The stinging cells are excreted in a mucus; swimming over the jellyfish (especially using swim fins) may cause transparent, essentially invisible, sheets of this mucus to be lifted up into the water column, where they are then encountered by unsuspecting swimmers,” but being that these jellies were in fairly deep water, this shouldn’t be a problem for snorkelers observing them.

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celtic ross-Annaberg Sugar MillFriends of the National Park guides showed me something that I had never noticed before, a Celtic cross on the top of the Annaberg Windmill. The most likely explanation for this would be that it was ordered by the owner of the estate, James Murphy, who had originally come from Ireland.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

New property valuations to appear on forthcoming bills

Tropical Wave Bringing Wet, Gusty Weather Thursday Night

Overflow Crowd Says No to St. John Marina Proposal


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