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Archive for the “St John Snorkeling” Category

blue bell tunicates

Blue Bell Tunicates – photographed on the Trunk Bay Underwater Trail

tunicates and coralThese pretty blue creatures are blue bell tunicates. Like most of the creatures on the reef they are animals. They are found on the reef attached at one end to a substrate like corals, sea fans or rocks. On the other end they have a pair of openings or siphons. One takes in water, which is passed through the animal where oxygen and nutrients are extracted, the remainder being discahrged through the other siphon. They can quickly close off their siphons if they feel threatened.

St. John Events

St. John School of the Arts

Sis Frank Concert Series
A Night of Music, Dance & Drama
7:30 p.m.
Tickets $30.00

Performances by Eddie Bruce, Luba Dolgopolsky, Alesia Georgiou, Drapes Jensen, Shikima Jones, Jeune Provost, Abigail Rene, Kim Sammartano, Kazumi Schaub, Mike Sorzano, Kim Wild, Jude Woodcock and Special Guests!

Visit www.stjohnschoolofthearts.org for more information or call 340-779-4322

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
6:30 – 9:30
340-201-1236

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00
340-777-3316

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 9:00
340-714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Steel Pan
6:30
340-776-6378

Island Blues
Karaoke
8:00
340-776-6800

La Tapa
Sambacombo
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-7755

Morgan’s Mango
Greg Kinslow
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

See Weekly Schedule

St. John and Virgin Islands News

International News 2 charged with migrant smuggling in Virgin Islands April 14, 2014 22:29 GMT KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Two Haitian nationals have been arrested in the U.S. Virgin Islands after being indicted on charges of conspiracy to smuggle migrants into the U.S. The U.S. Justice Department alleged Monday that the two suspects conspired with others to smuggle mostly Haitian migrants to the U.S. island of St. John in 2010. The attempt ended tragically when a boat carrying 33 migrants smashed into a reef while trying to evade authorities. At least four children and four adults died. Most of the passengers on the vessel were Haitians seeking a better life. The two Haitian men were allegedly waiting for the boat in St. John and communicating with their co-conspirators by phone. U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe says a grand jury returned a 10-count indictment against the men Friday….Read More

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. East wind 13 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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ParrotfishParrotfish have a series of individual teeth that fuse together to form what looks like a parrot’s beak, hence the name, parrotfish. They use their teeth to scrape the rocks and coral, digesting the algae and excreting the excess, which makes up much of the fine coral sand we find on St. John’s beaches. As the teeth wear away from such rough treatment they are replaced with more material keeping them sharp and strong.

The parrotfish in the photo is a supermale, which is a male that began life as a female.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Matt Mitruk
5:30 – 8:30
340-776 5336

Beach Bar
John Sutton
9:00
340-777-4220

Concordia
Open Mic with Johnny B & Lauren
3:30 – 5:30
340-693-5855

Cruz Bay Landing
Chris Carsel
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-6908

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-3304

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-5640

Virgin Fire
Instrumental Jazz
Rich Greengold & Greg Jones
6:00 – 9:00
340-779-4982

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. East wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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Adult Parrotfish

Parrotfish are still plentiful on the reefs around St. John and that’s a good thing. These brightly colored fish are easy to identify because their teeth are tightly packed together and are on the outside of their jawbone giving them a parrot-like beak. It is this feature which enables the parrotfish to scrape algae off the of coral and rocks found on the reef. This process called bioeriosion has important benefits for the coral reef environment.

First, coral needs to have a clean place to grow. Rocks covered by algae would not be suitable for the beginning of new coral structures. Second, coral covered by algae could not survive and third, the scraped off algae passes through the parrotfishes’ digestive system and is excreted as sand, which comprises a good deal of the sand found on St. John beaches. One parrotfish can produce as much as 200 pounds of sand in a year.

Parrotfish in bagBefore parrotfish go to sleep, they secrete a mucus cocoon around themselves within which they spend the night.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Below Average Hurricane Season Predicted
By Lynda Lohr — April 11, 2014

There was good news Thursday from the Colorado State University hurricane prediction team. Researcher Phil Klotzbach said he thinks the upcoming season will see a below average number of storms.

“The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past several months, and the chances of a moderate to strong El Niño event this summer and fall appear to be quite high,” Klotzbach said in a press release issued Thursday. “Historical data indicate fewer storms form in these conditions.”

