Tag Archives: hawksnest

Elkhorn Coral at Hawksnest Bay

Elkhorn Coral (Acropora palmata)

Elkorn coral is the most likely coral to be found in shallow reefs, where waves cause constant water movement. Unlike most corals the elkhorn is a relatively fast growing species, which under the right conditions can grow as mush as six inches a year. In recent years disease and rising water temperatures has resulted in the degradation elkhorn populations in many areas around the Virgin Islands. The reefs of Hawknest Bay on St. John, however, support beautiful health colonies of elkhorn corals, near shore where they can easily be observed by snorkelers.

The Virgin Islands National Park has been experimenting with a elkhorn coral seeding program to help damaged reefs recover.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Llewelyn “Little Lew” Sewer

@ Work: Love City Car Ferries Connects Islands
By Lynda Lohr — November 11, 2013

With a website to keep customers up to date, a marketing plan that provides a variety of enticements to lure customers, and friendly staff, Love City Car Ferries has come a long way since May 4, 1998, when the Captain Vic made the first trips between Cruz Bay, St. John, and Red Hook, St. Thomas.

On that day and several after, the barge company Boyson Inc. blockaded the ramp at Red Hook to prevent the Captain Vic from offloading vehicles. A Territorial Court case followed, with the judge ruling consistently in favor of the Captain Vic….

… Eventually, Republic Barge Service, which came to be called Love City Car Ferries, worked out a system with the island’s third barge company, Global Marine’s Roanoke barge, to accept each other’s tickets. This has allowed both companies to provide better service….

…The marketing program includes Love City Car Ferries’ loyalty program called Sea Miles Club. Members get notifications of specials and discounts. The company also has a program for passengers older than 65 that provides a $5 discount on tickets no matter what the time of day, and a discount program through Facebook. People who need to travel from St. John to St. Thomas for medical care also are eligible for discounts. Anecia Sewer said that people get a discount on their fare for less serious medical issues, but if it’s something that requires frequent trips like dialysis, the company provides free transport.

“We just believe our company is a company for the people,” Anecia Sewer said….

…The company has its roots in the seafaring tradition forged by many generations. Anecia Sewer said the family name comes from the fact that long ago, ancestors sewed sails on seafaring ships. And Llewelyn Sewer’s grandfather was the legendary Captain Victor Sewer, known by all as Captain Vic. Llewelyn Sewer said he recalls being aboard when his grandfather took Laurance S. Rockefeller out for a trip.

Llewelyn Sewer’s father, known by all as Big Lew Sewer, was the person who dubbed St. John Love City…. Read entire article

Gov. deJongh signs bills commending retired judge, furthering creation of dolphinarium
By Amanda Norris (Daily News Staff)
Published: November 11, 2013

ST. THOMAS ­- Gov. John deJongh Jr. on Friday signed into law several bills including a resolution to honor retired Superior Court Judge Julio Brady, a bill funding repairs to Centerline Road on St. John and a bill enabling a dophinarium at Coral World….

… St. John improvements

The governor also approved Bill 30-0275, which appropriates $500,000 to the Public Works Department for the repair of Centerline Road, Route 10, on St. John and another $1 million to the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority for the construction of a waste recycling center and maintenance of the sewer system on St. John.

Both appropriations come out of the St. John Capital Improvement Fund, which the governor warned is overextended.

“Although I am approving this measure, we must be prepared for the adverse impact of this appropriation,” deJongh wrote. “The St. John Capital Improvement Fund is currently overappropriated by $3.9 million and cannot further support any additional appropriations.”… read article

St. John Live Music Schedule Tuesday 11/12

Karaoke Night

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 – 8:00

Morgan’s Mango
Greg Kinslow
6:30 – 9:30

Ocean Grill
6:30 – 9:30

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Scattered showers before 8:00 am, then isolated showers after 2:00pm. Sunny, with a high near 88. East wind around 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

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Virgin Islands National Park Effected by Federal Government Shutdown

