Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Friday!

It is Friday again! Here is this week's edition of Happy Friday!

I don't think we will be doing any boating this weekend as our Black Lab, Chukar went in for his LAST heartworm shot today and is coming home tomorrow at noon, and we have to keep him calm and quiet! Blake our yellow lab just successfully completed his treatment, now poor Chukar. When we adopted both of these boys from a rescue group in North Carolina, Blake had tested positive for heartworm while Chukar didn't, that is it can take up to 6 months for the worms to show their presence, and they did. So yes, we are good dog owners and they don't have heartworm from while under our control. Let's not forgot to the VI dog owners, please have your pups on heartworm preventative!

Sunday we may sneak out to our new favorite place to watch football! Shenanigans at Megan's Point Resort. Have a little brunch next door at Simply Italian, which has the best $12 bottomless bloody marys and then to watch some football? Shenanigans has $2.50 Coors Lights and they are ice cold, flat screen TV's scratchcards when you buy a Coors Light, good bar food and fun people and staff! This place reminds me of The Caribbean Saloon and what it used to be 2 years ago.

As I watch the news down here and look on Facebook, I see many of you are having signs of Winter with some having snow and lots of complaining about the cold? Do me a favor, send some of that down our way? We have had such a hot Summer and it is still not over yet with each day hitting 90 and when I go to bed 82 with no trade wind breezes. So yes, you may be cold, but I am still sweating! If it gets too cold, come on down for a visit?

Have a good weekend, Go JETS and I leave you with a picture of Megans Bay from Drake's seat taken today!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Boating to Cane Garden Bay and Jost Van Dyke, BVI

This past weekend we had our boat warming party as we just purchased our 2011 World Cat 320 CC, named the Louly III. We had 12 friends on board. We started out of the Compass Point Marina on St Thomas, stopped in St John to pick up some friends, checked into customs on the West End of Tortola and made our way over to Cane Garden Bay on Tortola.

Compass Point

A Little Champagne on the Bow! 

 Cane Garden Bay is a popular stop for cruise ship passengers when they visit Tortola. We were fortunate to visit on a non-cruise ship day. We were one of two boats and a handful of tourists that were staying near by.

We went to Myett's for lunch and sampled some of their homemade rum. Food there was typical Caribbean beach bar food.

Followed by a walk down the beach!

Gather the troops and off for desert at Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke!

Sandy Cay 

And then it is "Adios to Jost", that time of day. 

It's weekend days like these that make you really appreciate how lucky we are to live here! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grocery Shopping in St Thomas!

Where to shop for food and other items on St Thomas?

Living on St Thomas is much different when it comes to grocery shopping. Gone are the nice clean grocery stores with bountiful produce and fresh foods, and reasonable prices! Instead you will find that it is not unusual to go to two or three different stores to find what you are looking for.  Sometimes, when you go stateside you find yourself coming back with a hockey bag or bribing a guest coming to bring  an extra suit case full of those items that are hard to find here, like light salad dressing (not only is salad dressing here $4.50 a bottle, but no one seems to carry the light dressings) and items that are just too much to justify buying, ie: a box of Triscuits which costs $2.50 stateside is only $4.50 here, same with cereal, expect to pay $6 a box unless of course you are fan of Corn Flakes. This lack of variety, availability and cost is probably due to our location some 1300 miles SE of Miami and most shipments make a stop in Puerto Rico. Some of it may be cultural too.

I have made a map of the stores I am going to discuss here.

(click to enlarge)

1.       Pueblo Markets – Two locations. One by the Airport and Crown Bay and the other across from Yacht Haven Grande. This is a Puerto Rico based grocery outlet . It is pretty dirty on the inside and has a pretty good selection of foods. What is sad is the stores in Puerto Rico more resemble a store stateside, why I don’t know. I don’t shop here often as both locations are inconvenient both for parking and the intersections they are at.
2.       Pueblo
3.       Cost U Less and Home Depot.  Cost U Less is better known to me as Cost U More. It resembles or wants to be a Costco, but it isn’t. Here you will find an array of a mix between a grocery store and Costco theme. There is no membership charges and if you join their club and spend so much a quarter they mail you a $35 off coupon. Here they have good produce, frozen foods, meats, soda, condiments, bread, household and beauty items, beer, wine, liquor. Cost U More is right in the same parking lot as the movie theater, a 6 plex believe it or not. Right down the access road is Home Depot. Home Depot is our store to feel like you are stateside again. I really can’t say anything is much different here than what you would find at your neighborhood Home Depot.

4.       TuTu Plaza – We have a ton of different stores here. New is Walgreens, but I have yet to venture there as since their grand opening a few weeks ago I have heard that their shelves are empty and we have ship here for free? There is an Office Max there that is just like stateside. McDonalds, Domino’s Pizza and Subway and it has my favorite Chinese food place in the food court. There is a mall here, if you can call it a mall with 50% vacancy. Ah yes, Kmart or KFart. Yes our Kmart stores here are just as bad as the ones in the states, how they are in business stateside is beyond me. They do have a Little Caesar’s Pizza now though. There is also an Advanced Auto Parts store. And my favorite, Plaza Extra! Or Plaza Minus. This dirty gem is our go to for normal grocery shopping. You too will find the old freezer cases that leak water onto the floors with paper towels left to mop it up your favorite too! Here you will find decent produce, oj, eggs, bread, canned goods, beer, wine and liquor. They have the best price on bottled water at the registers. Oh and speaking of registers, you cannot get your shopping cart through the check out registers, nope, they have a bagger with a cart that will take it to your car for a tip!

 (mmmm, Warm Cream?)

(not only is it leaking but the lights are burned out)

5.       Food Center – I think this place reminds me the most of a stateside grocery store, but the prices here do not. This place is very clean and organized, but due to the prices being as much as a third higher than Plaza, I will take the dirt.

6.       KFart or Kmart – This one is even dingier than the one in TuTu and is even on two floors.  Across the street is Fruit Bowl, which is a nice and clean place with some good produce and meats, I just can’t handle that parking lot with no available parking spaces and the trouble getting in and out of there. There is also a McDonalds there.

7.       Price Smart or Price Dumb – This is as close as a Costco we get here (owners were former founders I think of Costco). Membership is $15 a year. It is a large warehouse type store, very similar to Costco. They have some Kirkland products like the dog food. I go here for wine, beer, milk, cheese, cold cuts, cereal, spaghetti sauce, condiments and dish soaps, etc. They have some great bakery items like hoagie rolls and other breads for a great price.  My favorite here is the rotisserie chicken for only $7. This is by far my favorite for shopping.

There is also Gourmet Gallery at Crown Bay Marina and Havensight. This is a smaller scale, high end grocery store, but the prices there just don’t fit our budget.

My normal routine for shopping is Plaza Minus, Price Stupid and Cost U More. Yes it takes three stores to usually complete my bi-weekly shopping experience. And don’t be surprised that about 10-20% of the items on your list will be out of stock and sometimes you may see it the next time, 6 months or never again. This leads to a hoarding behavior found here. Another note of caution, anything like breads or other fresh items here do not survive well in our tropical climate, so it is not unusual to look in a local’s refrigerator to see a box of Triscuits, loaf of bread and a box of cereal in there.

Also be forewarned, that if you pay by credit card, be ready to show ID with it. Same when leaving the stores, you need to show them a receipt so that person can sign their autograph on there.

I hope I covered that topic now? It could be worse, I could live in St John with only the Dolphin Market? I wonder if people from St John dream of coming to St Thomas to shop? I am still dreaming of a stateside trip to Costco and a Whole Foods! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Happy Friday!

Went out fishing today in the afternoon on the new boat as I heard the wahoo bite was on!

No wahoo, had a blue marlin on, too bad it broke the line and took a $80 lure?

This weekend, Cane Garden Bay, BVI and fishing on Sunday as I doubt the Jets have a chance against New England?

Have a great weekend wherever you are and to those stateside, Fall is here I guess, stay warm!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Friday!

It is that time of the week again for Happy Friday!

Good news! The National Park read the deeds that Rockefeller had drawn up when he donated all the lands to the National Park Service and my guess they contained that the Park could not restrict access to the beaches, so guess what?  As of last Sunday the beaches on St John are open again!

These photos are from a few weeks ago from a friend, Jeff Howard. They are Cruz Bay's Hollywood on St John. Kenny Chesney gave him a signed guitar! How nice and awesome that was of him to do that! Pure Life on a Rock?

We have a long weekend here and will probably head over to Jost on Monday for the holiday! Go Jets, beat those Steelers! Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Boating Around the Entire Island of St Thomas

So what a better day to try out the new boat last Sunday, calm winds and sunny! How about a trip around the entire island of St Thomas? We have never done that before so why not. Usually the North Side is too rough as the Atlantic Ocean pounds that side. Not on Sunday, it was a lake out there!

We started out of Compass Point Marina, which is right near Secret Harbor and headed out!

Red Hook

Sapphire Beach 

Sapphire Beach 

Our house on the knoll in the center, tucked away in the trees

Mahogany Run

Hans Lolick

Magens Bay 

Magens Bay 

Outer and Inner Brass

Mermaid's Chair

Culebra, Puerto Rico

End of the Runway at St Thomas Airport


Homeymoon Beach, Water Island

Cocktail Time!

Louly III

Leaving Honeymoon Beach

Southside off of Frenchman's Bay

Back to Compass Point

The whole trip took about 2.5 hours to complete going at 26 knts of course with stops. We travelled 40.4 miles. If you ever get the chance to do it, it was certainly a good time!