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Posts Tagged “virgin islands national park”

sunset from lind point battery overlook

Yesterday’s sunset seen from the Lind Point Battery Overlook

Virgin Islands National Park SignThe Lind Point Trail is a favorite hike for people coming to St. John by ferry or for those who don’t have a vehicle. That’s because the trail is within easy walking distance of downtown Cruz Bay and offers not only a great trail experience such as the great views from the Lind Point Battery Overlook, but also access to the beautiful beaches and snorkeling at Salomon and Honeymoon Bays.

But day-trippers are not the only ones who choose to experience the Lind Point Trail and most of these hikers arrive by vehicle. This presents a problem. 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.

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

St. John and Virgin Islands News

List of the Friendliest Islands in the Caribbean from the Huffington Post

St. John came in number six, with the annotation: “What’s even nicer than “soft sand beaches” and “water that’s clear like glass”? The “warm, kind locals,” according to our readers—they’re ‘”friendly and welcoming, without pestering you.”‘

St. John was topped by the British Virgin Islands, which came in number five.

Vieques was number nine, and the number one spot went to the island of Saba…. read article

In another list compiled by the Nassau Guardian the Virgin Islands came in fourth:

Report Ranks V.I. Homicide Rate Fourth in Caribbean
By John Baur — January 16, 2014

The U.S. Virgin Islands rated fourth in the Caribbean in 2013 in the number of homicides per 100,000 residents, according to a study by the Nassau Guardian in the Bahamas.

… the island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis had the highest homicide rate in the region…. Jamaica’s homicide rate was second highest in the region…. and the Bahamas ranked third… read more from the St. John Source or from the Nassau Guardian

Bordeaux Farmers Rastafari Fair This Weekend
By Molly Morris — January 16, 2014

It’s time again to gather up family and friends and head out to the rolling green hills of Bordeaux for the 17th annual Bordeaux Farmers Rastafari Agricultural and Cultural Food Fair on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll have no trouble finding it; just head west on St. Thomas and follow your nose. The heady aromas of fresh food will lead you.

The fair bursts with fresh produce, herbs, vegetables, cook pots filled with pumpkin soup, kallaloo, homemade vegan and raw food, pumpkin fritters – it goes on as it has for years, the annual celebration of all that is right with the world. It runs from 10 a.m. to midnight or thereabouts each day.

The fair is the proud product of the Bordeaux Farmers Collective We Grow Food Inc., illustrating the group’s belief: “To lose agriculture is to lose our culture, integrity, self-worth and pride. Without these characteristics, we as a people fail to exist.”… read more

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Beach Bar
Get Right Band
9:00
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
Plus Comedian Tim Hofmann!
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

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

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. East wind around 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

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Where to go to the beach ion St. John in light of the National Park closure.

The Virgin Islands National Park is one of the casualties of the US federal government shutdown. For St. John, that means all park lands and facilities on the island are now closed. That’s trails, beaches, the Visitors Center, the children’s playground, the mooring balls and anything else that has to do with the park. The worst part, in my opinion is not being able to legally access the beaches.

If you don’t want to take a chance of running afoul with some park enforcement personnel, here are four beach alternatives, which are not on National Park land:

St. John Happenings

Beach Bar
Tonight October 4 and tomorrow  Oct 5 Breath of Soul – 8pm 777-4220

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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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Annaberg School

The Annaberg School on St. John was one of the first public schools in the Caribbean offering compulsory free education to all children, both free or enslaved. Classes were taught in English

Why is English the language of the Virgin Islands?
The official language of the United States Virgin Islands is English. At first this statement seems reasonable, as the language of the United States is English. Taking a closer look, however, we must remember that until 1917, the United States Virgin Islands had been a Danish colony for almost 250 years. Why then isn’t the language of the Virgin Islands, Danish? … read more

St. John News

New Park Superintendent on the Job on St. John
By Lynda Lohr — March 7, 2013

Like many St. John residents, the new V.I. National Park superintendent, Brion FitzGerald, first visited the island on vacation. He and his wife, Mary Robinson, came for their 25th wedding anniversary in 2006 when they made a day trip from St. Thomas. They returned in 2011 for another vacation.

FitzGerald, 56, was thinking hard about retirement himself when the superintendent’s job opened up because the previous superintendent, Mark Hardgrove, had retired. FitzGerald said he jumped at the chance.

“This was the only place I considered applying for the job,” he said.

Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., FitzGerald has spent his career with the National Park Service…. read more

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 79 degrees F
Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Sunset: 6:27 PM ASTWater Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor): 84.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Michael Beason
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
Mikey P 8:00
Dance Party 11:00
777-3316

Cinnamon Bay
Eddie Bruce Drum Circle
6:30 – 8:00

Concordia
Bo & Lauren
6:30 – 9:00

High Tide
Mikey P
9:00
714-6169

Miss Lucy’s
TuTu Much
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Morgan’s Mango
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
T-Bird
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00

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

Shipwreck Landing
Mitch Woods
7:00-10:00

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel & Company
6:00
779 4982

See weekly Schedule

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Eugenia Earhartii

Eugenia Earhartii

Virgin Islands National Park closes access to 325 acres on the south side of St. John
In reaction to the illegal improvement of an old Danish Road that ran above the White Cliffs and its connection to one of the many goat trails found in the vicinity of Europa Bay, the Virgin Islands National Park has closed public access to 325 acres on the south side of St. John. The trail in question, known as the White Cliffs Trail, runs through an area of the park that is the habitat of Eugenia Earhartii, which the NPS maintains would be endangered by hikers using the trail.

Eugenia Earhartii or more commonly know as Earhart’s Stopper is a shrub in the genus Eugenia (stopper) which contains 1000 species and belongs to the family of the Myrtaceae (Myrtle Family). Its duration is perennial which means it will grow year after year. Its floral region is The Virgin Islands.

See St. John source article

Read Bob Garrison’s response to the trail closure

St. John Weather
Overcast with rain showers
High of 81 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ENE at 10 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Sunrise: 6:52 AM AST – Sunset: 6:12 PM AST
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas) 82.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule – January 30

Aqua Bistro
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:00 – 8:00
776-5336

Castaways
Flip Flop Rock
8:00
777-3316

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

Cruz Bay Prime
Sambacombo
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

High Tide
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 6:00
714-6169

Shipwreck Landing
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:30

Skinny Legs
Get Right Band
6:00
779-4982

Sun Dog Cafe
Wednesday Night Jam
Lauren & Mark Wallce
7:30-10:30
244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

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St. John South Shore

Good News From WAPA:

“Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority engineers and technicians completed repairs to gas turbine Unit #23 in St. Thomas’ Harley Power Plant last night and returned all feeders to service by 11:42 p.m. The feeder rotation schedule implemented on Monday and Tuesday has been discontinued.

“A wiring fault which occurred in the generator on Monday was repaired when subsequent troubleshooting determined that a computerized control card for the starting diesel component needed to be replaced. The part arrived from Puerto Rico Tuesday evening and was immediately installed.  After programming its software, the unit was returned to service before midnight.”

Westin St. John Rewards Guests Who Volunteer for Virgin Islands National Park Maintenance Program
“From now through December 31st, Westin St. John Resort & Villas is offering a $100 resort credit and transfers for guests who volunteer at nearby Virgin Islands National Park. With the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, visitors can participate in a one-day program to help maintain park trails and ruins, and remove debris from beaches and coastlines. All you have to do is show up at 8 a.m. any Tuesday or Thursday.”
By Karen Borsari for Shape.com

Diving Accident at Salomon Bay
A young New Bern man, described as the best of the best, was killed in a diving accident in Salomon Bay in St. John. James Alexander, 24, son of MERCI Clinic director Nancy Alexander and heart surgeon Dr. George Alexander, died Friday as he and his twin brother David were on a diving expedition in the U.S. Virgin Islands…. A National Park Service official said that Alexander was free diving with his brother. He ended up on the bottom at a depth of 30 feet. read article

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JetBlue takes off from Boston to U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The sights and sounds of the U.S. Virgin Islands greeted travelers at Boston’s Logan International Airport this morning as the Department of Tourism showcased VI culture in celebration of JetBlue’s first flight to the Territory from the continental U.S… read more from South Florida Caribbean News

Best national parks to visit during winter
By Elaine Porterfield , msnbc.com contributor

Lots of folks know about Yosemite’s festive lodges in the winter, the excitement of viewing buffalo in the snow at Yellowstone or alligator spotting in the Everglades. Emphasis on lots of people. But there are a number of other lesser known national parks that are gems in the winter, when crowds are down, stargazing is amazing and temperatures range from temperate to pretty terrific.

“Some of the beauty of going to any of the parks in the wintertime is that you’re not going to encounter the crowds you would in the summer or fall,” said Kurt Repanshek, editor of National Parks Traveler, a website devoted to the national parks.

