Tag Archives: charlotte amalie

Description of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor – 1701

Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas USVI
Charlotte Amalie, seen from Hassel Island

Description of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor in 1701, written by the Dominican missionary Père Labat, also known as “the pirate priest.”

“Denmark, being almost neutral in the wars of Europe, the port of St. Thomas is open to all nations. During peace it serves as an entrepôt for the commerce, which the French, English, Spaniards and Dutch do not dare to pursue openly on their own islands; and in time of war it is the refuge of merchant ships when pursued by privateers. On the other hand, the privateers send their prizes here to be sold when they are not disposed to send them to a greater distance. Many small vessels also proceed from St. Thomas to the coast of South America, whence they bring back much riches in specie, or in bars and valuable merchandise, In a word, St. Thomas is a market of consequence.”

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Island Profile: Gary Emmons Keeps ReSource Depot on Track
By Lynda Lohr — May 4, 2014

With a job as manager and “chief cook and bottle washer” at Island Green Living Association’s ReSource Depot, St. John resident Gary “Buddha” Emmons found his niche.

The ReSource Depot is a place to drop off unwanted construction materials and household goods that include everything from toilets to brass bric-a-brac. For example, ReSource Depot has two containers filled with just windows.

“We get a little of any and everything,” Emmons said.

It’s also the spot where frugal folks go to buy what they need or want. The purpose is to keep items out of the V.I. Waste Management Authority’s Susannaberg Transfer Station.

He wants to get the word out to those who may not be in the know about this island treasure, which is located across Gifft Hill Road from the V.I. Waste Management Authority Transfer Station. Emmons said he’s bothered when he sees perfectly good items left at the island’s Dumpsters when they could find a new home with someone who’s looking to save a few dollars…

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St. John Ferries

st john ferry 1949 -fritz henley
St. John Ferry 1949 – photo by Fritz Henley
St. John Ferry Today
St. John Ferry 2013

Cruz Bay – Red Hook and Cruz Bay – Charlotte Amalie Ferry Schedules

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Tough talk and post-shutdown relief at Caribbean conference
By Gay Nagle Myers

FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique — News of the resolution ending the partial shutdown of the U.S. government was greeted with a sense of relief by tourism officials attending the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) annual State of the Industry conference here last week.

The U. S. Virgin Islands — St. John, in particular — experienced the shutdown directly, since two-thirds of that island is a national park. Tourists arriving there in the first week of the 16-day shutdown found beaches barred by chains, hiking trails closed and even the visitors center off-limits.

“Fortunately, a deal was struck after the first seven days with the National Park Service, and … the park was reopened to visitors,” said Richard Doumeng, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and owner of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas.

This was not a minor event, he said.

“The livelihood of an entire island was at stake,” Doumeng said. “Trunk Bay [part of Virgin Islands National Park] is a favorite attraction for cruise passengers in particular, and closure of that beach with its underwater snorkeling trail dealt a serious blow to our tourism and had a ripple effect on vendors at the beach, watersports operators, concessionaires near the park and even the ferry operators whose passenger numbers were down between St. Thomas and St. John.”… read more

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Ball Games and the Original Inhabitants of the Caribbean

Cruise Ship in St. Thomas
Cruise Ship leaving Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas

The Origin of Football, Basketball, Baseball and all the Other Games Played with a Ball

Today, games played with a rubber ball are such a significant part of modern culture that championship sports events are observed by more people, and with more fervor and enthusiasm, than most national holidays or religious celebrations. Ball games are taken so seriously that nations have actually gone to war over the outcome of soccer competitions.

Until the end of the fifteenth century, when Europeans first made contact with the Tainos, rubber ball games were unknown in Europe and, presumably, in the rest of the world. There was no such thing as football, soccer, basketball or baseball…. read more

Virgin Islands News

Regatta: Winds Plays Hide and Seek Saturday
By Source staff — March 24, 2013

Despite winds that played hide and seek all Saturday afternoon, Michigan sailor Dalton DeVos maintained his lead in the Melges 32 class in the 40th International Rolex Regatta taking place in the waters off St. Thomas.

