Soggy Dollar is Now at Your Fingertips

Soggy Dollar View from Bar

Soggy Dollar Bar is located on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands.

Who needs a little more Soggy Dollar in your lives? Well you can now have the world famous beach bar at your fingertips 24/7. Curious? Intrigued? Then read on!

Our friends over at Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke recently launched a new smartphone app, and it looks great. And the best part? It’s free! The app connects you to everything Soggy, including its online radio station and social media pages. You can check out its menus, shop in its online store and buy someone a drink to be posted on the Soggy Dollar Drink Board. And for those of you who like to daydream about everything Caribbean during the day, there’s a link for Soggy’s live webcam, which also happens to be listed on our webcam page.

All you have to do is visit the App Store and search Soggy Dollar. Here are a few screenshots:

Soggy Dollar App

Soggy App screenshot 1

Soggy App screenshot 2

Pretty neat, right? I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of Caribbean daydreaming at numerous businesses and offices across the country today! Enjoy and have a great day!

We Need Rain. But One Neat Thing May Occur Due to the Lack of It…

The crispy hillsides in Great Cruz Bay

The crispy hillsides in Great Cruz Bay

Hello everyone and happy Monday! We need rain. And we need it badly. The hillsides are brown. The island looks crispy. Some of the animals look lethargic and are likely suffering due to the lack of rain. It’s not a good situation. We had a few sprinkles yesterday, and there were a few sprinkles while I was away in Europe. But I honestly cannot recall the last time we had measurable rain.

The majority of residents on St. John collect rainwater, which is held in cisterns (which can be likened to an underground basement, but rather one that holds water). This means that all of our water used for cleaning, cooking, bathing, etc. is all caught from the sky. Without rain, we run low on water. When our cisterns run dry, we have to buy water which can be costly. This doesn’t go for just residents, it obviously happens with vacation rentals too.

Now I know on vacation, you want to take a nice long shower after the beach. I just ask that those of you who are visiting in the near future to be cognizant of your water usage, if possible. The saying regarding the bathroom is, “In the land of sun and fun, we do not flush for number one” or even “If it’s yellow, let is mellow.” Quite simply, you do not need to flush every time. (Yes, I know that’s not the most glamorous thing in the world to tell you all about, but it’s our reality at t he moment.) We also take “Army showers” in times like this. Basically we shut the water off to shave our legs, to shampoo or hair, etc. Those little acts can save a lot of water, and that’s very important right now. :)

Now on to the positive…

One very cool thing that can happen during a drought is that the salt ponds can actually produce salt. This happened four years ago during the 2015 drought. In fact, I wrote a story fours years and one day ago about how I was able to harvest salt from salt pond (the actual pond behind Salt Pond bay). Now you may be thinking, of course salt pond produces salt. Well that’s not always the case. Here are the details straight from Gerald Singer of seestjohn.com:

Because of its location on this arid and windswept part of the island, Salt Pond is the most likely place to find 100% natural St. John sea salt – no fat, no carbs, no cholesterol, no preservatives.

Saltwater enters the pond from the sea by seepage at high tides and by waves breaking over the surface during storms. Salt Pond is one of the only places on St. John that is below sea level. This condition prevents significant amounts of pond water from flowing back out to sea. Constant, intense sunlight and ever-present trade winds encourage an exceptionally high rate of evaporation. When rain is scarce, the water becomes extremely salty. Water can only hold a certain amount of salt in solution and when the salinity of the pond reaches that point, the salt crystallizes.

As the water level continues to drop, and more and more water is evaporated, a layer of salt is left along the edges of the pond. The longer the dry period, the higher the temperature, and the stronger the winds, the more this salt layer will extend towards the center of the pond and the thicker the layer becomes.

Pretty neat, right?

That year, it took until September, I believe, to get measurable rain. Let’s hope that’s not the case this year.

And for those of you who are interested in learning more about me harvesting salt from salt pond, please click this link to read the post and to see pics.

Thanks all and have a wonderful day.

Check Out this Great Raffle!

Oceanport

Oceanport

Hello everyone and happy Sunday! I know how much you all love raffles and how much you love supporting great organizations here on St. John! Well today we ‘d like to tell you about a raffle put together by Erin Hart, a talented musician here on St. John. Erin created this raffle to support Island Health and Wellness, St. John’s only non-profit health center. This health center is extremely important to our residents as the majority do not have health insurance.

The raffle ends Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST, so you need to enter rather quickly if you’d like to participate. Here is a list of prizes:

  • Autographed Epiphone guitar from Kenny Chesney
  • Love For Love City Flag, autographed by Kenny Chesney, paired with a handmade Bad Sisters (Hurricane Tribute) earring and bracelet set from Krall designs
  • 7 night stay for up to 8 people at Oceanport Villa in Hart Bay, paired with a car rental from Courtesy Car Rental (aprox. total value:$5810).
  • 5 night stay for up to 6 people at Aquamare at Grande Bay, paired with a handmade bracelet from Krall Designs and a $100 gift certificate to Coconut Coast Studio (aprox. total value:$3790).
  • 4 night stay for up to 8 people at Beautiful Morning at Grande Bay paired with a handmade bracelet from Krall Designs (aprox. total value: $1990).
  • 3 night consecutive stay for 2 people at St. John Inn, paired with a handmade necklace from Bamboo Studio and a $100 gift certifcate to Morgan’s Mango (aprox total value: $969).
  • $700 credit towards any 3+ night consecutive stay with Island Abodes (can be used as a 3 night stay in their Papaya Suite or applied toward one of their other vacation rentals), paired with a custom organic facial from St. John Organics at VI Body Spa, and a handmade mala from Isla Mala (aprox. total value: $915).
  • A two night consecutive stay at Hotel Cruz Bay, paired with a handmade necklace fromFreebird Creations and a $125 gift certificate to La Tapa (aprox. total value $685).

Tickets are $25. And just like with our News of St. John raffles, the raffle organizers will write the names of each entrant on a ticket. You will not receive a ticket in the mail. The winners will be pulled live on video, which will be posted at islandgirlmusic.com/golden-ticket.

(Please note: this raffle is not affiliated with News of St. John.)

You can purchase your tickets here or by visiting islandgirlmusic.com/golden-ticket.

Good luck everyone!

Benefit for Animal Care Center Happening Today

ACC Sign May 2019If you love dogs and the island’s furry friends, you are going to LOVE today’s event! The Animal Care Center is holding its annual dog show today as a way to raise money for the island’s much loved and much needed no-kill shelter. This fundraiser will help the ACC care for St. John’s abused, abandoned and neglected dogs and cats.

Wagapalooza is the island’s craziest (and only!) dog show. It gives residents the opportunity to show off their prized pooches while attendees munch on grilled burgers and dogs (hot that is), while quenching their thirst at the full bar. (It wouldn’t be a St. John event without a full bar now would it…) Guests can also take part in several fun activities like face painting at the Children’s Corner, munching on popcorn, chasing down the ice cream cart for a delicious treat, and getting healthy homemade treats for your dogs.

The event will feature a raffle with great prizes such as boat trips, jewelry, gift certificates from many of our island businesses, hotel and resort stays, and fabulous dinners at our fine island restaurants. Before you leave the event, you can pick up this year’s Wagapalooza shirt which has been sponsored by some wonderful businesses including News of St. John! For stateside residents, stay tuned for an exclusive online shirt that you can purchase and have mailed directly to you. These shirts will go up for sale the week after the event.

The event happens tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the former Lumberyard plaza, and everyone is welcome including dogs. All dogs must be on a leash and good with other dogs. :) We will be there with our dogs, and we hope to see you all there!

Music Benefit Happening Tomorrow

Coral Bay Feb 20 2019

There is a great event happening at Caribbean Oasis in Coral Bay tomorrow night. And even better, it’s being held to support the University of the Virgin Island’s Music Education department. Here are all the details straight from the organizers:

The countdown is on to an exciting free benefit concert for the US Virgin Islands this Saturday, May 18th in Coral Bay.

The “Music Is Life” benefit is being presented by Intellectual Global Concepts, (IGC), in collaboration with Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis, The RTPark, The University of The Virgin Islands, (UVI) and Grammy-Award winning Jazz Drummer, Dion Parson. It is set for May 18th-19th from 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m. at The St. John Bayfront at The Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis.

Hyenah is a world renowned South African artist.

Hyenah is a world renowned South African artist.

The event will feature world renowned South African electronic music maestro, Hyenah, who is known for his elusive identity, top charting tracks on ‘Resident Advisor,’ and his performances at top clubs across the globe. Additionally, the event will showcase USVI’s own Cool Session Brass Band and UVI’s SHUT Down Band along with DJ Mike Swells of NYC and local fire dancers and drum circle.

Event attendees will also be able to experience the local food culture with several amazing food vendors placed throughout the venue and an online Silent Auction at 32auctions.com/musicislife, that will feature a fantastic selection of prizes with winners of the auction announced live at the event.

Taxis will be available to bring guests to the venue and back for US $6 each way, while boat operators will offer trips from St. Thomas to St. John throughout the entirety of the event along with late night options for transportation after the event ends.

Proceeds from the event, merchandise sales, food, art, merchant vendor fees and sponsor donations will be used to bolster music education via the Music Education Program at the University of The Virgin Islands lead by Mr. Parson. Both the St. Croix and St. Thomas campuses were heavily impacted by the 2017 hurricanes that damaged the university and the RTPark’s 64 West Center Building.

This event has a limited number of attendees so music fans must register for free tickets only on Eventbrite or donate US $10-50 for a variety of donation packages, including items like T-shirts and free drinks at the venue.

For more information see Facebook at facebook.com/musicislifeusvi/ and Eventbrite at usvimusicislife.eventbrite.com

We’re Back & So is Our Webcam!

Cruz Bay, May 15, 2019

Cruz Bay beach, May 15, 2019

Hello everyone and happy Thursday! We’re back! Did you miss us? Because we sure missed you!!

We had an amazing time in Italy, a much-needed break. We spent time in Rome, Positano, Capri, Tuscany, Sienna, Chianti, a seaside town on the Adriatic Sea that resembled the Jersey Shore and Venice. And you know what? It was all amazing! But we missed this little island, and we’re happy to be home.

Checking out the Colosseum

Checking out the Colosseum

Hands up for Capri!

Hands up for Capri!

Sadly, it barely rained when we were gone and the island remains super dry. Pulling into Cruz Bay was rather a sad sight as the hillsides are simply scorched. We desperately need rain, although the water truck operators are pretty darn happy right about now.

We finally got our webcam back online after upgrading our router. So you can once again check out live views of the Westin and Great Cruz Bay. You can see it 24/7 at www.newsofstjohn.com/webcam

Our webcam is back online! Image taken May 16, 2019.

Our webcam is back online! Image taken May 16, 2019.

The airlines made a big announcement while we were gone too. American Airlines will launch new nonstop flights from Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth to St. Thomas beginning December 21st, just in time for the holidays. The Chicago route will be seasonal while the Dallas-Fort Worth route will run year-round. Such great news! I know that Spring is here, but it’s never too early to start planning your winter vacations!

And another random tidbit from me… There were so many young people – and by young, I mean people in their 20s – on my flight from New York to St. Thomas yesterday. It was such a great sight to see! I’ve seen couples return to St. John, families return to St. John and now it seems the young people are returning to St. John. More great news.

We’re going to end today’s post right here because we have an island tour to prepare for. If you’re looking to see the island on your next trip, I would love to show you around! Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned visitor, I promise you will have a great day touring the island with me. I offer half day, full day and combination land and sea tours – the best of both worlds! Our land and sea is also a great way to get over to Lime Out, the floating taco bar on the East End. (Just please note: Lime Out is closed on Mondays. Please plan accordingly.) If you are interested in an island tour with me, you can email me at jenn@newsofstjohn.com or visit www.newsofstjohn.com/islandtour for more info.

Thank you everyone for your continued love of this island! Have a great day!