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Virgin Islands


D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1 /J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 2

bayhouse Clean architecture and miraculous views define this Virgin Gorda property.

baraka point The beauty of this Virgin Gorda villa reveals itself inside and out.

scooting through stj When in St John, rent the scooter, take the ride.

Your dream home

becomes reality thanks to one of our tailor-made mortgages. We will help you to live your dream from the planning stage to realization. VP Bank – your partner.

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Homes For Sale Villa Zenaida $1,300,000

Lime Leaf Cottage $260,000

Whispering Tide $1,200,000

Lemongrass $895,000

MacNamara Villa $800,000

Longview $1,100,000


rice reductions, price improvements, price adjustments; it doesn't matter what you call it, nobody wants to hear about lowering prices, except a buyer. Sellers count on their agents for maximum marketing exposure and that is why Caribbean Realty chose to join forces with Sotheby’s. The combined marketing budgets of a worldwide network of agents means that BVI Sotheby’s International Realty offers marketing on a scale difficult to match by any other company. To sell your property, it always helps to ‘stage’ it, in order to look its best, and no matter what the market is doing, it must be the ‘jewel of the price point’ – the most attractive at that price. Most buyers do not want to take on a project and they want a low maintenance home. Please ask us for advice on how to stage your home to attract a buyer. We take great pride in using our expertise, resources, and global connections to perfectly unite homes with the buyers who will cherish them. All the properties above have recently dropped their prices in a bid to be the ‘jewel’ that entices a buyer.

CONTACT: Maritha Keil British Virgin Islands Sotheby's International Realty t +1. 284.494.5700 m +1.284.340.5555

British Virgin Islands Sotheby's International Realty | Mill Mall, Road Town, Tortola, BVI | t +1.284.494.5700 | | Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.

Cover: Bayhouse Villa on Virgin Gorda. Photo By Stefan Radtke.

Virgin Islands

PR OPERTY&YACHT D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 1 /J a n u a r y 2 0 1 2






Baraka Point

Scooting Around St John

By Dan O'Conoor This VG property sinks into its beachside landscape and defines architectural genius.

By Traci O'Dea The gang spent an evening at this exlusive villa that redefines beauty.

By Dan O'Connor On a Monday in November, our fearless editor rented a scooter on St John—and lived to tell about it.




Sailing Like a Pro

Artists' Corner

Soaking up the Sun

By Dan O'Connor The Pro Am Regatta at the Bitter End Yacht Club marks 25. British Virgin Islands Property & Yacht is published eleven times a year (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December/January) by aLookingGlass Ltd., Road Reef Plaza 6 and 7, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110. Copyright 2010 by aLookingGlass Ltd. All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright by the creators or by the contractual arrangments with their clients.

By Dan O'Connor St John artist Herman Smith tells about his fondness for lignum vitae.

Nothing shown may be reproduced in any form without obtaining the permission of the creators and any other person or company who may have copyright ownership. The publisher of BVI Property & Yacht, assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content placed in its publications. For the avoidance of doubt, aLookingGlass gives no warranty or guarantee in regards to any information placed in its publications.

Direct all inquiries to: Email: Phone: 284-494-7788 Fax: 284-494-8777 Mail: aLookingGlass PO Box 3895 Sea Cows Bay Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110

By Lavina Liburd New and sleek ways to bring solar power to your home.

Editorial and Business Office: aLookingGlass Ltd., Road Reef Plaza 6 and 7, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Web: Email: Phone: 284-494-7788 Fax: 284-494-8777 Mail to: aLookingGlass PO Box 3895 Sea Cows Bay Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110


Publication Design aLookingGlass

Chief Editor Dan O'Connor

22 A VI Christmas Tree

By Hugh Whistler Hugh the historian remembers when pines were out and century plants were in.

27 Furry Fury

By Clive Petrovic Our resident researcher continues his series on invasives with a piece on the mangy mongoose.

Editor at Large

30 Seeing Gold

David Blacklock

By Traci O'Dea Sailing sensation Anna Tunnicliffe asserts that believing is achieving when it comes to Olympic gold campaigns.

Writers Traci O'Dea Susie Younkle David Blacklock Dan O'Connor

British Virgin Islands

Art Director Nick Cunha

40 37 Construction Costs Up Ruling the Waters By Ben Butler A recent report outlines regionally rising construction figures.

By Dan O'Connor The RFA Wave Ruler visits Virgin Islands waters to close off hurricane season.


Graphic Designer


Akiya Brewley

aLookingGlass' newest cookbook offers recipes from the finest restaurants, chefs and resorts in the BVI.

British Virgin Islands

Web Developer aLookingGlass

Distribution Coordinator Francoise Frank

Advertising Owen Waters

49 Smart Design

By Kevin Philip Qualls A St Thomas builder writes about how homes were built then and now.

52 Closing as a BVI Newbie

By Willa Tavernier A lawyer describes the necessary process to closing a home and starting new in the BVI.

54 VI Holiday Libations By Susie Younkle Great ideas to bring out the spirits in everyone this holiday season.

Stephen Leslie France

Printing aLookingGlass

Distribution Cool Air

Extras 48 Property & Yacht Directory

General Manager

49 Property Listings

Colin Rathbun

Editor's Letter

Dan O'Connor D e c e m b e r

2 0 1 1 / J a n u a r y

2 0 1 2

One more year. That’s what I told myself two years ago at this

When I’m changing diapers or perhaps

time. I’ve said it again moving into 2012. One

fighting traffic to ensure I’m exactly on time

more year. Then I’ll grow up—I promise. I’ll

to work, I might calm myself by remembering

move into an apartment surrounded by others

the views from Bayhouse on Virgin Gorda—

just like it and tall buildings and fast food

our cover feature this issue. The modern,

restaurants and loud horns and fast-moving

linear property comes equiped with its own

people who are always on time. I’ll get a job

beachside view overlooking massive boulders

that requires I wear a suit—and even close-

and the vast Caribbean panoramas.

toed shoes. I’ll get a dog that wasn’t born on

When I grow up, I’m sure I’ll always remember

a beach and an indoor cat with clipped nails.

my watch and buy the fanciest smart phone

I’ll get married and have kids and one day

available to guarantee I’m always on time to

buy a home and have a mortgage and 401k.

every meeting in my date book. I’ll have the

And every day, when my alarm wakes me

nicest and most spacious four-wheel drive

before the crack of dawn and I venture out

vehicle to ensure that I hold traction during

to rush-hour traffic, I’ll wish I had once again

even the heaviest of snowstorms. I’ll always take

said, “One more year.”

myself seriously and live by the rules—all of them.

In my future life, I’ll probably remember days

Or, maybe, I’ll end each December in the Virgin

like the one I had in November, when I visited

Islands and promise myself...

the lavish Baraka Point Villa on Virgin Gorda. There, I was pampered and wined and dined by a courteous staff at one of the most exquisite locales in the Caribbean. Also in Virgin Gorda, I spent a day on the water to witness the 25th annual Pro Am Regatta. The hard life, really. Or maybe, while I rub my hands together fiercely to warm myself on a snowy winter day, I’ll think back to the time in my previous life that I jumped ship from Tortola to St John to ride a scooter through its vast national parks and around its tricky bends and turns. The island’s protected beauty would eventually lead me to an interesting character named Herman Smith, who told me about an intriguing wood from a tree called lignum vitae that he uses to carve cool little sculptures.

Just one more year.

Dougall & Associates

Real Estate BVI Property For Sale

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Bonnie Dougall Managing Partner

(284) 495-3003 l



Bayhouse Lines Vg Views By Dan O’Connor


Virgin Gorda’s coastlines explode with unrivaled beauty.

that stop short of entering the front house with its guests. Within

Secluded beachfronts dotted with magnificent volcanic

the first of two separate villas, a simple yet sophisticated lounge

boulders fail to impress even the most spoiled traveler.

is illuminated by strategic openings and windows around the

Some visit the exclusive island to be romanced by its

room. Ahead, a large, folding, louver-split wooden door opens

beauty—others insist on owning a little piece of their own.

in dramatic form to a spacious outdoor veranda and lap pool.

The luxury villa Bayhouse becomes one with its elements

A blend of nature and man-made beauty seems to work in

along Virgin Gorda’s southwestern shorelines, perched at a safe

synchrony with one another.

distance from its own hidden beach and among a spattering of

From within the main house, a tour of the kitchen reveals a

volcanic boulders. The signature Virgin Islands terrain bewilders

concrete-based center island that affords its users the ability to

many who travel from around the world to experience its

engage with guests in the adjacent living room, the kitchen’s

wonders. One of the biggest draws to these magnificent

dining area, or from the spacious outdoor veranda that connects

islands perhaps lies within its unspoiled nature. Bayhouse works

the main villa with its bi-level, three-bedroom counterpart.

mysteriously, through its clean congruency, to complement its

As I continue my tour of the property, I’m astonished by

surroundings and enhance the stunning landscape. As each of

the outdoor panoramas. Perhaps the most impressive feature

the volcanic rocks has formed unique from the next, so has the

in any Virgin Islands coastline property is the view of the VI’s

uncommon luxury home, a creation that stands as a testament

undeniable splendor. It’s not a quality that any humbled

to a homeowner’s vision and an architect’s design.

architect will attempt to compete with—but a good one will

A reminder of nature’s beauty is left scattered around the

know how to work with what nature has created. With this

property and is apparent when approaching Bayhouse’s main

in mind, the architect along with the homeowner—who also

entrance. The main walkway careens through large boulders

happens to be a photographer—chose a design that takes aim


Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Far above: The view of the patio leading to the pool. Above: A shower and a view.

on its surroundings. Each window unveils an inspiring, framed landscape; each doorway opens with different dramatics from the last. The openings all remain different, but follow the home’s overall clean, linear flow. Bayhouse brings together aesthetics from the raw properties in nature and combines them with the compounds in industrial design. Cement floors from the Bayhouse's unique design compliments its landscape. All photos by Stefan Radtke.

living room of the main villa pour out across the home’s base, and spill onto outdoor patios. Large wooden louvers cast a linear shadow with the peaking sun across the dark and light greys. The indoor-outdoor design brings the twovillas to nature, but its stunning outlooks truly bring nature to the home. The main house is separated by a spacious veranda that opens in geometric form to a secluded beach and a great



azure expanse. It’s a sight that cannot be replicated, nor

The round boulders, with their awe-inspiring presence, fall

could it be pinned with a price tag. But Bayhouse does

in random succession throughout the property. The main

as good a job as a house can to embrace its magnificent

walkway includes them as it winds to the front doorway,


through the connecting veranda, and out to the placid

A gently sloping path leads down to a private beach

and spacious pool.

access. From here, a look back reveals Bayhouse’s

The owner describes the home as having a

unique symmetry within the spectacular Virgin Gorda

Mediterranean influence. He says it’s also drawn up under

hillside. OBMI architect Lavina Liburd explained that

his German eye, one that meticulously focuses on

when she designed Bayhouse, the goal was to create a

uncluttered details. Clean and modern, yet quietly defined

home that didn’t attempt to imitate its surroundings, but

among its beautiful surroundings, Bayhouse seems to bring

to help flatter them. The luxury home sits 42 feet above

all elements of contemporary island living together under

sea level, but extends gradually enough not to protrude

one roof. PY

vertically—a deliberate attempt to compliment the two.

Some prefer a bed; others, a hammock.

Bayhouse Villa Summary



- Crook Bay, Virgin Gorda


- Three


- Three (ensuite) and half

Swimming Pool

- Yes


- 1.798 acres


- US$5,250,000


Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

284.494.5700 | 284.340.5555 |

For more info contact: Maritha Keil t (284)340.5555 e



Learning to

Sail Like a Pro By Dan O’Connor

Growing up in the States, I was among

gold medalist Anna Tunnicliffe. But at the end

many who would give anything to play

of the event, it wouldn’t matter who won or lost;

basketball like Michael Jordan. Gatorade

rather, the event’s winners would go home with

even launched a campaign with the catchy

a boatful of knowledge.

jingle, “Be like Mike.” But only the pros and

Pro Am Regatta Chairman Bob Phillips might

a select few would ever be able to play a

have best summed up the interaction between

game with MJ and learn from the basketball

professionals and amateurs.

great. When it comes to sailing, however, the

“Think if you could go to a golf resort and

legends of the water allow the sport to thrive

play with the top golfers in the world,” he said,

and grow in part due to an intimate bond

comparatively. “Here you’ve got the guests

with even the most novice sailors.

sailing with the best.”

This year, in North Sound, Virgin Gorda, Bitter

Further, he added, the event does wonders

End Yacht Club welcomed eight of the world’s

for Virgin Islands tourism.

top professionals and dozens of amateurs to

“It’s huge because of the PR it brings,” the

the 25th Pro Am Regatta. The event carried a

40-year sailing veteran and Tortola resident said.

light tone, but also displayed professional-level

“The one segment of the tourism industry doing

competitiveness as veterans squared off against

really well consistently is sailing—sailors sail no

newcomers in five days of fleet and match

matter what the economic restraint.”

racing events. In the end, 63-year-old sailing

Baird said he has seen the event evolve since

great Ed Baird nudged out 28-year-old Olympic

he first attended it 25 years ago.

Amatuers coached by a pro in North Sound.. Photos by Dan O'Connor.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.


Onlookers cheer as Zach Railey and crew finish.

“The biggest difference is the resort has matured and the facilities have improved—and so has the level of guests that have come to participate,” the veteran said. “The first few years we were down here, it was lightly attended. But as word got out about how special it is, people really started coming down.” Baird noted that the event now brings out many more amateurs, “and although it’s all about fun, you really feel the excitement and energy that [amateurs] bring.” The event, he added, brings out anyone from “the occasional Wednesday night racer, to the serious club guys.” Sailing amateur Chris Smith came down from Tuscon, Arizona for his third Pro Am Regatta. He was one of eight to represent the Arizona


Yacht Club. For Smith, the Virgin Islands allow him to sail in an idyllic setting under steady trade winds. And he also gets to enjoy the waters with “pros I’ve only read about.” “The majority of [the pros] are talking while they’re sailing, so you’re listening and you’re learning an immense amount,” he said, adding that he learned invaluable strategies about wind approach,

"Think if you could go to a golf resort and play with the top golfers," said Bob Phillips. "Here you've got guests sailing with the best."


Poolworks the personal ocean experts

T(284)494.0989 DECEMBER 2011/ JANUARY 2012


Pros and amatuers go head-to-head.

racecourse management and tacking from greats Ed Baird, Peter Holmberg and Andrew Campbell. Amateurs asked said they were

we know—it keeps the sport going and

particularly excited to see up-and-

sailors gaining enthusiasm.”

coming sailors participating in the

Even with a long list sailing accolades

event. And for the young pros, the event

in her young career, Tunnicliffe humbly

equally allowed them to learn from their

admitted that she has a lot of room left

older counterparts.

to grow and learn from others.

“Everybody can learn from each

“Ed and Peter and Dave are guys I

other,” said 28-year-old Anna Tunnicliffe,

look up to—they’re my heroes—so I get

who in November won the women’s 2011

to learn, too,” she said. “I feel like I’m the

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.

real am[ateur] here, with a chance to sail with the pros.” PY

“It’s a great event for us to show what

Overall Standings 1 Ed Baird 2 Anna Tunnicliffe 3 Zach Railey 4 Peter Holmberg 5 Dave Almond 6 Matt Burge 7 Tom Lee 8 Andrew Campbell* *Campbell did not compete in the final match racing competition.








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The Beauty of

BarakaPoint By Traci O’Dea

The exterior beauty of Baraka Point strikes visitors first. As soon as my friends and I arrived on the property, we were led down a stone path that wove through lush landscaping of coconut palms, cacti, bougainvillea, frangipani, aloe and hibiscus until we reached our suites. Stepping onto each suite’s private deck, we were transported from the tropical gardens of Baraka Point Estate to the refreshing seaside of Virgin Gorda as we beheld the Caribbean Sea and the Dog Islands before us. The view of the Dog islands from the pebble-clad infinity pool. All photos by Dan O'Connor.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Above: Traci has a postcard moment. Right: The dining terrace at Baraka Point is beautiful, and the service is impeccable.

We dropped off our gear, changed into our swimsuits and headed to the main pavilion where the estate’s intense beauty struck us everywhere our gazes fell—azure panoramic vistas, boulders protruding from the hillside, an architecturally stunning golden awning, sprawling viridian lawns, and finally, the centerpiece of this unique retreat—the pebble-clad infinity pool. The pool and surrounding coral stone terraces represent

citrine yellow walls, a taupe grey pool table, and russet accents.

the heart of the property—the indigo semicircular pool features

This room, slightly removed from the tranquility of the rest of the

a built-in, partially submerged lounging area with muscle-

retreat, encourages playing, dancing, general merrymaking,

soothing jets which quickly became my favourite place to read.

and maybe a bit of karaoke, but we’ll get to that later...

Later, while Aretha Franklin belted out “Natural Woman” from

Gastronomically, the beauty of Baraka Point can be summed

one of the villa’s varied playlists, I stood in the wind-rippled

up in Chef Ed Versluys’ statement: “Just so you know, the way it

water, staring out over the 270˚-view of the sea, and felt a part

works here is, I keep making pizzas and bringing them out until you

of the landscape itself, conveyed to a world where I became

tell me not to.” Heaven to my ears. Baraka Point has an outdoor,

that smiling, care-free girl on a postcard.

Italian wood-burning pizza oven just beyond the dining terrace,

The beauty of Baraka Point’s interior spaces is reflected in

and we took full advantage of it during our stay. The feasting

the serene Balinese-inspired decor in the main pavilion and the

began with an assortment of fresh and cured antipasti served

guest suites. Jewel-tone colours mix with meditative textures,

on a slate platter, followed by a seemingly endless stream of

reclaimed accent pieces, and slanted light streaming through

handmade pizzas. At Baraka Point, no detail is overlooked, from lit

the louvered doors and windows. Stunning interiors mingle

candles in oversized hurricane lanterns romantically strewn along

seamlessly with lush tropical exteriors and seascapes framing the

pathways and decks, to the attentive service provided by hostess,

scenery in every room. The newest addition to Baraka Point, the

Debbie Takeuchi, who made sure our wine and water glasses

cliffside games room and bar, maintains the colourful theme with

were never empty. Now, back to that karaoke…yet another



beautiful thing about Baraka Point is that while three of

boulders, dipping our feet in the surf, wading through

my friends loudly sang “Roxanne” along to The Police, two

rock pools and discovering more of Baraka Point’s

other friends engaged in an intimate chat on the spacious

hidden treasures—a hammock hung between two

teak deck overlooking the beach, and another relaxed

massive granite rocks and an idyllic lounging platform

away from it all in her king-sized ocean-view suite. Baraka

nestled amongst the sea grape trees. For more barefoot

Point is set up to accommodate a large group who can

relaxation, Baraka Point offers a spa and wellness

experience the retreat as a romantic escape, a raucous

pavilion overlooking a waterfall and koi pond as well as

fiesta, a spa holiday, an adventurous vacation or all of

an outdoor yoga deck adjacent to the fitness center.

the above. Somehow in only two days, I managed to take

While we couldn’t do everything in our one-night stay,

advantage of a bit of each.

we spent our last few hours in and around the pool,

That night, I fell asleep to Baraka Point’s nighttime

imbibing as much of the beauty of Baraka Point as we

chorus—a lullaby of lapping waves, rustling palm fronds,

could before we had to return to reality.

a few scattered crickets and the occasional coqui frog. The next morning, the sounds of the sea were beckoning

Baraka Point is available to rent by the month, week or for

me, but instead I took a quick dip in the pool and had

last-minute getaways on a nightly basis. Please contact

it all to myself until my friends emerged from their suites. for more information or

Before the sun made its way over the hillside from the

visit PY

east, we had breakfast on the sea deck among Virgin Gorda’s famous boulders. Again, heavenly. After having our fill of fresh juices, pastries and fruits, our host Josh Ridgway served us artfully presented Eggs Benedict on homemade whole wheat English muffins—fresh out of the oven that morning. After breakfast, we headed to Baraka Point’s secluded beach area. With the beach to ourselves, we spent the morning exploring—scrambling over the

Right: Relaxing on the lower-level deck. Below: The gang enjoys Baraka Point's cliffside games room.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Artists' Corner:

Wood That Inspires a

Work of Art

The artist and some unfinished work at his favourite coffee shop.

Story and photo by Dan O'Connor The lignum vitae tree blooms a bright purple flower. The

terrain. The unique wood’s properties have proven valuable

slow-growing evergreen can reach up to 60 feet in height

for a number of purposes, and Caribbean explorers dating

and bears the name “tree of life.” Its wood contains

back to the days of Columbus have harvested the wood for

medicinal properties that can heal a number of ailments,

use in various industries. Today, the plant is scarcely found on

from the common cold to symptoms related to gout. It

St John and across the Virgin Islands, but to those who know

is self-lubricating and is purportedly the hardest and

of its amazing properties, like Herman, finding the wood is

densest wood on the planet. The tree is native to the

like unearthing buried treasure.

Caribbean region, and to some, like St Johnian Herman

“Mostly anyone who finds the wood keeps it,” he said,

Smith, its intriguing characteristics inspire a work of art.

“because anyone who finds the wood—picks it up and feels

Herman is among several local artists who find the unique

its weight—they’re fascinated by it.”

wood inspirational. When I first met him, he sat in a Papya Café,

On St John, Herman says he has luck finding the wood in

a small coffee shop in Cruz Bay. From an army green-coloured

East End, Chocolate Hole and Fish Bay. The size of his carvings

bag, he pulled out a dozen small chunks of lignum vitae

vary, from arrowhead-shaped necklaces to large pieces that

wood that each bore a unique shape but had similar carvings

make for ideal centerpieces on tables or office desks.

resembling an abstract face. The artist explained that the faces

“You know, I must have sold a million of these already,” he

were a theme among his work, which is as dependent of the

said, adding that his pieces are sold through several vendors

cut of the wood as it is on the carvings themselves.

on St John and St Thomas. “It’s not like I’ve got a million

“I see a face in almost everything—even living trees,” said

dollars. I’ll sell them, sure, but I’ll often give them away to

65-year-old Herman, who is a career horticulturist. “Most

those who show interest or have a birthday.”

people are busy living their day-to-day lives, but then you’ve

In cyclical fashion, Herman now focuses on growing the

got others who take the time to find some beauty in things.”

interesting plant to spread its reputation on to those in

Lignum vitae, he explained, has mezmorized him since

future generations.

he stumbled upon the tree 30 years ago while clearing

“I plant these wherever I can,” he said. “There’s one right

brush fields in St John. The resilient plant thrives under tough

in the center of the roundabout that I planted. Just imagine

conditions, near saltwater coastlines and even on rocky

that—a lignum vitae for all to see.” PY



Left: A century plant in Belmont Estate. Below: The plant painted and decorated for Christmas. Photos by Hugh Whistler.