Saturday’s action took place on three stages. The one-design Melges 32 class started out in Great Bay, but playful winds caused the race committee to re-set marks further out in Pillsbury Sound. Races in the IC-24 and Beach Cat classes were delayed a half hour at mid-day as the wind ebbed and finally flowed in Jersey Bay. The spinnaker and non-spinnaker fleets had no trouble finding steady wind on courses set along the south coast of neighboring St. John…. read more

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 82 degrees F
Winds from the North at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the West in the afternoon
Chance of rain 20%
Sunset: 6:31 PM AST
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 86 degrees F

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

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

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A Day Trip to St. John 1907

Ferry to St. John 1949
St. John Ferry 1949 (photo by Fritz Henle)

Day Trip to St. John 1907

In 1907, there was scheduled service to the St. Thomas, Danish West Indies by ships, which arrived once a month. A 1907 travel guide outlined the following day trips for tourists to St. John:

“Visitors to St. John would leave Charlotte Amalie at 5:00 A.M. and travel overland to Red Hook or Smith Bay. There they would meet a sloop that had left Charlotte Amalie with their baggage, which was loaded on board the night before. This sloop also carried ice and other cargo bound for St. John.

“An alternative plan for a visit to St. John would be to arrange for a rowboat to take passengers and their baggage across Pillsbury Sound to Cruz Bay.

“Upon arrival the tourists would wait in Cruz Bay for ponies that would take them to Bordeaux. They would return via a dirt path along the St. John’s north shore that is now the North Shore Road.

“At the end of the day the visitors would take the downwind trip back to Charlotte Amalie where they would arrive in the early evening.”

(From the Short Guide to St. Thomas and St. Jan, written by J.P. Jorgenson in 1907, a travel guide written in English, which was by then the language of the Virgin Islands.)

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 79F
Breezy: Winds from the ENE at 15 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 40%
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 82.9 degrees F
Sunset: 6:29 PM AST

St. John Live Music Schedule Monday March, 18

Aqua Bistro
Matt Mitruk
5:30 – 8:30
776-5336

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
T-Bird
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
Trivia Night
8:00
777-3316

Concordia
Open Mic with Ben Marr
3:30 – 5:30

La Tapa
Sambacombo
6:30 – 9:30
693-8141

Maho Bay Camp
Bo & Lauren
8:00

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

See Weekly Schedule

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Country

Outside of Charlotte Amalie
A Cattle Ranch outside of Charlotte Amalie – photo by Jack Delano 1941

“Outside of Charlottte Amalie was “country.” That was it; there was “city” (speed limit 10 mph) and there was “country” (speed limit 20 mph). No K Mart, no Cost’s U Less, no Pricemart or Tutu or Four Winds, just country. St. Thomas Dairy had real cows back then, which you could see wandering through the grassy valleys.” St John Life Blog August 27, 2008

St. John News

Tickets Available for Friends of Park Gala
By Lynda Lohr — February 18, 2013

Tickets are going fast but some are still available for Saturday’s Friends of V.I. National Park Gala, which will be held at Presidio del Mar, the Peter Bay home of Steven and Pamela Deckoff.

“It’s a way to have a great time and raise money for the park,” Friends development director Karen Vahling said.

Tickets are $250 each.

Parking will be available at the Trunk Bay Beach, with a shuttle leaving from the parking lot starting at 6 p.m. A shuttle will meet the ferry arriving from Red Hook at Cruz Bay at 6:20 and 7:20 p.m. for transportation to Presidio del Mar. The shuttle will return in time to meet the 10 and 11 p.m. departing ferries from Cruz Bay to Red Hook…

Press Release: St John Cancer Fund

The St. John Cancer Fund presents the 8 Tuff Miles Recovery Beach Party next Sunday Feb 24, 2013 from 11-4 PM at Oppenheimer Beach

What is the St John Cancer Fund?

The St John Cancer Fund was formed in July 2012 by a group of St John residents.  The founding members of the St John Cancer Fund were some of the Event Planning Committee of American Cancer Society’s St John Relay for Life 2011 and 2012. The St John Relay for Life raised $140,000 in 2011 and $180,000 in 2012, respectfully.

