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St. John’s New Ferry Named; Pays Homage to Island’s History

The. new ferry will arrive later this year or in early 2025.

Earlier this year, I told you that a brand new ferry is currently being built to transport passengers between Cruz Bay and Red Hook. That ferry will hold 300 people, more than the current ferries, and it is expected to arrive later this year or in early 2025. It will even have a dedicated space for luggage, so no more stressing over your bags getting soaked during the island rains.

One cool aspect regarding this new ferry was the fact that the Port Authority was asking for our help to name it. Well, after receiving more than 300 suggestions, they finally settled on a name – Spirit of 1733.

Spirit of 1733 – The Historical Connection 

This plaque is located on Ram Head.

Denmark settled St. John in 1718 and brought enslaved people from Africa’s Guinea Coast for the purposes of working the sugar plantations. A large number of those enslaved people came from the Akwamu tribe, a tribe that ruled present-day Ghana for decades. The Akwamu often traded with the Danes, selling their fellow Africans into slavery. Eventually the Akwamu was defeated and was sold into slavery themselves. Many were subsequently brought to St. John.

The Akwamu was a tribe that had numerous strong warriors, and those warriors eventually planned a revolt here in St. John. Led by King Kanta, King Claes, King Juni and Queen Breffu, the Akwamu entered a fort in Coral Bay carrying bales of wood. (This occurred at Fortsberg, which is the area of land on the east side of Coral Bay harbor.) The warriors acted as if they were initiating a normal delivery of wood, but once they were inside the mostly-unmanned fort, they branded cane knives and killed the soldiers who were present. The tribe moved plantation to plantation, killing colonists until they held most of the island. The 1733 Slave Insurrection was the first time that enslaved people took control of a colony. This was a major historical event, and it is remarkable that it took place in St. John.

The insurrection lasted nearly six months. The Danes eventually made a deal with the French, and troops from Martinique arrived to quell the uprising. The Akwamu fought, but could not hold off the forces, so they were left with few options. Rather than be recaptured and tortured, many chose suicide. In April 1734, a number of freedom fighters ritualistically took their own lives on Ram Head. A plaque now sits there to honor this integral part of St. John’s rich history.

There is more to St. John than beautiful beaches. Our history is rich. Our culture is incredible.

If you would like to learn more about St. John, please consider taking a tour with me. You can learn more at or feel free to email me at

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An Update on the Power Situation

Hello everyone, and happy Monday! Let’s start the week with some positive news! The power issues we were having earlier this month have ceased. Woohoo!

I know that many of you read how we were experiencing major power issues in late May and early June. I’m not going to sugarcoat what happened – it was a complete nightmare. Those issues seem to have subsided, and the power has been on 100 percent for more than a week. In fact, we have lost power for less than an hour over the past two weeks. What a relief!

That being said, yes, it is very possible that we will have power outages again. But let’s hope that they will not be as severe as what we recently saw. That definitely was not the norm.

What can you do just in case we have an outage during your stay? Well it doesn’t hurt to bring along a small rechargeable fan and lamp just in case. There’s a pretty cool on one Amazon that you can even charge your phone off of. Click here to check it out. 

And as I mentioned a few weeks ago, we are currently in the process of getting solar at our house in Fish Bay. It was a very easy process, and we did not have to pay any upfront costs. If you are a property owner on St. John and would like to know more, please feel free to send me an email at I am happy to share what I learned.

That’s it for today, folks. Have a great one!


St. John Real Estate: This Week’s New Listings

Hello everyone, and happy Sunday! I am so excited to share that an Explore STJ reader checked out my new listings post last week, and made an offer on a property here on St. John! So exciting! Maybe my next client will be you! I would love to help you own a piece of St. John whether it be a home, condo, timeshare, or a piece of land to build your dream home. Please contact me to or at 203-376-3786 for more info.

And if you are looking for something specific, but do not see it listed below, please reach out to me. I would love to help you own a piece of St. John. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made!

The following properties have been listed for sale over the past week on the St. John Board of Realtor’s Multiple Listing Service:

Homes for Sale

What a view! Check out this well-priced, five bedroom home that has gorgeous, panoramic water views that stretch all the way out to the British Virgin Islands. The home, which has three bathrooms, large windows throughout, and indoor/outdoor showers even overlooks a protected coral reef. Please give me a call or text me at 203-376-3786 if you’d like to see it in person.

List Price: $1.4 million

Listing Agency: Islandia Real Estate

Land for Sale 

Build your dream home close to Cruz Bay on this half-acre parcel. This parcel has southerly views of Chocolate Hole and Hart Bay.

List Price: $395,000

Listing Agency: Islandia Real Estate


It’s all about the view! And does it get better than this one? Build your dream home here, and wake up to this incredible view every day!

List Price: $135,000

Listing Agency: American Paradise Real Estate


Views and breezes! This half-acre parcel is nestled atop Bordeaux Mountain.

List Price: $185,000

Listing Agency: American Paradise Real Estate

Price Reductions

Typically I do not include price reductions in my new listings post, but there were two this past week that may pique someone’s interest. You can own weeks one and two (beginning of January) at the Westin for just $4,000. If you prefer just one week, each were just reduced to $2,500 apiece. This is for Unit 3126, which is a one bedroom, two bathroom unit up on the hill.

Listing Agency: Island Paradise Realtors

Looking for additional information on any of these properties? Please contact me to or at 203-376-3786 for more info.

Jenn Manes, Realtor at 340 Real Estate Co.

Spend the Day at Cinnamon Bay

Cinnamon Bay

Looking to spend the day at a beach on St. John? Prefer a larger, less crowded beach? Want a spot that has food and drinks for sale? How about a real restroom, as opposed to the typical National Park ones that lack running water? Then Cinnamon Bay is the way to go! I spent the day there yesterday, and it was perfect in every way!

Cinnamon Bay is located within the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John’s spectacular North Shore. It’s located just four-and-a-half miles from the ferry dock, and the ride out there takes about 15 minutes or so. It’s an easy beach to taxi to, too. The cost for a taxi for groups of two or more is $11 per person, per way. The cost is $14 per person, per way for people traveling alone. (Click here to view all of the island’s taxi rates.)

The taxi drop off and pick up area at Cinnamon Bay.

For those of you who plan to drive to Cinnamon Bay, there are two large parking lots. This means that you can leave your house a little later in the morning in order to secure a spot. Trunk Bay, in comparison, has a very small lot, so you have to get out there pretty early if your heart is set on going to that beach on any particular day.

The main parking area at Cinnamon Bay
The second lot at Cinnamon Bay

One downside (for some) at Cinnamon Bay is that there is a longer walk to the beach. It is a paved driveway, but it takes about five minutes to walk from the parking lots down to the beach. It’s only about three minutes from the taxi area.

The walk to the beach at Cinnamon Bay.

There is a great little camp store that you will pass on your left as you walk down to the beach. It has a variety of snack and cold drinks, as well as a lot of great souvenirs. But the best part? It has cold AC! It’s a great place to escape the heat during these steamy days.

The camp store at Cinnamon Bay
The camp store at Cinnamon Bay

As you walk down the driveway, you will pass the food and beverage area on your left, and the restroom building on your right. Cinnamon Bay does not provide showers to day guests; however there is a spigot where you can wash the sand off your feet after your beach day.

Cinnamon Bay offers a variety of beach rentals.
There is a beach cafe at Cinnamon that serves food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages.
The restroom building is across from the food area. The water spigot is located here, too.

The beach rental hut is located just a bit further on your left. This is the area where you can pick up chairs, paddle boards and other fun beach items.

Beach rentals pickup area

As you arrive at the beach, you will notice the remnants of an old building. This building, which was destroyed during Hurricane Irma in 2017, was the oldest Danish-built building on St. John. It dates back to 1680, which is pretty neat. Today, it makes for a beautiful picture.

The Danish building at Cinnamon Bay
The front of the Danish building at Cinnamon Bay

And now, you’ve arrived at the beautiful Cinnamon Bay beach!

Cinnamon Bay tends to be a wavier beach, so keep that in mind if you are visiting with small children or elderly adults. It’s one of the windier beaches too, so it can be a challenge keeping your Neso tent standing.

There is some snorkeling at Cinnamon Bay, too, but it can be more challenging due to the almost-constant presence of winds. There are a variety of corals and fish around Cinnamon Cay, although some of the better stuff is on the backside of the cay. Only experienced snorkelers should try this, and I always recommend bringing a noodle or wearing a life jacket.

And lastly, there is a campground located at Cinnamon Bay, which provides some of the most affordable accommodations on St. John. Click here to read an older post that details the offerings at the Cinnamon Bay campground. 

Want to learn more about St. John? Please consider taking an island tour with Explore STJ. We are rated “Excellent” on TripAdvisor. It’s never too early to book! Email me at for more details. Click here to read any five-star reviews. 

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Stroll onto Hawksnest Beach

Do you love Hawksnest as much as I do? Check out this quick video I took earlier this week. Enjoy!

Want to learn more about St. John? Looking to take an island tour?

Learn more here –> See the island of St. John with a resident. See the nooks and crannies that many visitors miss. Explore the beaches, historical sites, perhaps a tiki bar or two, and much more. Full & half days available. Rated “Excellent” on TripAdvisor.

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Cruz Bay Parking Extremely Limited Through Late July

This lot will be closed though July 19th.

Hello everyone, and happy Wednesday! Let’s start with the positive stuff today… St. John’s Festival is right around the corner! The queen pageant, food fair and coronation, and the boat races are all happening this weekend. Now to the not-so-positive… Parking is going to be severely limited due to Festival for the next month.

For those of you who have been lucky enough to be in Cruz Bay this week, you may have noticed that the large parking lot beside the Customs building and across from the Post Office is currently closed. This is so the Festival Village can be set up. The first booth went up Tuesday, which is always such an exciting sight to see!

First booth went up!

This parking lot will be closed through July 19th.  The Festival culminates on July 4th. The closure will allow for the removal of the booths and stage following Festival.

The parking lot beside the tennis courts is also closed for Festival. I apologize for not taking a picture for all of you.

Want to know where else you can park in Cruz Bay? Click here to view Explore STJ’s Logistics Map. This searchable map shows the location of both free and paid parking areas, public restrooms, markets, gas stations and more.

The queen pageant is this Saturday at 7 p.m. Food fair and coronation is Sunday at 1 p.m. Want to view the full 2024 Festival schedule? Click here to do so.

Want to learn more about St. John? Looking to take an island tour?

Learn more here –> See the island of St. John with a resident. See the nooks and crannies that many visitors miss. Explore the beaches, historical sites, perhaps a tiki bar or two, and much more. Full & half days available. Rated “Excellent” on TripAdvisor.

Follow Explore STJ on Social Media