A number of people have compared living at The Preserve at Botany Bay with
living on St. John. Here's a first hand account by Lynda Hartmann who lived on
St John, in Estate Catherineberg in the National Park, from 1990 to 2000.
"St. John is a beautiful island and with 2/3rds of the land National Park its great
to know that land is protected forever. However, many more homes have now been built, and sadly it has lost the special appeal it had in 1990. Many more people are flocking to St John every year.
When I first discovered Botany Bay in 2000 I felt an instant warmth and knew
I had finally "come home". Even the tough nosed business man who sold me
the land confided to his lawyer "Every time I visit the property I know I'm going to live 15 minutes longer". This is a very special place and I am so pleased that
Timbers Resorts are preserving it.
When I told my St. Johnian friends I was moving to St. Thomas they thought I
was mad, until they visited me, and then they agreed that Botany Bay isn't
just as good as St John - its better, much better. Here's why:
1. Estate Botany Bay was owned for many years by the Corning family as a
family retreat. The beaches and reefs were virtually untouched, whereas the
beaches and reefs of St. John are well used,
2. I can laze in my hammock on the bluff and gaze out 270 degrees across a myriad of deserted islands seeing only the ancient Caribbean, untouched for millenia. No-one can do that on St John,
3. On 2.5+ acres, Siren's Song is located on one of the smaller lots in Botany
Bay. On St John, most lots are half an acre or less, and with all the building its beginning to feel like suburbia,
4. Arriving at St. Thomas airport, its only a 15 minute picturesque drive home,
whereas it used to take me at least 3 hours to get home on St John with lots
of hassle from taxi drivers, traffic and the ferry,
5. Everything one needs for everyday life is readily available on St. Thomas.
We have the hospital, great movie theater, 18 hole championship golf course, University of the Virgin Islands, KMart, Cost-U-Less, Home Depot, Walgreens,
etc., all within a 30 minute drive 24/7. A friend on St John needed the hospital
- it took 7 hours to get her there - she could have died. At Botany Bay we have a helicopter pad for emergency medical evacuation.
6. I've never failed to find a parking spot within reasonable distance on
St Thomas. In Cruz Bay, St John, parking is impossible without a monthly
rented spot or a disabled sticker, or walking half a mile,
7. The rules and regulations of the National Park, necessary to protect the
land with so many visitors, are becoming tiresome for locals. St Thomas doesn't have those restrictions. The restrictive covenants of The Preserve at Botany Bay are for the mutual benefit and pleasure of owners,
8. Groceries and fresh produce are better priced, fresher and more readily available on St Thomas than on St John,
9. After storms, St Thomas has precedence over St John for the restoration of electricity, phone and cable services,
10. If you live on St. John you have to make regular trips to St Thomas for
stuff you just can't get on St John. It takes so much time waiting for the
barge and making the crossings,
I could go on and on. I fondly remember when Skinny Legs first opened, when the small ferry boats docked at a wooden pier and one didn't have to queue in long lines, when there were few rental houses, when everyone seemed to know everyone else,...... times have changed..... I'm really glad I'm at Botany Bay. This is where I'll stay."