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Archive for the “St John Snorkeling” Category

upsidedown jellyfishI saw quit a few of these strange jellyfish while snorkeling the southwestern side of Maho Bay. They were resting on the bottom in about ten feet of water. While most jelly fish swim around with their head up and tentacles down, the Cassiopea spends most of its time with its’ head down resting on the sea floor and with its tentacles extended upward, hence the name, upsidedown jellyfish.

The upsidedown jellyfish can give divers a mild sting, which can be very itchy. According to Wikipedia: “The stinging cells are excreted in a mucus; swimming over the jellyfish (especially using swim fins) may cause transparent, essentially invisible, sheets of this mucus to be lifted up into the water column, where they are then encountered by unsuspecting swimmers,” but being that these jellies were in fairly deep water, this shouldn’t be a problem for snorkelers observing them.

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Feather Duster Worm (Sabellidae)

feather duster wormThis creature has always fascinated me. When I first saw one, I thought it was some sort of underwater flower, and I was certainly surprised to find out that it was not only an animal but a worm. What looks like the flower’s petals are tentacles, which filter plankton from the seawater for food and increase the amount of oxygen that the worm can absorb. When hungry fish or a snorkelers finger come too close the tentacles retract to the safety of the tube that gives the species the name, tube worm. If a fish is faster than the worm and bites off some tentacles, the worm will regrow the lost parts. The tube is fashioned from parchment, sand, and bits of shell that is permanently affixed to a rock, coral or some other substrate by a sticky mucus secreted by the worm.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

USVI athletes vs. the world

St. John Weather

Mainly sunny to start, then a few afternoon clouds. Hazy. High 81F. Winds E at 15 to 25 mph.

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banded coral shrimp

Banded Coral Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus)

barber pole shrimpTI photographed this banded coral shrimp along the eastern shoreline of Hawksnest Bay, heading out from Openheimer Beach.

Also known as barber pole shrimp, the banded coral shrimp are cleaning shrimp that eat the parasites off of passing fish, waving their antennae to attract any fish that want to be cleaned.

According to Paul Human’s Reef Creature Identification: “when approached, they retreat into protective recesses. If a bare hand is slowly extended toward the shrimp, it may leave its retreat and even attempt to clean fingers.”

I have to try this!

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Rampant credit card fraud in V.I. most likely cybercrime

Report: National Parks brought $73M into V.I. in 2013

organic eggs

$9.95/dozen

Organic eggs “discounted” at St. John Gourmet and Dolphin Markets

Hallelujah! The price of organic eggs has gone down from the previous $13.95/dozen to only $9.95/doz. It’s expensive to eat healthy on St. John.

 

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firewormBearded fireworm, Hermodice carunculata

The bearded fireworm is a slow creature, and is not considered a threat to humans unless touched by a careless swimmer. The bristles, when flared, can penetrate human skin, injecting a powerful neurotoxin and producing intense irritation and a painful burning sensation around the area of contact. The sting can also lead to nausea and dizziness. This sensation lasts up to a few hours, but a painful tingling can continue to be felt around the area of contact. In a case of accidental contact, application and removal of adhesive tape will help remove the spines; applying alcohol to the area will also help alleviate the pain. Cold water and ice soothe the pain of the poison that was injected from the bearded fireworm. More information

 

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Turtle at Maho Bay

Green Turtle - Maho Bay, St. John USVIOne of the attractions visitors seem to look forward to most is snorkeling with a sea turtle. In the past, this was a hit or miss thing. You needed a bit of luck. Now however, with a little patience, you’re just about guaranteed to have a turtle experience snorkeling over the Maho Bay seagrass beds.

St. John News

Starwood Caribbean Hotels & Resorts is offering a Sunsational Savings deal, with savings of up to 30 percent. The deal applies to four properties in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico (San Juan and Vieques Island). For example, at the Westin St. John Resort & Villas, pay $285 per night and receive a free fourth night plus a $100 food and beverage credit. Add 10 percent tax. Typical rate is $410. Book and travel by Nov. 20. Use promo code ZS4. At the W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island, receive a free third night and a $100 credit. Rates start at $409 a night, $100 less than the usual price. Add 9 percent tax. Booking and travel dates: Aug. 13-Nov. 1. Use promo code SS3R. Info: 866-716-8147, www.starwoodcaribbean.com.

Virgin Islanders Must Go to Puerto Rico for Emergency Passports

St. John Weather

Isolated thunderstorms during the morning hours, then skies turning partly cloudy during the afternoon. High 82F. Winds ESE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

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isopod Anilocra laticaudata

An isopod Anilocra laticaudata on a Spanish Grunt

Anilocora are usually about an inch long. They have a segmented body with seven pair of legs. See SnorkelSTJ for more information

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

 

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There’s a lot to see just off the beach

Honeymoon Bay offers three different snorkeling opportunities. The most commonly snorkeled area is the reef on the western side between Honeymoon and Salomon. It’s one of my favorite snorkels. You can also snorkel the reef that lies on the opposite side of the beach between Honeymoon and Caneel Bay, which is also quite beautiful with colorful live corals, sponges and tunicates. For those that prefer to stay in shallow water close to the beach, snorkeling over the sandy bottom just yards off the beach can also offer unexpected rewards, such as sightings of pompano, crabs and rays.

Spanish Grunt

Spanish Grunt

geometric encrusting tunicates

sea fan and  geometric encrusting tunicate

gobi

Gobi

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feather duster wormI videoed this creature on the reef between Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches. They always fascinate me, because they certainly don’t look like worms to me. The worm attached itself to a rock or  coral by a hard shell-like tube. The feathery tentacles protrude, but will quickly withdraw to the safety of the tube if threatened.

St. John Events

St. John Live Music

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 80. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Education Officials on Hot Seat as Senate Discusses Guy Benjamin School Closure

The senators at Monday’s Education and Workforce Committee meeting pushed and prodded Education Department officials about the Guy Benjamin School closure but came away unsatisfied with the answers.

PSC Board Approves LEAC Decrease

During a lengthy meeting Monday night, the Public Services Commission approved a drop in electric and water Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause rates, reducing the average residential bill by 53 cents a month.

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scrawled cowfish

Juvenile Scrawled Cowfish (Acanthostracion quadricornis)

This scrawled cowfish, Acanthostracion quadricornis, was videoed yesterday on the reef that lies between Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches. It was just a little guy, about six inches long. They like to eat little crabs and other small invertebrates, but this one kept getting chased away from its meals by little damselfish.

St. John Happenings

Children’s Village – VI National Park Ballpark Field 6:00 p.m.

St. John Live Music

St. John News

Food Fair Honors Woodturner Avelino Samuel

Governor’s Reading Challenge Hits Big on St. John

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

 

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St. John News

On Island: Jayne Schaeffer is Park’s New Deputy Superintendent

St. John Events

St. John Live Music Schedule

 

 

 

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