A Virgin Islands

Christmas Tree By Hugh Whistler This seasonal habit of decorating a tree at Christmas time was started in Germany and quickly spread throughout Europe. It’s safe to say the concept must have been brought to the West Indies by the colonists. Except for a few Norfolk pines, no suitable Christmas trees grew here, so spiky limeberry bushes and then the dead flowering stalk of the century plant were used to bring in the festive cheer before commercially grown spruces were imported. The century plant is an agave—a large,

So I did the right—if not lazy—thing to save

succulent shrub that survives dry weather

me the annual trek into the bush to cut a new

and is particularly predominant in West End,

tree. Some years back I decided to store my

Tortola. The century plant, properly known

century tree in my carport roof, where it has

as Agave Americana , flowers once and

survived two hurricanes and comes out every

then dies after eight or more years, sending

Christmas for the ritual of being decorated

up a tall, 10- to 20-foot stalk or spear that

with ornaments from all over the world: a

bursts into bright, two-inch yellow blossoms

soldier nutcracker from former East Germany,

in large clusters at the end of short stalks.

a teddy bear from UK, the hula girls came

These provide essential sustenance to bees,

from Hawaii, the sailboat from Boston, the

hummingbirds, thrushes and bananaquits

sea urchin snowman from Barbados, the sand

in the usually dry season and so hum with

dollars from Christmas on Main Street and

noisy activity for a week in early summer. The

many more. Each one tells a little story as to

stalk and its seed pods then dry and form a

where it was bought or who sent it or made it.

lightweight “tree” that is easily cut and can

Some are old fashioned wooden clothes pegs

be brought inside to be spray painted in

that my daughters painted and decorated

silver and decorated with tinsel, silver balls

with little pieces of felt to represent Santa and

and homemade decorations. But a note of

Mrs Claus some thirty years ago. No star sits on

caution: beware of large black bumblebees

top but an old paper angel made by a friend.

that may have made a home in the stalk—

I am sure each family has its own favoured

they probably will object to having their

decorations to hang on their century plant. It

house moved.

is all part of the ritual of Christmas for many in

It wasn’t until 1994 that the larva of a

the Virgin Islands.

weevil, which was probably introduced with ornamental plants imported from Florida, started devastating the century plants in St Thomas, spreading in 2000 to St John and Tortola; by 2002 no century plants had survived. No flower meant no trees, and for some, no Christmas tree. But the old seeds did sprout and new plants can now be seen; the first one flowered at West End this summer. (No, I will not tell you where!)



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Best Christmas wishes to all and a happy New Year. PY

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Soaking Up the Sun Solar Spanish tile at work. Photo provided by OBMI.

By Lavina Liburd, OBMI BVI We have a surplus of sunny skies here in the Caribbean. This

alternating current used in modern electrical systems and battery

simple fact has long captured the imagination of architects,

packs are often used to store excess power. Building Integrated

environmentalists and property owners and led us to the dream

Photovoltaics (BIPV) take an architectural approach to solar

of powering our homes, schools and places of work with solar

power production, turning the building itself into a power plant.

energy. This dream has been variously thwarted by economic,

BIPV products include roofing tile and shingles, standing seam

aesthetic, functional, and legislative challenges. Proponents

metal roofing, and photovoltaic laminated safety glass. Because

of solar power continue to work on all these fronts, but from an

the solar technology is integrated into building components that

architect’s point of view, solar has come a long way.

would normally be installed by standard tradesmen, most BIPV

Solar power systems have traditionally consisted of roof-mounted

technologies don’t require specialty installers, and installation

panel units, angled to achieve maximum insolation and efficiency,

costs are largely eliminated. There is minimal additional work for

and with obstructions carefully removed. Many consider solar

the electrician and almost none for the contractor.

panels to be ugly protrusions, and fastener penetrations through roof cladding have the potential to cause leaks. The advent

Solar Standing Seam Roofing

of Building Integrated Photovoltaics promises to make solar

Thin photovoltaic films which can be installed on metal panel

installations more cost-effective and blend them seamlessly into

roofing have been available for some time. However, a number

the overall aesthetic of the home or commercial building.

of companies have now developed standing-seam panels which

The term photovoltaic refers to what are typically called solar

are sold with the PV film already laminated onto the panel and

cells. These are the units which absorb the energy of light and

pre-wired for easy connection to an inverter. One example is the

emit it as direct electrical current. A solar power generating

FusionSolar™ system by Custom-Bilt Metals.

system adds an inverter to convert the direct current to the



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Solar Shingle

interlayer between the two sheets of glass. This

Solar shingle technology integrates low-cost, thinfilm photovoltaic cells into a proprietary roofing shingle design. This allows the solar roofing shingles to be installed simultaneously with conventional roofing shingles by contractors with no specialized skills. Major companies include Dow Chemical, UniSolar (partnered with CertainTeed Roofing), and Atlantis Power who confirm that their SunSlates system is tested to hurricane-force winds.

structures, railings, and in almost any architectural application where glass is employed. The specially engineered photovoltaic properties allow this glass to generate electricity even where the orientation and inclination are not at optimum. It also allows for practically clear and even colored PV glass. In the Caribbean over the last decade, it has become the norm to use laminated safety glass in windows for hurricane protection. Therefore, the

Solar Spanish Tile

up-charge to go with PV glass is less than it would

Because Spanish tile profiles vary, integrating solar tiles has not always been straightforward. US Tile has partnered with SRS Energy to produce the Sole Power Tile which integrates seamlessly with Mission profile tiles. Similarly, Lumeta Inc has produced Solar S Tiles designed to precisely fit the dimensions of major tile manufacturers.

be elsewhere. However, using PV glass for the veranda roof is undoubtedly a luxury application. Newer photovoltaic systems are not as dependent on perfect alignment and clear skies for optimum production. The technology now allows for efficient electricity generation on vertical facades and flat roofs.

Back-up versus Primary Power

Photovoltaic Laminated Safety Glass

In the BVI, the law allows the production of up to 25kW of power where no public supply is available

While most architectural solar on residential

without special permission. In practice this also

projects is still roof-related, an exciting option is photovoltaic glass. Photovoltaic (PV) glass is Laminated Safety Glass with solar cells in the

glass can be used in windows, skylights, shade

applies to back-up power production when the mains supply is down. Although heavy use of air-


4/28/2011 12:54:40 PM



conditioning can push power consumption up to

into the utility grid when the supply is interrupted.

40kWh per day, the average home will typically use

There are also currently no incentives or rebate

around 15kWh of energy per day. Consequently

programs for the use of solar power in the BVI. The

most solar installations in the BVI are “back-up

most cost-effective solar power system is a grid-tie,

generator” installations with battery packs which

primary power system with battery back-up for

store the power for use at night. While these do

when the public power goes out at night. However

get frequent use here, they’re not as cost-effective

back-up power solar systems do pay for themselves

as they could be if primary power and/ or grid-tie

over the life of the building if the system is carefully

solar systems were allowed.

planned, sized, and integrated into the structure.

Grid-tie solar systems allow surplus power

The option of an architectural approach to solar

from your solar array to flow into the electric

power production, using Building Integrated

utility system by day, allowing the meter to run

Photovoltaics, promises to make solar power

backwards when you generate a surplus. Where

generation more practical, affordable and

the utility company allows net-metering, it can

aesthetically pleasing. In fact, some installations

save you money or even zero-out your electricity

have a dramatic beauty that cannot be denied.

bills, while contributing power to the public

Integrating photovoltaic technology into building

electrical system. Grid-tie solar systems are not

components that have to be installed anyway

addressed by current BVI legislation and are not

makes the technology more accessible and bodes

allowed since Electricity Corporation staff are not

well for the future of energy efficient and

trained to work with live power lines. The latter can

sustainable design. We do have a surplus of clear

be addressed by the use of auto shut-off switches

sunny skies here in the Caribbean. Hopefully soon we can use them to our full advantage. PY

that prevent your solar array from feeding power




Page 1

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Fury Furry

An angry mongoose awaits euthenasia in Jost Van Dyke. Photos by Susan Zaluski.

By Clive Petrovic

A brown streak zips across the road in front of you. It happened

The meerkat, a well known member of the mongoose family, lives

so quick, you’re not sure what you saw. Maybe a rat, but it

in extended family groups in Africa.

seemed bigger. Something like a small Dachshund with really

Seen up close, the mongoose is actually quite a charming little

short legs. Like most people, this is probably the closest you

animal. It’s sleek brown fur, pointed snout and inquisitive eyes

will ever get to a mongoose.

look cute and may even remind you of a pet ferret. Looks like you

While you may not see one very often, the mongoose is actually

want to pick it up and give it a cuddle. Don’t do it. Their sweet,

widespread in the Virgin Islands and in the West Indies. Of course,

innocent looks are deceiving; the mongoose is really a voracious

they are not native to our region. Another example of humans

predator. This small package packs a potent set of teeth and a

moving animals around for some presumed benefit. Sometimes it

disposition to match. The mongoose is an active diurnal predator

may seem like a good idea, but it almost always turns out bad. The

constantly on the prowl for its next meal. Its carnivorous diet will

mongoose in our islands is a perfect example of good intentions

include just about anything it can catch and subdue. In the Virgin

gone horribly wrong. Let’s take a closer look and see why releasing

Islands that includes lots of insects and small animals like frogs and

these furry creatures on our islands harms our native wildlife.

lizards. Baby birds in the nest and young chickens are definitely on

First, a bit of science. The word mongoose usually refers to

the menu. After terrorizing the wildlife, the mongoose is not above

the Indian Mongoose in the genus Herpestes . Snake charmers

tucking into the nearest dumpster for some restaurant leftovers.

occasionally pit the mongoose against the deadly cobra to

Mongooses were originally introduced in the belief that they

demonstrate its speed, cunning, and strength. This is the animal

would eliminate rats and snakes from the islands. Unfortunately,

that has been introduced throughout the Caribbean, the Hawaiian

this is a classic example of a rather poorly thought out idea

Islands, Australia, and much of the world’s tropics. There are over

backfiring completely. Rather than eliminating rats and snakes,

30 species of mongoose, most native to Africa and parts of Asia.

much worse environmental damage was done. Human health also

They look a lot like weasels and stoats, though not related to either.

suffered in the process.



The mongoose is active in the day. Rats are active at night. Mongooses rarely encounter rats. Plus, the mongoose lives on the ground while rats are good climbers and will climb trees, especially when a mongoose is around. True, a mongoose does eat snakes. Trouble is, snakes in the Virgin Islands are not only harmless to people, they are an important part of the ecosystem. Snakes are very beneficial to humans, especially to farmers. In fact, mongoose do not eat rats, snakes do. Much more importantly, rats spread diseases to humans and do damage to property. Snakes do neither. The sad truth is that the fear of snakes stirs from the recesses of our primordial past. Thus, anything that gets rid of snakes is fine by us, mongoose included. The result is that we do far more damage to the environment, and ourselves, in the process.

Their sweet, innocent looks are deceiving; the mongoose is actually a voracious predator.

