Just one year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria swept through the Virgin Islands, Sonic Charters celebrates a victorious twelve months filled with hope, healing, and recovery. It was a year ago, on September 6, 2017, that Hurricane Irma tore through the Virgin Islands, beating the beautiful tropical islands into bare trees, damaged homes, and months of doing without. A shocking 90 percent of the islands were without electricity. When a second Category 5, Hurricane Maria, hit the islands mere weeks later, the outlook was bleak indeed.
But today, after a year of recovery, Sonic takes a look back and tells an inspiring story of a community banding together, neighbor helping neighbor, hope, and healing.
Community Comes Alive
After the hurricanes, relief workers from all over rushed in to help and deliver aid. In addition to federal assistance, the American Red Cross, ministries, organizations, businesses, and individuals banded together to gather donations. Cruise ships delivered humanitarian aid. Individuals showed up ready to help with repairs and cleanup. Volunteers distributed Food, water, clothes, toiletries.
With airports still down, boating businesses that retained operable vessels volunteered time, boats, and manpower toward recovery efforts. Sonic’s boat captains all stayed safe through the storms and were able to help out, using boats to transport supplies throughout the islands.
Morgan Locke, owner of Sonic Charters St. Thomas, weathered the storm on the island while his wife Carrie evacuated to the mainland to prepare for the birth of their baby.
Locke recalls, “The storm left us spinning with uncertainty. So many generous people worked to get supplies to the islands, and over time, things started looking up.”
The recovery efforts continued, as the islands faced a long road of returning to normal. Drives were organized to benefit recovery. Shirts, photography, calendars, and jewelry were sold, and vendors donated proceeds to recovery efforts. Many goods were created sporting the reminder #vistrong. Locke recalls, “Anyone who could hammer, hammered. Anyone who could lift, lifted. Anyone who could play music, played at recovery events to lift everyone’s spirits. It was remarkable.”
Rebuilding and Restoration
As clean up continued, businesses opened up and got right back to work. Although some popular tourist spots stood quietly for a few months, rebuilding efforts proved strong, and the islands opened back up for business. To prepare for returning tourists, beaches were cleaned, and new palm trees were planted.
Less than one month after the storms, on November 3, 2017, cruise ships started pouring back into the islands. Magens Bay was sporting her new cleanup and plantings, looking beautiful to both welcome cruise passengers and celebrate locals. Shops and restaurants stood open, and vendors returned to the streets. In the upcoming months, bed and breakfasts, villas, condos, and hotel rooms reopened. As visitors started bustling back into the islands, residents happily greeted them. The islands returned to business as usual, proving their unstoppably strong spirit.
Water and sand remained naturally beautiful, while greenery quietly renewed, bouncing back with vigor and vitality. Over the course of months, vibrant colors and pops of flowers filled the landscape. What was once despair blossomed into renewal, revitalization, and a unity of islands stronger than ever. Today, the territory-wide restoration progress is reporting an amazing recovery: 100% on beaches, and near 100% on shopping, restaurants, seaports, and cruise arrivals.
A Look Ahead
Today, the future looks brighter than ever. Sailboats anchor, bobbing in the harbor. Locally known hotspots sit in secret coves as waves lap on beautiful shores. Long-time favorite hangouts are buzzing with happy tourists enjoying cocktails. Sunbathers lounge on the white sand, and kids splash in the crystal turquoise water.
Guests visiting the islands in the upcoming year can anticipate enjoying the same wide range of island activities they have in the past. Sonic Charters boat captains take guests on a daily basis to explore their favorite beaches throughout the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, including Honeymoon, Trunk Bay, Coral Bay, White Bay, Sapphire, and Cruz Bay. Guests snorkel, explore reefs, sit under rustling palm trees, dip their toes in white sand, explore islands, climb over and through The Baths, and enjoy Painkillers at their favorite bar.
The holidays are an especially fun time to visit the islands. This season is one of regular visitors’ favorite time of the year. Holidays in the islands are a great way to escape the cold, the gray, and the mundane in exchange for an exciting adventure. Have an unconventional winter vacation and hit the water sports, like surfing, kiting, boating, fishing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Visit shops with beautiful, locally-created pieces. Dine on Caribbean fare rich with tropical accents. Charter a boat for the day and go wherever your heart desires, experiencing the islands in the best possible way: up close and personal.
Says Locke, “It’s still nice in the Virgin Islands. Every season is a sunny paradise here. It’s truly the ultimate playground for the beach lover. And each and every day, we stand astonished at how far we’ve come.”
About Sonic Charters:
Sonic Charters St. Thomas boat rental provides an unparalleled experience exploring the gorgeous U.S. and British Virgin Islands. While enjoying islands from the coast is certainly worthwhile, there’s nothing quite like taking a personal boat out onto the crystal clear waters and enjoying the Caribbean beauty from the sea. In celebration of one year of recovery, Sonic is offering $100 off coupon code VISTRONG.
For more information about the company and the services they provide visit their website at https://sonicchartersstthomas.com/contact-st-thomas-boat-rental/
Company Name: Sonic Charters
Contact Person: Morgan Locke
Email: Send Email
Phone: (340) 244-5096
Address:6300 Estate Frydenhoj
City: St. Thomas
Country: Virgin Islands (U.S.)