Dec. 2, 2005 With winter comes the Friends of the V.I. National Park seminars, an annual series that runs from January through April.
"It's a great way to do things you don't normally do," Friends program manager Kristen Maize said.
Since class size is limited, people should sign up now for the series, which has several new events, Maize said, adding that she's especially exited about the chance for participants to explore the waters off St. Thomas in an Atlantis submarine.
"Rick Nemeth will be doing a marine biology lesson," she said, referring to the University of the Virgin Islands professor.
She said historian David Knight's tour of the Susannaberg ruins on St. John is also a new offering that promises to be interesting.
Here's the schedule.
Turtle Adventure Sail 12:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 14. Sail with park ranger Sheri Caseau aboard the Castaway Girl to Buck Island, where participants will look for green and hawksbill turtles while snorkeling seagrass beds. Meet at Charlotte Amalie Waterfront with a swimsuit, hat and sunscreen. Fee is $60 for non-members and $50 for members.
History of St. John Creole 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 18 at Nazareth Lutheran Church hall. Linguist Elroy Sprauve explains the patterns, expression and history of the language heard on St. John. Fee is $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
Native Plant Hike 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 21 on the Cinnamon Bay Trail. Botanist and plant ecologist Gary Ray explains the trail's native plants. Meet at the Cinnamon Bay parking lot with binoculars, water, sunscreen, and bug repellent. Fee is $35 for non-members and $30 for members.
Explore Susannaberg Ruins 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 22. Visit these privately-owned ruins with historian David Knight to learn what Susannaberg was like from 1717 to 1917. The property has a gravesite, windmill and estate ruins. Meet at the entrance to Susannaberg Estate with snack, water, sunscreen, bug repellent, and hat. Fee is $35 for non-members and $30 for members.
Afro-Caribbean Drumming Workshop 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 25 at Catherineberg Ruins. Drummer Eddie Bruce will demonstrate basic entertainment and ritual drumming techniques of West African and Afro-Caribbean cultures. Bring a drum if you have one. Fee is $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
Archeology Boat Trip on the North Shore 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 28. Park archeologist Ken Wild will discuss archeological discoveries in a number of bays along St. John's North Shore. An 18th-century shipwreck is one highlight. Meet at the park Visitor's Center boat dock with lunch, water, sunscreen, a hat, and snorkel gear. Fee is $80 for non-members and $70 for members.
Marine Biology Sailing Trip 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 29. Sail aboard the classic ketch Breath to snorkel the marine treasures of St. John's East End. A park biologist will be your guide. Meet at the Coral Bay dock with snorkel gear, sunscreen, lunch, and water. Fee is $80 for non-members and $70 for members.
Submarine Exploration 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 4 aboard Atlantis Submarine. University of the Virgin Islands professor Rick Nemeth will explain the ecology of the coral reef system during a one-hour tour. Meet at the Atlantis Submarine office at Havensight Mall, St. Thomas. Fee is $85 for non-members and $75 for members.
Botanical Hike 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 8. Botanist Eleanor Gibney leads a hike along the remote road from L'Esperance to Sieben. Learn about St. John's native plants and see the island's only Baobab tree. Meet at Catherineberg Road to carpool with binoculars, water, sunscreen, and bug repellent. Fee is $35 for non-members and $30 for members.
Coral World Boat Trip 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 12. Join park ranger Carrie Stengal on the Limnos V for a trip by boat to Coral World on St. Thomas and a tour of Coral World. The boat stops for snorkeling on the way back to St. John. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with swimsuit, lunch if you don't want to buy it at Coral World, sunscreen, and water. Fee is $80 for non-members and $70 for members.
Archeology Boat Trip along the South Shore 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 18. Park archeologist Ken Wild takes participants on a prehistory tour with a stop to swim ashore at Reef Bay. Hike to the Reef Bay petroglyphs and explore an old estate and burial ground at Lameshur Bay. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, and snorkel gear. Fee is $80 for non-members and $70 for members.
Caneel Bay, 50 years 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Feb. 22. Historian Chuck Pishko looks at the early history of Caneel Bay Resort in honor of its 50th anniversary. Meet at Caneel Bay Resort's parking lot. Fee is $35 for non-members and $30 for members.
