Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Tourist Stuff


More Tourist Stuff, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Angie and Patti are still in so we are at Paradise Point doing the
tourist thing.
Jay

Where I'm Gonna Go When the Volcano Blows



Well yesterday I cleaned and vacuumed the pool prior to going sailing. On the way to Red Hook it was raining. When we got home yesterday evening there was a fine layer of dust all over the pool deck as well as in the pool, the patio and the porch. Apparently Montserat is at it again. When it rained it literally washed the ash out of the sky depositing it all over everything here. Here is a link to the Montserrat Observatory Sight and a direct quote about the new event.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory
Activity Report – 29 July 2008

There has been a partial dome collapse on the west side of the Soufriere Hills Volcano.

The collapse started at 11:27 pm local time on Monday 28th July 2008 without any precursory activity. Part of the western side of the lava dome collapsed generating pyroclastic flows that reached Plymouth and the sea.

There were also a few explosions from the dome during the collapse, with the largest at approximately 11:32 pm.

The height of the ash column was estimated at 12 kilometres (40,000 feet) above sea level.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let's go Sailing

Today we are going out with Larry and Betty of Forever Young. Jay and I both have the day off, so we thought we would take Angie and Patti sailing. Larry and Betty are awesome so we should have an awesome day!

Here is a video we did the last time we sailed with Forever Young.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Toby's MySpace


Well I was checking up on Shaunda's blog and found out that Toby has his own MyDogSpace page, too cute. So I tought I would share it with you. If you've been reading the blog, then you'll remember that Shaunda used to live in the apartment at the house we are renting and Toby is her adorable little puppy dog.

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dusky Sunday

We made it to the Beach Bar after a very full day on St. John. We went to Skinny Legs for lunch then to Trunk Bay for a snooze and a shower. We're waiting to meet up with some forum people, so that will be fun.

Smoothie stop

Of course we had stop at the smoothie shop. Yummy!! On our way to Coral Bay to Skinnys for lunch.

BTW - we had a celebrity sighting at Maho. Mike Mullen of "Keep Left" was hanging on the beach and started a conversation with us. Then he realized who we were (he reads our blog) We had a good laugh and some good conversation. Too funny. Small planet.

First stop Maho



We are on St. John for the day. We rented a jeep from Varlack Ventures. They were super nice to deal with.. Definitely recommend them. We stopped at JJs for a little breakfast and then drove the north shore road and stopped at all the obligatory scenic overlooks and then decided to stop at Maho. More to come!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Captain Dave

Well we had an awesome day with Doubloon and Captain Dave got us back safely without incident... Well we promised we wouldn't tell. :-) Great day, awesome staff, definitely recommend it!

Doubloon



Doubloon, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well we're getting ready to go out on a little cruise with Doubloon. Looks like a really cool boat. Angie and Patti met a couple of the guys that work on the boat and they told them to come on down. :-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Girls night out


Girls night out, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well we were on our way to Fat Turtle for dinner but there is a huge
benefit at Yacht Haven and couldn't get a parking space. So we parked
at Haven Sight and walked to Captain Mayhem. We plan on walking to Fat
Turtle after we eat for some dancin' and a few adult beverages.

Angie and Patti spent the day dowtown walking the 99 steps and
visiting the "local" establishments so they're ready to go! WooHoo!!!

Friday Beach Pic


Here is another St. John pic by Ken McGuire. It's Cinnamon Bay. Absolutely beautiful. Have a great weekend!!
Enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just in Time


Well, I just got the guest bedroom done and I pick my cousin up at 2pm. Nothing like last minute. I got a mosquito net for the room since we will be having several guests between now and the next couple of months. So I figured if I needed one in our bedroom, then I should be a good host and get one for our guests!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mafolie Sunset


Mafolie Sunset, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We're having dinner with Gary at Mafolie. One of our favorite places.
Trying a new drink called Mafolie Sunset....Cruzan Orange, Cruzan
Mango, spiced rum, and orange juice. Very yummy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good friends, good wine


Good friends, good wine, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We fixed some steak this evening on the grill, captain Gary is in town. So after dinner we broke out the left over 40 year old port from the Griswald Caribbean Adventure. Gary is going to be here a couple of days then he is heading over to Tortola go boating with his family for a few days then he and is brother are going to pull his brothers boat out for Hurricane season and do some work on it.
Jay

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Travelers


Well, it's been a slow weekend. Playing catch up with house chores and shopping after the family visit. Everyone made it back safely and uneventful. They wanted me to remind everyone, that when leaving St. Thomas, definitely use a porter at the airport. They take you to the front of the line, check you in and take your bags. Definitely worth the tip ($20 for small group, more for large group.)
So now we're getting ready for more guests. Captain Gary will be staying with us a couple days the first part of the week. Then my cousin from South Carolina and one of her friends will be here Thursday for a week. So we'll be doing some more "touristy" things with them.


Some other friends from Albuquerque (who used to live in WV) will be here the last week in August. My sister and maybe some friends and maybe my other sister, are planning on coming in September or October. And one couple from home is trying to come down in either August or September if they can get their schedule worked out. Then a big group from home will be coming in February and staying at one of the resorts.


I'm glad to finally start getting visitors. I knew when we moved down that people would visit, it just took a little longer to get them down here than I thought. So I'm very excited about all the upcoming travel plans.


I just sent a list of fun things to do while in St. Thomas to the group. So I thought I would share the list in case anyone else was interested.


Paradise Point - skyride up to overlook of the harbor, bar, restaurant, shopping, live music - http://paradisepointtramway.com/








Mountain Top - highest point on the island, overlooks Magen's bay - bar, shopping - http://www.greathouse-mountaintop.com/


Coral World - swim with the sea lions, aquarium, Sea Trek, Coki Beach - http://www.coralworldvi.com/




Soggy Dollar Bar - Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands - http://www.soggydollar.com/soggydollarbar/ - can take a ferry for $50 round trip from St. Thomas to Jost


St. John - take the ferry over to St. John for the day, shopping, beautiful beaches, bars, restaurants, $6.10 each way - http://www.gotostjohn.com/








Walking tour through historic downtown - http://www.blackbeardscastle.com/




and of course, sit on the beach, relax and have a tropical cocktail!!!!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Beach Picture



Here is another St. John pic by Ken McGuire. Absolutely beautiful. Have a great weekend!!


Enjoy!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Charlotte Amalie


Here's a pic of downtown Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. Pretty impressive. Bluebeards Castle is in the foreground (lower left hand corner). It looks deceptive because it appears to be a part of downtown, but it's actually on top of a pretty good hill overlooking downtown and the harbor. The airport and the University are at the top of the pic and Waterfront is dead center. You'll laugh when I tell you how I got the picture. It's actually a picture on my US Virgin Islands calendar. We don't have a color scanner so I just took a picture of it with my iPhone. It turned out pretty good.


Update on the Griswalds. Today is their last full day. We had a low-key villa day yesterday which I think everyone needed. Not sure what they are doing today while Jay and I are at work, but this evening we are going to the villa and cooking up whatever is left in the fridge. The rest we get to take home.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Zzzzzzzzzz


Zzzzzzzzzz, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Pool snorkeling boy


Pool snorkeling boy, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Jay taking snorkeling and pool cleaning to another whole level !!!

Griswald Dreamsicle


Griswald Dreamsicle, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Ok my dad just came up with this one. It is orange soda, vanilla ice
cream and a floater of Cruzan Estate Rum.
Good stuff.
Jay

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Horizons Food Porn



New Horizons Food Porn, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well since we took food porn on Nightwind we thought we post some from New Horizons. The appetizers and champagne were excellent. We had some rain and didnt see a sunset but still had a good time.

Tropical Update


Good News!!


THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 770 MILES EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS HAS BECOME LESS ORGANIZED DURING THE DAY. THE POTENTIAL FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM IS DECREASING SINCE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE ONLY MARGINALLY FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT.

Sunset Dinner Cruise


Well tonight the whole group is going on a sunset dinner cruise with New Horizons. This is something we haven't done before so I'm really looking forward to it. The menu sounds awesome!! The weather is a little yucky this morning with the tropical wave getting closer, so hopefully it will clear up so we can have a nice sunset!


Tomatoe & Basil Brochettes and Smoked Salmon & Caviar over cream cheese rounds
Fresh Mahi Mahi (as Fresh as you can get)
Island Style Caribbean Chicken Breast Baked in a Homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce
Peel & Eat Shrimp
Classic Caesar Salad tossed with homemade toasted Croutons
Fresh Shrimp tossed with tri colored Fussilli
mixed with grapes and vegetables in a Sweet & Creamy Honey Dressing
Fresh French Bread
Green Beans Tossed with Crumbled Feta Cheese, Onion, Dill & a Creamy Italian Dressing
Montage of Fresh Fruits & Vine Ripened Seasonal Fruits
Chocolate Jungle: Homemade Fudge Brownies topped with Fresh Kiwis & Strawberries
and Chocolate Mousse Cake with whipped cream
Dessert Mints accompanied by Freshly Brewed Coffee and Liquors and of Course an
Open Premium Stocked Bar!!!!!!

