Althea, Maho’s legedary feline resident!

A very young Althea with Danny, who took her in when she arrived at Maho in the late 1990's. Photo courtesy of Joe Brown.
A very young Althea with Danny, who took her in when she arrived at Maho in the late 1990’s. Photo courtesy of Joe Brown.
A young Althea curled up in a box from the store. Photo courtesy of Joe Brown.
A young Althea curled up in a box from the store. Photo courtesy of Joe Brown.
Young Althea - how sweet!! photo courtesy of Joe Brown.
Young Althea – how sweet!! photo courtesy of Joe Brown.
Young Althea in late 90's on Joe Brown's lap. Courtesy of Joe Brown.
Young Althea in late 90’s on Joe Brown’s lap. Courtesy of Joe Brown.
Althea and Joe Brown. JB and Danny lived in the apartment above the store and took in Althea when she showed up in the late 90's.  Photo courtesy of Joe Brown.
Althea and Joe Brown. JB and Danny lived in the apartment above the store and took in Althea when she showed up in the late 90’s. Photo courtesy of Joe Brown.
Dana Goedewaagen giving Althea a drink of water. (Love the solar shower too!) Photo courtesy of Andrea Mewhinney.
Dana Goedewaagen giving Althea a drink of water. (Love the solar shower too!) Photo courtesy of Andrea Mewhinney.
Althea enjoying island life from a Maho Bay Camp boardwalk. Probably meditating on a lizard.
Althea enjoying island life from a Maho Bay Camp boardwalk. Probably meditating on a lizard.
A classic Althea activity - spreading out on the boardwalk near some steps with the utmost confidence that no on will inadvertently bump her! Photo courtesy of Andrea Mewhinney.
A classic Althea activity – spreading out on the boardwalk near some steps with the utmost confidence that no on will inadvertently bump her! Photo courtesy of Andrea Mewhinney.
Althea hanging out on the boardwalk to the Dining Pavilion at night.
Althea hanging out on the boardwalk to the Dining Pavilion at night.
Althea taking a nap on a rock on the Goat Trail, exhausted from all her socializing during the busy season.
Althea taking a nap on a rock on the Goat Trail, exhausted from all her socializing during the busy season.
Althea along the Goat Trail earlier this year (2013). No matter how busy she is taking a nap, Althea was the consummate Rock-star! She would always sit up and pose for a photo by her fans!!
Althea along the Goat Trail earlier this year (2013). No matter how busy she is taking a nap, Althea was the consummate Rock-star! She would always sit up and pose for a photo by her fans!!

The Allure of Caribbean Blue

The captivating blues of the water and sky at Big Maho Bay, St. John, USVI in early August.
The captivating blues of the water and sky at Big Maho Bay, St. John, USVI in early August.

With some of the clearest turquoise blue water and soft white sand beaches, the bays and beaches around St. John are irresistible! The mountains surrounding the bays, often with cays in the distance, calm the bays and draw people into the cool and tranquil water. Along the beach the laughing gulls chat back and forth, laughing at their own private jokes. Turn around and you have a view of sea-grape trees and coconut palms. The temperature and clarity of the water around St. John seduces those who enter to stay as long as possible and take in the 360 degree view.  I read in Islands Magazine that “neuroscience studies show that when we watch the color blue and calm seascapes, we produce the same stress-relieving alpha brain waves as seen in meditating monks”.  I am not sure if I reach that state when I stare at the water here but I do notice that my mind stays in the present moment. Even more so when I am in the water itself. It is almost hard to envision your work life stress when on a float in the turquoise blue water of Maho Bay. It is a evanescent reprieve from our racing, always worrying minds.

In early January of this year, on a rainy and overcast morning,  I went out in Big Maho Bay for standup paddle-boarding. The water was winter-cool (if you live here you would understand how we become wimps when the water temperature dips below warm) and the rain did not feel any warmer. The sun was trying to clear out the clouds but no blue sky was appearing, yet the water still had it’s incredible blue color. It looked like I was paddling on top of blue-green jello, clear but not transparent. Although I don’t have a paddle board of my own, if I did I think my favorite time to be out on the water at Big Maho would be in an early morning rain.

360 degree view of Maho Bay, St. John. (This (above) was the first video I shot in the water last fall, I used my iPhone in a case in which it was loose. Not thrilled with it, and not comfortable using my Lifeproof case since it had some flaws. So I soon decided to move onto an underwater camera and that turned out to be a great decision!)

Underwater Reggae!

This reggae video was filmed in St.John, above and below the water. Love the lyrics since I am crazy about snorkeling here and because the filming underwater matches up with the music!

http://youtu.be/AshZokZSN3Y

The official Rhythm of Life Music Video. Artist: Angel EXODUS Bolques, Produced and Directed by E Franklin Tulloch. Written by A.Bolques, J. Hamilton, EF Tulloch, Earthbound studios/EFT/AB copyright 2013 (C) Watch in 1080p HD.

Lyrics (with a few unknowns):

It’s the rhythm of life, sounds so nice, it’s paradise (x3)

Some like to talk about the birds and the bees,

I want to talk about the fish and the seas,

I love the currents of the lovely ocean,

I love to watch the waves in slow motion,

Watch them bust against the rocks and the sand,

It mixes up to make a love potion

The ocean is filled with wild life,

Come take a trip to Love City, Virgin Isle,

Come stay a while and set your sundial,

Under St. John it’s paradise mile for mile

Come feel it for yourself,

Just relax and swim,

You don’t need to move (?) just let the rhythm take you away,

So you’re diving under water and feeling so free,

Check out this underwater community,

It’s a hidden life under the sea,

It’s like a city within the coral reefs,

Watch out for de seafans, them a’sway like trees,

Fish and turtle dem swim round the reefs (?),

Schools of fishes dem a move like family,

Reflections of colors dem a look so pretty,

Nothing compares to this island’s beauty,

So come stay with us in Love City…