Good Morning and a happy Fri-YAY to all of you out there! If you are an avid follower of the blog, resident or regular visitor then you know ALL about the Sahara Dust phenomenon! If you are currently looking at me like I have three heads for mentioning a desert on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in a post about St. John, read up on this annual occurrence here before digging into this week’s progression. It doesn’t matter that it happens every year to me. My mind is consistently in awe and wonder at the fact tiny little particles of African soil travel across the sea on the Tradewinds each spring and throughout the summer months to make our sunsets eerie and majestic….And clog up the pathways for a possible Tropical Disturbance!
On Tuesday, May 17, I noticed a haze settling in around us. I thought maybe it could be just poor air quality throughout the day as I glanced off our balcony towards the horizon line where we can usually spot at least the outline of St. Croix to the South. But, Teddy and I headed up to the Windmill Bar to catch up with some friends and take in the sunset and as the setting sun started to light up the sky, it was apparent. The Sahara Dust was making it’s first major appearance of the season.
Teddy and I had our first overnight charter this past weekend on Asante with a lovely couple on their honeymoon (Congratulations Ellen and Eric!). And it was SO clear and pristine. As we circumnavigated St. John over the four night adventure, I took SO many pictures and remarked at how beautiful and clear everything was. The following is a progression of what things looked like this weekend up until this morning….
Sunday Morning- Beautifully clear blue skies as we rounded Ram Head.
Sunday Evening- Stellar and somewhat typical Caribbean sunset from the dock in front of Zozo’s at Caneel Bay. You can see it is starting to get a WEE bit hazy here, but nothing to write home about in regards to poor air quality. Stunning isn’t it?
On Monday I, unfortunately, didn’t snap any captivating nature pics. But, we did scout out a few homes for Teddy’s family to rent when they come visit next winter…And you can see that the sky is still bright blue!
Tuesday, we played catch up on all things internet related at the house but ventured out to have a drink and watch the sunset. At first glance it seemed pretty “normal…”
But as the sun started dropping behind the light haze near the horizon line, my suspicions were confirmed. The Sahara Dust was back!
When we got to Asante on Wednesday morning for a full day trip with the gang from Dave & Jerry’s Island Steakhouse, it was absolutely sweltering. Like sweating standing still. Ahhhhh, the joys of St. John in the summertime. I’m not sure I’m fully ready for it. The winter and spring have been so incredibly breezy and lovely this year!
As the Golden Hour settled on Christmas Cove, just before sunset that day, the landscape took on the look of a far away planet…
As we sailed back towards St. John (away from the sun), the blues started to pop a bit again. But you can still see the grey-ish brown haze near the horizon.
And, as the sun set on Wednesday, I half expected dragons to start swooping in front of the sun’s silhouette. Ha!
Yesterday, although it seemed a bit more clear, the haze over St. John as we returned from another day of sailing followed by an eerie sunset view from Cruz Bay beckoned to disagree with my instincts…
So, it seems that this is the first major occurrence of Sahara Dust in the territory for this summer and it looks like it is going to span at least through the weekend, if not longer. If you have a visit planned for this spring or summer, you can follow along on the progression of the dust in real time with the Saharan Air Layer Forecast on MyFoxHurricane.com. But, if it looks like it is going to be a bit dusty while you are here, no need to worry! As I’ve shown you in the images above, it is still absolutely beautiful. Just in a different kind of way. And different is good. And so is Sahara Dust…As we edge slowly into hurricane season here in the Virgin Islands!