Tag Archives: cruz bay

Virgin Islands Marine Life: Needlefish

St. John Virgin Islands Marine Life: needlefish
Needlefish (Tylosurus crocodilus)

Some years ago my friend, John Campbell, the father of Jasmine Campbell who represented the Virgin Islands in the Sochi Olympics, was water skiing in Rendezvous Bay. At precisely the wrong time, a needlefish jumped out of the water, its sharp beak colliding with John’s knee and penetrating deep into the joint. This led John on a quick trip to the clinic and a successful removal of the bony beak.

The needlefish, which range in length from one to 37 inches, can jump out of the water at speeds of up to 37 mph. making them a danger to humans that like my friend John happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There have, in fact, been several recorded instances of needlefish causing deaths and injuries, especially during the night when the lights from boats excite the needlefish causing them to leap out of the water in the direction of the light. Night fishermen and divers in the Pacific find needlefish to be more of a danger than sharks.

A three-foot long needlefish killed a10-year-old Hawaiian boy who was night fishing with his father, the fish’s beak passing through the boy’s eye into his brain. A surfer in Hawaii suffered the same fate. A Vietnamese boy diving for sea cucumbers in 2007 was killed when the beak of a needlefish penetrated his heart. A snorkeler in Florida was nearly killed in the same manner and in 2012 a needlefish seriously injured the German kite surfer Wolfram Reiners in the Seychelles.

Needlefish swim close to the surface and survive on a diet of smaller fish. In the Virgin Islands, needlefish are often referred to as garfish, but, although somewhat similar in appearance, they are not related to that species.

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

High Tide
Steel Pan
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

Ocean Grill
David Laabs
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:30 – 9:30
693-5640

Skinny Legs
Groove Thang
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

Sun Dog
Sunday Night Jam
6:30 – 9:30
693-8340

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. East wind around 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

HIGH SURF ADVISORY

SEVEN FOOT SWELLS AT 12 SECONDS AT SAN JUAN BUOY 41053 WILL PRODUCE BREAKING WAVES OF 9 TO 12 FEET ALONG ALL COASTS OF PUERTO RICO…CULEBRA…VIEQUES AND ST THOMAS, ST. JOHN AND ADJACENT ISLANDS. SWELLS EXPECTED TO SUBSIDE QUICKLY EARLY THIS EVENING.

A HIGH SURF ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM AST THIS AFTERNOON.  WAVES AND SURF: BREAKING WAVES OF 9 TO 12 FEET FROM THE NORTH NORTHWEST.

TIMING: THROUGH 4 PM AST TODAY.

IMPACTS: LIMITED COASTAL EROSION AND DANGEROUS CONDITIONS   AROUND ROCKS AND REEFS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…  A HIGH SURF ADVISORY MEANS THAT HIGH SURF WILL AFFECT BEACHES IN THE ADVISORY AREA…PRODUCING RIP CURRENTS AND LOCALIZED BEACH EROSION. HIGH SURF IS ESPECIALLY HAZARDOUS AT NIGHT. RESIDENTS AND VISITORS ARE URGED TO KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE FROM THE WATER.

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A Virgin Islands Story

Children playing, Jost Van Dyke, BVI

The following events took place some years back and illustrates a unique Virgin Islands experience.

Macy’s in NYC, that is, THE Macys on 34th Street, the one where the REAL Santa Claus comes to greet children at Christmas time, was a great place to shop for housewares back then, when St. John housewares shopping was just about non-existent and St. Thomas offered only limited (and expensive) options. Additionally Macy’s was offering a special shopping service in which they would consolidate shopping from various departments and arrange for shipping. So being that I had a newly built villa to furnish, I choose to avail myself of this convenient and affordable offer.

After spending a couple of hours, going from department to department choosing items for the villa, I proceeded to the check out counter to pay up and arrange for shipping. But when the shipping destination came up and proved to be the Virgin Islands, the lady at the counter informed us that Macy’s only shipped with UPS, which had only very expensive options for the Virgin Islands. When I asked if it would be possible to ship through the US Postal service, I was told that it couldn’t be done.

