Why Keep Left? Donkeys

July 1st, 2015

Why do you drive on the left on St. John? Because of the donkeys.

At least that’s the story Carolina Corral tells in the brochure you can grab at its sign along Centerline Road.

Donkeys were  delivery trucks back in the day, carrying up to 200 pounds of stone or water.

“To avoid confusion with groups of donkeys traveling in the opposite direction they were all trained to stay on the left,” says Carolina Corral’s brochure. “This is the most popular explanation of why present day motorized traffic travels on the left, originally designed so as to not interrupt the chain of donkeys set about their task.”

That is why even today the donkeys hug the side of the road.

 







Time Lapse, Turtle Beach

June 30th, 2015

Here’s another GoPro time lapse video from On-StJohn.com reader Michael Sengstock.

Enjoy three sunny hours on Caneel Bay’s Turtle Beach in just three minutes. Awesome Mike…







Dreeket’s Bay villa: La Pura Vida

June 30th, 2015

If you can afford $14,000 for a winter week (or a relative bargain low-season rate of $6,000), and staying out on the East End is on your bucket list, check out La Pura Vida.

If you can’t afford it, check out the website anyway. Building an impressive villa of this size and intricacy way out on the East End must have been quite the project.

You can also check out the Steve Simonsen video of La Pura Vida, below…







In Memory Of: Capt. John Brandi

June 26th, 2015

St. John has lost one of its finest ambassadors and his wife has lost her very best friend.

Capt. John Brandi passed away last night after a battle with an unusual cancer.

All of you who had the pleasure of spending time with John, on land or on sea, have incredible memories. John was witty and funny, he absolutely loved life and what he was doing, and he was a very smart businessman.

John and Sue came to St. John a decade ago after a very successful run in the food business. John’s plan was to sit on the beach and read books all day. That lasted three months.

Soon John was doing what he loved again. Working hard to make people happy, first renting dinghies in Cruz Bay and then buying his charter boat and starting Palm Tree Charters. That’s a competitive line of work on St. John, but John ‘s integrity and honesty quickly made him the role model for all other captains.

John endured difficult treatment for his disease, but he remained happy and active, and anybody who followed him on social media knows he never lost his zest for life and for entertaining us.

We will miss John, but we, like many, many people, have wonderful and unique memories, thanks to a very special man. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sue.

John may be gone, but – at least for now – his voicemail lives on. And his voicemail is all John Brandi. It will make you smile.

We will miss you John. “It’s true, it’s true..”

Cards to Sue:
Sue Brandi
6416 Estate Pastory
St. John, VI 00830







Kidd Kraddick comes to St. John

June 25th, 2015

Syndicated radio show Kidd Kraddick in the Morning has a huge fan on St. John. Leah Randall has been following the show since she lived in Texas.

And she persuaded the show’s J-Si Chavez to visit this weekend with his wife.

Leah works at Island Getaways.

J-Si and wife get a stay at one of Island Getaways’ villas along with air fare courtesy Island Getaways and some other comps. In return, St. John and Island Getaways gets a whole lot of publicity from the hugely popular radio show.

We’ll follow up after their visit this weekend.

When Leah’s not coming up with ways to generate attention for the Virgin Islands, she’s a huge lobster diving fan.







When is the last barge?

June 25th, 2015

The last barge, in both directions, is supposed to be 7 pm.

We caught this barge, from Red Hook to St. John at 6:30, and the captain said it was the last St. Thomas to St. John barge of the evening. (Though, technically we left at 6:40, so maybe it was just an early-departing 7 pm barge?)

If you’re arriving on a late flight, and renting your Jeep at the airport, you need to know this.

Any flight arrival after 5 pm – scheduled or delayed – would really be pushing it for the car barge.

The passenger ferries run until midnight.







Elaine Estern’s 2016 Calendar

June 24th, 2015

It may only be June, but it’s not too early to think about next year’s calendar.

Coconut Coast Studios’ Elaine Estern is finished with her 2016 calendar, and is taking orders now. They’ll ship starting in July. They always sell out quickly.

This year’s theme is “West Indian Cottages.”

“With all of the progress and development in recent years on our small island, I feel it is important to reflect on the past, a time of a simpler lifestyle,” Elaine says. “These homes are from a time when the only modes of transportation were donkeys, horses and boats.”

Order your 2016 calendar here.







Sweet Plantains owners off to Maine

June 23rd, 2015

UPDATE: The Boston Globe says the essay contest may have broken the law.

Coral Bay restaurant Sweet Plantains owners Prince and Rose Adams moved to St. John from New York about a decade ago. And now they’re moving back to snow.

The couple won a crazy essay contest in Lovell, Maine to pick the new owner of a 210-year-old Bed & Breakfast called the Center Lovell Inn. Thousands of  people entered the contest, at $125 per entry, according to the Boston Globe.

They wrote their essay about their marriage and the restaurant business.

And here’s the kicker. Neither of them, or their son Jacob, have ever been to Maine, the Globe says.

They’ll reopen the Maine Bed & Breakfast next month.

Read the Boston Globe article about Prince and Rose here.







Starfish will shop for you

June 22nd, 2015

Villa provisioning is well-executed by the catering companies that do it on St. John, and it’s a nice convenience that you shouldn’t just consider for the rich.

Now Starfish has entered the game, and management companies speak very highly of it.

It is all online, and a lot like Peapod, or other mainstream grocery delivery Websites. Booze included.

The difference is that Starfish will contact your villa’s management company and arrange for delivery of your groceries to your villa before you get there.

Ask your villa management company about it. Check out the Starfish online ordering here.

 







How’s my toaster working out for you?

June 19th, 2015

My red Viking toaster found a new home at the dumpster exchange in less than an hour.

It’s a great toaster. It was just missing a knob.

It was also time for my once-a-year deposit of cracked and faded “guaranteed to never crack or fade” Frontgate floaties. (They found a new home by the end of the day too.)

Old vs. new. Which will be old a year from now…

Even teak needs to be replaced eventually on St. John.







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