Trucks of St. John: Kayak Hat

December 13th, 2012

Kevin McCarthy at Coconuts Villa takes his kayaking very seriously.

You’ll know it’s him when you see him driving around. He calls it his Vitara’s “Eddie Bean, down-filled, Swiss army sailing kayak hat.”

Vitara: 14.7 feet. Kayak: 18 feet. With an 18 foot mast.

(Kevin says he’s sailed it, with four people on board, to Great Tobago and back.)







Landing on St. Thomas

December 12th, 2012

If you’re heading down soon, take a pre-trip reminder of what it’s like landing on St. Thomas.

This is when the butterflies start, but you’re not on vacation until you’re off that plane.

And before you can get off the plane, a greeter must come on board to remind you: “No smokin’ or picture takin’…”







Master Potter at Maho Bay

December 11th, 2012

Maho Bay regularly hosts guest artists at its studio, like world renowned potter Seth Cardew.

A pottery demonstration or class might be something you’d like to add to your next trip to St. John. You can check out class schedules here.

Coral Bay artist Annie Caswell sends us this video of Seth, from one of his demonstrations at Maho last week.







Captive dolphins permit hearing Dec. 13

December 10th, 2012

Coral World’s request for a permit to offer interacting with captive dolphins is subject of a hearing December 13 in Red Hook.

If this is an issue you feel strongly about, this might be your only chance to speak up.

A grassroots group called VI Dolphin Voices, which opposes it for humanitarian reasons, makes this argument against its financial benefits:

Since the majority of Coral World’s customers are cruise ship passengers, Coral World’s captive dolphin pen will not bring in additional tourism revenue.It will only move tourist dollars into Coral World’s coffers.Cruise ship passengers will get off the boat, which they would be doing anyway – they did not take their cruise for the sole purpose of going to see captive dolphins at Coral World -and they will either spend their $100 for that day at Coral World or at another St Thomas attraction.A cruise ship passenger spending their $100 at Coral World instead of spending that same $100 downtown shopping is not a revenue gain for the territory, it is a revenue gain only for Coral World. 

The V.I. Hotel and Tourism Association supports Coral World’s application.

If you feel strongly about it, the public hearing is Thursday, Dec. 13, 6 p.m. at Eudora Kean High School.

We think this is the coolest way to see dolphins. Random luck, like these in Maho Bay…







Advertiser update: SJ Spice shopping cart

December 8th, 2012

Amazon has nothing on St. John Spice now.

After years of accepting mail orders and taking credit card information the old fashioned way, the store’s Website has a proper shopping cart.

And a bunch of new items too.

Well, Amazon does have that huge fulfillment network. St. John Spice still wraps and packs your orders by hand, and that’s Ron’s job. We’ve seen the operation. He’s got bubble wrap and packing peanuts down to a science. And he’s got Chairman status at the post office.

It’s not too late for Christmas shopping. Order by December 15. Check out the new online store, here.







The $12 lettuce

December 7th, 2012

Generally speaking, grocery prices are only modestly higher on St. John, but there are exceptions, and occasionally the exception makes your eyes pop out, like the $22 frozen Mac & Cheese or the $15 grapes.

Here’s another one.

A bag of romaine lettuce for $12.50. The very same brand that’s about three bucks in the states.

“It’s organic,” said the checker. “Do you want to put it back?”

“No,” I said. “I’ll just make sure I enjoy every bite.”







And the dogs all hung their stockings with care…

December 6th, 2012

Tuesday, December 18 is Open House Day at the St. John Animal Care Center, 5 pm to 7 pm, and it’s your chance to stuff those doggie stockings.

Each shelter dog will have a stocking hung on his or her kennel door, and visitors are encouraged to bring treats, toys and other gifts to make their Christmas merry.

“Last year’s party was a huge success. We received so many treats and toys, and care packages from our stateside fans that we didn’t need to ask for more treats until just a few months ago,” says ACC volunteer Laurie Damron.

You can also see the shelter’s current pack of puppies. Cats and kitties too. And you can meet new shelter manager Kate Webster.

Can’t make it this year? Care packages are always welcome at ACC, PO Box 429, St. John, VI 00831.







Blind Betty’s in Dallas

December 5th, 2012

You met Dallas restauranteur Jon Alexis earlier this year, when he and wife Natalie put out a call for help in getting their ACC dog, Jumbie to his new stateside home.

And now Jon has brought a little more of St. John to Dallas.

Jon owns two fresh fish markets/restaurants called TJ’s Seafood Market, and he just got several cases of Blind Betty’s hot sauce delivered.

“We have it on every table,” says Jon. “We just sold another bottle today to a customer who had one taste and loved it.”

As for Jumbie, Jon says things are going great.

“He likes our home better than the ACC, that’s for sure.” See for yourself, below…







It’s Prom time: Dec. 15

December 4th, 2012

This year’s All Island Party, also known as “The Prom,” is set for Saturday, December 15, and if you’re on island, stop by and party with the locals.

Just dress appropriately. It’s one of the few “dress up” events on St. John.

This is the 17th year for The Prom, held at Mongoose Junction, and, as always, they’ll be plenty of food, including oyster and Champagne bars. Music this year by Ah We Band.

The Prom starts late, by St. John standards, at 9 p.m., so there’s time for a nice dinner beforehand.

Not familiar with The Prom?  Read a little history of how it got started here.







Annie’s Animals: Donkey Softball

December 3rd, 2012

Coral Bay’s first (annual?) Donkey Softball game was played over the weekend.

It’s just like regular softball, except each player is tethered to a donkey. And donkey’s don’t always play by the rules.

Annie Caswell and her friend Teri Wine were there with cameras.  Donkey Softball, below…







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