Evening of Chores


Well with all the running around with the Griswald's and working we haven't got much done in a week. So we came home last night to do some chores instead of playing. Actually I tried to take care of some items on lunch yesterday, but NAPA closes from 12:00 to 1:00 for lunch then closes at 4:00 in the evening so new battery soon come. I vacuumed the pool and added some chlorine while Deb sorted out some bills, worked on the laundry and cooked dinner. So tonight it is back to the Griwald's. Details soon come.

Also there is a tropical wave, invest 94 coming this way that is showing signs of further development so we will be keeping an eye on that.
Jay

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nightwind

We had such a wonderful time on Nightwind, I would recommend them to anyone who wants to experience a fun day on the water with good food, good drinks, good people, just all around great experience. After breakfast and safety briefing, we sailed from Sapphire Beach Marina on St. Thomas to St. John. They provided all snorkel gear and flotation devices and were very helpful in finding the right fit for everyone. We made two different stops with lunch in between and drinks all day long. Then a nice sail back to St. Thomas. We saw so many wonderful things, including all kinds of fish, turtles and even dolphins! The kids had a wonderful time and Doug and Rebecca did a great job entertaining them with jokes and stories while still taking care of all of the adults.

They can take out as many as 18 passengers, they do both private charters (like we did) or individuals. You can check out their web page http://www.stjohndaysail.com/ for more information.

Here's a short little video I did of our trip....enjoy!


video

Car Update


Car Update, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well, somehow we got the car running again. After Jay put oil in it, it still wouldnt start so we needed to get a jump. We drove it to the villa and it died again! After we got back from our boat trip, Jay discovered the problem was a blown heater hose. Apparently it over heated but never showed hot on the gauge. So he bypassed the heater to fix the leak and put water back in the radiator. We drove it home and it appears its running ok. Jay is going to look everything over this evening to make sure. Whew! Close call on that one.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lunch is served



Lunch is served, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Just finished snorkeling Maho and now sitting down for an awesome lunch and a rum punch.

Mmmmmm....yummy

mmmmm....yummy, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well, we got the car started long enough to get to the villa then it died again. We left it and came to the boat. We'll deal with it later!!

The food and drinks on nightwind is very good so I'm going to go enjoy a little breakfast.

Oh no!


Oh no!, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We (Jay got the day off) were on our way to meet the Griswalds for another day on Nightwind when the car just stopped in the middle of the intersection and would not restart. Smoke started coming out of the hood...not a good sign. Jim, our new neighbor, was with us so he and Jay got out of the car and pushed it to the side. Jay checked the oil and there was none! Its had a small oil leek for awhile and Jay kept saying he needed to check it but just kept forgetting. This
really sucks. They walked to a gas station to see if they had any oil but the motor is probably done. I said to put a FOR SALE sign on it and leave it were it is and go to the boat!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Turtle Watching


Turtle Watching, originally uploaded by captainjay.

The group enjoying the turtles at Hawksnest.

Chillin on Nightwind


Chillin on Nightwind, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Just finished an awesome lunch after snorkleing at Hawksnest and Giboney. Griswalds are having a great time. More to come!

Nightwind


Today, the Griswalds are going on a daysail with Nightwind. From what I've read and heard, it sounds like an awesome day. We leave out of Redhook bright and early (yea right) and head out to the waters of St. Thomas and St. John. The price includes sailing, snorkeling, breakfast, lunch, open bar, use of water toys, etc. We already know the captain, Doug, so that makes it that much more fun. Jay's sis booked two days, today and tomorrow, so we'll see who survives the first day and is ready for a second (I know I will be). Jay has to work today so he won't be joining the group, but hopefully will tomorrow :-(


I'll try to post some live pictures through out the day.

Enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

No Access For You


No Access For You, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well in the spirit of my Dell posts, Blogger has turned into a nightmare. We have no support, their help makes Dell look good. I posted on their forum a couple of days ago, when I could still get there from the computer and Deb read it from work and said I was flamed for not being nice. So now our only means of posting is the iPhone via email. So I thought I would post this here in case anyone from Blogger is listening. From what I can tell there are some DNS issues with some recent microsoft updates and Blogger is a victim of this. I would think they could put some pressure on and take care of it but their customer support people are to busy policing proper
posting rules on their help forum.

