Reef Madness

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"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

Lewis Carroll

So you see where we are, at least the last time we checked.

Here is how we got here...

Part I: The Honeymoon Phase

When we first saw the land it was so steep, we could not climb to the actual property. There was a goat trail leading up the side, and in flip-flops it was a daunting hike that ended after a few steps and a brush with the native cactus. But the view from the road below... Oh that view - that amazing view. We signed on the dotted line and our adventure began.


First stop, find a builder, get a plan, apply for a permit; how hard can that be? Oh wait - this is the USVI and nothing is easy in the USVI, least of all on the deceptively laid back island of St John. A mere two years and four cases of Scotch later and voila: a building permit!


First things first, let's get a road up to this 8-31 aerie. I am amazed that someone is foolhardy enough to even attempt driving a vehicle on our cliff side. I hear these guys do it all the time - no big deal to them. They don't even get hazardous duty pay..or do they?

Next, order the oxygen masks. This picture is taken from the bottom of the foundation and cistern level. The hill is reallythat steep. The house goes up from here!

Our first structure: Home sweet home!!! Ahhhhh... where's the pool?


We were embarrassed to admit to the locals that, yes, that ugly gash in what was a beautiful hillside, is our ugly gash in the beautiful hillside. As seen from Island Blues


Delays, delays, and more delays. And of course there was Katrina, destroying lives and property, and eating up the world’s supply of cement and concrete for all of eternity. Now what? We wait, and wait, and wait, along with everyone else trying to build anywhere on the planet. We are competing for the same concrete as our friends at Bongo Bongo and dozens of other villa hopefuls. We wish them all luck, but we want ours first! Is that too much to ask? Apparently.


At last, some concrete trickles in. We see progress. Hallelujah!!!


Part II: Reality Sets In