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Posts Tagged ‘USVI’

Annaberg Plantation, St. John

One of our favorite days while on charter is when we walk/hike to the Annaberg Plantaion. Set up on a small hill that over looks the surrounding beautiful turquoise bays is the remains of this old plantation. Here is some of it’s history:

The Annaberg Sugar MIll:

The diverse backgrounds of the inhabitants of the Danish West Indies are clearly evident in a list of Annaberg’s owners. The first deeded land holding in the area was taken up in 1721 by a French Huguenot refugee, Isaac Constantin; upon Constaantin’s death, ownership of the plantation passed to his son-in-law, a Dane, Mads Larsen; and in 1758 the property was purchased by Salomon Zeeger, a Dutch immigrant from the island of St. Eustatius. It was Zeeger who named the property Annaberg (meaning Anna’s Mountain) to honor his wife, Anna deWindt Zeeger.
In 1796, James Murphy, an Irish-born merchant and slave trader based on St. Thomas, purchased Annaberg along with a number of neighboring properties and combined them to form a single, vast sugar estate. Upon his acquisition of the property, Murphy set out to construct a new, state-of-the-art ‘sugar works’ and tower windmill on the site of the former Zeeger plantation, and a grand, estate house on a hilltop east of Water Lemon Bay. By his death in November 1808, James Murphy had become the single largest producer of sugar on St. John. His combined land holdings totaled nearly 1,300 acres, and 662 enslaved workers toiled on his properties.
Although some modifications associated with production downsizing were made to the Annaberg factory in the mid nineteenth century, it is the ruins of the sugar works built during James Murphy’s ownership that are encoutered on the site today.
~ National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

There are many ruins there that show how the plantaion was run back in it’s day. Some of the sites you’ll see are:

– the Windmill tower; that processed the sugar cane on windy days:

– Oven; Where bread was baked for the enslaved workers:

– Boiling house; where the cane juice was boiled down into a thick syrup:

There is also:
– the curing House & overseers’ quarters.
– water cistern; where water was collected off the roof of the factory. It holds about 20,000 gallons.
– dungeon; Because desertions and worker resistance was common among other rebellions such as poisioning the overseer.
– Still House; Where the rum was made!
– Rum Still & Worm Cistern; used in the process of making rum
– Firing trench & furnace; where wood was fed to heat the coppers in the boiling house.
– the horse mill; on days that were not windy, the sugar cane was processed, crushed & juiced here.
– ox pound; where the work animals were kept

Also on the premises there is a garden filled with all kinds of local plants, fruits & herbs. Over all it’s a “Must See” when you visit the US Virgin Islands. It is steeped in history & surrounded by natural beauty!

Under the Sea

One of my most relaxing snorkels was right after breakfast one morning, in one of our favorite harbors, Honeymoon bay, Water Island. Yeah, there are snorkel spots with more coral & more color & bigger fish… we love those & frequent them often with our charters. But something about this day, in the early morning I saw this little harbor in a new light. When I stopped & just looked around I noticed that it was just teaming with life & fish… Beautiful colors & shapes:

Not a bad way to wake up & start the day that’s for sure!!! To give you a better taste of what it’s like to snorkel (for those of you who haven’t) Here are two videos from our snorkel that morning. Part 1:

Part 2 of our snorkel:

Honeymoon bay has so much to offer… Turtles are a regular sighting here, so are groupers! If you sit long enough & enjoy the sunset your always bound to see fish jumping out of the water putting on a show! And the water is warm!!!

Gone snorkeling…

Well we have a new toy, a Kodak play sport!!! So we have been taking lots of underwater photos and videos! 

Sadly tho both of our computers are down =( hence why I haven’t been posting a weekly blog post for a bit now. Jeff’s computer died again and mine’s hard-drive is so over loaded with itself that it won’t even open a photo. Sad, very sad. 

But the sunny side of this is that I did get one snorkel video posted online before everything went postal! 

So here it is, my first recorded snorkeling video: 

I hope you enjoyed it! There will be more to come shortly! I have been practicing staying steadier and moving slower. I also have some beautiful under water photos!!! See ya soon!!!! ~ K

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