Saturday, May 31, 2008

Good Bye Shaunda

Well today is Shaunda's last day in paradise. She is a traveling physical therapist and has been living in the apartment at the house we are renting. She has been here for 90 days and now shes's off to her next assignment in Chicago. It has been great having her (and Toby, her adorable puppy) in the apartment these last three months and she will be greatly missed. She started a blog while she was here so that her friends and family could keep up with her travels. She's done a great job with it, so check it out when you get the chance.

Well, good bye Shaunda. We wish you the best and you will truely be missed.

Deb and Jay

Friday, May 30, 2008

Havana Blue

Havana Blue, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We had dinner at Havana Blue at the Marriott Morningstar. Its Shaunda's last night and we wanted to do something nice. The food was good, the service was good and the atmosphere was very good. The prices were a little high but all in all it was worth doing. Jay had the Red Snapper, I had coconut tempura shrimp with a Pomegranate Mojito and Shaunda had Havana Pollo.

Friday Beach Picture

Here is a nice shot of Peter Island, in the BVI's, one of our favorite beaches.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dell Spelled Almost Like Hell

Well I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon trying to fix this computer. After countless downloads and hours spent in safe mode, I managed to download a new driver from ATI for the video card. This new driver has software rendering that kicks in after the computer locks up six or seven times and by passes the video card. So after all this we have confirmed that the video card is the problem. So you would think you just call Dell and order the new video card and all is good with the universe. Not so fast remember we live in the islands. I called Dell and they confirmed the availability of the card and agreed with my conclusion, but they don't consider this a user serviceable part. Even though they have step by step instructions posted on their web page on how to replace it. So they aren't allowed to sell it to me on the phone. But I can order it online if I want to. So being a St Thomian I am used to this kind of nonsense, I log on and try to buy it. Well according to the Dell Web Site I live in Latin America not the US and I have to send an email to Latin America parts to order it, so I can't buy it on line. So I go to Dell online chat, tell them I want to order it. They chat back and say no problem, give us your phone number we will call you and place the order. Does anyone see the irony, I can't call them and order it but they can call me and let me place the order. Well after all of this they give me the price with sales tax. I ask what sales tax? Why West Virginia sales tax of course. They still have my WV address from the service tag that I gave them. So I let him know that my address has changed, fully expecting to be told I can't use a VI address. He isn't phased, so I start out with the new address, PMB as in Private Mail Box, "we don't deliver to mail boxes", well I went on to explain that it really isn't a mail box but a mail service with a fiscal address, oh that's OK. So I give them the credit card info, he places the order and the card is on it' s way.


Relay for Life

Well I just signed up to walk with the UVI team for the Relay for Life American Cancer Society fund raiser.

Relay For Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of your American Cancer Society. During the event, teams of people gather at schools, fairgrounds, or parks and take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.

Your gift will make a difference in the fight against cancer. Every dollar you provide to the American Cancer Society goes towards eliminating cancer as a major health concern. The money raised is central to supporting our mission, which aims to fight cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. Together, we share a hope for a tomorrow free of cancer.

I'm hoping the event will be set up on line soon so that I can start taking donations (hint, hint). In the meantime, if you would like to make a donation, let me know and I will give you a mailing address. This is a great cause and your donations will be greatly appreciated.

Eating: A Costly Proposition on St. Thomas

Found this article interesting on St. Thomas Source. I know it cost more here, but I didn't think about it being 50% more!
Eating: A Costly Proposition on St. Thomas
by Barbara Birt
May 28, 2008 -- It costs significantly more to eat on St. Thomas than almost any place in the United States, based on a snapshot of food prices in comparison with those in one of the highest-priced cities on the mainland. Prices average 50 percent higher on St. Thomas than in Washington, D.C., according to an independent survey of 63 basic food products conducted by the former director of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the V.I. Department of Labor (DOL). "Washington, D.C., has very high food prices, so we're comparing our food prices with a high city, and we're still coming up 50 percent higher," said Dave Barber, who conducted the survey as a personal project to see how prices compare.
See the rest of the story:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Snorkeling at Sapphire

We had a great time at Sapphire Beach on Sunday. The beach was not real crowded, which was nice. A guy from the Grapevine Restaurant at Sapphire Village, came down and took our lunch order and delivered it to the beach, which was real nice. We never went to the Beach Bar so we don't know if it is still open or not. The snorkeling was very good. We thought about going to St John for the day but just didn't want to fight the whole ferry, parking and cabs thing. It looked like St John actually got rain for most of the day so it turned out to be a good decision.

Here is a little slide show/video made from our pics.


