Posts Categorized: Local Advice

Shipwrecks and Treasure and Pirates, Oh My!

Pirate Jean Hamelin St. Thomas Treasure Museum

The Virgin Islands is a paradise not only full of beauty, but also an alluring history. Just below the surface of our ever changing sand and unbelievably blue waters is the story of square riggers battling for their crown, pirates trading goods and hiding in the protection of promises made by corrupt governors of St…. Read more »

People-Powered Profile – Busy Bee Charters

Busy Bee Charters Virgin Islands

During college freshman orientation, Bryan Barnes, owner of Busy Bee Charters was asked what he wanted to do when he grew up. His response, “Run a fishing boat in the Caribbean.” This answer surprised not only the counselor, but Bryan himself! He wasn’t a fisherman, he had no interest in fishing, and he had never been… Read more »

6 Virgin Islands Luxury Resorts That Offer Cheap Summer Rates to Locals

Virgin Island Hotels Summer Rates

One word, Summertime. You know what I’m taking about. If you live in the Virgin Islands, this is the game changer. The mad rush of tourists dwindles to a trickle. The water warms up and the people slow down, way down. If you work in the tourism industry (and who doesn’t) then you are either… Read more »

The Macabre Parable of the Island Tiny House Craze

Virgin Island Tiny Home

The tiny house craze seems to have enveloped the Virgin Islands and the joke about tiny houses and their rentability just keeps getting bigger. Stained Glass Irene, who is almost always right, told me never to relate this following true tiny house story in print. Did I listen to her? Nope. This tale is macabre… Read more »

Most Complete Guide to St. John Festival, Ever!

Cooper Penn Grande Marshall St. John Festival

St. John, US Virgin Islands, affectionately nicknamed “Love City,” is the scene for some of the most fantastic Festival revelry in the Caribbean. The St. John Festival is a month-long celebration that kicks off energetically with live music and performances and ramps up to an awe-inspiring fireworks display in the Cruz Bay harbor on the… Read more »

The Low Down on Low Key Watersports – 31 Years of Extraordinary Scuba Diving

Low Key Watersports

When Bob Shinners imagines the movie of his life it opens with him as a young man standing on a Milwaukee bridge in a thick parka. He climbs the safety rail, closes his eyes, and jumps. As he plunges into the icy water, his steel toed boots and heavy winter clothes suck him into the… Read more »

A Virgin Islands Bride’s Guide to the Final Countdown

Fourteen days has never sounded like such a big number, that is, until it’s fourteen days before your wedding day! Like most brides you are probably running around like a chicken without a head wondering if you’ve completed all that has to be done. Guide to Getting Married on St. John If you’re here because… Read more »

The Real Carolyn Goodlander – A Peek Behind the Curtain of Fatty’s Empire

Carolyn Goodlander is truly a woman of the world. When I met with Carolyn to share lunch and words at the Cruz Bay Landing on St. John, she had just returned from her third circumnavigation aboard the sailboat home she shares with her writer husband Captain Fatty Goodlander, the editor-at-large at Cruising World Magazine, author… Read more »

VI Businesses – Meet Your New Digital Marketing Team

Digital marketing is the most powerful advertising tool Virgin Islands businesses have. That’s because the tourism audience is a global one. Visitors to the Virgin Islands take two vacations. Tourists bookmark websites, download travel apps, and pin their dream trip on Pinterest long before they set foot on an airplane. They decide what restaurants they… Read more »

What Kind of Sailor Are You, Yachtie or Cruiser?

Lots of cruising sailors wash over the collective bow of St. John. Many are capable and navigate the Sir Francis Drake Channel like it was a lake. Others fall into the category of quirky and fade quickly from memory. Others just stick because they are so real. John St. John is one cruiser that I… Read more »

Heart of a Mermaid – Diving the Virgin Islands is in My Blood

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau The Virgin Islands are a rich paradise full of a diverse things to do from hiking, to bar hopping, to photography, to sailing. These are a few of my past times. I find it impossible to… Read more »

What You Want to Know but Are Afraid to Ask About the Virgin Islands

Virgin Island transplants get a lot of questions. Most are easily answered with, “The beach is that way,” or “You know, working hard, mom.” Another type of question, that is not so simply answered, revolves around moving to the islands. If you already live here, these queries come from cyberspace like meteors. You’ve got mail… Read more »

Get Married on St. John – DIY Island-Style Wedding

In the first installment of Get Married on St. John, I shared all you need to know about St. John wedding locations, obtaining the needed documents and permits for your nuptials, and advice on hiring a planner. But there’s more. If you decided to hire a wedding planner, they will ensure that every detail is lovingly… Read more »

The Unwritten Rules of a Courteous Sailor

Sailors are as vast and varied as their vessels but it doesn’t matter if you have a 3 million dollar boat or a 3,000 dollar one, the sea doesn’t discriminate. Sailors know this which is probably why there are unwritten rules and courtesies when we find a fellow mariner’s boat in distress.  Read more »