More about Buffett and Chesney

Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett did sing at least one song together at this week’s concert for Philip Morris executives at the Westin Resort, St. John.  One person who watched the show from the beach, outside Buffett’s custom-made tent (lighting grids, huge amplifiers, generators) said, "I heard Kenny.  And I saw his hat."  Another report said Eric Clapoton was in the audience. And the boat people at the shoreline were having a great time … lots of skinny dipping and topless dancing on deck,  sources tell the Inquiring Iguana.

Another star sighting

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell kicked back on St. John this week, at the Westin Resort. Locals say he’s another reason there were security guards at the hotel Monday and Tuesday. The St. John Source reported Powell was seen in shorts and a T-shirt on a chaise lounge after he, too, appeared at the conference of Phillip Morris sales executives. (Jimmy Buffett’s concert last night.) Powell said he was appearing "in a personal capacity". He was due to return to DC Wednesday.

Buffett rocks the boats

Reporting from Blue Tang villa, above Cruz Bay
   The perfect place for your spring vacation. E-mail [email protected].

Jimmy Buffett performed for the Phillip Morris conference Tuesday night under a tent at the Westin St. John while hundreds of would-be concert crashers lined the shores and villa porches of Great Cruz Bay

Close to the beach, at least a dozen small craft, dinghies and even a fishing boat with a Tuna Tower seemed lashed together to line the shore to applaud and sing along to tracks from Buffett’s newset CD, "License to Chill," as well as old favorites like "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Fog horns punctuated applause and cheers rose from the crowd whenever Buffet began a song that was recognized.

For the first time in memory, there were security guards at the Westin restricting access to the resort’s main entrance and its service road behind the facility.  We saw several people turned away, with no amount of yapping successful.  One woman, carrying a 12-pack of Miller Lite, trudged back to her car.

The concert began about 10 pm and went nearly to 11:30pm.  Nobody in the neighborhood seemed to mind the late hour. 

We started out at a picnic table along the Estate Cruz Bay-owned dinghy dock.  In the dark, Donna and I sat down and the couple across the table recognized us.  We’d met them last weekend at the Battery, when we attended the Artists Association of St. John show.  They are residents of St. John, moved here from Chicago two years ago – but he’s heading up a DC-based biotech company and so commutes back to the capitol two weeks each month.  When he’s here, he works online

There were about 20 other people on the shore with us, some asking "Who IS playing."  While we’d been expecting Buffett or even Tina Turner (! – another rumor), a reggae band (Cool Breezes?) opened the show.  Then came Buffett, and for the Phillip Morris people – whose parent company also makes Miller beers – it was Buffet Time.

Amazingly, the sound down on the water was kind of soft, so we repaired to our house, Blue Tang, and its pool deck, quaffed a few Greenies, and had a marvelous, memorable evening.

Old music, new friends … ah, this island!

The Inquiring Iguana’s latest headlines

  • The nice volunteers at Trunk Bay who sell US postage stamps to the international cruise ship visitors charge 23 cents. They pay 30 cents for them on island. 
  • Home building overruns … one house is $5 million over budget.
  • O’Connor’s gas station will move to a location on the access road beside the Enighed Pond commercial port.
  • There will be another speed bump installed along Great Cruz Bay Road, to try and slow down the construction vehicles.
  • The cement is wet on Marina Drive in Fish Bay.  Construction of at least two new pavement sections underway Tuesday, road’s been widened so it looks like there are several more being done this time.

St. John music fest: Buffett, Chesney, Clapton?

WestinphillipPhillip Morris is here, Jimmy Buffett soon come (?)

The Phillip Morris Executive Forum opened tonight at the Westin Resort at Great Cruz Bay amid reports that Jimmy Buffet would perform in concert during the meetings. The same source posted on USVI-On-Line.com, "Another certain star that lives in St. John is arriving a day or two ahead of the show. Wonder is, will he sing with him?"

Kenny Chesney, too?

More news … the Blue Guitar, Eric Clapton’s yacht, is reported anchored in the Charlotte Amalie harbor on St. Thomas.

The concert could be titled, "Three guitars, no waiting."

The opening Phillip Morris event, dinner on the beach at the Palm Terrace restaurant, is underway as I write this. It features music by a Cubano-jazz group. (Lots of conga drumming. And yelling.) Now they’re playing "Besame Mucho."  Soft dinner music.  I like that.

The beach is bathed in red lighting, underneath a nearly full moon (three days past). Clearly pleasure precedes business at this conference.

Buffett played here last year for the PM group. The island was in a tizzy, with folks trying any number of ways to get access. Word is he played under an outdoor tent on the beach, within earshot of the Great Cruz Bay "gold coast" neighborhood. Check back for frequent updates.

Read moreSt. John music fest: Buffett, Chesney, Clapton?

Tuff people, teriffic event

The ninth annual 8 Tuff Miles, run across the spine of St. John Saturday, drew a record 617 registrants.  Race organizer Peter Alter told several hundred people at the afternoon’s awards ceremony, there were as many men runners as there were women (243 each), and more women walkers (68) than men walkers (35).  (That means 571 completed the course.)

Tuffmilesawards_2 <<<< Folks checking out finishers’ times.

The race was won for the second year by a Caneel Bay Resort employee, Jeremy Zuber, 24.  His time for the 8.3 mile course was 50 minutes and 2 seconds.  Cheryl Jamerino, 30, of St. Thomas led the women, with a first place time of 1 hour 3 minutes 51 seconds.  She’s a nurse at the Roy L. Schneider Hospital.

Here is some audio from the awards ceremony. 

  • Peter Alter awarding the annual prize for "Best Watering Station" and St. Thomas disc jockey Buzz reviewing the number of entrants.  Right click to download
  • Music prior to the ceremony at the children’s playground across from Mongoose Junction. Right click to download
  • (If you like the audio, send me an e-mail for encouragement: [email protected].)

By the way, Peter Alter’s campaign to encourage runners on St. John has paid off again.  He reported that half a dozen runners from St. John have qualified to participate in the 26-mile Boston Marathon, April 18.(Comparably, a city the size of Washington, DC would send nearly a thousand.)

Summer start for Cruz Bay garage

More construction will begin in the heart of Cruz Bay this summer, according to Keith Richards, the person in charge of capital projects for the government,  he told a town meeting this week groundbreaking for a two story garage, across from the barge dock, will start in a few months.  At a community meeting at the Boulon Center, he explained the garage will hold 82 cars and include retail space for a many as 10 merchants, St. John Source reported.  Funding for the $3 million project will come from the territory’s St. John Capital Improvement Fund and government bonds.

In other matters, one resident complained that plans for a planned 45-minute limit on parking across from the Post Office is not long enough. Mary Blazine said it takes at least two hours to run errands and have lunch, the Source reported.  But island administrator Julien Harley said that if the limit was two hours, people would just stay for four.