Oct 102017
 

The 2017 Hurricane Season has managed to leave a large scar on the Caribbean, as many of its beautiful islands have been ravaged by two major hurricanes – Irma and Maria.  It saddens us deeply to know that so many people have lost their homes and their livelihoods.

Many of our friends have asked how they can help.  To that end, and with her permission, I am sharing a post created by the talented (and super sweet) Chrissann Nickel, founder of the website Women Who Live on Rocks.

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Every new photo I see out of the islands that have been ravaged by Hurricane Irma & Hurricane Maria sickens me. Imagining how truly terrified everyone must have been during the storm and the dire situation the survivors are in now makes my soul ache. I wish I could take that pain away from our fellow islanders. I wish I could rescue them from the hell they are living in now. I am at a loss for words. And hurricane season continues to wreak havoc. My heart breaks for all those who experienced Irma and are still there, in need of rescue and basic life services.

I happened to already be away on vacation when the storms hit and have watched this horror from afar. I, like so many others, have lost my home, most of my possessions, and the island life that I loved so much. It is a surreal feeling – knowing that when I closed up my home to leave for vacation, I was walking away from everything I know and cherish. But I am one of the lucky ones. I did not experience that storm and I am safe in the US now.

The islands you love need your help desperately.

If you are a tourist who has ever visited these islands, please help. If you are someone who has ever dreamed of living in “paradise,” please help. If you used to live on an island, please help. If you are a fellow islander, please help.

*photo via Shaun Schroeter on Facebook

People have lost their businesses, their livelihoods, their homes, and all of their worldly possessions. They are in need of food, shelter, and evacuation. The situation is immediate and dire. The widespread destruction throughout the Caribbean is unprecedented.

I have tried to compile a list of ways you can help NOW for each of the islands effected. If you have additional organizations that you think need to be shared, please add them in the comments space of this post below or in the comments of the link of this post shared on our Facebook page.

Here is what I have so far, by region:

GENERAL CARIBBEAN

Caribbean Tourism Organization

Global Giving

Sailors Helping

OXFAM

CDEMA

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Save the Children

Direct Relief

Samaritan’s Purse

Caribbean Rotary Clubs

Help Resort Staff Throughout the Caribbean

Donate via Apple Store (How To)

Irma Aftermath

ShelterBox

All Hands Volunteers

Sandals Foundation

ARK / BWA Aide

ANGUILLA

Anguilla Go Fund Me

Help Anguilla Rebuild Now

Anguilla Help

Help Rebuild Seaside Stables Anguilla

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

Halo Foundation – Barbuda Relief Effort

Barbuda Go Fund Me

Barbuda Recovery

Barbuda Hurricane Animals

Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross

CUBA

Help Cuban Animals

DOMINICA

Dominica Go Fund Me

UrtheRootz Mission: Rebuild Dominica

PUERTO RICO

Vieques Love

Vieques Citizens

Puerto Rico Real Time Recovery Fund

NVOAD Volunteers

Save the Children – Puerto Rico

Acacia Puerto Rico

United for Puerto Rico

Friends of Puerto Rico

ST BARTH

St. Barth Disaster Relief Fund

St. Barth Go Fund Me

Gustavia Relief Fund

ST MARTIN / ST MAARTEN

St Maarten Go Fund Me

Rebuild SXM

Dutch Sister Islands Fund

French St. Martin

Goisco

SXM Paws – Animal Relief Fund

St. Maarten Hurricane Relief

THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

BVI Relief Fund

Virgin Unite Community Support Appeal

Jost Van Dyke Go Fund Me

BVI Government via Pledgeling

Three Sheets Sailing – Accepting Mailed Donations

BVI Go Fund Me

BVI Immediate Relief – You Caring

Virgin Gorda Community – You Caring

Amazon BVI Pets Wish List

JVD Strong

BVI Strong Apparel

Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society

BVI Volunteers

THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS

Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands

St. John Community Foundation

Virgin Islands Relief

Irma Relief for our Sister Islands

Love for Love City by Kenny Chesney

St. John Rescue

Art for Love City

Gifft Hill School

Tim Duncan VI Relief

USVI “Adopt a Family”

United Way USVI

My Brother’s Workshop

USVI Amazon Wish List

ReVIve the VI

St. John Go Fund Me

Patient Assist VI

USVI Recovery

Animal Evacuation

TURKS & CAICOS

Turks & Caicos Go Fund Me

Turks & Caicos You Caring

Turks & Caicos Just Giving

Friends of Beaches – Turks & Caicos

THE BAHAMAS

Bahamas Humane Society

Bahamas – You Caring

I know this is overwhelming. There are so many places that need help. But contributing literally ANYTHING that you can is what counts. And if you can keep contributing over time (add it to your monthly budget!), that would be even better. Pick one, pick several!

*photo via Brittany Meyers on Facebook

Please share this with everyone that has ever been touched by these beautiful islands – even if it’s just through a screensaver.

Additionally, keeping these islands and their people at the forefront of the media is essential. People quickly forget, but these islands will need help in the long haul. Any news coverage you are able to obtain to feature the islands in need would be incredibly helpful. Think local, think global.

Thank you for caring. The islands will come back to their glory one day. Now’s the time to point them in that direction.

Aug 162013
 

I’ll apologize in advance… This isn’t a very serious post, and its contents are an exercise in frivolity.  Feel free to stop reading now if you’re looking for serious reading material.  If, however, you’re in the TGIF spirit, read on…

It’s that time of year, and I’ve got the Virgin Islands on the brain.  To pass the time until I set foot on my favorite Caribbean Island of St. John, I’m sitting here thinking of its many virtues.

Palm Trees √

Pirate Tales √

Petroglyphs √

Picturesque White Beaches √

Painkillers √

Speaking of Painkillers, The Soggy Dollar Bar on St. John’s neighboring island of Jost Van Dyke is the home of this famed tropical concoction.  It’s located on White Bay, one of the prettiest bays in the Caribbean.  See for yourself.

Enjoying the scenery on White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

Enjoying the scenery on White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

S White Bay 2

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

S White Bay

M White Bay 2

In the TGIF spirit, what is your favorite tropical libation?

May 032012
 

As we were cruising the north side of Tortola a few months ago,

heading towards Virgin Gorda,

we came upon a group of pelicans feeding at the surface.

Photo by Matt Spangler

But the pelicans weren’t the only ones feeding.  As we neared the feeding grounds, we were able to view the full extent of the frenzy.  Several large sharks (5-7 feet / 1.5 – 2.1 meters) were circling just below the surface (sorry about the lack of polarization in this photo).

Photo by Matt Spangler

Almost immediately, a few in our party grabbed their masks and fins to investigate.  “Oh no you don’t”, a friendly but stern voice warned from the cockpit, “you’re not getting in that water during a feeding frenzy!”  “We don’t even know the species.”  The captain was right.  The water was not exactly clear at the time, making species ID difficult. After much debate, there was no real consensus.  Personally, I think they were lemons (and no, we didn’t go in, although a small part of my shark-obsessed brain felt compelled to push common sense aside in favor of a cheap thrill).

Anyone care to help me out with this one?  What type of shark were we watching here?  I think they were too small to be tigers.  And what were they eating?  Baitball?  Ray or shark carcas?

Apr 262012
 

It seems like more and more webcams are popping up each day.  Sure, you can bookmark all of them, but then you end up with a long, cumbersome lineup of bookmarks that make it difficult to find anything.  So, we’ve come up with a solution for the webcam lovers of the world.  Now you can bookmark only one page, and it’s here at Reeftraveler.

Bucuti Beach Webcam, Aruba

We’ve compiled a list of the most amazing tropical webcams from around the world.  From Fiji, to the Caribbean, to Costa Rica to Kenya – our favorites are here on one page.

Webcam View of Peter Bay, St. John from www.villavacations.net

And here’s a little tip for webcam newbies, if you click on the link and all you see is black, it is dark in that area of the world.  Check back in a few hours.

Bora Bora Lagoon Webcam

Do you know of any tropical webcams to add to our page?  If so, Email us at reeftraveleronline@gmail.com or leave a comment on this post.