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ST JOHN part 1 #262245
08/11/2021 11:10 AM
08/11/2021 11:10 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
B
BEERMAN Offline OP
Traveler
BEERMAN  Offline OP
Traveler
B
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
St John August 3-10, 2021

We have a long history with St John, but it had been 4 years since our last visit by boat, probably 9-10 years since we did a land based trip. Started planning in May and with such a short planning window we checked on Jeep rentals first, we feel it's a must have. Lucked out and found one at Cool Breeze Car Rental next to the NPS docks, checked that box please proceed....


Next it was time to watch the airfare, quickly jumped on a United flight using points, check that box! Now the villa, we have used a friends company for years, but she moved back to the states after 40 years on St John, drats! We chose to use CateredTo, they've been there forever and we've actually used them before. Found a great villa on a cliff at Boatman's Point, check!


All 4 of us were vaccinated in April and since a positive antibody test was only required we took care of that in late May. FYI, I understand that requirement is changing this week, USVI is now requiring a negative PCR/Rapid test for all travelers. Entering our info into the USVI Travel Portal 5 days before our trip was straight forward and we had our approval in a day. We bought trip insurance from Generali because traveling during these difficult times it just feels right!


Now travel often comes with a little stress ...right?! Our stress wasn't the Covid BS, it was caused 10 days before our trip when CateredTo contacted us to advise that the villa we booked was having some "serious maintenance issue" and the owner pulled our booking?! OK, we ask what options do we have? they say CateredTo has NO VILLAS in inventory for our Tuesday to Tuesday dates, but if we didn't mind spending 4 nights in one and 3 nights in another, they might be able to make that happen? as they tried to piece this together they found a villa that's not on their website that was comparable, we say go ahead and put a "hold" on it and we would search some ourselves. There honestly weren't any availabilities unless we wanted to spend 5K per night, YIKES!!! Following day....CateredTo says the second villa we put the hold on was just pulled by the owner, DAAAAAMN!!!! The representative was not happy with the owner, very sympathetic and apologetic and said she'd continue to put calls out, but she actually said if she couldn't find something we may have to cancel all together...NOOOOOO! Later the same day she said she found availability at Sunset Ridge Villas, we say BOOK IT!!! I vaguely knew of this older 6 unit property, we then googled all we could find about it and said it "should" be fine!


Ok deep breath......Travel Day! Started with a 2 hour delayed departure out of Dulles....breathe....contacted Kevin's Taxi and told him about delay, all good he texted! Contacted Cool Breeze and told them we would be on the 5pm ferry, she says they'll be closed but keys will be in a Jeep with our name on it....ahhhh very good!


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Once off the plane there was little stress, simply warm Caribbean air!! National Guard quickly checked our temperatures on the tarmac, then our bags quickly came off the belt. Thankfully Kevin was right where he said he would be! Great taxi ride to Red Hook. Kevin filled us in on all that has happened in 4 years. Mentioned to him that we talked to a young couple going to Margaritaville, he said guests aren't happy because of the sargassum there....more on sargassum later!


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Luckily we contacted Cool Breeze because we actually took the 6pm ferry instead of 5pm...we were breathing fresh Caribbean air and we quickly forgot about the delays. Driving to Red Hook and once on the ferry we commented on how green it was, saw some existing storm damage, but everything was looking pretty normal, including beautiful mature trees! Approaching St John is always a thrill, boats in the water, healthy green mountains! I marked the pics where Sunset Ridge Villas sit.


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Off the punctual ferry, then a quick walk to Cool Breeze where we found our white 4 door Jeep waiting for us...and the villa rep! There are 2 routes to the villa, the rep took us southside past the Westin then turn up Serendip Rd I believe. Drove in the private drive lined with beautiful Flamboyants, Mango, Palms, Bougainvillea etc. A very quick property tour and we bid farewell to the very nice villa rep! What a beautiful property and the views! (Pics of villa in part 2) The sun was setting fast, so we hopped back in the Jeep, drove down the Centerline route and provisioned a little (BEER/RUM) at Dolphin Market. We then parked at Cool Breeze and walked to the Quiet Mon for our first cold one! while there we ordered burgers to go to on line from Tap and Still across the street, very convenient! WE ARE REALLY HERE!!!!


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To be continued, Cheers!.....................

BVI Sponsors
Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: BEERMAN] #262253
08/11/2021 11:26 AM
08/11/2021 11:26 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,225
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
Traveler
LocalSailor  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,225
USVI
Yes ... Since Denise left island I miss the lady too!

Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: BEERMAN] #262254
08/11/2021 11:29 AM
08/11/2021 11:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,370
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,370
Central Florida!
Wow, travelling is such a pleasure these days, huh??? Looking forward to the rest of the story!


Carol Hill
Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: LocalSailor] #262255
08/11/2021 11:44 AM
08/11/2021 11:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
B
BEERMAN Offline OP
Traveler
BEERMAN  Offline OP
Traveler
B
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
LocalSailor, yep something special was missing this trip. We keep in touch, she's doing great, but selfishly we want her to move back ha!

Carol, even with the hiccups it was great to get down there again. As usual, we are talking about a return sooner than later!

Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: BEERMAN] #262259
08/11/2021 11:57 AM
08/11/2021 11:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,370
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,370
Central Florida!
Beerman--I guess you were lucky, as far as not having to do testing this time, so there just HAD to be something go wrong!! laugh


Carol Hill
Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: BEERMAN] #262260
08/11/2021 12:15 PM
08/11/2021 12:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,825
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
Traveler
RickG  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,825
St. John, USVI
Sorry for the thrash! Glad it worked out. You have a great attitude!

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: BEERMAN] #262268
08/11/2021 01:33 PM
08/11/2021 01:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,262
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
Traveler
TomB  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,262
Virginia wishing STJ
Beerman and Family - welcome back!

So looking forward to your report.
We stayed at Sunset Ridge back in 2004 and loved it. Wow that was 17 years ago...

What an amazing breeze on that hill and we spent almost all the time on the patio when at the villa.
Each villa had a wonderful plunge pool in the center of the patio then, but I heard they kept leaking so they filled them up.

Attached Files SSRV2004-1.JPGSSRV2004-2.JPG

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: TomB] #262273
08/11/2021 02:26 PM
08/11/2021 02:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
B
BEERMAN Offline OP
Traveler
BEERMAN  Offline OP
Traveler
B
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
Rick, trust me I can have a bad attitude...but in this case it wasn't worth it, we stayed positive and fortunately everything worked out. We have NO negative comments in regards to CateredTo, everyone's hands were kinda tied, except the 2nd owner who didn't honor the 24 hour "Hold" he personally accepted from CateredTo, putz!.

Cool Tom! They did remove all plunge pools, but all the units have just been remodeled! We really liked the place, great views, great pool very comfortable!!

Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: BEERMAN] #262292
08/11/2021 05:50 PM
08/11/2021 05:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,680
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
Traveler
maytrix  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,680
Massachusetts
Awesome!

And compared to ours, your travel sounded like a piece of cake! Lol


Matt
Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: maytrix] #262299
08/11/2021 06:15 PM
08/11/2021 06:15 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
B
BEERMAN Offline OP
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BEERMAN  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
Matt, before we landed 2 hours late in Dulles the flight crew asked for those with connecting flights to turn on their overhead lights, dozens lit up! They asked that others remain seated so those headed to the West coast could exit....then another 45 minutes on the Dulles tarmac because a severe thunderstorm shut the airport down....I know all of those passengers got to sleep in our wonderful state of Virginia!

Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: BEERMAN] #262303
08/11/2021 08:24 PM
08/11/2021 08:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,680
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
Traveler
maytrix  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,680
Massachusetts
It is one reason I always try to fly direct. I guess also I should have said travel planning. Because of travel was smooth but the planning was a nightmare. I must have changed flights a half dozen times or more.

Just wish our trips had lined up better. Next time!


Matt
Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: maytrix] #262311
08/12/2021 08:13 AM
08/12/2021 08:13 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
B
BEERMAN Offline OP
Traveler
BEERMAN  Offline OP
Traveler
B
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
It would have been fun to time it right, we'd actually trade you a day sail for a provision delivery!!!

Last edited by BEERMAN; 08/12/2021 08:51 AM.
Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: BEERMAN] #262525
08/14/2021 12:16 PM
08/14/2021 12:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 146
Bakersfield, CA
Bakoguy Offline
Traveler
Bakoguy  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 146
Bakersfield, CA
Beerman,

Just noticed the photo of Redhook showing two Island Packet 480s in the mooring field. The dark blue hull one is Lady Margaret which we chartered in June and had way to much fun. Cheers,
Allen

Re: ST JOHN part 1 [Re: Bakoguy] #262712
08/17/2021 08:33 AM
08/17/2021 08:33 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
B
BEERMAN Offline OP
Traveler
BEERMAN  Offline OP
Traveler
B
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
Nice boat, Cool!


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