Hurricane Season Closures & Preparedness
Hurricane Season Closures & Preparedness
Ahoy! Prime Hurricane Season Is Approaching – So be informed about the latest closures and preparedness advice.
Welcome aboard! It’s that time of year when we have to talk about the “H” word.
Paradise has its drawbacks and those nasty tropical systems that develop into hurricanes are certainly on that list. So far it’s been a pretty quiet summer but prime hurricane season is just around the corner. For the Virgin Islands, the height of storm season runs from mid-August through mid-October and NOAA’s current predictions for 2023 suggests things might get more active than anticipated. Just days ago, NOAA posted the following outlook:
“There’s a 70% chance of 14 – 21 named storms, of which 6 – 11 could become hurricanes, and 2 – 5 could become major hurricanes. Current conditions are likely to counterbalance the usually limiting atmospheric conditions associated with the ongoing El Nino event.”
In Other Words – Stay Alert!
Just six short years ago in September of 2017, two category 5 hurricanes – Irma and Maria – struck the Virgin Islands within two weeks of each other. The devastation was catastrophic and caused some $1.1 billion dollars in damages. Homes, businesses and people’s lives were upended for months, and in many cases, for years and some people and businesses are still recovering from those horrible storms. Those 2 storms left horrible scars on everyone here in the islands, and some people and businesses will never fully recover.
While everyone hopes that this hurricane season will treat the Caribbean islands kindly, it’s best to approach the season with alertness and preparedness.
According to the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), tropical cyclones / hurricanes can intensify rapidly, even over a period of 24 – 48 hrs, so they urge residents and visiting tourists to prepare in three ways.
#1 Build A Survival Kit
- Gather and store water for drinking and sanitation, non-perishable food, medications, a first-aid kit, and hygiene products. (The general rule is to store a gallon of water per person per day for five days. Also, if a storm is approaching, fill bathtubs or buckets with water to assist in flushing toilets if the power goes out)
- Gather any additional supplies to meet the needs of pets, children or anyone with medical issues.
- Protect important documents by storing them in a secure waterproof location such as a safety deposit box or safe.
#2 Make A Family Communications Plan
- Choose an out-of-town friend or relative as a point of contact.
- Make sure children have emergency contact information memorized or saved in a secure place.
- Determine a safe, familiar place to reunite should you get separated.
#3 Stay Informed
- Listen to local official bulletins to stay up-to-date on approaching storms
- Have a battery or solar-operated radio on hand
- Sign up for Alert VI to receive real-time notifications for emergencies in the U.S. Virgin Islands at VITEMA – Public – Sign In (everbridge.net)
- Get weather updates from the National Weather Service’s San Juan Puerto Rico Facebook page.
Hurricane Season Restaurant Closures
While most larger hotels remain open during hurricane season, various villas and restaurants throughout the islands take breaks to do maintenance and give their hard working staff a little break. Some close for a few weeks and sometimes they close for longer. If you are planning a trip to the Virgin Islands during September or October, here are some of the closures we are currently aware of.
If you are planning a trip and your favorite restaurant or bar is closed, don’t be upset because maybe you’ll find a new favorite stop to add to your list of places to visit next time
St. Thomas – Most things will stay open with a few closures for maintenance here and there.
