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Mind = Blown (Thanks to all of you!)

Oppenheimer Gibney beach St John US Virgin Islands

Hello everyone, and happy Monday! I just wanted to write a quick post to thank you all for reading Island Tidbits! I have to admit, my mind has been absolutely blown by the response. When I first started this way back when (ok, it was only 12 days ago lol), I wasn’t sure how it would be received or if anyone would actually take the time to read it. Well you know what? You did! And I am so thankful!

Now that my nerves have subsided (you like me, you really like me!), I am super excited to be on this journey again. I absolutely LOVE sharing stories and videos from the island. I definitely have a lot of ideas up my sleeve ( including some super random stuff like that one time a family of bats decided to take up residence in my wall or when a bird from Puerto Rico decided to move into Palm Tree Charters‘ porch), but I’m interested in your feedback too. So if there is anything specific you’d like to know more about or if there’s something you’d like me to feature, please either leave your suggestion in the Comments section here on the site, or email me at jenn@explorestj.com.

Now let’s get to some housekeeping…

  1. If you are interested in taking an island tour, please check out Explore STJ. I offer both full and half day tours. Together we can go off the beaten path, see beautiful sights, check out amazing beaches, explore historical sites, perhaps grab a cocktail or two (you , not me, of course!) and more. Please visit www.ExploreSTJ.com to learn more, or send me an email at jenn@explorestj.com.
  2. In case you missed it, you can find nearly two dozen webcams all in one spot at www.explorestj.com/webcams. Bookmark the page, and check out your favorite island spot 24/7!
  3. And if you’re looking for videos, you will find every video we post in one spot too! You can see them at www.explorestj.com/videos.
  4. And last, but certainly not least, Island Tidbits has its first advertiser! Woohoo! I would like to give a huge THANK YOU to Elaine Estern, owner of Coconut Coast Studios, for supporting this website. Elaine has great stuff, including amazing artwork and a brand new calendar, so please be certain to check out her website at www.coconutcoaststudios.com. We will definitely have more on Elaine later this week!

Again, thank you all so much for reading! Have a wonderful day!

On the Road: Hawksnest to Maho Bay

Visit your favorite north shore spots including Trunk Bay with my latest GoPro video.

For those of you who know me, you know how much I love securing my GoPro to the Jeep and taking fun island videos for all of you. Well I did just that earlier this summer, and I’m excited to share it today. I labeled some of my favorite spots during the video too, so you can use this as a handy little guide to check out your favorite places along the north shore.

This video clocks in at just under 16 minutes, which is long, I know. Below the video is a quick reference list of some of your favorite places and the time they pop up in the video. You can save some time by checking it out that way if you prefer. Or you can grab yourself another coffee (or heck, make yourself a cocktail!), pop on your favorite island tunes, and enjoy 16 minutes of paradise. 🙂 Have fun!

You can find this video and all of my videos at www.explorestj.com/videos

  • Hawksnest parking area: :05
  • Gibney Cottages property: 1:31
  • Oppenheimer: 1:48
  • View across Hawksnest Bay: 2:13
  • Easter Rock: 2:23
  • Peace Hill parking area: 2:47
  • Jumbie: 3:21
  • Trunk Bay overlook: 4:28
  • Trunk Bay parking area: 5:38
  • Trunk Bay switchbacks: 6:11
  • Peter Bay: 6:53
  • Upper Peter Bay: 7:04
  • Road to Catherineberg: 8:26
  • Cinnamon Bay entrance: 9:39
  • Cinnamon Bay sugar factory: 10:42
  • Maho Bay overlook: 12:50
  • Maho Crossroads: 14:34
  • Reef2Peak: 14:52
  • Maho Bay (turtle side): 15:49
Go of the beaten path, visit beautiful beaches, explore St. John’s rich history & so much more.

 

The Cannon at the Ferry Dock

Hello friends! So as I mentioned last week, the purpose of Island Tidbits is to share stories about items on island I find to be very cool and/or interesting. So today we’re going to start by chatting about a cannon, which is located beside the ferry dock in Cruz Bay.

The bulk of people who visit St. John, or return to the island, do so via the Cruz Bay ferry dock. And as we do so, we pass an important element of our island’s history – a cannon that was previously located at Fortsberg in Coral Bay. The ruins of Fortsberg, an 18th century citadel fortress, are located on a hill above the eastern side of Coral Bay harbor. Fortsberg was the site of a successful slave rebellion in 1733.

This particular cannon was relocated from Fortsberg to Cruz Bay when the ferry dock was being built in 1838. At that time, it was placed with its muzzle facing downward and into the ground, a common practice during peacetime. The cannon was used as a hitching post for donkeys or horses. (The fort at Fortsberg was decommissioned in 1765.)

The cannon at the Cruz Bay ferry dock was originally placed muzzle down. Image source: Library of Congress

When the dock was remodeled in the 1990s, the cannon was placed pointing out to sea, which is culturally and historically inaccurate. The good news is that the ferry dock is set to be renovated once again, and local historians and residents are asking that the cannon be restored to its original position.

