Three months and big Progress

March 2 and the end of our third month here.

As an aside, before I fill you in on the Sundancer progress, last Saturday (the 23rd) was the 23rd annual running of “8 Tuff Miles” a run/walk from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay via Centerline Road. It starts and ends at sea level and climbs to 1000 feet near the 5 mile point. The last 3 miles are pretty much down hill. Over the years, both Carol Ann and I have run the race, but this was Rob’s first try.

Bottom line? Rob finished 27th out of 1065 participants! Pretty impressive!  One of the guys who beat him with this delightful 65 year old Rasta Guy from St. Thomas! (He ran the marathons for the Virgin Islands Olympics team in Seoul and Barcelona.)  That is current VI Olympic Team boxer next to him.  (Built like me!)

8 tuff

After the race, we hung out at the new beach emporium at Maho Bay.  It is a really neat space!  I beat Rob at some Jenga.  (BTW, Sundancer Jenga game survived Irma!)


Now back to the news.

As last reported, house concrete and back fill complete. House panels shipped a couple of weeks ago and they have arrived but not without Islands complications.

Turns out that the panels would not fit on the 40’ flatbed shipping “rack” as originally planned and ended up on a 40’ and a second 20’ rack. Just about doubles the shipping costs. Argh!

I was advised the racks were due last Monday and began the process of clearing customs. Now, you need to understand the convoluted system down here. Even though we are a U.S.Island and our shipment is coming from the US, federal customs agents have to clear the shipment AND if anything, I mean almost anything that is made outside of the U.S. incurs a 6% duty. Now this has no baring on the fact that whoever imported it into the U.S. in the first place had to pay duty on it already. Go figure.

This leads to fact that some of these agents are paranoid that people like me lie about where our things are made in order to avoid paying the duty down here. I am sure this happens, but I caught an agent with a total attitude and she demanded that the SIP manufacture certify that everything was made in the states. After four return trips and reams of paper they still wouldn’t approve our shipment until they physically inspected the panels to either approve or tax them! While all this is going on, I learn that our 40’ container was left at the port in Florida and only the 20′ was on Island! “Oh, Mr. Faucett, we are so sorry but we will get it here next week!”

Turn page, wait another week.

While all of this was going on, Rob and I were preparing the lower level for the “soon come” panels.  This requires a pair of glued and bolted down boards all around the parameter.  Done!

Finally when the 40’ arrived, I encountered a reasonable customs agent and all was cleared. Sheesh! I hope we don’t have to go through all of that on the next four/five or six shipments!

Bottom line, We had to: hire a trucker to haul the trailers out of the port, rent space to park and unload the trailers, leave them there for a month while we installed them because we don’t have enough room at Sundancer to store all of them and finally hire someone with a crane to unload the material.

This was all accomplished early last week and they were unloaded on Tuesday. Rob and I then began to sort the panels and related lumber and pick the parts we will need first and truck them to Sundancer. Accomplished this on Thursday.  As you can see, all of  the SIP parts are labeled to facilitate the construction of this supersized jigsaw puzzle.

We began to install them in earnest on Friday, Our local carpenters (Neville and
Salvatore) showed up to help and got a good start. Rob and I worked on Saturday and the project continued today (Monday).

Naturally there’s a learning curve and there are always some glitches, but Rob is a quick study, very creative and determined and I am sure the pace will accelerate. While I pick up some slack, I am not up to his pace and not accustomed to such physically demanding days and tasks.  I need to (and do) pace myself.  (not a kid anymore!)

After the two new rooms on the lower level are done (read “THIS WEEK”, we install the truss system to hold up the second floor. The trusses and related materials are at sea as I write and should be available this Wednesday or Thursday.  Right!

By Golly, it is starting to look like a house!

Author: Bob Faucett

Bob and wife, Carol Ann own Sundancer Villa in Fish Bay on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

3 thoughts on “Three months and big Progress”

  1. Congrats to Rob, yes, I do see the resemblance with the boxer. Sounds like a clerk with power did her best to take advantage of her position……grrrr. Sundancer is beginning to take shape…..thanks for the update.

    Sent from my iPad



  2. Oh my goodness. Nothing like throwing complications into the project. But knowing you – and Rob – you’ll keep at it until it’s finished! What a team. Glad to see you’re having some fun while there, also. Hang in there. With God’s help you’ll get it done.

    Please continue keeping us posted. Love & blessings, ~Diana&Bill~


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