Two activities that many people do when they stayed at Maho was a boat trip to Jost van Dyke, BVI and a Painkiller from the Soggy Dollar Bar. Even if you have not had the fun of going over to see the small island of ‘Jost’ you can sample a Painkiller here on St. John. As a matter of fact, the restaurant at Concordia (sister eco-resort to Maho Bay Camp) has a full service bar and makes an excellent Painkiller.
My favorite island drinks are the Painkiller and the Bushwacker, and I probably like the new version of the Painkiller made at Soggy Dollar, the ‘Nilla Killa! There are plenty of Painkiller recipes floating around the internet on how to make an “Original” or “Authentic” Painkiller, but I have a recipe that actually comes closer to the taste of the Painkiller & ‘Nilla Killa. Why should you believe this? Well, I had a few months with a severe foot injury that led to many days off work spent reading good books and perfecting my ‘Nilla Killa recipe. Secondly, I have had the chance to visit the Soggy Dollar Bar a few times this year and compare my drink to theirs! One thing no one ever mentions is that the Soggy Dollar pours their Painkillers out of a gallon jug, and it is a rational decision since they pour so many. But I am also quite sure they make the recipe in larger batches as a starting point, and that is the way I have perfected my recipe!
The new Nilla Killa: My thought was that if you can’t make it to the islands this year, to soak in the sunshine, refreshing blue water and buttery soft white sand, then maybe you can bring a bit of the island to you! The Painkiller is a suitable replacement to a Mimosa or Eggnog as a Holiday libation! It is orangey-creamy goodness that will remind your time in the Caribbean.
Now, it is your Rum that makes it a Painkiller or Nilla Killa. I prefer the ever available Cruzan Rum found here in the US Virgin Islands, but you can try your favorites. I usually put 2 Cups Dark Rum in for a Painkiller or 1 Cup Dark Rum with 2 Cups Vanilla Rum for the Nilla Killa. I put this in with the Coco Lopez first and fill up the jug with the juices. Great for serving ready made drinks to a crowd. Of course some people want different amounts of alcohol, so you can mix it without the the rum, adding rum to desired amounts to each drink. Down here that might be considered too much work though…. Only 100 calories per drink, (if you drink it here in the islands! )
One of the best things about a visit to Maho Bay Camp was the chance to go snorkeling every day at a different bay and see the fish and coral at the different reefs. I will admit that over the years I have varied in my interest in snorkeling. Some years I would go every day and others I thought the water was too chilly and would venture underwater less often. This past year was a fantastic year for snorkeling due to the lack of rain. The more rain we have, the more runoff from the mountains hits the bay and clouds the water in the bays. I also finally decided to purchase a “real” underwater camera. (The disposable ones have always been a wast of time and money.) I bought a digital Panaxonic Lumix and could not be happier with it! And it has made my time snorkeling more fun too. I don’t get out snorkeling as much as I would like to.
I will be writing more about the reefs in future snorkeling posts, especially about the coral bleaching event that occurred some years back and what we can do to help the reefs survive the stress they are placed under due to environmental and human factors. But in the meantime, here are a few photos from a snorkel at Waterlemon Cay in mid-September of this year.
Or “I Survived the Steps at Maho Bay Camp” in order to stay in the Best Tent!
Like so many others visitors I stayed in an A-Section tent on my first visit to Maho Bay Camp. Tent A-16 I believe it was. It had a porch overlooking the water at Little Maho beach and the weather was perfect the entire time. The location was perfect as far as the main boardwalk because it was mostly a flat walk under a shady canopy of trees. That flat boardwalk was decidedly nice when toting luggage on arrival and departure days, as well as after a hike up and down stairs around the rest of Maho or from Maho’s beach.
We always booked our tent a year in advance in order to get the best chance at having our first choice, but somehow we never stayed in the A-section again. Which turned out to be wonderful! Over the years I stayed in the D-section with it’s large volcanic boulders, the E-section with its newer style bathhouse and shady afternoons, the C-section with its lush green foliage, and even the B-section. But I never grew fond of the B-section because I stayed in the tent behind registration and next to the bathhouse.
One thing I discovered was that every section has tents with fantastic views! For instance, if you were in tent E15 you had a fantastic view of Big Maho Bay and an extra large porch (due to the fact you entered through the porch to get in the tent.) The C-section tents had some nice ceiling fans and solid wood floors which helped when things were buggy. And last year my E-section tent had deer running around all day in September and October.
But better than all of those sections, my favorite was the F-section tents! When we first arrived and found out we were staying up there for the first time,we were a bit reluctant. It was more of a climb to the F tents and they felt removed from the rest of the property. But when we arrived at F4 to see the view, it took our breath away! It was like having a room at the Maho Bay or Trunk Bay overlooks, only better. We were higher and could see further. And we could plan our day by standing on our porch in the morning. If there were rain clouds anywhere, we were going to see them! F-section tents were distinctly hotter during the day than most others since they were so high on the side of the hill and had minimal shade, but they had a breeze and the F-section had a relatively private bathhouse. Making the hike up to the F-section was more than worth it when you were rewarded with the view overlooking the north shore of St. John.
In memory of the much loved eco-resort Maho Bay Camp on St. John, US Virgin Islands.