The team expects nine named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 and Nov. 30. Of those nine storms, researchers expect three to become hurricanes and one to reach major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater…. read more

St. John Live Music Schedule

Friday 4/11

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

Beach Bar
John Sutton
9:00
340-777-4220

Castaway’s
Mikey P
9:00
Dance Party
11:00
340-777-3316

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
T-Bird
7:00 – 9:00
340-201-1236

Cinnamon Bay
Eddie Bruce
6:30 -8:30 – Drumming
340-776-6330

High Tide
Mikey P
5:00 – 8:00
340-714-6169

Island Blues
Brother Nature
8:00
340-776-6800

Morgan’s Mango
Lauren
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-3304

Rhumb Lines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-0303

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

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel
6:00
340-779-4982

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-1100

Virgin Fire
Aussie Guitars
The David T Carter Duo
6:00 – 9:00
340-779-4982

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Events

St. John Singers

St. John Concert
Emmaus Moravian Church in Coral Bay
Friday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m.

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 76. East wind around 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

 

 

 

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st john marine life: flamingo tongue

Flamingo Tongue Snail, (Cyphoma gibbosum)

I noticed this brightly colored creature attached to a sea fan while snorkeling at Hawksnest Bay. It’s a type of sea snail that feeds on sea fans and other gorgonia (so called soft corals) by scraping the polyps of the coral an activity not usually fatal to the host, which can regenerate lost polyps.

The colorful pattern on the outside of the shell are not an actual part of the shell but are a type of living tissue which covers the shell.

The bright and interesting patterns have resulted in a significant decline in their presence on popular snorkeling reefs, as snorkelers are prone to collect them, only to find later the patterns to disappear leaving a plain cream-colored shell.

St. John, Virgin Islands & Caribbean News

Puerto Rico probes darkening of Vieques bio bay
By Associated Press,

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Authorities in Puerto Rico announced Wednesday they are investigating why a glowing bay that attracts thousands of tourists a year has grown dark in recent weeks.

The popular Mosquito Bay on the island of Vieques is considered one of Puerto Rico’s top attractions, and government officials say they are worried about the bay’s loss of bioluminescence….read more

Press Release Island Green Living Association

IGLA Launches Fundraising Campaign: Preserve St. John

The Island Green Living Association is proud to announce the launch of a major fundraising campaign in support of its mission to address environmental issues island-wide. The non-profit recently appointed Margaret Fitzsimons as Director of Sustainable Development to help with this effort.

Together with the board of directors and Executive Director Barry Devine, IGLA intends to undertake key initiatives that will more aggressively target issues of recycling, resource conservation, responsible building and living, and preservation of St. John’s natural environment

Collectively, the island’s residents, businesses, and more than 1 million visitors per year are utilizing St. John’s natural resources at a rate that poses a growing threat of degradation to the island. St. John faces unique economic, cultural, and environmental problems associated with its geography and tourism base; namely, tons of waste with little recycling, high energy and food costs, increasing pollution, decreasing land mass, and endangered wildlife. These are all key issues targeted in IGLA’s fundraising campaign, PRESERVE ST. JOHN.

As a non-profit organization, IGLA’s funding comes from members and generous donors. To date, public support has enabled IGLA to help St. John in many ways, and now more than ever, the non-profit needs financial support to reach higher and fund critical initiatives including island resource recovery, glass and aluminum can recycling, composting, green villa and green business membership programs, and green living education.

Contact Fitzsimons today at margaret@m-fitzsimons.com to be a part of PRESERVE ST. JOHN, and share IGLA’s mission with friends, family, neighbors, and visitors. With help from the public, IGLA can enable St. John to move toward a sustainable future and preserve the island for the continued enjoyment of all.

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Ike
6:30 -9:30
340-201-1236

Concordia
Wayne Clendenin and Pamela Love
4:30 – 6:30

340-693-5855High Tide
Erin Hart
5:00 – 8:00
340-714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Brother Nature
6:30 – 9:30
340-776-6378

Island Blues
Gann – Solo guitar
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-6800

Miss Lucy’s
Rich & Greg
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-5244

Morgan’s Mango
James Anderson
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

Pickles
T-Bird
6:00 – 8:00
340-776-6908

Skinny Legs
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00
340-779-4982

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 78. East wind around 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

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mangrove oysters

The mangrove oyster (Crassostrea gasar) grows on the prop roots of mangrove trees. They may be seen above the waterline during low tides. They are part of the traditional cuisine in Trinidad and Tobago.

While on the expedition to Guyana in search of the golden city, El Dorado, Sir Walter Raleigh, told of the mangrove oysters he had encountered near Pitch Lake in Trinidad.

Raleigh wrote of oysters that grew on tree branches and were more delicious than European oysters.

Although this account was substantially true, it wasn’t believed for many years because the story came along with exaggerated and sometimes imaginary descriptions of the places visited on the expedition.

St. John Events

Virgin Fire Restaurant
Movie Night- Presenting: “Nebraska”

Virgin Fire Restaurant announces that they’ve acquired the rights to show current movies on their in-house theatre.

We’re serving a Late Night Supper Menu, with appetizers, salads, desserts and coffees, and our bar is open.  General Admission is $15.

