Green Musings of an Eco Resort

Sunday, May 29, 2011

And They're Off!

Quite a bit of activity last night here at the Maho Pavilion as registration for the Beach to Beach Swim began, followed by a race overview and dinner. Those that planned ahead and reserved a tent here at Maho had an easy "commute" down the goat trail to Big Maho this morning for the start of the race at 8am.

Our A-Section tents provided the best views this morning for the start of the race. Our best estimates would be somewhere between 125-150 people? (edit: apparently 203 signed up the night before). Swimmers couldn't have asked for a better day in terms of weather; the water was perfectly calm and looked like it would stay that way for the rest of the day. Of course that doesn't include all the volunteers out on kayaks, surf boards (paddle boarding) and boats.

Kayakers, boaters and paddleboarders await the start (above)
Swimming the length of Big Maho before heading to Cinnamon Bay (below)

The first swimmers in the water (below) just have 3 1/2 miles to go!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

shark presentation - Pavilion Restaurant Monday May 30th

The Coral Bay Community Council welcomes back our shark researchers. They are doing two presentations this year to share their research: May 30st and June 1st. 'A Review of USVI Shark Research from 2004 to Present' by Bryan DeAngelis and Dr. Greg Skomal. This will be the evening program at the Maho Bay Campgrounds Pavilion at 7:30 pm, Monday, May 30th. (The restaurant serves dinner from 5:30 to 7pm - this is the after dinner evening program for the guests too.) The second presentation will be Concordia Eco Resort, June 1st at 6:30 – (The restaurant at Concordia serves from 5:30 to 9:30 pm, you can purchase drinks and come to the presentation). The shark researchers are returning this week for their 6th year of juvenile shark research in Coral Bay and Fish Bay. Learn about the juvenile sharks - 12 inches to 2 feet long - that live in our shallow bay nurseries. Over the years, the membership and volunteers of CBCC have helped support the research with donated hours, boats, gas, along with other grants. Concordia Resort has donated lodging. Come hear about the shark research we have all helped support. Everyone is welcome. For more information call the CBCC office at 776-2099.

Coral Bay Community Council, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization
Mailing address: 9901 Emmaus, St. John VI 00830 Phone/fax: 340-776-2099
Office: 8-1 Emmaus, Coral Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Monday, May 23, 2011

island exposure

Last week Jeff & Russ of the very popular island blog were here at Maho learning about our glass blowing and taking a class. Mariel & Greg, our two resident glass blowers, where here to show them how to "pull a flower." Video coming soon they promise!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What do you do when it won't stop raining? Close the beach cafe and open the Pavilion Restaurant for lunch! Pictured below is a rare sight - activity in our restaurant during lunch hour (our restaurant is only open for breakfast and dinner).

Sliders, hot dogs, chicken fingers and wraps were on the menu

The good news for those arriving this week is that you won't be having lunch with us in the restaurant - the sun is back and the beach cafe is open for business.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Maho R&D

The Maho Research and Development Department (Dan, really) has been playing around with our waste oil from the kitchen. We did get flame last week, and this week Dan has been working on getting a setup that will maintain its flame. Today was our first really good test run where we were able to estimate how much "fuel" it will take to run. We estimate that to run the burner for 24 hours, we would use 15 gallons of waste vegetable oil. As time goes on, i'm sure the amount of oil used will drop as we learn how to become more efficient. The first use of the burner will be for the kiln in our pottery studio. Gail is super excited about the prospect of limiting her propane cost and we are happy to have somewhere to get rid of our waste oil. More to come in the future as Maho R&D is in full effect

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

no more rain please!

What a difference a month can make for the trees here around Maho and the whole island of St. John. On March 29th we were complaining about no rain, and up until last week we were still begging for it to start raining. Well, last week we got our answer and everyone has changed their tune - no more rain please! We've seen one wet day after the next and we're ready for those beautiful May beach days.