Monday, May 26, 2008

WAPA Out/Generator Test

Well Deb and I are hanging out at the house today. The power is out, it sounded like a transformer blew out down the hill from us about an hour ago. Friday it was out for four and a half hours. It is a holiday so who knows how long it will take to get a crew out to fix it. So since neither of us had taken a shower yet and the generator hadn't been run in a while we figured we would give it a little Pre-Hurricane Season test and run some of the stale fuel out of it. It is working nicely but Toby really doesn't like the noise.
By the way Happy Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A day at the beach

A day at the beach, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Jay got the day off so we decided to go hang out on a beach for the day. We went by Sapphire Village Marina to see if we could rent a boat from Pocket Yachts. We called several times this morning but couldn't get a hold of anyone so we thought we would just go by and see if they
were there. All their boats were at the dock but no one was around. Jay finally got a hold of someone but they said they had nothing available. Oh well. So we just walked over to Sapphire Beach instead.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dinner With A view

Dinner With A view, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We are having dinner at The Mafolie Hotel. This has always been one of our favorite spots on the island, killer view, great food and good service.

Blackbeards Castle

Blackbeards Castle, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Shaunda and I did the Blackbeards Castle walking tour today. It was really neat, we both really enjoyed it. You walk through several historic homes, gift shops, museums, and bars. Then you walk up the infamous 99 steps back to the top. I got some really nice shots. We're doing some of the "touristie" things we hadn't done yet since Shaunda leaves next Saturday.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Beach Pic

Friday Beach Pic, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Its hard to believe its Friday already. But then again I've been off work most this week with a terrible cold so I've kinda lost track of time. Here is another pic taken on St. John by a forumite so I don't know which beach it is, but I love the picture.

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day holiday weekend!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pool Maintenance

Pool Maintenance, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Jay doing chores on his day off again. The filter was pretty nasty since the pool was in such bad shape. But we think we have it somewhat back to normal. I've been off work most this week with a really bad cold; thank god for sick days!

Update- I lied about the pool being somewhat normal. After cleaning the filter, it turned the pool green again. I guess Jay busted loose some of the nastyness that went back into the pool. Now we have to start the whole cycle again!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Deb in the Rhone

Here is a shot that Colette from 6-Paq Scuba sent Deb yesterday from her dive at the Rhone over the weekend.

Sorry the posts have been a little thin for a week or so. We have both had a cold that is going around the island and The computer is still dead. The best guess is that it needs a video card so I will have to call Dell and find out how much that is going to cost so we can decide whether to fix it or buy a new one. It is three years old and given current prices it doesn't make much sense to spend a ton of money on it.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fun on Willie T

Fun on Willie T, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We are here on the Willie T having lunch and a cocktail (or 2) after an awesome day of diving with Colette on 6-Paq Scuba. We dove the RMS Rhone and John's Treasure Chest on Norman Island. Both were great dives, we had perfect water, clear visibility....what a perfect day!!!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday beach pic

Friday beach pic, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Again I forgot the Friday beach pic. Better late than never. All I know is this is on St. John so if you know which beach it is, leave a comment.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nearly Normal

Nearly Normal, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well the pool is back . After tweeking cursing, filtering, backwashing, vacuming, etc... The pool is in an acceptable state again.

We can't say the same about the computer. It appears that the video card is damaged. I will have to call Dell to see if it is integrated or not and what a new one will run.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Perfect Weekend

Yesterday ended a perfect weekend. I had to stop doing "live" posts because I kept picking up a BVI carrier. After checking into customs, we ran over to Sandy Cay for a little swim. What a perfect little island. Then we headed over to Little Harbor on Jost to have lunch at Sydney's Peace and Love. It was really good. Then we ended the afternoon hanging out at the beach in front of Ivan's. It doesn't get any better than that.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Foxy's, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We're at Foxys checking into customs and doing a little shopping. Check out the web cam and see if you can see us!!

On the water

On the water, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Finally got out on the water. We're following Josh on Lion in Da Sun with a group from the forum. Great group of people!

Ocean Runner

Ocean Runner, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Jay and I took the day off to hang out with Kim (a friend from home), Shaunda and some "forum" friends, so we are taking out a boat from Ocean Runner. The weather looks great so it should be an awesome day!!!!

Beach bar

Beach bar, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Had a great time at the beach bar last night. Met so many forum people. It was great putting faces to names. We were having such a good time that we stayed later than we should so I missed survivor finale! Hopefully the VCR recorded it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay, originally uploaded by captainjay.

I sent a post earlier from Trunk but it looks it didn't make it. So here it is again. Having trouble getting a AT&T signal. I keep picking up a BVI carrier so I don't want to post using that!

St. John here we come

St. John here we come, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Going over to St. John for the day. Going to hit a beach first and then to the Beach Bar for a forum meeting. A friend from home is visiting (kim) so she and Shaunda are coming with us. Should be a great day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Divin' with Admiralty

Divin' with Admiralty, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Going on a dive with Admiralty Dive Shop with Shaunda. Should be an awesome dive.... Will let you know when we get back.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Oceana, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We went to Oceana in Frenchtown tonight for Shaunda's birthday. It was awesome! Great view, great service, great food, definitely a must do if you're in St. Thomas. They even brought out a desert with a candle and sang happy birthday, but quietly so not to bother anyone elses
dinner. You say its your birthday.....

