We love what we do!
Owners: Patti and JohnThompson II
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Managers: Alison Sobeck and John Thompson III (JT)
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Guides: Jon Bowman, Greg Herald, Brian Kohr
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Founders: Bryan and Jill Updyke
Bryan moved down to St Croix in 1990, just after Hurricane Hugo: a catagory 5 hurricane; the worst recorded in St Croix history. He purchased a wrecked house and over the following year, put it back together again. It wasn't until 1995, when Jill went on a post graduate vacation to St. Croix, that the two met. Bryan likes to say "I was waiting with my tail wagging!" They were married in the garden at their house, and later welcomed their daughter Bryanna to the family.
In 1997, they read a news article on The Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayaks, and opened The first Hobie Kayak Dealership in the Virgin Islands. Over the years: they founded The St. Croix Kayak Club; The Caribbean Indigenous Arts and Crafts Museum; commissioned The Cra Cra, a Kalinago dug out canoe; opened AYAY ART; built and founded Cane Bay Campground; became advocates for Salt River Bay National Park by removing abandoned vehicles and trash, and erecting signs; taught Pre-Columbian history and art to local schoolchildren; found the fabled Maroon Cave; and held pottery seminars in the Taino tradition.
In August of 2015, they moved their location to Salt River Marina, where they have incorporated much of Bryan's art. There is a display of original Taino Indian artifacts, as well as Bryan's Pit Fired Ceramics, handmade headdresses, paintings, and wood totems. There are several Kalinago dug out canoes on display. They also acquired a collection of original Taino artifacts, that they dream of someday housing in a permanent exhibition. They have an interest and passion in sharing their love and knowledge of Pre- Columbian art, history and lifestyles.