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.
Snorkeling the seagrass beds between the beach and the swim buoys at Big Maho has become one of my favorite snorkels, especially if you want to see turtles. Keep in mind that this will not be like snorkeling over a coral reef where there is almost guaranteed to be constant activity. You’ll need a little patience. I snorkeled there with friends last week who wanted to see turtles and they were disappointed. In addition to the tarpon and green turtle you see in the video, we observed southern stingrays, conch, starfish and a remora swimming back and forth along the hull of a moored catamaran.
St. John Events
Skinny Legs hosts the Commodore Cup
Fund Raiser for KATS (Kids at Sea)
Skippers Meeting 6:30
Two Days of sailing (Saturday and Sunday)
‘Best J’ouvert In Years,’ Community Says By James Gardner — May 2, 2014
From the time the steel pan tramp started at 4 a.m. until the bands started winding down at 10 a.m., all anyone could talk about was how great this year’s J’ouvert celebrations were.
Facebook posts from residents all across the community began coming in early, as steel pan and other groups began moving up Veterans Drive before the sun even peeked over the hills. DJ Avalanche hit the ground around 4 a.m. with one of the bigger J’ouvert troupes, Carnival Kaleidoscope, while the bigger bands – Cool Session, Triple K, Volume and Poizon – began making their way up the route around 6.
As usual, this year’s festivities brought out residents of all ages, decked out in their finest – or skimpiest – attire. J’ouvert is one of the only celebrations in the territory where anyone can wear anything and get away with it, and this year was no exception: from young men wearing sparkling gold shorts to older women gyrating down the street in wigs, fishnet stockings and crop tops, there was no shortage of eye-popping costumes…. Read more
St. John Weather
Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 78. East wind 14 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
…ROUGH SURF CONDITIONS EXPECTED TODAY AND SATURDAY…
MODERATE NORTH NORTHEAST SWELLS WILL AFFECT THE ATLANTIC COASTLINE OF PUERTO RICO…CULEBRA AND THE NORTHERN VIRGIN ISLANDS THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY RESULTING IN SIGNIFICANT BREAKING WAVE ACTION AND RIP CURRENTS.
…HIGH SURF ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM AST SATURDAY…
* WAVES AND SURF: 5 TO 6 FEET IN NORTH NORTHEAST SWELLS WITH BREAKING WAVES OF 9 TO 12 FEET.
* TIMING: LATER TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY.
* IMPACTS: ROUGH SURF CONDITIONS WITH SCATTERED RIP CURRENTS AND
MODERATE TO LARGE WAVES IN THE SURF ZONE.
A HIGH SURF ADVISORY MEANS THAT HIGH SURF WILL AFFECT BEACHES IN
THE ADVISORY AREA…PRODUCING RIP CURRENTS AND LOCALIZED BEACH
Now that the remainder of the Big Maho Bay land has been turned over to the Virgin Islands National Park, rangers are already working with Friends of the National Park in clearing the property’s Maria Hope Trail and improving parking at the beach.
The Maria Hope Trail follows an old Danish road that runs between the Josie Gut Estate on the Reef Bay Trail and Maho Bay on the north shore.
History of the Maria Hope Road
Until early in the nineteenth century, people couldn’t travel all the way from east to west on what was then called Konge Vey (King’s Road) and which is now known as Centerline Rd or Route 10. The road was divided in two by a gorge located at the saddle of the Maho Bay Valley on the north and the Reef Bay Valley on the south. This gorge was known as the defile and was impassable by donkey cart or horseback.
When travelers on horseback or wagon going between the Coral Bay side of St. John and the Cruz Bay side came to the defile, they had two options:
Option 1: There were corrals for horses on both sides of the defile. They could leave their horses in the corral on one side, cross the defile on foot and arrange to take another horse to continue east.
Option 2: They could take the Maria Hope Road down the Maho Bay Valley to the north and continue east on the north shore.
Around the year 1780, the defile was filled in by the owner of the Old Works Estate, Peter Wood, and the two sides of the island were connected by one road for the first time.
When Centerline Road was constructed along the mountain ridge, hundreds of tons of fill were brought in to make the road passable by motor vehicle. In the process, the Old Works Estate and the uppermost section of the Maria Hope Road were completely covered over with the exception of the horsemill wall the horsemill wall, which can be seen as soon as you descend the stairs to the Reef Bay Trail.
The ruins of Maria Hope Estate lie just about 200 feet from Centerline Road at the trail entrance to the Maria Hope Trail. Access to the ruins is provided by a trail going east and up just as you enter the Maria Hope Trailhead…. Read more
A Major Addition to Virgin Islands Park By ASHLEY WINCHESTER
Virgin Islands National Park – which already encompasses 60 percent of the tiny Caribbean island of St. John — just got a little bigger.
The beach at Maho Bay and its surrounding hillside recently was sold to the National Park Service in a $2.5 million deal, the Trust for Public Land announced. It’s the park’s largest addition since 1956, when the philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller, hoping to preserve the island paradise he fell in love with, donated more than 5,000 acres toward its creation…. read more
Organizers Seek Input on Plan to Control Invasive Lionfish
By Susan Ellis — January 8, 2014
During the three years after their first sighting in the territory in 2008, about 800 lionfish were taken from the waters around St. Croix. In 2012, the number had grown to between 7,000 and 10,000 fish, but according to research the infestation may be leveling off.
At the end of 2012, members of dive and fishing groups on St. Croix estimated they had removed 7,000 lionfish that year, according to Anthony Mastroianni of Lionfish Safari, a private non-profit group. Jenn Travis, project coordinator and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration coral fellow, said local fishermen could account for another 3,000 fish.
On Wednesday, the Friends of the East End Marine Park, a non-profit organization, hosted a public meeting, attended by a handful of stakeholders, at You Are Here Bar and Grille to review and update the Lionfish Response Plan, written by The Nature Conservancy in 2009.
The updated comprehensive plan, with input from public forums and a written survey, outlines goals to address control and removal of the fish, education and outreach, research and monitoring as well as marketing and communications.
“If we lose the reefs – the coral – we lose the sea grass beds, we lose the sea turtles,” Travis said….
… The Pacific Lionfish was first discovered in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida in 1992. Its spines are venomous but when removed, the fish is edible. Since 1992, the marine predator has migrated to South America and has infested some areas, like the Bahamas, with unmanageable numbers.
The lionfish endangers reef ecology and the fish industry by eating juvenile fish, octopus, squid, shrimp and lobster. They are prolific and adaptable. Mature females can lay 30,000 eggs every four days and they can live up to 15 years.
Lionfish have been spotted at a various depths – from a dozen inches of water to more than 1,000 feet.
As the waters become infested with lionfish, there are fewer fish to feed residents. Tourism suffers because fewer people visit the territory to dive and snorkel. The victim species negatively affect the oceans’ ecology and impacts recreation and commercial interests…. read more
St. John Virgin Islands Live Music Schedule
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
About Maho Bay Maho Bay was named after the Hibiscus tilaceus or beach maho a tree commonly found on the St. John shoreline and throughout the tropics. The beach Maho has a distinctive heart-shaped leaf and produces attractive yellow flowers that later turn purple. The small green fruit of the maho is not edible, but a bush tea can be made from the leaf.
Interestingly, Maho Bay, now a relatively narrow beach, was once one of the widest beaches in St. John. The “horse kids” of St. John took advantage of this characteristic, as well as the great length of the beach, to have horse races on the sand. The narrowing of the beach came as a result of the removal of sand by the government to construct Cruz Bay roads and the Julius Sprauve School. This was done at a time when the dynamics of sand production and sand loss were not yet understood.
St. John, Virgin Islands and Caribbean News
One Of The Caribbean’s Best Beaches Is Protected For Tourists By The Trust For Public Land CHARLOTTE AMALIE, Virgin Islands, Dec. 18, 2013 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/
As the Caribbean tourist season hits its peak, one of its best beaches has been protected from development, The Trust for Public Land announced today.
The beach is at Maho Bay, on the north side of the island of St. John, where most of Virgin Islands National Park is located. The 225-acre beach and the hillside above are the largest single addition to the park since it was created in 1956, from land donated by Lawrence Rockefeller.
“The beach and hillside at Maho may well be paradise, and can now be enjoyed by everyone who comes to this wonderful park,” said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land.
Gerald Singer, an expert on Caribbean beaches and author of St. John Beach Guide, said, “This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. I’m happy to learn the delicate environmental balance of the lush Maho Bay valley and access to the beautiful beach and the calm, shallow bay with its abundant marine life will remain undisturbed by private development.”
Brion FitzGerald, Superintendent of V.I. National Park, said, “This is one of the best beaches on St. John and is a significant piece of the island’s natural and cultural history. It is wonderful that it will be available for park visitors.”
The Trust for Public Land recently sold 74 acres to the National Park Service for $2.5 million, the last of a series of sales beginning in 2009, bringing the total land sold to 225 acres. The federal money came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Rep. Donna Christensen, D-V.I., said, “I am glad that this very beautiful beach and the surrounding natural resources will be preserved for Virgin Islanders and visitors alike.”
Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Learn more at tpl.org
SOURCE The Trust For Public Land
ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. health officials have issued a travel advisory for the Caribbean island of St. Martin because of a mosquito-borne disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s closely following reports of the chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) virus among residents of the French side of St. Martin.
The World Health Organization has reported 10 confirmed cases on the island. The CDC says it’s the first time the disease has been reported among non-travelers in the Western Hemisphere.
The virus can cause fever, joint pains, a rash, muscle aches and headaches. Travelers to St. Martin are advised to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and to use air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.
Swine Flu Case Confirmed at JFL Hospital By Source Staff — December 19, 2013
Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital confirmed Wednesday that a patient at the hospital has been diagnosed to be infected with the H1N1 influenza or “swine flu.””The circumstances surrounding this case have been documented and the information has been submitted to the appropriate representatives at the Virgin Islands Department of Health,” JFL interim Chief Executive Officer Kendall Griffith said in a statement. “We will continue to provide any and all information to the department on such cases they work to ensure the public is adequately informed and protected this flu season.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Health began monitoring recent reports of a new strain (H7N9) of avian influenza or “bird flu” emerging in China.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting H1N1 and other flu strains to be present in the United States and the region, but currently at low levels, with no signs of imminent outbreaks.
H1N1 is fatal in less than one in 100 cases but can still be dangerous. At least one Virgin Islands resident died from H1N1 during a worldwide outbreak in 2009…. read entire article
St. John Live Music Schedule
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
Scattered showers, mainly before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 78. East northeast wind 18 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
One of my favorite snorkeling spots on St. John is the shallow grassy areas just off the beach at Maho Bay. Although not as colorful and lively as the coral reef environment, there’s a lot of cool stuff going on here. With a little patience I can just about guarantee that you’ll come across a sea turtle or two and stingrays. Other sea creatures that abound here are stingrays, conch and squid.
Would you like to observe sea turtles? Check out the grass beds of Maho Bay. You’ll rarely be disappointed. Just be patient; the turtles love Maho just like St. John’s tourists and residents.
Green sea turtles are reptiles. Their ancestors evolved on land, but began to live in the sea about 150 million years ago.
Unlike other species of sea turtles, the green sea turtle is mainly herbivorous, grazing on seagrasses in shallow bays like Maho.
“C. mydas (the green sea turtle) is listed as endangered by the IUCN and CITES and is protected from exploitation in most countries. It is illegal to collect, harm or kill them. In addition, many countries have laws and ordinances to protect nesting areas. However, turtles are still in danger because of several human practices. In some countries, turtles and their eggs are hunted for food. Pollution indirectly harms turtles at both population and individual scales. Many turtles die caught in fishing nets. Also, real estate development often causes habitat loss by eliminating nesting beaches….” read more from Wikopedia
St. John News
@ Work: Caribbean Solar Co.
By Lynda Lohr — March 3, 2013
Caribbean Solar Co. has been in business for just less than a year, and now the St. John-based company is an authorized distributor for SolarWorld, the largest solar manufacturer in the United States.
That’s good news for Caribbean Solar owners Kevin Schnell and Maya Matthews-Sterling, a husband and wife team providing one-stop solar services to customers across St. John…. read more
St. John Weather
High of 82 degrees F
Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph
Sunset: 6:26 PM AST
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie) 84 degrees F
V. I. National Park Removes Dangerous Coconut Trees
By Source Staff — February 15, 2013
The management of Virgin Islands National Park alerts the public it will be removing some of the more hazardous and/or dead coconut trees from Maho Bay pavilion and parking areas. The work is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, according to a press release issued Friday by the U.S. Department of the Interior…. read more
8 Tuff Miles Set for Huge Turnout on Saturday
By Lynda Lohr — February 18, 2013
With up to 1,500 people participating in the 17th annual 8 Tuff Miles race on Saturday, residents should expect sections of Centerline Road between Cruz Bay and Coral Bay to be closed to traffic when runners are passing.
“It’s a big doggone event,” said Jeff Miller, a member of the organizing committee.
The 8.375-mile race begins at begins at 7:15 a.m. and runs from near the V.I. National Park ballfield to Coral Bay ballfield. The fastest runners do the course in under an hour…. read more
St. John Events Tuesday February 19
St. John Arts Festival
Cruz Bay Park
Beginning at 12:30 pm
Koko and the Sunshine Band, Caribbean Ritual Dancers and Mocko Jumbies.
High Surf Advisory!
Partly cloudy with rain showers in the morning, then clear with rain showers
High of 81 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the West at 20 to 25 mph shifting to the North in the afternoon
Chance of rain 20%
Sunrise: 6:44 AM AST – Sunset: 6:21 PM AST
Water Temperature 82.9 degrees F
St. John Live Music
Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
7:00 – 9:00
6:00 – 9:00
Karaoke & Open Mic
8:00 – 11:00
6:00 – 9:30
6:00 – 9:00
6:30 – 9:30
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:00 – 9:30