Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shopping, shopping, shopping

Shopping, shopping, shopping, originally uploaded by captainjay.

It's an absolutely beautiful day in St. Thomas and we're spending it shopping. What's wrong with us! So far we've been to Tutu Kmart, Furniture Express, Cost-U-Less, Home Depot, Island Empire and Furniture Inn. We got a few items on the list but still no armoire or bar. I guess we'll check out the Island Trader for the next few weeks and if still nothing then Jay said he's going to build something. Don't know time wise when he'll be able to fit that in, so we'll see. I still have a few places to check like Home Again and a couple other small places.

But I think it's time to drop off the purchases and head to Beachcomer or Hull Bay and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hangin' at Magen

Finally got a weekend off together so we're hanging out at Magens Bay. It's a beautiful day.....finally. We're having a little get together with people I work with and one coworker is a DJ (DeKeg) so he's providing great music. Lots of food, lots of sun, good music, good friends.

BTW-that's Jay laying down on the beach taking a little siesta. He's worked 10 days straight so I guess he's allowed. :-)

Passports, Get Your Passports

Well the day is nearly here. After delays and changes and push backs. The passport thing is coming to a head. June 1st you will need a passport to island hop down here. Yes you will still be able to come and go from the mainland by air without one but that is it. Cruise ship passengers will need a passport to disembark at most ports and more importantly you will need a passport to get back and forth from the BVI by boat, that means ferry, private charter, private boat etc.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Beach Picture

TGIF!!! This was a short week but it sure didn't feel like it! We're exhausted. I guess it's mostly due to still getting used to the new apt. Jays boss has been off for 10 days and she comes back today so Jay is taking off Saturday thru Monday!! WooHoo!! So Beach tomorrow and shopping for stuff for the apt on Sunday. We still need to store more stuff, get a mirror hung in the bedroom and shop for a few pieces of furniture.

Tonight friends of ours is having a cook out at their place in Frenchtown and it's expected to have a pretty good turn out. It will be nice seeing everyone after not doing anything last weekend.

The pic is from our friend Harry taken of Sandy Cay in the BVI. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Dryer...yea!!, originally uploaded by captainjay.

One thing I love about the apt is the stack washer and dryer. Our first place didn't have a dryer and the washer was around back so you had to use a flashlight to get to it and to hang clothes if the load finished after dark. Since it gets dark around 6:30 that means using a flash light if you do laundry during the week. I'm still hanging some things because I don't want the WAPA bill to be crazy high. But I'm doing the first load of towels so I can't wait for warm fluffy towels!!! WooHoo!! It's funny how sometimes it's the small things that make you so happy. :-)

Bar needed

Bar needed, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. Not a whole lot happening other than just getting settled in the new apt. We still need a couple pieces of furniture... Like a bar! We need to get all the liquor put away. We have a pretty good assortment as you can see from the picture above. Also The apt doesn't have a linen closet so we want to get an armoire to set in the hallway for linens and all the odds and ends you usually end up putting in a normal linen closet. I went to Island Empire and they have some absolutely beautiful pieces of furniture and the price tag to go with it. I found several things I loved but could not bring myself to spend the money. So I guess it's back to the Island Trader to see if I can find a good moving sale.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Soggy Dollar Web Cam

Well as if the camera at St John spice, Chocolate Hole, Charlotte Amalie, etc etc aren't enough to keep you constantly hitting the refresh button on your computer, now you can add The Soggy Dollar Cam to your favorites list. It is now live from the roof of the building overlooking the beach and White Bay. See it here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Beach Picture

Here is a shot of the Beach on Hans Lollik, one of our friends took this picture. Thanks Harry. This place is on Deb's short list to visit.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Online Bill Pay in da Islands

Ok, so I just had my first experience with online bill pay. We have our checking account with one bank and our car financed with another bank. Both banks are here locally and actually right across the street from each other. I normally go once a month to the bank and make the payment. But our bank offers online bill pay so I thought I would give that a try. I tried entering the payment information but it wouldn't accept the payee because they are not set up for electronic payments. I called the bank and they said they should be able to accept electronic payments soon, but they are not ready yet. So the second option is to submit the payee information to the online service for check payments. They verify the payee and let you know when it's approved. It took about two weeks and I got a letter in the mail letting me know the payee was ready to use online. So I set up the rest of the payment information and had it to pay right then, May 11. The online statement showed that the money came out of the account the very next day, with a "sent" status for the payment. So I thought, great. That's taken care of. Now I don't have to drive there once a month to pay in person.

So today is the due date for the payment and I called the bank to see if they posted the payment to my loan. Of course they hadn't received the payment yet. It's been 9 days since the money was taken out of my account so where is it. I call my bank and the girl gives me a trace number which she says proves that the other bank received the money and I should call them back so they can use the trace number to verify. I call the other bank and tell them what the girl said. She says that they have no idea what a trace number is and they can not do anything with it. All she knows is that there is no payment posted. She transfers me to someone else that reminds me that they are not set up for electronic payments so if that's what I did, then the payment will be refused and I should see the money back in my account. I assured her it wasn't electronic, that it was a physical check and they should have received it by now. She couldn't understand why I would have the bank across the street cut a check and mail it when I could just come and take care of it in person. I told her that was a good question.

So I called a number I found online for Internet banking and of course it's in Spanish so I have no idea what they are saying. I keep hitting 0 and it sounds like I've been put in line waiting for customer service, but it just keeps repeating something and I never get to an actual person. So I check online again and find another number. This one is in English and I finally speak to someone. They assured me that the payment was sent and it should be processed by the payee within 7 to 10 working days. Since this is the 8th working day, they should have it by tomorrow. The trace number the first girl gave me is just the online reference number showing the payment was sent so that's why the other bank had no idea what I was talking about. I told the guy that with my stateside bank, when you do bill pay with an actual check, it doesn't come out of the account until the check is processed and cleared so that you know your payee got the money. But that's not how this bank works. They money comes out immediately so you have no idea when it's actually processed. So he suggested calling the payee to verify each month. Great.

So I call the bank loan processing department and tell her my story. She says I have a 5 day grace period before late charges are incurred. She made a note on my account that a payment should be coming in by mail. So now I have to remember to call by next Tuesday (Monday is a holiday) to see if the payment is posted. If not, I guess I'll still have to go in person to pay it and then try to figure out where my money is.

So now the question is, if they do get the payment by Tuesday and all is well, do I continue to use this method of payment and just move the payment date up to the 1st of the month when it's not due until the 21st and hope that three weeks is enough time. Or get my lazy butt up and drive to the bank and make the payment in person each month to ensure it's actually paid. UUGH!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Internet, Cable oh My

Well I have been off the last few days. So on Monday I went to one of my favorite places. Innovative Cable. It was a tough call we thought about going to a satellite dish but with limited ability to get network TV and high up front costs we went with Innovative. I have to say the office visit could have been worse. It took about an hour from the time I signed in to the time that I actually got to sit down with a Customer "Service" Rep. Then it took about forty five more minutes to do the paper work, leave her office to pay the cashiers, then go back to her office and give her the receipt and then leave with the new cable boxes.

The cable was left on from the last tenants in the living room so all I had to do was go home and hook the box up in the living room and it is working. So on the way home I stopped at Kmart to to get a piece of cable for the box so I could hook it up as the installer wasn't coming until the next day. Well while I was there I happened to look at some TVs and found a new flat screen on clearance at state side prices. So there goes some more money. So we have a new TV for the living room and we are buying a used TV from a friend for the bedroom.

So feeeling good about getting this much done so far I went by Choice to get an Internet modem. Now I know what you are thinking, cable and Internet in the same day how could I risk making the Jumbies this angry all in one day. Well all is well in the universe at this point. After waiting about ten minutes to get a parking place. I was in and out of the office in less than a half hour with a wireless high speed modem and a little less money.

So know I get home and set up the TV, the cable box and the modem. The modem has to be pointed in a specific location and only works one place in the house so far and of course that is right in the living room in the middle of the big windows so we have to work that out.

Now if you think I got off untouched by the island Jumbies think again. Yesterday the "installer" aka the cable guy was supposed to be here between 8-12, not so fast. I still have a cell phone from the states, my area code is 304 the area code here is 340, you can guess how that went. About 12:30 I called the cable company and off course they had been trying to call me but the phone didn't work. In my defense I told the lady specifically at the cable company to put a note in the computer to let them know that the area code really was 304 I also gave them Deb's direct number at work just in case. She either didn't put the note in or they didn't read it. So after two additional phone calls, a little stateside persistence/attitude the cable guy showed up at 5:00, well not "the" cable guy but a different cable guy that works under contract. He moaned and complained a bit but eventually got around to doing the job so it is all in now.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Relay for Life Update

Just an update on the Relay for Life mess. American Cancer Society called and said $1450 was turned in by checks and $300 cash. Making a total contribution from UVI of $3971. We had four teams of 15 walkers, each walker was supposed to raise a minimum of $100 so there should have been a minimum of $6000 turned in. But I know some of us turned in more than the minimum so the total should have been even more. Not sure what will happen from here but UVI administrators know the numbers so it's up to them if any further action will be taken.

I've heard from some of the people that sent me donations and their checks have cleared so at least we know that ACS really got the money. They asked if I was going to be participating this year and I told them no, not after all this. They said that maybe we just needed a different chair person and suggested I take that role. But I told her that after all that happened I needed to just sit back and let things cool off. I know its a great cause and they put together a really nice fund raiser, so I'm disappointed that I won't be involved. Maybe next year.

Fire Destroys Mountaintop

above pics taken from Mountain Top's web site.

For those of you that are tourists, or those of us that play tourists every now and then this is a real shame. It is one of the oldest and most popular tourist stops, particularly for day trippers from the cruise ships. It is unfortunate that we have lost both Atlantis Submarine and now mountaintop in a short period of time. Deb and I could smell the fire here at the new place last night then the sirens went on all evening as they continued to call out all of the trucks and crews on the island. Here is an article in the paper about it.

PS we are settling into the new place. We have the cable up and running, they are coming this morning to put in a second drop in the bedroom. I went by choice yesterday and got the cable modem and it appears to be working pretty well. There is only one spot in the house were the modem picks up a signal and of course it is in the living room in the middle of the big windows so we are trying to work out a viable mount for that.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Billy Ocean

With all the craziness of moving, I forgot to do a post about the Billy Ocean concert we went to Saturday night at the Reichhold Center on UVI campus. It was a great show, even Jay concurred. :-)
The Reichhold Center is an open air amphitheater that seats around 1200. It is really beautiful with a mix of stone and metal blended into the hill side on the UVI campus. With all the rain we have been having I was a little nervous going to an outdoor concert. Lots of people were walking around with their umbrellas, which we didn't bring. But thankfully, it was a beautiful evening, with no rain, lite breeze and no mosquitoes.
Billy Ocean put on a really nice show, singing a mix of his hits from the 70s, 80s, and his current album that was recorded at his studio in Grenada. Of course most people know Billy Ocean from his biggest hit Caribbean Queen which he didn't play until his final song. But he has so many hits that he had everyone singing and dancing in their seats.
We bought these tickets awhile back before we know this would be the weekend we were moving. We were so tired but we picked ourselves up and went to the concert. And I'm so glad we did. It was excellent.
If you follow this link to the Reichhold's web site and scroll down to the bottom they have a virtual tour of the amphitheater.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

St John Again

So the big move is almost done. We have friends on St John again so we are at Gallows having cocktails and cheese
We took a little break from packing, moving, unpacking, cleaning, storing, etc. and headed to St. John. We had a great time with all the forum people!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Well, after four days, 10 car loads and two pickup truck loads, I think we are finally in the new apartment. Whew...I'm exhausted. Now we just have to find ways to store all the stuff. Since we're in a one bedroom we don't have the extra room to throw all the odds and ends, dive gear, tools, etc. We'll have to live with it in the floor for a little while since the rest of this weekend is jammed full. Plus I have to get over to the old place and clean before next Saturday when the owners come in. Fun, fun.

I love the layout of the new place. The livingroom and kitchen are one big room separated by a small bar area, with vaulted ceilings and lots of windows that bring in lots of light, breezes, and a beautiful view!

Tonight it's off to the Billy Ocean concert at the Reichold Center at UVI and tomorrow St. John to hang out with my forum buds. Both these things were planned before we knew we'd be moving this weekend so hopefully We can make it. Poor Jay had to work today and half day
tomorrow so he'll really be draggin'. But St. John has a way of re-energizing you so I'm sure we'll be just fine. :-)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Beach Picture

This is one of Margo's shots from Salomon Beach on St John. This is a little beach between Caneel Bay and Lind Point just outside Cruz Bay. There is a hiking trail from the National Park Office parking lot in the "Creek". So if you are up for a short hike you can get to this by land or you can rent a boat or a dingy to get there as well.
This is the beach that I tried to take a pic of with my iPhone when we were on the hook outside caneel. But obviously Margo's pic is a little better. :-) We tried to get to this beach one day and the parking lot was crazy so we couldn't find a place to park. I'll get there one day.
BTW - this pic was taken a couple weeks ago. We have had a ton of rain since then so the hill sides are much greener now. Wish I could go take a pic right now to compare. :-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Relay for Life Update

Ok, I got a call this morning from the American Cancer Society and they informed me that our chairperson did stop by yesterday and turned in some donation money. They are going to balance it this morning and let me know if the full amount was turned in or not. She is concerned about the checks being almost a year old and is not sure if they will be honored. She said she would check with their bank this morning and see what the rules are for that. I've heard back from most of the people that sent me donations and they said the checks are still good on their end, so if the bank honors them, they'll be clearing soon.

So I guess the meeting with the President last week finally got the point across that this had to be taken care of NOW.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shopping for Furniture

Well, shopping for furniture has been an interesting experience. There are a couple local furniture stores that I have been to a couple of times now. The biggest one being Furniture Plaza in Four Winds Plaza which is just down the road from Tutu Mall. The have all ranges of quality of furniture but the prices seem high, but then again that's pretty much par for here. I really didn't want to spend the money for new furniture so I tried my luck with the Island Trader. (the local free classifieds paper). Sometimes the online version is up to date, but most time it's not. So I had to track down where to pick one up. There hadn't been much furniture listed recently, but last weekend there was. Of course it rained all morning and I didn't feel like trying to find these places in the rain so I stayed home and packed and then left when the rain stopped. By the time I found a couple of the places, no furniture. Darn! Luckily a former co-worker of mine was selling her living room furniture because she painted her apt and the furniture doesn't match the new wall color so she wants new. Good Deal. We went and took a look, and it works for me. So now, how do we get a five piece living room set from one end of the island to the other. Hmm.... I called some of the local moving companies listed in the yellow pages. They all have hourly rates for local moves with 2 hour minimum. The most was Bob Lynch Moving at $155 per hour and the least was A&R Transportation at $95 per hour. So the least we could get by for was $200. No I don't think so. So I think one of my co-workers "friends" is going to get a truck and help Jay move it one evening this week, for a fee of course, but still no where near the moving companies price, so it sounds like a plan to me. I don't know what size truck he's going to get but my guess is a full size pickup. So it will most likely take two trips. Hopefully we can get it done in one evening. Good luck with that, right?

The bed was an easy purchase. I priced mattress at Furniture Plaza, Pricesmart and Cost-u-less. Cost-u-less was the least expensive but of course they don't have any queen size in stock. Pricesmart was the middle price but when I went to Furniture Plaza and told them what I wanted to pay, they wouldn't go as low as I wanted but they matched the Pricesmart price and they have free delivery. So there you go.

So this week should be interesting trying to coordinate furniture delivery and taking car loads from our old place to the new place. We need to be done by Saturday afternoon because we have plans for Sat night and Sunday (which were planned before we knew when we were moving, oh well). I'm sure we'll be exhausted but hopefully we can pull it off.

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Apt

View looking North East (above)
View looking North West (below)

Well it's official. We have the keys to the new apartment so the moving starts tomorrow. We packed both cars with all the stuff I had packed so far and we're going straight to the new place after work with a pizza and some beer and have our first dinner. We bought a new bed and it will be delivered later in the week and bought a used living room set from a former co-worker. We bought all the kitchen stuff from the previous Tennant so all is left is a tv. Jay spent a good part of today getting prices from the local stores and comparing them to online prices. As you can probably guess, online is much better, even with shipping. So that's probably the route we'll go.

Our new landlord topped the large tree that was at the back of the house so now the view is awesome. I can't wait to see our first sunset tomorrow night.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lies lies lies

Lies lies lies, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Here we are at The Caribbean Saloon again. The band was advertised to
start at 8:00 yea right. Try 10:30. So drink up Shriners.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Beach Pic

TGIF! This is Cinnamon Bay STJ from our mini vacation we had a few weeks ago. We get to spend this weekend packing and buying furniture to get ready for the big move. Fun fun
Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jay's Rant of the Week ATT Hell

So I am so mad at my phone right know I tried to break it in half today. It has horrible sound quality, it constantly drops calls and the text messages almost never work. So I got on the ATT web page and tried to figure out what to do about it. I am eligible for an upgrade and discounted prices on a new phone. So after spending a couple evenings on the web page trying to figure it out I think well lets ask the experts. ATT live chat. We currently have 6000 rollover minutes and about 500 minutes a month expiring. So my thought was reduce the monthly minutes, add some data and get a smart phone. So I posed that question guess how that went? Here is the transcript.

Please wait for a chat agent to respond.
You are now chatting with 'Margaret R'
Margaret R: Welcome to AT&T Premier Support. I am reading your question and will be right with you.
Margaret R: To clarify you would like to upgrade your phone and reduce your rate plan, is that correct?
Norman Pennington: Yes my current phone the Nokia has horrible sound quality. My wife loves her iPhone. What we would like to do is replace my phone with one that has email/data capability and reduce our rate plan to try to offset the difference.
Margaret R: I'd be more than happy to assist you with this.
Margaret R: You can log on to your premier site and start your order there.
Norman Pennington: I am logged on to premier
Margaret R: Does it state that you are eligible for an upgrade?
Norman Pennington: yes
Margaret R: Then you can start your order and the prices are listed so you can kind or match it up to what you already have.
Norman Pennington: Are you talking about rate plans or phones
Margaret R: Both.
Norman Pennington: That is the problem I have no idea what phone or plan to chose
Margaret R: Then you should take your time and review the information.
Norman Pennington: The information is not clear there is no simple way to look at the plans, compare prices or features. You have to pick a phone first then muddle through and try to decide which plan. There is no clear listing of the prices and data plans
Margaret R: I can understand your frustrations but that is the only suggestion that I can give you.
Norman Pennington: Thanks for no help as usual after ten years I should know better
Margaret R: Do you have any questions regarding the information we discussed today?
Norman Pennington: Just the questions that I had a half hour ago when we started this what is the best phone and plan for the money based on our current usage
Margaret R: Thank you for using AT&T Premier Support. We appreciate your business.
Chat session has been terminated by the chat agent

I can't blame this on the island time ting. Because we still have stateside phones and this is stateside support.


Algae Plume

Picture taken from the St. Thomas Source.

