Tag Archives: st john off the beaten track

St. John Off the Beaten Track App: Beaches

St. John Off The Beaten Track iPad image Maho
iPad beach image Maho

Probably the most popular activity St. John offers both visitors and users alike, is a day spent enjoying one or more of the world’ best beaches. For those who may be interested in beach information, location, photos or just trying to decide, which beach they should go to today, the St. John Off the Beaten Track App like the book, St. John Beach Guide, will be a most-welcomed resource.

Choose “Beaches” from the “Home” Screen

st. JOhn Off The Beaten Track Beach Wheel
Choose one of the 34 best beaches on St. John

Image/Text Screen: Tap image for photos, tap text for information, tap map for Google hybrid map and tap my location for your location.

Salt Pond Bay Map
Location: Salt Pond Bay Map

Salt Pond Bay Text
Information about Salt Pond Bay

Salt Pond Bay Beach Image
Drawing for the $500 Prize

St. John Events

Thia Muilenburg was the lucky winner of the second St. John Gourmet and Dolphin Markets “Customer Appreciation – Family Day” $500 drawing.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Taxi Situation in Cruz Bay a Big Unknown
By Lynda Lohr — November 22, 2013

Changes are afoot at the Cruz Bay ferry dock because Superior Court recently ruled that the St. John Taxi Association can no longer operate the taxi stand on what is now a month-to-month lease from the local government. Instead the V.I. Port Authority will be in charge as of Nov. 30.

“We have been given an opportunity that I believe, in the long term, is in the best interest of how this area can be managed for the community as a whole and for our visitors,” Gov. John deJongh Jr. said in a press release issued Friday.

He said the taxi service had a “natural synergy” with the ferry traffic arriving at Cruz Bay dock. Additionally the governor said the Port Authority has the staff on St. John as well as the operational experience of managing taxis, limousines and other vehicle for hire services.

How the Port Authority will do this remains unknown but board Chairman Robert O’Connor Jr. said that, to start, things will be pretty much the same as they are now with a dispatcher assigning passengers to taxis. However, he said the taxi stand will be open to all taxi drivers, not just those who belong to St. John Taxi….

…Until Nov. 30, the Taxi Association has the sole right to 13 parking spaces along the Cruz Bay waterfront, according to St. John Administrator Leona Smith. They start next to the handicapped space and run toward the battery. This is the area that constitutes the taxi stand. However, taxis commonly double park in front of them. And taxis sometimes park in spaces reserved for the public and in the few public parking lots that dot Cruz Bay. And the taxi drivers congregate to wait for fares and play dominoes in the Cruz Bay Park bandstand, a public facility.

O’Connor said he envisions freeing up those 13 spaces reserved for taxis so anyone can use them. In addition to taxis, staff from vacation villa management companies jockey for parking spaces near the waterfront so they can pick up guests. Some car rental companies also pick up at the dock. And residents picking up family and friends arriving on the ferry try to find a space to park while they wait for them to reach Cruz Bay.

“It can be a chaotic scene,” Smith said.

Judge denies pretrial release for new defendant in Tapia drug trafficking case
By Amanda Norris (Daily News Staff)

ST. THOMAS ­- Walter Hill, a St. John resident and new defendant in the Roberto Tapia drug trafficking case, will be detained on St. Thomas following a hearing in District Court on Thursday in which prosecutors brought to light Hill’s conviction almost 20 years ago for similar drug-related offenses.

Walter Hill is a cousin of Angelo Hill, a V.I. Police sergeant on St. John who was arrested May 24, one week after Drug Enforcement Administration agents affected a drug sting to conclude a year-and-half-long investigation.

On May 17, agents caught Tapia leaving the Red Hook ferry terminal with 7.72 kilograms of cocaine they say he got from Angelo Hill. According to law enforcement agents, Angelo Hill was in his police vehicle when he met Tapia and passed off the packages of cocaine…. read more

St. John Live Music Schedule

Sunday 11/24

Aqua Bistro
Lauren Jones
3:30 – 6:30

High Tide
Steel Pan
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00

Sun Dog
Sunday Night Jam
7:30 – 10:00 ish

Update me when site is updated

St. John Off the Beaten Track App – Trails

Offline Update
After months of struggle, the St. John Off the Beaten Track App is ready for prime time. The all-important offline option update became live on the iTunes App Store and on Google Play a few days ago. Now you can use the app even in areas where cell service is weak, non-existent or overridden by British Virgin Islands signals.

In honor of the recent update, the St. John Off the Beaten Track App will be available for free for the rest of 2013.