More about the Haze

(Webcam on St. John looking over at St. Thomas)

There are still conflicting stories on the haze, but here are a few ideas:

One explanation from Montserrat Volcano Observatory
Activity Report – 5 May 2008

There was a small pyroclastic flow on the eastern flank of the Soufriere Hills Volcano at 2 am on Monday 5th May, 2008. Light ashfall was reported in the Old Town area.

The flow may have been triggered by very heavy rainfall at the time, which also generated lahars.

A brief swarm of volcano-tectonic earthquakes occurred at the same time as the flow. These were located at a very shallow depth beneath the dome.


Another explanation from Caribbean Hurricane Network

Saharan Dust has spread across over half of the Atlantic hurricane belt but only smidges have reached the Eastern Caribbean while some Soufriere Hills volcanic ash has made it's way to the northern islands.

Overall, it's getting hotter and muggier with ocean temps slowly rising as well. 'Tis the season!


And finally, from the Source
Spring-Summer Sahara Haze Hangs Over the Islands

So who knows, I just hope it ends soon.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hazy Days

Its been hazy here the last couple of days. There's several theories, Sahara sand storm (yes that actually happens), ash from the volcano erruption in Montserrat or maybe its just plain old humidity.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The cistern runeth over

The cistern runeth over, originally uploaded by captainjay.

After two heavy rains, last night and night before, the cistern has had enough so its running out the overflow.....which is a good thing.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Day Off and Doing Chores

Well I was off today. So I caught up on some chores. I installed the vanity in one of the apartments downstairs that I had promised Shelba a few weeks ago. I also did a little work on the roof and continued to get the pool a little closer to usable. Lower pH soon come. I also managed a trip to the mailbox, sent out the last of the tax stuff to the accountant so he can file my taxes, extension of course. Plus I stopped by the gourmet gallery as well to grab the odds and ends that I couldn't get on the last Cost You Less trip. Oh the glamour of the island life.
The laptop is still on the blink so I am doing this from Deb's work one that she brought home. The Disk image BS installed by Dell was a total and utter failure for recovery. So one of the guys at the University has it now and will try a full reformat and re-install of the operating system. We did manage to back up most of our files on the portable hard drive prior to total meltdown.

Monday, May 5, 2008

More on the laptop

Well, we tried hooking up an external monitor to the laptop to see if it was just the LCD that went bad, but that didn't work. I didn't think that was it because when you boot up the computer, it displays the Windows splash screen, but then that goes away and just goes to black. We are running Windows XP and Dell didn't send the XP disks. It came with some restore software and said you didn't need the disks. Well, we ran the restore and it did nothing. We ran all the bios tests, hardware, screen, etc and everything passed. So I guess we get to spend the evening calling Dell help desk.....that should be fun. Any other suggestions before we burn a whole evening on the phone?

At least I finally got my new work laptop (it only took 2 1/2 months), so I'm going to start bringing it home every evening.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dead Dell

Dead Dell, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We don't know what went wrong but the laptop has died. We ran Dell's
restoration software that came with and all we get is a black screen
on start up.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Duffys, originally uploaded by captainjay.

On a brighter note (after Jays rant) we are at Duffys Love Shack dancing!!! Duffy's is famous for their specialty drinks that come in fun glasses that you get to keep.

TIPS Mandatory

TIPS Mandatory, originally uploaded by captainjay.

There was a post a few weeks ago on one of the forums about mandatory tips. I have to say that Mim's tonight was proof this is a bad idea. The food was great, the setting was great, the bartender and hostess were wonderful, the waitress was a bitch. And she was gauranteed a 15 percent tip. To Insure Poor Service. This is what mandatory tips do. Keep in mind we rarely tip less than 20 percent and I was looking for a way to delete the 15 on this check.

Mims Seaside Bistro

Mims Seaside Bistro, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Trying a new place to eat. So far it looks awesome. We'll let you know how the food is....,but I'm lovin the view!!!!

Fuel In De Islands

Fuel In De Islands, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Here are the current fuel prices.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Beach Pic

Friday Beach Pic, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Salomon Beach, St. John

St. John Overlooks

The guys at On-St.John have down an awesome job with their St. John Overlook segment and thought I would share. Whenever I see pictures like these I have to pinch myself.....I still can't believe we're living here. Even though we don't get to enjoy the view and the beaches as much as we would like, with having to work and all, it's still nice to know it's right there whenever we get a chance! Check it out!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Boating Season

Well a bunch of our friends called this weekend from home. It is the start of boating season in the part of the country we are from. It is one of the things we miss our friends and The Great Kanawha River and Summersville Lake. It also is a stark reminder that we still haven't decided about a boat for down here yet. We go back and forth, power or sail. Live aboard or a weekender. Cat or Mono. So with no clear direction it is difficult to decide. Either way its about time to do something about getting out on the water more. Here is a shot of our old boat that we sold in November prior to the move. "Caribbean Soul"