Jumbie Bay St John USVI

First Visit After Irma – Impressions

Well, we’ve been here for a week and wanted to let you know our impressions, observations and experiences so far. We promise not to oversell anything. Having proper expectations is key to enjoying this amazing place – either pre- or post- hurricanes.

What’s still here? Let’s talk nature first…Great temperatures, beautiful colored skies and water, green hills and mountains, sunsets and sunrises painting the clouds coral and pink, rainbows – both single and double, boat and ferry activity in the harbor to observe, beaches with the amazing soft white sand we all love, clear water to see your toes in the beautiful sand, turtles, fish chasing each other across the surface of the water and hermit crabs rolling down the trail as you hike the nicely cleared and maintained trails.


Changes in the natural environment… palm trees and many of the sea grape shade providing trees on the beach are down. Solomon Beach is very different with lots of rocks washed up, but you can see where more sand is being washed up onto beach. The three twisted palms are gone and that was a bit sad. We walked on to Honeymoon Beach which still has beautiful sand, but less shade. Jumble Beach was the first beach we visited and thought it was great! We found some shade, the beach was a little wider. Francis Bay was very nice, still a great place to snorkel or stand up paddle board. Cinnamon Beach is wider and the sand is still beautiful. Unfortunately Maho Beach will take your breath away due to the amount of trees it lost. But even the bent trees are sprouting new growth.

Here is a general theme – getting to and approaching many beaches will be shocking and overwhelming at times when you see the destruction to some vegetation, others will be slightly changed from before. But once you get there, sit down in your chair (possibly under the beach umbrella we brought down) you will sigh and say “aaahhhhh – this is why we love this place.”

We keep trying to put our feelings into words to adequately convey to you what to expect. One thought is this. People who love St John will probably really enjoy it now. Why? Well for one thing it is a lot less crowded. That may not last long but it reminds us of when we come in the fall and you recognize faces -locals and tourists. And it reminds you of a simpler, less spoiled island.

Let’s move on to the man made attractions. Biggest change that we saw when arrived on ferry was that Wharfside Village is not open and there are still two boats on the beach. But barges with cranes are moving sunken ferries and sailboats every day.

But you can have a waterside drink at “Drink” right next to Grande Bay. (I can see its roof from where I am sitting writing this.). And we hear that High Tide on the ferry terminal side of Wharfside Village will open any day now. The Terrace is open, Lime Inn, Dalivio’s, Longboards. Many people will watch playoffs today at Drink, The Doghouse Pub or Quiet Mon.

We’ve actually enjoyed Quiet Mon a lot this week and even the guy who made it famous by singing about it was there last night hanging out with his local buddies. Yep, I mean Kenny Chesney, a true hero to the island with what he and his foundation have done.

There are lots more restaurants and stores open, just can’t name them all. And many more beaches to visit.

And then as always, you start and end your day with the incredible views from your terrace at St John Escape.


We will share more with you next week. Pls feel free to ask questions.

Leslie & Peter

4 thoughts on “First Visit After Irma – Impressions

  • 01/23/2018 at 8:53 AM

    Thank you for the great pictures and informative status of the island. It truly looks great.

  • 01/25/2018 at 8:20 PM

    Sounds like a great week. We try to get down to St. John a couple of times a year, usually over in Coral Bay.

    Noticed your Wilmington (Landfall) address. We are part-time Landfall residents on Cross Staff Road. It’s a small world.

  • 01/27/2018 at 7:00 AM

    Great update. How is the infrastructure…roads, phone service, etc? We first visited St John thirty years ago and have rarely missed a year. Thank you!

  • 01/27/2018 at 9:32 AM

    Thanks so much for the update. We visit every year and will be back in July this time. I am excited to get back. We are bringing our daughter with us and the thought has occurred to me that I should inquire about overall safety. After the hurricane, there were some instances of things not going so well in the crime department. This can really happen anywhere during a crisis…so how are things now?


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