April 20, 2009

Thanks so much. We had a fantastic time down there. The house was outstanding. It was the best vacation that we have ever taken. We will be in touch for the next trip.
Thanks again, Aimee D

A brief history of St. John USVI

April 1, 2009

The first inhabitants on the St. John were the Ciboneys, a pre ceramic culture. Then followed by the Arawaks, descendents from Venezuela established themselves around 100AD. The Arawaks were a peaceful group of farmers and fishermen. The next inhabitants, who are also the most famous, were the Carib’s ; a brutal cannibalistic group. Then finally, the peaceful Tainos, who were thought to be originally from South America. The Carib’s were the indigenous people who Christopher Columbus encountered in the late fifteenth century. It Columbus who referred to the residents as Indians, because he thought he had made his way back to North America, where he had named the people there Indians. The people of the Caribbean are now referred to as West Indians.
By the seventeenth century several European countries expressed interest in the island. But it was Denmark who settled in St. Thomas 1672, St. John in 1694, and St. Croix in 1733. The Danes began establishing plantations on the islands.
In 1685 St. Thomas was designated as a slave trading post. More than 200,000 slaves from Africa were forcibly brought to the islands to harvest sugar cane, cotton, and indigo. Soon, St. Thomas became a trade center, while St. John and St. Croix continued with the plantation lifestyle.
St. John’s Fort Frederiksvaern in Coral Bay, crippling plantation operations for six months. In 1792 Denmark announced the cessation of the trade in humans. Freedom was not granted to slaves until 1848, when Moses “Buddhoe” Gottlieb led a revolution on St. Croix, 17 years before emancipation in the United States. After this, agriculture on the islands declined. Nothing of the Islands was heard from until World War 1, when the United States decided to strategically buy the territory from Denmark for $25 million in gold. A senate was created in 1936, which was followed by other political processes. In the 1950’s Lawrence Rockefeller purchased large areas of north shore land and donated vast portions to the US government for use as a National Park. In 1970, the Islands elected its first governor. Today, you can find hints of our buccaneering past in the name of places such as: Sir Francis Drake Channel, Blackbeards Castle, Bluebeards Castle and Lovango. USVI thrives from tourism. Books about St John can be found at our Beach Store.

Chateau Bordeaux is no more

March 31, 2009

Chateaux Bordeaux Restaurant

Chateaux Bordeaux Restaurant

A slow season has made it difficult against restaurant’s future. Another reason the restaurant closed, the lease was up. Or maybe it was taxi drivers; flat-rate fee of $10/each way from Cruz Bay.
One of St. John’s best known dining spots, Chateau Bordeaux, has reportedly closed. It is believed the chef was being transferred to another of the owner’s restaurants, the Balcony at Wharfside.
Then came word the place has been boarded up and no telephone answered. There is some speculation another company may come in and reopen for business at the wonderful site overlooking Coral Bay.
Meanwhile, the island’s newest restaurant, La Plancha del Mar at the Marketplace, continues to have impressive word of mouth and a rave review:
“The best meal I’ve had on St John and i’ve been coming here for 20 years.”

Whales sited in Coral Bay

March 31, 2009

A deputy of the Inquiring Iguana was out early Wednesday on whale watch in Coral Bay … and found just what they set out for.
Jennifer Dale, a marketing guru, sent photos February 25, 2009. “I first saw them out my window about 9:15am, between St. John (Friis Bay) and Le Duc island,” she said. “They’re still out there – I just got a phone call from Cheryl Geller at The Tourist Trap, who said they can see the whales right off Johns Folly. At first the pod came into Coral Bay as far as Shipwreck Landing, which was surprising, but then they turned around. Right now they’re just off of St. John, north of Ram Head. There are at least 5, and one is absolutely huge – very long. My phone has been ringing off the hook with neighbors spreading the news – it’s just the coolest thing.”
“Whales travel near Thatch Cay, just northeast of Coki Point on St. Thomas, and St. John residents have reported whales southwest of the island as well,” according to story published by Virgin Islands This Week. “Other likely places to spot a whale are the North Drop, Congo and Lovango Cays. Whether you will see whales really depends on how close to shore the whales swim this year.”


February 3, 2009