Friday, October 31, 2008

Beach Break

Beach Break, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well since today is a holiday, Silvia and I decided to run over to
Magens Bay beach for a couple hours. We're going out later tonight for
Halloween at Tickles so stay tuned for more pics!!

Friday Beach Pic

Here's another great shot by CaliforniaGirl from the forum. It's the entrance to Trunk Bay on St. John. Just Beautiful.

Happy Halloween everyone. Have a great weekend!!!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Van Wilks at Tickles

Well we had a treat last night at Tickles open mic night. Van Wilks happened to be in town and just showed up to play a couple songs.!!! He was great. He had everyone up dancing and carrying on. I would love to see an entire show with him, I hope he comes back soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mighty Whitey Birthday

Mighty Whitey Birthday, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We're at Tickles celebrating Mighty Whitey's birthday, a local celebrity. Fun performer and free birthday cake. Can't go wrong! Cake is provided by Ed at Edible Arts in Frenchtown. Good stuff.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weather back home

Forecast for WV

Forecast for St. Thomas

I just checked the weather forecast for our home town in WV and they are expecting snow!! Just one more reason for making the decision to move here. :-)

Gas Prices coming down!!

Finally, we are starting to see some decreases in the gas prices. Of course it took a threat of subpoenas from the Governor to make it happen. The Esso station is $3.76 and the Domino by the airport is $3.50. Usually the Texaco is lower than those two but they are still at $4.09. The Racetrack station by the hospital is usually the lowest but I haven't heard how much they are. This is the lowest we've seen since moving here.
Here's the full story in the St. Thomas Source.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Foxy's Cat Fight

Well this is a sign that the season really has started. That and the fact that we sent three boats out on charter this weekend with several more leaving this week. This is the first big party of the new season. Deb and I are going to be on Jost Saturday during the day but won't be staying for the big party.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Beach Picture

It's Friday!!! Here is Salomon Beach on St. John taken by one of my forum buddies, CaliforniaGirl. She has some wonderful pictures so I'm sure you will be seeing more by her.
Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

DSL Router Range

Well we've been having trouble with our router so we bought a new one. It has solved some of the problems. The connectivity is much better upstairs. The remaining problem is range. The house is concrete and the range sucks and our co-tenant cannot connect downstairs in her apt. She even bought the usb adapter that is supposed to increase the range on her end, but still nothing. She can sometimes pick it up while sitting out by the pool, which most of the time is pretty cool. But, in bad weather, or at night, and add in the mosquito problem, it's not really a good long term solution. So we need some advice on how to increase the range on the router. If any one has any suggestions let us know. We are just about ready to cut out the tin foil hat shown above for the router :) Here is a link to the directions for it.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trouble for St John Day-trippers

Well I read this yesterday on Kerry's Blog for the boat Promenade. It appears that the Coast Guard is no longer going to allow inspected vessels, this basically means any day trip boat licensed to carry more than six passengers, to pick up passengers in St John at the National Park dock. This means that anyone that wants to take one of these boats will have to go to the home port of the vessel for pickup. This in lot of cases will mean taking a ferry to St Thomas from St John and possibly a cab from the Ferry dock there to the Marina were the vessel is based. It also means private water taxi's and the Ferry to Jost will likely have issues as well. Read Kerry's take on it here. As well as a copy of the letter sent from the Coast Guard. Since the fix for this is will mean bringing the National Park Dock up to the security standard, it will mean the Coast Guard, The National Park and the local authorities will have to cooperate to get it done. So I will just sit here and hold my breath while they straighten this one out before the season starts. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Season Starts This Week

Well I spent the last two days helping to bring back boats from Puerto Rico to get ready for the start of charter season. The picture above was my ride yesterday. I know it's tough duty but someone has to do it. So today we start to put them back together and clean them up from their hurricane layup. The first boats go out this weekend.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Post Omar Relaxation

Post Omar Relaxation, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We cleaned up the debris in the driveway and got the pool cleaned so we decided to go chill at Smith Bay (Lindquist). Some of the local beaches are closed due to storm drainage. They are afraid there could be pollutants in the water and want to make sure its clean before people get in. Magens Bay is closed due to the back water swamp guts breaking and it let all the backwater into the bay the water is all brown and yucky. But this beach had no drainage so its good to go. Its just beautiful!!

Story on St. John Tradewinds

Story on St. Thomas Source

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Beach Pic

With all the gloom and doom we've been sharing over the past few days due to Omar, we wanted to give you something to smile at. Here is a shot of Hull Bay on St Thomas, prior to Omar, taken by Jim.

