Beautiful St. John
Beautiful little St. John can delight any vacationer, no matter what your plans may include: With over two thirds of the island dedicated as National Park, the hiking and guided trails are truly breathtaking.
Snorkeling and diving on the many coral reefs is an unforgettable experience. St. John is rimmed with white sand beaches; some of the popular spots have been rated among the top ten worldwide! While some beaches are quiet and secluded, others boast services such as water sport equipment rental, restaurants, camping, and more.
The island is also home to first-class restaurants and shopping, from fine jewelry to local crafts.
To truly appreciate beauty of the Virgin Islands, you need to see it for yourself.
Satinwood - Our family vacation home.
Ken Damon, our father and grand-father, lived on St. John year-round for over 25 years. He and Sylvia designed and built Satinwood. A physicist and engineer, he pioneered wind and solar energy efforts in the Virgin islands in the 1970's - long before any such services were available there. Thankfully, there are now several reliable renewable-energy vendors and service providers in the islands these days.
Visiting him regularly, and at times working in the islands for months or years, we have come to really know the island. We can help you with shopping information, car rentals, beach recommendations, restaurants, ferry schedules, siteseeing, dive spots, and other local information. If you're staying with us, you have a friend on the island.
Let Us Help You Find Your Way
First time visitors may need a little help finding their way that first time. You will quickly become comfortable with the island. There are not many roads, so navigation is easy. Your trip to St. John will normally mean a flight to St. Thomas, a taxi to the ferry, departing from either Charlotte Amalie or Redhook, and then a ferry trip to Cruz Bay, St. John where you will need a rental car. You do need to reserve a car ahead of time. We can easily arrange to have someone meet you at the ferry dock in Cruz Bay to guide you to the rental agency you chose and to the market for provisioning. There are also some services on the island that will, for a fee, provision the villa for you before you arrive, if you prefer.
Please let us know how we can help.
Technical details for those interested
Satinwood Solar Arrays - both old and new For the technically inclined or the environmentally oriented, here is a picture of the roof of Satinwood, as of December 2012. We have two arrays of photo-voltaic cell panels now (solar panels). We are proud to report that the older array, made up of old 80 and 100 watt Photocomm and Kyocera panels, is still operating at nominal output - even after 15 years of use. The 12 new panels are 240W Tru Blu.
We operated for over 15 years on Trace inverters. An accident made us change (Trace was no longer available) and we employed Magnum Energy inverters for a few years. In 2016 we tried Sonnen for an integrated lithium battery and inverter solution. In 2017, we convertd to a (SMA) Sunny Island inverter system using BMZ lithium batteries. The goal is to provide the best possible experience with no ties to the electrical grid.
On the roof we also collect water, which is required for almost all island properties. We also have two solar water heaters on the roof, adding slightly to the clutter.a
The profile of the roof line mimics the hillside to facilitate airflow through the house and to lower the impact of tropic storms. The steel-reinforced construction also insures security.
Solar powered for decades
Our family has been high on this hill top for decades. Our experience in solar and wind power span generations. Satinwood represents the culmination of that experience.
We have experience in off-grid residential living, construction with recyled materiels, continued commitments to recyling and power systems that exploit solar and wind.
Like most properties on St. John, Satinwood relies on catching rain water and storing it in cisterns for a consistent supply. We also employ redundant pumps, filters and an LED UV water purification system for drinking water.
Family, not business
As noted above, Satinwood was designed and built by our family and remains, first and foremost, our family vacation home. We share Satinwood with like-minded conservationists and others who appreciate St. John, Coral Bay and preserving our planet. Enjoy.