Seating is limited so please reserve here, or call us at 777-3473

St. John School of the Arts

St. John School of the Arts presents: Trio Arbos
Friday, March 14, 2014 7:30 p.m.

St. John School of the Arts presents: Trio ArbosFormed in 1996 in Madrid and named after the Spanish violinist, conductor and composer Enrique Fernández Arbós (1863–1939), the Trío Arbós has established itself as one of Spain’s leading chamber ensembles. The repertoire of the Trío ranges from the classical to the contemporary, with specially commissioned works forming a significant part of the concert programmes presented. The Trío has appeared frequently in major concert halls and festivals in more than thirty countries.

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Beach Bar
Quest Theory
8:00
777-4220

Castaway’s
Brother Nature
777-3316

High Tide
Jason Laurence Jones
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

Island Blues
Oasis
8:00
776-6800

Ocean Grill
T-Bird
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

Shipwreck Landing
Tom Mason & the Blues Buccaneers
6:30 – 9:30
693-5640

Skinny Legs
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:30 – 9:30
779-4982

See Weekly Music Schedule

St. John and Virgin Islands News

 St. Thomas Source
Marijuana Forum Planned at UVI
By Source Staff — March 12, 2014

A Marijuana Forum will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, at the University of the Virgin Islands in the first floor conference room of the Administration and Conference Center, St. Thomas. The theme of the forum is “Uncovering the Truth and Busting the Myths.” The scheduled panelists are Sen.Terrance “Positive” Nelson, V.I. Legislature; Deseree Lambertis, V.I. Police Department; Franz Brady, alcohol and narcotics counselor; and Keith McNichols, Drug Enforcement Agency Office. There will also be a debate by the Criminal Justice Constitutional Law Class on the topic “Should Medicinal Marijuana Be Legalized in the Virgin Islands?”

For more information, contact Dahlia Stridiron, counseling and career services, at 693-1136 or Alyssa Ryan, dean of students, at 693-1120.

Caribbean Media Network
Target Shoots Commercial in the Caribbean (USVI)
March 14, 2014   Celebs, Travel

The Caribbean island of St. John in the United States Virgin Islands, was featured in a recent Target swimwear commercial, featuring Sports Illustrated Model and US Virgin Islands native Hannah Davis . The location is Trunk Bay, St. John, where viewers catches a glimpse of beautiful clear waters, and the summer fun of the Caribbean. The ad will run on national cable television, in all 50 states, and the Caribbean region. (Kudos Hannah for thinking of your home)

St. John Historical Society
The St. John Historical Society is one step closer to realizing its dream of creating a permanent home thanks to an anonymous $100,000 donation announced at the society’s 40th anniversary party on Tuesday evening, March 11, at the Battery.

News of the donation, which was announced to the crowd of nearly 100 attendees by SJHS President Lonnie Willis, was met with gasps and a round of applause.

“We know that hard work and dedication are needed to make the Historical Society’s plans come alive, and have no doubt that the SJHS board is willing to put forth this effort,” Willis read from a letter sent to the society by the anonymous donor. “It is a pleasure to provide this donation to an organization whose purpose is to interpret, preserve, and share the history and heritage of an island we have grown to love. To ensure the society’s continued success and improve its ability to share the story of St. John in multiple and memorable ways, it is our hope that this contribution will encourage others in the community to also recognize and support the world-class efforts of this organization and its all-volunteer board.”

The SJHS announced in April 2013 it had signed a 99-year lease with the St. John Community Foundation for a portion of the foundation’s parcel at Estate Bellevue. The vision for this home, to be called the St. John Cultural and Historical Resource Center, includes a climate-controlled archive and museum/exhibit area, as well as meeting space and room for future expansion. It will be located nearby the historic ruins on the estate. The SJHS, working hand in hand with the SJCF, will play a key role in developing and preserving the site and making it available to the public.

“This incredibly generous anonymous contribution is the impetus that this organization needs to move us forward into phase two of our plans for the St. John Cultural and Historical Resource Center,” said Willis. “Phase one was ‘imagining,’ and phase two will be ‘creating.’ We are so thankful for this contribution, and I hope it will spur others to make similar commitments to our society and to our island.”

Longtime board member Rafe Boulon, who grew up on St. John in the mid- to late-20th century, lauded the donation as a stepping stone to receiving further donations.

“I would say that this donation represents the incredibly important and substantial seed money for the society to be able to attract the additional funding necessary to achieve our goal of constructing an archive, office, and museum on the Bellevue property,” he said. “This is far and away the largest donation the society has ever received, and is an affirmation of the society’s significance to St. John and a belief in what this all-volunteer society can do in the future.”

Eleanor Gibney, also a longtime board member who grew up on St. John, echoed Boulon’s sentiments.