Time and again, fragile island ecosystems have been decimated by the furry fury unleashed by well meaning

few predators to keep their numbers in check. It wasn’t long

humans. The story is repeated throughout the world’s tropics,

before the population exploded. On a brief stroll around Great

on every continent and remote islands in all the oceans. The

Harbour, you will easily seen dozens of mongooses, maybe

wildlife in the Virgin Islands have not been spared the wrath of

more. You probably won’t see any snakes or ground lizards. The

these pint-sized predators. The mongoose has been here a long

mongoose has cleaned out most of the small lizards and frogs.

time, probably brought in during the Plantation Era. Tortola, St

Too bad, because those harmless little reptiles and amphibians

Thomas, St Croix, and many other islands have been impacted.

help you by eating mountains of mosquitoes. The ponds in

A perfect example of how mongoose can devastate wildlife

Great Harbour once contained lots of baby ducks, moorhens

may be seen on Jost Van Dyke. We don’t know for sure, but we

and shorebirds. Not many survive these days. Of course, the

suspect the mongoose was introduced only a few decades

rats are doing just fine. The mongooses actually help the rats by

ago. The prolific breeders found an abundant food supply and

reducing their predators.



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Over the years scientists have learned that there are often serious consequences to humans when the environment is disturbed. In a natural ecosystem, there are predators and prey, insects and birds, lizards and frogs, all in equilibrium. Once the hand of man starts to manipulate the system to “improve” it, disaster is usually not far away. There are countless examples of human interference resulting in costly mistakes. The mongoose has upset delicate island ecosystems worldwide. Endemic island animals have been driven to the brink of extinction. Don’t forget it was the rat that unleashed the black plague in medieval Europe. The loss of life was enormous and human suffering unimaginable. Remember, more mongooses equal more rats. Think about that when considering adding the mongoose to a new island. JVD Preservation Society volunteers document a dead mongoose.

The mongoose is a fascinating animal. It is full of personality and interesting to observe—in its native habitat. It is certainly worth looking for in Asia or Africa. Mongoose importation is now banned in the United States, Australia, and many other countries. We should try to make the Virgin Islands mongoose free so our own unique and indigenous wildlife can survive as they did for eons before the arrival of Columbus. PY

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Gold Seeing

By Traci O'Dea

During her visit to the Virgin Islands for the Bitter End Yacht Club Pro-Am Regatta, Anna Tunnicliffe, Olympic Gold Medalist and 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, took some time out of her packed schedule to give a presentation to sailing enthusiasts at the Royal BVI Yacht Club. Sailors young and old crowded the burgee-decorated dining room and deck to hear Anna’s talk which focused on how she reached her goal of winning a gold medal in the Laser Radial at the 2008 Olympics—a method, she assured the audience, that could be applied to accomplishing any objective. Anna listed the recipe for success—training, organization, funding, networking and the four Ds: dream, desire, dedication and discipline—but most of her discourse centered on visualization, a technique that she recommended for any attempt at success. To illustrate this example, Anna had the entire audience close their eyes and picture completing a roll tack. She described the wind conditions and told us that we were being bounced by the chop then sailed us through the manoeuver—switching from one side of the boat to the other, moving the mast—until she asked us to open our eyes. Everyone in the room agreed they had completed the perfect roll tack, even me, and I can barely sail. At a photo opportunity at the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, Anna said she was standing beside President Bush who said to her, “Now go win a gold medal,” to which she replied, “I will.” She then realized that she had to keep her promise. “I just told the president of the United States that I Anna Tunnicliffe cracks a smile on BEYC's quarterdeck. Photos by Dan O'Connor.

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Anna on the water for the 25th BEYC Pro Am Regatta.

was going to win a gold medal, so I’ve got to do it,” she had said to herself at the time. Anna informed the audience at RBVIYC that every morning before racing began at the Olympics, she envisioned her day of sailing. She’d picture the courses, conditions and competitors and how she would per form in order to win the gold. And she did win the gold, without ever winning a race. She said, “I had top scores and the most consistent scores,” and she credited the

racing because she gets to “beat up on one other boat

consistency, in part, to her visualization methods.

the entire time.”

But imagining her success wasn’t the only way she won

Team Maclaren, which includes Anna, Molly

the gold. She also followed her instincts. In a close call

Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi, is currently ranked first

in the last race, she and one other boat decided to go

in the world for women’s match racing, and they won the

left when the rest of the fleet went right—this decision

US Olympic Qualifying Trials Part One in October. They will

switched her from ninth place to second in the final

compete in the second part of the trials in Weymouth, UK

race—guaranteeing her the gold medal.

in May 2012. PY

While she stressed the importance of seeing, believing and relaxing through visualization, Anna does not underestimate the value of dedicated training. With a new goal of the 2012 Olympics in London in her sights, Anna trains every day from 7:30am to 10:30pm, including four to six hours on the water practicing speed, boat handling, plays, and sailing as a team. She hopes to be helming in the women’s match racing category in London. Her website,, states that she has switched to match racing “because of the intense pressure before, during and after the start, pitching one's own tactics and wit against one other boat, rather than a fleet, and also because of working with a team on a much larger boat than the Laser Radial.” Before passing around her gold medal, Anna summed up this sentiment more casually at the Yacht Club by saying she likes match

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Scooting Around Story and photos by Dan O'Connor

St John

As I walked toward the scooter rental hub in downtown Cruz Bay, I had an irking feeling that I should turn around. But it was too late. “Ever ride one of these?” The scruffy man with a leathered tan asked from behind the tiny scooter stand. “Yeah, sure,” I lied. “But it’s been a while.” He pointed to a sign scrawled out on the side of his stand, which read four definitive qualifications: Experience required; valid credit card needed; no medical conditions; always wear a helmet. I had at least two out of four qualification nailed. This had all the makings of a bad idea. I think the scooter vendor could sense my reluctance. “It’s within you—always within you,” he said with an Eastern European accent. “What’s within me?” I asked. “The answer,” he said stoically, remarking about the response to my internal conflict. I stepped aside to think about the potentially fatal decision while two self-proclaimed motorcycle enthusiasts confidently stepped up and signed off on the excursion. I stood watching

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the scooter salesman rattle off a brief tutorial before sending the self-assured clients on their way. Then it was my turn. “You heard all that?” The weathered scooter man asked. I reluctantly nodded. “Okay. It’s 125 CCs, so it’s got some power. You’ll want plenty of speed going around the switchbacks here, here and here,” he said, scribbling on a map. “But don’t go here. That’s where we’ve had some problems.”

Above: Trunk Bay and a wounded scooter.

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“What kind of problems?” I shouldn’t have asked, but did. “Some guys got really, really hurt,” he said. “Flipped over their bikes and really got hurt bad—not good.”

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He slapped a retro, bowl-shaped helmet on my head and gave it a knock for good measure.

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“Have fun!” he said, as I gave the acceleration handle a twist that sent me on a wobbling ascent up a hill off a narrow side street. I’d eventually straighten out, chill out, and began to get a grasp on things. I clumsily weaved my way through Cruz Bay, around the roundabout in the center of town, and up Centerline Road—a route the scooter man claimed would make for a simple scoot. While St Johnians may complain about the state of their roads, I find them heavenly, compared to the warzone roadways we navigate here on Tortola. The smooth pavement hummed under my tires as I whizzed along the road. With the warm, Virgin Islands air in my face and saturated blue and green hues filling my optics, I began to see the draw to open-air, unguarded transport. The first subtle turns were a breeze. Then I hit my first switchback—literally. Unlike a bicycle, which responds well to a turn of the handlebars and weight displacement, scooters don’t abide by this standard practice. My attempt to mimic what I learned growing up on bikes took me heading straight on for the rocky embankment that bordered the sharp S-turn. I accelerated, as coached, and ended up pinned between the bike and the jagged wall. I couldn’t have been going more than 20 miles per hour, but the bone-bruising impact left me with road rash that extended along the left side of my body.

“Tis not too late to seek another world” –Tennyson

A woman walking her dog and a passing motorist stopped to make sure I was alright—a testament to Love City’s warm reputation. With a combination of shock and embarrassment, I laughed it off, waved, and cautiously motored on. I knew the scooter would have some damage, along with my body and my island credibility. But I wanted to push on and make it to a yogurt stand that the scooter man said would represent a mid-point to Coral Bay, the small boating community on the east side of the island. Sure enough, the scooter was damaged, with jagged scratches ripping across much of its bright red base. And I was bleeding pretty significantly. I washed my wounds and cut my losses—and move on. The descent to Coral Bay was exhilarating. The thick foliage guided me through the gradual pass; the fresh air was cool and refreshing along the smooth, canopied road. Most of the island remains a national US park, and its pristine preservation is ultimately apparent. Coral Bay is tiny, but beautiful. Sand from its beachfronts spill over across the community and soften the roads. The steep, surrounding hillsides seem to deaden unnecessary noises from the outside world. I parked my scooter outside the famed



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Left: Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins peer over Tortola.

Skinny Legs bar, and ventured in to see if

Since my first spill and in the matter

I could find out what the community is all

of only a couple hours, I felt completely

about. I took a seat at the bar and spoke

confident on my scooter. I ventured along

to Heidi, who has bartended at Skinny Legs

the coastline road, famous for its bordering

for six years. I told her I live in Tortola, where

trails and ruins, and allowed myself to

I most commonly am asked by visitors why

become immersed in the national park’s

and how I moved to the quirky little island

natural beauty.

that rarely registers on a map.

“For me,” she said, “I tell them this is

which was one of 25 active sugar

need to ship?

Green has you covered . . . and size doesn’t matter

I made a pitstop at Annaberg Plantation,

paradise—really—Coral Bay is paradise. It’s

producing factories on St John during the

a collective community where we don’t

1700s—times wrought with unimaginable

notice much change and we all get along."

hardships imposed upon African slaves. The

The seemingly stock answer made sense.

fascinating sugar mill and surrounding ruins

And it sounded genuine coming from Heidi.

remain largely intact, and reminded me that

Interested, I asked what she thought of

Tortola similarly could preserve its historic

Tortola, to which she described as the “wild

sites with better legislative and protective

west” of the Virgin Islands. In the morning,

measures in place.

she said, she’s reminded of her neighbours

From Annaberg I checked my watch and

to the northeast when she smells burning

realized my short-lived stint with a scooter

plastics wafting over the quiet community

was almost at an end. I pushed on along

from Tortola’s infamous incinerator.

North Shore Road, past the epic views

"Journalist, eh? I'll only charge you for one scratch—but it better be a good article," said the scooter man. “That’s one of those not-so-lovely things

overlooking Maho Bay and beyond the ruins

we get from Tortola,” she said.

at Cinnamon Bay. When I reached overlook

I attempted to pay for my drink as I said

of Trunk Bay, I stopped to admire the view

my goodbye, but Heidi refused and wished

and snap a few photos. I’ve photographed

me luck along my voyage. I putted around

the view before, and was met by about a

Coral Bay, which consists of a few shops, a

dozen others who undoubtedly traveled

couple dozen boats and a healthy handful

from miles away to capture the moment

of interesting characters, before making

for themselves. But this time, I wanted to

my trip back up the incline and on to North

capture in the photo my silly scooter and a

Shore Road.

memory that would live on.

