The high cost of living on St. John

Technomads The first question people ask is "How can I find a job on St. John so I can live there forever?"

The second question people ask is "How's the cost of living."

The answer to the first is, "Work at it." The second is, "Very".

Chris Dunphy and Cherie Ve Ard spent about six months living on the island while they plied their trade as software developers.  They call themselves Technomads and delight in seeing the world while logging on and building their business wherever they are. They have published a successful iPhone app showing cell phone coverage around the USA.  

While on the island, they rented an efficiency apartment for $700/month.  That included electricity.  They had to buy propane for their stove.

Staying connected cost about $240 a month.  That covered Hughesnet for Internet (via DishandDat Choice WiFi), two iPhones and a Sprint data card.  "Connectivity is what makes our digitally nomadic lifestyle possible."

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A good word about St. Thomas from St. John


Often, the island across Pillsbury Sound is referred to as "St. Trauma."  There are lots of reasons; not the least of which is that getting there and back takes at least half a day.  If you've been lucky enough to find what you wanted, or get done what you wanted done, it's still an anxiety-filled trek.

So, it was kind of a surprise to see Ella Anderson’s St. John Sun Times magazine's cover featuring "St. Thomas Issue."

"It's a little bit different for us," she conceded in her monthly Publisher's column. "But there are a lot of stories, not so different from our own, on our sister island." And it's only natural, then, for Anderson, who's made "Always Positive" her way of doing business, to write, "Our islands are so close it just makes sense to me to be more inclusive."

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St. John’s Hollywood connection

Larry Safady IS The Sandman.

If you saw this Heart sculpture the Vow Renewal ceremony at Trunk Bay on valentine's Day, you saw his work. (Photo courtesy of TropicalFocus.com)

That's his art, honed by instruction at California State University at Long Beach, years before he made the move to St. John.

In a profile of Safady, the St. John Source says he migrated to St. John after a career as an art director for Disney and 20th Century Fox and Mattel.  Now he hires himself out for $35/hour to do works of sand at parties, weddings, grand openings opr whatever, says the Source.

Building a sand castle or house or corporate logo is more than just piling grains of sand.  There are buckets of water to be carried, too, to help compact and shape the creation.

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$t. John Villa$ for the rich or famou$

The arrival of Eco Serendib got the Inquiring Iguana wondering how expensive can villa rentals be on the island?  The answer is very!

Eco Serendib is  near the high money mark – today.  For $20,000 a week in low season (high season may be 70% more, we hear) you get eight bedrooms, three cisterns, an organic vegetable garden, and all the other stuff: TV sets, infinity pool, air conditioning, master dining room, yada yada yada.

What about other villas?

An informal survey of villa management companies and rental agents has turned up a number of other high priced offerings for your summer getaway.

Alamer Until now, A La Mer has been considered the highest-priced spread on the island. our $28,500 on off season gives you the keys to seven bedrooms in the main house and cottage, enough space to sleep 22 people.  Features include the usual luxuries plus Sirius/XM radio and three washing machines. The villa's Web site is here.



Read more$t. John Villa$ for the rich or famou$

Documentary planned for 8 Tuff Miles

Steve Simonsen has begun making plans to produce a documentary about next year's 8 Tuff Miles.

The 16th annual event will be Feb. 25 and Simonsen hopes to cover it, as they say, like a blanket. He wants help. That's why he's posted on Facebook, "Looking for video camera operators for next year's" race.  He'd like to find 20-25 camera people with their own HD cameras.

His plans for a documentar of the race, founded by Peter Alter, include using historical video and/or film of the race and its activities.  So if you've got any from previous years, he'd like to know about it.

Simonsen made a career for himself doing world-class work in the Caribbean including his specialty, underwater photography.  In the past few years, he's branched out into video documentaries.  

"I just wrapped shooting on this year's Pine Peace School auction," he said. "First time I've shot it in HD."

Centerline has a center line

CenterlineOne thing different about this year's 8 Tuff Miles was the road surface.  There were lines down the center, just like real roads on the mainland.

Public Works Department people added them during December and January.  The yellow double runs from Coral Bay to Cruz Bay.

Locals as well as tourists will appreciate the line, of course, because it gives some sense of place as they negotiate sharp turns on Centerline, of course wanting to avoid the oncoming gravel truck, cement mixer, taxicab, or VITRAN bus.

Meanwhile, the highway project along the South Shore Road is just about wrapped up.  If memory serves, there are even painted lines along the edges in some place, another terrific safety step.

The newly rebuilt nine miles of roads on the North Shore have brought a not unexpected problem – higher speeds.  So, Park Supt. Mark Hardgrove said speed bumps have been installed.

He told the Virgin Islands Daily News, half a dozen additional bumps will also be put in place at spots where people cross the road.