August 06, 2006

Sunday in the US Virgin Islands


So today was my kind of VI day. There was a little rain and some clouds in the morning, but by late morning it was sunny and breezy, with blue skies and passing clouds. We took the kids down to the Elysian on the East End out by the Ritz Carlton. There are a couple of places to eat there, Bonnie's (the cheese burger was good - not so sure about the conch fritters though!) and Robert's, and you can usually snag some beach furniture without much hassle.

I had a nice snorkel, mostly along the east side (facing the water). The highlight was a good size Nassau Grouper hiding out in a rock, and a few large Grey Angels, along with a huge snapper (I don't have my fish guide book with me - I need to look it up to make sure what it was exactly).

We spent a few hours there, swimming, eating, playing on the sand with the kids, and picked up some good VI gossip from some old friends we ran into. All in all, a very nice day.

Posted by afinta at 07:56 PM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2006

Back in the USVI...

So I am back on St. Thomas for the first time in about a year. I have only been here for about 48 hours and the weather hasn't been so great - a couple of tropical waves have passed through with some torrential downpours and the sun hasn't really been out since I got here. I am hoping for some better weather tomorrow as I need to get over to St. John for a little business and dinner with the infamous "Eric on St. John".

Many things have changed in the last 12 months (and many have stayed the same). Had a great dinner (back w at Alexander's Bella Blu in Frenchtown and saw a lot of old friends. Frechtown is also where Tim Duffy has closed up shop on his experiment in fine Southwest/Steak House dining (actually I think they have been closed at Noche for quite a while but it just recently changed hands). I did actually like the place a lot when it was open, the food was great, the drinks were great, and it had one of the finest interiors in the VI - great chairs, lighting, etc. Duffy is now down to the the Love Shack in Redhook, his empire apparently in a bit of tatters. Noche never quite recovered from the opening gaffes with the locals (no kids, etc.) to say the least. Also noticed that the Frenchtown Deli has done some remodeling/reconfiguring of their interior space and finally did some outside painting. The breakfast (and the coffee!) was still very good, and the staff is one of the nicest on the island.

Noticed from the plane on the way in that the Botany Bay area has a lot of newly paved (or more accurately poured concrete) roads - I am hoping to take a drive out there and do some exploring.

The fort is still under renovation, and from what I could see driving by from the car looks great so far. I would assume they are going to paint it red again in the end, but right now the stonework and concrete are raw and it looks very interesting that way.

Another VI personality has been in the news recently and not in a good way - I haven't read enough yet to know exactly what is going on, but Jeffrey Epstein seems to be in more than a little bit of trouble. Innocent until proven guilty I guess but none of that story sounds too good.

Have seen some friends and family and have a lot more of that to do, as well as take care of some business and get some snorkeling in. More soon -

Posted by afinta at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2006

The Coconut Telegraph

This blog is not exactly what we hoped it would be. Running the travel website(s) on a day to day basis has not really left me enough time to devote to this place, and it also seems that no matter what we try to do here, people for the most part prefer the forum, so going forward that is what we are going to spend most of our time developing. Our thinking is that the Coconut Telegraph will morph into a blog about our sites and our plans and what we do new, etc. along with news about Caribbean travel and deals. Maybe 3 people care, maybe nobody does - we'll see!

Posted by afinta at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2005


We got back on Monday afternoon - and we were pretty beat. We spent the afternoon cleaning up the mold (we were gone for a month) - residents of the VI who live in the hills know what I mean. Yesterday the power was out on St. Thomas for most of the day, which meant so was my connection, so I couldn't do much more than unpack and shuffle papers around - and now the bug has caught up to me (see the previous post) and I am off to the doctor this morning. Things will pick up here again when I am healthy!

Posted by afinta at 11:39 AM | Comments (2)

July 25, 2005

Back on St. Thomas

If it's Monday, this must be St. Thomas. We will be back on island around 2:00 PM and I will be back to work Tuesday. Lots of news to come, plus the promised Anegada report (it was great - seems like a year ago, not a month), pictures, and more. Our trip to NJ was really crazy - we ended up with my wife and youngest daughter catching pneumonia, and my oldest also on antibiotics by the end. The doctor said she had never seen anything like it. There is also a big surprise coming - so keep watching this space! Thanks -


Posted by afinta at 01:22 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2005

Sorry I have been AWOL

Sorry we have been absent here - we took a little vacation to Anegada, and then only had a day in-between before a month here in the states. It is sort of a vacation mixed in with a lot of baby sitting as I have a brother in-law getting married, so work has mostly been responding to email and making sure the site is running. We are planning to write up a report of our Anegada trip, and also posting pictures again as well as setting up a way for users to submit pictures.


Posted by afinta at 06:51 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2005

Busy days in the V.I.