Christiansted Harbour St Croix

Well we had heard from a couple of friends that damage on St Croix was much worse than on St Thomas. These pictures came from
Deb and I have been in this harbour it is just a shame to see the damage to the boats and the marina.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Out and about

Out and about, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Jay and I are out running around checking things out. Everything looks unharmed, no destruction, which is awesome. Of course we were just on the main roads so there could be issues in some of the low lying areas. We stopped by Tickles but they were closed so we headed over to Hook, Line & Sinker. They are open and business is hoping. Talking to some of the locals and people on the north and west end never even saw any wind nor lost power. I guess with us being up the hill facing south we were just in the right ( or I guess wrong ) place for this particular storm. I'm just glad St. Thomas came thru this unharmed. :-)

Clean Up

Well, time to put everything back where it belongs and clean up the debris. Thankfully not too much to do. The sun is out in full force, it's lookin' good. Still no power but the gen is running great. Jay and Arlin are going to take off as soon as the curfew is lifted to go check out CYOA and put everything back there. The weather channel reported that St. Thomas had wind gusts of 50 mph. It sured sounded like more than that but it didn't really last that long. The biggest gust was at 12:45 when the power went out. We've heard reports of flooding in down town. Jay is going to take the camera with him and take some pics. But overall, it wasn't that bad. We really dodged the bullet!

Small amount of debris. Nothing major.

The neighbors palm tree didn't make it.

Put all the plants back and clean out the studio apartment. A little water got in through the window. It doesn't have storm shutters like the other windows. But not bad at all.

Ah, everything back to normal. Looks good!!

Sun Shiny Day

Just thought I would give you a post with some sun! Things are looking great. The curfew is over at 11:00 am so it will be interesting to see if the rest of the island did as well as we did. We had 522 views on the blog over the last 24 hours. Thanks to everyone for all the nice emails and comments.

This is a screen shot of a web cam over looking Yacht Haven.

The Have's and Have Not's, Power

Well as I said WAPA is off line and as you can see from the pictures, lights on means generator lights off means no generator. Arlin that works with us just called Sea Tow at our marina and all the boats that are anchored out there fared well.


The Morning After

Well it is 6:00 Am the storm track looks like it hit St Croix pretty hard as a three. It turned more to the east as it passed us so we got some rain and wind but nothing catastrophic. The power went off at 12:45 during what was probably the worst wind we received. According to the NOAA graphic above it looks like the worst of the wind happened over water east of the BVI's so time will tell.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Category 3

Well Omar just made it to a category 3 hurricane status. 115 mph winds. The track now is going east of St. John which puts it further away from us. Still really close so we'll see how the forecasters are doing. It's been raining pretty hard with some pretty good gusts of wind but still not too bad. We have the shutters closed so we can't see what it looks like outside. We've been using Storm Pulse to track the storm, it's a pretty cool site.

Home and Wet

Well I got home a little while ago. Actually about a half hour before the mandatory 6:00 PM curfew. We pulled several tenders at the marina today and finished putting away everything we could. I also went to the North Shore this afternoon with a co worker to help put the shutters up on my bosses house. He got stuck in Miami due to a flight cancellation. So it is 7:15 PM dark and wet. The wind hasn't really strengthened much but the rain is steady and increasing in intensity. It does look like on most of the models that the storm will hit St. Croix directly and likely continue to track a little east of us. We aren't likely to take the direct hit from the eye at this point but it is like horse shoes and hand grenades, close is good enough. So we will keep everyone posted as long as we can.


Weather Update

I thought I would do a weather update, but there is not really much going on. It's been raining and drizzling on and off all afternoon. The latest projections still have Omar hitting here around 2-3am Thursday morning at a Category 2 hurricane, currently it has sustained 90 mph winds. No wind to speak of, just a light breeze and sometimes no wind at all. A friend called that was downtown and said the streets are a mess. Jay is still out helping friends. Hopefully he gets back before the 6pm curfew. I've been watching the Weather Channel all day and checking all the online weather forecasts and forums. Thanks to everyone for sending all the nice emails and comments. It's nice to know so many people have us in their thoughts. I wish I had a camera with a zoom lense so that I could show you the waves that are coming in the harbor. They are crashing pretty good out on Frenchman's Reef.

