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The British Virgin Islands

PR OPERTY&YACHT D E C 2 0 1 0 /J A N 2 0 1 1

a smarter virgin island AES refits Cooper Island Beach Club with 90 solar panels.

Fort Recovery VillA Rare seaside property is for sale on Tortola's south shore.

baraka point Virgin Gorda villa breathes life into its guests.



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Virgin Gorda. 2 acres with 240' of white sand beach and fabulous views. Mahogany deck surrounds ozonated pool and covered pool terrace. The accommodations are 12 rooms total, including separate guest house. US$8,800,000

Tortola. Beachfront splendour. Exquisitely appointed villa on Long Bay. Three floors, over 9000 sq.ft., 6 ensuite bedrooms, gourmet kitchen, infinity pool and castle tower. US$7,500,000

Great Camanoe. Beachfront home with 4-bed, 4bath and private dock. Completely refurbished and includes: 2 workshops and studio; 2 generators; bathrooms for staff; desalination plant producing 2000 gals water/day. US$6,000,000

On Frenchman's Cay, with view over Soper’s Hole. A pristine example of a recently constructed luxury 5-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom waterfront property with its own boat ramp, dock and a private mooring set in 32 feet of water. US$5,200,000

GOVERNOR’S POINT Tortola. Exceptional 5-bedroom family home in exclusive Mansion Hall Estate with community beach and walking distance to marina. Original home of 1st Lt. Governor of BVI. US$3,500,000

SMUGGLER’S VIEW Tortola, Smugglers Cove. Unique opportunity to own this 3-bed, 3-bath home within walking distance to the beach! Large 0.77 acre lot with mature gardens and private paved drive. US$1,295,000

LEMON GRASS Tortola, Cane Garden Bay. Delightful 3-bed, 3ensuite bath house with pool near the beach on Cannon Point Estate. Beautifully landscaped gardens and pool. Excellent vacation rental. US$1,200,000

TAMARIND Tortola. Sunset views right on Apple Bay beach, world renowned for surfing and just a few steps from this property. 2-bed and 1-bath. Walking distance to restaurants, entertainment and 10 minute’s drive to West End ferry. US$950,000

Spotlight on the Waterfront


Many people who purchase property in the BVI first experience the islands from the deck of a yacht. A privileged few decide to stay…

Managing Director Maritha Keil 284.340.5555

Many prospective buyers are looking for waterfront property with a private dock or within walking distance to a marina. We have some exceptional waterfront homes available such as Fort Recovery Villa, featured on the cover of this magazine. Indigo Landing at Frenchman’s Cay has its own dock and private mooring; with 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms it can more than accommodate the crew! Governor’s Point is another wonderful family home close to Hodges Creek Marina and a private community beach.

Sales & Marketing Associates Adam Richards 284.340.5505 Dietmar Lichota 284.340.5559

Beachfront is the word we hear most from buyers. Only a few beaches are undeveloped but some spectacular opportunities remain. We have 5 acres of beachfront land for sale at Little Bay, arguably the most beautiful and secluded beach on Tortola’s North Shore. For those wanting a beach on their door-step then look no further than Raku on Virgin Gorda, Diamond Reef Estate on Great Camanoe or Sterling House on Tortola, all of which are only a few steps from a white sandy beach!

Sales Support Damara Penn 284.494.5700 Trish Dobson 284494.5700

British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty | t: 284.494.5700 | c: 284.340.5555/5505 | Road Town, Tortola VG1110 ©MMVII Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. A Realogy Company. All Rights Reserved. Farm of Jas de Bouffan, used with permission. Sotheby’s International Realty is a registered trademark to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

Tingalayo . . . Serenity Among the Clouds!

Dougall & Associates

Real Estate BVI

Northwest shore of Tortola - Long Bay Resort

Exceptionally finished two bedroom home with pool. Ready to entertain you and your guests.

Spectacular 6 Bedroom home located on almost 4 acres of pristine land overlooking outer islands and mountains in West End, Tortola.

