Good Morning, Good Morning! Are we ready for the weekend? We surely are here on St. John! If you are visiting this weekend, you may want to take a trip to St. Thomas on Saturday afternoon for the King of the Wing competition at Magens Bay Beach. This all day event is a chicken wing competition that will be sure to turn out some of St. Thomas and St. John’s finest and the event will boast drinks, festive fun and METHOD MAN! For full information on this amazing annual event to benefit the Virgin Islands Children Museum that was halted due to COVID but is making a 2022 comeback, visit their website and get out there and join in the fun this weekend. Oh, but we were talking about a ST. JOHN island update, right? Haha, ok. Back to business 🙂
Well folks, after a very rainy and lusciously green winter and spring, the dry season has finally reared its head for an annual appearance. It is BROWN out there right now. Most people don’t realize that this “tropical” island can become quite arid during the late spring and early summer months. The dry weather, combined with another spell of Sahara Dust earlier this week, has not been kind to my airways! However, the Sahara layer passed us by in time for me to grab some beautiful pictures from all of your favorite North Shore overlooks this week 🙂
BUT, as you can see, it is still absolutely gorgeous here right now! The water temps have been warming up a bit (it’s chilly in there for us island residents during the winter months!), the water clarity has been STELLAR for snorkeling at certain locations and the seas are calm and vibrantly blue as always.
A few tips for you about dry season if you are visiting during this time.
- DO NOT underestimate the heat, especially if you are going hiking. My general rule of thumb when hitting the trails during this time of year is one liter of water per person per every two miles. For the beach, bring more water than you think you will need. Stay hydrated folks….You’ll need it, come happy hour 🙂
- Help out our furry and feathered friends: This time of year is difficult for the island critters. You’ll likely see a lot of wildlife getting a bit more comfortable with humans and domesticated dwellings during these drier months. DO NOT FEED THEM. But, DO give them some water. You can put a large pot or bucket of water outside of your space and watch them enjoy it! We have been putting an old pie plate full of water out for the Banana Keets (Sugar Birds) and they have been loving both drinking and playing in it….And, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching their daily routine 🙂
Oh, one bonus to this otherwise brown time of year is the Flamboyant Trees! Around May or June each year, they start to bloom and splatter the hillsides of St. John with their beautiful bright orange blossoms. It is such a stark contrast to the otherwise dull hillsides during the drier months. I’ll be doing a full photo tour once they are all fully kicking, but here is one of these favorite-of-mine beauties at Caneel Bay for now.
Speaking of Caneel Bay, Zozo’s will be closing for the season soon! So, if you are visiting over the next few weeks make sure to get a reservation ASAP. Their last day of service for the 2021-2022 season will be July 1 and they are currently serving dinner Wednesday through Sunday by reservation only. But, never fear, the long time island favorite restaurant and their superb staff will be back in action in December.
Also, from this neck of the woods, I want to address the closure of Bikini’s and VI Eco Tours at Honeymoon Beach. I have still not received a clear update as to what the plans are for the services at Honeymoon. But, the tents are down and everything is packed up at this point. According to the owner, Sybille Sorrentino, they have packed up for hurricane season while the work on renovations is ongoing and hope to re-open in November. Currently, the beach is open for boaters and hikers but there are no shuttle services to Honeymoon Beach via Caneel Bay. I will update you further on this as soon as I have more information. But, at this point, all services at the beach remain closed, at least until late fall.
I have some very exciting news on the horizon line as pertains to the building that once housed the beloved gem, Asolare. Unfortunately, it does not seem like the restaurant will be re-opening. But, I do have an interview set up for early next week to get the inside scoop on the past, present and future of this beautiful historic space in order to get the full story for all of you. So, stay tuned for an in depth look at things from the hilltop overlooking Cruz Bay in just a few weeks!
Oh, and one more restaurant update to look forward to…St. John Scoops is expanding! And, they will be closing their current location beginning tomorrow for two weeks while they expand their splendid homemade ice cream operation into the space next door. Stay tuned for an in depth look at those expansions and new offerings. But, in the meantime, if you are on island TODAY, stop by for a FREE scopp of their delicious ice cream and help them empty out their inventory in preparation for the move.
So, earlier this week we talked about the AMAZING progress on our island roadways. I did mention that we will be seeing delays near the Marketplace again in the near future. Well, the second phase of the WAPA Underground Project began a few days ago and the stoplight and one lane traffic are back in action between the entrance to Marketplace and EC Service Station. The work will continue along South Shore over the coming months from that area out to the Westin. So, if you are staying out that way, expect delays, plan accordingly, be patient and be cautious of the workers on the roads. I know, I know, it’s a pain. But LOOK at how beautiful our roads in Cruz Bay look after the work over the past eight months. A short amount of inconvenience for long term happier cars and more consistent power? I’ll take it 🙂
Additionally, while I was on my photo collection drive on Monday, I noticed a few things. The beaches are PACKED. I had planned to stop for a quick dip in my wanderings, but every single parking lot was absolutely full and folks have begun the fun little game of parking along the side of the road. At Trunk Bay, a long line of traffic, myself included, sat for twenty minutes while a rental car was towed off the side of the road. I’m not sure if it was stuck or if it was parked illegally…But, either way, I advise using caution when parking on the side of the road if the beach of your choice is boasting a full parking lot.
During these busy months of summer vacation, plan to arrive at the beach early if you are driving. IF you MUST park on the side of the road, make sure that all four wheels are completely off the line on the side of the road and not disturbing any foliage. My advice? Drive til you find a parking spot or take a taxi and avoid the mess all together 🙂
One more thing today before I wrap up…The BVI. No, our sister territory has not loosened any of the restrictions for foreign charter vessels. In fact, it seems, based on a few first hand accounts, they are actually tightening the reigns on allowing foreign vessels in AT ALL. Several reports came in last week about owners arriving on their own boats with paid crew and being turned away with fines. I’m digging a bit more on this at present for a future update, but there have still been a ton of messages coming in about traveling to the BVI by private boat. Be patient with us…Hopefully one day soon this process will get easier. But, for now, don’t hesitate to explore the USVI by boat while you are visiting next 🙂 Oh, and speaking of that, on Monday, I’ll be sharing a list of St. John based boat charters to make your life easier the next time you are on the hunt for a boat day!
Cheers to you all and have a freaking fantastic weekend!