5 November 2017
Note to Cinnamon Bay Friends..."Jackie and I did relief work at the Carolina Corral in Coral Bay. It felt good to help, see and hug. We had a chance to visit with both Miss Mary and Mr. Stephen, unfortunately we missed Miss Gertrude. It was wonderful seeing Miss Mary's spirits rise over the few days we were there, as her church helped clear debris from her home. It meant the world to her. All things considered, she's doing well, Her days seem filled with taking care of her grandchildren, going to church, going to her home and to the FEMA office. On other fronts, there are numerous linesman working to restore power. Landslides seem to be a concern along certain parts of centerline road, and obviously need to be stabilized before poles are installed. There is a new road with three or so switchbacks beyond Maho and before St. Francis Bay/Anenburg turn off. It's dirt and unfinished and making a mess with the run off. It's on NPS land so I'm a little confused. I heard that the locals didn't like it and that something was incorrect and the project just stopped. We also visited Cinnamon Bay and walked around. There's no power and it was quiet. Elsewhere on the island there were multiple chainsaws and generators running and laborers at work. Why there's no activity is unclear; there are so many internet threads with different information and opinions. No matter, it seems that it's going to be a long process and the emerging of a new norm. The commissary looked pretty good considering, however, both the beach view and beach front cottages took a beating. What Redwood's going to try to do is unclear. So much work went in to supporting the NPS last spring and summer to keep Redwood true, and it paid off in the end. I'm sure Jim Chen and his group will monitor it. They did an amazing job. The majority of the trees are gone, the mangroves are virtually gone and the beach has be re-written. The bath houses also took a beating. You've likely seen pics of Caneel, so I'm not including any. While on island I heard that because Caneel had five years on their lease, they're renegotiating the lease before decisions are made about rebuilding. I was also told by former Caneel employee, that they've let all employees go. Anyways, pictures sometimes mean more, here are some pics of the campground and I'll upload others as I get time. The pictures are full size (1440x1080) if you wanted to open them further".
2017:My family has been going to St. John since the early '70's, and always staying at Cinnamon Bay. The friendships have run deep, and were tested in September of 2017 when two category 5 hurricanes decimated the island. This celebrates the St. John we knew, and love very deeply.
2019: We returned to a different island, post Irma & Maria. canopies of dead vines were all over the island with new growth coming up from underneath. Many of the mangroves have not come back. The music and dear friends were abound. We saw many CB folks on the beach. We'd stop and chat, and reminisce about what Cinnamon Bay once was and what it meant to us. Cinnamon Bay was sad to see, especially our beloved '9D'. But, Cinnamon Bay was still our most favorite spot to swim and reflect.