$3,750,000 USD

Near Smugglers Cove - West End Tortola

Exquisite 3 Bedroom private home with 1 Bedroom apartment attached below on 1.34 acres of exclusive land.

US $1,500,000

(284) 495-3003 l 4


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US $2,495,000

Prime selected land lots will be becoming available at tranquil Nail Bay, Virgin Gorda with concreted roads and full utilities in place!

We add the professional touch to your BVI real estate needs. Whether you wish to buy, sell, or rent a home, purchase land to build a tropical dream home of your own, or become an investor in a growing and vibrant real estate market, we are here to assist you at every step in the process.

Bonnie Dougall Managing Partner

Havers Hill just west of Nanny Cay

3 Bedroom Home with pool located on 0.80 acres of prime land, private road access.

North shore of Tortola - Brewer’s Bay

Rare beachfront land! One acre on the beach, with building permissions already in place.

US $850,000

US $395,000




What powers the BVI? AES DELIVERS SUSTAINABLE, RELIABLE POWER. Where will oil prices be 10 or 20 years from now? Investing in renewable energy infrastructure today reduces the impact of energy prices, builds the local economy and gives the BVI power independence. The Caribbean is blessed with an abundance of alternative energy sources; it’s time to utilize them. AES is growing and taking advantage of nature’s resources. Our world-class engineering capabilities can integrate renewable energy technologies with tradition power sources. We’re interested in talking to you about opportunities to collaborate and deliver sustainable solutions.

Hodges Creek, Tortola



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Little Dix, Virgin Gorda

West End, Tortola

Call: 284.494.1478 Email: Web: DECEMBER 2010 - JANUARY 2011


Cover Photo: Fort Recovery Waterfront Villa, by JIm Scheiner, Rainbow Visions Photography

The British Virgin Islands



December 2010 and January 2011




12 Pipe Dream: Rafting Across the Atlantic

16 Fort Recovery Villa

25 A Smarter Virgin Island

30 Baraka Point Breathes

34 Groundbreaking Glass Project Breaks Ground

39 What's SUP

By Traci O'Dea BVI's David Hildred is embarking on the journey of a lifetime— crossing the Atlantic on a raft— with his childhood hero.

By Owen Waters Majestically perched above two of Virgin Gorda's finest beaches, Baraka Point rejuvenates its guests. 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 Traci O'Dea This stunningly decorated, contemporary property in West End offers seaside access, vast living quarters and gaspworthy views.

By Traci O'Dea Non-profit organization broke ground for a new glassblowing furnace in Cane Garden Bay.

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 Traci O'Dea Cooper Island Beach Club, thanks to Alternative Energy Systems, now runs 75% of its electricity from a solar array located on the restaurant's kitchen roof.

By Traci O'Dea Stand up paddling (SUP) is the fastest growing watersport in the BVI, where being on the water is second nature to most residents.

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

Columns Publication Design aLookingGlass

Chief Editor Traci O'Dea




Editor at Large


Enjoying the Journey in the Air

Surfsong Retunes: Resort's Future Plans

David Blacklock

By Susie Younkle Start the new year with the spicy goodness of ginger. Recipes for carrot ginger soup and ginger beer.

By Owen Waters The best thing about island hopping on smaller planes is the view along the way. Enjoy the ride.

By Victoria Bezemer & Richard Finnegan Roger Downing and Partner renovates Surfsong Villa with sustainable practices in mind.

Writers Traci O'Dea Owen Waters David Blacklock

Art Director Nick Cunha





Winemakers Dinners

Comtemporary Design Inside & Out

The Architect's Pool

By Traci O'Dea 2010 Virgin Islands Winemakers Dinners take place this month.

By Traci O'Dea In the BVI, contemporary design works best when it complements nature.

By Erick Oeseburg The pool guy and the architect work together to create a masterpiece.

Articles 38


Pier Review

BVI Charter Yacht Show

Learning How to Compost in the BVI

47 Earth-Friendly Holidays

By Dawn Southgate Certain practices can make the holidays seem less wasteful or commercialized.


