Green Musings of an Eco Resort

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

up in the trees

Ever wonder how we have such incredible and natural looking views all around Maho? It's thanks in large part to one of our maintenance staff members, Woody. With a property spanning 14 acres its more than a full-time job maintaining and keeping the vegetation at bay that grows here in the tropics. Fortunately, Woody likes to spend his days up in trees, trimming branches and clearing views. Often times you'll be walking down the boardwalks and hear a rustling in the trees, but instead of looking up and seeing an iguana it will be Woody, securing a spot in a tree 20+ feet in the air. Selective tree climbing and trimming comes naturally to Woody and plenty of guests will find reason to thank him for it this season. Rumor has it he at one point made his way from Harmony to Little Maho beach, without stepping foot on the ground and all via climbing through trees.

Since we use radios here at Maho it's not uncommon to hear staff ask where certain staff members are working at any given moment. The radio call for Woody can often be: "maintenance to Woody are you available to give a guest a ride to Harmony, or are you treed?"

The next time you're enjoying that incredible view from your tent, the dinning pavilion, F-pavilion, the store, activities or any other spot at Maho you can probably thank Woody, as he's the only one of us crazy enough to spend his days so high off the ground.

If you find Woody "treed" here at Maho say hi & thank you!

Pictured below he is working just off the Maho driveway, below the dining pavilion, and about 10-12 feet off the ground.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

its been a hard day's work

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas here at Maho typically give us the time we need to take care of a few major projects before the high season gets into full gear. One of those projects that I'm sure will make plenty of guests happy in the coming months is the new layer of asphalt on the lower part of our driveway.

Each season the driveway leading up to Maho gets it's fair share of abuse though all the guest vehicles, taxi cabs, delivery trucks, and pouring rain. For the most part though, aside from a few potholes here and there, the entire driveway holds up pretty well. Unfortunately the lower part of the driveway leading up to Maho saw more than it's fair share of abuse from heavy tracked vehicle equipment leading to the new villas being built. Add to that the massive amounts of runoff from the construction site during heavy rains and you have a road that is in desperate need of repair.

Getting asphalt from St. Thomas to St. John, arranging a steamroller and driver, buying plenty of shovels and rakes, and getting enough staff together to rake the asphalt off the truck and onto the driveway takes quite a bit of coordination, and perhaps a little luck.

If anyone needs a good idea of what it felt like last week for 3 hours in the mid-day St. John sun laying the asphalt then it may be time to re-watch Cool Hand Luke. Pictured below we have 6 or 7 of us shoveling and raking it out, with plenty of steam rising from either the road or ourselves!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday decorating

It may not be cold, and there may not be snow on St. John, but we still like to decorate for the Holidays! Last week was the official holiday decorating party for staff & guests here at Maho, with the restaurant getting a full treatment of lights, garland, tree, bows, ribbons, and of course a few of our own hand blown ornaments hung on the tree and around the restaurant.

If you look closely you can see some of the incredible ornaments made by our glassblowers, including a hummingbird. And if you'll be down this season for the holidays you'll have to pick up a few ornaments for next season.

No decorating party would be complete without eggnog (adult style) and cookies:

Monday, December 12, 2011

will it rain?

One of the most common questions we get via email from guests arriving in a week would have to be about the weather. Understandably, having beautiful weather while on vacation is a big deal. Would it be too much to ask just to have nice sunny days while down here? Working 50 weeks a year to enjoy 1 week of vacation in paradise, it should almost be a guarantee the weather be perfect during your vacation!

With most places in the states, the weather forecast doesn't change drastically throughout the week. Checking the weather each morning gives you a pretty good idea of what it will be like for the rest of the day and even the next few days.

Here in the islands the forecast is pretty much always the same: partly cloudy with a 20-30% chance of rain. Translation: 1) we could have a beautiful sunny day +/- a few clouds and no rain 2) we could have a beautiful sunny day with 3 or 4 ten minute rain showers 3) we could have sunny skies and zero cloud cover in the morning, a tropical downpour all afternoon, and a beautiful clear-sky sunset in the evening! I would say about 80-90% of our weather falls into something similar to above.

Will it rain while you're down here? Absolutely, I would definitely bet on it. Will it be a total disaster the entire week? The odds are not good. But just because there's a 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% chance of rain for the day, doesn't mean you won't have a beach day. Heck, you'll probably still have a full beach day when it says 80% chance of rain. When I started this post 10 minutes ago the forecast was: partly cloudy in the morning, then clear, chance of rain 20%. The actual weather outside: The sun is shinning and I can't see a cloud anywhere in the sky, there is no way it could rain today. But will it? you bet it will!