The cannon’s current position

In 2013, three additional cannons were uncovered on the beach in Cruz Bay. It is believed that they, too, were originally located at Fortsberg. The three cannons were removed at the time, and moved to a “secure place” according to a 2013 St. John Source article.

Three cannons were found on Cruz Bay beach in 2013. Image source: St. John Source

Pretty interesting stuff, right?

That’s all I have for you today. Thank you so much for reading! I’ll be back later this week. 🙂

Go of the beaten path, visit beautiful beaches, explore St. John’s rich history & so much more..

Best Sites to Monitor Our Weather

This morning’s view from The Beach Bar. They’re open today from 11 a.m. till they close. 🙂

Originally posted on Sept. 18, 2022: I know many of you are interested in the weather as Tropical Storm Fiona passes through. The following are the best sites (in my opinion) to monitor our weather. If there are any additional sites you think I should include in this list, please feel free to email me at jenn@explorestj.com.

Living Earth

This is an app that I follow more so during peak hurricane season. It shows a live look at the earth and its weather, including clouds and tropical storms. Another neat feature is that you can see where it’s light or dark in the world, and you can also see which cities are illuminated at night.

Living Earth app – Sept. 18, 2022 at 9:18 a.m.

Wunderground

I use Wunderground daily to see if or when we are getting rain, especially when I’m conducting Explore STJ island tours. It seems to have the most accurate weather for our region. You can pull up live radar too. You can check it out on the web at www.wunderground.com or download the app to your phone.

Wunderground app – Sept. 18, 2022 at 9:31 a.m.

Windy

This is another great app, which is also located on the web at www.windy.com. It’s pretty self explanatory – it shows us how windy it is in a particular place. But it also shows radar, thunder, temperature, clouds, rainfall amounts, wind gusts and more. All you have to do is drop a pin on the area that you are interested in to see information on that spot. You can also use the app to check out the weather for several days in advance.

Windy app – Sept. 18, 2022 at 9:50 a.m.

Weather.vi

This is a website created by the owners of Coconuts villa on Gifft Hill. It shows information compiled from its weather station including temperatures, rainfall, winds, wind gusts and more. You can find it online at www.weather.vi.

weather.vi rainfall totals – Sept. 18, 2022 at 10 a.m.
weather.vi wind speed & gusts – Sept. 18, 2022 at 10 a.m.

St. John VI Weather on Facebook

This is a very informative page for those of you who are on Facebook. Dan Boyd and crew post the weather daily. It is super accurate and a page that many of us rely on for local forecasts. You can find it by searching “St. John VI Weather” on Facebook.

St. John VI Weather page on Facebook – Sept. 18, 2022

And lastly, you can always pull up our webcam page at www.explorestj.com/webcams to see live images from across the island.

See St. John in Real Time – Island Webcams

La Jolla Caribe has a webcam located high above Cinnamon Bay.

Hi all! Well I have to be honest, when I launched this blog earlier this week, I never thought we’d be talking tropical storms on day two. But alas, here we are. For those of you who are stateside and are curious how Tropical Storm Fiona will be affecting St. John this weekend, please check out the webcams listed below.

Want to pull up these webcams each day just so you can see how beautiful this place is? You can do so by simply clicking this link: www.explorestj.com/webcams. You can also click the Island Webcams link at the top of the page (desktop) or in the menu bar (phone/iPad).

If I missed any of your favorites, please send me an email at jenn@explorestj.com, and I will add them to the list.

St. John Spice Cam – Overlooking the ferry dock & Cruz Bay

The Beach Bar – Bar Cam

The Bar Bar – Beach Cam

The Beach Bar – Stage Cam (This webcam is only online when The Beach Bar has live music.)

The Windmill Bar

Calichi at Picture Point – 360 degree views!

Coral Bay Views – Located at Coconut Hill cottage, high above Coral Bay

Grande Bay Resort – Overlooking Cruz Bay

Fish Camp – Overlooking Turner Bay, Little St. James & French Cap

Great Expectations villa – Overlooking Hart & Rendezvous bays

Great Expectations – Sunset cam

La Jolla Caribe – Located in Catherineberg, high above Cinnamon Bay

Lovango Resort & Beach Club

Maho Bay House

Soggy Dollar Bar – Located over in Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands 

Villa Calypso – Overlooking Klein Bay with views of Ditliff Point

Windsong Villa – Overlooking Fish Bay & beyond

Windswept Point Live – Located on a point between Trunk & Cinnamon bays 

Coconuts villa – Located in Gifft Hill with views toward Pillsbury Sound & St. Thomas 

https://www.weather.vi/webcam.php

Esprit villa – Located on Bordeaux Mountain, above Coral Bay

https://espritstjohn.com/live-webcam/

Mare Blu villa – Overlooking Rendezvous Bay

https://www.marebluvilla.com/stjohn-webcam.asp

Sunset Ridge Villas – Located above Cruz Bay with views toward St. Thomas 

http://208.84.193.93:88/popup.html