Why not? I asked.

“That’s just our policy,” she explained.

Meanwhile this pretty young black lady, also working for Macy’s, apparently overheard a snippet of our conversation.

“Where are you from?” she asked.

“The Caribbean,” I answered.

“Me too,” she replied.

“Where?” I asked

“Oh, an island in the British Virgin Islands. You probably never heard of it,” she answered.

At this point, I noticed her name-tag that displayed the last name Parsons.

“Let me guess, I ventured. “I would say you’re from Tortola, probably Brewers Bay.”

“Oh, my God!’ she exclaimed. “How did you know?”

“Well, I have this friend from there, Delbert, and I know that the Parsons name is an important one on Brewers Bay.”

“Oh, my God!” she repeated, “Uncle Delbert!”

She then turned to the lady that was attending to us and said that she would take care of us. When we explained our situation, she told us not to worry.

“There’s a post office right on the fourth floor. Tony, a Jamaican who works here, can take your things up there and we’ll arrange everything, no problem a’tahl.”

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Whales Sighted Off of Cruz Bay

Beach-to-Beach Power Swim Ranked No. 19 in World’s Best 100 Open Water Swims
By Source Staff — February 25, 2014

Openwaterswimming.com, the leading Web site dedicated to open water swimming, ranked the Friends’ Beach-to-Beach Power Swim number 19 on their list of the World’s 100 Best Open Water Swims. This is an international list, and it also placed third among the 17 U.S. open water swims that made the list…. read more

Strong Cruise Growth in US Virgin Islands
By the Caribbean Journal staff

The United States Virgin Islands saw strong growth in cruise tourism in 2013, according to data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

Cruise passenger visits to the USVI grew by 4.9 percent last year, with a total of 1,998,579 cruise passengers.

That was among the largest improvements of any Caribbean destination with complete annual reporting from 2013.

It was also a marked improvement over the previous year, when the US Virgin Islands experienced a 5.2 percent reduction in cruise tourism compared to 2011.

In 2012, the USVI welcomed 1,904,468 cruise passengers, according to CTO data.

V.I. AG’s office reviewing federal cockfighting law
By JENNY KANE (Daily News Staff)
Published: February 24, 2014

ST. THOMAS – The rules on cockfighting have changed in the United States, and V.I. officials are seeking clarification on what effect the changes to federal law will have on the lack of any laws in the Virgin Islands that prohibit cockfighting.

The only law pertaining to cockfighting in the V.I. Code pertains to taxing it as an entertainment when admission is charged, which up until now has implicitly made it legal in the territory.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill, also known as the Agricultural Act of 2014. As of last week, a provision in the bill makes it a federal crime to attend an animal fight, including a cockfight, and a separate crime to bring a child under the age of 16 to an animal fight.

The former could be punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine, and the latter by up to three years and a $250,00 fine. During a cockfight, roosters are placed in pen and left to fight each other until one of the two dies. By themselves, their fighting generally is not enough to be fatal, so those who own the roosters often place razor blades on the legs of the animals, according to the website of the Humane Society of the United States.

Though most states in the nation outlawed the practice years ago, several of the country’s territories, including the Virgin Islands, maintain laws that allow cockfights to take place.

Under the V.I. Code, cockfighting is considered entertainment – along with circuses, horse races, theatrical performances, boxing matches and concerts – that is taxable when an admission is charged to attend…. read more

St. John USVI Live Music Schedule

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

Castaways
Karaoke Night
9:00
777-3316

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 8:00
714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Steel Pan
6:30
776-6378

Island Blues
Karaoke
8:00
776-6800

La Tapa
Sambacombo
6:30 – 9:30
693-7755

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

Ocean Grill
Lauren Jones
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. East wind 13 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

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Backtime Descriptions of St. John

cruz bay park
Cruz Bay Park 1975 – photo by Hannele Koivumak

A Description of St. John Written in 1925
“It is overgrown with herbage for cattle, with open woods of aromatic trees, thronged with beautiful birds. Views from breezy hilltops are unrivaled for magnificent panoramas of vividly green isles, countless beaches of cream- white sand, glittering surf, dark blue or green sea, and bright blue sky. Nature invites riding, hunting, fishing, bathing, boating and a free wild life. On ruined estates all over the island are old cannon, relics of days when buccaneers hid in the land-locked bays from French and Spanish cruisers. Regular communication with St. Thomas is maintained by several sloops.”
From the Geographic Dictionary of the Virgin Islands, compiled by J.W. McGuire for the Department of the Navy. The price of the book in 1925 was 25 cents.

