Coconuts

St. John USVI Flora: Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)

St. John Flora: Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)
The coconut palm is the symbol of the tropics. Their natural habitat is the area at the top of sand beaches where few other species can grow. In this area a layer of fresh water floats above another layer of salt water that seeps through the sand from the sea. The coconut palm roots seek out this fresh water layer. Although the coconut palm also grows well in good soil, it is more prevalent in sandy environments where there is less competition.

On St. John, the coconut is usually enjoyed while still green and slightly immature, when the nut meat is still soft. In this form they are called jelly nuts. After drinking the coconut water, the soft meat or jelly is eaten with a spoon made from the husk of the coconut. Coconut water mixed with gin is a popular drink around carnival time and is said to have aphrodisiac qualities…. Read more

ezius tree 1
First Step: Climb a coconut tree

Second Step: Throw down some coconuts

Third Step: Cut open the coconut

Fourth Step: Enjoy the coconut water

Everybody is happy, plenty of coconuts for all

Jelly from mature coconuts can be used for coconut oil

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

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

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

Thursday 05/30

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

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

Castaways
James
9:00
777-3316

Miss Lucy’s
Jazz with Rich and Greg
5:00 – 9:00

See Weekly Schedule

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St. John Bars & Restaurants: Whistler Doug at the Beach Bar

Douglas “Whistler” Van Nostrand singing an original song at the Beach Bar

St. John News

Feds: VIPD Sgt. Hill Gave Tapia Cocaine
By Bill Kossler — May 27, 2013
St. John Source

Prosecutors allege Angelo Hill, the acting head of St. John police operations arrested Friday for cocaine smuggling, supplied Department of Planning and Natural Resources Chief of Enforcement Roberto Tapia with the cocaine Tapia was arrested with May 19, according to court documents.

Hill and Tapia were both relieved of their duties after their arrests, pending trial.

Tapia, Hill and two residents of Puerto Rico, Stephen Torres and Eddie Lopez, have all been arrested in relation to the same transaction, in which Tapia allegedly received 7.72 kilos (17 pounds) of cocaine.

According to an affidavit from FBI Agent Jason Purkey, filed May 24, federal agents recorded several phone calls between Hill and Tapia, making plans to meet and talking about the cocaine transaction.

“During that conversation Tapia advised that he had to travel to what the agent believed was St. John to meet with ‘Angelo’ to pick up what agents believe was kilograms of cocaine,” Purkey wrote.

“Tapia spoke with a person agents identified as Angelo Hill and asked if he (Tapia) could pick up ‘seven of those girls.’ Hill acknowledged that they would be available,” Purkey wrote, clarifying that the “girls” were kilos of cocaine.

Purkey’s affidavit appears to indicate that federal agents listened in on Tapia and Hill arranging the transaction, but did not witness the cocaine being transferred.

It alleges Tapia took a DPNR boat, while wearing his law enforcement uniform, and met Torres and Lopez near Sail Rock, about three miles from St. Thomas, and picked up cash to purchase the cocaine.

Tapia then arranged to meet Hill. Hill told Tapia to walk towards First Bank to meet him; officers lost sight of Tapia briefly, but observed a vehicle assigned to Hill.

When officers again sighted Tapia, a backpack he had with him appeared to be carrying “significantly more.” Agents then approached Tapia and found the cocaine in the bag he was carrying, according to the affidavit.

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Beach Bar
Barefoot Davis
7:30
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

Spyglass
T-Bird
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

 

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Lets Talk About the Weather

Hurricane Sandy as seen from NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite on October 28, 2012 (Credit:NOAA/NASA)

NOAA predicts active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season
Era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes continues
May 23, 2013

In its 2013 Atlantic hurricane season outlook issued today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting an active or extremely active season this year.

For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

St. John Weather – Two Forecasts

National Weather Service (NOAA)
Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. High of 86F with a heat index of 93F. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph shifting to the North in the afternoon. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible.

Weather Underground
Scattered showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Differences
NOAA forecasts winds from the east at 17 mph
Weather Underground forecasts winds from the west at 15 -20 mph

(From where I’m standing overlooking Chocolate Hole and east over the Caribbean it sure feels like a breeze coming in from the east. Moreover a west wind especially one so strong would be quite rare at this time of the year)

NOAA forecasts a high temp of 86 with a heat index of 93
Weather Underground forecasts a high temp of 82

(NOAA’s forecast is for quite a bit warmer than the moderate temperature forecast by Weather Underground. We’ll see)

NOAH forecasts 0.4 inches of rainWeather Underground forecasts between 0.1 and 0.25 inches of rain

(NOAA forecasts a lot more rain)

St. John News

Feds nab V.I. Police Sgt. in Tapia probe
By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: May 25, 2013

ST. THOMAS – Federal agents arrested V.I. Police Sgt. Angelo Hill (former DC of the VIPD for St. John) on Friday in connection with the drug trafficking conspiracy investigation of Roberto Tapia, the director of the V.I. Planning and Natural Resources Division of Environmental Protection.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Hill was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine….

