Just returned from a 10-day trip to St. John, USVI and though I'd offer an update on the conditions we found there after the past two seasons of significant hurricane activity. Our last trip was 7 years ago so that's the standard against which we compare. In a nutshell, we couldn't tell there had actually been any problems. We saw little evidence of lingering damage from the storms. Because of the fairly wet summer, the vegetation was thick and green even in the southwest part of the island which was quite dry on our last visit.

The downtown areas of Cruz Bay and Coral Bay were bustling and in the same state of repair as usual. All of the normal services and activities were available and we had a great time. Caneel Bay Resort had just opened a few days before we arrived and from the road above and a passing ferry boat ride, looked to be back in good form with palm trees back in place. We did hear the Hyatt was not back in operation yet but didn't go check it out.

The beaches we visited (see itinerary below) were also in good condition. The only effect we saw was the damage to the coral reefs and grassy seabed which had taken a lot of sand coverage. In spite of this we saw as much fish life as before and even a few new types.

If anyone is interested in more detail drop an e-mail and we'd be happy to pass along what we experienced. The activities and locations we experienced were: Flew to St. Thomas from Chicago via Delta then cab to Red Hook Ferry to St. John to pick up Avis rental "jeep". Stayed 6 nights at Concordia Eco-Tents out beyond Coral Bay and 4 nights at Maho Bay Camp on north shore. Dined out at Shipwreck Bar, Coral Bay and Pussers and Asolare (awesome) in Cruz Bay.

Rest of the time, picked up stuff at the markets and cooked in. Snorkeled Salt Pond, Lameshur (Big and Little), Leinster, Trunk, Maho (Big and Little), Francis, Hawknest and Jumbie Bays and Waterlemon and Whistling Cays (rented a sea kayak).

Hiked Rams Head, Drunk Bay and Europa Bay trails and took a day trip to the Baths on Virgin Gorda, BVI Spent a 1/2 day shopping in St. Thomas on the last day on the way to the airport and back to Chicago via Atlanta on Delta.