June 30, 2005
Emile Griffith returns to the USVI: An exclusive interview
ST THOMAS, USVI: The first thing I noticed about Emile Griffith was his smile. It could definitely light up any room. He also has a firm hand shake, and a strikingly muscular stance. Dressed in 'stylish casual', the six time world champ wore a pair of gold boxing gloves on a gold chain around his neck.
With Mr. Griffith were his daughter, Christine, who owns a vending business on St. Thomas, and adopted son, Louise, who resides with him in New York. The four of us set out on foot for a short walk to a tattoo parlor near the Havensight cruise ship docks.
June 24, 2005
Loblolly Bay, Anegada
Here is a shot of the beach at Loblolly Bay looking east. The house with the red roof in the middle of the photo is Lavenda Breeze where we just had the pleasure of spending 4 nights. More pictures and a trip report to come soon.
June 18, 2005
The Baths, Virgin Gorda
Long Bay, Tortola
June 16, 2005
Manchineel Sign, St. John
Full Moon Over Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
You can see the lights of St. Croix on the horizon.
Flag Over Fort Christian
June 11, 2005
The Bomba Shack, Tortola
The Bomba Shack, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Famous for their full moon party - among other things.
June 09, 2005
Where the rum come from! We were lucky enough to see Cruzan being bottled when we toured the rum distillery (they are always making rum but they don't bottle every day). The Cruzan plant is quite impressive and definitely should be on your to do list if visiting St. Croix. The tour was interesting and educational. Most of the raw product now comes from South America in barges (molasses). It would be neat if there were still some cane fields on St. Croix and they made a special rum from locally grown cane.
June 08, 2005
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Here is a shot of "town" as we are leaving the harbor and heading for Buck Island and the Atlantis Submarine. I live somewhere up on the hill there, to the right of the catamaran's mast.
June 07, 2005
Trimaran at Salt Pond Bay, St. John
Coming down the dirt road to Salt Pond a few weeks ago I caught this boat on a mooring. Salt Pond is one of my favorite beaches - have seen many turtles in the bay, and the last time we went there was an amazing amount of conch and other small life right off the beach which my kids really enjoyed.
Sort of hard to believe...
that this could make such a difference, but it has been fairly big news:
Honvesa LLC shut down one unit of a refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, reducing the plant's daily capacity by 20 percent to 400,000 barrels on Friday. A day earlier, Exxon Mobil Corp. shut down a boiler in a gasoline unit at the largest U.S. refinery, a 557,000 barrel per day facility in Baytown, Texas.
Such seemingly slight decreases in refining tend to have big effects, however, because the United States does not have excess capacity. The last new U.S. refinery went into service in 1976, and the number of refineries has decreased ever since. Arizona Clean Fuels Yuma recently obtained air permits for a new refinery, which would process 150,000 barrels daily and cost $2.5 billion to construct. It is not scheduled to open for four more years.
Of course Hovensa in the above refers to the refinery on St. Croix. If you have not heard the phrase "Peak Oil" and have any interest in the subject you should check out the latest from Kevin Drum on the Washington Monthly blog.
When I was in the states in April I noticed a markedly higher profile for Cruzan Rum - it was in the bar of an Asbury Park, NJ restaurant I was in and I also noticed it on North Carolina when my buddies and I were on a golf trip. When I got back to St. Thomas I did a little poking around and found out about the company that actually owns Cruzan now, and there pretty aggresive plans for marketing Cruzan and the other rums they bottle. Seemed like an interesting story.
Today brings this news:
TICKER SHOCK: CRUZAN INTERNATIONAL (RUM) MONDAY'S CLOSE: $26.31, UP $12.26
Investors of Cruzan International had reason to celebrate Monday after the company's shares surged 87 percent. Shots, anyone?
The West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company, which produces and distributes the Cruzan line of rums from the Virgin Islands, said late Friday that Sweden's state-owned liquor company V&S Vin Spirit had agreed to buy a controlling stake for $28.37 a share. That's nearly double the stock's price a month ago.
Wish I would have bought some of the stock!
June 06, 2005
Taxi Ride to Loblolly Bay, Anegada, BVI
Here is a photo from the taxi ride (minivan) to Loblolly Bay taken in February of this year. That dirt road is actually worn down coral covered in sand to smooth out the bumps - doesn't work too good. We are returning to Anegada soon for a 4 day visit and will have many more photos and a full report on everything to see and do while there.
June 03, 2005
St. Croix Dock, south of Frederiksted
This is actually a photo of a photo - the picture was on the wall at the Cruzan Rum factory. This dock (you really can't see the pier, it is to the left out of the frame) was very active back in the day, obviously. You can see all the barrels and such and the people around and the ships off the shore. The reason I took this picture is that the little dock master's house or whatever the building is is still there! We had been down there earlier in the day, just south of Frederiksted, and I saw this little building all by itself on the beach. Then we start the Cruzan tour and there it is - the same building back in a much different time. If anyone has a photo of the building as it stands today let me know.
June 02, 2005
Stevan Dohanos Mural
This is one of two murals in the Alvaro de Lugo Post Office in Charlotte Amalie (on main street across from Government Hill) on St. Thomas (sorry it isn't the greatest picture). The artist was Stevan Dohanos, an accomplished painter who was famous for his many Saturday Evening Post covers. While many think the paintings were part of the WPA project, the National Postal Museum website correctly points out that these works are part of the Section of Fine Arts program:
"Commonly known as "the Section," it was established in 1934 and administered by the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department. Headed by Edward Bruce, a former lawyer, businessman, and artist, the Section's main function was to select art of high quality to decorate public buildings—if the funding was available. By providing decoration in public buildings, the art was made accessible to all people. Post offices were located in virtually every community and available for viewing by all postal patrons—which made post office murals a truly democratic art form. Artists working for the Section were not chosen on the basis of need, but through anonymous competitions where the national jurors were often other artists."
If you are a visitor to St. Thomas (or a resident!) you really should take a moment when it town to pop in the post office to see these two murals. They are in excellent shape and an interesting part of Virgin Islands history.
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June 01, 2005
Ship by Mary Point, St. John
I was out in a dinghy with my brother when this amazing ship came by us. This is in front of Mary Point, on Francis Bay.
Postman arrested for theft when wife unwittingly returns gold
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) - Authorities arrested a U.S. postal employee who allegedly stole two gold bars from a package, only to have his wife unwittingly return the bars to the store that mailed them, court documents showed Friday.
The wife took the bars to the West Indian Creations Jewelry store in the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas, trying to have them made into jewelry, according to a statement by U.S. Postal Inspections officer Richard Santamaria.
The store employees recognized the unique-looking bars because they had accidentally been mixed with another metal and had been bent. The Attleboro, Mass. shop where the bars were to have been sent had called the previous day to report the package had arrived empty.
The employees notified postal inspectors, who set a trap for the woman's husband, Elmo David. The inspectors rigged a box of jewelry with a transmitter that would alert them if it was opened.
David was alone at the Air Mail Facility at Cyril E. King Airport when the transmitter went off Thursday morning, Santamaria said.