Web Developer aLookingGlass

Distribution Coordinator

15 By David Blacklock The new tender pier relieves some of the stress and traffic from Waterfront Drive.

Akiya Brewley

By Traci O'Dea The best yachts and crews in the BVI welcomed guests and brokers aboard.

By Traci O'Dea Composting could reduce 3040% of the waste dumped at Pockwood Pond.

50 Testing It out for Myself

54 Labour Code Lowdown

By Tim Peck The architect tries out a new product on his own house before offering it to his clients.

By Adam Stouffer, CFA The Retirement Benefits section of the Labour Code is explained by an expert.

Francoise Frank

Advertising Director Owen Waters

Advertising Sales Owen Waters

Printing aLookingGlass

Distribution C & B Enterprises

56 Directory

General Manager

57 Listings Map & Classifieds

Colin Rathbun

Editors' Letter

Tra c i O ' D e a & O w e n Wa t e r s December 2010 & January 2011

The natural evolution of our magazine has occurred as BVI Property Guide and BVI Yacht Guide, once two separate publications then one publication under two covers, are now one magazine under one cover. As more and more of the content between the

as more than a fad. In the BVI, where we can see

two sides overlapped, we thought it practical to

and smell the direct effects of pollution, runoff,

join the two publications. And now, along with

incineration and litter, we shouldn’t consider

property and yachting, we plan on covering

greenliness as trendy behaviour but rather as a

everything in between that affects the lives of

way to reconnect with the older island traditions of

residents and visitors of the BVI.

reusing scarce resources and protecting the natural

In addition to examining a more in-depth approach

landscapes and seascapes that bring the visitors

to our lifestyles here, this issue showcases amazing

back each year. Two articles in this issue discuss how

properties for sale and rent, still proving the BVI to

to reuse waste in inventive, beneficial ways while

be one of the most interesting markets and targeted

a third article details how the new solar-powered

lifestyles in the world. The unique Fort Recovery

system that Alternative Energy Systems, BVI installed

Waterfront Villa, for sale on Tortola’s West End, is

at Cooper Island Beach Club harnesses the energy

stunning inside and out with unrivalled views from

of the sun and sets an example that all BVI resorts

a few feet above the water. In Virgin Gorda’s Nail

should follow. By definition, green movements in

Bay, Baraka Point rental villa offers guests luxurious

the BVI are of substance, so while the world may

surroundings and impeccable service.

feel duped about the overcommercialism of green

As much as we revel in the BVI’s quiet summer

products for gain, our island sees direct results of

months, our favourite time of the year is definitely

environmental efforts. Our interior design expert

the height of season, especially around the

suggests ways to keep the holidays green by reusing

holidays when vacationing families crowd the

materials and found objects, keeping the holidays

restaurants, beaches and marinas, bolstering the

about sharing and preserving. It's the season!

lively atmosphere. Everything is open again—we can spend an evening listening to live music at the Elm in Cane Garden Bay, eat at Secret Garden in Josiah’s Bay, meet new friends on a Soggy Dollar Sunday, sip cocktails at Bar Fly and maybe finally take that trip to see writer Robb White’s former abode on Marina Cay. Winter also means watersports—sailing, surfing, snorkelling and the sport that’s getting everyone out on the water—stand up paddling. BVI residents and visitors, young and old have taken to this sport as a way to explore the sea, exercise or catch some otherwise inaccessible waves. Our magazine continues to bring you the latest in watersports as well as the latest in ways to preserve our most precious resource and attraction—the sea. A recent backlash against the barrage of falsely green-marketed products should not discourage those of us that embrace environmental practices



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Happy Holidays!

The Seduction of Intimacy and Exclusivity at Mooney Bay Estate. Your Private Playground Awaits. 22 pristine acres surround the distinctive estate house and slope gently to your own secluded bay. Mooney Bay Estate offers nature and luxury in perfect harmony. Now taking reservations for Fall 2010.