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The heart of Love City: Cruz Bay.

salesman that I was a journalist doing a story about scootering around St John. “Listen, I’ll be sure to plug your business,” I promised. “Most people pay top dollar for this type of publicity.” I had him thinking. He paused and looked at me. I was sweating, dirty, bloodied and still looking like a class-a loon, strapped into my little black helmet. “Journalist, eh?” he said, scratching his chin. “Ok. I’ll only charge you for one scratch—but it better be a My feelings of elation would be fleeting as I headed

good article.”

through Cruz Bay and to the scooter shop. There, I’d

Fair enough. I cut my losses and paid the cunning

meet the renter and come to claims with the damaged

businessman. I began my short walk to the ferry terminal,

scooter. Maybe he wouldn’t notice the three-foot

and thought about the old saying, “Any free press is

gash on the scooter’s side, or the succession of tiger

good press.” Well, to the gentleman of eastern European

stripe scratches toward its headlight. Fat chance. The

decent wearing thick, olive skin: I hope this article brings

charge, he said, would be $50 per every three inches of

you both fortune and fame—and your future clients joy

scratch. He began to figure the total astronomical cost

and health. PY

for damages as I attempted to assure him the scratches were there when I first rented the scooter. That wouldn’t work. With quick thinking, I reminded the hardened



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State of the Market

Construction underway in Cayman. Photo by John Doak.

Constructing Change in the Caribbean By Ben Butler, BCQS International BVI Continuing the trend from 2010, this year we have seen a vast

recession can be demonstrated by the reduction in stamp duty in

disparity in construction costs over the region.

property transactions in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The British Virgin

What is most interesting this year is the forecast for declining

Islands, as well as many other countries, are encouraged by steady

construction costs up to 2015 as both the global and regional

or increasing tourist arrival numbers and are looking at demonstrating

markets take stock of the current and forecasted economic climates.

to the airlines a requirement for increased airlift, which in turn will

This in turn leads to the reasonable prediction that the property and

bring more foreign currency into government and private coffers.

construction industries will be forced into taking measures to keep

Individual governments are also looking at improving infrastructure

their markets moving and generating income. An example of a

to service this requirement as well as to put money into the private

regional government actively looking to mitigate the effects of the

sector to encourage employment.



The most significant change in construction cost escalation occurs in Jamaica, which can be explained by changes in legislation, namely the increase in Value Added Tax and Import Duty as well as a 17 percent levy on unionised labour costs. It is yet to be seen whether this will be a positive change, but what it does do is raise the cost of construction in one of the hitherto lowest cost Caribbean construction environments. The Virgin Islands and many other jurisdiction have noticed a much shallower cost increase curve for year 2011. However, the report noticed that Barbados, TCI and the Bahamas had seen large profit margins in construction up to 2008, and a minor reduction in overall costs. Findings show that times remain very uncertain and that costs are fluid, as we predict that most markets will begin to show a reduced construction cost into 2012. Feedback from our individual offices, however, demonstrates that contractors’ percentage for profit and tender mark-up has become slightly more bullish over 2011, and it remains to be seen whether savings associated with predicted reductions on material prices will be passed on to the end customer. Market forces will decide this. The steadiest construction environments can be described as being in those countries which had not experienced expediential growth from the early 2000s. Established and organically growing construction environments have of course suffered less than those less mature and reactive jurisdictions. In the latter type of country, the established practices and construction companies which were in business pre-boom generally continue to operate on a reduced overhead meaning that the expertise remains in place. Costs can vary greatly for the same types of building in any single construction environment, which can be explained by the vast number of nuances between any number of construction projects. For this reason we have changed the format of our indicative construction costs and individual rental and sales values to demonstrate a cost or value range per building type per country. For example, we can now see that construction costs for the same type of building in the Bahamas can vary by more than 50 percent. The Bahamas is the most extreme example, but this is perhaps demonstrative of its geographic make up, accessibility and provision of infrastructure, which differs island to island. Of course, there are also the factors across any building project which makes a range helpful in terms of choice of finish materials, impact of import duties, availability of local materials, artisans, etc. Our figures may suggest that if the pockets are deep enough, the next few years may be a good time to build, however, now more than ever, what this also demonstrates is the importance of achieving best value. This involves the reduction of risk on any construction project through proper project planning, controlled design development and the definition and agreement of construction prices and contractual obligations. The now historic year on year increase in property value is no longer able to mitigate the risks associated with poor planning or performance.

An electronic copy of the 2011 Market Trend Report is available at PY



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Ruling the Caribbean Seas Story and photos by Dan O'Connor

The RFA Wave Ruler sitting strong in the Sir Francis Drake Channel.

The RFA Wave Ruler is hard to miss. The 640-foot

spending cuts, Wave Ruler now combs the Caribbean

Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel dominates Sir Francis

waters on a solo mission, performing multiple duties. But

Drake Channel when it visits the British Virgin

this doesn’t make the vessel any less capable or the

Islands. I first visited the vessel two years ago as a

Caribbean OTs any more vulnerable. The vessel holds

reporter for the BVI Beacon newspaper. In October,

122 Britons, 19 of which are trained Royal Navy officers.

I once again visited the vessel as a property and

I asked the boat’s First Officer Phil Ponsford about the

yachting magazine editor. And while the massive

significance of Wave Ruler ’s presence in the Caribbean,

ship may not be the ideal racing or charter boat,

to which he reaffirmed the crew’s meaningful tasks at

its presence in the territory represents the naval

sea and on land.

tradition of the United Kingdom.

“Our job out here is incredibly important,” he said.

Wave Ruler spends most of the year in the Caribbean,

“We have an obligation to look after our five OTs, so you

looking out for the five British Overseas Territories almost

can understand how important it is for us to be here.”

like a big brother looks after his younger siblings. Its

Wave Ruler has the ability to produce 400 tons of

main objective is to provide the region’s OTs with

potable water per day; it has enough emergency

assistance during the hurricane season—but it has

housing to provide for more than 20,000; it has enough

proved its capabilities are far more diverse. The big

repair equipment to feasibly repair a downed an

brother figure is well capable of beating up on a

airport in 24 hours; and, most awesomely, it comes

menacing bully. On any given day, the boat could

equipped with two 30-millimeter anti aircraft cannons

double as a drug interceptor, or diplomatic cruiser

and two massive gatling guns.

assisting other nations like Haiti in a time of crisis.

“This really is the perfect vessel,” the Royal Navy

Previously, the RFA vessel was accompanied by

officer said, “because you can take lots of supplies,

a Royal Navy warship. But since significant defense

carry lots of people—lots of lift capability—we’ve got



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

The view from the ship's deck.

two helicopters. It’s really perfect for

their helicopters, they surveyed the area

the job.”

and transported the governor to

Asked about some of the drug busts

Provincials, Bahamas. From there they

the crew has been a part of, officer

organized and surveyed the situation.

Ponsford kept quiet.

They then assisted residents who had

“Yeah, we’ve done plenty,” he said

significant roof damage and were in

with a smirk. “But that’s all I can say.”

distress after floods doused the area. If

Wave Ruler often partners with the

the situation was worse, Wave Ruler

United States Coast Guard to intercept

could hypothetically provide residents

would-be drug delivery boats from

with enough housing on the vessel and

reaching their targets—many headed for

through makeshift shelters, and with

Virgin Islands waters.

water and food, to provide every person

This hurricane season, Wave Ruler

in TCI—or BVI for that matter—with

assisted the Turks and Caicos Islands

significant relief. Pretty cool, huh?

after Hurricane Irene trounced the area

How’s that for a not-so-ordinary boat

with category two winds and rain. With

story about a not-so-ordinary boat? PY



Exceptional Island Properties


Located on west end of Smuggler’s Cove, one of the most beautiful beaches in the BVI t spectacular ocean, island and sunset views t total privacy t direct access to the beach t private jetty t designed for indoor/outdoor tropical living t 5 bedrooms all ocean facing t separate guest cottage t about 5.5 acres


To view these & many other listings call (284) 495 3000 or visit tel. (284) 340 3000

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FORT BIG PA L E S T I N A $1,550,000

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VILLA TOO HARBOUR HOUSE SEASCAPE S PA N I S H T O W N L E V E R I C K B AY L E V E R I C K B AY $1,200,000 $1,400,000 $1,300,000 4 bedrooms with extra 1 bed 2 bed with large pool in lovely breezy 3 bed home with guest apt on apartment. Fantastic North Sound spot. Natural stone floors. Glorious lovely 2 acre Lot, perched on hill Views. Walk to marina and beach. views of North Sound. New kitchen. above Spanish Town. Fantastic views.

MANANA L E V E R I C K B AY $995,000 3 bed with pool vacation villa, one Lot off the water. Walk

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standards. Pool, spa, restaurant, gardens





Wa t e r f r o n t H o m e s w i t h D o c k s



Perhaps it’s the food. Maybe it’s

This immaculate 3 bed hillside home has

the ambience. Could be the staff or

been exceptionally well maintained & is

simply the convenient Main Street

‘move in’ ready. Set in almost an acre with-

location. Whatever it is, ‘The Dove’

in the gated Towers Estate, this exceptional

is one of, if not the most successful

property provides complete privacy & the

and popular restaurant in the BVI.

most spectacular views the BVI has to offer.


STROHAUS $1,495,000

INDIGO LANDING $5,200,000 Waterfront Frenchmans Cay, dock & mooring, luxurious & secluded. Exquisitely finished.

D I A M O N D E S TAT E $6,000,000 Unique 10 acre estate. Full of charm and character. Over 1000’ of oceanfront. 120’ dock.

N A N N Y C AY M A R I N A FROM $850K Brand new 2 & 3 bed waterfront homes with docks within Tortola’s premier marina.

Visit our offices at Nanny Cay Marina (Tortola) or Spanish Town (Virgin Gorda)

British Virgin Islands



The British Virgin Islands latest cookbook, Taste, showcases the

dishes come from the expected chefs and venues such as Executive

finest dishes from Anegada to Spanish Town to Norman Island

Chef Lisa Sellers at Peter Island’s potted rabbit with truffle butter and

and everywhere in between. The project represents, most of all,

rabbit spring rolls; Executive Chef at YCCS & Marina, Virgin Gorda

a collaboration—a collaboration between the restaurants, chefs

Davide Pugliese’s pumpkin-crusted ahi tuna with pumpkin wasabi

and resorts who contributed their delectable recipes and opened

mousse, spicy baby arugula salad and sorrel foam; and Giorgio

their kitchens; a collaboration between the islands, with nine of

Paradisi’s seafood tonnarelli with black red-snapper fagottini. Even

the British Virgin Islands represented in the book; a collaboration

more welcome challenges come from unexpected recipes such as

between the designers and photographers who have worked

daysail yacht Kuralu ’s smoked bacon, leek and gruyere quiche, Trellis

British Virgin Islands

together to make this cookbook visually stunning; and a

Kitchen’s famous awesome sandwiches and The Willy-T’s booze-

collaboration between the ingredients which will mix together in

soaked swordfish that requires a flambé technique. But there are

the kitchens of readers eager to recreate the dishes from their

still plenty of recipes for those of us who simply want to know how to

favourite BVI restaurants.

cook the perfect Anegada lobster, which we learn from Anegada

The book opens with a trip to Good Moon Farm in Turnbull Estate

Reef Hotel, or how to denaturize conch, thanks to Executive Chef

where Aragorn Dick-Read grows fresh, organic fruits, vegetables

Andy Niedlander at Scrub Island Resort.

and herbs. This fresh encounter sets the tone for the rest of the

The recipes in this hardcover cookbook highlight delectable,

cookbook which features recipes with locally available ingredients

fresh combinations, and the stunning photography captures the

such as avocado, banana, breadfruit, christophine, conch, key limes,

joy of eating such dishes in the BVI—so readers who take the book

lemongrass, lobster, mango, mint, papaya, pineapple, pumpkin,

back to their chilly homes can instead imagine eating dinner while

rabbit, sorrel and tamarind. So aspiring chefs who read the book

watching the sunset from Bananakeet or having a hearty lunch at

have an opportunity to make true Caribbean dishes with Caribbean

Cooper Island Beach Club or any of the other dozens of locales who

ingredients—learning about how the flavours mingle with each other.

contributed their recipes to Taste.

The range of culinary difficulty spans from quick, easy recipes to complex epicurean challenges. Some of the more complicated

For more information on this cookbook, contact PY

Restaurant • Bar • Shops Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner 284.495.5411 | 284.495.5497 |



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Why is it okay to collect rain but not sunlight to meet the community’s needs when they both fall from the sky?

Solar Energy

Rain Water




Sign the petition online or


Alternative Energy Systems





Necker Refit By Dan O'Connor

Balinese villas on Necker's northern point. Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited.

In 2007, Time magazine elected Sir Richard Branson

The new style of the villas has remained consistent and

a “hero of the environment.” And four years later, he

conducive to the unique Balinese style that encompasses

continues to live up to that title.

and defines the island. Roger Downing architects described

The British Virgin Island’s most recognizable billionaire

the project as one that met Necker’s traditional Balinese

currently is hustling to rebuild the great house on his Necker

style and moved it forward. The team revived the villas with

Island, one of two islands he owns in the Virgin Islands.

contemporary design, but were careful not to replace their

The structure was struck by lightning in a freak storm last

rustic charm.

summer, threatening the lives of his family—and a guest list

In tune with Sir Richard’s demand to preserve the

that included Titanic starlette Kate Winslet. But the highly

environment by using sustainable materials, Roy Keegan

publicized setback hasn’t stopped Sir Richard from moving

from Arawak was called upon to drum up the most eco-

forward—and greenfully so. Around the great house, six

friendly approach to outfitting the island hideaways, under

flawless villas dot the property, each available for renting one

the design of Roger Downing architects. Roy traveled

or all at a time for some five figures a pop.

straight to the source in Bali to work with trusted suppliers,

The billionaire boasts his home as his “favourite hideaway."

artisans and craftspeople he has used for over the past 20

Necker Island seems to exist off the grid from all other Virgin

years, who specialize in using reclaimed timbers—per fect

Islands, secluded and strangely seductive. The crew there

for pairing the island’s rustic yet contemporary theme.

works hard to uphold Necker’s standard of excellence, with

He also searched out materials that were 100 percent

the help of a few friends. The Branson family called upon

reclaimed from previously used items. Previously, Roy was

project managers from Kraus-Manning, architects from Roger

requested to do a similar task on Cooper Island, and he

Downing & Partner, Poolworks staff and outfitters from Arawak

was able to find timber rescued from sunken fishing boats

Interiors to head the task of revitalizing their villas, which

off Java. But the Necker task would prove challenging.

remain functional for high-class clients while the great house

“After hunting around at my usual suppliers, I found they

undergoes massive reconstruction.

either didn’t have enough wood in stock for this size of a



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Left: Salvaged railroad ties. Above: The ties after being carved.

project or they were simply too busy to meet our tight deadlines,” he said. “But I ended up eventually finding a supplier off the beaten who had been buying up old railway sleepers once used for the Java railway that crosses the backbone of Java through most of Indonesia.” The raw, reclaimed woods were cleaned up, denailed, made into boards and carefully selected so they could be used as cleaned working materials.

+1.284.494.5240 Road Reef Plaza, Road Town, Tortola

ROBSWAIN SAILING SCHOOL AND CHARTERS British Virgin Islands p/f 284 494-0432 • Rhode Island p/f 401 293-0438

Carpenters and carvers used the reclaimed railway ties and fashioned them into the requested designs for wardrobes, bathroom vanities, beds, bar units and mirrors. The new furniture was designed to better utilize the space in the existing villas, and most pieces became built-in units once they arrived. When the materials and designs were secured, Bali crews worked diligently to ensure the items made their deadline onto container ships for a two-month journey across thousands of miles of ocean blue to their final destination at Necker Island. Reclaimed wood has become very popular in Bali over the past several years, especially with a spotlight put on the negative affects from deforestation. Now, availability is lacking and prices are soaring due to this demand. Arawak has been sourcing reclaimed teak for year and have allowed sustainability to thrive on their showroom floors.

Awarded Outstanding Sailing School–2010 by the American Sailing Association

Certification Courses Offered: Basic Keelboat • Live Aboard/Bareboat Charter Fast Track to Bareboating • Coastal Navigation Coastal Passage Making • Cruising Catamaran

Also Offered: Bareboat Charters • Instructional Family Charters Sail & Dive and Sail & Stay Packages Other Services: Yacht Management • Deliveries

Necker’s great house may still be under construction, but the island remains strong at heart—and its owner’s vision of environmental excellence continues to thrive. PY

for reservations call 800 948 SAIL (7245) Voted BVI’s Best Sailing School in the 2011 VI Property & Yacht Guide’s Reader’s Choice Awards



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5/23/11 7:27:42 AM

Smart Design

Then & Now

Ruins of residence and catchment on Hassel Island overlooking St Thomas Harbor. Photos provided by Kevin Philip Qualls.

By Kevin Philip Qualls, Springline Architects LLC, USVI Before there were solar panels or wind generators, before there

typically on a second floor above the stores or up a stepped street

was an energy crisis—even before there was electricity available

on the hillside for better breeze and harbor view.

to every home—buildings were being constructed in the Virgin Islands that worked in harmony with the natural systems of the


Caribbean environment.

Buildings were oriented to capture the natural cooling from our

Throughout the islands, we find historic structures dating from the

famous trade winds. These breezes typically come from the east,

18th and 19th centuries. Some have left only a trace of what they

with variations in strength and direction during different times of the

were, some are in ruins, and some have been well-preserved and

year. With the strong sun on the east, south, and west facades, the

are still in use. These buildings were designed to be sustainable in the

addition of porches created shade for the main structure. This kept

truest sense of the word.

the interiors of the building cool and protected door and window

Early residents understood the need to build in harmony with the

openings from passing showers.

natural conditions of this place. Concerns such as sun exposure, wind direction, storm water runoff, rainwater collection, and hurricane

Building forms

resistance all had their effect on design choices. Careful attention

Many vernacular West Indian designs developed as a collection

was paid to site selection, building orientation, building forms, water

of structures, individual buildings of varying sizes connected by

control, and construction materials. These issues still concern us

courtyards and covered porches. The smaller structures could be

today, and a responsible approach to resolving them is a major

built over time, as resources allowed, and the individual pavilions

component of the green building movement and LEED design.

could be adjusted to fit the unique terrain of each site. This also

Site selection Historically, sites were chosen that were relatively flat and easily

foxy’s taboo

Diamond Cay. Jost Van Dyke . BVI. VHF Channel 16

accessed. Without the use of modern excavation equipment, foundations had to be dug by hand. The gentler the slope, the less excavation was required. And so the earliest structures were sited on the tops of knolls and hills, at the base of the mountain, or along the shoreline rather than on the steep mountainsides. Of course, the function of the building also played a big part in the choice of location. Warehouses were aligned directly with docks along the waterfront to receive cargo from ships. Retail and commercial buildings lined the main street at the opposite end of the warehouses, slightly higher in elevation than the waterfront and

Serving Lighthearted Mediterranean fare with flair.

less susceptible to flooding in a storm surge. And residences were



created a cascade of smaller roofs that proved to be much

These are all simple and practical design elements found in

stronger under storm conditions than large singular roofs.

traditional Caribbean architecture, and most are still being used

Hipped roofs not only gave more volume and height to cool

today in modern projects. Over the years, they have been redefined

interior spaces, but the form itself gave the best resistance to

and developed in all kinds of creative ways, giving the architecture

the force of hurricane winds. The slopes of the roof deflected the

of our region its distinct, elegant, and often playful character.

horizontal forces of the wind and reduced the danger of uplift. Roof

Today, we have all the wonderful benefits of modern technology,

overhangs were also eliminated to reduce damage from storms.

and no one is looking to return to the days before electricity.

Water Control

depleting and damaging our environment. This technology

Instead, we are learning to produce the power we need without

Because there are few natural sources of fresh water (or none)

continues to be developed and to become more practical to put

throughout the islands, rainwater was collected from the rooftops

into place. In the USVI, federal and local government programs are

and contained in cisterns. In some places, the hillside was paved

encouraging homeowners and businesses to increase the amount of

with stone to capture even more rainwater, which was collected

energy supplied by renewable sources.

in larger cisterns at the bottom of the catchment. Natural guts

Much like the advent of concrete, excavation equipment, or

were avoided where storm water drained rapidly down from the

impact resistant windows, renewable energy systems are allowing

mountainsides on its way to the sea, and areas that were prone to

the buildings designed for the Caribbean to evolve to the next level.

flooding were left undisturbed.

And the underlying design basics that we have been using for centuries will still be there to create responsible, green buildings in

Building Materials

the Virgin Islands. PY

Before reinforced concrete or concrete blocks came along, structural walls were thick mass masonry, built from stone that was readily available. For more precise work around door and window openings, coral blocks were cut to shape and brick was set to create corners, lintels, and arches. Much of the brick was brought over as ballast on ships—an early example of recycled materials. Roofs were framed in timber, and the hipped roof form came into play again by allowing larger spans to be covered with shorter framing members. Windows and doors were developed to address the demands of the environment. Solid wooden shutters on the exterior of every opening could be closed on short notice of an approaching storm. Interior louvered doors and windows allowed breezes to flow through while keeping out the heat of the sun and giving the residents inside a little privacy.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

An Estate Nazareth home in St Thomas displays multiple-hipped roofs.

With you every step of the way. Real estate in the BVI is at a premium and tightly regulated. Our expertise is practically unmatched. From conception to completion, we understand the challenges of both booming markets and down-cycles, and have the depth and experience to advise on a broad range of issues – from title verification, planning and design approval, to corporate structuring and financing. This is why hundreds of buyers and sellers, including every five star resort in the BVI, have turned to us for representation in virtually all real estate and development matters.

A leading BVI law firm

Simmonds Building, 30 DeCastro Street Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. tel: +1(284) 494-5808 Ëš fax: +1(284) 494-5811 Contact: Mrs. Willa Tavernier

Sealing the Deal

as a

BVI Newbie

By Willa Tavernier, O’Neal Webster BVI For many, buying property in the BVI is often the realization of a

The utilities will require an application for new service and the name

personal dream. So you’ve finally gotten there and purchased

of the last person who received service at the property. Most require

your home in the BVI—now what?

a deposit on account sufficient to cover 2 months service. You will

Legal Matters

Sewerage Department, Cable TV, and the telephone/internet service

After completion, your lawyer should provide you with the following: •A stamped and registered original instrument of transfer (this takes several weeks to receive)

provider (there are three: CCT, Digicel and LIME).

need to do this with the BVI Electricity Corporation, The Water &

•If there was a mortgage on the property, a stamped and registered original discharge of charge •If you purchased using a loan, a stamped and registered original instrument of charge (mortgage) •A certified copy of the land register reflecting your name as the proprietor (owner) of the property

Taxes You will have paid stamp duty and registration fees on your transfer (and charge, if any). However, annual property taxes must be kept up to date. As soon as you have a copy of your registered transfer, you should take it into the Inland Revenue Department for them to update your records. Property tax is comprised of two elements: land tax, which is based on the acreage of the property; and house tax—which is based on the rental value of the house.

