fbpx

Virgin Islands National Park Reef Safety Signs

Virgin Islands National Park Reef Safety Signs 1

Good Morning Everyone!  If you have been on St. John during this busy (thankfully!) holiday season, you may have seen some new signs at the entrances to some of the VI National Park Beaches.  These signs were installed by the VI National Park in order to promote awareness and education about what you can do to protect the reefs, while enjoying their beauty!

Read moreVirgin Islands National Park Reef Safety Signs

Trunk Resumes Fee Collection; Cinnamon Continues Construction

Trunk Resumes Fee Collection; Cinnamon Continues Construction 4

We’ve got some updates about two of your favorite St. John beaches!

Several months ago, the National Park Service (NPS) suspended most of their operations over health and safety concerns for their employees, volunteers, and visitors due to COVID-19.  The suspension of services resulted in the temporary closure of hiking trails, bathroom and shower facilities, and the National Park Visitor Center on St. John.  One nice perk that came from the closure was the suspension of the collection of admission fees at Trunk Bay.  Our island residents took full advantage of the fee waiver and had the beach nearly all to ourselves all summer!

Trunk Resumes Fee Collection; Cinnamon Continues Construction 5
A nearly empty Trunk Bay was a rare gift for St. John residents this summer!

This week, with guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health authorities, and the US Virgin Islands Governor’s Executive Order easing some of the virus restrictions, the NPS is transitioning their re-opening on St. John in a phased approach.

Read moreTrunk Resumes Fee Collection; Cinnamon Continues Construction

North Shore Tour

North Shore Tour 8

Happy Sunday Funday!  For those of you who are dreaming about those Caribbean Blues this morning, here’s your fix!  I took a drive out North Shore Road and stopped at some overlooks this weekend to get some fresh air and take in the post-Sahara dust views.

You’ll still see a little bit of haze in these pictures but, man, it’s so good to have the vivacious blues back in sight.  You’ll also notice there is still a WEE bit of brown on the hillsides but after the dust cleared this week, we got a ton of rain!  Things should hopefully be greening up nicely very soon!

Enjoy!

North Shore Tour 9
Cruz Bay from the overlook

 

North Shore Tour 10
Caneel Bay from the overlook on North Shore

 

North Shore Tour 11
Caneel Bay gate – Still no updates on the future of the property…

 

North Shore Tour 12
Hawksnest Beach from Peace Hill

 

North Shore Tour 13
Gibney Beach from Peace Hill

 

North Shore Tour 14
Jumbie Bay with Great Thatch and the BVI in the background – Also from Peace Hill

 

North Shore Tour 15
Jost, boats and blues

 

North Shore Tour 16
Trunk Bay looking magnificent as ever! Have you noticed recently, the shoreline resembles the shape of a heart? 🙂

That’s all for this morning, but I hope these sights of STJ help to kick your Sunday off right.

A Few Minutes with… Ash, Owner of Saltwell Bottom Beach

A Few Minutes with... Ash, Owner of Saltwell Bottom Beach 17 Ash & his family own Saltwell Bottom beach at Hansen Bay

There are so many amazing people who live here on St. John. Many were born and raised here, while others chose to relocate and make this island their home. For awhile now, I’ve wanted to share their stories with you. But truthfully, I’m a bit apprehensive about writing profiles. So I decided to try something different.

Today we’re introducing a new little thing here at News of St. John called “A Few Minutes with…” In these segments, we’re simply going to spend a few minutes with someone we find cool, interesting or unique. We’re starting with our friend Ash.

I introduced you all to Ash back in October when I mentioned how he was opening his family’s beach up to the public, so we can all enjoy the sand, the captivating views or even take a quick paddle out to Lime Out. His family owns a gorgeous stretch of land out on St. John’s East End known as Saltwell Bottom beach. Ash is welcoming, kind and has an infectious smile. Yesterday, I drove out to the East End to spend A Few Minutes with Ash…

Please click the play button below to listen to it.

He truly is a wonderful person. I hope you all take the drive out east one day, so you can see for yourselves.

Now I’m sure you heard the waves crashing in the background while Ash and I chatted. Here’s a video to show you how gorgeous his family’s beach is. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now

Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 18
Cinnamon Bay, Sunday afternoon

It’s been more than four months since we last updated you on the status of Cinnamon Bay. It’s one of the top questions we have here at News of St. John, so we figured we were due for an update.

For starters, the campground is not scheduled to reopen anytime soon. But there is work being done there, so that’s great. When it was announced in May that Tom Secunda, a part-time St. John resident, purchased the campground contract, we were told that it wasn’t expected to reopen until the 2020-2021 season. And it looks like that’s still the case.

As we saw Sunday, crews are still in the process of installing more than 10,000 feet of pipe for water and sewer. Once that is completed, the plan is to work on the bathhouses and the main building, and then the actual campsites. So there is still a lot to do, but there is also a lot of progress happening.

Rather than tell you about Cinnamon Bay, we prefer to show you. Here are several pictures we took Sunday plus a nice little video from the beach. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 19
Walking in from the parking lot area
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 20
The main path to the beach
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 21
The main building is currently blocked off with fencing.
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 22
An area behind the main building
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 23
The campground areas are blocked off by fencing.
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 24
The area where the cottages once stood.
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 25
The main bath house
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 26
An area that led to the eco tents.
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 27
Preparing to install piping beside the main bath house
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 28
The former archeology lab
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 29
Looking toward the platform tent area
Cinnamon Bay Campground:What It Looks Like Now 30
An alternate view of the main building

***
Free shipping on St. Johnopoly this holiday season! All sales will end December 19th. Guaranteed Christmas delivery! Order yours today at www.newsofstjohn.com/stjohnopoly

Good News From the East End!

hansen 2

So lately we’ve had a lot of negative news about the East End – beaches being blocked, barbed wire being put up, trespassing signs, etc. Well we’re happy today to tell you about some good news coming out of the East End.

One group of property owners along Hansen Bay beach are opening up their land for public use. Most notably, they’ve invited Captain Peter of Angels Rest to anchor offshore. (Not sure what Angels Rest is? Click here to read about our Easter jaunt on the floating bar.) This stretch of beach along Hansen Bay will now be Angels Rest’s primary destination. Here’s what Captain Peter said about it on his Facebook page:

“(The owners of that stretch of beach) are so nice to me and are planning to make a fun beach to visit,” Captain Peter wrote. “They will be offering a lot of beach toys, such as paddleboards, kayaks, tri sailboats … There will also be a snack shop, cabanas and lots of free parking. And of course, Angels Rest bar (will be) a little closer to the beach.”

We reached out to the property owners Tuesday, and they are super excited to open their beach to the community.

“We want to enhance the community idea, to welcome businesses to a beautiful place,” one of the property owners said Tuesday. (She asked to keep her name out of today’s story, and we happily obliged.)” That is very difficult to do here on St. John, especially with the North Shore being mostly National Park. We’re opening up the shoreline as it should be opened, to those people who want to participate in that beach. We want to help the community. We are very community oriented.”

While they could not confirm Captain Peter’s statement about a possible snack shack, they did say they are welcoming Angels Rest with open arms. The owners are working on installing signs to let people know that Angels Rest is in the area and also to direct them where to park (across the street from the beach).

They did stress, however, that they do not want the beach to get overrun. They simply want people to come out, experience the beach and enjoy themselves while being respectful of the neighbors of course. They’ve also asked that all visitors pick up after themselves.

I’m not sure about you all, but I think this is amazing news! Kudos to these ladies!!