Welcome to St JohnWelcome to St John

Deanna Somerville

Good day, my name is Deanna from Castawaycraftsvi@gmail.com

I am a happily retired NPS Guide who used my Park career to introduce the visiting public to the resources, beauty, culture & wonder of St. John. The island has long been the home of my heart and I’ve enjoyed sharing reliable information to visitors of the island both as Park Ranger & friendly citizen of Cruz Bay. Everyone greets or expects a different version of this paradise and I want to open up an authentic experience for my guests. It’s my pleasure to share a bit of time with new to the island adventurers and regular visitors.

Being a local resident I am able to source locally grown mango, pineapple, bananas, limes & seasonal favorites like genips, tamarinds, guava, papaya or avocado. The fruits will always represent the best produce available I assemble each basket with care, with individually created hand-drawn art and/or greetings on the reusable seagrass basket. I’ve learned the medicinal & useful properties of local plants and try to incorporate & use them as teas and treatments for common issues, I also like to use the leaves & flowers of my own garden to garnish the gifts with a very special look & scent not found commercially. Explaining the tropical choices adds dimension to your gift, making the basket not just fragrant & tasty, but relevant to the environment.

St John Welcome Baskets

Accessory packages featuring commonly needed items for your vacation interests may be added. I learned to weave the coconut palm early on & have happily woven birds, hats, and baskets whenever the right materials come along. I retired from climbing coconut palms some years ago. I am happy to include a freshly woven Bird of Paradise when available.

hand woven bird

As a Park guide, I often used plants to demonstrate useful properties in nature such as the Strangler Fig aka “autograph” leaf. Now presented as A hand-engraved fresh leaf may be utilized as a long-lasting memory maker & personalized gift tag.

St John Welcome Baskets

I’m a lifelong crafter and have been fortunate to learn many local crafts at the hands of senior culture bearers of the Virgin Islands. I’ve adapted stateside materials & locally sourced materials with my generic crafting skills to create works inspired by the beauty that surrounds me.

Moko Jumbie

Castaway Crafts also combines my island-inspired craft gifts like the Moko Jumbie pendants made of beads & shells.

A more recent passion is creating abstract paintings with acrylic paint pouring. Stay in touch if you are as interested in a seminar painting event next winter.


The by-product of this painting style is often excess paint “happy” accidents that I recycle as gift cards & info cards for the contents of your gift basket.