“The society is honored by this wonderfully generous gift,” said Gibney. “Far beyond the immediate boost to the society and our building plans, it’s an investment in the future of St. John.”

To donate to the society’s building effort, please contact Willis at contactus@stjohnhistoricalsociety.org.

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 76. East northeast wind 11 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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lionfish

Lionfish at Klein Bay

Because of their voracious appetite, skill at hunting small fish, invertebrates and mollusks, long life, (five to fifteen years) ability to reproduce rapidly and lack of natural predators, the recently-introduced species, lionfish, (Pterois) have become a threat to the Caribbean coral reef community.

Lionfish are native to the Pacific Ocean They were first discovered in the Atlantic near Dania, Florida in 1985. It is speculated that they were introduced by people discarding them from personal aquariums when they got too large or when they became a problem by eating the other fish.

The lionfish have venomous spines, which can cause varying degrees of unpleasantness to those creatures, including humans that come in contact with them.

Efforts to control them have been problematic. As the lionfish has no natural predators, attempts have been made to teach creatures such as sharks, eels, barracudas and groupers to eat them with samples offered to them by divers. Feeding sharks, barracudas and their like comes along with its own set of problems as these fish often become aggressive to humans when they are expecting a free lunch and one is not offered them.

There have also been attempts to encourage humans, the only real natural threat to the lionfish, to develop a taste for them. Although people can consume the lionfish after the venomous spines have been removed and they are reported to be quite tasty, the lionfish has been implicated as a possible cause of ciguatera fish poisoning in areas where ciguatera is present.

So far efforts by divers and organized lionfish hunts have been the most effective ways of controlling them, especially at popular dive sites.

St. John Events

Virgin Fire Restaurant
Presents: “Nebraska”

Virgin Fire Restaurant announces that they’ve acquired the rights to show current movies on their in- house theatre.

We’re serving a Late Night Supper Menu, with appetizers, salads, desserts and coffees, and our bar is open.  General Admission is $15.

Seating is limited so please reserve here, or call us at 777-3473

Trio Arbos
St. John School of the Arts
Friday, March 14, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Trio ArbosFormed in 1996 in Madrid and named after the Spanish violinist, conductor and composer Enrique Fernández Arbós (1863–1939), the Trío Arbós has established itself as one of Spain’s leading chamber ensembles. The repertoire of the Trío ranges from the classical to the contemporary, with specially commissioned works forming a significant part of the concert programmes presented. The Trío has appeared frequently in major concert halls and festivals in more than thirty countries.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Stephan Sloan
5:30 – 8:30
776-5336

Beach Bar
Quest Theory
8:00
777-4220

Castaway’s
Mikey P
9:00
Dance Party
11:00
777-3316

High Tide
Mikey P
7:00 ish
714-6169

Island Blues
Brother Nature
8:00
776-6800

Morgan’s Mango
Lauren
6:30 – 9:30
693-8141

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

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

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

Virgin Fire
Aussie Guitars
The David T Carter Duo
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

See Weekly St. John Live Music Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers before noon. Sunny, with a high near 76. East wind 9 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

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)

The seas on the south were exceptionally calm making the ride over to Hurricane Hole quick and comfortable. The video and stills were shot with a Canon G15 in an underwater case.

hurricane hole mangroves

Red Mangrove

spotted trunkfish

Spotted Trunkfish

Mnagrove and Roots

Mangrove Environment

St. John Live Music Schedule

Beach Bar
The Carpet Baggers
9:00
777-4220

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00
777-3316

Coconut Coast
St. John Flutes
5:30 -7:00
776-6944

High Tide
Steel Pan
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

Rhumb Lines
Shane Meade & the Sound
7:00 – 10:00
776-0303

Shipwreck
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:30
693-5640

Virgin Fire
Gypsy Jazz
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

See Weekly St. John Music Schedule

St. John Virgin Islands Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. East wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Natasha Barnard models Ranifly BikiniVirgin Islands Swimsuit Designer Featured Again in Sports Illustrated
In the small island town of Coral Bay, St. John, swimsuit designer Rani Keohane is making big things happen. Her swimsuit line, Ranifly, was recently featured for the second time in Sports Illustrated, and she was also featured on GrindTV’s website in a piece on swimsuits for active women.

Ranifly swimsuits are coveted by women of all shapes and sizes thanks to their durability, comfort, and Keohane’s ability to create custom suits that flatter any body. She hand selects her fabric from a secret source in small batches and makes swimsuits in various styles, ensuring each Ranifly suit is unique.

“The suits are reversible, and we have hundreds of fabrics to choose from,” said Keohane, who makes the suits right in her Coccoloba complex shop.

