Parrotfish

Parrotfish

Parrotfish

Parrotfish graze the coral reef during the day, Using their unique parrot-like teeth, they scrape calcareous alge off the rocks and other substrate accomplishing two very important things. First, the removal of the algae give corals the chance to grow on the cleaned substrate creating new coral reef and secondly the rock-like algae passes through the parrotfish’s digestive system and is excreted as sand. One parrotfish can produce 90 kilograms (200 lb) of sand each year.

St. John News

Kenny Chesney To Donate Part of New Album Sales to Park Friends
By Lynda Lohr — April 29, 2013

Country singer Kenny Chesney, who reportedly owns a house on St. John, will donate an unknown percentage of the sales from his new album, “Life on a Rock,” to Friends of V.I. National Park, Friends President Joe Kessler confirmed Monday…. read more

Ranks of V.I. Uninsured Swell to Almost 1 in 3
By Source Staff — April 29, 2013

The percentage of U.S. Virgin Islanders without health insurance is nearly 30 percent and rising, according to a just-completed draft market analysis of the territory’s private insurance market. Gov. John deJongh Jr.’s health reform task force discussed the analysis at its April meeting.

The task force contracted Value Advisory Group to analyze the local insurance market to help it determine how to implement the federal Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, and if the territory should set up a health insurance exchange, or instead take more Medicaid funding…. Read more

St. John Weather

Overcast with rain showers
High of 84 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ENE at 15 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 86 degrees F
Sunset: 6:40 PM AST

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Steven Sloan
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Beach Bar
Gann Brewer
9:00
777-4220

Castaways
Karaoke Night
9:00
777-3316

Driftwood David’s
Benn Marr
5:30 – 8:30
777-4015

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

Island Blues
Karaoke & Open Mic
7:00
776-6800

La Tapa
Greg Kinslow
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Miss Lucy’s
David Reed
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

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

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:00 – 9:30
693-3304

Shipwreck Landing
Dave Gerard
7:00 – 10:00

Spyglass
T-Bird
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

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St. John Sea Salt

Sea Salt from St. John's Salt pond Bay
St. John Sea Salt from Salt Pond Bay

How Does the Salt Get There?
Saltwater enters the pond from the sea by seepage at high tides and by waves breaking over the surface during storms. Salt Pond is one of the only places on St. John that is below sea level. This condition prevents significant amounts of pond water from flowing back out to sea. Constant, intense sunlight and ever-present trade winds encourage an exceptionally high rate of evaporation. When rain is scarce, the water becomes extremely salty. Water can only hold a certain amount of salt in solution and when the salinity of the pond reaches that point, the salt crystallizes.

As the water level continues to drop, and more and more water is evaporated, a layer of salt is left along the edges of the pond. The longer the dry period, the higher the temperature, and the stronger the winds, the more this salt layer will extend towards the center of the pond and the thicker the layer becomes.

You can collect salt during these times by scooping up the salt with your hands, if it is still wet and soft. If the salt layer is dry and hard, use a knife or other sharp tool. (If you’ve forgotten to bring a container, just walk over to nearby Drunk Bay where there is a great deal of flotsam, and you’ll probably find something you can use.)

After the salt is collected, drain off as much water as possible and put it in the sun to dry further. You may be left with fine powdery salt, which you can enjoy on your food immediately or, if the dried crystals are large, you will first need to grind them up or pound them out.

The salt obtained from salt ponds is particularly tasty and healthy, containing all the minerals that are present in the sea, which include all those essential to the human body. So during the next dry spell, take the trail to St. John’s best salt pond for collecting salt and bring some back home.

Virgin Islands News

UVI Hospitality Program Teaches Locals to ‘Leave ‘Em Smiling’
By Molly Morris — April 28, 2013

“Always leave them with a smile, that’s what makes them want to come back,” said Tamara Lang, director of the University of the Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Management program, whose goal is exactly that….

