St John Photo of the Day for National Photo Month

St John Photo of the Day for National Photo Month

May is National Photography Month. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and since it was invented, photography has given us the incredible opportunity to capture a moment in time and keep it alive forever. And if that’s not worth celebrating, what is?  

There isn’t a day that photographs aren’t being taken, shared, or pulled out of our wallets or cell phones when we meet someone new. This month it is important to take the time to think about how often we see images, how often we take them, and what a large role photography has in our lives. To celebrate National Photography Month,  we will be posting a St. John photo every day this month.  There will be photos taken both before and after Hurricane Irma.  The common characteristic of all the photos is the beauty of St. John. 

We had to start with a photo of Salomon Beach for Day 1.  For us, Salomon was the quintessential, gorgeous  tropical beach.  We can easily walk to it from St. John Escape and it had my three favorite palm trees on St. John

 

Images of St. John 2018

Images of St. John 2018

As the year comes to an end we wanted to share some of the beautiful scenery we had the pleasure of seeing during our visits to St. John in 2018.  In this video you will see scenes from both all the North Shore beaches, as well as the terrific views from the terrace of St. John Escape.  We have an upcoming visit to St. John in a couple of weeks.  Be on the lookout for our updates as to what is happening on the island as 2019 begins.

Escape to Peace Hill. Check out the current sights and sounds to be had from this fantastic spot

Escape to Peace Hill.  Check out the current sights and sounds to be had from this fantastic spot

We make sure to visit Peace Hill every time we come to St. John, and we did so again on this current visit.  True to its name, Peace Hill is aptly named. From on top of the hill at the end of the headland separating Hawksnest and Denis Bays, you can enjoy an absolutely spectacular view of the north coast of St. John and beyond. Years ago, a windmill was powered by the constant trade winds that passed unimpeded over the hill. The semi-restored ruin now provides a dramatic backdrop to the unique tranquility of the hilltop.

Peace Hill St. John

The trail to Peace Hill begins at the parking area located about a half mile east of Hawksnest Beach and leads to the top of Peace Hill. It’s a short easy walk, only about a tenth of a mile on a well-maintained track with a moderate grade.  From the top you can also see Cinnamon, Great Thatch, Tortola and Jost van Dyke.

peace hill st john usvi
Peace Hill St. John

 

Peace Hill St. John

 

Enjoy the view and make sure to visit Peace Hill on your next trip.

What It’s Like to Visit St. John Now

What It’s Like to Visit St. John Now

Here’s a video of our just completed visit to St. John.  Tag along as we visit Salomon, Honeymoon, Hawksnest, Maho, Francis, Gibney, Peace Hill and Haulover.  There’s also a little detour to Jost for Sunday fun day.  It was a 10 day visit and gives you an idea of the many sights you can see.  Our next visit soon will cover different parts of the island.  St. John continues its amazing recovery and is waiting for your visit!!

 

Carnival 2018 on St. John just ended. I am sharing a video of the sights and sounds. It is an unbelievable experience and should be experienced at least one time.

Carnival 2018 on St. John just ended.  I am sharing a video of the sights and sounds.  It is an unbelievable experience and should be experienced at least one time.

The word Carnival brings to mind an assortment of images; for music lovers it might mean heated  Calypso shows  and for children it brings to mind amusement park rides and cotton candy. To those who enjoy Caribbean delicacies Carnival may mean  food/drink booths at the village. And to anyone who has experienced the Carnival parades, the word certainly brings to mind steel drums, bands, colorful costumes, people of all ages dancing in the streets, mocko-jumbies and fireworks. And if none of these images came to mind, perhaps you have never experienced Carnival in the U.S.V.I.

It’s incredible that just 10 months after Hurricane Irma blew through that the people of St. John could pull off another Carnival festival.  It’s one great celebration and party.  This video that I am sharing gives you a little taste of what the parade is all about.  It is by far the most fun parade that I have ever witnessed and it is so easy to get up close and connect with the people in the parade.

 

 

 

 

 

Get Ready for St. John Carnival. It’s still on for this year. Read on to see what it’s like!