So we will do our best to keep the content up while we weigh our options.
Jay

Friday Beach Picture



Here is the beach in Frenchmans Bay that we can walk to from the Griswald's villa. It looks directly out at Green Cay, so they call it Green Cay Beach. We were the only ones on the beach. It reminded me a lot of the beaches on St. John.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Smell of Diesel In The Morning

Or our own private WAPA. The power has been off since around 4:00 this morning so we are putting a couple hours on the generator for showers and to cool the fridges.
It is also back to work for Deb and I today.
Jay

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cote Sud


Cote Sud, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Here is the view from the water looking back up at the house. We snorkled off the pier and then swam around a point over to the beach in Frenchmans Bay. Its a private beach that a few villas share. We were the only ones there, it was really nice. If you are looking for a villa in St. Thomas, I would definitly check this one out.

http://www.mclaughlinanderson.com/caribbean-villas/COTESUD/

Fishing With Will


Fishing With Will, originally uploaded by captainjay.

The little guy in the shot is my nephew Will. We walked down and did a little fishing from the Villa Pier.
Jay

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Griswald's In The Villa


Well the whole gang is here now. My parents flight was only 40 minutes late yesterday, so I guess not to bad by American Airlines standards. I took my sister out to provision the house yesterday. Needless to say buying food, wine, and booze for twelve people for ten days or so pushed the limits of what would fit in the Celica. With the seat folded down we could barely close the hatch. I won't go into to price details but it was and obnoxious amount of money.
The Villa is absolutely spectacular. The view is directly out to the south towards Buck Island and French Cap. There is a nice snorkel area right off of the concrete pier that goes with the house and a five minute walk down a private trail to a beach.
Jay

Jay

Monday, July 7, 2008

Griswald's In The Caribbean Begins



Well part of the group is here. Of course they aren't were they are supposed to be. My sisters with all the kids got in yesterday about 5:30. The rental car they had reserved of course wasn't available, because after all the rental car companies here close at 5:00. Deb and I didn't meet them at the airport because we had a company picnic to attend. It turns out they had been trying to get a hold of us 14 missed calls on my cell phone when I got out of the pool. The Villa greeter didn't show up at the airport either. So here we have three adults four kids 5:30 in the evening in the St Thomas airport. No car, no villa and no local knowledge. Fortunately my sisters have both traveled and didn't panic. They hired a cab to take them over to the Villa in hopes that someone would be there to let them in, no such luck. So they spent the first night at the Wyndham Sugar Bay. By the way the second picture is the Wyndham so don't feel to sorry for them. They plan to straighten out the whole villa mess today.

The second part of the saga is my parents. They were supposed to arrive on American Airlines around 8:00 last night. Now if you know anything about the current state of the airlines American to the Caribbean is a really bad idea. They have cancelled/rescheduled approximately 30 percent of their normal flights to all Caribbean locations. This said it was actually Delta's fault that they are currently in Miami Hotel instead of St Thomas. I would also put the blame on the travel agent that booked their flights. Do Not, let me repeat this, Do Not book a flight on multiple airlines. All of the big ones, Kayak, Orbitz, Travelocity etc show these discounted rates with multiple airlines. Here is the problem they had to fly Charleston to Atlanta on Delta, then Atlanta to Miami on Delta, then connect to the American flight to here. Well the flight from Atlanta was delayed because there was no crew to fly it. By the time they got to Miami they had missed the flight to STT. Well American wasn't much help because it wasn't their fault that they missed the flight since Delta caused the problem. Delta doesn't care because, after all they got them to Miami which is what they were hired to do. So two hundred dollars later for a room at the Miami Airport and the better part of 24 hours lost from their trip they might get here around 3:20 today.

Stay tuned for more updates about the Griswald's Caribbean Reunion.

Jay

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sewer Marine Facility


OK I don't want to make anyone mad, and I am sure Victor Sewer was a good man, but the Governor just renamed the Cruz Bay Creek Facility The Victor W. Sewer Marine Facility. So I am wondering if the irony of Cruz Bay Creek now being called Sewer creek is lost on anyone. They have not yet made up the signs I do hope that they are very careful in the wording as this could easily go down as a classic sign if they aren't careful.

Jay

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fireworks St. John Style


Fireworks St. John Style, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We stayed for the fireworks on St. John yesterday. We hung out in front of the Beach Bar and had excellent view of the show. They did a really good job and we really enjoyed it.