Call 1+888.624.3213 or

Mooney Bay Estate, PO Box 127, North Sound, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, VG1150

Pipe Dream

Rafting Across the Atlantic

by Traci O'Dea

When David Hildred was thirteen years old, he bought a book called Throw Out Two Hands by author Anthony Smith. Above: The youthful Anthony Smith plays with the polyethylene pipes that are soon to be used to build his raft.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

“On the front cover of this paperback book was a balloon over Africa, and for some reason, at 13, that grabbed my imagination,” he said. Little did that thirteen year old boy know what a huge influence Anthony Smith was going to have on his life. David read the book and became a lifelong fan of Anthony Smith. “Whenever he went off on an expedition, I’d buy the book,” he said. On top of his “exploring books,” Anthony Smith has written over 30 titles, “ranging from how the machine gun was invented to how the human body works” and even has a species of fish named after him. Clearly, Anthony Smith’s interest in expeditions and the mysteries of the world has left its mark on David, an unassuming yet self-assured engineer for Systems Engineering Ltd. in the BVI. “Because of Anthony, I got involved in hot-air ballooning,” he said. “I’ve had over 100 hot air balloon flights. I was part of a team that flew across America in hot air balloons in 1992 to celebrate the rediscovery of America by Columbus.” Despite his time in the air, or maybe because of it, he seems to have an innate connection to the ground beneath his feet. His adventures haven’t simply included airtime, though, and he lists off his excursions not to

brag but to confirm how truly Anthony Smith inspired him. “I’ve been down the headwaters of the Amazon in a dugout canoe. I’ve hitchhiked around Africa. I spent a year wandering around Central and South America. I commissioned a yacht built after I spent some time in the Middle East, lived on that for 25 years, and that’s how I ended up in the BVI. I’ve been up above the Arctic Circle, exploring glaciers, and drove a camper van around the back roads of Australia.” Though Anthony’s influence pervaded David’s life, the two adventurers did not meet until this year. While perusing a few years back, David had seen a forthcoming project on a trans-Atlantic rafting trip forecasted on Anthony Smith’s author page. David anticipated the book, but then the blurb on the expedition and book disappeared. “He was still alive, according to Wikipedia, and so I thought, ‘Hell with it, I’ve gotta write to him,’ so through the power of the internet, I found him,” David said. He wrote Anthony a letter asking about the proposed project, and an email correspondence commenced which eventually led to them planning a meeting when David next visited the UK. “I went up, basically just to spend a morning with him. Well, I spent two days. Just talking.” David discovered that Anthony’s raft crossing had been stalled “because he’d been knocked over in London by a hit-and-run driver, and he ended up in hospital with his right leg broken in five places.” Despite the accident and injury, the 84-year old Anthony informed David that the venture was still a go and asked if David would like to come. “I checked with my wife and family, and they said, ‘Go for it—it’s the chance of a lifetime.’” David’s employer gave him three months’ leave of absence, and he signed up. The Raft GPS PE Pipe Systems is donating the main material for the raft’s construction—polyethylene pipes. “They are very high pressure water main pipes,” David said. “Effectively, they’re bulletproof, and they will float even if full of water. They’re very strong, very buoyant.” An-Tiki, the raft, partly named as a salute to the Kon-Tiki, has a design that consists of four main pipes that act similarly to the hulls of a catamaran. In

The crossing, David assured me, is meant to be a comfortable one.