How to use the “St. John Off the Beaten Track App” on St. John’s hiking trails

St. John Off the Beaten Track App: Home Screen
On the “home screen” choose “Trails”

St. John Trails
Choose between Main Trails, Secondary Trails or Gut Walks & Scrambles

Hiking Trails of St. John
Choose one of the 78 trails listed on the app

Choosing Peace Hill & Denis Bay opens this screen where you can choose between text, photos, your location and a map of the trail

Tapping the text portion of the text/photo screen opens the text screen with extensive information about the trail

Peace Hill and Denis Bay Trail Map
Tapping outside the text/photo screen clears that screen so you can see the trail on the Trail Bandit Map – as well as your location on the trail

My Location
By tapping the GPS feature, “My Location,” on the upper right of the screen, you can find your location on the trail.

If you have a data signal or WiFi you can also see photos of the trail by either tapping in the image portion of the text/photo screen or by tapping “pictures” in the information screen.

Photo 1 Peace Hill Windmill

Denis Bay, St. John Virgin Islands
Denis Bay

Archival photo of the Christ of the Caribbean Statue, before its destruction by Hurricane Marilyn
St. John Off The Beaten Track on iPad
Screen Shot of a photo from the Caneel Hill Trail on the iPad version of St. John Off The Beaten Track App

Family DaySt. John Events

Customer Appreciation Family Day at the St. John Gourmet Market

Wine Tasting
Free Meals
$500 prize drawing
!0% Off Most items in the store
Music by Inner Vision

Update me when site is updated

US Virgin Islands: Just a Territory

Virgin Islands Dissed by Google
My newly published app, “St. John Off the Beaten Track” lists on iTunes for $1.99. It’s free on Google Play. It was supposed to sell for $1.99 on both the IOS and Android platforms, but Google wouldn’t allow it: why?

Google explained in the following e-mail:
Hello Gerald,
As per one of our specialist, Virgin Island is just a US Territories, and it is not supported for selling paid applications.

JUST a Territory!!! — My feelings are hurt

St. John Off The Beaten Track App
 St. John Off the Beaten Track App Store  St. John Off the Beaten Track GooglePlay

St. John Weather
“You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows”
Bob Dylan

Hint: Go with NOAA

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. East wind 16 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

Weather Underground
Partly cloudy with rain showers in the morning, then clear. High of 84F. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph shifting to the North in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20%

St. John Festival ScheduleSt. John Events, Sunday June 16

St. John Festival Princess 2013 Selection Pageant
6:00 PM
Winston Well Ball Field
Cruz Bay

See Full St. John Events Schedule

St. John Live Music Schedule Sunday June 16

Aqua Bistro
Lauren Jones
3:30 – 6:30

High Tide
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 7:00

Miss Lucy’s
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Ocean Grill
David Laab
6:30 – 9:00

7:00 – 10:00

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

See Weekly Schedule


Update me when site is updated

St. John Off The Beaten Track Overlook

St John Trails: Brown Bay Spur
View From More Hill
Following the ridge

There are some really spectacular views to be had from the many overlooks we have here on St. John. Some are easy to get to, like the popular Trunk Bay Overlook. Some aren’t so easy, but getting there is half the fun. If you want to personally experience the above overlook from More Hill, you can, but as I already said, “it ain’t easy”.

I haven’t been out there since April of 2010 and I imagine the trail hasn’t gotten any better, unless there are some determined hikers out there that have continued to improve the trail. If you want to find it, better bring a GPS and some clippers and be prepared for some catch ‘n’ keep along the way. The trail is marked as the red outlined number 23 on the Trail Bandit Map, which can be downloaded free or purchased by going to the Trail Bandit’s website

Click here for more information about this “St. John Off The Beaten Track” trail

St. John Live Music Schedule – Wednesday 11/14

Aqua Bistro
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:00 – 8:00

Flip Flop Rock

Coconut Coast
Rich Greengold
5:30 -7:00

Cruz Bay Prime
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

High Tide
Mikey P
8:00 – 11:00

Sun Dog Cafe
Wednesday Night Jam
Lauren & Mark Wallce

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

St. John Virgin Islands: Lind Point Trail

I took a look at my book inventory and, lo and behold, it’s time for a reprinting of our most popular book, “St. John Off the Beaten Track.” It’s in pretty good shape now and not a whole lot has changed in the last few years on the beaches and trails, but nonetheless, there’s always room for improvement, so it looks like a rewrite.

My method of forced discipline for these tasks has always been to begin with a web presentation of the various chapters. That gets it written, allows for changes, organizes images and more importantly, makes the process seem less huge. Readers of the blog will get a preview of the new book and can avail themselves of the information. They can even follow me around the island checking out the beautiful trails and beaches one by one.

I’ll be starting from Cruz Bay and going around the north shore, so our first entry will be the Lind Point Trail.

Lind Point Trail

Special Features
As the trail begins just a short walk from the ferry dock in downtown Cruz Bay, this is THE trail to take for day trippers to St. John, who would like to either take a hike on one of the national Park Trails or enjoy one of St. John’s world famous north shore beaches without the necessity of renting a car or hiring a taxi.