For comparison below are pictures from March 29th (very dry but blue sky) and May 15th (very green but grey sky!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

longer days and summer rates

The days are getting a little longer around here, with the sun rising around 5:45am and setting around 6:45pm. The daylight hours don't change that much here, like they do in the summer and winter up north, but its still nice to get an extra hour or so of sunlight to spend at the beach. If you come down this month or any month in the summer you may be getting more value for you dollar vs. coming in February, what with that whole extra hour worth of daylight! Add to that the summer rate of $80/night ($60/night single travelers) that just went into place and you've got a great deal!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

this day in conserving land on St. John...........

In what can only be good for all of us that live here and all of you who will eventually visit: This week we learned of a 3.6 acre parcel of land near a favorite snorkel spot on the East End of St. John being protected forever. Lauren Mercadante has been vacationing and volunteering here on St. John for many years, and now has started the St. John Land Conservancy and purchased the more than 3 acres of property on Haulover Bay.

“What I am particularly excited about is that St. John Land Conservancy has been formed and will be able to do other things on St. John where there is a development threat to property that is really in need of conserving,” said Muilenburg. “There is really a lot of potential support for something like this.”

Full story viewable through our own Tradewinds Newspaper

Monday, May 9, 2011

school picture day

The end of season staff celebration first had us all gather in the dining pavilion for picture day:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

lazy afternoons

Some have it pretty good. If anyone knows best how to fully relax, it would have to be Althea. Of all the visitors and locals relaxing on this island, she definitely wins the award for most hours spent "Limin." Today we found her fully stretched-out in a chair just in front of the Maho Store, our lunch time social spot, around noon. While I felt like telling her the chair was for guests or staff and not cats, I thought better of it when I realized she has spent more time on this island than almost everyone that works here.

If you see Althea during your stay be sure to stop and say hello, she has let thousands of guests pet her over the years and will certainly appreciate your friendly touch, even if you wake her up.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Big Maho Pavilion

Most visitors to Maho Bay Camps are very familiar with one of the nicest and biggest beaches on the North Shore, Big Maho. We are conveniently located just a 10 minute hike away from the white sand, palm trees and shallow waters of Big Maho Beach. Over the past few years Big Maho has seen quite a transformation, as visitors have found or created more and more parking spots along the side of the road, both the beach side and other side.

In an effort to stop the roadside parking that damages root systems (possibly leading to more erosion), contaminates the sand, and creates traffic hazards the National Park has recently started two big projects that should help protect the area. The National Park has leased land from the Trust for Public Land on the end of the beach closest to Maho Camps that will be used as a parking area with non-permanent improvements done to the area. On the other end of the beach, furthest from Maho Camps, renovations will be done the the existing pavilion area. Bathrooms are being installed and a few extra parking spots will be created as well as "enhancements to the picnic area" for a grand total of about $500k. The old blue pavilion structure has taken quite a transformation in the past weeks, but we hope to see some beautiful results soon!

Pictured below, what the Big Maho parking situation never looks like at noon on any day of the week:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Maho Bay Camps Glass Studio

Cordially invites you to attend

An opening reception

For Gregory Lee and Mariel Bass

Friday May 6, 2011

5 pm to 8 pm

at Bajo el Sol Gallery

Mongoose Junction

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wood Fired Pottery

If you're ever around when we're firing our kiln then you're in for a treat. Our wood fired kiln is very much a group effort from start to finish: Since everything bulk on this island seems to be shipped on pallets we certainly have plenty of scrap pallet wood to choose from, that would otherwise be tossed in the trash. Picking up the pallets and bringing them here to disassemble is the first chore, and perhaps the most labor intensive. Once the kiln is loaded and fired it required continuous stoking until it reaches a final temperature of 2340 degrees F. After waiting for the last of the wood to burn the kiln stays sealed until its opening, about a day later.

The most interesting part? The ash from the fire becomes part of the glaze, creating a glassy sheen on raw clay surfaces, offering a completely unpredictable result. Unloading the kiln becomes a surprise to everyone, as seen below.