fact, David called it a double catamaran. The other fourteen cross pipes serve as the support for the deck. Seven of them will be sealed with air while the other seven will be filled with fresh water for the journey. “So, actually, we’ll get more buoyant,” David said. “I don’t think sinking is something we’re terribly concerned about.” Powering the raft is a big, square sail, which David said is “a bit like the square sail they had on the Kon-Tiki.” He called it a “standard downwind sail” and added, “We’re using a telegraph pole as a mast, so it’s pretty solid.” To steer, they have a 25-foot steering oar in the back and five centreboards, or guaras, dotted around the boat. “It’s a method of steering the boat that was developed by the South American Indians off the coast of Peru and which Heyerdahl utilised in Kon-Tiki. By raising and lowering the centreboards, you can actually steer the boat downwind,” giving them 30° off the wind, direct downwind in either direction. “So we have a good area of range of steering that we can use even if we don’t use the steering oar.” David isn’t too concerned about capsizing, either, partially because famous naval architect and designer Colin Mudie did the conceptual plans. “And then we’ve just taken standard engineering principles and looked at all the joint connections and the way things work,” David told me, adding that their support team also includes a specialist rigger, a shipbuilder, a shipwright, an electrician and experts in transatlantic rowing expeditions. Additionally, running their land-based headquarters is Robin Batchelor, “the chap who taught Richard Branson how to fly balloons,” David said. Another BVI connection. The crossing, David assured me, is meant to be a comfortable one. The object of the experience is not to suffer. We’re not doing this to be 'The Wreck of the Hesperus',” he said. We found a company that is fabricating and donating stainless steel Quonset-hut style lodgings for the cabins. “We’ve got two cabins on board—one for living and one for sleeping.” In addition, they have “all the creature comforts—satellite communications, satellite tracking, all the safety gear.” Along with the 710 kilos of food and enough fresh water for 80 days, the raft is equipped with a desalinator and fishing gear. The raft is being preassembled in Huntingdon UK, then loaded into a container and shipped to the Canary Islands where the crew will meet and spend a month assembling it. “The plan is to finish it just before Christmas, have Christmas off, then leave in January of 2011. The crossing is about 3000 miles and change. We’re on a raft; we’re not going to steer a direct course, but it’s hopefully going to take about 60 days— that’s about 50 miles a day.” An-Tiki will be accompanied by a power boat for the first 200-300 miles, “just to make sure we didn’t forget the can opener,” David said, and to assist them to get down into the tradewinds, if necessary.



The Worthy Causes The crew of the An-Tiki will be completing the voyage for more than just the love of adventure. The first cause that they support is Water Aid, an international NGO whose mission, according to their website, “is to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities.” In addition to raising awareness about the world’s water needs, the raft will serve as a research vessel, studying plankton in connection with The Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS). The third reason is “to show that people like Anthony who are older in years but not in mental attitude are still perfectly capable of doing adventurous things,” David said. “It’s very interesting how as we get older, we tend to become more careful. And yet, it was Chris Bonington who said it, you should take more risks as you get older because you’ve got less to lose.” Hence the name of the raft, An-Tiki, a cheeky reference to Anthony’s age. The final reason, bringing everything back to the beginning, was inspired by a book that Anthony Smith read. “In the fifties,” David recounted, “Anthony read a book about a little Jolly Boat, a lifeboat that was drifting across the Atlantic after the freighter Anglo Saxon had been sunk by the Germans in 1940.” Of the seven crew who made it onto the lifeboat, two remaining survivors landed on a beach in the Bahamas. “The aim is to try and reach that particular beach in the Bahamas,” David said, seventy years after the two survivors did so, and to emphasize the importance of remembering the Merchant Navy, “very much a forgotten part of the war.” Since age 13, David Hildred has been following Anthony Smith’s life, and he’s also been following in his footsteps. “I wasn’t a terribly brave child,” he said, nor does he feel any braver at 57. “I tend to look at risks more,” he said, and mentioned An-Tiki’s twenty-page mitigation document he wrote that plans “hopefully against everything—right down to heatstroke, sunstroke, psychological issues, all that sort of stuff.” He added, “I’ve learnt that if you look at the risks, and you mitigate against the risks, crossing the Atlantic on a raft is no more dangerous than taking the bus to Timbuktu...but am I braver? Do I feel that I’m taking risks? No, not really. Not in my mind.” In his actions, though? I asked. “I think that’s what it is,” he said. “I shall probably feel nervous the day we leave, but will I not go because of that fear or that nervousness? No. Absolutely not. In Throw Out Two Hands, things didn’t go quite smoothly, and yet, I would’ve gone on that expedition at the drop of a hat.” BVIPY wishes David, Anthony and the rest of the crew smooth sailing. To track the journey or to donate to the sponsors, visit PY



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

David Hildred and Anthony Smith (seated) will be embarking on their transAtlantic raft crossing in January.

