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A 2020 Tribute to a Love City Living Legend – Cid Hamling

A 2020 Tribute to a Love City Living Legend - Cid Hamling 1

If you landed on St. John to start a new life any time within the last 37 years, one of your first stops was likely the purple hued mailbox store on the corner of King Street, just up the block from the ferry dock.  The little caricature of a building, lovingly dubbed Connections, is an information hot spot for residents.  You would step through the glass doors into an air conditioned space filled with smiling faces bustling about and chatting up the coconut telegraph. You would find job postings, help with an apartment hunt, a line for Western Union, collages of photographs of St. John past, informative island brochures, computers, printers and a phone line to use for a fee…And always, always, you would find Cid Hamling.

Read moreA 2020 Tribute to a Love City Living Legend – Cid Hamling

Virgin Islands National Park Reef Safety Signs

Virgin Islands National Park Reef Safety Signs 2

Good Morning Everyone!  If you have been on St. John during this busy (thankfully!) holiday season, you may have seen some new signs at the entrances to some of the VI National Park Beaches.  These signs were installed by the VI National Park in order to promote awareness and education about what you can do to protect the reefs, while enjoying their beauty!

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Caneel Bay Updates: Lease Negotiations and Panel Discussion

Caneel Bay Updates:  Lease Negotiations and Panel Discussion 6

We have all watched and waited…and then waited and watched some more….for some kind of movement from the infamous Caneel Bay Resort.  Once a a property of Laurence Rockefeller, the beautiful expanse of beaches, landscapes, restaurants, shops and accommodations has sat unoccupied and barren since Hurricanes Irma and Maria stripped it of its beauty and functionality on St. John in 2017 (With the obvious exception of the newly opened Zozo’s at Caneel Bay).

Well, a press release from an affiliate of CBI Acquisitions (CBIA) was released earlier this month and it seems like things are moving in a direction.  Finally.  Additionally, a panel of St. John residents and representatives aired last week, raising some support, some questions and some concerns in regards to this forward motion.

Read moreCaneel Bay Updates: Lease Negotiations and Panel Discussion

BVI Update- Approved Moorings Released, Seaport Openings Rescheduled

BVI Update-  Approved Moorings Released, Seaport Openings Rescheduled 7

It’s been a bit since we reported on some updates from our sister islands.

The BVI re-opened the Beef Island Airport to visitors on December 1 with some serious COVID testing and quarantine protocols.  This is the first time the territory would open its doors to tourism since March.

Originally, the plan was to open the airport on the first with limited access to seaports to follow on December 8.  Due to an unexpected number of arrivals, the seaports’ re-opening date is pushed back until at least January 21.

Read moreBVI Update- Approved Moorings Released, Seaport Openings Rescheduled

More Shade Soon Come at Maho!

More Shade Soon Come at Maho! 10
Maho, December 2020

Hi all, it’s Jenn again! Happy Friday! Hillary celebrated her birthday yesterday, so I’m here, yet again, to share some news with all of you!

For those of you who’ve read this website over the years, you know how much I love Maho Bay. And chances are, it’s a favorite beach of many of you too. Well I’m excited to tall you all that Maho is getting more shade! Such great news!

Numerous seagrape trees were planted along the shoreline a few months ago in an effort to replace native trees that were uprooted during the 2017 storms. These trees also help control erosion, and of course they provide some much needed shade on the beach too. This project was made possible by Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, a very important nonprofit organization that supports the National Park here on St. John.

Native trees have also been planted over at Hawksnest and Trunk Bay too. Great news!

We reached out to Todd Sampsell, president of Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, and here is what he had to say:

“The plantings at Maho (and Hawksnest and Trunk) are an ongoing Friends effort to help replace native tree species that were lost in Irma/Maria,” Todd said. “These trees will root and help secure the beaches from further erosion from storm surge and rising ocean levels.”

More Shade Soon Come at Maho! 11

More Shade Soon Come at Maho! 12

“This is part of our larger focus on native plant restoration for St. John that also includes propagating native trees and fruit trees for giveaways around EarthDay, invasive species management and propagation and planting of federally listed species found on St. John,” Todd continued. “Of course we also try to tie in education efforts for kids and adults.”

A win-win all around!

And in case you are wondering, the trees are fenced off so the deer and donkey don’t munch on them. 🙂

Side note: I came across a very pregnant donkey while walking along Leinster Bay yesterday… Baby donkey soon come!

That’s all I have for you today, folks. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! And if you are lucky enough to be visiting the island soon, take an island tour with me! Covid precautions are in place, of course! You can learn more on my website at www.explorestj.com 

Thanks all! -Jenn