Friday, May 31, 2013

Owning a Home in the Virgin Islands - Pool

A few months ago our pool pump started making a loud screeching noise. Two missed attempts by the pool service company to come out and take a look failed (did they forget about me? Who knows). The noise eventually subsided.

Then a few weeks ago, the pool turned a yellow green! Yellow algae infestation, treated by Yellow Out and Shock along with running the pump for 24 hours.

Well, for this pump, a 24 hour run meant death. The noise started again, getting to the point that even sitting inside the house, the noise was unbearable. I went to the pump closet and shut it off. Gave it an hour went back and all it did was hum. Great, and this just when the boat low unit had issues.

Called the pool service company again, he is too busy right now and not taking on any new customers until September. He told me to take the pump in Poly Caribe, a pump company on island.

Oh ok, well the plumbing in the closet is a series of cut and patch PVC. Ahh, but I figured out that I could disassemble the pump right behind the filter basket and just take the motor in after I un-wired it.

Off to Poly Caribe. They were great they had me a new motor with the old impeller done in 24 hours.

I re-installed it myself and turned it back on, all for only $425!

Moral of the story here;

A) If you are not a handy person here, owning a home can be frustrating as finding good help is a challenge. If you are not handy, nor patient and subsequently suffer from both, I would not recommend living here.

B) If you are a pool pump person in the US and have thought about moving here, I can't see why you wouldn't do well? You can always certainly buy a house from me too!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

When Your Wife Goes Stateside For the Weekend and Comes Back With.....

Yes, you sometimes forget how easy it is living stateside with PetSmart and Wal-Mart. Shannon went stateside this past weekend to bring our new shelter Yellow Labrador home from North Carolina (he is actually the brother of the other one we just brought down) and came home with all these items that normally cost $3-$4 here, if you can even find them! Ah yes, a taste of the States, but the weather is still better here!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

An Afternoon in Cruz Bay, St John, Virgin Islands

Last weekend we wanted to do something new, a dog friendly beach with a beach bar.

Cruz Bay in St John has it.

We loaded up our dogs on our boat and headed out from St Thomas to Cruz Bay. We anchored up on the beach there.

We had a pleasant afternoon hanging out with the dogs in the water.

I started getting hungry. Well there are several bars that line the beach in Cruz Bay. So I started looking at all their lunch menus on my IPhone to see what we wanted. We settled on Joe's for a Gyro. I called in our order and walked over and picked it up 20 minutes later.

For desert, we chose a bushwhacker from the Beach Bar!

Oh, I forgot to mention, the boat next to us was the Hey Now. This boat is featured in the song by Kenny Chesney, Happy on the Hey Now, a Song for Kristi. Here is a video I took.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

BOAT in the Virgin Islands Equals Bring On Another Tree Thousand!

My father was here visiting recently and after a day of fishing, what better way than to spend the day on Jost Van Dyke at the Soggy Dollar Bar?

My starboard motor had been making some vibration in the lower unit, but was still running fine.  I called the Suzuki dealer here, but he was off island for the week. I can't let poor old Pops down, so with the seas as flat as glass, we decided we would take our chances.

Right before we got to customs at Jost, that vibration got worse, time to go on one motor and pull the sick one out. We are still going to go to Soggy Dollar, since it was so calm, we just knew it would be a slow ride back.

We had a great day!

On the way back right before Congo Cay, we had the Coast Guard pull up next to us. They asked if we needed any help, and just let them know that our lower unit was broke. They said if you need us, call us on channel 16. We made it back in about an hour, going 7 knots on one motor.

(Adios to Jost)

A few days later, the dealer took the boat out and brought it to his shop. He told me, "good news, the lower unit doesn't need replacing, just the pinon/shifter."  I had him also do the 100 hour service as well.

He called me two days later to give me the great news!  Only $2950 for the work and parts! So yes only TREE TOWSAND. Ah the joys of owning a boat.

The actual good news here is that our boat is back in the water, good thing too, as our pool turned green and subsequently, the pump motor passed away!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fishing in the Virgin Islands

Last weekend we went fishing with my father, George, who was here for a visit.

Back in February, the Abigail III had a 1/2 day fishing trip up for silent auction at the Humane Society of St Thomas annual dinner event. I was the lucky winner of the auction.

We left the dock at 12:30 on the nice boat, complete with a cabin with A/C, fridge stocked with beer, water and soda and a bathroom. We also had three fishing chairs. Captain Red had us out to the south drop in 30 minutes with a five mile trek from Sapphire Marina.

For the first hour we trolled around at about 7.5 knots, looking for birds on the South Drop off of French Cap and St John. We found a piece of floating trash and low and behold, we were in luck.

April and May are known for the best season for Mahi and we hit a school!  Everyone had multiple chances to reel in fish and then the Wahoo started coming in! After about 2 hours, our frenzy was over.  Trolled for a little while longer

and back to the dock by 5:30 PM.

I love Wahoo, it makes a great fish for sushi, and for safety, I freeze mine over night. Here is the result of our catch, Wahoo Rolls!

Abigail III was a great day of fishing and thanks to Captain Red and his wife for their donation to the Humane Society!  They offer 1/2 day fishing charters starting at $800 with full day Marlin trips and up to six people. For more info, please contact them here

Friday, May 10, 2013

Who Says We Don't Have Seasons Here?

In the Virgin Islands, we do have seasons here.  Winter brings cool trade wind breezes, not much rain, ocean temperature of 78 and tourists.  With the tourists come their expensive yachts.

Here it is May and signs of Summer are already coming. After a dry Winter, our trees have lost much of their leaves. The ocean is back up to 80. We can find mooring balls again, the amount of cruise ships has dwindled and the yachts are being shipped to the Mediterranean for the Summer. Yes they actually ship this million dollar yachts. I was recently over in Crown Bay and saw this at the docks.

So I did a little research and came up with this article from the New York Times.

So, cheers to Summer, my favorite time of year, the weather is good and you get the islands to yourself!

Monday, May 6, 2013

US Virgin Islands Lottery Features Pets

The US Virgin Islands Lottery for its next drawing features pets from the islands on their tickets. They had a contest where residents sent in their pets pictures and if your pet is selected, the owner wins a $20 prize.

Shannon entered our two dogs into the contest and one of our dogs was selected, Bo Peep!  Here she is featured on ticket swimming in our pool, she is in the last row, 2nd from the right.

The drawing is Thursday, May 9th, so you still have time to go out and get your ticket with a little luck from Bo Peep, you may be a winner!