Trying to Reason with (2018) Hurricane Season

Trying to Reason with (2018) Hurricane Season

This September found us back on island for a work trip to install 18 new sliding glass doors. Yes, 18. As we landed in St. Thomas, my hurricane app notified me of 2 storms brewing. This got me thinking about the Buffett song (and Kenny Chesney's cover of it on his latest album).

... Big storms coming soon
I passed out in my hammock
God, I slept way past noon
Stood up and tried to focus
I hoped I wouldn't have to look far
I knew I could use a Bloody Mary
So I stumbled next door to the bar

[Chorus:]
And now I must confess
I could use some rest
I can't run at this pace very long
Yes, it's quite insane
I think it hurts my brain
But it cleans me out and then I can go on..

Yes, it cleans me out and then I can go on. Interesting.

Great Expectations made it through the 2017 storm season with a few bumps and bruises, and we’ve invested heavily in making the property stronger than ever.

Most predictions were that we would have a mild season. We did. Florida and the Carolinas didn’t. Our maintenance guru’s home island, Dominica, got some big winds and water again like last year. St. John received some much needed rain multiple times this fall as systems passed mostly south of us.

The 2018 season has come and gone and we’ve owned the villa for just over 10 months now. If you have been keeping track, we have spent a lot of time & money focusing on constant upgrades. We’re proud to have enough solar and battery storage to run off grid for days without sun, years with daily sun. This September/October we worked 10+ hrs a day, nearly every day, to make each group of guests vacations even better:

  • 18 Sliding Glass doors in every room except the Sun Room, which has a new door from only a few years ago when it was built
  • 4 x Sonos audio devices including a TV Sound Bar for the Great Room as well as new outdoor speaker for the main pool area
  • LED soffit lights in each villa bedroom and the Owner’s Suite for soft lighting at night
  • Replaced the 4′ of Aluminum railing cap that ripped off during Irma (yes, it took 10 months to get the aluminum cap and have it welded).
  • Complete upgrade of all parts in the Villa Lynx grill including new burners, new briquette trays, springs, knobs, and briquettes
  • 2 dwarf coconut palms & 24 dwarf Bougainvillea bushes (we chose ‘sunset’ colors)

After a dozen trips to Home Depot on St. Thomas and 11 disappointments, we've learned a couple of big lessons:

  • We're planning 2019 upgrades now for next September - weighing cost and benefits for bathroom upgrades, tennis court, and villa pool area retrofits
  • Measure thrice, cut once. Oh, and order supplies from the mainland months ahead of time, so that we aren't tied to island time and island inventory
  • Prioritize for guest experience AND resilience: what can we do to improve the guest experience and make our place even stronger?

Next week we're shipping down new wall safes for each room, new shower heads and replacement faucets for some bathrooms, and new bedding for 2 more rooms. It's a never-ending labor of love being a Villa Owner.

Some complain about the daily struggles of island living; I think we spent our entire lives training for this next stage on St. John.

Interested in staying at Great Expectations ?

Check our availability calendar to see what dates might work for you and your group

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *