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Yesterday at 09:33 PM Underway update [by nysaills]
Just got to Marina Cay, lots of moorings, $30 a night but restaurant at Scrub is operational for those moored at Marina Cay! The deli is also operational with ice too! They want and are ready for people to have dinner!!
1 241 Read More
Yesterday at 07:34 PM Sint Maarten as a country, no longer viable? [by BeachKitten]
http://www.knipselkrant-curacao.com...-longer-viable-as-an-autonomous-country/
8 701 Read More
Yesterday at 06:28 PM Metals awaiting export [by SXMScubaman]
https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/73798-metal-heaps
0 298 Read More
Yesterday at 05:51 PM Emmanuel gives away land [by Carol_Hill]
Daily Herald link

This is the same character who took out the bollards on Front Street and who said he was going to re-route the Beacon Hill Road. Wow, I hope he doesn't get re-elected.
5 578 Read More
Yesterday at 05:19 PM Just curious [by Biturbo]
On the 'who's online now" list --- what's a spider?
3 558 Read More
Yesterday at 01:15 PM ATM in cruise port terminal? [by h2olvr]
Is there an ATM in the cruise Port Terminal? If so, does it dispense in euros?
6 342 Read More
Yesterday at 01:33 AM Jimmy B gives the BVI a shoutout! [by sailbynight]
During CBS Sunday Morning news feature, Jimmy was asked what he would be if it weren't for New Orleans creating who he has become today

"I'd probably be running a bar in The BVI"
1 356 Read More
Yesterday at 01:15 AM Cruise trip report to SXM [by Snorkeller]
Grandeur stopped in SXM today. We had fantastic weather today - but it was very windy (they say the Christmas winds have not stopped) and the sea conditions were not the best for our snorkel excursion.

Ship arrived in SXM a little after 7am - first port of five ports in which we arrived later than scheduled arrival. Another couple and the two of us got off about 7:30 and went out main gate and met Calvin from Rodeal who was there waiting for us. We rented a car for about $60 - a very good condition Toyota Corolla. Great service from Rodael. Thanks to Mike and Lesley for their recommendation.

Port obviously had taken a hit but looked pretty good. There was evidence of some damage to buildings and a few things were just not there any more, but overall, first time visitors probably did not think too much of conditions in port.

Drove over to Orient Village to look around. Driving felt weird because so much vegetation was gone and also some buildings were gone or damaged - so, although I know the way so well I did not make any wrong turns, it just seemed kind of weird. Driving into and through Orient Bay Park, down to the village, we saw many buildings for the first time or better/differently because of the amount of vegetation (tress, bushes, etc) that were no longer there. The village looked terrible. Since this was early Sunday, even places that may be open or partly open some times were not open this morning. Bruno's places - Petit Casino, his bakery counter, and Yellow Submarine are cleared and cleaned up but there is not much there. All that remains of Yellow Submarine is messed up decking. Petit Casino looked like a mere shell. The bar that is usually frequented by locals looked like it was open other times but was closed this morning.

We drove down to the Kontiki statue - only the man remains - kind of amazing that the stone platform for the woman statue and the statue itself were gone without a trace, as far as I could tell. The amount of damage simply is sickening and we did not linger long.

We drove over to Grand Case which did not look as bad to us (just speaking relatively) as the water facing buildings left along Orient (probably because we did not see water-side) but the destruction was clear. Two small structures that had been in first municipal lot (across from where Calmos was) are simply gone but for remains of flooring. Talk of the Town and Sky’s the limit looked fixed up and people were working – I think Rib Shack is open and operating – not sure of others.

Stopped at airport (french-side) to use rest rooms and get a drink - and it looks great!

Drove to Oyster Bay Resort Marina. The marina you pass on left before getting to Oyster Bay Resort was simply smashed. A number of wrecks are in Oyster Pond. Mr. Busby's was smashed and little is left. The Westin looks like a horribly ugly concrete set of empty shells. The resort marina (where Captain Alan operation is located) did better but it needs a LOT of work. The storm surge was about twenty feet from normal sea level as it came ashore at Oyster Bay marina. Alan and Paul lost their newest boat (totally destroyed) and another will take a LOT of work to put back into operation... The surge knocked many boats off their lifts.

Four of us took a snorkel trip with Captain Alan - Alan actually was our captain for first time - wife and I have gone with them many times and have most often had Francois captain our boat. Francois and their other employees have found other work because they basically have little to no business going. I learned after getting back to ship in evening when I checked email that they had really wanted to cancel because of wind and sea conditions but they did not tell us that when we showed up. Despite the rough seas we had a great time, going to Tintamarre, where there were the fewest boats we have seen there - especially in February - high season! Did the standard Tintamarre, Green Cay, Pinel circuit. Water was murky - sea bed stirred up - and snorkeling not that great. But very good time.

Alan told us of Irma experience and how for a time after Irma there was simply lawlessness and looting everywhere. There were people stealing stuff they could never use or sell - ripping the equipment out of the McDonalds or fixtures from grocery stores. What he described was as bad or worse than what I had read about the first hours and days. Whatever the problems and issues, the government utterly failed to provide basic security for its people. If anyone in governing coalition on September 6 gets reelected it will just show how hopeless things may be.

We did a drive by of Orient on way back from Pinel to marina. Club Orient appears as reported and shown on videos - utterly smashed up and looted. It really was not something we wanted to look at very hard. I could not see a single building that looked like it was salvagable - but maybe there are some. There were about 50 to 60 umbrellas up on Club O beach and lots of people. There were two small operations to north. I was so unable to get oriented to where things had been I could not say if one was Chez Leandra - but from what has been reported it probably was. There was another very small operation north of that, but I have no idea if was someone who previously had operated something. There was a flag planted up near where new Bikina had been – I think that may have been Wind Adventure trying to get some kite surf business – but don’t know.

Drove by Bruno’s place and Bungalows and his house looked fine – lots of cars at bungalows and I think they were full of guests.

We have not talked to many other pax on ship but our general impression is that people had a great day in SXM – partly or mainly because of the fantastic weather – clear skies and temperature around 78 F. The people (as usual in our experience) are welcoming and friendly. People always saying thank you for coming. The few business people we talked to are determined to get their businesses back in shape and going again - no matter what it takes. Some said that business owners were far more likely to plan to get going again, while some employees and people who were not owners had left the island and might not return.

We normally visit SXM – land vacation - for over a week every year – some years it has been two visits – but, we probably will not do a land vacation in 2018. We are French-side people – we always stay on French-side and when eating out are far more likely to go French-side – it just is not the same and, at least for us, kind of depressing. I hate to say that knowing maybe some friends who live there see that. We will plan to stay extra long in 2019 if things can get a little bit closer to what it was – we still love the island and the people we know there.
15 1,025 Read More
02/18/2018 07:32 PM Virgin Gorda Airport [by macaroni]
Is it open? Any Cape Air flights going in and out? If not, any idea on when it will be back? Planning to return next year but want to make use our flights will be available. Thanks!
2 344 Read More
02/18/2018 04:18 PM Excursions in Sydney, AU [by CaptnAndy]
We are leaving for New Zealand in a few weeks, and on our return trip, we have 3 nights in Sydney, Australia.
We'd like to take a few excursions, but I'm hoping we can book them on the fly, once we are in Sydney.
Do you think we are risking getting shut out of day trips by waiting until we are there? There are two of us
traveling. We're considering a trip to the Blue Mountains, possible hike up the bridge, and hop-on, hop-off
bus. Not worried at all about hop-on option, but wondered about the others?
Thanks, Andy
1 62 Read More
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