Hawksnest Bay closed for Govt. Shutdown
Barricade at Parking Lot at Hawksnest Bay

Trunk Bay Barricade
Barricade at Trunk Bay, but Some Cars in the Lot Anyway

Swimmers at Trunk Bay
And Some People are Swimming Anyway

Cinnamon Bay closed by VI National Park
Taxi Drivers Among Those Effected by Federal Government Shutdown – Cinnamon Bay Barricaded and Closed

Maho Bay Pavillion
You Can Park at Maho, but You Can’t Sit on the Benches or Use the Toilets

Annaberg Road Closed
The Road to Annaberg, Leinster Bay, Waterlemon Cay and the Johnny Horn Trail is Closed
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Hawksnest “Tiny Cove” St. John’s Smallest Sand Beach

St. John Beaches: Tiny Cove

St. John’s smallest white sand beach lies on the eastern coast of Hawksnest Bay. The best way to get to this little cove is by sea, although I once made my way down to the beach following a now non-existent rough trail that led from the Northshore Road just a little west of the Peace Hill parking area to the top of the rocks behind the beach. From there it was a relatively easy scramble down to the beach below.

If you arrive by boat you can tie up to the mooring buoys just offshore.

Tiny Cove is a pretty little beach, with soft white sand and good snorkeling along the coast and certainly unique in it’s diminutive size, but then how much beach do yo need?

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St. John Trails: Peter Durloo house

St. John Trails: Durloo House

If you look on the east side of the steep hill going down to Hawksnest Bay you should see an old stone stairway. This was once the entrance to a house that at one time belonged to Laurance Rockefeller. The house eventually became the property of the Virgin Islands National Park and was demolished. Nothing remains.

Today if you climb the staircase you’ll notice a trail leading through the bromiliads that takes you to the ruins of a stone structure that is said to have once belonged to Peter Duurloo, born on the island of Statia in 1675 and died on St. John 1746. I have also seen his name spelled Durloo and Durloe. The three islands, Henley Cay, Ramgoat Cay and Rata Cay are collectively known as the Durloe Cays and were undoubtedly named after him

Peter Durloo was one of the original planters who took possession of parcels of land on St. John when the Danes laid claim to the island in 1716. Durloo took up what is now some prime real estate, Cinnamon Bay and Caneel Bay, which he named for the bay rum trees (Caneel in Dutch) that were so plentiful there.

Charlotte Dean Stark, who wrote Some True Tales and Legends about Caneel Bay Trunk Bay and a Hundred and One Other Places on St. John, had this to say about Mr. Durloo:

“He was a colored man from one of the more southerly islands, probably Satia, where the Dutch were struggling to keep their foothold. It seems likely that most of the Dutch planters in St. Thomas were the colored sons of Hollanders who had been brought up by their fathers to learn the business, whatever it might be. Not many women went out with the original explorers who seized islands in the chain to the south of us.”

The site has been cleared by Jeff Chabot and his volunteers, but is unlikely to stay that way. So if you’re interested in a little history and don’t mind the uphill walk from the Hawksnest parking lot, you may want to pay a visit while the visiting is good.

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St. John Virgin Islands: Little Hawksnest

Little Hawksnest
Little Hawksnest
Hawksnest Bay, St. John Virgin Islands
Hawksnest Bay

Just to the west of the popular Hawksnest Beach, lies a much smaller and far less visited stretch of soft coral sand known as Little Hawksnest.

I revisited this little beach yesterday and realized that it has been some time since I had been there. The tide was high and the surf was up (our St. John winter season is just about upon us) and there wasn’t much beach to speak of with waves washing up almost to the vegetation line.

It isn’t always this way and on more normal days one can find a quiet little beach just to the west of the public beach.

To get to Little Hawksnest, you’ll need to walk to the far western end of the public beach, take the trail through the woods that parallels the shore until you get to the rocky coastline separating the two beaches. A relativity easy scramble will bring you to the beach.