St. John Weather

High Surf Advisory!
Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 84 degrees F
Winds from the ENE at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 86 degrees F
Sunset: 6:39 PM AST

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Beach Bar
Barefoot Davis
5:00
777-4220

Concordia
Bo
Sunday Brunch 10:00 am

Cruz Bay Prime
Mark Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

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

Island Blues
Van Gordon Martin
776 – 6800

Miss Lucy’s
Sambacombo
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
693-5254

Ocean Grill
David Laab
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
T-Bird
7:00 – 10:00

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club
7:00 – 10:00

Sun Dog Cafe
David Laab
11:00 am- 2:00 pm
244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

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Angel Face

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Early Registration for the Beach-to-Beach Power Swim Ends Friday, May 3rd

Dear Swimmer,

It is just over 4 weeks to the 10th annual Beach-to-Beach Power Swim to be held on Sunday, May 26th in the beautiful protected waters of Virgin Islands National Park.  I hope that you will be joining us.  For full information about the swim please visit www.friendsvinp.org/swim.

I just wanted to remind you that early registration ends next Friday, May 3rd.  So save yourself a few bucks and register now.  Early registration for adults is $40 and general registration, starting next Saturday, May 6th, is $50.  For youths, ages 17 and below, both early and general registration is $25.

Also, please note that registration is limited to 300 swimmers —  first come, first served; so please register soon to avoid disappointment

To register:

·         On-line go to www.friendsvinp.org/swim.
·         By phone call 340-779-4940 (office hours only)
·         In person on:

On  St. John at The Friends of the Park Store in Mongoose Junction, or Connections in either Cruz Bay or Coral Bay

On St. Thomas at Caribbean Surf Co. locations at Havensight or Red Hook

On St. Croix at SCUBA in Christiansted

For those of you on St. John or St. Thomas also please remember that there are two practice swims remaining to help you get ready for the event. They are on:

·         Sunday, April 28th from Maho to Cinnamon or Trunk
·         Sunday, May 12th from Maho to Cinnamon, Trunk or Hawksnest

The practice swims start at Maho Bay, near the dinghy channel at 8:30 am.  Please be there by 8:15 for the free registration and briefing.

I look forward to seeing you in the water on May 26th.  Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

Regards,
Joe Kessler, Race Director
Friends of VI National Park
340.779.4940
jkessler@friendsvinp.org

‘Rain Don’t Stop De Carnival,’ But Bullets Put an Early End to J’ouvert
By James Gardner — April 26, 2013

While many said the turnout at Thursday’s J’ouvert celebrations was the best it’s been in the last few years, the fun was short-lived. Violence broke out in the early morning hours, and V.I. police quickly shut down the event and asked everyone to go home….

…In a news release Thursday afternoon, the V.I. Police Department said three individuals were shot during the event and were taken to Schneider Regional Medical Center for treatment. Detectives at the scene said the victims were 23, 25 and 27 years old and that a preliminary investigation had revealed that a fight had broken out in the crowd dancing behind one of the bands.

“The wounded were taken from the scene by ambulances that were stationed nearby,” the press release said….

…In a statement released Thursday evening, Gov. John deJongh Jr. denounced the shootings and said that at least one of the victims was critically injured….

…The governor said he met Thursday with V.I. Police Commissioner-designate Rodney Querrard and other police brass, including the department’s intelligence unit director, Ray Martinez, to discuss the incident.

“I was assured by the leadership of the department that today’s shooting was not a random act,” the governor said in the release. “The intelligence gathered in the case suggests that the shooting stemmed from ongoing differences between two neighborhood groups who used the cover of the large crowd at J’ouvert to level their retaliatory acts.”…. read more

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers in the morning, then clear with rain showers
High of 82 degrees F
Winds from the NE at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Sunset: 6:39 PM AST
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 86 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
David Reed
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

Update me when site is updated

Ram Head Full Moon Hike

Ram Head Point St John USVI

Full Moon Hike to Ram Head

This afternoon will be a great time to experience the spectacular view from Ram Head Point at Sunset. The sun will set in the west at 6:38 and the moon will rise shortly afterward at 6:43 PM. The moon should give plenty of light for the hike back, but nonetheless, be sure and bring a flashlight to safely negotiate tricky parts of the hike.

