Son Rob and I arrived on St. John on Tuesday the 27th. (My 3/4 birthday!) . We had arranged for an apartment rental on Gift Hill but learned on the way down that it wouldn’t be ready for a while. (Friends Dave and Robin at Cimmaron were repairing but owner was not forthcoming with payments and work stopped!)
Dave and Robin offered us temporary housing at a nice villa where they are staying. (They lost their housing in Irma too.)
There was no telling if or when work would again commence on the rental so I put out feelers on something else. Rentals are very tough to come by because so many of the affordable homes and apartments were destroyed.
Long story short, realtor friend Gretchen put me on to a home of Fish Bay friends who had left the Island and were now selling. I contacted them and sure enough they were willing to rent and here we are about a quarter mile from Sundancer.
In the course of last week we arranged for workers to start on Monday and the excavator to begin Wednesday. On Monday we went to St Thomas to retrieve a pickup truck we had bought in Florida and shipped down. After some adventurous and extended walking around the St Thomas Crown Bay pier area we got to the yard and got the truck. It had arrived unscathed by the journey. Yeah!
We immediately proceeded to load it up with tools, food and supplies, a new grill, etc. and returned to STJ.
This video records what we encountered at the end of the day back at Sundancer. I am very sorry if you have to view this video sideways. I spent over an hour this AM trying to rotate the dad burned thing, but have now given up…….deal with it…..cock you head!)
So the rest of the week has found more digging with the new cistern dug and other dirt moved. We have known that the old septic tank had to be removed but I had been told it was made of blocks and thus easily knocked apart. NOT! Solid poured concrete and our little excavating machine was no match for it. We had to hire another machine that is equipped with a hydraulic hammer. We really needed it anyway to bust up the big concrete piers that supported the old pool. It was delivered Saturday afternoon and it will be in operation today we are told. (Sunday – neighbors should LOVE that! Lots of noise!).
If we can get that out of the way, we can finish the house excavation and maybe get the mason here to start the concrete work. (Crossing our fingers.)
As Saturday was a “down “ day we decided to take a hike. For those who don’t know there is a trail that starts at s small parking area on Centerline Road. It goes south through the bush and ends up at EITHER (operative word) Reef Bay to the east of Fish Bay with little opportunity to get back to Fish Bay without wet feet or if you take the correct turn off, it ends at an interesting plantation ruins above Fish Bay that leads down to Skytop above Fish Bay. The deal is that one has to know where to veer off to the right to get to the ruins. Of course we missed that and ended up overlooking Reef Bay and had to do a 180 back to Centerline road. Oh well. Another day. It was good exercise.
Here are some pictures Rob took of Sundancer yesterday.
This is the along the view side of Sundancer with the current cistern. With the new cistern, we will double the capacity to about 22,000 gallons. Notice sliding glass door and shutters that used to lead to the deck off of the basement.
This is looking past the existing septic tank to the existing cistern which is below what was the basement of Sundancer that will become a bedroom downstream.
From the driveway above.
That is the old septic tank. We will be installing a state of the art replacement system. More on that later.
Will keep you posted. Bob