Category Archives: St John Snorkeling

Nurse Shark at Honeymoon Beach


Nurse sharks are nocturnal creatures that usually spend the daytime resting under ledges or crevices in the reef. They are generally docile and do not present a threat to divers, although there are some, rather rare, reports of divers being bitten.

Nurse Shark
Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)

Unlike most other sharks that need to constantly move in order to breathe, the nurse shark can remain stationary and breathe by pumping water through their mouths and out gills.

The nurse shark hunts at night looking for crustaceans, mollusks, eels, stingrays and other fish. They often catch their prey that otherwise would be too quick for them by either going after fish that sleep at night or by using suction created by their small mouths and large throat cavities.

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Hairy Clinging Crab (Mithrax pilosus)

Hairy Clinging Crab
Hairy Clinging Crab

I saw this guy clinging to a sea fan on the Trunk Bay Underwater Snorkeling Trail. You never know what you’ll find. Always a treat!

St. John Weather (Rain – Maybe)

DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT
THUNDERSTORMS…THERE IS A CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAINFALL AND BRIEF GUSTY WINDS THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS AND SURROUNDING WATERS.

FLOODING…HEAVY RAINS COULD LEAD TO URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING.

DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY
A TROPICAL WAVE IS EXPECTED TO CREATE PERIODS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS THROUGH EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING IS POSSIBLE WITH THE HEAVIEST SHOWERS.

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The Barracuda That Likes to Relax in the Shade

barracudaTell me that’s not an ugly face. It’s downright menacing.

I often see this guy (I’ll give him a masculine gender for no particular reason other than his ugliness), when I snorkel from my boat at Salt Pond Bay. The thing is that he like to hang out in the shade provided by the vessels moored in the bay. Yesterday he was under my boat, giving me this evil stare. I’ve met him enough times without incident, to believe that he’s not going to bite me, but I have to admit he can be unnerving.

Now keep in mind, if you harass him too much, which I used to do trying to get close up videos, he may make a sudden move to scare you, which happened in this video taken about a year ago.
Please remember that this guy has been around for years, same spot, and has never hurt anyone, so don’t be afraid to approach, just take it easy on him, he’s just looking to enjoy some shade in peace.

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Sand Diver

Sand DiverSand Divers, Synodus intermedius are a species of lizardfish. They often bury themselves in sand with only their heads sticking out and wait for their prey to come near. They are also masters of camouflage and can readily change their coloration to blend in with the sand, rocks, or reef where they hide.

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New Species of Fan Worm Discovered in Hurricane Hole

FanWormMaine researcher discovers new species of sea worm
By Kaitlin Schroeder Morning Sentinel

A member of the University of Maine at Farmington faculty was credited recently with discovering a new genus and species of marine worm, which she first spotted near the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Five years ago, Nancy Prentiss, a UMF lecturer in biology, was snorkeling at Hurricane Hole off St. John, an island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, when on the underside of a rock she found fanworms unlike any she had seen before.

At the time of the discovery, Prentiss, who had been teaching UMF students and working as an ecology camp science educator on the island, said she knew immediately the red-and-white worms protected by coiled calcium carbonate tubes were a unique find.

“I had never seen fanworms like these before and knew immediately I was looking at something special,” Prentiss said.

After years of painstaking research, working with experts in Greece and the Netherlands on eliminating the possibility that the worms were part of an existing genus or species, Prentiss published her work on the find in December in the academic journal Zootaxa.

“It’s not just a new species, but a whole new genus,” she said by phone Wednesday. A genus is a biological classification of plants or animals… read complete article

 

The newly discovered worm Turbocavus secretus is named for the location where it was found with “Turbocavus” referring to Hurricane Hole.

 

Specimens of the new fanworm species now are deposited permanently in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. In nature, they have been found only “attached to the undersides of rocks, firmly embedded in fine sediment,” according to the Zootaxa article….

St. John Live Music Schedule

Thursday 3/26

Aqua Bistro
T-Bird
5:30-8:30
340-776-5336

Beach Bar
Flipswitch
9:00
340-777-4220

Banana Deck
Steel Pan
7:00 – 9:00
340-693-5055

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
8:00
340-201-1236

Concordia
Groovus
4:30 – 6:30
340-693-5855

Cruz Bay Landing
James
6:00-9:00
340-776-6908

Inn at Tamarind Court
Groove Thang
7:00
340-776-6378

Rhumb Lines
Shane Meade
7:00
340-776-0303

Virgin Fire
Hudson and the Hoodoo Cats
Kick off Blues Blowout Weekend
6:00 – 9:00
340-244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

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Black Durgon

Black Durgon
Black Durgon (Melichthys niger)

I’ve been trying for some time to get a good photo (better than this one) of the black durgon, but the fish won’t cooperate. I’m fascinated with the iridescent white band that outlines their dorsal and anal fins. But as soon as I approach, they swim away and head into their little crevices in the rocks.I read that they lock themselves in by raising their trigger.

The black durgon also known as black triggerfish has a really cool name in Hawaiian, “humuhumu’ele’ele.”

So until I learn to be sneakier underwater or the until that black durgon that I always seem to find at the Indians in the late afternoon, isn’t paying attention,  I’ll have to be satisfied with this photo taken from afar.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Friday 3/20

Aqua Bistro
Steven Sloan
5:30-8:30
340-776-5336

Beach Bar
Groove Thang
9:00
340-777-4220

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
T-Bird
8:00
340-201-1236

Cruz Bay Landing
Bri Felix
6:00-9:00
340-776-6908

Inn at Tamarind Court
Conor O’Brien of Big Blue World
7:00
340-776-6378

Shipwreck Landing
Tropical Sounds
6:30-9:30
340-693-5640

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel & Friends
6:00-9:00
340-779-4982

Virgin Fire
Inner Vision
6:00 – 9:00
340-244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

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Maho Bay, The Place to See Turtles

I know I’ve said it before, but if you want to see sea turtles, just snorkel Maho Bay. You will not be disappointed!

I believe that we can thank the powers that be here.

To begin with, once turtles were routinely caught in turtle nets and now they are now protected. Catching them is illegal.

Secondly, not only are the turtles protected, but there habitat is also. The turtle thrive on seagrass (especially turtle grass) and the seagrass bed at Maho is lush and healthy. In great part this is due to the mooring program and the prohibition of anchoring in the bay. This prevents the seagrass from being torn up by anchor chains scraping the sea floor as the anchored boat swings to and fro.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Thursday 3/12

Aqua Bistro
T-Bird
5:30-8:30
340-776-5336

Beach Bar
Flipswitch
9:00
340-777-4220

Banana Deck
Steel Pan
7:00 – 9:00
340-693-5055

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
8:00
340-201-1236

Concordia
Wayne Clendenin and Pamela One Love
4:30 – 6:30
340-693-5855

Cruz Bay Landing
James
6:00-9:00
340-776-6908

Rhumblines
Shane Meade
7:00
340-776-0303

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated