Pickles Reopens in Coral Bay!!

pickles is open

Hello everyone and happy Friday! We have such great news to share with you all today … Pickles in Coral Bay has finally reopened! How fantastic is that??!!

As you may know, the Pickles building received some damage during the hurricanes. It’s since been spruced up and the place looks great! Pickles is open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and as an added bonus, it even has free wifi!

inside pickles

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pickles baked good

pickles tree

And here is the lunch menu:

pickles menu

I picked up the Patrick panini while on my inaugural News of St. John Land/Sea Tour with Flyaway Charters yesterday, and it was amazing! And the land and sea tour was amazing too! I spent three hours with my guests on the North Shore and out to the East End and Salt Pond areas, before they hopped on Flyaway Charters and cruised down the South Shore and back to Cruz Bay. It was an amazing day, and please consider it for you next trip! Contact me at jenn@newsofstjohn.com for more details.

While waiting for our scrumptious lunches at Pickles, my tour guest pointed out a great sign out back. It really shows the spirit of Coral Bay. Please check it out:

thank you from pickles

With every business that reopens, the more hope we all have. Now go ahead, and book your next trip to see us. :)

Have a great Friday everyone!!

On the Market: Two Masonry, Hurricane-Damaged Homes with Views

view

Anyone care to do a little real estate browsing today? For those of you looking to purchase a home on St. John, this may be the opportunity for you!

Recently listed for sale are two masonry, hurricane-damaged homes that have five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms total. These homes, located just minutes from Cruz Bay, have spectacular sunsets over town and out to Pillsbury Sound and St. Thomas.

view damaged roof

blue roofs

home damaged

The home is located on a private, end of the road spot, and is within walking distance to the restaurants, shops, beaches and ferry dock in Cruz Bay.

Once repairs have been completed, you can use the main house and guest house as short term rentals, or live in one while renting the other. This property features separate entrances and pathways that connect the two homes. It also has two separate parking areas.

This property is listed for $957,000 and is being sold as is/where is with all faults and defects. For more information, please contact John McCann of 340 Real Estate Co. at john@helloimjohn.com for more information.

 

Nashville Set to Support St. John

hit makers poster (1)

Four-and-a-half months after Hurricane Irma struck St. John and the support continues to roll in! Yet another fundraiser is being held, and this one looks great!

As we’ve mentioned over the past several months, fundraisers have been happening all over the country to support St. John’s recovery efforts. There’s an amazing one planned in Nashville, and for those of you who are in the area, it’s not to be missed. And if you happen to live far from Nashville, no need to worry. You can still get in on the action.

The event is part of Hit Makers and Rum Chasers, an event that happened here in the Virgin Islands quite frequently. But for the first time, the event is being held in Nashville, at the City Winery Nashville, and all of the proceeds will support the children of St. John. Specifically, monies raised will be donated to Gifft Hill School, the Virgin Islands’ Children’s Museum, St. John School of the Arts, and the Family Resource Center.

The event will feature several artists who have played on or have visited St. John. They include Jerrod Niemann, Love and Theft, Bridgette Tatum, Kent Blazy, Marc Beeson and Danny Myrick. Erin Hart, a resident of St. John, will also be performing.

Attendees can also get a taste of St. John as Mathayom Vacharat, one of our island’s best chefs, will be catering the event, and the menu looks amazing! Check it out:

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 8.34.38 PM

This Hit Makers and Rum Chasers event is being planned by current and former St. John residents who all found each other through Facebook hurricane support groups. They’ve secured many items for a silent auction including tickets to Kenny Chesney’s Nashville concert, a five-night stay at Down Yonder Villa on St. John, a sunset sail with Palm Tree Charters, a villa stay in Tuscany, Italy, a signed guitar by Eric Church and much more.

