st john photography

April 2015 News from St. John

Rx to Survive Winter

Enjoy the winter winds -- St John style

Congratulations - you survived the winter of all winters. Spring has finally sprung in most places in the country. Now is the time to reward yourself for having survived the 'winter that would not quit' by planning a trip to St John for this year or even better, next winter.  As a reward, we are offering a 20% off discount for our June openings; check our currently availability to secure your piece of mind.

We recently received this photo from a recent guest (who has already booked his return trip). He captured this picture at Great Expectationsthe morning of his 50th birthday. We sure think he found his pot of gold on St John. Hopefully, you will as well!

March St John news flashes & fun St John clips:

  • St John's Honeymoon beach made the Condé Nast's 'Top 10 Beaches for Chillin' by saying: Located within the Virgin Islands National Park, Honeymoon Beach is one of the seven beaches that make up the Caneel Bay Resort. It's arguably the loveliest and also hardest to get to; the only means of access is via boat or a mile-long hike. But it’s worth the trek: Besides the requisite ivory sand and crystalline waters, you’re rewarded with views of St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands.

  • ABC News reported that St John's Maho Bay made Trip Advisor's 'Top 10 Traveler's Choice Caribbean Beaches' A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "The snorkeling is absolutely amazing. Huge sea turtles, schools of fish and stingrays are just some of the sea life found regularly here in Maho Bay. It's a postcard like setting with some of the coolest palm trees you'll find anywhere in the world. In my opinion this is the best place on the island to take pictures. Don't visit St. John without checking out Maho Bay".

  • One of St John's most important volunteer groups is asking for our help. St John Rescue is often the first on the scene to help a victim of a car or boating accident, a lost or injured hiker, or just about any other sort of emergency one can think of happening - day or night. A couple of weeks ago they were at the scene of a very bad accident and rescued a truck driver, by cutting open the bottom of the truck with their Jaws of Life, saving his life. Unfortunately, during the process the Jaws of Life was destroyed. The St John community is rallying together to help raise monies to fund a new critically needed Jaws of Life for St John Rescue. Please consider supporting this initiative by donating on-line through Go Fund Me.

  • St John Blues Blowout Festival is ON! March 28th will bring lots of music to Cruz Bay's Winston Wells Ballpark. All proceeds to benefit the St John School of the Arts and the Sprauve School

  • Check our availability calendar and contact us today to secure your reservation! We will be happy to work with you to, as best we can, accommodate your needs. Our goal, always, is to meet or ideally, exceed your expectations!

Best St John Snorkeling Pictures

'Isabel Traveler' captured this fabulous turtle photo last month 
St John is fortunate to have a number of professional photographers who are able to capture the incredible vistas and vibrant underwater sea life, however, we also often have visitors who also capture very special pictures. Yesterday, I read a Trip Advisor posting by 'Isabel Traveler' who was on-island this August. She is a pretty frequent visitor to St John but, before this trip, she had only come during January. She was pleased to find even more sea-life during this trip than her previous winter vacations. Her pictures are stunning! She captured lots of pictures of turtles and even has a turtle movie on her photo stream so you can really feel as though you are truly swimming along with the turtle.
The colors and variety of fish (including lots of sharks, octopus, and tons of starfish) are really amazing. 

What a colorful fella!

When 'Isabel Traveler' dried off and was above sea level for a bit of the week she captured some fun shots of new life on St John.

Doesn't this little guy look like he is smiling and pretty happy to be hugged?

These are just for you if you love the colors - and views - of St John

Hot off the press the January newsletter from Great Expectations:

st john sloop jones

Artist Sloop Jones captures the beauty of the St John sunrise
on his 'canvas'
steve simonsen photography sunset
Photographer Steve Simonsen uses a camera to as his 'canvas'
to capture the sunset's colors

Both Sloop Jones and Steve Simonsen are passionate about their respective crafts about the beauty and colors of St John. Sloop is an artist who captures the colors of St John on anything 'wearable and useable' whether T-Shirts, dresses, hats, rugs, wall hangings, or banners and signs. Rather than a paint brush, Steve Simonsen uses a camera to create his art. Steve often takes to the skies (in an airplane or helicopter), water (diving or boat), or the beach or hills of St John to capture his pictures. His fabulous photography can be seen on the covers of travel magazines, walls of cruise ships, or art galleries around the world.

Both Sloop and Steve offer workshops aimed at giving you a peek into their worlds and helping you capture the magic that is St John:

Sloop Jones Workshops: Every Tuesday morning from January - April, 2013. Classes are limited to 6 people to ensure that everyone gets a good deal of Sloop's attention.

Steve Simonsen Workshops: Scheduled sporadically (it is the islands 'mon) are workshops on Underwater Photography, Snorkel, Tropical Light, and Beyond the Basics. Steve looks for groups of 6 people for his workshops. This weekend I am attending the Beyond the Basics Workshop with the hopes of being able to capture in a lens the beauty I see through my eyes.