The group felt our efforts would be more effective helping St John residents with cancer by forming our own non profit. 100% of the monies raised are used to help St John residents. The group interviewed three non profit organizations to decide which would be most efficient in managing the monies we would raise. They are St John Community Foundation, The St John Revolving Fund and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. It was unanimously decided that the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands was the perfect vessel for our needs.

The Community Foundation of the Virgin Island (CFVI) is the largest non profit organization in the Virgin Islands. The CFVI manages funds of over 100 various groups such as the Humane Society of the VI, Make a Wish Foundation, Dancing Classrooms and many more.

The beauty of our affiliation with the CFVI are: no administrative fees, a full time staff who’s salaries are paid through grants and angel donations and the ability to process financial request within 24 hours.

The St John Cancer Fund is not restricted to how we can assist our residents. In 2012 the St John Cancer Fund has paid back rent for a St John cancer patient unable to work, provided gas and food dollars for another, paid for cancer screening for survivor who lost their job, and helped cancer survivor with outstanding Dr. expenses

During the month of October 2012 we raised over $28,000 with three fund raising events- The Woody’s Save 2nd Base Block Party, The Dingy Poker Run and the Cancer Fund Golf Tournament.  Our next event is on February 24, 2013.  The St John Cancer Fund has partnered with the 8 Tuff Miles road race to host the  1st Annual Recovery Beach Party the day after the race at Oppenheimer Beach.

The mission statement of the St John Cancer Fund is:St John Cancer Fund provides monies for prevention, treatment and supportive services in the fight against cancer on behalf of the Community of St John, USVI.”

The purpose of the Fund is to provide monies for St John residents who are cancer patients that appeal to the St John Cancer Fund for assistance. Excluding the payment of airfare and medical prescription costs, which are covered in the US Virgin Islands by the American Cancer Society, the St John Cancer Fund will address the financial needs of specifically St John, USVI Cancer patients with medical treatment expenses (initial chemo, radiation, medical testing, medical equipment and other needs required for quality of life for cancer patients who are unable to get other assistance.) The St John Cancer Patient Fund is not set up to handle the complete medical coverage of any individual. The St John Cancer Patient Fund is set up to help in small ways to make the journey of the cancer patient easier to bear. St John Cancer Fund encourages patients to exhaust all other resources so that the limited funds of St John Cancer Fund can serve as many St John residents who are suffering from cancer as possible. There is a total cap per patient per year of will be determined as our fund raising effort are underway.

We have simplified the process of gaining assistance to a three step process. The patient’s physician completes the verification form, the patient fills out the financial assistance form and faxes it to the CFVI.  The CFVI sends out an anonymous request via email to 5 committee members who then approve the request. We feel strongly on protecting the patient’s privacy.  Through the CFVI the St John Cancer Fund can provide financial assistance within 24 hours of the initial request.

We hope that this information helps explain the fund and our goals. Please visit our website at www.stjohncancerfund.org. We would greatly appreciate any volunteer or financial assistance you may consider in contributing. All donations are 100% tax deductible. You can donate on line or send a check. All checks are made out to: Community Foundation Virgin Islands earmarking St John Cancer fund in the memo notes.

St John Events – Monday February 18

St. John Arts Festival
Cruz Bay Park
Beginning at 12:30 pm
South American-style music by the Samba Combo band

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 79 degrees F
Winds from the ENE at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Sunrise: 6:44 AM AST Sunset: 6:21 PM AST
Water Temperature: 82.9 degrees F

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Virgin Islands History: Lutheran Church

Lutheran Church St. Thomas 1941
After a morning church service on Christmas Day – Jack Delano, photographer – 1941 Dec.

Lutheran Church

The Lutheran Church on St. Thomas is the second oldest Lutheran Church in the western hemisphere. As the official church of Denmark, Lutheran ministers arrived with the first settlers and the first services were held in the courtyard of the fort.