St. John – (Data gathered from News of St. John)
- 1864 The Restaurant: Closed August 19th thru October 5th
- 420 to Center: Open
- Amore Arowako Vegan Club (Leng’s): Open
- Aqua Bistro: Permanently Closed
- Beach Bar: Open
- Caneel Bay Beach Club: Open (possible closure not determined)
- Cafe Roma: Closed September 2nd thru October 7th
- Cinnamon Bay Restaurant (Rain Tree Cafe): Closed September and October
- Colombo’s: Closed September 9th thru 23rd
- Cruz Bay Landing: Open
- Dave and Jerry’s Island Steakhouse: Closed September 2nd thru October 7th
- Dazey Drive In: Closed August 1st thru October TBD
- Downtown Sips: Open
- Drink: Closed August 12 until Halloween
- Extra Virgin Bistro: Closed July 30th thru October TBD
- Greengo’s Caribbean Cantina St. John: Open
- Heading East: Open
- High Tide Bar and Grill: Open (May close for a week in September for maintenance)
- Irie Pops: Closing September 1st until October 9th
- Joe’s Rum Hut: Closing for season early August; reopening TBD
- La Tapa: Tentatively closing September 8th thru October 15th
- Lime Inn: Closing August 9th until December 1st
- Lime Out: Closing August 19th until October
- Longboard: Open
- Lovango Resort + Beach Club: Closed July 21st until December
- Lovango Rum Bar: Closed September 9th thru 23rd
- Love City Wing Spot: Open
- Maho Crossroads: Open
- Miss Lucy’s: Closed September and October
- Morgan’s Mango: Closed September 6th thru October 5th
- Ocean 362: Closed for September, reopening mid-October
- Our Market Smoothies: Open
- Parrot Club: Open
- Pizza Pi: Closing July 23rd
- Quiet Mon Pub: Likely closing for September
- The Refinery: Open
- Rhumb Lines: Likely closing for September, TBD
- Ronnie’s Pizza an Mo: Closing August 5th for about 5 weeks
- Salty Mongoose: Closing for September
- Sam & Jack’s: Tentatively closing September 10th thru TBD
- Shaibu’s Gourmet Crab & Go: Closing August 26th thru October 1st
- Shambles: Closing August 14th thru 21st, then reopening
- Skinny Legs: Closed August 8th until Halloween
- St. John Scoops: Open but might close for few weeks in September / October
- Sun Dog Cafe: Open
- Surf Club Cantina: Open
- Tamarind Court Restaurant & Bar: Closed September 4th thru 17th, reopening TBD
- Tap & Still St. John: Open
- The Tap Room, St. John Brewers: Open
- The Terrace: Closed August 10th thru October 10th
- Trunk Bay Restaurant, Bar & Retail: Open
- Uncle Joe’s BBQ: Open
- Upstairs Bar & Grill: Open
- Windmill Bar: Open
- ZoZo’s at Caneel Bay: Closed now thru December
British Virgin Islands
- Coco Loco: Open
- Soggy Dollar Bar: Open
- Gertrude’s Beach Bar & Grill: Open
- Hendo’s Hideout: Closing September 3rd thru October 9th
- Corsairs: Closed August – mid-October.
- Tipsy Shark: Closed for one week only mid-August
- Sidney’s Peace and Love: Open
- Foxy’s Taboo: Closed for renovations, reopening TBD
- Foxy’s: Closed in September for one month
- Pirates Bight: Closed, reopening TBD
- Willy T: Closing for a few weeks, reopening early October
- Copper Island Beach Club – Closed August – October 20th
- Nova, Oil Nut Bay: Open
- Saba Rock: Closed August 14 – October 14th
- Bitter End Yacht Club: Closed through Late October
- Marina Cay:
Although this is an incomplete list, it’s all the information we have at the moment.
As you can see from the closure lists, not everyone is locking their doors during hurricane season. And there’s still plenty of sunshine to go around! Some added bonuses if you choose to travel during September and October include lower airfares, smaller crowds and more choice villas and hotels to choose from, if you want to book a last minute getaway. Another added bonus are the calm seas, because the trade winds die down. So, if you love to snorkel, the waters are warm and the water is calm and clear. This is also the best time of the year to visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda, because the calm seas make for a nice smooth ride.
One tip, though, should you decide to book a vacation to the Virgin Islands in the next two months – buy trip insurance! As they say, “Expect the best but plan for the worst.”
End Notes: Here at Stormy Pirates Charters we pull about half of our fleet out of the water and give those hard working boat a break and what we call their “spa treatment.” We are still “OPEN” for business, but are only operating about ½ of the amount of trips that we operate during the busier months, so we hope you’ll look us up if you’re headed our way. Please remember to book well in advance, even though there are less crowds, there are also less options for boats too.
The boats we have operating all year are:
- Stormy Petrel (42′ Power Boat) – Scheduled trips to the BVI & Private Charters
- Sail Pending (Sailing catamaran) – Scheduled and Private Trips
- Pirates Passion (37′ Axopar) – Private BVI or USVI Charters
- Buccaneer (27′ HydroSport) – Private USVI Charters
As we always say, “We’ll put the gang plank down and escort you in style!
Looking Ahead to Next Season
Behind the scenes, we keeping very busy these next few months and are looking forward to sharing some exciting news about the upcoming season with everyone very soon!! We have a new boat joining the fleet and we are opening up a Boat Day Boatique, conveniently located in Red Hook. This Boatique will carry everything you need for your boat day including SPF protected clothing, reef safe sunscreens, towels and dry bags.
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