If you’re walking around in the bush, you’re bound to come into contact with the sticky webs that these spiders weave. The webs can be quite large and they can span distances of 20 feet or more. Wikipedia says that their bite is mildly toxic to humans, but in all my hundreds of encounters with them, getting their webs stuck all over me, I’ve never been bitten by one.
The golden orb is the only spider known to make its webs strong enough to be used for various kinds of bags and fishnets and, as you can see in this photo, an exquisite cape.
Although the weather forecast was for sunny skies, yesterday saw squall after squall passing over St. John, each one lasting just briefly. I love the way you can see the weather as it moves across the sky.
And the St. John adage, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes,” certainly held true yesterday.
…DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS EXPECTED THROUGH EARLY EVENING…
NORTH SWELLS WILL CONTINUE TO SLOWLY SUBSIDE THROUGH THE REST OF THE DAY. HOWEVER…SWELL HEIGHTS ARE STILL RANGING BETWEEN 6-8 FEET ACROSS THE ATLANTIC WATERS AND CARIBBEAN PASSAGES. THESE SWELLS WILL CONTINUE TO PRODUCE BREAKING WAVES AROUND 10 FEET ALONG THE NORTH FACING COASTS OF PUERTO RICO…CULEBRA…VIEQUES AND THE NORTHERN U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS THROUGH EARLY THIS EVENING. THEREFORE… THE HIGH SURF ADVISORY HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL EARLY THIS EVENING.
THE HIGH SURF ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM AST THIS EVENING.
* WAVES AND SURF: NORTH SWELLS OF 6 TO 8 FEET WITH PERIOD OF 12 TO 14 SECONDS WILL CONTINUE TO PRODUCE LARGE BREAKING WAVES BETWEEN 8 TO 12 FEET AND LOCALLY HIGHER.
* TIMING: THROUGH EARLY THIS EVENING.
* IMPACTS:LARGE BREAKING WAVES WILL CAUSE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS IN THE SURF ZONE AND LIFE THREATENING RIP CURRENTS.
I had never heard the term “ground sea” until I came to St. John, which refers to the ocean swells that come ashore from the north and break when they hit shallow water or reef.
With a little investigating I learned that here are two classes of ocean swells, wind swells and groundswells.
Wind swells are caused by relatively short lasting local winds within 100 miles or so from the coast. Wind swells only extends about 100 feet below the surface so it loses energy quickly thus limiting how far they can only before dissipating.
Groundswells are caused by by strong winds over long distances and over longer periods of time and could come from 1000 miles or so away. Groundswells can extend to about 1,000 feet below the surface allowing for greater interaction with the ocean floor. Thus, I imagine is the origin of the terms, “groundswells” and “ground sea.”
In the case of St. John ground seas generally come from large storms in the North Atlantic eventually breaking on the north coast of the island. St. Thomas and Tortola, which are more exposed to the north receive much larger waves than we do on St. John since the island of Jost Van Dyke lies between St. John and the open Atlantic.
This year there has been no shortage of North Atlantic storms, as anyone in the New England and Mid Atlantic states can testify.
St. John Weather
Variably cloudy with scattered showers in the morning… Then partly cloudy with isolated showers in the afternoon. Breezy. Highs around 85. East winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.
High Surf Advisory
LONG PERIOD NORTHERLY SWELLS WILL CONTINUE TO ARRIVE THIS MORNING. THIS WILL RESULT IN LARGE BREAKING WAVE ACTION AND DANGEROUS RIP CURRENTS ALONG THE NORTH FACING COASTS OF PUERTO RICO AND THE NORTHERN US VIRGIN ISLANDS. SWELLS WILL GRADUALLY SUBSIDE WEDNESDAY.
A HIGH SURF ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM AST THIS EVENING.
* WAVES AND SURF: NORTH SWELLS OF 7 TO 9 FEET WITH PERIOD OF 12 TO 14 SECONDS WILL PRODUCE BREAKING WAVES OF BETWEEN 12 TO 14 FEET.
* TIMING: THROUGH AT LEAST LATE TUESDAY NIGHT.
* IMPACTS:LARGE BREAKING WAVES WILL CAUSE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS IN THE SURF ZONE AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS. WAVE ACTION SURGING UPON THE COASTLINE AND HIGHER THAN NORMAL WATER LEVELS MAY POSE A THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY.
St. John Events
ST JOHN FILM SOCIETY PRESENTS: “Still Dreaming”
DATE: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 TIME: 7:30 pm PLACE: St John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay $5. Suggested donation for more info contact: Andrea E. Leland 340-715-0551 / firstname.lastname@example.org