Ranifly swimsuits can be purchased off the rack at Keohane’s Coral Bay shop and at various other St. John retailers, or ordered custom in the shop or online at www.raniflybikini.com.

Keohane’s success story begins with her simply trying to solve a problem: how to stay comfortable while working long days as a charter boat crewmember.

“I was working on boats and could never find anything that fit or was comfortable for the whole day,” she said. “I was always getting headaches from the suit pulling on my neck. So I started designing suits I could work in.”

Coworkers and friends took notice of Keohane’s designs, and immediately started placing their orders.

“They were so comfy and people loved them,” she said. “They’ve developed into being some of the most comfortable and flattering suits. Once people wear them, they’re hooked.”

In the 12 years since Keohane began making her own swimsuits, her business has grown in popularity, and today her easily recognizable designs are prolific on St. John’s beaches. Keohane works with her assistant, Sarah Swan, to come up with ideas for creative new styles, and Keohane engineers the suits to ensure their comfort and durability — hallmarks of Ranifly bikinis.

“Sarah will come up with something she thinks is really creative, and we’ll tweak it so that it’s functional too,” said Keohane. “That’s the part I do — I’m the mechanic. We don’t follow trends; we follow function, and we’re creative within that functionality. We try to be innovative. We’re trendsetters.”

Ranifly’s clientele ranges in age from teenagers to women in their mid-60s, and she’s made flattering, comfortable suits for every type of body.

“We get to make people feel good about themselves, and feel comfortable and confident at the same time,” said Keohane. “Bikinis are really hard. It’s a struggle for people to find something that works for them. We enjoy helping people leave happy and satisfied.”

To learn more about Ranifly, visit www.raniflybikini.com or contact Keohane at ranifly@gmail.com

Coral Bay Residents Cool to Idea of Clustered Housing Plan
By Lynda Lohr — March 12, 2014

Many of the approximately 75 Coral Bay area residents gathered Tuesday for a Planning and Natural Resources Department group dwelling permit hearing on an East End project called East Bay Beach Club were definitely cool to the idea.

“This is a textbook example of pure greed-driven projects,” St. John resident Doug White said at the meeting held at Guy Benjamin School in Coral Bay.

White and many others who attended the hearing wore black T-shirts with “Do Not Approve” blazoned across the front.

White, an architect and proponent of green building, has a house at the Privateer Bay development. His home is on one of what he said was nine lots with houses on them at the largely undeveloped and remote area that sit adjacent to the proposed project.

East Bay, with Marc Davies and Clark Bottner as principals, plans to build a 28-unit development on eight acres. It would have 16 three-bedroom units and a dozen four-bedroom units. The buildings will have one unit downstairs and another upstairs. The project also includes a club house and a pool.

The property sits adjacent to the Privateer development and will be accessed through Privateer’s privately owned roads. Privateer resident Barbara Crowder said the easement given to East Bay allowing it to use the Privateer roads prevents commercial development…. read more

Police Release Information in March 2 Villa Death
By Source Staff — March 12, 2014

Police have released additional information in the March 2 death of a female who was visiting St. John with her husband.

In a news released issued Tuesday, police identified the dead woman as 41-year-old Kimberly Lapsley.

According to the initial report, officers interviewed Lapsley’s husband, who said he and his wife were on vacation from Virginia and had an argument in the villa where they were staying. The husband told officers that, 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 wife.

Detectives investigating the case said the autopsy has been completed and investigators are awaiting toxicology results. The V.I. Medical Examiner’s Office is the entity that sends and receives the toxicology report. Once that office receives it, they contact the police.

Detectives said the case is still under investigation and they will continue to interview anyone who has any information on the couple. Anyone with information can call detectives at 1-340-714-9834, or 1-340-715-5522, or call 911 or the anonymous tip service, Crimes Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.

Tips also can be sent by texting “USVI” plus the message to CRIMES – or 274637.

Judge deems murder suspect a flight risk, sets bail at $750K
By JENNY KANE (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 11, 2014

ST. THOMAS – The man who police said stabbed a St. Thomas woman and left her body in a wrecked car made his initial appearance in court on Monday.

Adisa Bertrand, 33, appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay to be advised of his rights on first-degree murder and other charges. A butcher knife was among the items found in the vehicle containing the body of 24-year-old Shantee Seivewright on Friday night.

Seivewright was lifeless when V.I. police recovered her body at about 10:15 p.m. Friday from the wrecked vehicle. She had suffered several stab wounds that were not related to the wreck, according to police.

Slightly more than three hours later, police arrested Bertrand.

During Monday’s hearing, more than two dozen sets of eyes were on Bertrand. Family and friends of Seivewright lined the courtroom benches, some of them shaking their heads and some of them crying quietly.

Bertrand, who wore an oversized red jumpsuit, shivered in his seat, looking back at the crowd a handful of times.