•If you are a non-belonger, a stamped and registered copy of your Non-Belonger’s Landholding Licence

You should also get specialist tax advice to guide you on the

•A final bill and reimbursement of any unused fees

country of citizenship, if applicable.

impact your home purchase will make on your tax liabilities in your

Bear in mind that the Land Register—a public register—can be

Immigration Status

accessed by anyone. If your neighbours want to get a copy of your

If you are a non-resident, your property purchase under a Non-

documents to see how much you paid when buying your house (and

Belonger’s Landholding Licence entitles you to a six-month stay in

vice versa), then they can do so.

the territory—in any twelve-month period—subject to any extension granted by the chief immigration officer. You can take your Non-


Belonger’s Landholding Licence to the Immigration Department,

At this point you will need to change all utilities into your own name.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

where you will receive a card that can be carried in your wallet and

shown to the immigration officials at the airport or seaport when you re-enter the BVI. Without this, anyone entering is only entitled to a 30-day stay.

Insurance The BVI is in a hurricane and earthquake belt. Fortunately, the last destructive hurricane experienced here was in 1924, and the last destructive earthquake in 1867 (causing a deadly tsunami). Homeowner’s insurance is a must. You should also consider flood insurance, as this is not typically covered by Homeowner’s Insurance. There are several reputable insurance companies here offering a variety of policies. Some even cover the cost of accommodation while necessary repairs are made to property.

Renting If you are not a BVI citizen you will need permission (in your Non-Belonger’s Landholding Licence) to rent your property. Additionally, you will need a trade licence for this purpose. The trade licence is necessary even if you are renting through a real estate agent, unless it is being rented as part of a resort rental pool, in which case your Non-Belonger’s Licence will mention this specifically. If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with tenants, most real estate agents have a property management arm that can deal with this, as well as with general maintenance of the property.

Relax & Enjoy Most importantly, remember you bought a home in the BVI for your personal fulfillment. Making sure that all of the above matters are taken care of in a timely manner, will allow you to kick back, relax and enjoy your new home. PY



VI Holiday Libations By Susie Younkle If you’re looking for a taste of local culture, the holidays are an excellent time to sample the Virgin Islands’ local libations. Virgin Islands locals are proud of their traditions and happy to share their holiday spirits (literally!) with visitors and fellow residents alike. Had someone asked me about holiday beverages when I first moved to Tortola, my likely response would have been, “umm…. painkillers?” While there’s no shame in liking the BVI’s signature fruity cocktail, I’ve since discovered some of the VI’s traditional holiday beverages.

Guavaberry Liqueur Not to be confused with guava, an entirely different plant, the wild guavaberry tree produces small cherry-sized fruits that ripen in late fall. Although the berries can be eaten plain or made into delectable tarts, sauces and jams, guavaberries are typically used to make a sweet and slightly spicy liqueur that’s served at Christmastime. The ripe berries are macerated, then added to rum

Guavaberries fresh from Good Moon Farm in Turnbull Estate, Tortola. Photo by Dan O'Connor.

and sugar and left to steep for a couple of months to a few years. According to Aragorn Dick-Read, a BVI farmer, artist and long-time resident, guavaberries are a “sacred local item” that are “deep in the heart of BVI culture.” Traditionally, holiday carolers would go from house to house serenading their neighbors, who would

at private homes, but visitors looking to sample the liqueur should

bring out guavaberry liqueur to share with their friends as a sign

check out rum shops in Carrot Bay and the East End on Tortola.

of thanks. Aragorn, who has guavaberry trees at his Good Moon

Additionally, small bottles of guavaberry liqueur can be purchased

Farm on Tortola’s north side, reports that 2011 was an abundant

at various gift shops in Road Town.

year for guavaberries in the BVI. The local liqueur is usually enjoyed



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Ponche de Crème/Creme Punch Throughout the Caribbean, numerous names exist for eggnogstyle punches that are popular at Christmas time. They all include eggs, milk and copious amounts of rum. Milk or cream punch

Recipe - Sorrel Tea Fresh sorrel is available in BVI supermarkets during

is especially well-liked down island in places such as Trinidad

the holiday season. Dried sorrel is an excellent

and Grenada. There are plenty of Virgin Islands residents from

substitute when fresh sorrel is unavailable.

elsewhere in the Caribbean, which helps explain the presence of this punch in the VI. For a quick version, look for Ponche Kuba liqueur, or purchase commercially produced eggnog, add your preferred local rum and garnish with a generous sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.

8 cups water ½ c dried sorrel petals (about 1 ½ oz) 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly

Sorrel Tea

10 whole cloves

If you’re seeking a healthier beverage option than guavaberry

¾ C demerara (brown) sugar

liqueur or ponche de crème, sorrel tea is an ideal holiday beverage—assuming you don’t add rum, as many people do. Sorrel is the Caribbean name for a tea made from the outer

Place water in a large pot and bring to a boil on the

leaves (technically called calyces) of the hibiscus flower. The

stove. Add sorrel, ginger and cloves. Boil for 10 more

tea contains antioxidants, minerals and even vitamin C. Its

minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ¾ cup sugar.

brilliant red colour and crisp, sweet-tart taste make sorrel tea a

Cover pot and let sit overnight. Strain the solids and

Christmastime favourite, although Virgin Islanders enjoy this tea so

place the tea in a clean container. Refrigerate before serving. Makes six servings. PY

much that they drink it year-round. Whatever your local drink of choice this holiday season, pour a round and toast to your good fortune. After all, you’re spending your holiday in the Virgin Islands!

Simplicity is Everything

‘Railings in Steel’ by Nautool

Nautool Machine Ltd T: 284.494.3187

Road Town, Tortola F: 284.494.5629



Property & Yacht Directory Use the legend to reference the businesses listed.

Legend: Regions


Brandywine Bay East End Fish Bay Nanny Cay Pasea Peter Island


Port Purcell Prospect Reef Road Reef Road Town Sea Cows Bay Soper's Hole


Dolphin Discovery (PR) – (284)494.7675 Rob Swain Sailing School (NC) - (284)494.0432


Alternative Energy Systems (PP) – (284)494.1478 Caribbean Technology (RT) - (284)494.2762


OBM International (RR) – (284)494.2148 Springline Architects L.L.C. (STT) - (340)777.2345


St Thomas Trellis Bay Virgin Gorda West End


Cay Electronics (RT) – (284)494.2400

Tropic Aisle Development LTD. () - (284)443.1777 Trude Real Estate (RT) – (284)494.2500



Arawak Interiors (RR) – (284)494.5240 Poolworks (PP)– (284)494.0989

Top of the Baths (VG)– (284)495.5411


Tamarind Consolidated - (954)763.2234 Tortola Express (RR) - (284)494.0707

Clarence Thomas LTD. (RT) – (284)494.2359 Drakes Traders LTD. (FB) – (284)494.3282 Nautool Machine LTD. (RT) - (284)494.3187 Think Simple (RT) - (284)494.2801


Colonial Insurance (RT) – (284)494.8450 Nagico Insurance (RT) – (284)494.6433/4



BVI Airways (RT) – (284)494.3247

Yacht Charters & BrokeRs BVI Charter Yacht Sales (RT) (284)494.4868


VP Bank (RT) – (284)494.1100


Harneys (RT) – (284)494.2233 Hunte & Co. (RT) - (284)495.0232 HPA Lawyers () - (284)494.2453 O'Neal Webster (RT) - (284)494-5808

Marine & Yacht Clubs YCCS Marina (VG) - (284)346.2000


Yacht Shots BVI (NC) – (284)495.7550

est. 1986 | Fleet size: 46 | Sells Boats: Yes | Charters Boats: Yes | Brand(s): Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon, Leopard, Norseman, Island Spirit, Athena, Hunter | Year Make: 1996-2004 | Type(s): Sailboat Cats and Monohulls |

BVI Charter Yacht Society (RT) - (284)494.6017 Representing the finest selection of luxury crewed charter yachts in the BVI |


Baraka Point (VG) – (800)969.9713 Oil Nut Bay (VG) – (284)495.5400 Sol Y Sombra (VG) - (284)494.2446


Riteway Food Markets (RT) – (284)494.2263

Want to see your property listed? Send a 250 character or less description with a headline, price and contact details to info@ or call us at (284)494 7788.




Coldwell Banker Real Estate (NC)– (284)495.3000 Dougall & Associates (RT) – (284)495.3003 Smart Home BVI (PA)- (284)542.7000 Smiths Gore (RT) - (284)494-2446 Sotheby’s International Realty (RT) – (284)494.5700

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

BVI Yacht Charters (RT) - (284)495.4289 est. 1974 | Fleet size: 45 | Sells Boats: Yes | Charters Boats: Yes | Brand(s): Beneteau, Lagoon, Leopard, Fountaine Pajot, Seawind | Year Make: 2000 - 2009 | Type(s): Sailboat Monohulls and Catamarans | bviyachtcharters. com |

Pro Valor (EE) - (866)776.8256 The Moorings (RT) -(888)416.8420

Property Listings A

















Legend: Regions





The Settlement




Virgin Gorda Jost Van Dyke


Northern Islands


Prickly Pear Island Moskito Island

Southern Islands Anegada

6 7

Jost Van Dyke


Little Jost

Virgin Gorda

Marina Cay Spanish Town

Beef Island Road Town

Buck Island

The Valley


Fallen Jerusalem

Long Bay


Road Harbour Round Rock

Cooper Island

Nanny Cay

Great Thatch

Ginger Island

Frenchman’s Cay

Dead Chest


Carval Rock

Salt Island

13 14

Scrub Island

Cane Garden Bay

Sandy Cay

Little Tobago


Oil Nut Bay

Great Camanoe

Little Camanoe


Green Cay

Great Tobago

Necker Island Eustatia Island

The Dogs Guana Island



Pelican Island

Peter Island

Flannigan Island

Norman Island

TORTOLA H9 Lovely Lot at Ballast Bay: Beautiful Ballast Bay Lot now available. Glorious views of Cane Garden Bay and Jost Van Dyke. US$120,000 | (284) 495 3000 | I10 WATERFRONT HOMES WITH DOCKS, NANNY CAY: 2/3 bedroom waterfront townhouses with docks now available at Nanny Cay, Tortola’s premier marina. Full resort facilities and competitive rental program available to offset costs of ownership. US$750,000 | (284) 495 3000. | Contact

