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Archive for the “St. John Day Trips and Excursions” Category

St. John day trips, travels and excursions

anegada landing

The unlikely island of Anegada has the distinction of being the site of the first airport ever built in the British Virgin Islands. The airstrip that first brought the age of air travel to the BVI was not much more than a hard-packed dirt runway. It was located at West End near Cow Wreck Beach and constructed in hopes of servicing a fledgling shark fishing industry that had started up on the island.

(In the 1800s when a ship carrying cow bones, used at the time to make chalk and buttons, wrecked on the reef just offshore of a small sandy cove on the northwest coast of Anegada. For years afterwards these bones washed ashore and the cove became know as Cow Wreck Beach.)

The shark fishery never really got off the ground, and the only aircraft to ever land at West End were one or two small private planes from St. Thomas carrying store-bought goods to Anegada residents and returning with local produce and seafood. These flights, however, were so few and far between that it was not long before the airstrip was abandoned and fell into disrepair.

(The last plane to ever use the airport before it literally disappeared into the bush was made by “a doctor from Tortola who flew his own plane and tried to make a call to Anegada by air. Having inspected the airfield from above and deciding it looked okay, he went in for his landing and touched down. All went well until an 18-inch ditch across the runway sheared off his landing gear. It seems that one of the locals, wanting to drain a salt marsh, had dug a ditch across the runway. Such is aviation across the West Indies…”Street’s Cruising Guide to the Eastern Caribbean, by Donald Street. The doctor mentioned in the story was identified by some Anegadians as Tortola’s Dr. Tattersoll.)

Although Anegada’s first introduction to the age of air travel had little to no effect on the lives of the residents of that remote island, the next airport to be built on Anegada did bring about considerable social change, but not in the way that most airports do. Anegada’s Auguste George Airport was built in 1969 and is located towards the northern part of the Settlement. As its 2,500-foot runway can only accommodate small aircraft, most visitors still arrive on sailboats and the airport has never been a major player in Anegada’s burgeoning tourist industry.

(The airport was named after Captain Auguste George Airport. His daughter, Anegada-born Gracita Faulkner, earned international fame and appeared in leading roles in “La Traviata” and “Faust” for the American Opera Guild.)

Nonetheless, the construction of the Auguste George Airport in 1960 did result in major changes in the lives and lifestyles of the residents of Anegada. The story of how this came about begins with the unorthodox nature and history of land ownership on the island…. read more

St. John Virgin Islands News

Police Investigate Tourist’s Death at St. John Villa
By Source Staff — March 3, 2014

Police are investigating the death of a woman at a private villa on St. John. The incident was reported to 911 emergency dispatch Sunday morning.

According to preliminary information from the V.I. Police Department, officers interviewed a man who said he and his wife were on vacation from Virginia and had an argument at the villa. The man said after the argument he slept outside the rental property in his vehicle. The next morning he tried to enter to the villa but could not gain access.

He called for assistance to get inside and, once inside, discovered the unresponsive body of his 41-year-old wife.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Matt Mitruk
5:30 – 8:30
776 5336

Beach Bar
Jeff White
9:00
777-4220

Concordia
Open Mic with Johnny B & Lauren
3:30 – 5:30
693-5855

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:30 – 9:30
693-5640

Virgin Fire
Instrumental Jazz
Rich Greengold & Greg Jones
6:00 – 8:00
779-4982

See Weekly St. John Music Schedule

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. Northeast wind 14 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

 

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Willy T

Willy T, The Bight, Norman Island, British Virgin Islands

William Thornton, Norman Island BVIThe William Thornton aka Willy T is a floating bar and restaurant that has been anchored in the Bight off Norman Island since 1985. The original Willy T was a wooden Baltic Schooner built in 1935, which sank at its mooring in 1995. The Willy T is most famous for some of the outrageous activities that regulatory occur aboard, especially during and after their popular Happy Hour. I’m talking ladies with no bathing suit tops,  group activities such as body shots, shotski’s (shots lined up on a water ski) ladies and gentlemen publicly having Willy T Temporary Tattoos applied to various body parts and of course, the now forbidden, but done anyway, jumping off the deck, more often topless than not.