Getting back on the ferry was a different story. I've never seen so many people trying to get on the ferry. The line was stretched all the way down to Connections! They had several ferries lined up ready to go so we eventually got on one and made it back to STT. But it was all worth it because we had a great time on STJ.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Red Sky At Night



Red Sky At Night, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Sailor's Delight. Just about as acurate as the weather man. Live from Cruz Bay.
Jay

Beach Bar for the 4Th


Beach Bar for the 4Th, originally uploaded by captainjay.

We're on St. John celebrating the 4th. So we had to stop by the Beach Bar of course. We came over with some of Jay's co-workers......say Hi to Kirsten the next time you stop by CYOA.

Happy Independence Day


Well there aren't any firworks in St Thomas today, but Carnival is in full swing in St John.

So here are todays activities for anyone interested. I beleive the fireworks would be viewable from the East End of St Thomas.

J'ouvert will begin at 4 a.m., Friday, July 4, and run through the streets of Cruz Bay. Any band that wants to participate is welcome. The annual parade takes to the streets of Cruz Bay at 11 a.m., July 4. It starts at the park ballfield with St. John realtor Miles Stair as the parade marshal. Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m., over Cruz Bay Harbor. Moonlight Fireworks will do the 20-minute program. It will all wrap up at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 5, with a beach jam at Oppenheimer Beach. The band El A Kru from Antigua will play.


Jay

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Captain's Nightmare


Well, we just got back from our dive with Admiralty. The wreck Miss Opportunity was so awesome. It's in 90 foot of water and you swim thru the entire hull of the boat. It's right outside of the harbor so it's not a long run to get to it; just south of the airport, near Flat Cay. The second dive was called Captain's Nightmare. It's real close to Miss Opportunity. The water was getting a little rough and there was a current so it was more work than the first dive, but still good. Fun Stuff!!

Goin' Divin'


Goin' Divin', originally uploaded by captainjay.

Jay and I are both off today so we decided to go out on a dive with Admiralty Dive Center. We are going to do a wreck dive called Miss Opportunity. We brought our camera so hopefully we'll get some good pics.

How To Catch The Next Ferry


I posted this last night on Virgin Islands On Line. It seems allot of vacation travelers are confused about the current Ferry Schedule and how tings work down here.

So I thought I would put my .02 in. The best way to handle the new schedule is to depart the plane, stop by the rum booth to get your welcome drink. Then go to the baggage area, there is a bar there were you can get a good bushwhacker. Then hopefully you have brought half the stuff and twice the money so you won't have to actually wait for the baggage conveyor. If you have carry on only then go directly to the taxi stand, get in the cab and go to Red Hook to catch the Ferry. If you have baggage then get the baggage go to the taxi stand, get in the cab and go to Red Hook to catch the Ferry. I chose Red Hook for a couple of reasons. First even with the lighter schedule there are more runs from Red Hook than down town. Second there is a bar in the Red Hook terminal, so if the "Next Ferry" happens to be a couple of hours wait then there are tings to do, like have another bushwhacker or six. The bottom line is some of the Ferry's are running some aren't, it really doesn't matter, when you get to the terminal you will get on the next one. You have no control over the flight arrival time, the Ferry departure time or the commute in between. So get a Bushwhacker, or any other island drink you like settle down and get there when you do.

If you absolutely need to know then here is a link, St Thomas Source to an article in the paper that tries to explain the new deal. By the way bring some dimes because the new rate of $6.10 is a really bad idea, and you will likely hear change soon come.
Jay

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pool update


Pool update, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well the pool is almost back to normal. Its still a little cloudy but we're going through the Floc and vacuum regiment so its getting better with each round. Should be ready by this weekend when the family arrives.

On another note, the apartment is rented. The new tenant, Jim, arrives on Saturday. He works for the same company that Shaunda works for. We've had several email conversations and he seems really nice.

So between the holiday, new tenant and family, its going to be a pretty big weekend. Good thing I took some days off...I don't have to be back at work until next Thursday, WooHoo!!

BTW - Jay is off tomorrow so we're going diving with Admiralty!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Griswalds soon come


Well this Sunday the Griswalds invade the Caribbean. As I posted before pretty much my whole family will be here this Sunday. My little brother is the only hold out. So next week there should be plenty of tourist like posts as we try to balance work and entertaining the family. The picture is of the Villa my sister rented for the family, Cote Sud. We don't have the room for all of them.
Jay

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