Another option for early birds would be the sunrise Ram Head hike. The moon will set in the west at 5:34 AM and the sun will rise at 5:55 AM tomorrow morning

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 84 degrees F
Winds from the ENE at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 86 degrees F
Sunset: 6:38 PM AST
Full Moon Rise: 6:43 PM AST

Virgin Islands News

Multiple Shootings Stop St. Thomas J’ouvert
By James Gardner and Bill Kossler — April 25, 2013

At least three people were shot during J’ouvert, shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday, as the procession moved by the ferry mooring on the Charlotte Amalie waterfront. The parade was halted at 9:05 a.m., the V.I. Police Department has confirmed.

No fatalities have been reported at present. The investigation is in its preliminary stages and little more can be confirmed at this time, according to police officials.

“Police are pursuing all leads in this case and it is an active investigation,” V.I. Police Department Public Information Officer Melody Rames said at 9:45 a.m…. read more

Governor: Violence Could Curtail Carnival
By Source staff — April 24, 2013

Continued outbreaks of violence could impact and even curtail Carnival last lap events, Gov. John deJongh Jr. and Police Commissioner-designate Rodney F. Querrard warned Wednesday.

Querrard briefed deJongh on a number of shootings and other incidents that have been reported on St. Thomas within the last several days, including the shooting early Tuesday morning of a 16-year-old who had been celebrating Carnival and was shot in the thigh near the entrance to Fort Christian east of Emancipation Garden.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Banana Deck
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
693-5055

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

Beach Bar
savitri
9:00
777-4220

Castaways
James
9:00
777-3316

Miss Lucy’s
Jazz with Rich and Greg
6:00 – 9:00

Morgan’s Mango
Mark Wallace
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00

Skinny Legs
Lauren Jones Magnie
6:00
779 4982

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

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

Doe at Caneel Bay

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 84 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ESE at 10 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Sunset: 6:38 PM AST
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 86 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Gann Brewer
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

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

Miss Lucy’s
David Reed
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Shipwreck Landing
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:30

Sun Dog Cafe
Wednesday Night Jam
With Dan Silber
7:30-10:30
244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

St. John Weather: An Early Morning Rain Squall

Five minutes of weather: a rain squall passes over St. John

Approaching Squall

Squall

Squall Passes

A Passing Squall

Experiencing the weather on St. John is somewhat like experiencing it on a ship at sea. The island is small enough and the mountains are not high enough to cause much of a land effect on the weather.

Standing on my deck early this morning, I could see the dark outline of a rain squall to the east, moving westward towards me. When the squall line got close enough I could feel the wind’s increased velocity at the leading edge of the squall.  Shortly there after came the rain which lasted about three minutes before the squall passed over and the skies to east were clear once again.

St. John Weather Forecast

Overcast with rain showers in the morning, then partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers
High of 84 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the East at 20 to 25 mph
Chance of rain 60%
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 87.1 degrees F
Sunset: 6:36 PM AST

St. John & Virgin Islands News

Funding Needed to Fight Lionfish
By Lynda Lohr — April 17, 2013

It will take money and effort to continue the fight against invasive lionfish, Frank Cummings, the education outreach coordinator for Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education, said Wednesday at the Rotary Club of St. John’s weekly meeting.

“The lionfish will affect our tourist-based economy,” Cummings told the seven Rotary members gathered at the Westin Resort and Villas Beach Café..

Coast Guard Gets New Boats
By Lynda Lohr — April 17, 2013

Four new 29-foot boats will help the U.S. Coast Guard better respond to search and rescue calls and deal with potential threats in the Virgin Islands, the Coast Guard said in a press release issued Wednesday.

The new boats will continue “to extend the Coast Guard’s footprint and visibility throughout the Sector San Juan area of responsibility,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Robert Gonzales, the Boat Station San Juan officer in charge…

St. John Live Music Schedule

Banana Deck
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
693-5055

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

Beach Bar
savitri
9:00
777-4220

Castaways
James
9:00
777-3316

Miss Lucy’s
Jazz with Rich and Greg
6:00 – 9:00

Morgan’s Mango
Mark Wallace
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00

Skinny Legs
Lauren Jones Magnie
6:00
779 4982

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

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

Orchids

Orchids in bloom in my garden – April 16, 2013

This Orchid has only boolem twice in the 12 years that I’ve had it

My garden is almost entirely native plants, troublesome exotics like Wild Tamarind have been painstakingly eliminated (almost)

Small native orchid, grows in harsh dry sunny windy locations and loves it
 purple  white forest yellow

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 84 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ENE at 15 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Sunset: 6:36 PM AST
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor St. Thomas): 87.1 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Steven Sloan
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
Karaoke Night
9:00
777-3316

Driftwood David’s
Benn Marr
5:30 – 8:30
777-4015

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

Island Blues
Karaoke & Open Mic
7:00
776-6800

La Tapa
Greg Kinslow
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Miss Lucy’s
David Reed
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

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

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:00 – 9:30
693-3304

Shipwreck Landing
Dave Gerard
7:00 – 10:00

Spyglass
T-Bird
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

St. John Sand

St John Sand
Magnified image of St. John Sand

A magnified view of the tropical beach sand from the Caribbean island of St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands). The grains include porous fragments of brightly-colored corals, minute foraminiferan shells, fragments of sea shells and shiny, star-shaped sponge spicules…. waynesword.palomar.edu

See Also: A Grain Of Sand Video by Dr. Gary Greenburg

Where does our sand come from?
The sand found on St. John’s beaches comes, almost entirely, from the coral reef community. This is the main reason why our sand is so much finer and softer then the sand found on most continental beaches, which comes from terrestrial sources, such as the weathering of rocks.

Most of the sand on St. John’s beaches is produced by the force of waves and currents acting on the coral reef as coral, calcareous algae, (algae with a hard exoskeleton) the shells of various sea creatures and sea urchin spines (which make up those little black grains of sand) are gradually broken down into sand sized grains.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn addition, reef grazing fish, such as parrotfish, produce a significant amount of the sand found on our beaches. Parrotfish exist on a diet of algae, which they scrape off the surface of coral rock with their fused teeth that look like a parrot’s beak. They then grind this coral and algae mixture to a fine powder. The algae covering the coral are absorbed as food. The remainder of their meal passes through their digestive tracts and is excreted in the form of sand…. read more

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 82 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ESE at 15 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 87.1 degrees F
Sunset: 6:34 PM AST

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Concordia
Bo
Sunday Brunch 10:00 am

Cruz Bay Prime
Mark Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

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

Island Blues
Van Gordon Martin
776 – 6800

Miss Lucy’s
Sambacombo
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
693-5254

Ocean Grill
David Laab
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
T-Bird
7:00 – 10:00

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club
7:00 – 10:00

Skinny Legs
Dave Gerard
6:00
779 4982

Sun Dog Cafe
David Laab
11:00 am- 2:00 pm
244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

Cathrineberg

Cathrineberg Windmill
Cathrineberg Windmill

 Cathrineberg is located on Johns Head Road just about 100 yards north off Centerline Road. The windmill and surrounding ruins are the property of the National Park and may be visited by the public. The Cathrineberg windmill has been restored and is in excellent condition. Beneath it is an old stone warehouse with arched passageways…. read more

Check out this link for a REALLY COOL interactive panorama of the Catherineberg Windmill. Look up, down, around, passageway level, top level, closer, farther …

St. John Weather

Clear with rain showers
High of 82 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the East at 15 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Sunset: 6:33 PM AST
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 86 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule Wednesday April 3

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

Island Blues
Mojo Flyer – NYC Cool
776-6800

Miss Lucy’s
David Reed
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Shipwreck Landing
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:30

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

See weekly music schedule

Update me when site is updated