Bonefishing on St. John

Bone Fish

There’s lots of cool fishing opportunities on St. John ranging from sport fishing for the big ones like Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo and Tuna to inshore trolling, hand line from the rocks and fly fishing from the shoreline or shallows as well as the challenging sport of landing the easily-spooked and hard fighting bonefish.

Bonefish (Albula vulpes) can weigh as much as 19 pounds and measure as high as 30 inches or more.

There are two good places that I know of where bonefish have been known to reside, the flats at Leinster Bay and the lagoon behind the reef at Reef Bay. If you know of more places let us know.

Leinster Bay is easier to get to; just drive out to Annaberg and park in the lot. To get to Little Reef Bay you’ll need to do a little hiking.

Leinster Bay
Leinster Bay Flats

Leinster Bay Fishermen
Bonefishermen at Leinster Bay

Reef Bay Lagoon
Flats behind the reef at Little reef Bay

Technical Fisherman Travelogue Series

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Cannons Found on Cruz Bay Beach

Cannons found on Cruz Bay Beach
Old Cannons Found on Cruz Bay Beach
By Lynda Lohr — August 21, 2013

Three cannons, which likely witnessed many chapters in St. John’s history, were uncovered on Cruz Bay Beach this week by Public Works Department crews cleaning the beach.

“It’s really amazing they were able to remain undetected all these years,” said Sean Krigger, acting director of the Planning and Natural Resources Department’s State Historic Preservation Office.

He said Wednesday that one of the workers first spotted the signature flare of a cannon’s barrel and that further digging uncovered the other two. Krigger said the cannons were removed from the beach and remain in a secure place.

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Erin Heading North and Weakening: Good T’ing!

Virgin Islands WeatherVirgin Islands News


PSC Approves New ‘Tourist’ Rate for Nonresidential Ferry Passengers
By James Gardner — August 16, 2013

To cover operating losses brought on by decreases in ridership and revenues, Public Service Commission board members approved Wednesday a new $1 ferry fee increase for tourists – or, as the PSC called them, “nonresidential adults.”

In January 2012, the territory’s two franchise ferry companies petitioned for a .50 cent rate increase in all passenger categories, along with a $2.25 increase for each piece of checked baggage. A hearing examiner and technical consultant were later selected by the PSC to evaluate the application and official recommendations were made Wednesday during the PSC’s monthly meeting on St. Thomas…. read mor

The U.S. Virgin Islands Are in a Catastrophic Recession
By Matthew Yglesias

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: The U.S. Virgin Islands are experiencing a catastrophic recession.

According to data released yesterday by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, real GDP on the islands declined 13.2 percent in 2012 after falling 6.6 percent in 2011. That’s terrible.

But it also seems traceable to problems at just one company, the Hovensa oil refinery—a joint venture between Hess and the Venezuelan state oil company that refines Venezuelan crude.….read more

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Hawksnest “Tiny Cove” St. John’s Smallest Sand Beach

St. John Beaches: Tiny Cove

St. John’s smallest white sand beach lies on the eastern coast of Hawksnest Bay. The best way to get to this little cove is by sea, although I once made my way down to the beach following a now non-existent rough trail that led from the Northshore Road just a little west of the Peace Hill parking area to the top of the rocks behind the beach. From there it was a relatively easy scramble down to the beach below.

If you arrive by boat you can tie up to the mooring buoys just offshore.

Tiny Cove is a pretty little beach, with soft white sand and good snorkeling along the coast and certainly unique in it’s diminutive size, but then how much beach do yo need?

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How to Avoid Data Roaming Charges when on St. John

Data Roaming

There are several places on St. John, especially on the north shore between Trunk and Cinnamon Bays, where your phone may pick up a signal from the British Virgin Islands that will result in exorbitant roaming charges. If you are in one of these locations, your phone will display “Lime” instead of AT&T, Sprint, Verizon etc. On my iPhone the name of the carrier and signal strength are displayed on the top left corner of the phone. Look out for “Lime” or Boat Phone,” they’re BVI-based and calls  will be expensive. Ironically, when on Jost Van Dyke and parts of Tortola where the cell signal will be handled cheaply by US Virgin Islands carriers. Check your phone to make sure.

