Category Archives: Life on St. John USVI

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

A Description of St. John in 1888

Cruz Bay dock 1941
Cruz Bay Dock 1941 photo by Jack Delano

St. John is a free port, and its soil is very fertile. Coffee of a superior quality, as well as sugar and tobacco, have been cultivated there to a considerable extent in former years, and might have been to this day, had sufficient labour been forthcoming since emancipation. Its gradual decay may be attributed to this, and to the fact of many of its planters having transplanted their capital and industry to St. Croix and other places. Only a small quantity of sugar is produced on the island at the present day.

Now only the Judge and a couple of policemen represent the majesty of the law in this peaceable and-well ordered island. Dutch-creole was once the prevailing language, many of the planters being of Dutch descent. The population, which now numbers about 900 speak English and is represented in the Colonial Council of St. Thomas by three members, one appointed by Government, and the others elected by the people.

There is no resident doctor; this want being supplied by occasional visits from the Lordsphysicus of St. Thomas. Society is virtually nil, probably on account of the difficult roads, and the distance of estates from each other. It is only on horseback that one can ride on the steep cliffs and mountains of the whole island, and it is not without a certain sense of fear that you traverse some of the pathways, which are cut out of the hill and overlook an abyss of several hundred feet.

Charles E. Taylor, 1888, Leaflets from the Danish West Indies

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Water Catchment Spur Trail

Caneel Bay Water Catchment
Caneel Bay Water Catchment

Starting across the road (Route 20) from the entrance to the Caneel Bay Resort, you can access the Water Catchment Spur Trail and hike back to your starting point. The entire loop involves less than one mile of hiking.

The Caneel Hill Trail is well maintained and relatively easy going, although you will be hiking uphill until you reach the trailhead for the Water Catchment Spur.

At the beginning of your walk you will pass by an old stone wall alongside the trail, which I believe marked an old cart road back in plantation days.

Follow the trail uphill until you arrive at the intersection of the Caneel Hill and Water Catchment Spur trails.Take the Water Catchment Spur Trail, which goes off to your left and downhill until you reach the Caneel Bay water catchment.From the catchment you can follow the dirt road down to the North Shore Road (Route 20) and walk back to the Caneel Bay Resort entrance.


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Nighttime Visitor

St. John Fauna: Frogcuban tree frogLooks like this Cuban Tree Frog was interested in what was going in inside my house last night.

St. John Weather

The forecast for St. John and the Virgin Islands is for some well-needed rain this weekend with the arrival of the first tropical wave of the season. Hope so!

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Baobob Tree at Estate Seiban

Baobob Tree Estate Seiban St. John US Virgin Islands
Baobob Tree at Estate Seiban
Ghost From Jost and St. John's baobob tree
Ghost From Jost relaxes under the baobob tree

Throughout most of Africa the baobob tree tree is believed to possess spiritual and magical qualities. The first baobob trees were brought to the Caribbean by slaves carrying seeds of the sacred tree. Although there are several specimens on St. Thomas and St. Croix is thought to have more baobob trees than any island in the Caribbean, on St. John there is only one tree.

If you would like to see our one and only baobob, you can access it by taking the L’Esperance or Great Seiban Trails.

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Trunk Bay Sting-Free Morning Swim

Trunk Bay, St. John USVII swam a mile and a half at Trunk Bay  yesterday morning with zero problems associated with the nasty, stingy sea lice, that ruined my swim a week or so ago and made me afraid to continue those morning or late afternoon swims that I love so much. Good riddance!

Back today for another delicious swim at one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. (The other beautiful beaches, by the way, are also on St. John)

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