OK, assume that you have worked all morning at one of these workshops, what better way of relaxing than spending the afternoon in our new pool:
st john swimming pool

Watch the clouds float over St John from our new pool

January St John news flashes & fun St John clips:

  • Once again St John makes several 'Best of' lists. Travel + Leisure launched its first annual 'Beach Beach on Earth' survey and after much debate identified the top 30 best and several Virgin Islands beaches made the list including St John's Trunk Bay in the 'Best for Wildlife Watching'. The Toronto 'The Star' newspaper/blog declared that St John is THE Caribbean island to explore.
  • The latest issue of St John Magazine is now available and the reviews are terrific (maybe the best yet!). Each year, MaLinda Nelson outdoes herself to produce an issue that is fresher, bolder, more interesting, and more beautiful than the year before. The 2013 issue is just that! Steve Simonsen's fabulous photography captures St John's magical beauty and Amy Roberts captures, in words, the turmoil in our plantation years. Come to St John to buy one yourself or, if you must order on-line contact MaLinda directly
  • News of St John (a wonderful blog) had a great posting about how to prolong the 'St John buzz'. We have great musicians on the island and always have lots of live music options available. Several of the groups have put out their own CD's so you can hear St John even when not here. Here are just a few: Inner Visions (for Reggae), Victor Provost has perfected steel drums & pans, and Marty Beech who you can hear at Caneel Bay's Turtle Bay where he sings songs of Frank Sinatra. Best to come to St John to hear these folks in person!
  • Carnival season has begun in the Virgin Islands. St Croix ends the 'old year' and starts the 'new year' with its Festival. This year's activities were, as usual, spectacular. The next Festival will be on St Thomas during the month of April. St John rounds out the activities for the Virgin Islands with its Festival activities (our favorite) which are scheduled during the last couple of weeks of June and culminate with food fairs, parades, and music during the first week of July.
  • maho bay campgrounds st johnRumored for years but it finally happened: Maho Bay Campgrounds was sold! Just as the clock struck twelve on the old year, the deal was sealed so says the island's rumor mill. No one knows for sure who the buyer of the spectacular site is for a steal of a price ($13.9 million), but we can all hope that it is someone who appreciates the beauty of St John who believes in preservation. The Campgrounds is open until May 15 after which they plan the biggest 'garage sale' in the history of St John. If you are interested in a propane burner, tent, table, or other camping gear contact the Stanley Selegut, the owner of Maho Bay Campgrounds, directly.
  • Beau Geste, the Guest House of Great Expectations, is currently available for 10% off from Saturday, February 16 - Sunday, February 24 (President's week). Beau Geste has 3 bedrooms, including a connecting bedroom, swimming pool and hot tub, and, of course, fabulous Caribbean views. Contact us today to get out of the cold!

    Enjoy the holidays and we hope we see you at Great Expectations or Beau Gestein the new year!

Chuck & Kristin
owners of Great Expectations
P.S. While Great Expectations is already booked most of this winter, we have a five night opening in March (check out our March Madness Special), 5 night opening in April, and then no  availability until May. We are already taking reservations for 2014, so contact us soon  for your choice dates.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news about Great Expectations specials & St John activities

So you think you're a photographer? If you love St John this contest is for you!

This is your chance to promote St John and win $15,000 at the same time!  In partnership with the National Park Foundation, Share the Experience is looking for fabulous photographs of our National Parks. While St John has  a number of absolutely phenomenal photographers (Steve Simonsen, Bob Schleisinger, Yelena Rogers), this contest is only eligible for people who are amateurs in that not more than 20% of your income can be derived from photography.  So, go through your photos and pick out your absolute favorite shots of St John's wonderful beaches and hillsides. 
Here are three photos that have already been submitted all by Kerry Childers (deadline for submission of photos is December 31, 2012 so don't dawdle!):
Jumbie Beach

Solomon beach

Seabird eggs on the beach at Great Lameshur Bay
not the 'nest' of white coral
There are categories for: 
  • Adventure & Outdoor Recreation, 
  • Historical & Cultural, Scenic, 
  • Seasons & Landscapes, 
  • Friends, Family & Fun(ny) and 
  • Wildlife. 

The possibilities are endless! Give it a try and submit your favorite photos of St John!

Now available on St John - new fall happenings

St John - where a picture is worth a 1,000 words!

Cover of Steve Simonsen's 2012 St John calendar
It is true that Steve is an amazing artist. His photographer's eye is very special yet so is his landscape! This is the 6th year Steve has produced a calendar and this year's result is in a word - stunning! Both landscape and underwater scenes capture the magic of St John. Each month is more delicious than the last one. Having this hang in your home or office during the cold winter months will surely take a bit of chill out of the winter's air -- that is, until you can get to St John yourself! These calendar's can be purchased at several stores on St John or through Steve's on-line store. Until you get the calendar or visit St John yourself, you might enjoy peeking at our webcam which, hopefully, will entice you make a reservation for your St John vacation.If you are more of a graphic artist type of person you might also enjoy the work of another fabulous St John artist. Elaine Estern is, among other things, a wonderful watercolorist who has also been producing St John calendars for a number of years.
The title of this one says it all: 'Living the Dream'estern st johnElaine's calendar is also available on St John at her studio as well as in other shops or on-line; and, when on St John her studio is a must-see.