Besides calls, the other danger occurs when you’re using mobile data like Safari, Google, Facebook, email or any other internet based app and you inadvertently move to an area where you’re picking up a BVI signal, in which case your cost for the data will skyrocket.

The best way to prevent this is to simply turn of data roaming on your phone.

(Data roaming means using mobile data in another country where charges are considerably higher than in the US when using the Internet abroad.)

To turn off data roaming:

1- From the home screen tap Settings
2- Select General and then choose Mobile Data. On some iPhones, this might be called Cellular instead. On older versions of iOS, look for Network.
3- Choose Data Roaming and select Off

Go to Settings
Select Wireless & networks
Select Mobile networks
Make sure the Data roaming option is not checked


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Sahara Dust Coming Our Way

Sahara dust layer taken from a NOAA aircraft northeast of Barbados in 2006

Sahara Dust Cloud Crossing The Atlantic
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a stunning visualization of what’s called the “Saharan Air Layer,” a massive blob of dust that travels into the Northern Atlantic every 3 to 5 days when winds pick up from late spring to early fall. The dust cloud can get as large as the contiguous United States, and it’s not terribly uncommon for it to make its way across the ocean.

You can see where the sand is right now here, but starting Friday and into the weekend it’ll settle over northern Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti and other Caribbean destinations.

A bit of good news though, the dust cloud plays an important role in minimizing the formation of hurricanes, according to NOAA… more

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Queen Conch

St. John Sea Creatures: Queen Conch

Queen Conch May Become USVI Official Seashell
By Bill Kossler — July 31, 2013

The shell of the queen conch, or Strombus gigas, will become the official seashell of the U.S. Virgin Islands if a bill approved in the Culture, Historic, Preservation, Youth and Recreation Committee becomes law.Sen. Donald Cole, who sponsored the measure, blew a hoarse note on a shell, in the traditional V.I. fashion, as he introduced the bill. No one opposed the measure and several testifiers spoke to the potential merits for tourism, for promotion of local jewelry made from the shell, and for environmental conservation

St. Thomas historian and storyteller Glenn “Kwabena” Davis said he supported the measure both to commemorate and celebrate an iconic cultural object and for its potential economic, environmental and other benefits.

“Along with food and jewelry, the conch shell as a horn was a symbol both of pride and of subjugation for Virgin Islanders,” Davis said. “During slavery it was the instrument that aroused those in bondage from sleep to begin their daily grueling work, then it announced their break time, return to work and end of the work day,” he said. “Later, however, it became a symbol of hope and much more,” he said, speaking of its uses as a call to rally or in an emergency or to announce the arrival of fresh fish to sell, among other uses.

“When seine fish were beating close, it called out the neighborhood to help the fishermen set, trap and pull in the school of hard nose, caraan, bonito and more,” Davis said….

Virgin Islands News

St. John homeowner slapped with $10,500 in fines for causing landslide
By Amanda Norris (Daily News Staff)

ST. THOMAS ­- Efforts by celebrated interior designer Anthony Ingrao to landscape the area surrounding his St. John home have inflamed his neighbors and saddled him with $10,500 in fines from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

Following a landslide at the Estate Denis Bay home in May, DPNR stopped construction and issued a notice of violation to Ingrao on July 18.

Ingrao must now develop a mitigation plan for the damage and stabilizes the construction site, according to DPNR’s building permits director Bevan Smith.

Meanwhile, Estate Denis Bay and Hawksnest Bay property owners have initiated discussions with Ingrao through attorney Rafael Muilenburg. The group cites insufficient permitting and damage that has already been done, or could be done if the project proceeds.

“It’s going to be a major clean up,” Smith said.

Permittees are required to call for a DPNR inspection before and during construction so that major events, such as the landslide, are avoided. In this case, an inspection was never performed, Smith said.

The department noted seven violations having to do with damage to the surrounding landscape or to instances where Ingrao went outside the scope of the permit issued for the project, Smith said.

The project cut into National Park Service land, caused the landslide after heavy rains in May, and raised concerns about sediment runoff affecting the nearby bays, Smith said.

Other violations include the improper use of wire baskets designed to hold large clumps of earth in place and the unpermitted construction of a mechanical room on the site, Smith said.

Virgin Islands National Park superintendent Brion Fitzgerald said the construction wiped out trees and damaged a large area of Park Service land below the site when the gabions collapsed. The damage runs the length of “several football fields,” Fitzgerald said.

The service is still working to calculate the extent of the damage and will have to employ a surveyor as well as an outside expert to determine the impact of sediment runoff, Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said he is unable to comment on whether the National Park Service would be seeking fines or damages, but under normal circumstances the property owner would at least have to bear the cost of the consulting fees associated with assessing the damage.

Attempts to reach Ingrao were unsuccessful.

According to Ed Gibney, a surveyor whose home lies to the west of the Denis Bay property, the construction has cut 16 to 34 feet into the Park Service land at various points.

For Gibney, the greatest concern is that the project will reroute water over the ridge separating Denis and Hawksnest bays. This rerouting has the potential to create a gut that could wash out a handful of houses along the western side of the ridge, Gibney said…. read more

American brings back Virgin Islands deal
By Clara Bosonetto

It’s back!

American Airlines brings back its wonderfully affordable airfare offer to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

A round-trip rate of $283 is valid for travel finished on or before June 25, 2014.

Trips are permitted any day of the week, based on sale seat availability (every seat on every flight is not offered at the lowest rate).

The minimum stay requirement is any two nights…


Blackout dates on this offer are Dec. 15-Jan. 15, 2014 in each direction….read more

Message from Andrea E Leland – Yurumein Project

Join campaignDear Friends,
As we approach the final 10 days of our fundraising campaign, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the YURUMEIN Film Project. We’re setting a goal of reaching $5,000 by the end of this week. Can you help us get there? With this money we will complete the animation and color correction. Every donation – whether $10, $25, $100 or more – brings us a little closer to making YURUMEIN a reality. It only takes a minute to pledge.


#1 – You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you donated money to a good cause, and the recognition too!
For a $5 pledge, you will be personally thanked on the YURUMEIN facebook page.

#2 – You will be able to see the completed film.
With just a $25 donation, we will send you a private link to view the streaming version of YURUMEIN.

#3 – You’ll be putting the independent in independent filmmaking and help us make a film that is truly supported by the people.
A $50 pledge could earn you the Jankunú Play DVD, an independent Garifuna documentary by Oliver Green.

#4 – Garifuna music is phenomenal.
You will receive Rhodel Castillo’s album “In Exile” with only a $35 donation.

#5 – You’ll get a piece of art to put up on your wall!
For a $100 donation you will be rewarded with a signed print of my original artwork.

#6 – Are there any other crowdfunding campaigns that offer to treat you and three friends to an authentic Garifuna dinner?
Pledge your support for $500 and four guests will enjoy a delicious dinner at Garifuna Flava in Chicago followed by a private screening of YURUMEIN.

#7 – The Caribs of St. Vincent want the world to learn about their experience.
The YURUMEIN DVD and study guide come with a $50 contribution.

#8 – YURUMEIN tells a story that very few people have heard.
The GARIFUNA WARRIOR oil painting by artist Greg Palacio will certainly be a  conversation starter and offer the perfect opportunity to teach others about the Garifuna people. Consider making our top contribution of $1,000.

#9 – Garifuna people worldwide deserve to learn about their history and the lives of their relatives in the Diaspora.
Pledge $75 and receive DVDs of both YURUMEIN and my previous film, , THE GARIFUNA JOURNEY.

#10 – See YOUR NAME on the big screen!
Donate $200 or more and we give you a special mention in the film credits along with a first edition, signed copy of the YURUMEIN DVD and the film poster.

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