I do have one comment about the Weather Channel and other weather reports. They are just concentrating on Puerto Rico which makes no sense. They keep saying how the storm is now heading east so they will be spared the brunt of the storm. Hello....we are east of Puerto Rico and we're barley getting mentioned. Oh, well. Keep us your thoughts.

State of Emergency

Well, the governor has declared a State of Emergency in advance of the storm. He has also issued a 6:00 pm curfew. The weather hasn't changed all morning.....very still, overcast, no wind or rain. I can see some rain and dark clouds in the distance, so it will probably start raining here shortly. Jay is helping some fellow co-workers who are live-a-boards to secure their boats and dingy's, so hopefully he will be home soon. One of his co-workers is coming to stay with us tonight instead of riding the storm out on his boat. I'm very glad he decided to take us up on our offer. Silvia, our co-tenant, is also coming up to stay with us tonight instead of being by herself down in the apartment. So it sounds like we're going to have a little hurricane party tonight, which will hopefully help ease the tension!

Here's the whole story in the St. Thomas Source.

Tropical Storm History

Tropical Storm History in the VI

2004 – Tropical Storm Jeanne
1999 – Hurricane Lenny - Cat 4, VI encountered tropical storm winds
1998 – Hurricane Georges - Cat 2
1996 – Hurricane Bertha - Cat 1
1995 – Hurricane Marilyn - Cat 2, near 3, direct hit
1995 – Hurricane Luis - Cat 4, VI encounted tropical storm winds
1989 – Hurricane Hugo - Cat 5
1984 – Tropical Storm Klaus
1979 – Hurricane Frederic
1979 – Hurricane David

National Hurricane Center Archive

Hurricane Omar

Well, Omar made it to hurricane status, but it's pretty calm at the moment. We're getting things ready, clearing pool furniture and plants, putting away important papers, etc. Jay put the pool furniture in the pool since they are too heavy to bring up into the house and we've heard that is the safest place for them. All the news reports are indicating Omar will be a catagory 2 by the time it reaches here early tomorrow morning around 3:00 am or so.

Internet, phones, cable and power all working at the moment. So we'll keep updating as long as we can. The University suspended operations until further notice, so it will probably be closed at least today and tomorrow. Jay went into work for a little bit just to make sure everything is secured. Hopefully he won't be gone too long.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Omar Is Comming

Well the for cast just took a turn for the worst at 5:00 PM today. The storm is now forecast to go to Hurricane strength tonight and reach here tomorrow night. It will likely be a one and possibly a two when it gets here. So we will keep everyone posted when we can. The shutters are up, the diesel cans are full, and so are the water bottles.


Weather Update

Tropical depression 15 is now Tropical Storm Omar and will be heading our way shortly. The projected path is directly towards the VI. So there is a tropical storm watch and flood watch in effect for the VI and PR. We are supposed to start feeling the effects by tomorrow morning and lasting through Thursday. Local schools were closed today due to some flooding from the previous rain and in anticipation of the storm. UVI is supposed to make an announcement here shortly about our plan of action after the governor's press conference. Jay already filled the water bottles and diesel cans so we are as ready as you can be. All we can do is hope they are wrong about the projected path!

Storm Shutters

We closed all the storm shutters this morning before leaving for work in case the wind picks up today. We needed to do a test run just to make sure we could actually get them closed. Some are a little hard to get to so you don't want to wait until the last minute. We also pulled all the wicker furniture and cushions inside just in case. This afternoon we are getting the water bottles and diesel cans filled. We noticed this morning on the way to work all the gas stations and grocery stores were busy so hopefully it won't be too bad this afternoon. ha ha who am I kidding!

Sit and Spin with Depression 15

Well the little storm that could has just parked south of Puerto Rico, and is Sitting and Spinning just like the toy, and continues to dump rain on us. It looks like the newest track for the storm has it doubling back and hitting the south coast of Puerto Rico. It will likely strengthen to a tropical storm, it will be called Omar if that happens. The most current weather report calls for 15 to 30 inches of rain through the end of the week. So even if we don't see much wind it will still be wet.
We came home last night after work and closed the storm shutters on the house just in case.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weather Update

According to the National Hurrican Center, the storm activity that was south of us this weekend is now Tropical Depression 15 and could be become a named tropical storm later today. It is stalling south of us and is projected to start moving northeast by Wednesday, which puts the path right between us and Puerto Rico. Jay was supposed to go to Puerto Rico on Wednesday with his co-workers to bring the first group of boats back to St. Thomas. Hopefully that has been postponed!
We'll keep you posted.

