This trip to St-Croix was pretty incredible. Concerning my research project, we found a good number of new bees (some new records, and some maybe entirely new species), and this was just by surveying the center and SE of the island. There’s a whole area of ‘rainforest’ that we will not be surveying for this project, but that I’m sure contain a lot of treasures. So, finding new bees was really exciting, but something else really made me happy, during this trip. Yesterday morning, a lady from the University of VI accompanied us while we were out surveying bees at a farm. She followed us around as we were sweeping bees up with our nets, and took pictures. She said she was going to write an article about my project in the University’s extension newsletter. Then, as though that didn’t make me feel special enough I got to speak to the US Virgin Island agriculture commissioner on the phone! He called from St-John, and asked me to tell him about my project. After I explained it to him, he thanked me for including the USVI, and wished me luck. It made me really happy that we included USVI in our study, and that we’re putting an equal amount of effort in surveying St-Croix, as we are Puerto Rico.
Concerning my personal experience as a tourist, I still think that the flight to St-Croix on the little Cape Air planes was the highlight of my trip. This time, I got to sit next to the pilot on both flights, there and back. It’s impossible for me to describe how beautiful the view is, flying 3000 ft above sea level in this tiny plane. I have to admit, there are many pros to flying on those small planes, but there is one con: you feel every little air movement under the plane. On our way back to SJU, we went around El Yunque, and since the winds are strong off the mountain, the plane was rising and falling with the movement. I sure was glad I didn’t have a big breakfast!
I video taped a bit of the flight for you. This was recorded as we were about to land. We came from the East, and passed the airport and made a really sharp turn to head into the landing from the West.
Click on “Landing in San Juan” to see the video. Enjoy!