Hello folks. I apologize for not being able to write yesterday. My signal was rather poor in the morning when I was in the area where an actual signal is available.
Today’s post is going to be about random tidbits, so please bear with me. 🙂 For starters, I’d like to chat about communications. Tammy Donnelly and I were chatting about this at The Marketplace the other day. (And for those of you who are unfamiliar with Tammy, she’s a longtime resident and a realtor here on island. She wrote up a market analysis regarding St. John post-hurricanes the other day and sent it to me. I will share that with all of you later this week.)
So Tammy and I started to chat about the future of tourism, when the island will be ready and that led to a conversation about property management companies. When my emails come through – which is rather infrequent – I can see that a lot of you are concerned because you have upcoming vacations scheduled and have not heard from your property managers. For those of you who have not heard from your property managers yet, it could potentially be a communications issue due to the island’s current state. There are a handful of spots on the island where you can actually get cell service. It’s very common to be driving down the road and “ding!” you hear a text message come through. So what do you do? You stop your car right there and use the signal! It’s happening in different spots around the island, and it’s quite funny to see. But that’s our new normal, so this is what we do. (Side note: I have not been able to use my laptop to connect to the internet since before Irma. The only way I’ve been connecting is via cell phone.)
Tammy was saying that many property managers work out of their homes, likely on a desktop computer. This means it’s possible that they simply cannot answer emails yet. Yes, there is free wifi here and there around town and in Coral Bay at the fire station, but the signal strength is not always as strong as we need it to be. Sending emails is very difficult. It’s rather easy to send a text when we have a bit of signal, but video is near impossible. Some websites may load while others may not. It’s like living in 1995 all over again. (And that’s simply a random year, but I think you all understand what I’m trying to say here.)
So the bottom line is: If you have not heard about your upcoming vacation rental yet or rental car, etc., don’t stress. If your planned vacation is scheduled for October, just consider it cancelled. November and December remain iffy, (November is super iffy in my book) although I have hope that we can have some form of tourism by Christmas. But a lot of variables come into play with that. There is talk about a new “voluntourism” type of tourism which may be offered in the future, but those details are still being hashed out. We will share those details with all of you as soon as they are ready.
If you have a trip planned for 2018, do not stress. That is several months away and it’s very possible that your trip will go through as planned. We want you all back, trust me. But like I said the other day, we just need a little time. One of my friends said it best the other day – if your house flooded, you wouldn’t invite your friends over for a Super Bowl party the next week. That’s pretty much what’s happening here.
On to the next random thought… A wild rumor I heard this morning is that the island smells like death – dead animals, etc. That is simply not true. I have driven all around Cruz Bay and the west side of the island, up to Maho, over to Francis, out to Coral Bay and even Salt Pond and Concordia, and I haven’t smelled anything of the sort. So I am not sure how that is making the rounds online, but it’s simply not true.
Speaking of my drives, I have so much video to share with you later this week and next. I am taking as much as I can and will head north later this week, so I can have strong enough signal to upload it and share it with all of you. Then I will head back south and work some more.
Now, I’d like to give thanks to a number of businesses who are really helping the community. Cruz Bay Landing and The Longboard are still serving free meals every day, twice a day. Indigo Grill in Coral Bay is also serving free meals. Thank you all for that. The following restaurants have opened as well – although not all are open daily – but they deserve a big thanks for serving the community, offering foods and drinks, and most importantly, boosting morale here on island. So thank you Sun Dog Cafe, 420 to Center, Dog House Pub, Quiet Mon, Uncle Joe’s, the fun little bar behind Nella’s Cafe, Hercules, Cap’s Place, Sam & Jack’s, Pizzabar in Paradise and Wok on the Beach. You’re all amazing. And if I forgot anyone, please let me know.
And lastly, the pic at the top of this post was taken at one of my favorite places on island. A bench used to sit where these two lawn chairs are. So to the person who placed these there after the bench flew down the hill, thank you. That’s it for today folks. I hope you all have an amazing Tuesday!