And for those of you not on island, here is where you can get in on the action. A quilt has been made using t-shirts from a variety of St. John businesses, and it will be going up for auction. Businesses on the quilt include: Island Abodes, Palm Tree Charters, Sunshine Daydream Charters, Sam and Jacks Deli, Paradise Lumber, Sun Dog Cafe, St John Beach Bum, St John Catering, La Tapa, Soggy Dollar Bay, One Love Bar, Joe’s Rum Hut, Beach Bar, Just Beach, St John Car Rental, Cruz Salon, St John Brewers Tap Room, Woody’s Seafood Saloon, Cruz Bay Landing, Catzilla, Irie pops, Scoops and Brew, Havana Blue, Sand Bar, Arawak Adventures, Island Style Weddings and the Animal Care Center’s Wagaplooza event.

quilt pic

If you are interested in bidding on the quilt, you can do so by proxy. All you have to do is click this link and indicate your highest bid.

The event is happening on January 30th, and it’s truly a can’t-miss event if you are anywhere close to Nashville. Dinner tickets are $125 and include open bar with Blue Chair Rum signature drinks. Standing room/open bar tickets are available for $50, however this does not include dinner. Tickets can be purchased online at: https://www.charleyfoundation.org/hit-makers-hurricane-relief-concert.

And Then There Were None…

There are no more vessels on Cruz Bay beach.

There are no more vessels on Cruz Bay beach.

Well folks, we have fantastic news to share with you all today… All of the boats on Cruz Bay beach have been removed. How exciting is that??!!

The tow boats that were in front of Waterfront Bistro were moved Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

The two boats that were in front of Waterfront Bistro were removed Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

The very last vessel was removed from Cruz Bay beach Tuesday morning. It was located near the ferry dock.

The very last vessel was removed from Cruz Bay beach Tuesday morning. It was located near the ferry dock.

As you may know, several boats washed up onto Cruz Bay beach following Hurricane Irma back on September 6th. All but one of the boats was removed by Resolve Marine Group with assistance of the United States Coast Guard. The first one, which slammed up against Joe’s Rum Hut was removed on Thanksgiving morning. Kenny Chesney’s Love For Love City Foundation removed one of the boats back in the fall, a wooden one that was abandoned by its owner and subsequently signed over to the Foundation. The last two boats were removed Tuesday morning – one which ended up on the beach in front of Waterfront Bistro and the second which landed over near the ferry dock.

coast guard monday

A member of the US Coast Guard looks on as Resolve Marine Group prepares to lift a vessel Monday afternoon.

Preparing to lift a vessel Monday afternoon.

lifting tuesday

The vessel that landed in front of Waterfront Bistro gets lifted Tuesday morning.

resolve tuesday

The vessel, which has been damaged, will likely be salvaged.

Dreamweaver, the vessel that slammed into Joe's Rum Hut, is removed on Thanksgiving morning.

Dreamweaver, the vessel that slammed into Joe’s Rum Hut, is removed on Thanksgiving morning.

The Love For Love City Foundation removes a wooden vessel from Cruz Bay beach. Image credit: STJ Creative Photography

The Love For Love City Foundation removes a wooden vessel from Cruz Bay beach. Image credit: STJ Creative Photography

Since Thanksgiving, Resolve has removed boats on Cruz Bay beach and also in Coral Bay. As of late Monday, the majority of the boats that ended up on the shore of Coral Bay had been removed. Several were able to be repaired and now float in Coral Bay once again. Resolve also removed Saltaire last week, the large vessel that was slated to be a dinner cruise boat, which slammed into the dock at the National Park Visitor’s Center.

Sadly there still are numerous damaged vessels in Hurricane Hole. Resolve is not involved in the removal of those vessels. According to an owner of a damaged vessel in Hurricane Hole, the US Coast Guard initially said that the boats wold be removed in the same manner that was happening in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. All of the boats were tagged, and the owners were asked to report their plans for the damaged vessels. Since then, the owners were told that because the National Park is a separate entity that it has been problematic accessing the money needed to remove the vessels. We’ll keep you all posted on that.

In the meantime, it’s a great day here in Cruz Bay! We all finally have our beach back, and I’m sure that will make many of you smile. Have a great day everyone!

