Kenny Chesney’s Final Show … We Made It!

chesney pic

Well the last few days have been a whirlwind for us here at News of St. John. It all started late last year when I decided to buy Mama News of St. John tickets to Kenny Chesney because quite frankly, she’s obsessed with his music. According to Papa News of St. John, Kenny’s CD has been playing on loop in her car for over a year now. (Side note: Papa News of St. John is more of a Led Zeppelin, Doors kinda guy so just imagine how this makes him feel – lol.) So being the good daughter I try to be, I bought her tickets to Kenny’s last show, which happened to be last night in Boston. I gave them to her for Christmas and she has been patiently waiting to see him ever since.

Enter Tropical Storm Erika.

I was initially supposed to leave our beloved island on Thursday, but Erika had other plans. Our seaports were closed, so even though my original flight went off as scheduled, I had no way of getting there. So I changed my flight to Friday and I crossed my fingers that I’d make it.

Erika blew through overnight Thursday and into Friday morning and was pretty much a dud fortunately; however I woke up early Friday morning only to learn that we were under a mandatory curfew and that the seaports remained closed. My flight was at 2:19 p.m. I stressed. I swore I wasn’t going to make it.

Enter my fantastic neighbor Lindsay. Lindsay also had a flight Friday afternoon. She was supposed to be at a wedding in Maine on Saturday and come hell or high water, she was determined to make it. So she sprung into action and found a private boat to take us over to St. Thomas … despite the fact that the seaports were closed. (It pays to have good friends.)

So around 10:30 a.m. with suitcases in tow, Lindsay and I walked down to the National Park dock and hopped onto a boat with about 10 others – all of whom were in the same boat as us … literally. We just started pulling out of the creek when we were stopped by a ranger at the National Park dock. The Coast Guard had just called and said that no boats could leave the creek, so once again we were trapped on the island.

(You may be thinking – it’s not that bad being trapped on St. John, and normally I would agree. But when you have to be at an airport on an island that you can visibly see but are simply not allowed to get to, it’s gets a tad frustrating.)

For the next 90 minutes or so, we all worked together to see how we could get off the island. I attempted to sweet talk the Coast Guard in Puerto Rico while the others feverishly made calls to see how we could get permission to leave the island. It was nuts, but it was also fantastic in the way that we all banded together. That’s why they call it Love City.

Around noon, we got the call. The seaports had opened and we were allowed to leave. We literally ran toward the boat and hopped on. I think we were the first boat that left the island (legally) that day. :)

So we made it. We all made it to the airport in time, and we all made our flights. Lindsay made it to the wedding and I made it to Connecticut in time to pick up Mama News of St. John and drive her to Gillette Stadium near Boston. And you know what, the show was fantastic. Of course we took some video to share with all of you…

Here is a clip from Till its Gone:

Here is a clip from Pirate Flag:

And saving the best for last… Here is Happy on the Hey Now in its entirety:

Now let’s see if history repeats itself ;) … http://newsofstjohn.com/2013/08/26/look-whos-back-on-island/

history repeats

 





Tropical Storm Passes; St. John is Just Fine

curfew tamarind

Well Tropical Storm Erika passed through overnight, and little to no damage was reported throughout the island. I just took a quick walk around Cruz Bay and it was hard to even find a puddle. There are no trees down, no downed wires, no damage of any sorts that I could see. Over in Coral Bay, however, there is at least one very large tree down on Kings Hill Road and we heard that the African Queen is now up on the rocks in Coral Bay harbor.

But despite the fact that we had pretty much no damage here on St. John, the governor has imposed a territory-wide curfew until 5 p.m. tonight. This means that you are not supposed to be out walking around or driving. That being said, there were just a ton of people walking around Cruz Bay and a car just drove past my home as I wrote that last sentence. :) The police are out though and will tell you to go home if they see you.

UPDATE: 8:15 a.m. – We just heard that the curfew has been lifted on St. John and St. Thomas, however nothing official has been posted.

boats creek friday

small puddle

caps closedno taxis

beach downtown roundabout

Image credit: Leah Randall

Image credit: Leah Randall

Image credit: Leah Randall

Coral Bay – Image credit: Leah Randall

Image credit: Leah Randall

Coral Bay – Image credit: Leah Randall

The airports have reopened but the ports remain closed. The Coast Guard is expected to make a determination when they will reopen by 9:30 a.m. this morning. We’ll keep you posted.

Please cross your fingers for those of us on island who are desperately trying to leave today in order to make Kenny Chesney’s Boston show tomorrow night!! And cross your fingers for my friend Lindsay who is desperately trying to make a wedding up north tomorrow! :)





Tropical Storm Erika Arriving Later Today

closed port

Ferry service has been suspended.

Well today’s the day that Tropical Storm Erika will arrive in the territory. As of 8 a.m., maximum sustained winds were at 50 miles per hour. The storm is expected to dump between three and six inches on St. John. Yes, rain is good but that amount of rain in such a small period of time will definitely lead to some problems.

So far, it’s a gorgeous day here on the island. We had some rain earlier today and a good amount overnight, but as of 10 a.m., it’s beautiful and sunny. We just took a cruise through town and took some pics for you all. The majority of the stores and restaurants are closed; however we did notice that The Beach Bar, Jake’s, Cruz Bay Landing, High Tide, Cap’s Place and The Tap Room are open as of now.

For those of you off island, you can see what’s happening here on St. John by visiting our webcam page at www.newsofstjohn.com/webcams. We have a ton of webcams that are scattered throughout the island. We even added a new one this morning – Mare Blu. Click the picture below to check it out:

mare blu webcam

Click the image to view Mare Blu’s new webcam.

Check out some more pics from this morning:

street near woodysboats in creek

Charlie, my trusty sidekick, joined me this morning...

Charlie, my trusty sidekick, joined me this morning…

Before the storm...

Before the storm…

As long as we have power and internet, we will keep you all posted. :)





St. John Under Tropical Storm Warning – Latest Details

erika 11am

Here’s what we know about Tropical Storm Erika:

  • The Virgin Islands is currently under a tropical storm warning. As of 11 a.m., TS Erika is 285 miles east/southeast of Antigua. It is moving west at 17 miles per hour and has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.
  • TS Erika is expected to reach the Virgin Islands tomorrow.
  • The storm is expected to drop three to five inches of rain with maximum amounts of eight inches in portions of the territory.
  • As of 11 a.m., the ports remain open and the passenger ferries and car barges are running. The VI Port Authority just posted on its Facebook page that they are currently meeting to discuss preparations.
  • Love City Car Ferries (car barge) will make its last run today from St. John at 4 p.m. It will make its last run today from St. Thomas at 5 p.m. It also announced that it will not be operating at all tomorrow.
  • As of 11 a.m., American Airlines, Delta and Sprit are all offering fee waivers for flights happening within the next few days.

Again, here are the sites to watch in the event that we receive a tropical storm or hurricane:

  • US Virgin Islands Tropical Weather Station: This is a Facebook page with weather forecasters who are located here in the Virgin islands.
  • St. John VI Weather: This is another great Facebook page with an expert who is based here in the Virgin Islands.
  • VITEMA: This is the Virgin Islands’ Emergency Management Agency. You can find them on Facebook here or online here. You can sign up to receive VITEMA alerts via email or by text.
  • Virgin Islands Port Authority: VIPA will keep you informed on whether the ports and airport remain open or are closed due to a storm. You can find them on Facebook here or online here.





Familiar Faces Launch New Charter Company

love city excursions owners

For those of you who’ve lived on or visited St. John for quite some time, you may recognize Joe and Katie Zachary. The couple has lived on St. John for more than seven and nine years respectively, and during their time here have been fixtures out on the water. Well today we’re happy to tell you that Joe and Katie have just launched a new charter boat company, and we’re super excited for the both of them.

Love City Excursions features a 33-foot World Cat power catamaran. “Catzilla” features a fresh water shower, a fully functioning head, plenty of dry storage and can seat up to 12 people. The boat is built to handle the winds that sometimes breeze through here during the winter months,which makes it a comfortable ride. It also has several comfy bean bag chairs to lounge on and is very spacious and comfortable throughout.

Love City Excursions offers full day trips in both the US and British Virgin Islands. They also offer half day trips in USVI waters only. The cost for a full-day charter is $750 and includes a cooler with ice and bottled water.

catzilla

boat interior katieinterior 2 boat pic

For more information on Love City Excursions, visit their website at www.lovecityexcursions.com. You can also “like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lovecityexcursions or follow them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/lovecityexcursions