We’ve got some updates about two of your favorite St. John beaches!
Several months ago, the National Park Service (NPS) suspended most of their operations over health and safety concerns for their employees, volunteers, and visitors due to COVID-19. The suspension of services resulted in the temporary closure of hiking trails, bathroom and shower facilities, and the National Park Visitor Center on St. John. One nice perk that came from the closure was the suspension of the collection of admission fees at Trunk Bay. Our island residents took full advantage of the fee waiver and had the beach nearly all to ourselves all summer!
This week, with guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health authorities, and the US Virgin Islands Governor’s Executive Order easing some of the virus restrictions, the NPS is transitioning their re-opening on St. John in a phased approach.
Wise entrepreneurs don’t panic when a pandemic hits. Instead, they look for creative ways for everyone to benefit from it. As such, it’s no surprise that drive-in movies are making a dramatic come-back this year all across the United States, largely due to the COVID-19 social distancing mandates. It’s also no surprise that St. John is following suit.
I channeled my inner Cinderella and spent the day in a glass carriage on Maho Bay.
My Prince (not his real name) and I ventured out in search of an adventure. While strolling through Love.Maho, the charming boutique shop at Maho Crossroads, we happened upon the coolest kayaks we’ve ever seen.
Thanks to modern advances in technology, you can now rent an entirely transparent Crystal Explorer Kayak, allowing you to explore the ocean directly underneath the comfort of your seat, without ever getting wet. Given that one of us is the outdoorsy type, and the other is a bit of a princess, the two-hour, $30.00 tandem rental seemed like a perfect fit for us both.
We crossed the road to Maho Bay with our crystal carriage in hand, and without any effort or comedic relief, easily inserted ourselves into it – and off we went, into the wild blue yonder.
While I was fawning over the sheer beauty of our vessel, My Prince was expertly pointing out all of the less exciting but equally important features, such as the sturdy, stable nature of the kayak itself, ease of paddling, and 100% Lexan construction.
I have been snorkeling in Maho Bay for over 30 years, but enjoying it from this perspective was quite unique. This clear kayak allows you to fully experience life under the water from above, with entirely unobstructed views from every angle. The visibility is comparable to that of a snorkel mask. We watched through the clear surface of the kayak walls and floor as the fish circled, and the turtles glided effortlessly below and then surfaced directly next to us. As a bonus, I got a two-hour work-out without even realizing I was exerting any effort!
Besides the unique transparency feature, what sets this apart from the other watersport rental options is that it is technically a canoe-kayak hybrid, which provides the best features of both: An open cockpit, unparalleled stability, high sides, ultra-comfortable ergonomic padded kayak-style seats, and ample room to store your gear – including a picnic lunch and frosty beverages. Additionally, the low draft of these kayaks allows for traversing in very shallow water.
Whether you’re a novice kayaker like me, or a seasoned adventurer, you’ll love this kayaking experience. I lost count at the number of people who stopped us in the water to inquire as to where they could rent one. And now YOU know!
I can’t wait to do it again. It was a perfect fairytale afternoon.
Did you hear that collective cheer? It was a united expression of our excitement over the news delivered at the British Virgin Islands press conference this evening announcing that our friends across the Caribbean Sea will reopen for visitors on December 1, 2020!
Good day, everyone! We have a couple of important changes to the COVID-19 testing requirements to share with you today, as well as an update on the new pilot program regarding on-the-spot testing at our VI airports!
As anticipated, a majority of our restaurants have updated their hours this week, given that we are now in the more relaxed Safer at Home phase which allows our restaurants to resume dine-in service. As such, we are sharing the entire list again with all of the updates so that you can check the status of your favorites, or try something new!
We are also excited to share that many of our restaurants have been given permission by our Government to resume the use of regular dining ware instead of single-use disposables. This is fantastic news, not only for those dining in our restaurants, but also for the protection of our environment!
We will be updating this list as changes are made or additional information is received. In the meantime, please let us know if you have additional information or if we are missing any of your favorites!
This is the day many of us have been anticipating all month –
Today we start welcoming back our valued guests!
Ordinarily this time of year, we see a noticeable decrease in the number of visitors given that August and September are peak hurricane months; however, the past four weeks have been unusually quiet given that our hotels, Airbnbs, villas, and other guest-lodging resources were ordered closed by Governor Bryan for four weeks, starting on August 19, 2020.
When the traditional St. John Labor Day Car Show and Coral Bay Parade were cancelled due to COVID restrictions, organizers Yisrael Petersen and Halbert Joseph were determined to figure out a way to bring the FUN to St. John while remaining compliant with social distancing guidelines.
While some businesses are struggling to keep their doors open during the days of COVID, Ocean Surfari, a fishing and snorkeling charter company currently based on St. Thomas, is expanding their business to add a retail shop on St. John!