Thinking back (all the way to 1972) I remember attending the wedding of Charlie Deyalsingh (Trinidad Charlie) and Cathy Hartford on this very beach, where among other festivities we had a pig roast.

Remember I said relatively easy scramble, but thinking about it, setting up a pig roast on that beach must have been fairly challenging. I guess we all were a lot tougher in those days.

Little Hawksnest

Trail to Little Hawksnest
Trail to Little Hawksnest

Little hawksnest Rock Scramble
Little hawksnest Rock Scramble

Entrance to Little Hawksnest Beach
Entrance to Little Hawksnest Beach

Little Hawksnest Beach looking west
Little Hawksnest Beach looking west
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St. John Virgin Islands Stories: The Pirate Birthday Party

Romanticized tales of pirates and buried treasures have become an important part of West Indian lore, capturing the imaginations of both young and old. Former St. John residents, John and Jennifer Campbell and their children, were no exceptions. They loved to read and listen to stories about the pirates that haunted the Caribbean in the old colonial days.

Some years ago when Ross, one of the Campbell children, was about to celebrate his birthday, John and Jennifer organized a party at the public beach at Hawksnest Bay. The theme of the party was pirates.

The “adult” Campbells hatched up an elaborate scheme. An authentic-looking treasure chest was made out of an old wooden box and filled with “silver and gold” (pennies and nickels) and rare spices (candies and cookies) garnered from the four corners of the globe. The pirate chest was then buried just under the surface of the sand alongside a sea grape tree at Hawksnest Beach.

Next a treasure map was drawn using paper which had been burned on the edges to make it look old and mysterious. The map contained easy and explicit instructions as to the whereabouts of the fabulous pirate treasure.

The pirates were recruited from among John’s friends and colleagues. They wore eye patches and bandanas and carried pirate swords (machetes). A black 19-foot Zodiac served as “the pirate ship” which flew a large Jolly Roger so everyone would know that those on board were genuine buccaneers.

When the children arrived at the beach for the birthday party, they were informed that pirates had been seen in the vicinity. If any pirates should come even near the beach, the children were instructed to run and hide as quickly as possible because pirates were, after all, dangerous fellows.

Just about an hour after the start of the party, while the children were playing on the beach, a strange craft was seen approaching Hawksnest from the north. As it came closer one of the children recognized the skull and cross bones of the Jolly Roger flag and correctly identified the vessel. “Pirates!” he shouted, “Hide!”

The children ran for cover under the sea grape and maho trees.

The ominous pirate boat landed on the beach and the motley crew stepped ashore. A mean and nasty looking swashbuckler gazed up and down the beach. “Do you see kids around?” he growled, staring at the sea grape tree under which four or five children were hiding (and spying). This was obviously too much for one little boy who darted out from under the branches and ran, screaming at the top of his lungs, to his mother who did her best to calm the young lad.

“No, no sign of kids around here”, replied another pirate, ignoring the sobs of the frightened child.

“Who has the map?” queried a one-eyed buccaneer. “It’s right here”, answered the pirate captain, who looked a little like John Campbell, but more fierce. “Let’s bury it where no one will EVER find it”, he said, as he hid the map under a few inches of sand, seeming to be unaware that the eyes of more than a dozen children were following his every move.

With the map and treasure well hidden and the day’s mission accomplished, the brigands boarded their craft and headed out to the blue Caribbean.

As the pirates sped off they could a hear a tourist kid, who had been watching the drama unfold from down the beach, ask his mother “Were those real pirates, mom?” Meanwhile, with the buccaneers only a short distance offshore, one of the braver birthday party kids came out of hiding and ran to the sandy area where he had seen the pirates stash their secret treasure map.

The pirates returned to Cruz Bay, washed off their pirate makeup, removed their eye patches and put away their swords. They secured the pirate launch, boarded a Nissan pickup and drove back to Hawksnest to join the birthday party.

Upon their arrival at the beach, a gaggle of excited kids surrounded the newcomers and told them all about their recent encounter with real Caribbean pirates, their narrow escape and their recovery of a fabulous buried treasure.

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