“I wasn’t a terribly brave child,” he said, nor does he feel any braver at 57.

Pier Review

New facility to service cruise ships, mega yachts

The new tender pier in Road Town. Photo by Dan O'Connor.

By David Blacklock

Infrastructure development—sexy, isn't it? But after all the recent rancour and huffpuffing over desalination plants, the hospital and various development projects, the grand opening of the new Tender Pier at the cruise ship dock, itself having undergone an extensive renovation, had an air of satisfied consummation. The ethereal voices of the St George's Choristers swelled above the flapping of the sheltering tents as a crowd gathered to celebrate this new addition to the shipping infrastructure. Mr Ronnie Lettsome, chairman of the BVI Ports Authority addressing the crowd said that “The BVI is strategically placed to gain great benefit from the cruise line industry.” This sentiment was endorsed by V. Victor O'Neal, managing director of the Authority who said, “We intend to use the cruise ship dock and tender pier to their full potential.” In addition to providing shore access to cruise ships anchored out on the Sir Francis Drake Channel, the new pier will also provide amenities to accommodate mega yachts and mini cruise ships. One benefit of the new pier is to reduce traffic pressure from the west end of Road Town. Previously, ships' tenders (lifeboats)

unloading passengers did so at the Road Town ferry terminal, leading to chaos as taxis and safari buses attempted to pick up passengers for trips to Cane Garden Bay and other destinations. Premier Ralph O'Neal, after giving a brief but fascinating history of ports in Tortola, told the assembled crowd, “The government tries its very best to accommodate the cruise ship industry,” and pointed out that “the BVI is the cheapest port of call for cruise ships.” The Premier exhorted Port Authority management and staff to “provide good service to visitors from the moment they arrive.” “We have depended on the sea for a long time,” Premier O'Neal said, “and we must continue to take care of it.” Addressing concerns that the worldwide economic slump will harm the BVI as a tourist destination, he said “there will be more cruise ships come to the territory this season than last. Government will continue to encourage and provide good service to visitors who come to the BVI. We have a responsibility to keep our waters clean and clear,” the Premier said. “Because when visitors come, we may not have shopping, but we do have clean, clear water.” PY



Fort Recovery Waterfront Villa on the Caribbean Sea By Traci O'Dea



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

The sunset view over the Sir Francis Drake Channel and the Caribbean Sea from Fort Recovery Waterfront Villa. All photos by Jim Scheiner/Rainbow Visions Photography.

There’s something magical about the panoramic view across the Sir Francis Drake Channel from the Caribbean side of Tortola.



The islands of Virgin Gorda, Ginger, Cooper, Salt, Peter, Norman, St John and all the little cays and rocky outcroppings in between elicit a spirit of adventure and discovery. I’ve seen the island-dotted Channel from Havers, above Hodge’s Creek and MacNamara, but always from the hills, far from the sounds of the gentle waves. Private waterfront property situated directly on the Caribbean side of Tortola, where the water can be not only heard but touched, is scarce. Fort Recovery Waterfront Villa is a one-of-a-kind property that sits directly on the seaside in Fort Recovery, West End, Tortola. The first thing I heard when I arrived at the villa was the lapping, rushing and rippling sounds of the waves against the rocks. And the first thing I saw when I entered the great room of Fort Recovery Waterfront Villa was that view—the lush green hills of the nearby islands that beg for daydreaming explorations. The great room features an entire wall of glass doors that open to the extensive deck which sits mere feet above the Channel. No other property in the BVI has this expansive view. Out on the deck, I felt the breeze and smelled the sea, and got a sense that at any moment a boat could pull up to whisk me away to Norman Island where we could go treasure hunting in the caves or at least snorkel through them. But it's not necessary to travel to snorkel. I looked down at the reef below and saw that it was bustling with marine life—naturally because this part of the Caribbean Sea is unexplored by tourists or divers, so it’s like having your own private reef. I had difficulty pulling myself away from the porch and the breeze and the sound of the waves.



