Price Reduction on Popular Business

smoothie from street

(File photo – May 2018)

Hello everyone and happy Monday! It’s the beginning of the workweek for many of you, but we’re going to try to make it brighter for all of you!

We were watching the weather over the weekend, and we noticed that it’s pretty darn chilly in a good part of the country. We also saw that many of you got clobbered with snow and ice. I’m pretty positive that weather like that makes you dream about St. John just a little bit more than normal, so we thought today would be a great day to tell you about a business that has had a nice price reduction. Many businesses here on island have sold to News of St. John readers … maybe this business is for you!

Colombo’s Smoothies is the wildly popular smoothie shack located around mile seven on Centerline Road. It not only has delicious smoothies of all flavors, but it also adds free rum to any smoothie (provided you’re over 18, of course!).

smoothie rum sign

The business originally listed for $235,000. Its new asking price is $199,000.

This turnkey business is located on a half acre of lease land. The monthly rent is just $1,545. It currently has a five year lease. And as an added bonus, there’s room for expansion.

Colombo’s is listed with Jennifer Gibbud of Holiday Homes St. John. For more information, please email jennifer@holidayhomesvi.com

The Schooner that’s Sailing Around St. John

The Roseway sails past Steven Cay on Friday morning.

The Roseway sails past Steven Cay on Friday morning.

For those of you who have been lucky enough to be around St. John and St. Thomas this week, you may have noticed a beautiful ship sailing around the islands. It’s called the Roseway, and it’s a wooden gaff-rigged schooner that serves as a teaching ship of sorts.

The Roseway is being operated by World Ocean School and currently it has a group aboard from Luther College. Its mission is simple, according to its website. It combats “student disengagement and apathy. (It) motivate(s) students from diverse backgrounds by challenging them academically, physically, and emotionally in hands-on programs. The story behind Rosewood makes it just as cool. Here it is straight from its website…

In the fall of 1920 a Halifax, Nova Scotia, newspaper challenged the fisherman of Gloucester, Massachusetts, to a race between the Halifax fishing schooners and the Gloucester fleet. Therefore many schooners, such as Roseway, built at this time were not strictly designed for fishing but in order to protect American honor in the annual races.

Roseway, 137′ in sparred length, was designed as a fishing yacht by John James and built in 1925 in his family’s shipyard in Essex, Massachusetts. Father and son worked side by side on Roseway, carrying on a long New England history of wooden shipbuilding. She was commissioned by Harold Hathaway of Taunton, Massachusetts, and was named after an acquaintance of Hathaway’s “who always got her way.” Despite her limited fishing history, Roseway set a record of 74 swordfish caught in one day in 1934.

Roseway was built and maintained to an exceedingly high standard, using a special stand of white oak from Hathaway’s property in Taunton. She had varnished rails and stanchions and had a house built for her every winter. She was so well maintained that the coal for the stove was washed before being stored in the bunker. This kind of treatment, which contributed to her longevity, was unheard of in the commercial fishing fleet.

The Roseway

The Roseway

On December 7, 1941, just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Boston Globe reported the purchase of Roseway by the Boston Pilots Association. In the article, the Pilots described Roseway as “sturdily constructed of oak, the craft is fully capable of withstanding the battering of heavy seas and onslaughts of terrific gales that pilot boats maintaining the lonely vigil off Boston Harbor are called upon to meet.” Clarence Doane, agent for the Boston Pilots, stated that Roseway “approaches as close as possible to specifications of the ideal pilot boat as any vessel. . . .”

In the spring of 1942, Roseway was fitted with a .50-caliber machine gun and assigned to the First Naval District (New England). All lighted navigational aids along the coast were turned off during the war, and it was up to the Pilots and Roseway to guide ships through the minefields and anti-submarine netting protecting the harbor. At the end of the war, the Coast Guard presented a bronze plaque to the pilots in honor of Roseway‘s exemplary wartime service.

She served the pilots well for 32 years and was the last pilot schooner in the United States when she was reluctantly retired in 1973, to be replaced by smaller steel powerboats.