…If convicted, Hill faces a statutory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

V.I. Police Department spokeswoman Melody Rames said that before his arrest, Hill was serving as acting commander of the Leander Jurgen Command in Cruz Bay

St. John Live Music Schedule Sunday May 26

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

Beach Bar
John Gazi of West Lindy
9:00
777-4220

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

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

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

See Weekly Schedule

 

 

 

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Drunk Bay

Drunk Bay St. John Virgin Islands
Drunk Bay

Drunk Bay Art St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)Drunk Bay Art
Drunk Bay has inspired the imagination of visitors to create dozens of coral sculptures, most of which can be found by going around the large rocks to your left as you enter the beach.

St. John Weather

On the Ground 5:30 AM – Chocolate Hole St. John
It’s a windy, rainy morning with some heavy squalls and thunderstorms. The temperature is a cool 74 degrees F

Official Forecast
Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. High of 86F. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 25 mph shifting to the South in the afternoon. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible.

St. John Events

Sunday – May 26 – Beach to Beach Power Swim
Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park

St. John News

NRG Energy to install 3MW solar for luxury hotel chain

NRG Energy, the largest independent power producer and solar developer in the US, has announced the installation of nearly 3MW of PV power for a luxury chain of hotels.

The global alliance will begin with three properties, including the installation of a 1.3MW solar array at the Westin St John in the US Virgin Islands. NRG will build, own and operate the project while Starwood will purchase electricity from the solar arrays…. read more

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

Beach Bar
Drunken Hearts
9:00
777-4220

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

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St. John Film Society Press Release

St. John Film Society Press Release

St. John Film Society Presents:
Films from the 4th Traveling Caribbean Showcase

Spotlight on Family
Wednesday, May 22/ 7:30 pm
Cases by the Sea, Coral Bay

Rain
Directed by Maria Govan, 85 minutes, Drama.

Teen-aged Rain lives a sheltered and quiet life with her grandmother on the tiny rural Ragged Island in the Bahamas.  When her grandmother dies, Rain travels to the city to find the mother she never knew.  Rain is surprised to discover her mother living in the poverty-stricken “Graveyard” neighborhood of Nassau where regular school attendance and a uniform are beyond reach.  Encouraged by her coach, Rain’s extraordinary talent running track spells relief from her home life, reveals inner strength, and inspires dreams of life beyond Nassau.

Preceded by…

The Guardian
Directed by Fabrice Pierre, 8 minutes, Short Fiction.

A visit to Grandfather’s seaside home is Mahalia’s favorite thing in the world – while mother cooks, Mahalia listens to him weave his oral stories made up about magic, courage, and survival.  Or are they made up?  A compelling 8 minutes of action-packed magical realism.

The Traveling Caribbean Film Showcase (TCFS) is an annual film festival representing filmmakers, producers and directors from around the Caribbean. Sponsored regionally by UNESCO and supported by ICAIC (Cuban Institute of Art and Cinematographic Industry) in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase brings together the works of 40 filmmakers from 15 Caribbean countries including the Bahamas, Venezuela, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Trinidad & Tobago.  All films are subtitled when not in English.

This fourth edition, dedicated to the Caribbean diaspora, includes films that reflect the troubles, the culture, and the history of the Caribbean.  The films, which include feature length and short films, animation and documentaries, reveal the realities and challenges of Caribbean emigrants in the region and the greater diaspora, and promote Caribbean cultural identity.

The primary objective of the TCFS is to make the Caribbean population aware of the talent and creativity existing in the region in the film industry and is presented at different times of the year in most countries of the Caribbean.  St. John Film Society is the organization bringing some of the films from the 4th edition of the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase  to St. John.

TCFS is supported by ICAIC, UNICEF, UNESCO and MINCULT. St. John Film Society is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virgin Island Council on the Arts.

Virgin Islands News

The Return of the Hurricane Hunters
By Jamie Ward — May 18, 2013

With June 1 just week away, that means one very important thing in the Caribbean – hurricane season is about ready to start.