Well, for that past month there has been an algae plume surrounding the Virgin Islands. It has caused the water to be a different color and reduced visibility drastically. It seems to be finally dissipating but is still lingering. Divers and snorkelers have noticed the difference but it hasn't stopped them from enjoying the Caribbean water. We haven't been out in awhile so I can't describe first hand, but friends have said the water is greener and the visibility is like 10 feet vs. the normal 40-50 feet. Here are a couple articles in the St. Thomas source that give more detail.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Relay for Life

I have to apologize to all people that sent me donations last year for the Relay for Life fundraiser. The UVI chairperson has still not sent in the donations to the American Cancer Society (ACS) and I have done everything I can to try and make her turn them in. I have called, emailed, stopped by in person and my supervisor has done the same, and still nothing. We have contacted the ACS as well as the president of UVI and still nothing. It's a real shame. ACS is very disappointed that so much money was raised that never made it to the cause. I alone raised around $600, but who knows how much the university raised since it was never turned in and the person that has all the donation sheets aren't turning them over. So, those of you that wrote checks and they haven't cleared, they probably never will. At this point the checks are almost a year old, so technically they shouldn't be allowed to be cashed even if they were turned in. I've tried getting the checks back from the chairperson so that there wasn't any chance of her cashing them, but I can't even get her to do that.

This whole thing, in my opinion, has put a black cloud over UVI and their reputation. If they allow this person to ever be in charge of a fund raiser again then they're crazy. It's also put a black cloud over me as far as my fund raising capabilities. Who in their right mind would ever send me a donation for anything I participate in when the last check they sent was never cashed and never given to the cause they were supporting. I always participate in some kind of event every year and do a great job of fund raising, but those days are over.

So my apologies to all of you that the ACS never saw your money, you couldn't turn it in as a charitable contribution on your taxes, and the hassle of balancing your check book for the past year with an outstanding check. Sorry. :-(

Monday, May 4, 2009

Grande Bay Review

Well we have been promising to post a review since we spent a weekend at Grande Bay on St. John a while back. So here goes the good, the bad and the ugly. First off let me preface this by saying that if I were on the board that issued the permits for this development, and for that matter Sirenusa, I wouldn't have voted for the approval of either building at the current density levels that they have. That being said, the horse is out of the barn and is a mute point. This development is a fact of life and very likely over time will be thought of just like Gallows Point or for that matter Warfside Village as neither of them would have been particularly popular when they were developed either.

In the Real Estate business there is a rule, location, location, location. This development is based on that rule. It has to be the most convenient location for those that want to hang out in Cruz Bay that is available today. There is parking in the basement and you can walk to all the action in Cruz Bay. When you want to go to the beaches you just load up the car after a short elevator ride down and drive out. Frankly it couldn't get any easier. We stayed in a one bedroom penthouse condo. It is Small but fine for two people. It has a very nice little kitchen with granite tops and stainless appliances. The main living area is the kitchen and living room combined. With a very nice covered deck overlooking Cruz Bay. The dining area is outside on the patio. The apartment is finished out pretty well by island standards all though it has a few little finishing touches that need to be taken care of. Like cutting off the blinds and maybe touching up the trim here and there but hey this is the islands at least the blinds got hung. The pictures above basically tell the story, it is clean, safe and convenient. Right now the prices are very reasonable as well. I am sure as time goes on and the amenities are finished the prices will rise. Right now there isn't a pool and a few buildings are yet to be finished. So there is a little construction work going on but it isn't overwhelming in scope or noise level.

We rented ours from Kim "Dinghy" Morris. She and her husband run Noah's Little Arks and she is known around town as Dinghy Kim. Kim is helping to manage a few units in the building (one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom, adjoining units, etc) and she can be reached at 340-998-1978 or


PS I guess I should have posted a price range. I don't know about the bigger units but we paid less than $200 a night for the one bedroom. Which by St John standards is relatively cheap.

PS I also wanted to add that the noise level wasn't a problem at all. When you are out on the deck, you hear the noises of Cruz Bay, which I enjoyed, but once you close the patio doors, you don't hear anything inside the room. They must have done some major sound proofing. In the evening, you can hear music from some of the bars (but it's not that loud), and one night there was something going on at the ball park so you could hear the announcer. In the morings you can hear the roosters and sometimes you can hear the ferries coming in or some traffic coming by. But we really didn't hang around much other than sleeping and getting ready to go somewhere..... Beaches during the day, out to dinner at night. So noise wasn't an issue at all.