Difficulty: Moderate

From the National Park Service Visitors Center to Honeymoon Bay (1.1 miles)
From the National Park Service Visitors Center to Salomon Bay (0.75 mile)
From the National Park Service Visitors Center to the Lind Point Overlook (0.4 mile)

Hiking Time: About 45 minutes (Cruz Bay to Honeymoon Bay- taking it slow)

Sea level at Cruz Bay, Salomon and Honeymoon trail heads and 140 feet at the Lind Point Battery Overlook

The Lind Point Trail passes through the inland environments of cactus scrub between Cruz Bay and Lind Point and dry forest on the wooded slopes of Caneel Hill east of Lind Point.

The Route
The Lind Point Trail runs between the parking area behind the National Park Visitors Center and the beaches at Salomon and Honeymoon Bays passing by the Lind Point Battery Overlook from where the hiker can enjoy unobstructed views of downtown Cruz Bay, the main harbor, the Battery, the Creek and many of the islands and cays of Pillsbury Sound.

Cruz Bay to Lind Point
From the Cruz Bay trail head to Lind Point the trail passes through an area once known as Estate Lindholm, which in colonial days was dedicated to the cultivation of cotton.

After crossing a dirt road, the trail rises gradually in elevation and follows the eastern shoreline of Cruz Bay. Here the track is lined by tangles of night blooming cerius, a cactus-like plant that once a year produces a magnificent white flower that opens at night and closes before sunrise the next morning. The flower is followed by the production of a delicious red fruit that tastes something like a kiwi.

About a quarter mile from the trailhead, the path splits into upper and lower branches. The upper trail will be to your right while the lower trail continues straight ahead. Both trails access the Salomon and Honeymoon Bays, but only the upper trail passes by the Lind Point Battery Overlook.

Lower Trail
The lower trail is slightly shorter and less hilly, than the upper trail and would be the preferred route for those who are not interested in the Lind Point Battery Overlook and are using the trail solely as a means of getting to the Salomon or Honeymoon beaches.

Upper Trail
The upper trail gains elevation through a series of switchbacks and then continues north toward Lind Point, the headland that defines the northern extremity of Cruz Bay and the northwestern corner of the island.

Lind Point
When you get to Lind Point, a loop trail on your left leads to the Lind Point Battery Overlook.

Lind Point Battery Overlook
During the era of the Napoleonic wars, England, along with most of Europe, had united against Napoleon and his revolutionary government in France. Fearing for the security of her West Indian colonies, Britain turned her attention to the Danish West Indian islands of St. Thomas and St. John. If the French took control of these islands, they would undoubtedly use the strategic harbors of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas and Coral Bay on St. John to set up bases from which Tortola and the rest of the British West Indian colonies could be attacked.

It was a likely scenario. Denmark never had a strong military presence in the Caribbean and St. Thomas and St. John could easily have fallen prey to the French. The British decided to make the first move. They sent a fleet of warships to St. Thomas, whereupon the Danes surrendered before a single shot was fired. British troops occupied the Danish West Indies on two separate occasions, once in 1801, for almost a year, and then again in 1807, this time remaining until 1815. In order to secure Cruz Bay harbor, the British built a battery (fortification) on Lind Point. The “English Fort” as it was called by the inhabitants of St. John at the time, was no more than a semicircular terrace supported by a stone retaining wall upon which cannons were placed to defend the harbor. The cannons are no longer there, but the retaining wall remains. In place of the weaponry, there is now a wooden bench where you can sit and enjoy a view of busy Cruz Bay Harbor backdropped by unspoiled tropical scenery.

From Lind Point to Salomon and Honeymoon Bays
From Lind Point, the trail turns right, or east, and follows the northwestern coastline though a dry forest environment. Many of the rock formations along the hillsides are covered by epiphytes (air plants), such as bromeliads and anthuriums. Other rocks bear intricate designs created by lichen growing on the surface of the stones.

 Salomon Bay Spur

The Salomon Bay Spur Trail intersects both the upper and lower Lind Point trails about a quarter mile from Lind Point. For those going to Salomon Bay, take this trail down to the western end of Salomon Beach. The trail runs alongside the beach to eastern end of Salomon Bay and then leads up to meet the lower Lind Point Trail.

On to Honeymoon Bay
For those not going to Salomon Bay, both the lower and upper Lind Point Trails continue on towards Honeymoon Bay near a large tamarind tree. Cross over the dirt road to get to the beach. This road heads east towards the Caneel Bay Resort.

(East of the Salomon Bay Spur Trail, the Upper Lind Point Trail intersects the Caneel Hill Spur Trail just before its intersection with the lower trail.)

Update me when site is updated