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Back inside, the owner of the house, Anita MacShane Cottoy, a former Broadway producer, told me that she kept the furnishings and artwork uncomplicated and elegant because she knew she couldn’t compete with the majesty of the sea. Still, the house is decorated with impeccable taste and personalized charm—a combination of modern and contemporary furniture and textiles share space with African hangings and sculptures, Broadway posters, Caribbean paintings and a museum quality ten-foot tribal totem pole that guards the entrance to the great room. The walls of the 100-foot spectacular art gallery are adorned with large paintings and tapestries. There are also original 19th century A boriginal sculpture pieces from New Guinea and Africa. Aside from the vistas, art and furnishings, the most stunning feature of Fort Recovery Water front Villa is the bamboo ceiling—a consistent feature for a part of a house that is traditionally only functional. The bamboo was imported from St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the ceiling was hand-assembled here in the BVI. A built-in bookcase flanks one wall from floor to ceiling and is filled with books, art and a large flat-screen television. The dining room table in the great room, custom made from purpleheart wood, comfortably seats ten guests. One focal point of the great room is a five-panel abstract painting complements the setting—especially at sunset when the sky and sea light up the room with yellows, greens, pinks and reds. The state-of-the-art kitchen features a long, slate-tiled breakfast bar, stainless steel double sink with a view through the glass doors, all new stainless steel appliances, tons of storage space in custom-made

cupboards and drawers, a pantry, broom closet and tile countertops. Attention has been paid to every detail and making sure that every amenity is at hand. Beyond the great room and off the gallery, the two smaller bedrooms of the four-bedroom house have their own private porches, each with its own seagrape tree coming in through the porch planks—providing shade and Caribbean character to the rooms. “We never cut down trees,” Anita said. All bedrooms have en suite bathroom, and each is decorated with the same uncluttered aesthetic—lots of windows, white walls, natural woods, tile floors—with a few splashes of colour thrown in to entertain the eye. The third bedroom with en suite bathrooms and skylight, includes one and a half walls of windows overlooking the sea, sliding glass doors that lead to its own private porch, transom windows and a tongue-and-groove ceiling. The bathroom also boasts double sinks with stainless steel fixtures and plenty of cabinets and drawers. A marble staircase in the middle of the gallery leads to a loft space that is large enough to make an adorable playroom, cosy library or private office. Also off the gallery is a laundry room with a washer and dryer. The master bedroom includes two large closets, a large dresser, a king-sized bed in the middle of the room, an authentic Art Deco solid oak desk and chair at the window facing east across the Channel, bamboo ceiling accents, a rocking chair looking out over the sea where passing boats are a constant point of interest, two double sliding glass doors leading to the porch, transom windows, double closets, and a

Above: The master bathroom with its luxurious Jacuzzi and view of Norman Island. Left: A seagrape tree grows through the porch of one of the bedrooms. Below: Fort Recovery Waterfont Villa proudly sits beside the sea.

The great room features an entire wall of glass doors that open to the extensive deck which sits mere feet above the Channel.



long mirror to reflect the sea. Connected to the master bedroom is the master bathroom. Covered in imported tiles, the master bathroom exudes cool chic. My first desire is to slink into the Jacuzzi tub and stare out at the sea. An enormous glass-bricked shower features a smooth pebbled floor. Back out into the skylit art gallery that connects all the rooms, I entered the back yard which is planted with coconut palms, soursop, mango, passion fruit and lime trees. A large yard offers plenty of space for an infinity pool or a hot