In 1973, Roseway began her transformation to a Windjammer when she was bought by a group of Boston businessmen who rebuilt her below-decks to meet Coast Guard passenger-carrying requirements. In late 1974, she went up for sale and was purchased a year later in Boston by captains Jim Sharp and Orvil Young. In record time, the two captains had added fourteen cabins, creating accommodation for 36 passengers and were under way in the summer of 1975. In 1977, Roseway and the Adventure (built in Essex in 1926) starred in the television remake of Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous, filmed in Camden.

After captains Young and Sharp sold her, she continued in the tourist industry in Camden until the late 90s when she was repossessed by the First National Bank of Damariscotta.

In September 2002, the bank honored a request by the World Ocean School and donated Roseway to be used as a platform for the school. In the early morning hours of November 21, with a crew of two on board, she was harnessed to a tug boat in Rockland harbor and towed to Boothbay Harbor. The following day at the first high tide, she was hauled out of the water on the railway at Sample’s Shipyard where she underwent a complete restoration.

After a two-year restoration of the ship, the school embarked on the maiden voyage to the Great Lakes during the summer of 2005. This voyage was a trial for the ship as well as an opportunity to build support and exposure for the developing School.

In May 2006 Roseway and the World Ocean School relocated to Boston, Massachusetts where program development continued as Roseway was open to the public for the summer season doing day sails and charters.

In November of the same year, Roseway embarked on a passage to St. Croix USVI where she spent the winter serving island students. St. Croix has now become the new winter home port for Roseway. She still summers in the Northeast, primarily in Boston, providing education programs and day sails for the public.

After over 90 years of service, she is one of only six original Grand Banks schooners, and the only schooner specifically designed to beat the Nova Scotians in the international fishing vessel races of the 1920s and 1930s. She is a registered U.S. National Historic Landmark operating in Boston and St. Croix, USVI.

Pretty neat now, isn’t it?

The Roseway was in Maho Bay earlier in the week and was briefly anchored off of Cruz Bay yesterday. It overnighted off of Buck Island and is currently (as of 9 a.m. AST) heading southwest of St. Thomas.

You can follow its travels and check out what the students are up to by visiting its website at https://worldoceanschool.org/ships-log

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The Beach Bar Officially Reopens for Happy Hour Today!

Beach Bar file photo circa 2016

Beach Bar file photo circa 2016

Well everyone, if you love St. John and if you love The Beach Bar, today is a good day for you. Four hundred and ninety nine days later, The Beach Bar is reopening for happy hour. How fantastic is that!

As we told you late last week, The Beach Bar is only able to offer happy hour on the beach at the moment, but it’s something! It begins tonight at 3 p.m. and will go until they are done. :)

The Beach Bar plans to be open Thursdays through Sundays only at this point, and will be serving drinks only as their kitchen and interior bar continues to be worked on. But from what we hear, the entire Beach Bar will be open next month. So exciting!

In addition to cold drinks, amazing views and good company, The Beach Bar will also have live music all weekend. Tonight Lourdes and the Switch, a fantastic band from St. Thomas, will perform from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Don Diego Band featuring Bree Sharp will play on Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. And St. John’s own, Miss Erin Hart, will be playing Sunday afternoon from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

We plan on being there tonight, and I know many people on island will be too. As of now, The Beach Bar’s webcam is on a loop showing video from January 5th. Hopefully it goes live later today, so all of you in the States can enjoy the reopening party too!

Congresswoman Plaskett Seeks to Gain Voting Rights for USVI Residents

Plaskett Jan 16 2019

Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett addresses Congress on Jan. 16, 2019.

Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett was on Capital Hill Wednesday where she presided over the debate on the House Floor of the US House of Representatives regarding Disaster Relief. Plaskett has had a very busy month as she recently introduced 11 acts of proposed legislation. One of her proposals, H.J.Res.24, caught my attention as it seeks to amend the Constitution “regarding Presidential election voting rights for residents of all United States territories and commonwealths.”

People born in the US Virgin Islands are unable to vote in presidential elections. Those of us who were born in a US state, but relocated to the US Virgin Islands, are forced to relinquish our voting rights once we establish residency in the Territory.