Get Ready for St. John Carnival.  It’s still on for this year.  Read on to see what it’s like!

As we prepare to celebrate the fourth of July here stateside, we thought we thought it would be fun to write about how it is celebrated on St. John.  The great news is that it is still on for this year!!!The biggest annual event in the U.S. Virgin Islands each year is Carnival. It’s held at a different time of year on each island, and they each have their own distinct flavor! The St. Thomas Carnival festivities take place during April-May, St. Croix’s is around Christmas, and St. John’s celebration culminates with the Fourth of July.

St. John Carnival, or St. John Festival is in full swing right now! There are events for a full month leading up to the parade and fireworks on July 4th. Some of the highlights each year include ‘Pan-o-Rama’- a night of live Caribbean steel pan music, the Prince & Princess and Queen selection pageants, and Food Fair- a full day of local food, drinks, crafts, and other goodies. The ‘Festival Village’, a collection of local food and drink booths surrounding a huge stage with various live bands performing each night is a local favorite.  If you enjoy adult beverages, we can definitely vouch for the drinks at the Electric Lemonade stand.  Definitely gets you in the mood to dance to the music.  Thursday night/Friday morning, July 4th at 4am is the start of another fun event- J’ouvert! Revelers gather in Cruz Bay to dance through the streets behind large trucks featuring their favorite bands.

Friday, July 4th is parade day, beginning at 11am. It’s always a fun and lively event, with great music, colorful costumes, festive ‘troupes’ dancing through the streets, Mocko Jumbie  stilt walkers, baton twirlers, steel bands, and above all, an energetic and entertaining crowd! Friday night at 9pm the fireworks display will begin over Cruz Bay Harbor. Locals and visitors alike will gather on the shore to watch the beautiful explosions erupt over the ocean! It truly is a magical sight, with the outline of St. Thomas in the background to illuminate the horizon.   The very best spot to view the fireworks is definitely right from the balcony of St. John Escape.  There will be one last night of live music and revelry in the ‘Festival Village’ to mark the end of another successful Carnival!

Here are some photos I took at Carnival last year.

 

Snorkeling on St. John – Does It Get Any Better

Snorkeling on St. John – Does It Get Any Better

Anyone that’s been to St. John, knows that snorkeling on St. John offers more great shore snorkel spots than probably any other Caribbean island. From beginners to seasoned snorkelers alike, there is something for everyone. View gorgeous underwater gardens of coral and visit with the residents; turtles, rays, octopuses, moray eels and an abundance of fish large and small.

If you know where to go, you can find a variety of healthy fish populations.. You can also find healthy soft and hard corals, including a great deal of Elkhorn Coral around the island and colorful sea fans around the island.  St John also has areas with interesting underwater topography that have cool areas to explore, like caves, big boulders and walls.

 

While there are many boat tour options on St. John that can be lots of fun, you can access nearly all the best locations for free from shore. And if you are interested in renting a kayak or a dinghy, there are a couple of great areas easily paddled to that are in fairly protected water. And no matter what the wind direction, you can always find some place calm to snorkel.

St John snorkel
We have snorkeled just about all of the spots, including those right from the beach, as well as the off shore locations. We will share our favorite spots and how to get the most out of them in future posts. If you know where to go, you can find a variety of fish species and coral. We hope to help you better understand why St. John is such a snorkeling paradise.

Escape to Ram Head and Salt Pond

Escape to Ram Head and Salt Pond

Ever wonder what you would see if you hiked the Ram Head trail?  Well tag along as we take  you on a photo and video journey to the summit of Ram Head, starting out at Salt Pond.  We start off hiking along Salt Pond Bay and then head inland, walking across Blue Cobblestone beach, past amazing cactus fields, before reaching the summit of Ram Head.  The reward for getting to the top is the amazing panoramic view.  On the way back we will pass the actual Salt Pond that the beach is named after, before we get to Drunk Bay and see the rock statues.  This is an amazing hike and one of our favorites.  Enjoy the views!!