JUNE 6TH – 9 MONTHS POST IRMA
The Islands are dotted with boats!
Cooper Island has reopened!
The Willy T is back!
Life is slowly returning to normal!
There is still a lot to be done on the Island. Unemployment is still high, the prices at the supermarket are exorbitantly high and since there are few apartments to rent, these too have seen a steep rise in price.
The cruise ships have still not returned. I have heard it may be October before they restore us to the roster of stops. I am optimistically hoping they will come back before then. Cane Garden Bay is getting better by the day – Myett’s Beach bar has a limited menu which is being offered and the beach is looking very clean. The roads are still in a little disrepair, but at this point (apart from East End) they are not too dissimilar since before the August flood.
Facebook has a couple of informative groups – one which posts when businesses are back up and running and the other has postings of photos and comments from vacationers.
The hotels are coming back too! The 5 star resorts are all working diligently to get open as soon as they can. I am hoping it will be in time for this coming season, but that may be too optimistic. A lot of the repaired villas are being used for long term rentals, since the market is hurting for places to rent. By October we should see these back in the weekly rental market.
We are boat shopping! The process has begun and it’s fun. I will wait until after this Hurricane season before I purchase one and even then it will be dependent on the cruise ships and the volume of land vacationers making a return.
The day sail business has taken a huge hit. My friends at Aristocat Charters are operational with a great new boat! If you are coming to the BVI and looking for an excursion, be sure to check them out. Jorn and Scott are ready and waiting to take you out!
90 DAYS POST IRMA
December 6th marked 90 days post Irma. The Islanders need so much and are still living in terribly harsh conditions, with hundreds of people still living without the basic necessities; power, water and the roofs over their heads. Most people are unemployed since tourism was the largest employment opportunity.
If you are able, please make a donation. Here are several links to help get the BVI’s back up and running
The Tourist Season
The first cruise ship of the season docked in Road Town December 6th, with 1,300 passengers. The BVI government released a video of an interview with the ships captain and our Premier. Several safari tours were seen out and about around the Island which is great news considering how bad the roads are still.
The Disney Cruise Line has decided the Island is still too devastated and dangerous for them to stop. They have re-routed all cruises through end of March to Saint Maarten. Apparently their recovery efforts have been faster.
Many of the Charter Companies are back up and running this month. And of course, sailing to the different Islands is still as good as ever. If you are looking to support the BVI’s, I encourage you to take a vacation through one of the charter companies or the luxury ‘all inclusive’ charters, to which your every whim is catered. You can bring supplies and drop them off for distribution to the many on ground organizations bringing relief efforts to the locals.