- shotski’s- topless jumping off the deck – tattoos – body shots

St. John News

NOAA to Hold Public Meetings on Proposed Endangered Corals
By Lynda Lohr — February 1, 2013

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will hold meetings next week to discuss the agency’s proposal to include 66 coral species on the Endangered or Threatened Species List. Seven of those proposed for the endangered list are in the Caribbean. Two are proposed for the threatened list…. read more

St. John Weather

Clear with rain showers in the morning, then partly cloudy
High of 82 degrees F.
Breezy: Winds from the East at 10 to 20 mph.
Sunrise: 6:51 AM AST – Sunset: 6:14 PM AST
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas) 82.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule Sunday February 3

Aqua Bistro
Lauren Jones
3:30 – 6:30
776-5336

Beach Bar
Get Right Band
4:30
777-4220

Concordia
Bo
Sunday Brunch 10:00 am

Cruz Bay Prime
Mark Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

High Tide
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 6:00
714-6169

Miss Lucy’s
Sambacombo
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
693-5254

Ocean Grill
David Laab
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
T-Bird
7:00 – 10:00

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club
7:00 – 10:00

Sun Dog Cafe
David Laab
11:00 am- 2:00 pm
244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

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Virgin Islands Photo of the Day

Dock at Abe's by the Sea, Jost Van Dyke British Virgin Islands. That's Great Thatch and St. John seen across the channel.

The above photo was taken from one of my favorite restaurant in the world (and I’ve been to my share over the years), Abes By the Sea. It’s rather remote, located at Little Harbour on Jost Van Dyke in our neighboring British Virgin Islands. It was even more remote years ago. Now you can take a ferry to Jost Van Dyke and a taxi to Abe’s, but when he first opened, there was no ferry and no roads. You had to get there by boat.

Abe is a native Jost Van Dyke fisherman who decided to open a restaurant to serve the growing number of yachtsmen visiting the island. If you like big portions of fresh lobster, conch, or fish, deliciously prepared this is the place.

Abe's at Night

Chin & Boopy Enjoy Lobster & Conch

View from Window

St. John Weather

High Surf Advisory!

High Temperature: 85 degrees

Water Temperature: 80 degrees

Winds: From the east at 10 – 15 mph with gust of 25 mph or more

Sunset: 6:27

Moon Rise: Full Moon rises at 6:55

St. John Live Music Schedule for tonight, Thursday, March 8

Banana Deck – Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels – 6:00 – 9:00 – 693-5055
Castaways – Dance Party – 11:00 – 777-3316
Driftwood Dave’s – Just Mike – 7:00 – 10:00 – 777-4015
High Tide – Inner Vision – 8:00-11:00 – 714-6169
Island Blues -Ike – 7:00 – 10:00 – 776-6800
Miss Lucy’s – David Reed – 6:00 – 9:00 – 693-5354
Morgan’s Mango – Mark Wallace – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Ocean Grill – Chris Carsel – 6:30 – 9:00 – 693-3304
Shipwreck Landing – Slammin – 7:00 – 10:00
Skinny Legs – Lauren  – 6:00 – 9:00 – 779-4982
The Tap Room – Van Gordon Martin Band – 9:00 – 998-1333

See the weekly St. John live music schedule

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White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

White Bay Rainbow

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flamingo brias creek virgin gorda british virgin islands

Caribbean Flamingo

This colorful flamingo lives all by itself on a pond at Brias Creek, on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.
He or she must have come from either Anegada, where there are a flock of flamingos living in the big salt pond in the center of the island or from Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island upon which some 200 flamingos make their home.

Because of its size, my guess is that it came from Anegada as the Necker Island flamingos appear to be smaller than than those from Anegada.

Apparently it has been on Virgin Gorda for some time now, living a solitary existence, which is unusual as flamingos are generally highly social birds and live in large flocks.

An outcast? A loner? Can’t find its way back home?

I’ve also posted a series of photos of the flamingo in flight.

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In the following video, Ezius Ashley demonstrates how to climb a coconut palm and pick a coconut. Notice how he uses the natural grooves in the palm trunk foothold. Grasping the trunk on the opposite side and pulling inwards he transfers weight to his feet thus allowing them to adhere to the trunk. Good going Zi!

Abe’s Restaurant, Little Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

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Trebuchet Launching Pumpkin at Target

Photo by Bill Wakeham

Bob Garrison, better known on St. John as the “Trail Bandit,” has produced the ultimate St. John Trail Map, a must have for any resident of St. John as well as for anyone visiting the island, hiker or not. The maps are available on St. John or can be downloaded or purchased on Bob’s website: trailbandit.org. Back in April of this year, I published an interview of Bob, which our readers may find interesting: Trail Bandit Interview Every year on the last Saturday in September, Bob hosts “Henniker’s Annual Pumpkin Festival” at his airport in Henniker New Hampshire. People arrive from all over, some in their own planes. When weather permits there’s an Air Show where, according to Bob, “People do silly things in airplanes.”

Bob's Plane - Italian Fighter-Trainer, Symmetrical Wing

Trail Bandit Airport Henniker, NH

Trail Bandit Airport - 3000 foot paved runway with lights

biplane

biplane parked at hanger

There’s a big barbecue, homemade pies, and hard and soft beverages. Bob personally prepared and marinated 120 pounds of chicken for the event. Mary brought her apple pies, but because of dangerous cross winds she didn’t fly them in herself as she normally does.

Trail Bandit and Mary

Bob "Trail Bandit" Garrison and Mary, the Trail Banditess

Autumn Colors at Airport

Barbecue

The highlight of the day is the trebuchet pumpkin launch. First Bob grows the pumpkins. Then on the day of the festival he sets up the trebuchet. An old wrecked automobile is fork-lifted down the field about two hundred yards from the trebuchet to serve as a target.

Trebuchet

Ammunition

Pumpkin in flight

The trebuchet is armed using the force of about five or more people using a line to raise th 800-pound concrete counterweight. The trebuchet arm is then secured by the trigger mechanism and the pumpkin loaded into it’s pouch. Someone is chosen to pull the trigger and the pumpkin flies off to it’s target at a speed of 69 mies an hour. (Someone was there with a radar gun to verify the speed)

What FUN!!!

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Ram Head Point, St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)

st john virgin islands sunset at ram head

Ram Head

The above photo was shot yesterday at sunset rounding Ram Head Point.  Ram Head, on the southeast of St. John is always a dramatic place, but at sunset it is particularly beautiful.

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Sandcastle Hotel, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
The founders of the Soggy Dollar Bar and Sandcastle Hotel are George and Marie Myrick. They first came to the Caribbean and cruised the island- on the Water Lily, a 53-foot motor-sailer, which they ran as a charter operation and for the owners. They then leased Little Thatch and ran a hotel there. They built the Sandcastle in 1970 and ran it for ten years after which they returned to the America and toured the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Belize. The couple, now in their 80s, live in Florida. They wrote a book about their experience called Incredible Virgin Island Adventure (Which I’m having trouble finding.) and have at least one post on their blog.

More Soggy Dollar Bar 40th Anniversary Party videos:

Lets Have a Party

Conga Line

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The Caves, Norman Island, British Virgin islands

Banded Coral Shrimp

Caves Norman Island

Wall at the Caves

orange cup coral

Orange Cup Coral

yellowline arrow crab

Yellowline Arrow Crab

fire coral

Fire Coral

The Indians

The Indians

Mario

Gerald

Barracuda and Sergeant Major

Black Durgon

Tarpon

Yellowtail Snapper

Cup Coral

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