Historical Perspectives

February 28th, 2007

The land on which our house is situated was once part of a thriving sugar plantation. In 1844, an englishman visited the Virgin Islands and made a booklet of sketches. Amazingly, the sketches survived to be rediscovered and published by the local historical society. Two of those sketches are relevant to us as they show the way it was here over 160 years ago when sugar was king.

(Click on the photos for a bigger sized image)

The sketch below shows three plantations with the nearest being Rust up (op) Twist. The large windmill on the left still stands. The house was burned in 1878 by the free but desperately disenfranchised former slaves. The foundation and other buildings not pictures still survive.


Our house is now situated to the right of the greathouse, on the shore.

plantation 2005

This shows the Rust up Twist plantation as it looks today. The red roofed building is modern as is our house on the beach to the right.

The second sketch shows a water pump windmill which is rare on St Croix.


The water windmill survives today but is completely surrounded in a dense mangrove swamp. It is sometimes visible from our upstairs gallery depending on the density of the vegetation (jungle!).

water windmill from cane mill

This week, I finally decided to delve into the jungle to look at the windmill up close.


The density of the mangrove swamp is amazingly.

windmill mangrove

It took me quite a while to thread through them to get close to it. After three different attacks, I finally got close.



I am surprised by the overall condition considering that it has not been touched in 160 years. It is surrounded by water so I did not try to inspect the interior.


February 28th, 2007

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February 27th, 2007


Just another Caribbean sunset after a day of running around.

Night Dive in Frederiksted

February 26th, 2007

Hannah and I did a scuba dive at the Frediksted pier tonight while Karin went to dinner with friends.

Here are a few pics from the dive…


A Tube Worm


Candy Cane Shrimp


Spotted Moray Eel


Oscellate Swimming Crab

This little fellow was holding onto the colorful piece of plastic.

He was not letting go of his treasure as he scuttled off under the rocks with it.

Sunday at Sandy Point

February 25th, 2007










Sandy Point is the southwestern most point in St Croix and is home to the finest sand beach on the island. It is also home to hundreds of nesting sea turtles so it is closed most of the year to protect the turtle hatchery.

Most of the usual suspects were there. Niko and Jill joined Karin and Hannah for a dip in the big pool.

Back on island

February 24th, 2007

Ted and I arrived back on island today at about noon. It’s beautiful here… Hannah picked us up at the airport – Nimbus settled right in! Bekka was glad to see us! She is well taken care of and a very happy dog.
So it was unpacking, taking stock (the usual gallery tour around the house) – a late lunch at Cane Bay. The news there is the Cane Bay Beach Bar owners bought up Off the Wall. Diana’s last day there was today – she returns to Off the Wall tomorrow (I imagine in a management role).

And that’s about it. Hannah and Ollie are well. We are all going to Savant to dinner – meeting up with Jill and Niko (who is working) and perhaps Bennet and Amanda too. We’ll keep you posted!

hannah bekka

Look at that happy and adoring dog!


February 12th, 2007

Today was a house day.

Among my tasks was to treat the Olive Tree stump with stump killer. It took about an hour to get the holes drilled – 4 in the stump and 3 in the root system — very hard wood, kinda cheezy drill. It worked out in the end.
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Another stump picture, as a “before” with hopeful, decomposing “after” shots soon to come
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Ollie came down to help cut up the bigger branches I trimmed off in my machete massacre two weeks ago. See all that crap in the truck? Property clean up time – got rid of two tenants-worth of abandoned junk (plus the giant brush piles and masses of oxidized iron that used to be lawn furniture). Lots of hauling. I drank a half a gallon of water and have yet to pee. I bet you all really wanted to know that too.
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The lovely less-rusty beach front. about an hour after I removed the nasty furniture, our tenants were out there laying on the couch & lounge, reading and tanning. I have not seen them out there in months. I felt like I was in a real-life version The Sims — make stuff nice and suddenly your people start using it.
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