In 1754, a church was built outside the fort and began ministering to blacks for the first time. Lutheran Ministers translated the Bible to Creole, and the same minister held services for two separate congregations, one Danish and the other Negro Creole.

The church was destroyed by a hurricane in 1772 and was replaced in 1789 by the Frederik Lutheran Church. The construction was financed by a free black parishioner, Jean Reeneaus.

The original Georgian-style building was reconstructed in 1827 after being destroyed by fire and then again in 1870, after damage suffered in a hurricane.

From “St. Thomas” by Gerald Singer

Things to do — St. Thomas
Mango Tango Presents Works Created in a Small Format
By Source Staff — January 21, 2013
Mango Tango invited artists represented by the gallery to create one to six works in a square foot format. Additionally artisans in Haiti, Guatemala and Panama were given the same invitation to make handicrafts in the small format. The final result is an Art by the Square Foot Exhibition that begins Friday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Jan. 25. Participating artists include Andrea Anderson, Caroline Duprey, Shari Erickson, Kristen Maize, Adrienne Miller, Mel McCuddin, Merryn McDonald, Kat Stevens, Brenda Sylvia, Mandy Thody and Dana Wylder, as well as a few newcomers…. read more

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 84 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ESE at 15 to 20 mph.
Chance of rain 20%.
Sunrise: 6:54 AM AST – Sunset: 6:08 PM AST
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor) 82.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

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 Schedule

 

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Thoughts on Charter Yachts in the US Virgin Islands

The Charlotte Amalie waterfront in the 1970s presented a picturesque scene of native sloops, fishing boats and local cargo vessels tied up to the seawall. On the paved walkway along the harbor front were numerous kiosks selling fruits and vegetables, meats and fish.

In those days, St. Thomas was a sailing Mecca. The harbor was full of yachts of all sizes and classes, some itinerant, some local and some there to take part in the charter industry. Experienced captains took adventurous tourists to the then sparsely developed British Virgin Islands or further away to the down island chain of the Lesser Antilles or west to Culebra, Vieques and Puerto Rico.

Yacht Haven Marina was the center of this industry and the center of the center was Fearless Fred’s Bar at the Marina where charter captains would pitch would be charters and old salts would spin tales of adventures and misadventures at sea.

This was before the popularity of the bare boat rental system in which charterers rent a boat for a week or more and sail it themselves.

By the 1980s the nature of  charter boat industry in the US Virgin Islands had changed with bare boats predominating over crewed charters. While the US Virgin Islands’ government imposed complicated restrictions, taxes and fees on charter yachts favoring instead the cruise ship industry, the British Virgin Islands actively courted the charter yacht companies and tried to make it as easy as possible for them. As a result many USVI companies changed their base of operations to the BVI whose government was more responsive to the needs of the industry and little by little most of the sailing yachts left the Charlotte Amalie Harbor setting up shop in places like Sopers Hole and Roadtown on the island of Tortola.

The Yacht Haven hotel and Marinaf closed down, went into a state of disrepair remained so for many years.

Recently the charter industry on St. Thomas has made a comeback of sorts. More and more you can see luxury mega yachts tied up stern-to along the waterfront seawall, at anchor in the harbor and alongside the docks at the Yacht Haven Grande, the new incarnation of the old Yacht Haven now featuring a modern marina, a high end shopping mall and a condominium complex. The operation was designed specifically to attract the mega yacht business and has had a limited degree of success, but not to the extent that was predicted.

Rumor has it that one of the big reasons that mega yachts are not stopping in the USVI as much as was previously expected is due to complications and red tape imposed by Homeland Security and Customs and Immigration regarding foreign registered vessels and non-US citizen charterers and crews. On Tortola in the neighboring British Virgin Islands and on nearby St. Martin, which have somewhat comparable facilities the governments have endeavored to make it as easy as possible for the Mega Yachts to enter and clear and captains, trying to avoid red tape and delays, will often opt for these foreign destinations instead of St. Thomas if they have a choice in the matter.

Notwithstanding the problems, it seems to me that Charlotte Amalie Harbor has been making a comeback as a sailing destination, especially in the realm of the super luxurious mega yachts.

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