Haven't had much time to write here lately. The season has been busy and we are working on a lot of behind the scenes changes to USVI-On-Line and Caribbean-On-Line - hopefully you will get to see some of them soon. We have had record traffic the last 2 months and record sales to go along with it, thanks to all of you who came to the site (and a special thanks to all who buy!). We sold about 30 trips to the U.S.V.I. in January and February.

We also had a nice write up in by part time St. Johnian Frank Barnako, who also happens to author the News Of St. John blog.

We did have some time to have some fun too - that included a one day trip to Anegada recently while an old friend was visiting from NJ. I put up some pictures of the outstanding Loblolly Bay area here if you are curious. The snorkeling was top notch - deep water, huge reefs, amazing specimens of coral and fish. We are planning to spend a few days there this June, staying right on Loblolly Bay on Lavenda Breeze. After that trip I will have a more detailed report of Anegada and more pictures, including (I hope) some of the flamingos too.

This week saw the arrival of the Mirabella V in the harbor (pic below) which as of this post is the tallest single masted ship in the world. It is pretty impressive. It is the ship out in the harbor on the right just at the point of Hassle Island.

Posted by afinta at 02:58 PM

January 10, 2005

"Idiot musings" by JSS3

Y'all, progress ain't all what it's cracked up to be. There are folks out there living in (and falling from) treetops to protest logging. There are others hugging snail darters somewhere and a few advocating relocating itsy bitsy shrimp at LAX, and NOW... there is a move to close the Virgin Gorda airport. Arrghh! We need to mount a protest, or maybe a sit-in. Something we can write-off MY taxes, anyway! We need press coverage that will be inaccurate, and T-shirts, and placards that look hand-drawn. We need Sir Dickie Branson to fly his VIRGIN hot air balloon overhead. (So, we have a little nuisance of unruly elections in Iraq, and a wave in the Indian Ocean, and some dislocated endangered ani-mules here and there. but what's REALLY important?) Break out that wallet and send me a dollar. I'll be sure to put it where it counts, and I'll keep thinking of YOU as I order another round at The Beach Bar! JEST you wait and see, JSS3.

Posted by afinta at 07:20 PM

August 30, 2004

Home Coming

Just a few weeks at most until I leave NJ for St. Thomas. The family is there already and the girls have started school. I am worried about "Frances" but it seems that the worst is going to pass to the north of St. Thomas. We will be doing a lot more in this space come October. Stay tuned...

Posted by afinta at 11:53 PM | Comments (1)

June 15, 2004

The Webcam is back

I see the Webcam pic is live again. We are still waiting for summer to start here in NJ. It is getting warmer but really haven't had a nice stretch of days yet. For most kids this is the last week of school so things should start to pick up. Some of you were wondering where I am exactly - so here it is

Anyone with anything to post about the VI here let me know! It looks like the Caribbean is going to have a few rainy days this week.

Posted by afinta at 02:26 PM | Comments (5)

May 31, 2004

I'm Still Alive

Hi there,

So - we made it through the first holiday weekend of the summer season here in NJ. We had a lot of people come in the shop that visit the Virgin Islands. Today the weather was really bad and we closed early, but there was a family in and a little boy with a St. John shirt on - I inquired when they were there (a few weeks ago), and they told me they spent most of their days at the pool (the Westin), only rented a car one day, and didn't go to any beaches!!! Can you believe it?

Also met someone who spends a week a year, minimun, at Hakuna Matata. And I saw a friend who usually sails out of Tortola for a week each winter.

Once we get a schedule down I will be posting here more often, I hope (another promise to break!). I am still waiting on a couple of friends to kick in with some posts... they know who they are.

Posted by afinta at 09:56 PM | Comments (2)

April 23, 2004

Some news and open thread

We tried to get a lot done recently before our annual trek to NJ. Some things are done, a lot is planned, and some is coming soon. The newest thing is - a site for virgin islands real estate news and resources.

We also got free classified ads running, but the uptake has been a little slow. We expect that to increase once we get our relocation section up (which should happen is some form by June 1, 2004).

The other bigger plan is a total revamp to the back ends of Caribbean-On-Line and Virgin-Islands-On-Line, which will add a lot more functionality to the site including user photo albums, forums, reviews, comments, an interactive FAQ, etc. This may not happen until the Fall though, or maybe even closer to the end of the year.

Feel free to discuss and ask questions on this thread -



Posted by afinta at 11:27 AM | Comments (1)

February 19, 2004

A personal note

So how do you run a very busy Web site and take care of two kids at the same time? I am finding out this week as my wife is in the States visiting her parents. So far the worst of it is the new upstairs neighbors - they were actually hammering some new shelving together last night - at 4:00 AM!!!

I had to go up there finally around 5:00 and ask them to stop. I just don't get how you can have hammers out in a duplex, with tile floors, and be assembling something on that floor - all night long. Besides the lack of sleep (and the headache that comes with it for me) things are going okay. I will keep this updated as the situation worsens :)

Posted by afinta at 10:12 AM | Comments (3)