Friends ‘Swim’ draws hundreds


A 15-year-old Miami resident, returning to his former home island, won the sixth annual Beach-to-Beach Power Swim competition last weekend.  Augusto Cividini finished the 3.5-mile course in one hour, 21-minutes, 50 seconds.

Close behind, in second place, was Maggie Ravenna, a 22-year-old from St. Louis.  She completed the race in one hour, 23-minutes and 22 seconds.

The competition drew 238 entrants form 22 states, the BVIs, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin islands.  Last year, there were 164 swimmers.

There were three courses.  The shortest was the one-mile Maho Bay to Cinnamon Bay swim. The most ambitious is the 3.5- mile route from Maho to Cinnamon, Cinnamon to Trunk, and Trunk to Hawksnest Bays.  It was swum by individuals and relay teams.three person/relay .

Winners received blown glass fish produced at the Maho Bay Camps’ recycling program.

New blends from St. John Brewers

Coming-Soon Chirag Vyas and Kevin Chipman are doing anything but taking it easy in the Virgin Islands. 

This past Friday they threw their second Porch Party. “Keg of Summer Ale on the back porch, and everyone drinking out of red cups – feels like college all over again!," they wrote on their newly-launched blog.

Their two beers, Virgin Islands Summer Ale and  Tropical Mango Pale Ale continue to do business on island as well as in six states.

But, wait! There’s more!

The brew boys are preparing to introduce a root beer and a Belgian-style ale.  The ale will be called Liquid Sunshine, which is also what locals call rain.  They describe it as an “unfiltered wheat ale spiced with coriander and Curacao orange peel." No date for introduction but, well … on St. John … it ‘soon come.’

Beach book banned?


The author of half a dozen books about St. John is having a problem. 

Gerald Singer says the National Park Service is stiffing him and won't sell the latest version of his St John Beach Guide.  A resident of the island since 1969, he first published the book in 1994. 

The self proclaimed “world;’s foremost authority on St. John’s beaches” immediately ran into a roadblock getting the Park to sell the book.  The problem: it had photos a pen-and-ink-drawing of a young lady sunbathing, apparently topless (the picture was from the back), and there was an image of two donkeys in a field.

At the time, the Park Service was trying to discourage nude sunbathing at Salomon Beach.  And the Service was trying to cull the free-range donkeys who can eat a lot of vegetation. Those issues were resolved and the books went on sale. 

But his latest revision, updated last year, is still not on the shelves at the Park building.  He submitted the book for approval to be sold.  “In January, it will be three years since I made that first request and the book still has not been approved,” Singer complained on his blog.  He’s been told the process has not been completed.  Previously it took about a month.