Earth Quakes and Tropical Weather

Well Saturday morning we had an earthquake rattle the area, 6.1 at 6:40 am. I hate to admit it but Deb and I slept through it. We have heard reports of the shaking lasting up to a minute. Ruth and Ron at St. John spice had some minor damage and a little mess from some bottles of hot sauce crashing to the floor in Cruz Bay. Here is more about it at On St. John. And here is more about the quake in the St. Thomas Source.

As you can see by the Weather Channel graphic we also have a tropical system kinda parked just south of us that is producing heavy winds and rain. We also have a late season tropical storm Nana out in the Atlantic hanging out so I guess we aren't out of the woods yet for fall tropical weather.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Beac Pic

Here's a Jim's mystery beach pic. Most likely taken on Tortola while he was over there hiking. If you know where it is, be my guest.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

DMV Follies Soon Come

Well this is the post before the post. A bit of a teaser. Silvia, the tenant downstairs, is trying to get a VI drivers license. Deb and I breezed through this when we moved down thanks to some streamlining of the process. The only problem is the process is only streamlined if you have a state side license to surrender. Well Silvia is from Croatia, she did go to college in the states and had an Idaho license at one point, but no more. So she has had to jump through hoops and will continue to jump through hoops to get her new license.
So she had to go to the doctor and have an exam and some paperwork filled out. You have to be in good shape to drive here as it is a contact sport. Then she has to go this morning and take the written test, which is only given on certain days from 8:00 to 10:00. Then assuming she passes she will have to go back on a different day and take the driving test. Since she hasn't bought a car yet she has to pay a driving instructor for the use of his DMV approved car to take the test.
I am so glad we went the other route and we will keep everyone posted on how it goes.

Here is the list on getting a drivers license if you don't have a valid state license:
1. Go to DMV to pick up a medical form, pay $2. Also, pick up the license application.
2. Have a medical and eye exam, pay for visit, have doctor fill out medical form.
3. Have two passport pics made, not sure of cost (they don't really need these because they use a digital camera to take your pic for the license but because it hasn't been taken off the list, you still have to bring them.
4. Come back to DMV Mondy thru Friday from 8:00-10:00 am to take the written test, pay $10. Make sure to bring your medical form, completed application, passport pics, passport, birth certificate, SS card.
5. If you pass the test, pay $8 for learners permit and make appointment for road test.
6. Come back for road test on your appt time. If you don't have a car, you can use the driving school car for a fee (not sure of this yet).
7. If you pass the road test, pay $35 for your license.

So the lesson is, if you are coming to VI and you have a us drivers license, DO NOT let it expire. Renew it in the states so that when you come here all you have to do is turn it in, pay the fee, and get a VI license. Simple as that.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Beach Break - Lindquist

Beach Break - Lindquist, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We finished with our chores for the day so we headed out to Lindquist Beach in Smith Bay. We have not been to this beach before so this is a treat. Its very beautiful, Not crowded, very relaxing. This may change in the future slightly. Magens Bay Authority is taking over the
managemnent of the property and will be adding facilities soon. Its definitely worth checking out.

Jay working

I snuck up on the roof to get a pick of Jay working. The view from up there is amazing. I should have stayed in the house because now he wants me to come up and help! :-( I guess I can do that so that we can get the first part done quickly and still maybe have some time to go to the beach afterwards. :-)

Jim's Hiking Adventure

Well, before Jim left Friday he made me a dvd of all his pics he took while hiking on St. John. Since I will probably never talk Jay into going hiking, I have to experience it through Jim's pics. :-) I don't know where all of the pics where taken. Since Jim is gone, he can't tell me. I recognize some of the places...petroglyphs, Maho, etc. If you want to share where the others were taken, please be my guests.



Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kokopelli Cafe

Kokopelli Cafe, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well out doing some chores today .... Cost-u-Less, Home Depot, etc. And thought we would try this cafe that is right next to Cost-u-Less. I've been told by serveral people its a cool little place to grab a quick bite to eat and soak up some a/c while using their free wifi.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Beach Picture

Yea!! It's Friday. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Here's a pic of Salomon Beach on St. John from a forum member.

BTW - Today is Jim's last day as our co-tenant. :-( We wish him lots of luck in his travels and hope that he stays in touch. Bye Jim!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pretty Thursday Afternoon

Pretty Thursday Afternoon, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Sitting at Hook, Line & Sinker in Frenchtown and its a really pretty afternoon. Just thought I'd share :-)