Good Morning, Good Morning! I have some slightly bittersweet news to share with all of you today. After nearly three years of spinning tales and truths of Love City to all of you beautiful people out there, I am moving on from my role as sole contributor and manager of News of St. John. I know, I know…I’m feeling a little nostalgic about it as well. But all good things must come to an end, and I will be popping in from time to time to check in and update you on St. John happenings and tales from the sea in the future. In the meantime, here’s what’s next for the blog…And for me!
Man, we have been through some tumultuous times, haven’t we? That whole pandemic thing? Sheesh. What a way to start this journey as I began on the brink of uncertainty in May of 2020! How many COVID-19 updates did we address together? More than I care to remember as I’m sure you’ll agree! And all of the BVI stuff? Wow, what a lot of murky waters we have waded through together!
But, I think back about all of the progress on St. John that has happened over the past few years. And how fortunate I feel to have been in a position to write about it. ZoZo’s reopening at Caneel Bay, the playground at the National Park Dock being rebuilt (which should be open by the end of February!), progress on the roads and the WAPA underground project, new business openings and expansions for old favorites, the re-opening of Cinnamon Bay Campground and the gradual steps towards some sort of resolution at Caneel Bay (a few more months left on the current RUE and one final update coming from me on that next week!). Turtle nestings and coral restoration projects, reef safe sunscreen initiatives, plastic recycling, a historic shipwreck uncovered in Coral Bay, an absolute emergence of local food vendors serving up the delicacies of the Caribbean region….
Oh, and let’s not skip over all of the incredible fundraising we have done together to support these very important programs! All of your support has been absolutely instrumental in the expansion of so many important initiatives that have helped to build homes, keep our island green and our shores and seas protected. I cannot thank you all enough for contributing to the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised to support these essential efforts going here on St. John. I always say, everyone else is doing the important stuff. I’m just writing about it 😉
I thank you all SO much for following along, for caring and for providing support to me from afar so many times without even knowing you were doing it 🙂
As for me, I am NOT leaving island (probably ever!). After ten years, I call this place my full-time home, my work is here, my framily is here, my life is here. Through hurricanes and pandemics, sargassum and Sahara dust, flooding and droughts, slow mail and canceled orders, power outages and internet crashes and times of economic distress…We all stick together here and make it work. Because, at the end of the day, the good days here outweigh the challenges for me. And this little island and her incredible community never cease to amaze me. So, St. John is likely where you will continue to find me; through the good times and the bad.
I’ll still be writing! I’m hoping to work with some other publications in a freelance capacity in order to continue to shine a light on the hidden gems of St. John and the Virgin Islands and will be updating my followers on my Instagram and Facebook accounts about articles on the horizon. You will also likely hear from me here on News of St. John as there are so many stories left that I want to tell you.
We are plowing forward with Asante and just announced that we will be adding Overnight Adventures to our repertoire of trip options this spring (more on that next week!). And I am so, so excited to be spending even more time on the water with Teddy and Chewy and our marvelous guests. Many of whom are out there reading this right now.
And we are so grateful for your friendship and support of our sailing adventures! Follow along there as well as I will start occasionally writing on the Sailing Asante blog in the near future, mostly about our trip offerings, our life and adventures at sea.
A few years ago, I started a business called Restless Spirit Creative in an effort to help support the small businesses and non-profits on St. John in a more personal marketing capacity. And I have kind of lost the hours in a day in order to do that over the past few years. One of our guests on the boat this week looked at me strangely when I told her the name of my business. “It’s quite fitting for your restless spirit,” she said. I hadn’t really thought about it like that…But I tend to agree. So, I do look forward to jumping back in to help my friends succeed with their dreams in the near future as well.
In a nutshell, there are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for us. And we are so ready to jump into it! But (and here’s the bittersweet part) I will SO miss corresponding with all of you almost daily. So, please follow along via the info below so we can stay in touch!
I will also miss the opportunity to, every day, get to know this beautiful island and the community here even better. Even more personally. These past few years have given me the unique opportunity to really dig in, research and better understand so many of the innerworkings of St. John; the history, the ocean, the ever-changing business and tourism environments. It’s been incredible really. Falling in love with St. John over and over again by reading and asking questions and exploring.
So, what’s next for News of St. John? Great things! The owners have hired at least three lovely ladies who live here on St. John; Banen Chaney, Elise DuPont and Hannah Eckert. Banen has written a few posts over the past little bit and I just LOVE her voice and her connection to the Coral Bay community. It is, admittedly, something I lack as I live and work on the West End and it is TOUGH to find the time to get out there and immerse myself.
Hannah has been on St. John for just a few seasons and has a young and fresh perspective on things here. You heard from her last week too. It is easy to slip into being a bit jaded when you have been living here and doing this for as long as I have. And a bit of bright new light is an absolutely positive thing.
Elise is an absolute wealth of Love City knowledge and will be contributing an article here and there with an expert voice. She has been here as long as I have if not longer. She lived through the storms of ‘2017 and has watched St. John grow and evolve over time and has a ton of experience with activities, lodging and dining here on island. So, as I said, with this well-rounded team of writers, you are in good hands.
I’ll still be writing and managing the site through next week, but I wanted to share this news with all of you now so as not to be abrupt in my parting. Remember, it’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later, or elsewhere 🙂 If you are interested in keeping up with my future endeavors and our sailing adventures, you can do so via the following links:
Thank you again so much for reading the words and the stories that I write. This opportunity kind of fell into my lap on the brink of a pandemic. And it has been such a surprisingly wonderful ride, for which I am forever grateful. I have a few more really amazing stories to share with you over the next week with more to come from fresh perspectives after that! So, please, keep following along for the inside scoop on what’s happening right here in Love City.