Saturday, May 31, 2008

JUNE 2008 St Maarten Dutch Bridge Closure

WARNING: The Simpson Bay Lagoon Bridge on the Dutch Side of St. Maarten (St. Martin) will be undergoing repairs beginning June 9, 2008. The first week will have limited openings, the second week will be completely closed, and thereafter it is planned to have limited bridge openings until the maintenance & repairs are finished.

The Sandy Ground bridge at Marigot on the French side of St. Martin will be open their normal hours.

Here's an excerpt from an article in the local paper, May 30th:

SIMPSON BAY--The lift deck, bearings and struts of the Simpson Bay bridge will be repaired starting Monday, June 9. At least one bridge opening every other day will occur until June 16 when all openings will cease for a week when new struts to support the bridge balancing arms will be installed.

The bridge will remain closed until Sunday, June 22. After this, the once every other day opening will resume until the work is completed on June 28. The days and opening hours are dependent on the stage of the repairs and will be announced soon.

You can read the complete article here:

All the best!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Time to think about summer storms

Just read this from Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog posted at 12:58 PM EDT on May 29, 2008:

Makes me think of "Wrong Way Lenny"...

Tropical Storm Alma, in the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Nicaragua, is steadily intensifying, and appears likely to develop into a hurricane later today. The latest QUikSCAT pass from 8:03am EDT showed winds of 50 knots (58 mph) near the center, and a recent microwave image showed the formation of an eye. Alma is generating very heavy rains in excess of six inches per day near its center.

Looking at the satellite photo, you can see that Anguilla (we are currently anchored in Road Bay) seems to be at the very edge of the bands, which probably explains why it has been overcast all day. Not our typical blue sky and puffy white clouds...

Since Alma now dominates the circulation pattern of the region, none of the computer models are predicting that a tropical depression will form in the Western Caribbean in the coming week. It is possible that Alma could cross Central America and pop out in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. However, the crossing of Central America will severely disrupt the storm, and the odds of Alma becoming a depression in the Atlantic basin are very low... Satellite loops show that Alma has developed a large circulation that extends into the Western Caribbean, and rains from Alma will affect Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and western Cuba through Saturday. These areas can expect heavy downpours with rainfall totals of 3-6 inches through Saturday.

We have friends (Hanalei Bay) bringing us some mail from the USVI in about 10-12 days, but soon as possible afterwards we plan to sail south. It will be nice to go someplace new.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Airlines New Checked Bag Charges and USVI

I just read this article in the St. Thomas Source...

Checked Bag Charge May Dry Up Rum Sales, Hit V.I. Economy
by Molly Morris

May 24, 2008 -- American Airlines' new charge for checked baggage could hobble the Virgin Islands economy, which depends on duty-free liquor sales for a substantial part of its revenue. [CLICK HERE FOR MORE]

Another bit I found interesting was:

Customers who purchase domestic economy class tickets on or after May 12, 2008, but before June 15, 2008, may check one bag for free and check a second bag for $25 each way. Customers who purchase domestic economy class tickets on or after June 15, 2008 will be charged $15 each way for the first checked bag and $25 each way for the second checked bag. Carry-on luggage remains the same, with one 40-pound bag at no charge.
There are some exceptions to the charges, such as travelers who purchase full-fare tickets in economy class and those buying business or first class tickets. A complete list can be found in the American Airlines newsletter.

So, book your flights to the Virgin Islands (STT) as soon as possible to keep the cost of your duty-free rum down!