Mackay set Bertrand’s bail at $750,000 and said he is a flight risk and danger to the community.

Bertrand, who has been living in the Chocolate Hole area of St. John for the last seven years, is in the territory illegally, making him an even greater flight risk, according to V.I. Assistant Attorney General Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte. He originally is from Dominica, Mackay said…. read more

 

 

 

 

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Salomon Bay
Map-9Why Salomon?
Although Salomon is every bit as beautiful as any of St. John’s incomparable north shore beaches, this unconventional access, keeps the number of visitors down and insures a more intimate beach experience. Additionally, if you’ve come by ferry from St. Thomas for the day or are staying in Cruz Bay, you won’t need to rent a car or hire a taxi to get to the beach.

 How to Get There

 Hike from Town
Take the Lind Point Trail, which begins at the National Park Visitors Center in Cruz Bay.

Parking
For those who arrive at the trailhead by car, finding a place to park near the trail can be difficult, to say the least.

Now the Virgin Islands National Park offers a solution, of sorts. Hikers bound for the Lind Point Trail can go to the National Park Visitors Center located just across the street from the trailhead and obtain a parking permit that allows them to park in spaces reserved for the park employees. You’ll need to show the attendant at the center your drivers license, which they will hold until you get back. They will then issue you a sign for you to place on your windshield.

Be aware that empty employee’s parking spaces are limited and are often unavailable, and that parking anywhere else on the street will put you in danger of being ticketed by enforcement rangers.

If you opt for permitted parking, make sure that you return before the Visitors Center closes to get your license back. (The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Park back wheels to the curb, windshield facing out towards the street and enjoy your hike.

The Trail
From the trailhead, it will be a little less than one mile to the beach at Salomon Bay. When you get to the fork in the trail, you can go either way.

The lower trail is slightly shorter and less hilly. On the other hand, the upper trail is often better maintained and more scenic, passing by the beautiful Lind Point Overlook.

From either the upper or lower trails, take the spur trail to Salomon Bay, which will be on your left and leads downhill.

Combining a Drive and a Walk
For a shorter walk (a little over a half mile, but with a descent of 250 feet and the consequential ascent later on) to Salomon Beach, you can use the Caneel Hill Spur Trail.

Ttake Route 20 (the North Shore Road) past Mongoose Junction and up the hill. Turn left at the top of the hill where there is a blue Virgin Islands National Park sign.

Parking
Immediately on the right hand side, is a parking area for approximately four vehicles. Park here if you drove.

The Caneel Hill Spur Trail intersects Route 20 and is clearly marked with a sign. Take this trail north and downhill to the Lind Point Trail and turn left. Then take the first spur trail to the right, which goes down the hill to Salomon Beach.

The Name

Salomon Bay was named after the brothers Jannis and Isack Salomon, The Salomon brothers, were Dutchmen from a prestigious family, who came to the Danish West Indies from Statia in the early 18th century. They dedicated the Salomon Bay property to the production of cotton.

salomon bay kids

Salomon Beach is now more family friendly

Salomon Bay anti Nudity laws

Lacking federal anti-nudity laws the Park enforces Territorial Law

Old Reputation
At one time Salomon had the reputation of being a clothing optional beach. In 1997, a federal court decision allowed the Park, a federal entity, to enforce Virgin Islands territorial laws prohibiting public nudity. With continued enforcement, nudity was discouraged and today only old time residents remember the days when Salomon was “clothing optional.”

Snorkeling
Some of the finest snorkeling on the north shore can be found on the reef between Salomon and Honeymoon Bays. This easily accessible, shallow water snorkel can be thoroughly enjoyed by snorkelers of all experience levels.

Salomon and Honeymoon Bays can be reached via the Lind Point Trail or from the Caneel Bay Resort.

Visitors arriving from the Caneel Bay Resort will be subject to a $20.00 parking fee that will be waived for those spending money at the resort’s facilities.

Snorkeling equipment, as well as single and double kayaks, standup paddleboards and beach chairs can be rented at the Honeymoon Beach Hut. Cold drinks ice cream and snacks are also available for purchase. Other facilities available at Honeymoon Bay include rest rooms and lockers.

Most of the reef lies in calm shallow water with some sections even rising above the surface at times of extreme low tides, thus snorkelers should make an extra effort to avoid situations where the water is too shallow for them.

The coral reef here is in relatively good condition and the reef community is colorful and diverse. Snorkelers will encounter intricate coral formations and lots of fish with different varieties arriving at different times of the day.

Snorkeling in the center of the bays can also be a worthwhile experience. Stay in areas protected by swim buoys to minimize danger from dinghy traffic in the area. Here, the environment is sand and coral rubble. You will have to look more carefully to find interesting activity, but there really is a great deal of life here. The hills and holes on the sea floor are formed by eels, worms, shrimp, clams and crabs that make their homes on this underwater beach.

