Six Months Later


It’s hard to believe that today marks six months since Hurricane Irma ripped through our island and changed our world forever. A lot has happened here over the past six months; A lot of good has happened here over the past six months. Karen Granitz, the owner of Oasis in Coral Bay, said something to me last October that really struck me. “Even on our darkest days,” she said, “we are still the most beautiful place in the world.” And you know what, those words could not be truer, both in the beauty of this island, the beauty of its people, and the beauty of all of those who came to our aid.

Over the past few days, I’ve spoken with a lot of people who’ve been reflecting on the past six months. All have admitted that we’ve had some trying times, but many have also stated that the past six months have been filled with hope, happiness and a renewed faith in humanity. A lot of that is a credit to all of you. We felt your love from near and far. Thank you for that.

If you said back on September 7th that this island would be buzzing six months later, I’m not sure everyone would have believed you. I never doubted that the island would come back, that the people would come back, but I’m not sure anyone expected it to happen as quickly and in the manner in which is has. The progress that has happened over the past six months is remarkable. That is a credit to the people who live here, to those of you who supported us from afar, to the amazing organizations and nonprofits here on island, and to those in the States who came to our aid. Again, thank you.

The island is as stunning today as it was on September 5th in my opinion. Our beaches are busy once again. Our restaurants are full. Our charters boats are packed. Our villas and condos are hopping. Sure we’re not where we were one year ago, but progress is being made each and every day. It’s really amazing to see. Here are a few pics we’ve recently taken that show the sheer beauty and resilience of this island:

Cruz Bay

Cruz Bay

Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National Park

North Shore Road

North Shore Road

Peace Hill

Peace Hill

Caneel Bay and beyond

Caneel Bay and beyond

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay

Coral Bay

Coral Bay



East End

East End

Gorgeous, right?

Sure we have work to do, and no, we are not perfect. But we’re getting there day by day.

So as you can see, big things have been happening here on island over the past six months. Oh and we have one more big thing to tell you all. News of St. John is expanding this summer…

baby news

That’s right, we’re having a hurricane baby! How exciting is that??!! So again, a lot of good has happened over the past six months.

Again, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who love St. John, to all of you who have supported us over the past six months, to all of you who have visited us and to all of you with trips planned. We would not be here today without all of you and for that I am forever grateful.

Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone. :)

65 comments for “Six Months Later

  1. Angelic Atheist
    March 6, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Congrats! Your little one has a fun life ahead! Is she /he really a ‘hurricane baby’? 😉

  2. Jason
    March 6, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Hope it’s a girl. You already have the name picked out for you! Congrats.

    • Julie Fariel
      March 7, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Not Irma!! Noooooooo! Seriously Jenn, we’re so very happy for you. Enjoy every second- they grow up so fast! Hugs!

  3. Donna Broderick
    March 6, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Congrats Jenn !!!!

  4. Rick Burke
    March 6, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Jenn, that’s fantastic news! Congratulation!

  5. Angela Evans
    March 6, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Congratulations!! Yes, we need to know if it’s a boy or girl!!

  6. Russ Miller
    March 6, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Congratulation Jenn.

  7. James Rogers
    March 6, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Congratulations, Jenn!!!
    Hoping to get to see you soon!

  8. Barbara Knight
    March 6, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Congratulations!!! We are planning on celebrating our 10th anniversary there in August! I can’t wait to share the beautiful island with my husband. I’ve been there twice but it’s been a very long time ago and I’ve always wanted to come back and this is the perfect time! Lots of people have had negative things to say to me about planning a trip to the island after the hurricane, but look at the progress that has been made! I can’t wait to see it all in person. My husband has never been, and I can’t wait for him to see the beauty as well.

    • Alison
      March 7, 2018 at 8:15 am

      Barbara, it’s been 13 years since my husband and I got married on Hawksnest, and while I’ve dreamed of going back every year since, the pull on my soul this year, post-hurricane, has been the strongest. I actually feel guilty that it cannot be sooner than this Fall, and I too have been getting negative comments on planning a trip there, but I can’t think of any reason not to go. The progress Jenn talks about, and the resilient spirit of everyone on-island–I can’t put it into words but it’s awe-inspiring. It makes me want to share my love for the island with everyone I know, so I understand how you feel!

      I hope you have an amazing time in August and that your husband can see why we all love it there so much! Happy anniversary!

  9. Donna Lewis
    March 6, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Congratulations Jenn! That is wonderful news! Thank you for all you do and all of the updates. Can’t wait to get back there!

  10. Laura V.
    March 6, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Congratulations Jenn! Thanks for sharing such nice news.

  11. Marilyn
    March 6, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Im so happy to read all the good news about St. John, a beautiful place. And congratulations Jenn.

  12. Ellen Hagen
    March 6, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Bob and I say Congrats!!! How exciting.

  13. Cory
    March 6, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Wow, congratulations….I’ve got the Circle of Life song from Lion King stuck in my head now for some reason…maybe after the baby is born, you can take him or her up to Peace Hill and present him or her to the Caribbean :)

    • Linda Amme
      March 6, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Love it, ❤️

    • Nancie Moore
      March 7, 2018 at 7:08 am

      Beautiful idea!

  14. Shawna
    March 6, 2018 at 9:49 am

    What wonderful news, congrats! Thanks for all you hard work keeping us updated on the island and recovery!

  15. Chrissy and Eric
    March 6, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Congratulations Jenn!!!!!

  16. Sue & Burt H.
    March 6, 2018 at 10:15 am

    From both of us, Hearty Congratulations!! We will be arriving this Saturday and are looking forward to our tour with you one week from today.
    Sue & Burt

  17. Lori
    March 6, 2018 at 10:18 am

    That is awesome news Jen! Congratulations! Such a blessing to come out of all the dark days!

  18. Cricket
    March 6, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Congratulations! Wishing you all the best!

  19. Mark
    March 6, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Thank you, Jenn, great news on all fronts. Very happy for you and for STJ! Can’t wait to come back, maybe this fall!

  20. Shawn, Vanessa, Matt & Sam
    March 6, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Congrats!!! We can’t wait for our island tour! See you in two weeks!

  21. Caryn
    March 6, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Congratulations to you Jen. The Islands baby coming this summer. I can think of 2 names you might like lol. Hope to be back very soon. See you at the Beach Bar.

  22. Linda Amme
    March 6, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Congratulations, Jenn, on the best news possible from St. John. New life! I’ve seen it everywhere in your posts…from the regreening of the island…to new baby donkeys and fawns…to the pieces of former homes collected from the sides of hills…to the community of stout hearts and loving souls. But nothing can compare to the hope embodied in the birth of a new baby. I don’t know how, in your condition, you managed to take on the role of “broker of fact” these many months for those of us who have followed the recovery of St. John through your remarkable reporting. God bless you for the role you have played, God bless you as your pregnancy progresses, and God bless the new St. Johnian you are about to bring into your beautiful world. Lucky baby! ❤️

  23. nancy
    March 6, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Yay that’s so exciting Congratulations Hope your feeling well

  24. Laura
    March 6, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Congrats! So exciting. Thanks for all the updates on the island.

  25. Sharon D Cross
    March 6, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Congratulations to you! That is great news. We will be back on island mid April for 10 days.. Can’t wait to return

  26. Daven Reed
    March 6, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    If it is a girl are you going to name her Irma, Great news Jenn

  27. Lindsey
    March 6, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Congrats Jenn!!!! Fabulous news and thanks for all you do to keep us poor landlocked suckers in the loop with the latest happenings on island! xx

  28. Alber
    March 6, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Congrats jen, Name suggestion if its a girl Norma ( no to irma).

  29. Dawn
    March 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Congrats!!! So many exciting things happening this year in St. John. Thanks for all of your hard work and keeping everyone in the states updated, its much appreciated. I cant wait for my trip back in August!

  30. Nanci
    March 6, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Such wonderful news, Jenn! So happy for you! I wanted to say that we just returned home from 8 fabulous, best ever days on St. John! We have come each year for the past 20 years and we truly feel that this was the best trip yet! It felt good to support the local businesses even renting our jeep on St. John (St. John Car Rental) instead of STT and barging over. Thank you for letting us know that this was the best way to rent our Jeep. We have made our reservation for next year!

  31. Barb H
    March 6, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Congratulations, Jenn! Such happy news.

  32. Larry and Kate Hines
    March 6, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Great news Jenn. We wish you well. Congratulations on your upcoming “expansion”
    Oh, and the island looks beautiful—we’ll be back for two weeks in December.
    Larry and Kate

  33. PA Girl
    March 6, 2018 at 7:28 pm


    Our driver from Red Hook to STT talked about “hurricane babies” which prompted questions from my 12 yo on why there would be more babies after the storms.

    After a brief and age-appropriate explanation, he told me to stop talking.

    • Gina
      March 7, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Love this!! I can just hear it “Ewwww mom…stop.” :)

  34. thad dall
    March 6, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Congrats on the wonderful news! Only 8 more days until my family returns to our favorite place on the planet!!! Can’t wait

  35. Rhet Beckley
    March 6, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Congratulations from Rhet & Mary Beckley!
    We read your blog every day and because of you, we just booked our St.John Vacation for June again this year!

  36. Al
    March 6, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Wow incredible Thanks for everything Jenn. Was married on st john in 1974! Coming down for summer solstice. Good luck

  37. Mark
    March 7, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Congrats Jen!

    Your posts lately have inspired us to get down there soon so we just booked tickets for next month. Can’t wait to be back on the island!

  38. Ann
    March 7, 2018 at 12:31 am

    Congratulations to you! I love reading your posts and seeing the progress on St. John. Our entire family first visited in 1987 and stayed in Cinnamon Bay Campsites. Visited many times since. Can’t wait for a return visit.

  39. Clare
    March 7, 2018 at 12:59 am


  40. Becca
    March 7, 2018 at 2:01 am

    Congratulations Jenn and husband on your news!

    Six months ago, you were the eyes and ears for so many of us who could not contact loved ones. Forever grateful to you for that!

    May you have a wonderful island baby!!

  41. Cate
    March 7, 2018 at 6:41 am

    I am here on island and can attest that things are hopping and there are so many signs of progress. I am in Coral Bay for the month of March. Yes, there are big piles of debris around, but there is music nightly, restaurants open, beaches with calm waters (north shore was kicking up big time this week). And friendly smiles all around. The spirit here is uplifting. A wonderful place to bring baby News of St. John into this world.

  42. Nancie Moore
    March 7, 2018 at 7:17 am

    This is wonderful news! Stay happy, stay healthy, stay strong. Can’t wait to welcome your little one to the St. John family, including those who live on island and those of us who are there in Spirit every day. ♡

    • Paula
      March 7, 2018 at 8:15 am

      CONGRAULATIONS!!! You won’t have to get winter clothes for the baby, that’s a plus! So excited for you. I read your blog every day. You have done such an amazing job for all of us who love the island. Can’t wait to get back there as soon as possible! Keep us updated about the little one also. Love to you!

  43. Ann
    March 7, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Congratulations Jenn! The best is yet to come.

  44. Carey D
    March 7, 2018 at 8:37 am

    The news from St. John just keeps getting better! Congratulations, Jenn! Now where can I get one of those NOSJ onesies? My daughter is expecting our first grandchild late April, and, being a devoted lover of St. John, she’d love to see her boy sporting your logo! Thanks for all you’re doing to keep us visitors “jonesing” for the islands!

  45. Gina
    March 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm


    Stormy could be a cute middle name!

    CATherine Fern (Fern is 5 in Danish and Swedish) Cat 5 :)

    Just what you wanted thousands of readers helping you with names!

  46. Jim Spangenberg
    March 7, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Jenn, you have provided a great outlet for information about St John, especially since Irma. Here on the sixth anniversary, I am hoping that you will provide a more balanced look at the island. Your verbiage is spot on IMHO, but stateside visitors who are considering visits might appreciate a gallery of videos and photos that show both the beauty and the lingering mess and destruction. What I see is mostly picture-perfect Chamber of Commerce images. I know it’s your blog and you have complete content control. I am just hoping to see a bit more reality. Things will get better in time, I would really like a visual sense of that progress.

