Sunday, May 28, 2006

This book sits on the Activities Desk at Maho Bay Camps. "Exotic Retreats: Eco Resort Design From Barefoot Sophistication To Luxury Pad"
The first page showcases Estate Concordia Preserve. We have been written up in several magazines for our design and intentions. I like the book "1001 Places To See Before You Die" Estate Concordia Ranks on the list. Just think how we will rank once the Pavilion is up and the Art Center is flourishing. Thanks Deborah.

Friday, May 26, 2006

THE 2005/06 SEASON MAHO AND CONCORDIA STAFF PHOTO. It was a great season!!! Thank you everyone for making us one of the best places to go in the world. Be sure to read the March, April, and May's archives and read about our progress. If you would like to join our team please view our online job link at

Segundo and his crew constructed this boardwalk in 2004 for phase 3 of the Eco Tents. It rises 20 feet. This is the more tranquil side of Estate Concordia where you hear the sounds of Tree Frogs and Morning Doves. This is the Gumbo Limbo section. The valley below a lovely sight.

The cabins are more secluded on this side and have shade trees. Here is Gumbo Limbo 25 nestled off by itself.
Here is probably the most requested studio unit, A-8. It's wrap around porch and high wooden beam ceiling create the perfect Caribbean get-away. Be sure to reserve early as we try our best to fulfill requests.

Papaya Trees shoot up along the stairway to Gumbo Limbo 23. One of natures greatest foods...The Papaya. Other fruit trees you may encounter on St. John are the Hearty and Filling Sour Sap and Mango. Genips are tart flavored fruits that flourish in the summer months. Sugar apples are delicious and exotic. Passion fruit vines dangle in areas. Tamarind is in season right now. The Guavea Berry comes around during Christmas time and is a favorite wine by many locals during the holiday season. When I first came to St John 20 years ago, I wanted to live like Tarzan and eat the fruits of trees and fish the waters. I am still a true believer in self sufficiency and simplicity. Where's Cheetah?

Dave and Carlos hooked up the septic to the Constructed Wetland. We'll need to let it fill half way so the weight of the soil does not crush it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I took a hike to Drunk Bay yesterday. This is a short hike from Salt Pond Bay. Turks Cap Berries kept me nourished. You can see the round part of the Pavilion Gabion Wall. The Pavilion and Cafe will serve the local community as well as Concordia. This will be a perfect spot to hold a conference. Hikers will delight to see that food and drink are close by.

Here is a shot from the Salt Pond trail. This trail starts from Concordia and takes about 25 minutes to reach Salt Pond Bay.

Nanny Point peninsula. Contact Maggie Day at (340-776-0838) if you are looking for a perfect spot in the Caribbean. The whole hillside has dramatic views of the BVI's and Caribbean Sea. Check out the entry in the April Archives about the parcels for sale.
I love this hike! It's just right. So much beauty. It's blinding sometimes.

Jenny holds fort at the Salt Pond Parking area. The public bus makes its final stop here from Cruz Bay. It only cost a dollar and has AC. Thanks for the hotdog Jenny. I am starting to look into business licenses for food and beverage, liquor, and retail for our new facilities.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Estate Concordia Preserve is a place of subtleties and peacefulness. It is an Island escape without pretense. Once the pavilion is completed and guests begin to socialize and entertainment fills the stage, I think Estate Concordia Preserve will become a must see destination in the Virgin Islands. It already is such a destination but we are expanding it into something far more extraordinary. I hope to see us on the cover of Islands magazine.

Thanks for everything Kevin (right) and Doug (Left). Best wishes on your future journeys .

