Menu Close

September 6th

Cruz Bay, Sept. 5, 2023

September 6th is a weird day in my world. It’s probably a weird day for many of my friends too. On one hand, you can’t help but think about where we were six years ago at this very moment. But on the other hand, we just want to keep it in the past. It’s an odd juxtaposition.

When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t sure if I would even write today. Like what do you say? Do I write about Irma or do we act like that today is just another day? Well here I am, and here are a few of my rambling thoughts… 🙂

I guess I’ll start with the fact that not everyone wants to talk about Irma. I’ve been asked about it for six years while on my island tours, so it doesn’t bother me that much. I do, however, get goosebumps on my arms every single time that a guest asks me about that day. It’s interesting how your body reacts to certain things.

I’ve been at restaurants over the years and witnessed people sit down and immediately ask their servers or bartenders about the storms. No hi. No how are you doing? Just tell me about a day that scarred you for life. I completely understand the curiosity, but again, it’s not something everyone wants to relive or chat about. Just something to think about, and I hope I don’t sound like a jerk saying that.

Someone walked into The Beach Bar a few weeks back and basically told my other half that we should all be “over it” because “it was so long ago.” Well, not everyone is. 🙂

Ok, on to the positive! I was floored at how quickly Mother Nature bounced back after Irma! As you probably know, most of our leaves were stripped from the trees that day. But miraculously, just a few weeks later, we had buds on the trees again. Amazing!

New growth at Casa Mare on Sept. 22, 2017 – Amazing! Photo credit: David Thomeczek or Caribbean Soul Vacations

I saw some crazy stuff the day after Irma. The craziest was a piece of steel that was dangling on a powerline in front of Margarita Phil’s in Cruz Bay. It looked like a guardrail or something of the sort. It was bent in half and just dangling over the street. Crazy.

Sept. 7, 2017
Sept. 7, 2017

I was over at Gallows Point a few days later and chatting with Akhil, the general manager, when he told me to look up. A door frame was dangling in a tree high above our head. That was also pretty crazy.

Do you see it?
Sept. 7, 2017

I was overwhelmed by the love we received following the storms. I still cannot thank you all enough for donating to so many great organizations and for coming back so quickly that year. I had so many first-time visitors on island tours that winter, which was just mind-boggling to me. I asked why they were here, St. John still hadn’t fully recovered, and most stated that they heard we needed tourism dollars. I cannot count the number of times I got a little teary-eyed on island tours that winter. I blame my pregnancy hormones for that, of course! – lol.

This island has come a long way since Sept. 6, 2017. We’re a resilient little bunch, and there is a lot of love down here. We’re gearing up for another great season, and I hope to see many of your faces this winter. Now go ahead and start perusing for airfares. Start browsing villas, and book that trip!

I love ya all. Thank you so much for reading.

Want to see more images & videos from St. John? Follow Explore STJ on social media. 




Related Posts


  1. Becki Sepesy

    I understand a little of how you feel. We went through Hurricane Ian last year on September 29th. We all have some PTSD when a storm gets close. Love and prayers to all on Stj

    • Jenn Manes

      I think the majority of my friends have been diagnosed with PTSD or are on anxiety medication following Irma. It’s crazy how one moment in time can affect you for so long. Sending lots of love to you.

  2. Jill Savage

    My family has been coming to St. John for 25 years. I found your blog 6 years ago while trying to get info after the devastation of Irma. Your posts were (& continue to be) an inspiration in strength and determination. Thank you. Our 2024 visit is booked😊

  3. WP

    We’ve heard some pretty horrific stories from locals during the times we’ve been in Love City since Irma… whoever told you to “get over it” has clearly not scene my favorite bumper sticker – “Be nice or leave”. Stay safe!

  4. Karen Vivian

    I will never forget that day. Sitting hundreds of miles away in safety and watching footage from live web cams until they were gone. Reading your every you were sending out videoing, and then your dad. It was like those dreams you have where you can’t scream and need to. There was nothing I could do to help stop it. And then it was black. It seemed like an eternity waiting to hear what remains of the life of Love City. Sure, I was of course concerned for St. Thomas, and Puerto Rico and all of the Caribbean. But my heart is on that island. I did what so many repledged to, I threw money at restaurants as they opened to provide food to locals, organizations that were going down to help, I bought items that sent all profits to you. And to know how bad Irma was and then Maria, it was like a crazed ex-girlfriend out for blood when there wasn’t any left to give. The very minute I could book a flight down and not be in the way I did. I volunteered with Friends of the Park and have been doing so annually-now I have my own company that brings a crew of 10-12 woman to work on the island, to learn about her 3,000 year old history, to better understand the climate and its impact, to educate continentals on the territory-its culture especially. Most of all I come to fall in love with her over and again. Jenn, I pray throughout all of these months from August through November for you. As you wait through another season, never knowing what is brewing in the ocean and whether you would again face the worst most terrifying day of life again. I was so excited and proud of you when you started your tour and travel guide company. Thank you for all you have done to breathe life back into the very special place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *