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MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
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July 31, 2012 9:04 pm  

Hello Everyone!

I'm brand new to the forum. My husband and I (23 & 27) are looking to move to the USVI after tax season of 2013. I would love to come sooner but would hate to leave my employer in a bad spot as I am highly relied upon in her business (CPA). Anyways, we are hoping to do a PMV in December to get a better grasp on where we would want to stay, where we could work etc.

Regarding Work:

We are both willing to work in any field to make ends meet. I'm worried that I'm going to have no appeal to restaraunts/bars due to my lack of experience but I'm hoping that something will come up. I would LOVE to come up with some sort of boating related profession detailing/deckhand etc are there sufficient opportunities in this profession? I'm even considering housekeeping, as it was my profession for several years. My eventual goal is to start up my own bookkeeping business. Providing cheap/reliable services to mom & pop places (preferably in St. John). Am I being unrealistic in assuming that I will be able to find these places that will need my services?

Regarding Play:

My husband and I are obsessed with fishing! What would be our best option to have access to the waters in the USVI? What island is more popular for anglers? Would we be better off trying to find a cheap boat and charter ourselves around or are charter boats readily accessible and decently cheap? On a side note; what are common fish species for the area? (for exa. I'm currently in St. Aug & I would say that our common species are Inshore: Redfish/Flounder & Trout Offshore: Kingfish/Cobia/Snapper/Wahoo etc.)

I love beach volleyball. Are there any nets on St. John?

Also, what is the surf scene? I have heard various reports. Would love a local's input.

I'm really looking for any input you guys can give me! I know this post isn't very specific on the information that I'm looking for... I'm just so excited about this new adventure in our lives & wanna learn as much as possible from people like you!

Thank you sincerely!
~Meagan


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Linda J
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July 31, 2012 9:18 pm  

I would suggest checking with CPA/bookkeeping firms when you do your PMV. This MAY be a field where you could actually actually find work before your move. Even thou you aren't moving for a year, you can make contacts. Your best bet might be finding temp work in the 3 months before taxes are due, hoping for a full time offer.


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MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
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July 31, 2012 9:28 pm  

Thank you so much for the suggestion! This will be at the top of my list during our visit in December.

Does anyone else have any input?


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fdr
 fdr
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July 31, 2012 10:14 pm  

I'm worried that I'm going to have no appeal to restaraunts/bars due to my lack of experience but I'm hoping that something will come up. I would LOVE to come up with some sort of boating related profession detailing/deckhand etc are there sufficient opportunities in this profession? I'm even considering housekeeping, as it was my profession for several years.

You are both young enough that you should have no problem finding entry-level jobs in any of these fields. Housekeeping on STJ actually pays pretty well if you work with a villa management company. There are more boat-related jobs available on STT than STJ.

My eventual goal is to start up my own bookkeeping business. Providing cheap/reliable services to mom & pop places (preferably in St. John). Am I being unrealistic in assuming that I will be able to find these places that will need my services?

If you take the time to learn VI tax code AND learn how the system really works, your services will be in demand. It will take some on-island experience in the profession. You may well be able to find a bookkeeping job before you arrive if you do a lot of networking during your PMV, although they may not take you seriously because 4 months from visit to move date is a long time in "island time".

I'm not familiar with the best fishing, so I won't comment there. You will probably want to get a boat of your own at some point, though, if fishing is a big passion.

I love beach volleyball. Are there any nets on St. John?

Cinnamon Bay has beach volleyball, and it's a popular scene on Sunday afternoons.

Also, what is the surf scene? I have heard various reports. Would love a local's input.

Not a lot of great surfing on STJ, but there are plenty of local surfers. You'll meet them when you do your PMV and ask around about surfing beaches.

Good luck with your research! Keep us posted if you decide to make the move.