Here is a copy of H.J.Res.24 in its entirety:

H.J.Res.24

H.J.Res.24 was introduced to the House on January 9th. It needs to pass the House and Senate, and then get the President’s signature before becoming law. You can follow its progress here.

Plaskett has sought to gain equal voting rights for residents of the US Virgin Islands for several years.

Click here to see all of Plaskett’s proposed legislation. 

As of today, January 17th, Plaskett has not reintroduced a bill regarding Caneel Bay. We’ve learned that Plaskett is in discussions with stakeholders and is considering reintroducing the bill with some changes. We will keep you all posted on that.

The Beaches: A Little of This & A Little of That

Jumbie, Friday afternoon

Jumbie, Friday afternoon

Hi all, happy Wednesday. We made it to the middle of the week! Yahoo! Although all the days seem to feel the same when you’re on St. John. :)

So we receive a ton of emails and Facebook messages here at News of St. John. And as you know, we do our best to answer all as quickly as we can. Today I am going to give you a quick rundown on some of the more recent questions we’ve received plus some more details you may find helpful.

Let’s start with the government shutdown. Yes, it is affecting St. John, but fortunately, it’s not affecting us too dramatically. The most visible impact is on the restrooms within the park. The majority are closed. Thankfully volunteers with Friends of the VI National Park are opening the restrooms at the Visitor’s Center in Cruz Bay and also the restrooms at Trunk Bay daily. All of the others – Hawksnest, Cinnamon, Maho, Francis and Annaberg – are all closed. So plan according when you leave Cruz Bay or Coral Bay and head to the North Shore beaches.

Speaking of Trunk, the concessions are open once again. Food and drink is being served. There is also a small retail shop that opened last month. And the booth that rents snorkel gear and chairs is open too. The entry fee is still being waived at Trunk. This means that all of our beaches can be accessed free of charge.

Trunk Bay Sign December 16 2018

Honeymoon beach has become a more popular spot thanks to the dinghy shuttle. One operates all day, every day. All you have to do is look for the dinghy with the hot pink motor pulling up in front of High Tide, which is next to the ferry dock in Cruz Bay. The cost is $5 per person and the ride takes less than 10 minutes. When you reach Honeymoon, be sure you sign up for a time slot to get back to Cruz Bay. We hear they fill up fast. But don’t worry if you can’t get a ride back. You can always walk back via the Lind Point Trail. It takes about a half hour and it’s an easy walk back.

Now let’s move on to Maho. We told you all last month how a new food truck is opening up there. It hasn’t opened up yet, but it looks to be close. The VW bus is on site, which will be serving food, and I’ve seen them working on the tiki bar, which will serve drinks. They cleared an abundance of dead trees, and I have to say, the space looks pretty neat. I’m definitely interested in checking it out when it opens.

Maho Bay 2018

Maho Bay

I walked down to Denis over the weekend, and it looked great. This beach is a lesser known beach that is accessed from the small trail up to Peace Hill. You will see a trail off to your right. That is the trail down to Denis. It takes about eight minutes or so to get there. Denis is a more exposed beach, so it tends to be much wavier. It’s a long beach, with a fair amount of sand and great views.

Denis Bay

Denis Bay

And last but not least today, Hawksnest holds a church service every Sunday at 10 a.m. in the western pavilion. This has to be the most beautiful view for any church service in the world.

Hawksnest Pavillion

Well folks, that’s it for today … a Seinfeld story of sorts. :) It was sort of about nothing, but sort of about something. I hope you enjoyed it! And more importantly, I hope you enjoy your day today!

Throwback Tuesday: The Story of the Locust

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! Last month, we re-shared a story with you about the conch shell and its history here on island. The story was told by Ital Delroy Anthony, one of the island’s cherished residents. Ital is a local artist, musician and medicinal plant expert. I could honestly sit and listen to Ital speak about the island, its people, plants and history forever.

Today we’d like to share with you a throwback video we took back in 2014. In it, Ital discusses the West Indian locust. And please forgive my atrocious camera work! I recorded this before I had a handy iPhone. :)


And please click here to watch the original video of Ital telling the story of the conch shell.