    • News of St. John
      News of St. John
      March 8, 2018 at 5:14 am

      Thank you for your comments Jim. I think people have already seen those images. The Lumberyard, for example, looks the same today as it did the day after the storm. So why continue to post those pics? I’ve made it a point from day one not to show pics of destroyed personal property bc those are people’s lives and I don’t want to exploit that. I’d rather be positive and show the improvements rather than focus on the few places that are still a mess because, again, we’ve already seen those pics.

      • Walter
        March 10, 2018 at 3:12 pm

        Agree with the sentiment, but…”the few places?” That’s an incredibly ignorant statement. There are people living in tents in Coral Bay. There are homes in Pastory and the Valley covered in mold. There are residents with nowhere else to go still living in total squalor. I understand that this blog’s intent is to promote tourism and generate revenue for the island (which we desperately need), but don’t wade into certain waters if it doesn’t fit the narrative.

        • News of St. John
          News of St. John
          March 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm

          I have no idea what you are referring to. This post is about how resilient the island and its residents are, and how much progress has happened over the past six months. I clearly stated that things are not perfect. Nowhere in the post does it say “the few places” which you quoted, so again, I am not sure what you are referring to.

          I drive the island daily. There are not multiple tents in Coral Bay. And yes, mold is an issue for all of us. That’s an island-wide problem. It was also an issue pre-storms.

          And yes, we need tourism. I see it daily here on island. Not sure what you see daily up there in Gainesville where you are writing from.

          • Walter
            March 11, 2018 at 12:14 am

            Jenn, I was quoting and making reference to your response to the gentleman above my comment (Jim). You replied to his comment that you didn’t want to focus on “the few places that were still messed up.” I find that particular statement to be utterly callow. It is far from “a few” places that are in bad shape. Yes, there are multiple tents, they just aren’t off the main roads or near popular attractions where one might see them on a day trip to Coral Bay, but they are there, and that is the reality for those people. Among the other “few messed up” places; there is a woman in Bethany housing 6 of her neighbors because their home, directly across from hers, is still in shambles. There is an elderly couple in Hard Labor living in a literal wooden shed in the shadow of their wrecked home. There are large scale debris piles throughout the East End and Coral Bay. I could go on—It is not just “a few places.” The community has made tremendous strides, but it’s not fair to minimize the very real amount of damage still present by casually hand-waving it as “a few.” I take no issue with the post; it was your perfunctory response to the other gentleman’s comment that bothered me. Incidentally, I live on the island. Not that it matters. But you brought it up in an effort to discredit my comments, which was rather rude and presumptive.

          • News of St. John
            News of St. John
            March 11, 2018 at 9:41 am

            Thank you for responding Walter.

  47. Marlene Pirotte
    March 9, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Congrats Jenn! I feel like you just made us all Aunts and Uncles!!!!

  48. Joe
    March 9, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Congrats and all the best, Jen. And thank you for keeping us all informed. St.John has always been a special place, for me, starting way back in 1981 on my first visit….37 years ago (yikes!). Stayed for a week in the downstairs apartment in the home of Aase Pedersen over in Chocolate Hole. Rented my first home a couple years later from Mary-Phyllis Nogueira. That home was called “Goodbye Columbus” located over in the Fish Bay area. Great memories. Unfortunately, it slid off its foundation and down the mountain in a hurricane a few years later. All a part of island life.

  49. Ronalda
    March 9, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Congratulations Jenn! Best news!!

  50. Jane
    March 9, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Oh my gosh – that is wonderful news! Congratulations! What a great story to tell this baby someday!

  51. Lisa
    March 9, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Congrats! Wonderful news. So very happy for you!

  52. Diane
    March 9, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Congratulations Jenn! What a blessing. Always a silver lining in every catastrophe. Thank you again for being our line of communication from St. John. Cannot wait to get back there. Lots of Love!

  53. Debbie
    March 9, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Congrats Jenn! A lot of good came out of the bad!
    A piece of my heart is always on island. Will be back soon.

  54. Judith
    March 10, 2018 at 3:17 am


    What an honor to read about the exciting news of St. John. Congratulations to you !!

    I can’t wait to return to the most beautiful place on this earth.

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