Category Archives: St. John VI

St. John Market & Dolphin offer Discounts for St. Johnians

Locals will be enjoying some fairly substantial discounts at two St. John supermarkets.

It seems that the owner of the Dolphin Market has bought out his partner at the St. John Market and will be aggressively courting local business. To do this he plans to keep his stores well stocked and offer discounts to locals.

Starting today at the Dolphin Market in Cruz Bay, locals will receive a 10% discount on purchases of more than $25.00 and a 20% discount for those who spend $50.00 or more. You’ll have to identify yourself as a local and ask for the discount. The same discount will go into effect at the St. John Market located at the Greenleaf Commons shopping plaza across from the Westin beginning next week. According to the owner these discounts will be permanent.

Good T’ing!

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Fungi Passage, St. John Virgin US Islands

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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St. John Virgin Islands Trails: Newly Cleared Overlook Photos

As promised here are some more photos of the overlooks recently cleared by Jeff Chabot and his crew of intrepid volunteers. From those of us who hike the trails of St. John:


St. John Trails: Caneel Hill Overlook
View from the Bench on Caneel Hill

The Caneel Hill Bench

St. John Trails: Caneel hill Bench
View from the Caneel Hill bench

Hikers following the Caneel Hill Trail beginning from the National Park Visitors Center in Cruz Bay or from the Caneel Hill Spur will arrive at a wooden bench just before they reach the summit of Caneel Hill. There is now a view from this very welcomed resting spot that at least for the view to the north goes, rivals the view from the viewing tower at the summit. This thanks to the hard work and dedication of the trail crew from the Appalachian Mountain Club.

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Press Release: St. John Blues Festival 2010

St. John Blues Festival 2010St. John Blues Festival

“The hottest blues festival on the coolest Caribbean island”

Wednesday – March 17th through Sunday – March 21st

The main show is Saturday evening March 20th – 7:00 PM in the Coral Bay Ball Field


The Deanna Bogart Band – The Ford Blues Band – EG Kight
JP Soars & The Red Hots – JT Lauritsen – Shakura S’Aida
Billy Gibson – The Ty Curtis Band – Washboard Jo



On St. John at:
Connections – Cruz Bay
Connections – Coral Bay
Chelsea Drugs – The Marketplace

On St. Thomas at:
Chelsea Drugs – Red Hook

Food & Beverage Service Available all evening long
So bring a blanket, bring a chair, but please be cool……… coolers

$5 Safari taxi rides all night from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay Ball Field & back to Cruz Bay

Special 1:00 AM Passenger Ferry from Cruz Bay to Red Hook

For additional information go to
or contact Steve Simon at 340-643-6475 or at

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St. John Virgin Islands: Just Play!

I woke up yesterday morning to a heavy squall, thunder and lightning. I was looking forward to taking my son, Jacob, to the big Just Play happening at the Sprauve School ballpark. I was hoping that the weather would improve and wondering if the event would be canceled.

Meanwhile the organizer of the event, Dean Doeling, was probably also hoping that the weather would improve, but there was no way that he was going to consider cancellation. Like the US Post Office motto, “neither rain, sleet, snow or gloom of night” was going to keep Just Play from happening.

The weather did improve and Jacob and I made it down to the ball field just in time for the singing of the National Anthems and the Virgin Islands March.

As it turned out, despite the muddy field, the first annual Just Play event was a resounding success. It was just plain fun! You could see it on the faces of everyone there, not only the kids, but also the organizers and volunteers, were having a blast.

The kids were separated into age groups for competitions like the 50 Yard Dash, Football Throw, Soccer Kick For Accuracy, Obstacle Course, Dodge Ball, Tug Of War, Relay Soccer Race and  Kick Ball.

In addition to the games there was music, demonstrations, prizes, free gifts, food and drinks.

Just Play was organized and supported by Sport for Social Change, Nike, the St. John Community Foundation, the Virgin Islands Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation as well as by several local businesses.

The youth (of all ages) of St. John will be looking forward to next years replay.

Way to go, Dean! Thank you!

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St. John Virgin Islands: Maria Hope Road Images

The Maria Hope Road opens up a lot of hiking possibilities for those who wish to hike between St. John’s north shore and the mountain ridge area (Centerline Road). It’s also a beautiful trail running down the Maho Bay Valley in a tropical forest environment of beautiful trees like bay rum, guavaberry, hog plum and West Indian locust (Stinking Toe Tree). There’s also some nice overlooks with views of West End Tortola and Big and Little Maho Bays.

Maria Hope Road Images

Maho Bay View
Maho Bay View

Tortola View
Tortola View

Hog Plum
Hog Plum

Bay Rum Stand
Bay Rum Stand
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St. John Virgin Islands: Bluzapalooza

St. John US Virgin Islands
Press Relase

Steve Simon Presents:



The Pizza & Pyramid Tour
October 21 through November 1, 2010

Starring Zac Harmon with Special Guests Deanna Bogart, Terry “Harmonica” Bean and Steve Simon, this 10 day tour includes a show at the U.S. Naval Base in Sicily, Italy and then on to Cairo, Egypt for command performances at the Pyramids, The  Cairo Opera House and the Cairo – American University.

For further information contact Steve Simon at 340-643-6475 or at
Check out

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St. John Virgin Islands: A Beach for Small Boats

Little Cinnamon
Little Cinnamon, a beach for small boats

On St. John, we have a lot of options when it comes to going to the beach. Some have facilities and some don’t. Some attract tourists in taxi-vans and some are rarely visited except by locals. Some can be reached by walking just a few yards from your vehicle and some can only be reached by walking trail.

That is, if you’re coming by land, but what about those that arrive by sea?.

In order to protect the undersea grasslands that have been decimated by anchors over the years, the National Park has instituted rules concerning anchoring at National Park park beaches. Generally speaking, anchoring is prohibited within the boundaries marked off by the white swim swim buoys that can be found at almost all the beaches. Small craft may enter these bays through the channel marked by the red and green buoys to pick up or discharge passengers, but cannot anchor within that area. Boats must either be hauled up onto the beach or moored or anchored outside the protected area, in which case you’ll either have to swim in or catch a ride. (leaving the dinghy operator with no other choice but to swim or stay aboard)

But hauling a boat up on the beach is problematic for all but the smallest dinghies. Most dinghies are simply too heavy to pull up to a safe distance on the beach where waves and tides will not threaten to take the craft back out to sea, minus captain and crew.

It used to be so convenient. If you had a small boat you could anchor in sand near the beach and have easy safe access. But boaters who would lay their anchors in the seagrass beds, ruined it for the rest and now no one can anchor right off the beach.

One Exception
A little known fact is that there is one National Park beach where you can still anchor close in. And its a beautiful coral sand, north shore, palm tree lined beach to boot. That beach is Little Cinnamon and it’s the only one of its kind on the north shore. Pull right up to beach and set your anchor, but be sure to watch out for patches of reef lying near the shore.

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