An Update on the Airlines

airplane

Hello everyone and happy Monday! One of the biggest gripes we hear at News of St. John is about the airlines, and specifically, the lack of flights to St. Thomas. Well we’re just as frustrated as all of you when it comes to this topic. We did a little digging over the weekend, and we did learn that some airlines plan to expand their routes later this year. Here is what we know now:

Spirit: Beginning February 16th, Spirit will add flights to and from St. Thomas on Mondays and Fridays. This will be in additional to their current Wednesday and Saturday schedule. Flight number 212 goes to St. Thomas while flight number 201 leaves from St. Thomas. All flights connect through Ft. Lauderdale.

Delta: Delta continues to only operate one flight daily. Flight number 307 travels to St. Thomas while flight number 571 leaves St. Thomas. Both flights connect through Atlanta. Delta appears to be placing a larger 757 aircraft in service beginning February 24 on Saturdays only. It is currently flying a smaller 737 to and from St. Thomas. It also appears that Delta will add a nonstop flight between New York (JFK) and St. Thomas on Saturdays only beginning April 7. According to Delta’s website, those flights will begin operating on a daily basis on May 24.

American: American continues to schedule two flights a day both to and from St. Thomas – flights numbers 943 and 1391. The flight numbers are the same both coming to and leaving from St. Thomas. These flights connect through Miami. It is uncertain when American plans to add additional flights to St. Thomas. American also only allows you to check two bags when traveling to St. Thomas. There are no restrictions on the number of bags when leaving St. Thomas.

JetBlue: JetBlue is operating daily, although you must connect through San Juan. Some of these connections occur on JetBlue aircraft. Others operate in partnership with Seaborne and Cape Air.

United: United is operating though San Juan in partnership with Cape Air and Seaborne airlines.

Cape Air: Cape Air offers several flights daily between St. Thomas and San Juan. You may want to buy a ticket on one airline to San Juan and then a separate ticket to St. Thomas on Cape Air.  Please note: If you airline hop, you do not want to check a bag. If you check a bag, you will have to leave the secure area to retrieve it before boarding your second flight. You will then have to go through security again. 

Seaborne: Seaborne offers several flights daily between St. Thomas and San Juan. You may want to buy a ticket on one airline to San Juan and then a separate ticket to St. Thomas on Seaborne.  Please note: If you airline hop, you do not want to check a bag. If you check a bag, you will have to leave the secure area to retrieve it before boarding your second flight. You will then have to go through security again. 

Southwest: Southwest offers flights to and from San Juan. It is an option to buy a ticket on Southwest to San Juan and then buy a separate ticket to St. Thomas on either JetBlue, Cape Air or Seaborne. Please note: If you airline hop, you do not want to check a bag. If you check a bag, you will have to leave the secure area to retrieve it before boarding your second flight. You will then have to go through security again. 

If you have information on any other flight options, we’d love to know. Please leave it in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

Government Shutdown: The VI National Park Remains Open

national park sign january 6 2018
Well folks, I just woke up, opened my laptop and was greeted by very bolded words on my favorite news page: Shutdown. As you all know, we’re not a political blog here, but this is something we clearly need to address. And guess what? I have great news to share. Regardless of the shutdown, the Virgin Islands National Park will not be affected. Thank goodness!

I briefly chatted with Darrell Echols, the acting superintendent of the Virgin Islands National Park, last night in anticipation of the shutdown, and he assured me that the Park will remain open. He stated that the beaches and park in his areas will not close and that the particulars were still developing.

You may recall back in 2013 when we last had a government shutdown that the Park here was closed for five full days. During that time, parking lots were taped or barricaded off, and rangers asked people to leave the beaches. We also were not allowed to use any of the hiking trails. The Visitor’s Center, Annaberg and even the playground at the National Park dock were all closed. As you can imagine, none of this went over very well here on St. John where the majority of the island is National Park. Fortunately the VI National Park was reopened as an exception while the other National parks remained closed.

So again, the National Park here on St. John remains open and will stay open. So if you are lucky enough to be on island, go out and enjoy one of our beautiful beaches today. I know I will!

Have a great weekend everyone!