Stars and Their Stories 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Peace Hill. Astrologer and mythologist Kelly Hunter guides participants through the constellations and various myths of the night sky. Meet at Peace Hill parking lot with binoculars and a blanket. Fee is $25 for members and $20 for non-members.
Marine Biology Sailing Trip 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 4 aboard the catamaran Calypso. Stop at two to three snorkel spots to explore the area with a park marine biologist. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with sunscreen, water and lunch. Fee is $80 for non-members and $70 for members.
Salt Pond Ecology 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 8 at Salt Pond. Park ranger Deanna Somerville discusses salt pond ecology and traditional methods of salt collection. Meet at the Salt Pond trail parking lot with sunscreen, water, and a hat. Fee is $35 for non-members and $30 for members.
Elk Horn Investigation 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 11. Snorkel with U.S. Geological Survey marine ecologist Caroline Rogers along St. John's North Shore on this boat tour. Learn why elkhorn coral is being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with lunch, water, snorkel gear, hat, and sunscreen. Fee is $70 for non-members and $60 for members.
Full Moon Hike to Ram Head, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 15. Hike to the top of Ram Head, the southernmost point on St. John, with ranger Don Near to learn about the area's natural and cultural history. Meet at the Salt Pond parking lot with water, snack, bug repellent, and flashlight or headlamp. Fee is $35 for non-members and $30 for members.
Kayak Hurricane Hole 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 18 with Arawak Expeditions. Explore Coral Reef National Monument with guide Barry Devine, a scientist at UVI. Meet at Skinny Legs Restaurant in Coral Bay with lunch, water, snorkel gear, and sunscreen. Fee is $75 for members and $65 for non-members.
St. John Architecture 9 a.m. to noon, March 22. Visit several homes and locations with architect Michael Milne. Meet at Sun Dog Café in Mongoose Junction to car pool. Fee is $30 for non-members and $25 for members.
Coastal Ecology 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 25. Circumnavigate St. John aboard the Sadie Sea with the park's chief of resource management, Rafe Boulon, as your guide. Snorkel, wade and float in mangrove lagoons, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and beaches. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with lunch, water, wading shoes, and snorkel gear. The fee is $80 for non-members and $70 for members.
Video Workshop 8 a.m. to noon, April 1. Learn to make professional quality videos with videographer and photographer Steve Simonsen at a variety of St. John locations. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with video camera, extra batteries, instruction manual, and tripod. Fee is 440 for non-members and $35 for members.
Traditional West Indian Cuisine 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 2 at Julius E. Sprauve School. Joyce Sprauve will show you how to prepare traditional West Indian dishes. The fee is $30 for non-members and $25 for non-members.
Beach Cat Adventure Sail 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
April 19 on the Hobie Getaway. Guide Han Winogrond will sail you to Congo and Lovango Cays to explore the history and ecology of the area. Meet at the Cruz Bay ferry dock with snorkel gear, sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch. Fee is $80 for non-members and $75 for members.
A Glimpse into St. John's Early History 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. April 8 with Guy Benjamin. Now in his 90s, Benjamin takes participants back in time as he shares memories of the days when St. John had only a couple hundred homes and residents traveled on donkeys. Meet at Vie's Snack Shack on the East End or carpool from Cruz Bay with money for lunch at Vie's. Fee is $30 for non-members and $25 for members.
Biological/Geological Shoreline Walk 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. April 15 with USGS geologist Ruth Deike and marine naturalist Lucy Portlock to learn about the geology and biology as you explore Little Caneel Bay's shoreline. Meet at the Caneel Bay gift shop with shoes you can get wet, snack and water. Fee is $30 for non-members and $25 for members.
Learn to Make Coconut Oil 10 a.m. to noon April 26 with park ranger Deanna Somerville. Participants will learn the process from the tree to the nut to the oil. Meet at Maho Bay Camps' F Pavilion with lunch, a hammer and grater. Fee is $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
St. John Architecture 9 a.m. to noon April 29 with architect Rob Crane. Tour several homes to learn about their structure and significance as well as St. John architecture. Meet at Sun Dog Café at Mongoose Junction to carpool. Fee is $30 for non-member and $25 for members.
For more information call 779-4940.
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