Green Musings of an Eco Resort

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wind Power Coming to St. Thomas

VI Daily News

The wind will be used once again in the VI for power (previously used to power mills for sugar cane). This is great news and once people see it working, there will be a push for more and more.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hurricane Omar

Well, we survived Omar. At the last second he took a detour to the east. At 11pm we were told to expect a direct hit by a Category 3 Omar between 1-3am. Sometime in between there he went right and passed us by. We still got some really strong winds and plenty of rain, but we didn't lose a single tent cottage. We are underway unpacking and drying ourselves out, but are going to be back to 100% shortly.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Aluminum Can Recycling

Here is a video on a way to turn an aluminum can into an change holder/ashtray. Visitors to Maho will notice this as part of the new decor.

Recycle Cans Into Ashtrays

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Power Going Up

The Virgin Islands power supply comes from WAPA (Water and Power Authority). All of the power is generated using fossil fuels. As you can imagine, getting the fuel here is more expensive than in other places. The average price per Kw hour in the United States is 9.09 cents. Here in the Virgin Islands, it is now 55 cents per kwh. In June a 22% increase was approved. Just this week, another 19% increase was approved. So in three months, we have gone from 36 to 55 cents. That kind of increase is unheard of anywhere else. The second increase really has people wondering how the island, its residents and businesses, are going to cope. Another price increase has been the Ferry companies adding an additional $1.10 to every passenger ticket for a fuel surcharge. The VI Daily News did an article before the increase. Click Here to Read.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

By now you have heard of Fay. Just yesterday she got her name legally changed from Invest 92 (aka The Joker) to Fay. The Joker formed overnight in the mid Atlantic on Sunday August 10th. Although no models predicted it forming into a hurricane, the track of the tropical wave had the Northern Antilles in its sites (thats our neck of the woods). No one was even sure if it would become a tropical depression, but we have to watch it because its out there. Within 2 days a whole new path had been predicted which would route it out to sea and it was weakening. That's good news for us, we don't have to worry about watching it anymore. Then, the morning of the 13th, everything has changed. What was Invest 92 had been unofficially dubbed "The Joker". The path has changed and it had started to intensify again. They officially categorized it a Tropical Depression (tropical wave --> depression --> storm --> hurricane). Where did that path change to? It looked as though all four model predictions had their lines drawn straight through St. John. Sure enough, Thursday night at around 11pm the light show started. We've definitely had worse thunderstorms, but it still didn't provide for a great nights sleep. The rain was much needed on the island and there was no damage, so we are thankful for that. So although we did have an encounter with this storm, we caught it, or it caught us, early on before any intensification. We will still be watching to see the effects it has on Cuba and the States.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ferry Schedule Changes

Fuel prices have forced the ferry boat companies to add a $1.10 fuel surcharge to all passenger ferry tickets. This increase is really going to hurt the local workers who rely on the ferries for transportation every day. They have also eliminated some of their routes. Please read below if you are planning on coming between now and November, this information will help you in making plans for logistics.

"Starting July 6, commuters are going to be seeing fewer ferry runs from St. Thomas to St. John and less money in their pockets after paying their fares, thanks to a ruling by the Public Services Commission during an emergency meeting Thursday on St. Thomas. An extra $1.10 fuel surcharge will be tacked onto all passenger tickets, including regular $5 tickets, $3 commuter tickets, $2.50 bulk tickets, $1.50 student tickets, $1.25 senior tickets, and the $1 fare for children under age 12."

"Until the beginning of November, both Transportation Services and Varlack Ventures will only be making runs during the week from Cruz Bay to Charlotte Amalie at 7:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m., and from Charlotte Amalie to Cruz Bay at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. During the weekend, the Cruz Bay to Charlotte Amalie ferry will run at 11:15 a.m., with a return trip running at 1 p.m. The 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. runs from Cruz Bay to Red Hook have also been eliminated, along with the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. runs from Red Hook to Cruz Bay."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rhymes with Murricane Reason

Well, its that time of the year again. Instead of turning coffee on first thing in the morning, we will be turning on the weather channel. If its good news, we'll proceed to the coffee. If its bad news, we won't need the coffee. For the next 5 months we will be watching Africa to see what could potentially be coming our way. Its amazing to think that the storms effecting this half of the world started in the other half. The same applies to the Saraha Dust we wrote about previously. The National Hurricane Center has a great website to track storms as does the Weather Underground with Jeff Master's "WunderBlog".

Friday, July 4, 2008

Maho on Facebook and MySpace

Maho Bay Camps is now on Facebook! Add us as your friend!

Don't have Facebook? We are on MySpace too!

Add us for both, who doesn't need more friends? This will be another great way for you to be able to share your photos of Maho Bay with other guests who are in our social network.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Here are a few ideas from Green Energy News on beating the high costs of gas. Gas prices do not seem to be reaching a peak, so its probably up from here. In order to reduce fuel costs, we are going to have to change the way we live.

--- Do a cost analysis of trading the old vehicle for one that gets significantly better fuel economy. Base that analysis on fuel that costs twice what it does now (currently about $4 a gallon in the US for regular). Include in that analysis the premium you will pay for a now-in-demand efficient car or truck and how long you would expect to keep it. If the analysis works in your favor, buy as soon as you can.

--- Don’t buy a vehicle that requires high-octane gasoline unless the manufacturer specifically says its OK to run it on regular gas. Get it in writing.

--- Rent vehicles for specific purposes. Do you really need a truck or van every day just because you occasionally need to haul something big and heavy? Most of the time you’re probably only hauling yourself around. Rent a truck, van or SUV when you need it.

--- When running errands ask a neighbor if they need something while you’re out. Likely they’ll return the favor. Eventually you’ll be setting up a car pool for errands.

--- Make lists before you run errands. Buy everything while you’re out. Don’t make a special trip for one purchase.

--- Shop on the Internet. Let your purchases be delivered to your door.

--- Set up car pools for commuting to work.

--- Learn to drive for fuel economy. Use cruise control whenever possible for a few extra miles per gallon. Shut off your engine at long stop lights. Drive with a light foot on the accelerator pedal. Don’t speed up hills. Coast down the other side. Don’t drive faster than about 60 miles per hour.

--- If you live in a flat or mildly hilly area ride a bicycle occasionally. If you live in a hilly area buy an electric-assisted bicycle if you don’t like to sweat. If you want no pedaling at all try an electric scooter of some kind.

--- Newer cars rarely need tune-ups but make sure your air filter is changed regularly and tires are properly inflated.

--- Without going too far out of your way, buy the cheapest gas around. In a market economy consumers are supposed to control costs by shopping for the least expensive price.

--- Consider moving closer to your job or conveniences or mass transit. That would be a drastic change that would require wading into the dangerous waters of a scary real estate market.

Taken from: Green Energy News

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sahara Dust

This was originally written four years ago as a Maho Newsletter by Bob Carmody.


A meteorology report from the Pennsylvania State University on July 30 this year stated that satellite pictures were showing a vast plume of dust spreading across the eastern tropical Atlantic. The brown swirls shown in the pictures were dust from the Sahara desert blowing over the Atlantic Ocean toward the Caribbean and the Americas. By the end of August, the dust had passed over the Virgin Islands.

This Sahara dust has a mixed impact: The dust is a boom for life in the ocean and for vegetation on land. It acts as kind of vitamin supplement to nutrient poor soils. It helps give us some of those extraordinary sunsets that you can often see from the Maho pavilion and the marvelous sunrises you can see from Concordia. It also gives some of those rare, overcast gray days; and it also gives us that gritty feeling underfoot particularly on the tile floors in the studios at Harmony and Concordia.

The dust was initially lofted into the atmosphere by currents of hot air rising from the floor of the Sahara Desert. It is common for weather disturbances to carry dust from the Sahara toward the Caribbean and the Americas. Research suggests that dust from Africa makes up at least half the particles in the air in the southeast United States

Giant sand storms — often larger than Spain — routinely blow all the way across the Atlantic, reaching South America, the Caribbean, and the southeastern United States. "There have been times when airports in the Caribbean have been closed down for lack of visibility from these dust storms," said Eugene Shinn, a senior geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in St. Petersburg, Fla. "It shows we're all linked together in one way or the other, that's for sure." It is a global phenomenon. Windstorms in China have darkened cities in Australia; dust from Mongolia has turned up in Denver. ‘You would be surprised, he said. "It's a complete chemical soup," said Shinn."It's full of living microbes, it has a little mercury in it, small bits of arsenic, you name it, and it’s in there."

Shinn and his colleagues surprised their fellow scientists two years ago, when they published a study showing that bacteria and fungi could survive transoceanic trips in the upper atmosphere. Apparently, they ride on grains of sand, carried by winds to altitudes of 10,000 feet or more where many scientists believed they would be killed off by the ultraviolet rays of the Sun.

Biologists suspect the dust may be responsible for damage to coral reefs off the coast of Florida; the coral has no immunity to diseases that settle in the water, carried from places thousands of miles away. Two Billion Tons a Year But the dust is also an essential part of life on Earth. Two billion tons of it routinely cross the oceans every year, so much that it's become part of nature's routine. "African dust blows over almost on a daily basis during our summer, falling in the Caribbean," says Dale Griffin, a microbiologist at the U.S. Geological Survey. "A good number of the plants in the upper canopy of the Amazon rainforest derive all their nutrients from African dust." As one scientist said, the whole planet is intermixing. If you see a truly spectacular sunset, you may be able to thank a distant desert.

(Thanks to the New York Times and ABC News Internet Ventures from whom we have borrowed heavily)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A moment with......

......New York Bob.

When asked, "What does Bob do?", it is a difficult question to answer. Not because he doesn't do much, but because he does too much. I have resorted to replying with "Maho Guru". I took a moment to do a brief interview with Bob who is here with us for budgets and other guru activities.

First visit to Maho: 1985

Employee/affiliated since: 1989

Biggest improvement to Maho over the years: Real mattresses instead of the original 4 inch foam pads as well as actual stairs leading to tent instead of nothing at all.

Vivid Memory: Hamilton's Island Tour as a guest way back when

Favorite Restaraunt Food: Once in the 80's I put my dinner order in at 4:30 and showed up at 6:30 to eat only to find out there was nothing left. (before we had the restaurant, dinner orders were placed, food cooked in town by a few fabulous West Indian cooks, and brought to Maho for dinner time)

Funny Memory: Back when the tents were green canvas with netting for an opening and goats roamed the area. One time I came home to A5 to find a goat inside my tent who was none to happy to be trapped inside. This particular goat had a torn right ear, probably from a previous fight with another goat. The intruder's name was Vincent Van Goat.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Interview with Stanley and Irma

A podcast interview with Stanley and Irma about Maho and their lives has been placed online. Listen to the Interview
Click Episode 3 of "Youthful Nature" to listen!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Beach Cleanup

In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, Maho Bay Staff members cleaned up Big Maho Beach and Francis Beach. Between the two beaches we picked up 6 trash bags worth of garbage, including over 400 cigarette butts! We also found half a shoe, a few pirate toys, and part of a park bench. Friends of the Park asks organizations and businesses to sponsor beaches each year. For as long as we can remember, we have been sponsoring both Big Maho and Francis which we clean twice a year. As walked down the beach with our bags, several people asked us in disbelief, "Did all of that came from this beach?" Unfortunately, yes.

On a side note, someone pointed out today that we take dog droppings and place them in plastic bags.......seems a little material being placed in plastic....... Maybe we could just start throwing it in the bushes. A fertilized plant is a happy plant.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March 23 Sunset

It's always nice to see the sun set into the water or behind St. Thomas. Sometimes though it is too cloudy. Those days aren't so bad either.....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Glass Blowing

We were recently informed that a video of our glass blowers was on YouTube. The glass they are using is recycled Corona and Carib bottles. The glass blowers are Jake and Greg.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Local News

Maho Bay Camps, or at least the land it sits on, has made the local newspaper. The VI Daily News has recently published an article concerning the real estate listing of our 13.82 acres for $32 million dollars. To read the article visit: Maho Article

We will be sure to share more information as it becomes available.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Organic is now Vintage

It is no secret that Maho Bay has a large population of repeat guests. Often times past guests will bring with them t-shirts they purchased on a previous stay. It lets others around camp know that this is not their first rodeo at Maho Bay. People bring back t-shirts they bought 15 and 20 years ago, and now we are bringing them back. The difference is they are now on Organic Cotton. We have chosen several of the "vintage" shirts that guests have worn and had the artwork reproduced. The easy part was choosing which shirts to do, the hard part was getting them done on Organic Cotton. It was a tough battle but Tim, our store manager, was able to overcome and bring us these more eco-friendly versions of things past.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Gone Ketchin

The dock in Cruz Bay has started to smell a lot like a fast food restaurant lately. There is some good news and some bad news. The bad news is its not coming from brand new burger joint. The good news is its not diesel fuel, its Gone Ketchin, a 31' Sport Fishing boat based out of Cruz Bay. Last year Marsha and Capt. Grizz converted one engine, and then two, to run on SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil). They make their weekly rounds to pick up oil that would have otherwise been thrown away from restaurants in town. This has been a win-win situation. The Restaurants previously had to pay someone to properly dispose of their waste oil and Marsha and Grizz used to pay for diesel. Now they gladly haul the oil off for free and use it in lieu of carbon based fuels, I should have added another "win" in there for the environment.
More good news is that the trend is catching on. World Class Anglers is now running 50% vegetable oil as well. As more and more people/businesses become aware of new technologies that are not only affordable, but actually reduce cost and are a benefit to the environment, then change happens and we all benefit.

To plan a fishing trip, contact our activities desk at 340-693-5721 ext 212.

UPDATE: Gone Ketchin is now being supplied with Vegetable Oil from the Pavilion Restaurant at Maho Bay!