St. John Featured in Major U.S. Travel Magazine and The New York Times

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Caribbean Travel & Life Magazine cover features St. John

St. John received a lot of press coverage recently from two major media outlets which detailed some of the special features of the island and some of the unique people who call the island home.

St. John received a lot of press coverage recently from two major media outlets which detailed some of the special features of the island and some of the unique people who call the island home.

The Sunday, October 23, Travel Section in the New York Times was dedicated entirely to the Caribbean but it was breathtaking Maho Bay that graced the full-color front page.

“America’s Aquarium, Seen From the Inside,” written by Bonnie DeSimone, outlines snorkeling adventures around the island including Gibney Beach, Waterlemon Cay and Trunk Bay.

Snorkeling Applauded
“St. John stands out among Caribbean snorkeling destinations because of the variety and quality of spots accessible either straight off the beach, like at Gibney, or by hiking the island’s extensive trails,” according to DeSimone’s article. “It is possible to hopscotch the coast for a week or more, snorkeling at one place in the morning and at another in the afternoon, without duplicating experiences.”

DeSimone details a number of the fish that she spots on her underwater escapades and gives a brief history and description of Cruz Bay and Coral Bay.

“Restaurants, shops and many rental properties are clustered in and above the village of Cruz Bay on the west end,” DeSimone wrote in ‘America’s Aquarium.’ “Coral Bay, closer to the rugged East End and south shoreline, has the tie-dyed aura of a mature counterculture hangout.”

Underwater photographs by David Scull grace the two-page spread as well as a snapshot of the underwater trail sign at Trunk Bay.

DeSimone’s article includes a description of an impressive snorkeling trip that she took on the motor boat Seaquest, booked through Cruz Bay Watersports, with stops at Great St. James and Little St. James.

Local Businesses Featured
Caribbean Villas and Resorts, Maho Bay Camps and Westin Resort and Villas are outlined in the accommodations section, and Morgan’s Mango, Skinny Legs and Pastory Gardens are highlighted in the dining section.

Cruz Bay Watersports and the Wayward Sailor got a nod in the snorkeling section and all of the businesses locations, telephone numbers and prices are included in the piece.

Local Residents Profiled
A beautiful color photograph of a white sand St. John beach with turquoise waters by local photographer Steve Simonsen is featured on the cover of the November issue of Caribbean Travel and Life magazine.

“Island of Inspiration,” written by Dave Herndon, is one of the main features in the magazine which profiles a number of island residents from painter Kat Sowa to conga player Bernard “Slim Man” Wessellhoft and is accompanied by a beautiful photographic essay by Simonsen.

V.I. National Park tour guide and director of the annual folk life festival at Annaberg Ruins Denise Georges, “The Story-teller,” is photographed leading a group along the Reef Bay trail and is quoted about the widespread development on St. John. “Our Virgin Islands culture and way of life is slipping us by,” Georges is quoted saying in the piece. “I’m holding onto tradition and instilling it in students and visitors.”

Artisans and Artists
Stonemasons Ervin “Pork-bread” Jones and Ethan David are pictured with some of their beautiful signature stone work along with a charming write-up that illustrates the friendship of the almost 30-year partners.

Painter Kat Sowa is featured creating a work of art on the grounds of Caneel Bay Resort where she is the artist-in-residence and teaches visitors the plein air technique. “I feel connected to the universe in the big sense,” Sowa is quoted in the short profile. “My environment is as important as I am, and I try to get that across in my work.”

Profiles of Residents
Bernard “Slim Man” Wesselhoft is featured as ‘The Care-taker and Conga” player and photographed with his drums on Trunk Bay where he is a maintenance employee. “I’m a native St. Johnian, born and raised here, so I like seeing my island clean,” Wesselhoft is quoted in the piece.

The 10-page spread also includes profiles of Simonsen, scientist Dr. Caroline Rogers, ceramicist Gail Van de Bogurt, Tage owner-chef Ted Robinson and masseuse and singer Gretchen Rhodes – all with breathtaking pictures of the residents amid the lush beauty of St. John.