St. John Weather: Rain, Rain and More Rain

Westin Hotel great Cruz Bay St. John Virgin Islands
Westin Resort, St. John US Virgin islands

It’s been raining quite hard here on St. John for the last day or so causing significant flooding. I’ve heard reports from Coral Bay about rock and mud slides and other flood related problems. On St. Thomas, I heard that Crown Mountain Road is all but impassible.

But here closer to home I’ve seen quite a bit of damage in the area around the Westin where Guinea Gut overflowed. Flood waters ran through the resort and undermined the bridge over the gut and for several hours vehicles could no longer pass between the Westin on the east and the St. John Market on the west. The causes of  it all are two areas of stormy weather, one now a named storm, Subtropical Storm Otto and another referred to by the meteorologists as Invest 97.

At the Westin some rooms were flooded, as was the pool and the beach area. Large breaking waves caused a sailboat anchored in Great Cruz Bay to was up on the Westin Beach adding it to the other unfortunate craft brought ashore by Hurricane Earl.

Bridge over Guinea Gut

Tennis Courts

Sailboat is washed ashore by breaking seas

It’s Wednesday night and still raining, hopefully the rain will stop soon.

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St. John’s Trail Bandit and the Henniker’s Annual Pumpkin Festival

Trebuchet Launching Pumpkin at Target

Photo by Bill Wakeham

Bob Garrison, better known on St. John as the “Trail Bandit,” has produced the ultimate St. John Trail Map, a must have for any resident of St. John as well as for anyone visiting the island, hiker or not. The maps are available on St. John or can be downloaded or purchased on Bob’s website: trailbandit.org. Back in April of this year, I published an interview of Bob, which our readers may find interesting: Trail Bandit Interview Every year on the last Saturday in September, Bob hosts “Henniker’s Annual Pumpkin Festival” at his airport in Henniker New Hampshire. People arrive from all over, some in their own planes. When weather permits there’s an Air Show where, according to Bob, “People do silly things in airplanes.”

Bob’s Plane – Italian Fighter-Trainer, Symmetrical Wing

Trail Bandit Airport Henniker, NH
Trail Bandit Airport – 3000 foot paved runway with lights

biplane
biplane parked at hanger

There’s a big barbecue, homemade pies, and hard and soft beverages. Bob personally prepared and marinated 120 pounds of chicken for the event. Mary brought her apple pies, but because of dangerous cross winds she didn’t fly them in herself as she normally does.

Trail Bandit and Mary
Bob “Trail Bandit” Garrison and Mary, the Trail Banditess

Autumn Colors at Airport

Barbecue

The highlight of the day is the trebuchet pumpkin launch. First Bob grows the pumpkins. Then on the day of the festival he sets up the trebuchet. An old wrecked automobile is fork-lifted down the field about two hundred yards from the trebuchet to serve as a target.

Trebuchet

Ammunition

Pumpkin in flight

The trebuchet is armed using the force of about five or more people using a line to raise th 800-pound concrete counterweight. The trebuchet arm is then secured by the trigger mechanism and the pumpkin loaded into it’s pouch. Someone is chosen to pull the trigger and the pumpkin flies off to it’s target at a speed of 69 mies an hour. (Someone was there with a radar gun to verify the speed)

What FUN!!!

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