 Development on St. John – A 1937 Perspective
“Several new roads were being cut up the hillsides and Agnes (Sewer) told us that Paul (Boulon) was beginning to erect a few cottages (at Trunk Bay) to rent to winter visitors; we knew he had the plan in mind but, at last, he was putting it into action…. Tourists were coming. Nice tourists, probably… but to our way of thinking, even five more white people on the north shore would destroy that splendid something that had made St. John a paradise and given us the two happiest years of our lives. The coming exploitation was inevitable, and it would be a good thing for a batch of black people who were very close to our hearts and for the white people that came, it would be marvelous. But for us it was ruined.”
From Escape to the Tropics, by Desmond and Bet Holdbridge, published in 1937.

 A Description of St. John Written in 1967
“…St John today looks very much as it must have looked to Columbus in 1493-green densely clad mountaintops rising steeply from the sea, with only an occasional glimpse of houses to spoil the illusion that the island is uninhabited. The two principal communities are Cruz Bay, the main port of entry, and Coral Bay. The total population is presently about 800, of which some fifty are Continentals who have made St. John their home.

The machine age came to St. John in 1948 when the first jeep was brought over from St. Thomas on a sloop. Now there are about forty jeeps on the island and a few dozen trucks. The island’s donkey population, after centuries of burden-carrying over the mountain roads, is virtually in retirement, except for those owned by families living in remote places where Jeeps still cannot go. Tourism is the main business of the island now, and the attractions of ready cash at the end of each week are more compelling to the islanders than the small gardens charcoal burning, and fishing of the past.

There are still elderly people who remember hearing their fathers talk of their days in the cane fields and who themselves remember the days of the Danes. The names of the old plantations – Carolina, Lameshur, Annaburg, Adrian-remain as constant reminders of the past. And the island itself, so long forgotten, has become a more important dot on the maps of the West Indies as one of the most distinctive of our national parks…”

This description of St. John was written by Ronald A. Morrisette, for the booklet, A Little Guide to the Island of St. John published by Caneel Bay Plantation. The booklet was sold at the Caneel Bay Gift Shop for $1.25.

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

High Tide
Steel Pan
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

Ocean Grill
David Laabs
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:30 – 9:30
693-5640

Sun Dog
Sunday Night Jam
6:30 – 9:30
693-8340

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 77. East wind 17 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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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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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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St. John Described in 1925 and 1967

Cruz Bay Dock St John US Virgin Islands 1971
Cruz Bay Dock 1971

St. John 1925
“It is overgrown with herbage for cattle, with open woods of aromatic trees, thronged with beautiful birds. Views from breezy hilltops are unrivaled for magnificent panoramas of vividly green isles, countless beaches of cream- white sand, glittering surf, dark blue or green sea, and bright blue sky. Nature invites riding, hunting, fishing, bathing, boating and a free wild life. On ruined estates all over the island are old cannon, relics of days when buccaneers hid in the land-locked bays from French and Spanish cruisers. Regular communication with St. Thomas is maintained by several sloops.”
From the Geographic Dictionary of the Virgin Islands, compiled by J.W. McGuire for the Department of the Navy. The price of the book in 1925 was 25 cents.

