St. Johnians CAN dance

Couples If there was any question, there isn't now.

Three months ago, Pierre Dulaine and developers of the Pond Bay resort announced a program of dance classes for the island's fifth graders.  Last weekend, it was graduation time.

Dulaine, founder of the American Ballroom Dance Studio, hosted the 'finals,' a ballroom dance competition at the St. John Westin.  The evening was called St. John's first annual Colors of the Rainbow Team Match and it brought out a huge crowd of watchers and a talented group of dancers.

CoupleOne person on the sidelines said the evening "wildly popular with the largest cross collection or mix of island demographics that I’ve seen at any single indoor island event."

The Inquiring Iguana offers many kudos to Dulaine and his instructors who ran the classes from September to December; to Pond Bay and its developer Bob Emmett for funding the project, and to Awardsthe students and their parents and loved ones for their focus, hard work and energy.

Click on any image to see a larger version.

The photos were made available by Bob Schlesinger, a photographer who specializes in family gatherings and weddings. He says he delivers "Extraordinary images with an island flair!" His Web site is www.TropicalFocus.com)

Hurricane forecasters: Wait’ll next year

2009storms Colorado State University weather researchers say there is a better than a 50/50 chance a 'major hurricane" will make landfall in the Caribbean next year; 63% to be exact.

Phil KlotzbachWilliam Gray also say there is a 64% chance  a big one will hit the coastline of the US.

"We anticipate the current El Nino event to dissipate by the 2010 hurricane season and warm sea temperatures are likely to continue being present in the tropical and North Atlantic … conditions that contribute to an above-average season," they said in their annual forecast.Overall the storm researchers expect 2010 will be a year with above-average activity, with as many as 16 named storms and half of them possibly becoming hurricanes.  Last year's forecast from the tropical Meteorology Project was essentially the same; as many as 14 named storms, a 63% chance one would hit the US coast and "above average major landfall hurricane risk in the Caribbean." 

There were nine named storms last year and only two hurricanes.  none hit the US coast. "Activity in 2009 was reduced considerably due largely to the moderate El Niño event that developed," Gray and Klotzbach said.

And we all know how that turned out.  Let's hope they're wrong again.

Friends’ winter seminars announced

Samiknars The Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park has announced its schedule of winter seminars. 

Among almost 40 sessions, from December through April, there are more than half a dozen workshops being offered for the first time.  They include a private woodworking lesson from Avelino Samuel, a session with jazz drummer Eddie Bruce teaching ethnic drumming, and award-winning Trinidad Charlie showing how to make your own pepper sauce. Registration fees for the seminars go to benefit the Friends and the Park.

Participating in these classes is a double treat.  Not only do you get the chance to learn something from an expert and get closer to the real St. John, but you also will meet other visitors as well as island residents.

Feds to fund new/old ferry

Even as stimulus program dollars are paying for long-needed
repair work on Gifft Hill and South Shore road, there are more coming. 
Gov. John de Jongh said multi-billion dollar appropriations
bill just passed by Congress is worth $33 million for Virgin islands projects.

The Inquiring Iguana is pretty focused on St. John and scoured the legislation for what it means directly for the island.

  • $200,000 for the acquisition of a refurbished passenger ferry for St. John
  • $3.25 million for acquisition of land at Maho Bay and Hawksnest Bay for the National Park.

Other provisions in the bill provide for some new buses for Vitran and  a new 911 emergency communications center.

The Governor said he is "enormously grateful."

St. John Singers schedule

The Singers, folks from St. John and St. Thomas who just love to sing, plan three
holiday concerts. 

A Cruz Bay show will be Wednesday evening at the
Nazareth Lutheran Church
,  Coral Bay will host two concerts, Dec. 20
and Dec. 22, at the Emmaus Moravian Church.  All concerts start at 7:30
p.m. Tickets for children are $5 and for adults, $15.

featured performer will be Glychris Sprauve.  Born in Puerto Rico,
raised on St. Thomas, he is a multi-faceted performer as a tenor,
pianist, composer, arranger and musicologist. He holds degrees in Vocal
Performance from the Universities of Iowa and Maryland, and has also
studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Sprauve has sung
extensively through Brazil, Argentina and the Caribbean.

Cruz Bay business for sale

DetailsA gift shop in the Raintree Court, next to the Fish Trap restaurant,
has gone on the market. 

Donna Wheeler, an agent with David Jones Real Estate chose to use Craigslist to offer Tropical Details.

Asking price
for the 625-square-foot gift shop and island boutique is $215,000. 

listing says, "Current owner receives numerous requests for
shipments. Potential for Web business."

La Plancha’s menu online

Everybody's favorite restaurant at the Marketplace shopping center has a Web site. 

Not much to see but the menus for lunch and dinner have been PDF-ed and can be downloaded:

Party like an animal with the ACC

ChristmasforACC09POSTER A new 5-bedroom Chocolate Hole villa will be the site of this weekend's '60s Dance Party to benefit the animals.  Pony up $85 and you can join the fun and gawk at Tre Vista Estate from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.

The event begins at sunset and launches into a '60's dance theme, fueled by Preston Elliot (of Beatlemania), performing with his new local band, Illuminati. Far-out food & loose libations will be provided by Baked in the Sun, East West Catering, La Plancha, Lime Inn, Mathayom, Sugar Estate Distributors, Sun Dog Cafe, Susie Christi, Ted's Supper Club, and Westin St. John Resort

Event goers will also have a chance to win raffle prizes, including donations from Bajo el Sol, Biras Cree, Drift Away Day Spa, Calypso Charters, Jude Woodcock, La Tapa, Ocean Grill, and Zozo's.

The ACC is raising funds to both support its efforts to provide care for stray and homeless animals,. but also to fund a new building to supply additional service such as animal related vocational training, pet grooming, dog training, and pet boarding.

Holy cruise ship! Oasis of the Seas has arrived


And YouTube was there.  See it here.