View of downtown Cruz Bay from the penthouse apartment

Saturday, May 2, 2009

UVI at carnival

UVI at carnival, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Got a great place to watch to adult parade. We're under a tent and
right next to a food/beer stand! UVI just came down and they looked

I actually parked in frenchtown and came over on a dinghy with Kirstin
and Dave so no dealing with parking!

It's beautiful weather especially since we're in the shade. Hopefully
it stays that way.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cistern Issues

Well we forgot to mention that we are currently having some cistern issues. It started last week when we came home from an evening out and Jay noticed the water pump was running non stop. We got an email from the tenant downstairs and said that there wasn't any water coming out of the faucets, only spitting water and air. So Jay checks the cistern, and sure enough, it's empty. Well thankfully Jay knows what to do and switches to the other half of the cistern. It hadn't been used in awhile so we dumped a bunch of bleach in just to be safe. We turned on several faucets to get the air out and eventually we had running water again. Yea! But then we noticed that the pump still hadn't shut off. Jay checked things out and got on the Internet to research the issue and determined that it was either the pressure switch or the bladder in the accumulator tank. Either way something was burnt up from running for several hours so we had to turn it off which means no water. We let the tenant downstairs know so that he could use some water before we turned it off for the night. The next morning we turned it back on for showers but then turned it back off before heading for work. We let the landlord know what was going on and she got someone there the same day to look at the pump. I still haven't heard what was the issue, but all I know is that it works and that's good enough for me.

In the meantime, the landlord had someone come look at the cistern while it was empty. They had talked about having it cleaned at some point, so since the one side is empty this seems like a pretty good time to take care of that. They actually found a small crack in the cistern so that could explain why it went empty. In the year that we've been here it had never even gotten low so that's why we were surprised when we found it empty. So they started the process this past Wednesday and it will take a couple more days. They had to completely shut off the intake because it has to remain dry while they make the repair and apply a sealant. So that means what little water is left on the other side of the cistern has to last at least a week which I don't see happening. We've been taking our laundry to the laundry mat in order to conserve water and trying to be as frugal as possible with daily usage. Worse comes worse, I guess the landlord will have to pay for a load of water to be delivered, but hopefully it won't come to that.

No Jost for You/Friday Beach Picture

Well not exactly but definately going to be harder to get there for a while. Apparantly as a reaction to the Swine Flu customs on Jost is closed for private vessels. Here is the article in the paper.
Rising pandemic alert sees change in clearance proceduresGovernment Information ServiceNew customs clearance procedures will be implemented from this Friday, in Government's ongoing quest to strengthen its effort to mitigate the impact of the dreaded Swine Flu (H1N1) virus on the Territory.After consultations by the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the local Pandemic Influenza Taskforce, Her Majesty's Customs has issued an advisory to the boating community.The advisory states that all customs clearance procedures for yachters or other non-commercial vessels will only be processed through three designated ports of entry. They are the Road Town and West End Ferry Terminals in Tortola and the Spanish Town Ferry Dock in Virgin Gorda.Yachters wishing to dock on Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, or any other sister island are advised that they must clear customs at one of the designated locations. Comptroller of Her Majesty's Customs Mr. Wade Smith said those precautionary measures will be in place until further notice.Visitors who fail to comply with the new procedures may be charged with illegal entry into the Territory.Meanwhile, cargo vessels docking in the Territory will continue to be processed at Port Purcell. However there will be additional screening and inspections by officers of the Environmental Health Department and the Department of Agriculture.The decision to implement new procedures for clearing customs followed the World Health Organisation's announcement that the global influenza pandemic alert has been increased from Phase 4 to the more serious Phase 5. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Irad Potter is also encouraging residents of the Territory to restrict unnecessary travel as much as they can amid the increased level of alert for a Swine Flu pandemic.Several Government agencies have been working collaboratively to monitor Swine Flu reports since the outbreak began, in order to implement measures to safeguard the Territory from its potential impact. The local Pandemic Influenza Taskforce is jointly led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Irad Potter, Chief Executive Officer of the BVI Health Services Authority Dr. Ronald Georges, Health Disaster Coordinator Dawn Leonard, and Director of the Department of Disaster Management Sharleen DaBreo.