H8 1 acre Lot, Glorious Cane Garden Bay views: A rare Lot on Luck Hill with fantastic views of Cane Garden Bay. Beautiful sunsets. Very buildable. One not to be missed! US$225k | (284) 495-3000 | H8 Cane Garden Bay Cottages: Two delightful cottages set within landscaped palm fringed gardens, less than 50 yards from the beach. Set in under 2 acres, prime investment property. US$1.295k | (284) 495 3000 | chris@ | J8 3 bedroom Ridge Road Home with 3 bed Apt: Lovely 3 bedroom family home with rental income potential from 3 bed apt beneath. Great views of North Shore and Guana Island. Lush mature garden filled with coconut palms and fruit trees. Motivated Seller. US$750,000 | (284) 495 3000 | | G10 Hummingbird House: Located in the prestigious Belmont Estate only moments from Smugglers Cove and Long Bay beaches, this delightful home has been extensively remodeled by the current owner, an English Architect with over 20 years island experience designing first class, luxurious homes. Pleasing proportions and scale, elegant finishes and fixture choices of the highest quality

and wonderful ocean, island and sunset views. US$2,495,000 | (284) 495 3000 | H9 Rose Lodge, 3 bedrooms Windy Hill: Beautiful hillside setting with exceptional island and sunset views. Two bedroom main house with lovely gardens and lawn. Delightful views of Cane Garden Bay from very private guest house. US$1.1m | (284) 495 3000 | H9 Business Opportunity: 1.04 acres of hill side land just 200 feet beyond the picturesque beaches of Cane Garden Bay. The property houses six buildings containing 5 one-bedroom, 2 two-bedroom and 1 three-bedroom units. US$2,500,000 | (284) 495 4825 G10 3 BEDROOM, 6 BATH CARIBBEAN STYLE HOME: Located on over 1.5 acres, this sprawling villa is ideal for indoor and outdoor living with three detached pavilions including kitchen, living room, library, master bedroom suite and two guest bedrooms. Spacious swimming pool terrace, covered dining area, charming porches, verandahs and courtyards. US$1,250,000 | (284) 494 2446 | G10 2 BEDROOM, 2 BATH CONDO: Set within Long bay Beach Resort and operated within the hotel rental pool, the apartment has one full kitchen and one kitchenette and affords beautiful ocean views. Direct access to the hotel amenities and within walking distance to the beach. US$299,000 | (284) 494 2446 | K8 CHARMING PROPERTY AT GREENBANK: Overlooking Brewers Bay and built as semi detached pavilions around the swimming pool terrace, this beautifully designed villa features living room, gourmet kitchen, spacious covered porch with living and dining areas, game room, private master suite and two guest suites all with private patios and majestic views. Two bedroom one bath caretaker cottage with separate driveway. US$3,550,000 | (284) 494 2446 |



J9 SPACIOUS 3 BEDROOM VILLA AT KINGSTON: Two separate buildings connected by a swimming pool terrace with split level living-dining area and large kitchen. Master bedroom suite and two guest suites. Prevailing breeze and expansive channel views only five minutes away from Road Town. US$1,099,000 | (284) 494 2446 | K9 5 BEDROOM BEACHFRONT VILLA WITH PRIVATE DOCK: Beautifully positioned on historical Fort Hodge Point, with extensive water frontage including two sandy beaches and full serviced dock. The 5 bedroom residence with swimming pool terrace encompasses approx. 4,500 sf and captures spectacular views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Spacious great room with covered dining porch. master bedroom suite and separate pavilion with three guest suites and game room. Self-contained lower studio apartment. US$5,900,000 | (284) 494 2446 | Elysium: Elysium, a two Villa property set on almost 1 1/2 acres on the Northeast coast of Tortola. Each Villa enjoys ocean and beach views and is just a few minutes walk down the hill to Little Bay, a white sand beach off the tourist track. US$1,485,000 | (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM J8 Hope Hill: Thirteen lots of gently sloping and breezy, undeveloped land at Hope Hill only 10-mins drive to Road Town. Close to Ridge Road with spectacular views overJosiah’s Bay to Guana Island, Great Camanoe and around to Virgin Gorda. Unpaved access and utilities to the entrance. US$90,000 ++ | (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM K9 Harbour View Marina: Located in the East End Harbour protected by Red Rock Reef. An expanding community and emerging as a commercial centre with all the amenities that facilitate growth: good access, close proximity to the airport, supermarkets, restaurants and bars combined with a natural harbour. 4 Bedroom Hotel. 0.4 acres. US$2,800,000 | (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM Gecko House: 2-bedroom, 2-bath house overlooking Hodge’s Creek Marina in a quiet neighborhood. 10 mins drive to airport and 15 mins to Road Town. Magnificent view from lovely deck. US$497,000.00 | (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM Frenchman’s Lookout Estate: Luxurious Frenchman’s Lookout sits atop one of the highest points in Tortola’s West End, overlooking the exquisite beauty of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. The 360-degree, unobstructed views are breathtaking and expansive, yet this exclusive villa is completely secluded and private. Come feel the Caribbean’s gentle trade winds and experience the ultimate in island elegance. US$10,000,000 | (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM L8 THREE BEDROOM WATERFRONT HOUSE: Located at the southern end of Tortola with views of Beef Island and the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Close to beaches and amenities. US$795,000 | (284) 494 2446 | G10 2 BEDROOM HOUSE AT BELMONT ESTATE: Overlooking Smuggler’s Cove and offering spectacular views of Jost Van Dyke. Main house with great room, kitchen and master bedroom suite. Separate guest cottage. 0.8 acres. US$775,000 | (284) 494 2446 | K8 3 BEDROOM HOUSE AT LITTLE DIX HILL: Located on 0.416 acres this 3 bedroom, 2½ bath villa encompasses approximately 1,800 sf and includes great room, TV room, kitchen, master bedroom suite and two guest bedrooms sharing a full bath.. Spacious swimming pool terrace. Beautiful landscaped grounds and private location. US$565,000 | (284) 494 2446 | Casa Del Mar: Newly constructed 4 bedrooms exceptional family home located on Tortola’s north side. This home is situated in a very private community, near to Tortola’s great beaches, Cane Garden Bay to the west and Brewer’s Bay to the north. This beautiful home sits on 0.399 of an acre. US$890,000 | contact | (284) 494-2500 | Sea Cow’s Bay Land: Located near Oleander Estate in the hills above Sea Cow’s Bay, these 6 Lots have spectacular views; these lots are perfect to build your dream home. Lots are from .6 of an acre 1.0 acre, these lots are ready to build with water, electricity and cable available. US$85,000+ | contact | (284)494-2500 | H9 Cane Garden Bay: Hillside Land with stunning ocean views located in Cane Garden Bay; 0.596 of an acre; 1.472 acres & 2.00 acres, any of these lots could be yours today to start the home of your dreams. Contact | (284)494-2500 | Private Lots for Sales 0.5 Acres: Located on the North Shore are two parcels of land, with stunning views, available to build your own dream home. View at | US $100,000+ | contact Monica (284) 494-2500



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Great Mountain Area: 4 Lots in a Private Estate for sale | prices start at US$67,000 | Contact | (284)494-2500 | Cooten Bay Home for Sale: Owner Motivated – New on the market Beautifully designed and finely executed this 4 bedroom, 3 bath main house along with a 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment located off the Ridge Road, is a steal at this price. Purchase today and use the income from the rented apartment to pay your mortgage. Bring your clothes and move into this architectural beauty which features Brazilian cherry wood flooring, granite counter tops, modern fixtures and luxurious furnishings. US$975,000 | contact | (284) 494-2500 | Looking for an Investment Opportunity? We have the deal of a lifetime for you; an apartment complex with 5 income generating apartments and there’s room to add others. At $675,000.00 this property will not be around for long; call us today to finalize your sale! | (284)494-2500 | L8 1/2 acre Lot: available at Hawks Nest. Simply stunning views back to Virgin Gorda. Very buildable. US$145,000.00 | contact Chris (284)495 3000 | | J8 1 acre Lot: available at Trunk Bay. Breath taking beach and island views, all the way down the island chain to Necker Island! US$295,000.00 | contact Chris (284)495 3000 | | K7 ½ acre Lot: available at Little Bay. Walk to beautiful beach from this very buildable Lot. US$185,000.00 | contact Chris (284)495 3000 | |

VIRGIN GORDA P9 Charming two bedroom, two bath home at Windy Hill: Set on 0.4 acres in a quiet neighbourhood the property enjoys beautiful views of Tortola and Beef Island and a lush tropical garden. | US$550,00 Q7 A Dream Come True, Pond Bay: A five bedroom, cliffside/waterfront home above Virgin Gorda’s most spectacular beaches at Pond Bay and Savannah Bay. Simply stunning. Ask to see the rental history and figures on this property. A phenomenal story. US$3.5m | (284) 495-3000 chris@ | P8 THE VILLAS AT LITTLE DIX BAY: A rare opportunity to own a permanent home at Little Dix Bay resort managed by Rosewood Hotels. Situated on the dramatic hillside above the world-renowned resort these 3-4 bedroom villas offer a magnificent setting, luxurious amenities and remarkable privacy. Rental pool option. From US$3,300,000 | (284) 494 2446 | P9 HOME SITE AVAILABLE AT CROOKS BAY: Located a few minutes’ walk to the beach, on a quiet residential estate, this 1.4 acre site boasts spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and benefits from cool tropical breezes. Utilities to site. US$500,000 | (284) 494 2446 | P8 Sea Grape Condo: Magnificent ground floor 2bedroom, 2 bathroom condo fully furnished, A/C, full use of resort amenities, tennis courts, pool, gym. The option is yours; live on property or rent the condo | US$395,000 contact Monica @ | (284) 494-2500 | South Sound Virgin Gorda: Lots available for sale starting at US$200,000. Own a piece of “paradise” today | contact Monica at | (284) 494-2500 |

NORTHERN ISLANDS M7 CHARMING 5 BEDROOM VILLA ON GREAT CAMANOE: Delightful 3 bedroom Main House with 2 Bedroom Guest house on Great Camanoee. Lots of character. Fantastic island and ocean views, incredible panorama. Easy access to dock. Approx 2 acre Lot. US$1,.200,00 | (284) 495 3000 | | M7 DIAMOND REEF ESTATE, UNIQUE 10 ACRE PROPERTY: A fabulous property, full of character and charm. Upon this 10 acre site sits a magnificent 3 bedroom main house, built largely from local stone in 1968 by the Upjohn Pharmaceutical family. A delightful one bedroom guest house built in later years. Residents treated to glorious views yet completely private. Wonderful landscaping, beachfront, private swim dock. Absolutely one of a kind property. US$6m | (284) 495 3000 |

2010 Winner, “Best Vacation Experience.” –Fodor’s Gold Choice Award

SOL Y SOMBRA Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

US$8 Million This spectacular beachfront villa boasts four beautifully decorated air-conditioned suites, each furnished with custom-made teak furniture. Outside amenities include an ocean-front infinity pool and lit tennis court, bound within lush tropical gardens. Inside, take advantage of a European-style kitchen, private movie theater, daily maid service and state-of-the-art gym. An in-villa cook is available upon request.

Smiths Gore Limited : : British Virgin Islands

T 1(284) 494 2446 F 1(284) 494 2141 E

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda is partnered with Oil Nut Bay, a prestigious Victor International resort community and Biras Creek, a Relais and Chateaux Hotel.

60 877.883.0756

BVI PROPERTY & YACHT 284.495.5400

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd. 284.346.2000

VI Property & Yacht December 2011-January 2012  

BayhouseClean architecture and miraculous views define this Virgin Gorda property. Baraka PointThe beauty of this Virgin Gorda villa reveal...

VI Property & Yacht December 2011-January 2012  

BayhouseClean architecture and miraculous views define this Virgin Gorda property. Baraka PointThe beauty of this Virgin Gorda villa reveal...