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Archive for the “Life on St. John USVI” Category

St John Virgin Islands stories, events, happenings, photos -everyday life in Love City, St. John USVI

Cruz Bay Rainbow

Cruz Bay

Trunk Bay Rainbow

Trunk Bay

Caneel Bay Rainbow

Caneel Bay

Yesterday morning was a great morning for rainbows on St. John and I was lucky enough to be in the right places at the right times to get some photos.

St. John News

Insurance exec found dead in St. John Virgin Islands home

US Virgin Islands elects new governor in runoff

St. John Events

PrintThe 19th Annual 8 Tuff Miles Road Race and the St John Cancer Fund have joined forces to present the 8 Tuff Miles Festival.

The festival will begin on Sat February 21 at 4 pm with “Light  up the Night” an 18 hour, family oriented, community supported overnight event. Light Up the Night offers the best musicians in the VI, activies and entertainment for the whole family.  Light Up the Night provides an opportunity for our community and our visitors to support St Johnians and their families who have been touched by cancer.

February 27 from 5-9 pm a pasta buffet will be held at Cruz Bay Landing $25
February 28 7:15 AM the 19th Annual 8 Tuff Miles Road Race
4 pm – Awards Ceremony at Mongoose Junction
March 1-  11 AM-4PM- 3rd Annual 8 Tuff Miles Recovery Beach Party- Oppenheimer Beach
For more information on the events and the St John Cancer Fund visit our website or email stjohncancerfund@gmail.com

St. John Weather

buffalo

Buffalo NY

She said I can’t go back to America soon
So goddamn cold it’s gonna snow until June
Yeah, they’re freezin’ up in Buffalo stuck in their cars
And I’m lyin’ here ‘neath the sun and the stars (Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, British Virgin islands)

Mañana – Jimmy Buffett -1978

St. John
Rain showers this morning with mostly sunny conditions during the afternoon hours. High 84F. Winds E at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

 

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Peter Bay St. John USVI

Peter Bay 1978

Peter Bay St. John US Virgin Islands

Peter Bay Recent photo

The above photo shows Peter Bay in 1978. At that time the property was owned by the Hall family and there was a small house on the land. The Halls were one of the few families to refuse to sell their land to the agents of the National Park and as a result their relationship with the park was contentious. Mrs. Hall’s son, Victor, kept a few sunfish on the beach there with one sometimes anchored in the bay. Confronted by the National Park as to the legality of keeping his sailboats there, Victor was told that he must remove the boats from the beach and bay. Victor fought back, to the extent of getting Good Morning America to do a piece on his plight. Nonetheless, when the Halls made the decision to sell the land, they first offered to the Virgin Islands National Park. The Park refused the offer citing budgetary concerns of the Reagan years, and only then the land was then offered to developers at a considerably higher price. Today there are many homes on Peter Bay, which is probably the most expensive and most exclusive development on St. John.

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See Also St. John Off the Beaten Track for Trails

St. John Off the Beaten Track for Beaches

St John News

History of Parcel No. 5, Estate Bordeaux, St. John Feds move to evict 16 Coral Bay residents

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Islands

Islands Magazine Article on the St. John Off the Beaten Track App

Using the St. John Off the Beaten Track App for Hiking Trails on St. John

Using the St. John Off the Beaten Track App for St. John Beaches

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Lameshur Bay Road

The road to Lameshur Bay

I took a ride out east yesterday, with the intention of checking out the Yawzi Point Trail, which I understand was just recently improved by a group of from the Conservation Volunteers International Program. (They also worked on the L’Esperance Trail)

I never made it to the trail, dissuaded by the condition of the road out to Lameshur Bay. The road is normally pretty rugged, but this time it looked well worse than usual, a consequence of the heavy rains last weekend. By the time I reached a stretch of road just past VIERS, I decided that maybe this hike could wait for a few more days.

It wasn’t a waste of time. As always, going anywhere will yield its own rewards. I stopped to have a chat with Ital at Salt Pond Bay and with Doug at Crabby’s Watersports.

carol at Crabbys WatersportsWhile I was at Crabbby’s, a lady named Carol came by and showed us the reusable shopping bags that she makes from cat food bags. After her cats finish up the contents, she washes the bag and sews it up by hand. It’s actually a lenghthy process taking more than a day to complete.

Ecologically, it makes a lot of sense. It keeps the heavy plastic bags out of the landfill and takes the place of the plastic bags issued by the island’s markets that are an environmental problem.

Carol sells these bags for $15.00, donating $10.00 of that to the St. John Animal Care Center. If you’re interested in obtaining one, contact the Lutheran Church in Cruz Bay at 340-776 6731

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Cinnamon Bay Waterfall

Heavy rainfall created a waterfall at Cinnamon Bay

Areal Flood Advisory, Flash Flood Watch

We’re still under a “Flash Flood Watch and Areal Flood Advisory” according to the statement issued by NOAA as of 3:40 AM AST on November 08, 2014.

But wait a minute, there’s a term I never heard before, “Areal Flood Advisory.” Does that distinguish this advisory from a fake one? Is it a typo?

No, neither, the word, areal, does mean something that relates to floods, which I found out thanks to Google Search

“The National Weather Service adopted the new term several years ago which generally means the same as the more commonly used “Flood Watch” designation. Basically an Areal Flood Watch means there is potential for flooding over a large area. The word “areal” is the adjective version of the noun “area.”

 “There’s no word on why the National Weather Service changed the name of the watch.

 “The word “areal” refers to an area, which is an expanse of space or a region of land. Not to be confused with “aerial” which means of or relating to the air.”
From CBS Local

(The Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through Sunday afternoon and continues for all Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)

Waterfall at Cinnamon Bay

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I have always enjoyed the melodious song of our tiny native tree frogs. The symphony begins around sunset and continues until dawn. It is a love symphony, meant for male frogs to attract the attention of nearby females.

Our island now hosts another species, the Cuban tree frog. They have a reputation of being toxic, even to the touch. Cannibals, they eat the native frogs, but worst of all is their abominable screeching.

 

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The Aedes aegypti mosquito

From the Center for Disease Control, San Juan:

The Aedes aegypti mosquito can transmit the viruses that cause dengue fever and chikungunya. The female mosquito lays eggs in containers with water and plants near the home. It bites people and animals. This species can survive year round in tropical and subtropical climates.

General Information
Aedes aegypti is a small, dark mosquito with white lyre shaped markings and banded legs. They prefer to bite indoors and primarily bite humans. These mosquitoes can use natural locations or habitats (for example tree holes and plant axils) and artificial containers with water to lay their eggs. They lay eggs during the day in water containing organic material (e.g., decaying leaves, algae, etc.) in containers with wide openings and prefer dark-colored containers located in the shade. About three days after feeding on blood, the mosquito lays her eggs inside a container just above the water line. Eggs are laid over a period of several days, are resistant to desiccation and can survive for periods of six or more months. When rain floods the eggs with water, the larvae hatch. Generally larvae feed upon small aquatic organisms, algae and particles of plant and animal material in water-filled containers. The entire immature or aquatic cycle (i.e., from egg to adult) can occur in as little as 7-8 days. The life span for adult mosquitoes is around three weeks. Egg production sites are within or in close proximity to households

Aedes aegypti historically is considered to be a primary vector of viral diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever.

Habitat
Aedes aegypti is extremely common in areas lacking piped water systems, and depend greatly on water storage containers to lay their eggs. Male and female adults feed on nectar of plants; however, female mosquitoes need blood in order to produce eggs, and are active in the daytime. Eggs have the ability to survive drying for long periods of time, allowing eggs to be easily spread to new locations. Artificial or natural water containers (water storage containers, flower pots, discarded tires, plates under potted plants, cemetery vases, flower pots, buckets, tin cans, clogged rain gutters, ornamental fountains, drums, water bowls for pets, birdbaths, etc.) that are within or close to places where humans live are ideally larval habitats for this mosquito. This species has also been found in underground collections of water such as open or unsealed septic tanks, storm drains, wells, and water meters.

Biting Behavior
Aedes aegypti bites primarily during the day. This species is most active for approximately two hours after sunrise and several hours before sunset, but it can bite at night in well-lit areas. This mosquito can bite people without being noticed because it approaches from behind and bites on the ankles and elbows. Aedes aegypti prefers biting people but it also bites dogs and other domestic animals, mostly mammals. Only females bite to obtain blood in order to lay eggs

Mosquito Control

Check your yard weekly for water-filled containers.

Throw away or recycle water-holding containers that are not needed.

If empty containers or large objects, such as boats or old appliances must be stored, they should be covered, turned over or placed under a roof that does not allow them to fill with water.

Clean and scrub birdbaths and pet-watering dishes weekly and dump the water from overflow dishes under potted plants and flowerpots. Check that gutters are not holding water and cover rain barrels with tight screening so that mosquitoes cannot enter.

Fill tree holes and other cavities in plants with sand or soil.

Check for hidden bodies of water such as wells, septic tanks, manholes, clogged drains, etc.

Call the health authorities when you detect unusual numbers of mosquitoes. Avoid mosquito bites Use personal protection to avoid mosquito bites.

Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are most active.

Apply repellents such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label). Do not use repellents under clothing. In addition to wearing repellent, you can protect yourself and your family by taking these precautions:

Use mosquito netting over infant carriers, cribs and strollers.

Install or repair window and door screens to keep out mosquitoes.

Dengue Branch, San Juan, PR:
For more information please contact Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1324 Cañada Street, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00920
Telephone: 787-706-2399
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Web: www.cdc.gov

 About Fogging

Virgin Islands Daily News

In recent weeks, the public in the U.S. Virgin Islands has criticized the territory’s Health Department for not turning to a method of prevention known as truck-mounted fogging, during which trucks travel to specific areas where mosquitoes are known to be and emit a chemical fog that kills the adult mosquito population.

However, the Health Department refuses to use that the strategy for a number of reasons.

Studies in other areas have shown that truck-mounted fogging is ineffective in killing Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the mosquitoes which are responsible for spreading chikungunya and dengue, another mosquito-borne virus common in the territory.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is known to remain indoors, which means it is difficult to reach via fogging.

“These mosquitoes are in our closets and under our beds. When we’re spraying from our trucks, it’s just not getting to them,” said Dr. Brett Ellis, an entomologist with the Health Department.

These mosquitoes also are known to bite more aggressively during the daytime, though fogging is more often conducted during the evening, he said.

“I’m not saying chemicals don’t work on mosquitoes, they just don’t work on these mosquitoes,” Brett Ellis said.

The fogging has been used in the past, but, additionally, scientists have discovered that the chemical, permanone 30-30, is unstable in water and the Environmental Protection Agency has raised concerns that is could contaminate rain and cistern or well water, according to Health officials.

A recommendation from Fran Jacobson, C.N.M – Cruz Bay Family Practice

Fran reports good results from a product called My Mosquito Deleter. I will be ordering one and testing it. Stay tuned…

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