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Frangipani Tree in the foreground sits on Nanny Point. One acre parcels are for sale along this hillside. We named one of the sections at Concordia after this tree that produces an aromatic flower. Hawaiian Leis are made of Frangipani flowers along with other floral and fauna. The odor is delicious.
I took this shot from the deck of E7, soon to be Frangipani 20. The Green House arrived and we removed the pieces one by one and stored the items under tarps. The structure should go up in about 6 weeks. We are waiting for the building permit.
I was talking to Shay and Maggie about utilizing more of the garden solar lights for the boardwalk out to Sage Point. They are self sufficient so they do not need to run off the grid and they actually are beautiful at night and make great guide lights. Mike Nelsen and Nick Lebre from Six Rivers Solar out of Eureka California installed our solar systems on phase 3 and 4 of the Eco Cabins. We placed these panels off the boardwalk for some cabins due to shade trees blocking the suns rays, otherwise the panels are placed off the decks of the cabins. 3 panels charge 6 golf cart batteries.

Turks Cap Cactus dot Nanny Point's trail. You can see some roofs of the Eco Tents on the distant hillside. These funky cactus produce an even funkier fruit that resembles a Candy Corn but is neon pink. They have a mild taste similar to a strawberry. The cactus is also called Barrell, Pope's Head, and Compass Plant (known to point to the south).

These tiles are my favorite. I like the exotic color. The boardwalk ends just a few feet away but over the years the railing will come down and the boardwalk will continue up the hillside to a Restaurant, an Amphitheatre, Art Center, and other resort facilities. Are there Eco friendly Tennis Courts?
It was another productive week:
The Pavilion’s second level has begun and leveled.
The Greenhouse roof has been delivered.
The Constructed Wetland has been piped and the septic resettled for connection.
More solar panels were installed with the help of our volunteers.
New Maintenance Manager began at Concordia.l His name is Don Cofield.
Thermometers are being installed.
The AC has been installed in the office
New Washing machines and plumbing have been set up in the house.
We purchased a UV filter that will kill 99.9% of bacteria in the water.
Gail has finished glazing and firing the next set of room tiles.
A huge pile of concrete and tile has been removed from our service road. Looks so much better now.
And of course, The employee house is getting closer to completion. The outside aesthetics are being applied.

Friday, May 19, 2006

There's that view. It is going to be very beautiful to walk down and see the Pavilion silhouetted against this sky. Segundo and his crew are doing an awesome job constructing the Gabion Wall. The next level has started. We need to create a temporary fencing around the second level because it is 25 feet high
Hopefully Today, Blackhawk shipping out of Puerto Rico will be delivering our pre-designed Gable 7500 Greenhouse with 8mm Opal Polycarbonate roof. A product of the International Greenhouse Company. This will be the cover for the Pavilion and Cafe.! Nesbit Trucking is going to do the clearing of customs and delivery to St. John. We were wanting the items to be sent over on the barge, Tortola Pride because it comes directly to St. John however, Blackhawk was chosen by the Puerto Rico office.

This is the lower deck where the cafe will be. It looks out over salt pond.
You can see the level of gabion walls. I am standing where the parking will be and entry to the cafe.
We need to create an access stairway down to the Pavilion. This service stairway for employees may serve that purpose. It starts at the the pool and Registration office. It will need some renovation.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Segundo and his crew have added another layer of rock cribs this week. It started off nice this morning but the rain is pouring down now. It feels good and will help settle the dust.
The 6th layer has been set up.
That huge pile of stones has been Obliterated.
It looks like a fortress is being constructed. No pirates are going to take down this wall.

The Back Ho arrived to the Staff House to begin filling the constructed wetland with gravel and soil as well as leveling out the yard.

Dave laid out the Perforated pipe and 4 " PVC that was connected to the septic tank and to a small leach field. The walls have been double coated with through-o-seal. These machines are like dinosaurs. I recall the fascination of them when I was a boy. Did you ever see "Kill Dozer" about a bull dozer that comes to life after being struck by a radioactive meteor? It was pretty corny. I loved it at 10 years old.
You can see the layer of gravel and soil. Imagine this full of plants one day. No one would ever know. Mary Blezine suggested mangroves as a possible species to plant in the wetland.
It went mostly smooth but the back ho cut into our neighbors electric line causing his power to go out. Luckily Tom, our electrician and Dave were there to fix the problem. We also discovered that the septic tank is too high, so it will need to be dug out around the sides and let the pressure off to help settle it back into place. A very good week for progress. I finished installing the room tiles. Joseph changed out the Screens in the Older Eco Tents. The constructed wetland was filled in. The staff house interior and floors have been painted. New solar panels were installed for Turks Cap 9 with great help from our volunteers Ben and Evan. We moved our office. It looks great! The pavilion wall is growing.