If you’re on St. Croix and have driven past Henry E. Rohlsen Airport this week, there’s a good chance you might have seen an U.S. Air Force WC-130J aircraft sitting out there on the tarmac. What you might not have known is that the aircraft and others like it will be responsible in the coming months for flying a crew of five right into the eyes of hurricanes and tropical storms…

 

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Lobster Hunt 1933

St. John Virgin Islands: the Caribbean spiny lobster,
Caribbean Spiny Lobster, Panulirus argus
St. John Sea Creatures: Baby Lobster
Juvenile Lobster at Leinster Bay

When we left New York, we were told we would go soft in the tropics…but two months after landing at Cruz Bay, we were healthier, harder, and infinitely more serene people than we had ever been before.

There was nothing softening about a lobster hunt on the reefs. Landlord Davis, on one of his visits, put us up to it and then retired with a book and a bottle of rum while we, with the Sewer boys, piled in a rowboat and made for the shallows on the other side of the bay. A brilliant moon shone down on a gently heaving sea, and we could see the rollers breaking white over the reefs where the lobsters came. A full moon makes a fairyland anywhere, but in the trade winds the effect seems more marked, and we agreed that, even if we got no lobster, it would be worthwhile.

Drawing the boat out on the nearest beach, we gathered at the beginning of the reef, and commenced an activity sufficiently picturesque to make any artist catch his breath and sufficiently sporting to warm the heart of anyone who like to see the hunted creature get a little better than an even break. We spread out fanwise, carrying lanterns and flashlights, and waded into the warm, shallow water that covered the jagged coral of the reef. The coral was brown with sea growths and the lobsters, consequently, very hard to see. In addition, the reef was honeycombed with sea eggs, round black affairs from whose cores extend long, black spines that are very sharp and armed with microscopic barbs whose removal from an injured foot is a hospital job. I am afraid that Bet and I paid far more attention to the sea eggs than we did to the possible lobsters but, when the boys started one, the six of us plunged after it in a splashing, headlong pursuit that lasted several minutes. The lobster took refuge in its color protection again, but one of the boys immediately put a forked stick over its back and held it until another one, with what seemed incredible courage to us, seized the lobster in his hands, and bore it ashore in triumph. From tip to tip, the grotesque creature was nearly three feet long and, to add to our awe, one of the boys announced that he was small.

After another hour of stumbling about among the sea eggs and sharp coral, we cornered one more, and returned home soaking wet, with our canvas shoes torn to rags, but satisfied that we had found still another way to make the island take the place of a canning factory in a town we had never seen.

From Escape to the Tropics, by Desmond and Bet Holdbridge Published in 1937

St. John Events

Sunday 05/12
Beach to Beach Power Swim Practice
Maho to Cinnamon, Trunk or Hawksnest

The practice swims will all start at 8:30 am (please note that on race day the swim will start at 8:00 am) from the north end of Maho Beach.

St. John Weather

Overcast with rain showers in the morning, then clear with rain showers
High of 86 degrees F with a heat index of 91F
Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the ENE in the afternoon
Chance of rain 20%

St. John Live Music Schedule

Beach Bar
T-Bird and the Home Skillets
9:00
777-4220

Castaways
Van Gordon Martin
777-3316

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

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

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

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

Rhumblines
Lauren
7:00 – 10:00

Skinny Legs
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00
779 4982

See Weekly Schedule

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St. John Wildlife: Land Crabs

St John Wildlife: Land Crab Cardisoma guanhumi
Land Crab Cardisoma guanhumi

(I found this character in my pump room, not its usual habitat. Surprised me!)

Land Crabs
Hunting land crabs for food is a part of St. John culture and probably has been so since the first human beings came here about 3,000 years ago. The primary use of the land crab is to provide the essential ingredient for the tasty West Indian dish known simply as crab and rice.

The large crabs called land crabs by Virgin Islanders, Cardisoma guanhumi by biologists, pond crabs by British Virgin Islanders and jueyes by Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, are the grayish-colored crabs that live in the network of holes found in low-lying areas near mangrove swamps, salt ponds, wetlands and marshes. They are rather large, growing to about four or five inches in diameter not including their formidable claws. During the day you may see them standing just outside a hole into which they will quickly descend as soon as they notice your approach.

Land crabs live inside these holes or burrows, which go down on an angle and lead to a larger living area, where the crab stores food for winter dry spell. Parts of the burrow go down to the water table and there will ultimately be one or more alternate openings to the surface. The crabs only venture away from their holes at night or when it’s raining in order to search for food. They eat just about anything they can find including their own young, dead things, garbage and worse. They are not effective predators, however, and as such their diet is usually limited to plants they find near their burrows…

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