I know I’ve said it before, but if you want to see sea turtles, just snorkel Maho Bay. You will not be disappointed!
I believe that we can thank the powers that be here.
To begin with, once turtles were routinely caught in turtle nets and now they are now protected. Catching them is illegal.
Secondly, not only are the turtles protected, but there habitat is also. The turtle thrive on seagrass (especially turtle grass) and the seagrass bed at Maho is lush and healthy. In great part this is due to the mooring program and the prohibition of anchoring in the bay. This prevents the seagrass from being torn up by anchor chains scraping the sea floor as the anchored boat swings to and fro.
Rendezvous Bay is the greater bay encompassing, from west to east, Hart, Monte, Klein and Ditleff Bays.
Supposedly, Rendezvous Bay got its name because it was reputed to be a rendezvous location for pirates.
There’s also a shark story about Rendezvous Bay. The story goes that there were two fisherman that often fished in the bay. It was said that they drank a lot and were prone to argue with one another. One day only one fisherman returned from the day’s fishing. He said that his friend had fallen overboard and was eaten by a shark. Whether his story was true or not was never investigated and no body was ever found.
St. John Events
St John School of the Arts
Tomorrow, Tuesday 3/3
Still Dreaming With visiting filmmaker Jilann Spitzmiller
95 – minute documentary
Stretching physical, emotional and mental limits, a group of elderly Broadway actors, musicians and dancers bravely dive into a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and find that nothing is what it seems to be. These former Broadway stars, who reside at the Lillian Booth Actors Home just outside New York City, embark on a journey through the magical play at the urging of the Home’s administrators. The staff of the Home sees this as an opportunity to boost quality of life for the residents. The residents are not so sure.
As the rehearsal process unfolds, the actors find themselves experiencing both the pain and exhilaration of re-immersion in their life’s work amidst the vagaries of old age. At the same time, the troupe’s young co-directors, Ben Steinfeld and Noah Brody of NYC’s celebrated Fiasco Theater, struggle to maintain forward momentum with this over-80 acting ensemble.
Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and even minor issues such as sight and hearing loss create constant crises and obstacles for all involved. As the troupe pushes forward, the play’s themes of perception, reality vs. dreaming, and memory become relevant in sharp relief. Ultimately the performance of the play turns out to be surprising, mysterious and resonant, and a vital reminder of the value of engaging in our dreams no matter the circumstance.
Stay for the discussion with filmmaker Jilann Spitzmiller
The Interaction of Mangroves, Coral Reefs, Salt Ponds and Beaches
Ecological environments everywhere depend upon one another for their survival. This is elegantly and plainly illustrated in the mangrove habitats of St. John as they quietly preside over the orderly transition of life between land and sea….
I’ve been cultivating pineapple slips in my garden, not only because they produce a deliciously sweet fruit, but also out of frustration with iguanas. It seemed that every time I started an edible plant an iguana would discover it even as a small sprout and finish it off. Pineapple plants, however, are tough and spiny right from the start and not desirable to iguanas and that is how they came to dominate much of the area of the garden.
I know of two ways to propagate pineapples. One is to cut off the crown of a mature fruit and plant it and the other is to plant a slip that comes off a parent pineapple, much like the way bananas are propagated. Grown from the crown, it could take as much as three years to produce a fruit, whereas pineapples grown from slips might bear in less than a year.
Ever since I initiated the pineapple project, I’ve been waiting to see that first sign of the pineapple flower emerging from the center of the plant, and this morning I was rewarded with the first signs that I’ll should have a good pineapple season this summer.
An interesting thing about the pineapple is that it is not one fruit, but rather a cluster of individual flowers that fuse together.
After bananas, the pineapple is the most popularly consumed tropical fruit, with an annual worldwide production of more than 19 million tones (39 billion pounds), but there is a dark side.
Commercial growers on the average use almost 18 pounds of particularly nasty pesticides for every acre devoted to pineapples, which potentially could adversely affect the health of pineapple workers, who are notoriously low paid, as well as contaminating nearby water supplies.
My pineapples are grown without pesticides, but picking them is no picnic as anyone who has ever had a close encounter with that tough spiny plant can testify.