I stopped down to see the progress on the pavilion early this morning. Charlie was there enjoying the peace and solitude. Estate Concordia Preserve is such a beautiful place. There is a hint of a John Constable painting within this photograph. He would have loved the skies of Estate Concordia.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Here is a diagram of the New Pavilion and Cafe. An Activities and Watersport center will operate within the right center area. Two massage rooms and restrooms are located to the left center. The Cafe and Grill will be on the lower level. It kind of looks like The Starship Enterprise. Beam me up Scotty....I'm coming home.

Here is a map of Estate Concordia designed by Kirin Makker. You can see where the pavilion will rest below the Eco Tents. There is talk of constructing fifteen more eco-tents and a possible new style that will create a third choice in accomodations. I need to get with Kirin on some minor changes to the map. We love the map Kirin! Thank you.

Kat Sowa did such a lovely watercolor of the future Pavilion and Grill. Maggie was telling me about a lounge area with a library that will be created near the Activities center.

I have been trying to mount the room tiles created by Gail Van Debogart and Susan Feraco from Maho Bay Clayworks. I have been able to put up a few a day on top of my other responsibilities. Segundo helped me create the frames and they look great. Much better than the the old laminate signs. Great idea Maggie! It's awesome how everyone plays a role in this project. Work because you want to not because you have to. It is funner that way.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I was at Maho the other day and stopped by the Maho Bay's Art Gallery. All these pieces were hand blowned at Maho Bay's Glass Studio. It has been very successful as we recycle our glass bottles and turn them into art. It is a good thing! Every community should have a similar recycling program.
And there's more and more produced as we mail pieces home to our guests who request them at the time of production.
Kelly has been a tremendous help in the Trash to Treasure department and is surrounded constantly by changing art. Concordia will have a similar gallery in the future. We will also have an aluminum press that will recycle cans and create art.

Maho Bay Clayworks always keeps a beautiful display at the gallery.

Tom allowed me to have the dump truck. Thanks Tom. He is Maho's resident viking. He growled at me.

The 75 Rock Cribs arrived. The crew has already began tying them together and the rock filling will begin tomorrow. The custom officers were present at the dock so clearing the baskets went smoother than normal. Our EDC certificate was approved therefore we were cleared of excise tax, one of the many benefits of this new economic initiative.
Once I returned with the Rock Cribs I had to go back to Cruz Bay to pick up gravel and cement at Penn's Trucking Company The items will be used to finish the walls for the constructed wetland. We had sand left over from a previous job so we were set. I went to the landfill transfer station today and disposed of old wood. The KIA has been doing great. I have to get a photo of the hogs sometime at the transfer station. I will have to get some of the animal world here on St. John. The cows on centerline road are entertaining. It's kind of like the Larson's Farside here with cows, goats, chickens, mongoose, donkeys, deer, and sheep all running along the roads.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I called today to confirm the arrival of our rock cribs from Puerto Rico. There was a death in the family that caused the delay in the shipping. Our condolences go out to you and hope that you will continue to prosper.

It has been nice to be without the noise from the machines but they will start back soon and more rock cribs will be added.

The plywood and fasteners were pulled off the recent concrete pour for the constructed wetland. I cant wait to see the plants flourishing knowing that nature is our filter system for the septic. Something to consider when building a sight sensitive villa.

It all started with one rock. There is a parable within this wall.
I made an attempt at painting Saltpond Bay. You can make an attempt as well once we complete the Yoga Pavilion. This is the view from the road walking down to the pavilion. You can see the original photo in the archives.