St. John 1967
“…St. John today looks very much as it must have looked to Columbus in 1493 – green densely clad mountaintops rising steeply from the sea, with only an occasional glimpse of houses to spoil the illusion that the island is uninhabited. The two principal communities are Cruz Bay, the main port of entry, and Coral Bay. The total population is presently about 800, of which some fifty are Continentals who have made St. John their home…. read more

St. John Weather
Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 77 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ENE at 15 to 25 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Sunset: 6:29 PM AST
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor): 82.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Beach Bar
St. Patty’s Day Party
Dave Gerard
4:00
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

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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Cruz Bay Past and Present

Cruz Bay Overlook 1965
Cruz Bay 1965

Cruz Bay Overlook
Cruz Bay Recent

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 79 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the South at 15 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Sunset: 6:43 AM AST – Sunset: 6:22 PM AST
Water temperature: 82.9 degrees F

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

Castaways
James
9:00
777-3316

High Tide
Inner Vision
8:30
714-6169

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

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Cruz Bay Dock

Cruz Bay Dock, St. John US Virgin Islands
Cruz Bay Dock 2013
Cruz Bay 1941
Cruz Bay Dock 1941- by Jack Delano
Cannon Cruz Bay Dock
cannon knob

Notice the cannon in the 1941 photo. Until the recent renovation of the Cruz Bay Park, the old cannon was partially buried with the muzzle face in the ground and most of the barrel standing straight up.

Backtime St. John, people took advantage of the cannon knob to tie up their horses and donkeys when making a visit to Cruz Bay.

St. John Weather

High Surf Advisory
Clear with rain showers in the afternoon
High of 77 degrees F.
Breezy: Winds from the ENE at 15 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Sunrise: 6:47 AM AST – Sunset: 6:19 PM AST
Water Temperature: 82.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule Wednesday February 13

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

Castaways
Flip Flop Rock
8:00
777-3316

Cinnamon Bay Campground
Inner Visions
9:00
776-6330

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
Lauren & Mark Wallce
7:30-10:30
244-9713

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Cruz Bay: Post Office Parking

Friday morning and the Cruz Bay Post Office has a line of customers that’s pressing against the door, the counter is piled high with packages and on the floor are four huge mail sacks. There’s one person working behind the counter and another working in the back room. Everything’s moving slowly. Outside in the parking lot, as usual, are several cars parked outside of the prescribed parking areas.

This unusual parking situation has developed in response to the lack of adequate parking in Cruz Bay, such that some Post Office customers will park temporarily, as best they can, while they send and get their mail often carrying packages into or out of the building.

Some sort of social contract has governed this tradition, which has developed both out of convenience and lack of police enforcement to the letter of the law. Specifically the parked car should not impede the flow of traffic around the parking lot and the driver should remove their vehicle as soon as they’re finished with their post office business. Most of the blocked in vehicles are aware of the situation and will wait patiently or ask at Patricks West Indian Delight to ascertain the identity of the driver and their whereabouts of the blocking vehicle if it needs to be moved more quickly. It’s clearly not the best scenario possible, but it has seemed to work out.

But last Friday, for whatever reason police officers began ticketing the illegally parked cars while the drivers were waiting inside the post office and Saturday – No police – no tickets.

Such is life in Love City.

David Wegman Christmas Party
Tall Ship Trading
3:00

Art Show – Music – Treats!!!

St. John Live Music Sunday 12/16

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

Miss Lucy’s
Samba Combo
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
244-971

 

See Weekly Music Schedule

 

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St. John Virgin Islands: Photo of the Day

St. John Photo of the Day

Carib Tide, Cruz Bay, St. John
Carib Tide leaves Cruz Bay, St. John Bound for Red Hook, St. Thomas

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

St. John Live Music Schedule Saturday March 17

 Beach Bar – St. Patrick Day Party – Groove Thang – 4:00 – 777-4220
Castaways – Dance Party – 11:00 – 777-3316
Spyglass – James Cobb – 5:00 – 8:00 – 776-1100
Driftwood Dave’s – Guitarist James Milne – 7:00 – 10:00 – 777-4015
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
Shipwreck Landing – Mike Miknut – 6:00 – 9:30
Skinny Legs – Hot Club of Coral Bay – 6:30 – 9:30 – 779-4982

See Weekly Schedule

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