St. John Creatures: What Happened to the Mongoose Dem?

Photo by Don Hebert

Long time St. John residents may remember how Mongoose Junction got its name. There was once an area where dumpsters were located that first got the name “Mongoose Junction” because of the many mongooses that were attracted to it.

St. John has been plagued by mongooses ever since planters brought them from India to control the rats that were eating their sugar cane. It was a futile move that only caused more problems, being that rats hunt during the night and live in trees and mongoose hunt during the day and live on the ground. A problem for both tree nesting birds and ground fowl like chickens. The problem was so bad that in 1936, there was only one sign posted in all of St. John. It was nailed to the palm tree nearest the town dock in Cruz Bay, signed by the Government Secretary and embossed with the government seal, announcing a bounty, dead or alive, for mongooses: fifteen cents for a male and twenty five cents for a female.

It came to my attention yesterday that I haven’t seen a mongoose for several years now. They used to be a common sight on St. John, hanging around dumpsters, darting across the North Shore Road or squashed on the road. Not anymore. What happened?

It seems that a government mongoose trapping program has been effective in controlling the beasts, officially classified as an invasive species. They’re either rare or gone from our island. The same can be said for Tortola, but not Jost Van Dyke, where a chicken hardly has a chance.

Noticed the increase in the iguana population on land and the prevalence of turtles in the offshore seagrass beds? Partly due, I’m sure, to the fact that their eggs are no longer at great risk from the sly mongoose.

St. John Live Music Schedule Friday June 22

Aqua Bistro – Stephan Sloan – 5:30 – 8:30 – 776-5336
Castaways – Mikey P 8:00 – Dance Party 11:00 – 777-3316
Cinnamon Bay – Eddie Bruce Drum Circle – 6:30 – 8:00
Cruz Bay Prime – James Cobb – 7:00 – 10:00 – 693 -8000
Driftwood Dave’s – John W Lee – 7:00 – 10:00 – 777-4015
Island Blues – Slammin – 776 6800
Morgan’s Mango – Lauren – 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

Weekly Schedule

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Sunken Plane on Little Cinnamon

The remains of a sunken light aircraft can easily seen by snorkelers at Little Cinnamon Bay. The wreck lies in shallow water at the eastern end of the beach, just west of the big rocks.


St. John Live Music Schedule Thursday June 21

Castaways – James – 9:00 – 777-3316
Driftwood Dave’s – Just Mike – 7:00 – 10:00 – 777-4015
Island Blues – Ike – 7:00 – 10:00 – 776-6800
Miss Lucy’s – Jazz with Rich and Greg – 6:00 – 9:00 – 693-5354
Morgan’s Mango – Mark Wallace – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Shipwreck Landing – Slammin – 7:00 – 10:00
Skinny Legs – Lauren – 6:00 – 9:00 – 779-4982

Weekly Schedule

Summer Solstice

The summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere is normally on June 21 and I would have wished my visitors a happy Summer Solstice, but it seems that I’m a day late this year, today being two seconds shorter than yesterday.


Leap Year!


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Carval Rock Snorkel

Carval Rock Snorkeler

The Carval Rock snorkel is best done on calm days – very colorful and lots of sea life

The legend of Carval Rock

carval rock snorkel
coral tunnel

eagle rays
eagle rays


St. John Live Music Schedule Tuesday June 19

Castaways – Karaoke Night – 9:00 – 777-3316
Driftwood Dave’s – Michael Beason – 8:00 – 777-4015
High Tide – Erin Hart – 6:00 – 9:00 – 714-6169
Island Blues – Karaoke & Open Mic – 8:00 – 11:00 – 776-6800
Morgan’s Mango – Greg Kinslow – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Ocean Grill – Rascio on Steel Pan – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-3304
Spyglass – T-Bird – 5:00 – 8:00 – 776-1100

Weekly Schedule

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Cinnamon Bay Self-Guiding Trail

Cinnamon Bay Self guiding Trail St. John Virgin islands
NPS Informational Sign alongside Handicap Access Boardwalk

If you only have enough time on St. John to hike one trail, then the Cinnamon Bay Self-Guiding Trail is the trail for you. Also, because the trail is relatively short, flat and shady, it’s a perfect choice for those who would like to experience a taste of the St. John interior, but who might be put off by the prospect of a long hike on the often hilly and rugged terrain characteristic of the St. John forest. As an added bonus, the Virgin Islands National Park has placed a series of wonderfully informative signs along the trail covering everything from history and culture to nature and environmental concerns. Read more

I’ve posted an album of photos taken on my latest hike of the trail. View Cinnamon Bay Self Guiding Trail Photos

St. John Weather

I’ve been noticing a disparity between the NOAA and Weather Underground sites with NOAA being consistently “glass half full” and Weather Underground “glass half empty”. Personally I prefer the NOAA take, which means it’s time to change the weather link on my main website

According to NOAA: Mostly Sunny
According to Weather Underground: Mostly Cloudy


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Beach Bar Sunset

Cruz Bay Sunset
Sunset at the Beach Bar

The Beach Bar at Wharfside Village in Cruz Bay has been drawing a regular sunset crowd, as do several other establishments fortunate enough to enjoy that unobstructed western view. Notwithstanding the African dust that’s been in the air of late, it was a still a beautiful end to “another day in paradise”.

Today’s Weather:

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. Heat index values as high as 101. East wind between 17 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. (From NOAA forecast for Cruz Bay St. John)

Weekly Music Schedule

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