Snorkeling just off the beach is also a good way for beginners to get practice before attempting to snorkel over the reef where there is a possibility of danger to both the snorkeler and to the reef from accidental contact.

The reef on the east end of Honeymoon around the point between Honeymoon and Caneel Bays is also a good snorkeling area. It’s closer to the beach and smaller than the more extensive reef on the other side of the bay. There are always a lot of fish here as well as some excellent examples of colorful elkhorn coral. (excerpted from St. John Off The Beaten Track)

St. John and Virgin Islands News

New ferries are one inspection away from starting service
By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 8, 2014

ST. THOMAS – The two new passenger ferries still are awaiting a final Coast Guard inspection before they begin to take passengers to and from Red Hook and St. John.

The vessels, named Red Hook I and Cruz Bay I, were delivered to the territory in November and were supposed to be in operation by the end of 2013.

At first, a problem with insurance policies delayed the start of operations, but now the only thing holding up the boats is the final coast guard inspection, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said….

…The ferries are 85-foot aluminum catamarans, each of which can carry about 250 passengers and are loaded with state-of-the-art features. The current ferries in operation belong to Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services, the companies franchised to run the St. Thomas to St. John ferry route.

However, the two new boats will belong to the V.I. government and be operated by the franchisees. At the end of January, Smalls said he expected the new vessels would be operational for the public by the end of February.

On Friday, Smalls told The Daily News the last piece to be put in place is the final Coast Guard inspection and certification of the franchised operators.

Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said Friday that the inspections done in Louisiana, where they were built, were for sea-worthiness.

“These two ferries have already been inspected and received documents of inspection good for five years,” Castrodad said.

However, when the boats came to the U.S. Virgin Islands, they passed out of one port zone and into another. That requires another set of inspections, these more specifically geared to the operator.

“They will go over some drills on the proficiency of handling the vessel,” Castrodad said.

The drills will include an “abandon ship” exercise, a “man overboard” rescue and other safety and security drills, according to Castrodad.

The only obstacle is scheduling a time for the inspections with the Coast Guard and the two ferry operators…. read entire article

Vice President Joe Biden and wife visit St. Croix
By JOY BLACKBURN (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 8, 2014

ST. CROIX – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, again are visiting St. Croix.

Information from the White House Office of the Vice President indicates that the Bidens are visiting the territory Friday through Sunday, with no public events scheduled.

It is their second visit to the St. Croix in just more than two months. The Bidens last visited the island for a holiday vacation from Dec. 27 through Jan. 1.

They have quietly visited the territory around holiday time more than once in recent years, initially on Water Island and, more recently, on St. Croix.

Suspect Arrested in Women’s Murder
By Source staff — March 8, 2014

A 24-year-old woman from St. Thomas was found dead at about 10:15 p.m. Friday in a car in Tutu Valley, according to the V.I. Police Department, and one man was later arrested and charged in the crime.

Adisa Bertrand, a 34-year-old resident of Chocolate Hole, St. John, was charged with first-degree murder and other charges…. read more

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Beach Bar
Mitch Woods
9:00
777-4220

High Tide
Steel Pan
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

Ocean Grill
David Laabs
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

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

Sun Dog
Sunday Night Jam
6:30 – 9:30
693-8340

See Weekly Schedule

IMG_0544St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 75. East southeast wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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Elliot Hooper from Tall Ship Trading told me about a huge anchor that lies in only 15 feet of water in Hurricane Hole. The anchor that dates back to the 1800s was inadvertently moved from Virgin Islands National Park waters and subsequently recovered and returned through a team effort of Elliot, the  VI National Park and the Friends of the Park. Learn more about the recovery.

     

This was no mean feat. The anchor measures 15 feet in length with a cross bar eight feet long and weighing some 2500 pounds was in 80 feet of water. The task was accomplished by floating the anchor using lined 55 gallon drums into which air was pumped and once free of the sea bottom it was dragged by dinghies to its current resting place in Hurricane Hole.

Anchor MapIf you’d like to find it, it’s relatively easy to do. The anchor rests at a depth of about 15 feet just off the peninsula between Princess Bay and Otter Creek.

The GPS Coordinates are 18°21’7.20″N by 64°41’38.40″W, but its easy to find following Elliot’s simple directions:

Look for a green bush with a fallen rock on the peninsula. Believe it or not it’s the only bush unless you count mangroves. Then snorkel straight out (west) until the water starts to get deeper. Look around; you’ll find it.

St. John Events

St. John Film Society presents: “Las Carpetas” (The Files)
Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: St John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay
$5.00 suggested donation or become a 2014 SJFS Member ($35. individual, $50. family)

“Las Carpetas,” a 2011 documentary, examines a painful chapter in Puerto Rico’s history in which secret police, supported by the FBI, spied and persecuted those who disagreed with the government. For decades, the collected information was classified in archives known as “the files”. An entire network was set up so “subversives”, were denied certain jobs through which they could exert influence or authority (police, university, journalism). Those who already had jobs were hounded until they resigned and many citizens were forced to emigrate since they could not find jobs in Puerto Rico.  When the existence of the files became known in 1987, the practice known as “the carpeteo” was declared unconstitutional. It wasn’t until 1992 that 15,000 files were officially returned to the persecuted citizens, opening a Pandora’s Box of painful memories.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Beach Bar
T-Bird
9:00
777-4220
Castaways
Karaoke Night
9:00
777-3316

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 8:00
714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Steel Pan
6:30
776-6378

Island Blues
Karaoke
8:00
776-6800

La Tapa
Sambacombo
6:30 – 9:30
693-7755

Morgan’s Mango
Greg Kinslow
6:30 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Lauren Jones
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

See Weekly Schedule

Virgin Islands News

Coral World dolphinarium work under way on land
By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 3, 2014

ST. THOMAS – Work has started on the $5.2 million, 70,000-square-foot interactive dolphin exhibit at Coral World Ocean Park.

The Coastal Zone Management permits were approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. John deJongh Jr. late last year.

The work being done on the property is on the land. The permits for building the dolphin enclosure in Water Bay have not yet been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.

According to the permit application, the dolphins will be kept in a large rectangular enclosure built in Water Bay, bordered by decking containing a viewing platform and low bleacher seating.

The decks that will make up the enclosure will measure about 300 feet by 250 feet.

An additional 40-foot buffer will be set up around the perimeter of the decking using a buoy line. The decking will be supported by 158 concrete pilings that will necessitate the removal and relocation of some corals and seagrass beds.

A stainless steel mesh will connect the dock on the surface to the ocean floor, keeping the dolphins in the 2-acre enclosure while allowing the natural currents of the bay to clean out the dolphin habitat…. read more

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 77. East northeast wind 13 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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st john virgin islands marine life: elkhorn coral

Elkhorn Coral

st john marine life: brain coral

Brain Coral & Christmas Tree Worms

st john usvi marine life: sponge

Sponge

It’s always intrigued me that corals, sponges and tube worms are animals as they appear more like plants in a garden than members of the  animal kingdom. Actually, the only plants on the reef that come to mind are algae and sea grasses.

Snorkeling Waterlemon Cay

Excepted from St. John Off the Beaten Track
Many visitors name Waterlemon Cay, the small island found off the beach at the end of the Leinster Bay Trail, as their favorite snorkel.

Enter the water from the beach and snorkel towards Waterlemon Cay. The distance between the beach and the cay is about 0.2-mile. You’ll be snorkeling over seagrass lying in about 25 feet of water. This is the best place on St. John to see starfish. Also, look for conch, sea cucumbers, green turtles and stingray, creatures that also frequent this sand and grass environment.

To decrease the snorkeling distance to the island, follow the trail at the far end of the beach. Bear left at the first fork in the trail, which will continue to follow the shoreline. At the end of this trail, walk along the shore and choose a convenient place close to Waterlemon Cay to enter the water. The distance across the channel to the island is only about 0.1 mile. This entry is from the rocky shoreline to a rocky bottom. Be careful not to step on live coral or sea urchins.

From this entry point to the eastern part of Waterlemon Cay, you will snorkel over an area of seagrass and scattered reef. Closer to the island the water becomes quite shallow. Here you will see schools of blue tang and some very large parrotfish. You can hear the parrotfish crunching their beak like teeth along the surface of the rocks and dead coral. They do this to scrape off algae. Chunks of coral and algae pass through the parrotfish’s unique digestive system and are excreted as fine coral sand. Much of the sand on our beautiful beaches is produced in this manner.

Around the north and west sides of the island, the underwater seascape is truly an “Octopuses’ Garden.” There are several varieties of hard coral, including excellent specimens of brain coral. Sea fans and sea plumes are found on the deeper parts of the reef. The whole area is teeming with fish and other sea creatures. Look for eels in holes and for octopus where you find opened seashells piled together, signaling a place where they have feasted.

There is often a current around the island, which is especially strong during new and full moons. If you are not a strong swimmer, keep this in mind and proceed with caution. Obviously, it is easier to swim in the direction of the current rather than against it, so choose your direction around the island accordingly.

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

High Tide
Steel Pan
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

Ocean Grill
David Laabs
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

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

Sun Dog
Sunday Night Jam
6:30 – 9:30
693-8340

See Weekly St. John Live Music Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers before noon. Sunny, with a high near 77. Southeast wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

Update me when site is updated

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