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Alana33
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July 31, 2012 11:22 pm  

If you are interesting in boating you should probably read about the proposed fees increase by DPNR.
http://stjohnsource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/07/19/increase-boating-fees-proposed
And keep abreast of the changes and charges, if and when, made. Docking at marinas can be pricy.
Boats and their maintenance are expensive so maybe worthwhile to rent a boat (or accquire boating friends) when you want to go out on the water instead of paying all the associated fees in having one of your own. Depends on how much you shall actually have time to use when your'e both busy with work and island life. Wait awhile until you are well settled in before taking on this additional expense and see if it is worth it for you. You may be able to get info from the STT or STJ Yachts Clubs as well as Charter Yacht League. (if still in existance here in VI?)

We pretty much have same fish here except trout/redfish, I believe. Red/Yellow Snapper, Ale Wife, Grouper, Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin (fish not mammal).
It is necessary to be aware of what fish and areas that are good to fish/catch as one can get ciglaterra (sp?) which which is a type of fish poisoning that does target certain species and locations, hence whomever eats the infected fish.
Check with Fish and Wildlife for more info on this subject.

If you are set on STJ, check in with Connections right up from ferry dock in Cruz Bay when you do your PMV.
Bring a letter sof recommendation with you from your present bosses. It might help line up a job.

Where you end up working will pretty much dictate where you live. In your case, if you both can't find work in STJ, it might be better to live in STT and avoid the expense of a daily commute and parking fees if you must leave car in STT to get back and forth to work or ride the shuttle bus. Bring $$$$. Hope this helps. Good Luck!


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MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
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August 1, 2012 2:28 am  

Thanks for the encouraging info. I feel like we have hope of making it now 😉

Also thanks for the 'play' information! You've been so helpful.


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MeaganCooney
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August 1, 2012 2:38 am  

Also, thanks for the boating info. I'll def do some more research before making any drastic decisions. Definitely gonna have to find us some boating friends to start off this adventure right! 😉

Does anyone know if there is good inshore/beach fishing - so I can eat before I find a way to get out on the water 😉

We've saved up a nice little nest egg to get us started. But I truly hope that I don't have to delve into that. I wanna see what we can do on our own 🙂


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fdr
 fdr
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August 1, 2012 3:04 am  

Very little beach fishing to speak of on STJ. Also, read up on ciguaterra, which is common in reef fish and does very nasty things to your system if you eat a fish that has it. Because most of our beaches are surrounded by reefs... well, you get the picture. Fishing here mostly happens from boats.


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Exit Zero
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August 1, 2012 3:08 am  

"charter ourselves around?" - one of you will have to have a USCG Captains License to take paying passengers on any vessel. You should research this well beforehand and start documenting your sea time.
There are no marina dockspaces on STJ - moorings are tightly controlled and hard to obtain - very few mooring fields at all on STJ.
For beach volleyball I am only assuming you mean doubles - there is very little double action on STJ - some on STT at Morningstar and occasionally Sapphire. Less serious group pickup games are more common.
Surfing is generally lackluster unless there is a North swell - start to watch www.magicseaweed.com - [go to Caribbean BVI-USVI ] - and with a boat you can access surf spots when they are breaking wherever - Puerto Rico has world class surf spots. SUP is getting very popular here!
Work? -- you can find work - whether it will pay the bills? might mean 2 jobs - starting a business will be easier once you have established a network and reputation and have in real time, assessed the real viability of your ideas - if you can work in that field to start even better - if you are only considering STJ all of your options will be greatly limited because of the small population and all the other STJ reasons [ higher prices, limited real estate availability, seasonal fluctuations, ferry access, etc.]
STT and STX will give you a much wider choice of jobs, housing and boating availability if you have any inclination to explore beyond STJ. Your PMV will give you a good chance to look at the opportunities.


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donefarming
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August 1, 2012 11:08 am  

Sent a PM to you with some info, hope it helps!


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MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
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August 1, 2012 12:56 pm  

FDR:
Thank you for the warning. We will definitely take extra caution to research what to look out for - what regions to fish etc. What about spearfishing from shore? Is that common along the beaches of the USVI?

-----------------

Exit Zero:

Sorry for my choice of words: We aren't ambitious enough at the moment to consider getting our USCG Captains Licenses (though that is one of our long term goals) For the most part I was just wondering if getting a boat would be more beneficial than worrying about chartering out other's services. If we did get a boat it would most likely be <20'.

Regarding surf & volleyball: I'm just happy to know that I'll have access to it if I really get in the mood. 🙂 I'm not overly concerned about it either way.

We're going to do some serious exploring on our PMV. We plan on going to all 3 islands and seeing what will work best for us. As of now, I'm leaning more towards STJ but I know that may change. I know that it may be a little more difficult but it's doable if we really work at it wouldn't you think?

------------

Thank you all for your information & input. It's greatly appreciated! This thread has been great - it's brought so many things to my attention that I hadn't thought to research.


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MeaganCooney
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August 1, 2012 12:57 pm  

Donefarming: Thanks for the PM! Was greatly helpful! (reply sent)


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piaa
 piaa
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August 1, 2012 1:44 pm  

No fishing/spear fishing from any of the National Park beaches on St John but you can fish outside of the white "no boat" line markers (you would need to be on a boat) - no fishing at all at Trunk or Jumbie

Pia


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MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
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August 1, 2012 1:59 pm  

Thank You for the info! Any idea where I can get a map of these white "no boat" line markers?


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Alana33
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August 1, 2012 2:02 pm  

Thank You for the info! Any idea where I can get a map of these white "no boat" line markers?

Probalby from Fish and Wildlife, DPNR and the National Park Services in STJ.


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MeaganCooney
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August 1, 2012 2:28 pm  

OK Great.. I'll check it out!


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Alana33
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August 1, 2012 3:28 pm  

Do wish spell check was working!


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MeaganCooney
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August 1, 2012 3:47 pm  

Do wish spell check was working!

Haha! Yeah spell check makes things so much easier


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trainwreck82
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August 1, 2012 4:21 pm  

As others have already pointed out, you need to be careful fishing in shallow water near reefs because of ciguatera. IMO the best fishing in the VI is the north shore of STT, specifically at the North Drop. World class fishing and seasonal tournaments. You can do a little small wave surfing occasionally at Cinnamon Bay on STJ, but in general it's confined to Hull Bay, Botany Bay, and Santa Maria on STT, and it's much better when there's an announced swell coming in.

Beach volleyball pickup games at Cinnamon Bay on STJ are pretty common on the weekends, on STT there is an organized beach volleyball league with the St Thomas Sport and Social club.

As far as jobs go, if you're reliable you can get a job anywhere. It's a running joke on island that a good employee is one who shows up more than two days in a row, it won't really matter what your experience level is.


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MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
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August 3, 2012 4:16 pm  

Thanks for the info 'trainwreck82'!

Change of plans: Due to the fact that December will be so busy, we've decided to visit in October to allow us to get more of an idea of what 'island life' is truly like, cheaper rates are highly appealing too ;). What do you guys have to say about this? Do you think we'll be better off this way?


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MeaganCooney
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August 3, 2012 4:30 pm  

Oh... what are my banking options on St. John?


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piaa
 piaa
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August 3, 2012 4:48 pm  

There is one First Bank (terrible imo) one Scotia Bank (very good) and one Merchants Bank (a little out of the way but nice service)

Pia


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STXBob
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August 3, 2012 4:55 pm  

October will be deader, hotter and cheaper than December, which is probably fine for a PMV.


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MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
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August 3, 2012 5:11 pm  

That all works for me 🙂 I like the idea of things being slower.. I feel like that will give me a better chance of chatting with business owners & locals. I'm really looking forward to this adventure!!


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MeaganCooney
(@MeaganCooney)
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August 3, 2012 5:13 pm  

What would be my best bet at receiving a good rate on a place for our 2 week visit? We have to do this as cheaply as possible in order to save most of our money for the actual move.

All suggestions welcome & appreciated! 🙂


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