Slideshow: America’s lesser-known national parks

Repanshek, who has had a lifelong passion for preserving and protecting national parks, says some of the most memorable visits he’s made to many of the parks happened in the off-season. One of his faves: Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John. The park includes 5,650 acres of submerged lands that protects beautiful coral gardens and seascapes… Read more

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St. John Photo of the Day
St. John Trails: Beehive Cove, Tektite Trail

Photo taken from the Tektite Trail of Beehive Cove.

St. John News

“Lost” Petroglyphs Rediscovered at Virgin Islands National Park…read more

Gov. DeJongh Seeking $42M for Broadband Infrastructure…read more

Live Music on St. John Wednesday, March 2

Castaways – Steven Sloan – 7:00 – 777-3316
Coconut Coast StudiosSt. John Flutes – 5:30 -7:00 – 776-6944
High Tide – Chris Carsel – 7:00 – 10:00?714-6169
Island BluesJames Cobb – 7:00 – 10:00 – 776-6800
Larry’s Landing - James Jams – 10:00 – 693-8802
Sun Dog Cafe - Open Mic with Mark Wallace – 7:00 – 10:00 – 693 8340
Westin, Cruz Bay PrimeDavid Laabs – 6:30 – 10:00 – 693-8802

A word of caution to my visitors: I’m doing the best I can to present an accurate music schedule, but to be sure, it would be a great idea to call the restaurant or bar beforehand to confirm.

Weekly Music Schedule

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Nanny Point St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)

Nanny Point, St. John - Google Maps Satellite Image

Nanny Point, St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)

Nanny Point

Nanny Point, located on St. John’s southeastern coast has recently been acquired by the Virgin Islands National Park Service. The 2.2-acre parcel, donated by Stanley Selengut, commands some outstanding views of Coral Bay and out towards the British Virgin islands. Mr. Selelengut, the owner of Maho Bay Camps and Estate Concordia, donated the land to the Trust for Public Lands, which then donated the Nanny Point headland to the V.I. National Park.

Nanny Point could easily have fallen into the hands of developers. The acquisition of the land by the National Park through the generosity of Mr. Selengut will ensure that Nanny Point will be available for the enjoyment and benefit of the public at large.

Thank you, Mr. Selengut!

Nanny Point, St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)

Nanny Point St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)

Nanny Point

Nanny Point, St John USVI

cactus covered headland

BVI View from Nanny Point

View of the British Virgin Islands

Ram Head seen from Nanny Point

View of Ram Head Point

Salt Pond Bay seen from Nanny Point

View of Salt Pond Bay

tide pool

tide pool

View North from Nanny Point

Nanny Point also happens to be the habitat of a rare plant species, Solanum conocarpum, native only to the island of St. John.

SolanumConocarpum

Solanum Conocarpum

“Solanum conocarpum is a thornless, flowering shrub that may reach more than nine feet in height and is found in dry, deciduous forest on the island of St. John.

Initially, the plants lost their dry scrub thicket habitat in the intense deforestation for cotton and sugar cane cultivation on both islands. Now, the additional threats of residential and tourism-related development, grazing by feral goats and the practice of burning off vegetation.
There are only about 220 S. conocarpum plants left in the wild in two areas on St. John – 156 plants at Nanny Point on land recently donated to the Virgin Islands National Park and 60 plants on private land.

Funded by the National Park Service, a project to propagate and reintroduce S. conocarpum into areas within the park was begun in 2003. But the plants are threatened by park management practices such as trail and facility maintenance, in addition to the feral pigs, feral goats, Key deer, and donkeys. The plants on private land are at risk from residential and tourism development.”

Environment News Service

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St John Virgin Islands: Fungi Passage

Fungi Passage

The passage between Whistling Cay and Mary Point on St. John is called the Fungi Passage. Virgin Islands National Park Ranger Denise George once offered to tell me the origin of the name. She said that no matter how hard the wind blows,  how big the ground sea or how strong the tide, the Fungi Passage is always calm. She also explained that fungi is a Virgin Islands staple dish made from okra and cornmeal, often served with fish, like in “fish ‘n’ fungi.”

“In the Virgin Islands,” Denise said, “a good fungi, like the waters in the Fungi Passage, is always very smooth.”

Denise likes to make stories and this one is a good one so lets just say that maybe she’s right.

The island just to the north of the Fungi Passage is Great Thatch one of the British Virgin Islands and the passage between it and St. John is called the Narrows. In the photograph you can see the opening into that stretch of water notorious for a strong winds and currents.

The big island further to the north is Jost Van Dyke, also in the British Virgin Islands. The bay on the east is the main town, Great Harbor and the one on the west behind the four masted schooner under full sail is White Bay.

The photograph was taken from the overlook on Centerline Road at about 9:00 AM on Sunday.

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