On the good side, pineapples are a great source of viamin C and manganese and are if you get organically grown pineapples, which are available from local farmers here in the Virgin Islands, they are tastier and sweeter than the commercial varieties and potentially provide anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits as well as providing antioxidant protection and immune system support.
A few days ago, I read a travel article mentioning the Cabritte Horn Trail. I hadn’t walked that trail in some time and I was under the impression that because it s not maintained by either the National Park or by Friends of the Park volunteers that it would be overgrown and not easily passable. Having a travel writer describe it intrigued me, so yesterday I ventured out to Coral Bay and headed up the Tektite Trail to the Cabritte Horn intersection.
As I suspected, the trail was overgrown, but just in small sections and mostly by Guinea Grass, so it was no big problem to stay on the trail and walk through the areas of tall Guinea grass.
Having said this, there are along the way, narrow goat trails and old trails leading to a number of beautiful overlooks, of for which, the Tektite Trail is probably unequaled on St. John. Because of this and because, as I mentioned before, that the trail is overgrown in sections, I would strongly recommend using a GPS loaded with the Trail Bandit Map or take advantage of the St. John Off the Beaten Track App on your iPhone or Android device.
The Cabritte Horn Spur leads south and is marked by a cairn.
Along the way to the point, you will pass several areas of spectacular views to both the east and west and will pass by a deep rocky gorge just before reaching the dramatic summit of the Cabritte Horn Point that extends out to the sea on St. John’s south coast.
Following is a short video that I took while enjoying the view from that windswept hilltop:
“I hate wild tamarind. They’re ugly, untidy and unruly. They spread rampantly and take over the place. They’re prejudiced and intolerant. They grow close together and won’t let any other plants live in their neighborhood.
They’re resilient and tenacious. Their sturdy taproot goes straight down into the earth and holds on tight. They can withstand drought, flood and even come back after a fire. There are no insects, predators or diseases that can cause them any significant harm.
They’re hard to get rid of. If you cut them down, they’ll grow right back. If you try and pull out the small one, you’d better have a lot of time and a lot of patience. If you try and dig out the big ones, you’d better have a good hoe-pick and a strong back.”
Nonetheless, their flower is kind of pretty!
The Ghost vs the Wild Tamarind
St. John and Virgin Islands News
Sahara Dust Impacts Territory By Source Staff — May 28, 2014
Dust from the Sahara Desert has caused an air pollution alert to be issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to Alicia Barnes, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
The dust causes the skies around the Virgin Islands to be hazy, reducing visibility and resulting in poor air quality, Barnes said in a statement issued Tuesday night.
The cloud is raised from dust storms in Africa and a rise in the warm air. These sandy dust particles are transported by prevailing winds from the North African desert westward over the Atlantic Ocean across the Caribbean.
Carlos Anselmi, a meteorology intern at the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, confirmed that there are traces of Sahara dust over the territory and that the satellite indicates it will show a stronger presence over the next week.
While the haze may not be an immediate threat, people with allergies or respiratory ailments should remain indoors when possible and consult their physicians or health care professional for further guidance, Barnes warned.
Sahara dust storms pass through the region several times a year, but mainly in the spring and summer months. While the dust can be a nuisance and even a health threat, it is also known to hamper the development of tropical storms…. read more
St. John Live Music Schedule
Barefoot Cowboy Lounge Ike
9:00 pm – 2:00 am
St. John Flutes
Cruz Bay Landing
5:00 – 8:00
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 6:00
6:30 – 9:30
Michael Beason Open Mic
6:00 – 9:00
Iguana burrowing in rocky soil – Chocolate Hole, St. John, Virgin Islands
On April 15, I wrote a blog in which I presented a photo of an iguana burrow, which I found in the sand by the boat ramps in Great Cruz Bay. At the time, I didn’t actually see the iguana making the hole.
Yesterday, however, I did catch an iguana in the act of burrowing and captured some of the project on video. This time it was in back of my house in Chocolate Hole, a more difficult endeavor for the iguana due to the rocky nature of the land. At one point it actually looked like the iguana was thinking about moving the big rock that was in its way.