The above pictures are the product of my neighbor and acquaintance Steve Simonson. Steve not only is a great nature photographer but also in the past provided the villa pictures for Sopra Mare. I’m getting ready to engage him for another project next month and will share it with you as completed. Thanks Steve for allowing me to reproduce your great shots!
I’ve been fortunate to see these gentle giants a number of times throughout my life at various locations – California, Alaska, Australia and of course, St. John just to name a few places. Each time I spot them I’m amazed at their power and grace. What many of you do not know is these mammals spend about three months from January through March roaming around St. John.
The peak time is February 15th through 26th. Don’t ask me why these specific dates, probably some marine biologist threw a dart and a map and said, “Yep, that’s the exact dates for St. John, USVI.”
Mostly you will see humpback whales around the island that can weigh upwards of sixty-five tons and grow to the length of fifty feet or more. They are dark gray with generally white dorsal fins and white markings on their tails. They travel throughout the Caribbean on their way to South America. The newly born calves spend the first few months in the Caribbean warm waters adding a layer of blubber that will keep them warm in cold waters.
On a number of occasions, I have spotted a pod of whales from the decks of both Sopra Mare and Bordo Mare. That’s one reason there are several sets of binoculars at the villas. They like to feed right below the villas and the best time to possibly spot them is right after sunrise. Don’t promise anything but it’s pretty damn exciting when you first see them below you!
The Environmental Association of St. Thomas (EAST) provides whale watching excursions. You can purchase tickets at Connections on St. John – phone EAST at (340) 774-1837 or (340) 344-9075. The last I knew tickets were $65.00. Call them in advance as they don’t go out every day during the winter. Remember spotting these giants is all a matter of luck. Should you be in a small boat when you see them stay at least 100 yards distance that’s Federal Law and pretty smart idea as their tails definitely can accidentally crush a small boat!
Hey, happy watching and don’t forget to put the binoculars back in the villa for the next guest to use!
I get a lot of questions each month from guests that haven’t been to St. John as well as returning guests and I love to respond. It not only gives me a personal connection with people coming to stay with me but often in doing research on questions I gain greater personal knowledge about something on the island that I didn’t know.
But then there are some questions that are just off the wall and after I scratch my head and yes, occasionally, I’ve had a glass or two of Kendell Jackson Chardonnay before I formulate a response. So, here goes on some of the “way out questions” and my response.
1. Question – Will there be mosquitoes when I’m there?
Answer – Absolutely not! But bring two cans of Deets and two citronella candles. Leave at the villa upon your departure as the next guests will definitely have a problem.
2. Question – I’m concerned about the wind messing up my hair when on St. John. What can I do to prevent this?
Answer – No need to be concerned. St. John is totally enclosed in a bubble. Just let me know ahead of time and I will adjust the island wind strength to your total comfort level.
3. Question – Does the island really drive on the left?
Answer – Well, the locals do, but tourists often don’t. That’s how we insure a new rental car fleet on the island each year.
4. Question – How much will it cost to eat out?
Answer – Have you considered “road kill” as a prime meal? If so, meals are free and your only expense will be rental car repairs.
Hope I put a smile on your face. Naw, the answers are just “hypothetical” but I did take time mentally to formulate how I should have answered them if I had.
If you live in the Northeast you’ve experienced some crazy storms over the last several weeks. Just might be the time to grab one of these special airline rates from your area and head down to St. John. The temperature was 81 degrees yesterday and the water is warm.
Also remember, as a new guest you always get a 5% discount on your normal weekly rate just for mentioning this newsletter. I still have two weeks available at Sopra Mare during high season. Those being weeks of April 1st and 8th. So, let me know.
Thank you for again putting up with my monthly “physio babbling.”
Hope you liked the information provided and maybe it’ll add to your St. John vacation experience. Have a great winter and I’ll “Leave The Lite On For You” at your new island home – Bordo Mare or Sopra Mare.
Mike Mullen – Owner
But everyone just calls me “Mulley!”
Go to my website for past blogs, information and things to do on St. John. www.mulleysstjohnvillas.com