Connected to the master bedroom is the master bathroom. Covered in imported tiles, the master bathroom exudes cool chic. tub beside the water’s edge. I re-enter the home through the nine-foot, solid wood double doors, and note that with these doors and the matching front doors open, a breeze sifts through the entire house. I hadn’t even noticed that the air conditioning wasn’t turned on, but it is available in every room. Though Fort Recovery Waterfront Villa is a private residence, it is located beside the exclusive Fort Recovery Beachfront Villa & Suites Hotel; a very convenient option for visitors to the villa residence. Fort Recovery Hotel has a guest-only restaurant, spa, salon, freshwater pool, exercise room, private dock and beach. The amenities of the resort, including concierge service and free Wi-Fi are available as part of the sale of the villa. PY

Fort Recovery Waterfront Villa Summary Selling Price - $4,200,000 Acreage - 0.5 acres Date built - 2010 Bedrooms - 4 Bathrooms - 4 (en suite) Furnished - Yes Water Access - Yes

284.494.5700 | 284.340.5555 |

Reliability. “The most acclaimed law firm in the BVI.” - Legal 500 Harneys is the British Virgin Islands’ leading law firm, and our dedicated BVI Business practice group advises domestic and international clients on British Virgin Islands transactional and non-transactional real estate, finance, regulatory, tax and general commercial matters. We have an unparalleled wealth of experience in property law and practice and also specialise in ship registration and finance. For more information contact us at 284 494 2233, or visit our website at

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Havers, Tortola

Shannon Estate, Tortola

Princess Quarters, VG

Belmont Estates, Tortola

3 bedrooms, 3 ½ bathrooms Tropical design with European sophistication combined in this intriguing retreat located on 1.46 acres in a private hillside setting on Tortola’s south coast and built as two pavilions separated by an infinity edge pool and connected by a covered loggia. Ref# H122 US$2,950,000

4 bedrooms 4 ½ baths The main pavilion includes a great room with gourmet kitchen, living and dining areas all opening up to the pool terrace. Master bedroom + two guest suites. The guest cottage is located on the other side of the pool deck. The residence is finished to a high standard. Ref# H123 US$2,600,000

3 bedrooms 3 ½ baths The open plan living area of this contemporary home provides a comfortable space with spectacular views. The design cleverly blurs the distinction between the internal and external living areas. Exceptional standards of finish reflect a modern interpretation of Caribbean living. Ref# H30 US$3,150,000

2 bedrooms, 2 baths Located on a 0.8 acre lot on the hillside overlooking Smugglers Cove and offering enviable views of Jost Van Dyke, this charming cottage includes great room with galley kitchen and master bedroom suite. A cozy courtyard separates it from the second bedroom suite. Ref# H1065 US$850,000

Belmont Estates, Tortola 3 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms Located on a gentle slope on over 1.5 acres, this sprawling villa is ideal for indoor and outdoor living with its three detached pavilions, spacious swimming pool terrace, covered dining area, charming porches, verandahs and courtyards. Ref# H1038 US$1,750,000

Long Bay Beach Resort, Tortola 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms Two bedroom condo unit set within Long Bay Beach Resort, with access to all the amenities and within walking distance to the beautiful sandy beach. This private apartment, operated within the hotel rental pool, affords beautiful ocean views. Ref# H1033 US$350,000

Belmont Estates, Tortola 4 Bedrooms 3 bathrooms Situated on 1.578 acres, this newly built villa enjoys amazing views of Jost Van Dyke and consists of three pavilions built around a swimming pool terrace. The house is charmingly furnished with Caribbean style furniture and equipped with state-of-the art entertainment systems. Ref# H9124 US$2,000,000

Little Mountain, Beef Island 5 bedrooms, 3 ½ bathrooms Rare opportunity to acquire a waterfront home on Beef Island. The property extends to 1.189 acres and occupies a private site at Little Mountain Estate, with direct water access and within walking distance to Long Bay Beach. Ref# H118 US$2,400,000

The Villas at Little Dix Bay, VG

Long Bay, Tortola 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms The wonderful ambiance of this private residence set on a 1.756 acre site clearly benefits from its first class design and spectacular views. Two buildings separated by the pool terrace and enhanced by dramatic stone-faced walls. Spacious selfcontained unit. Ref# H85 US$2,600,000

3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms 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 the villas offer a magnificent setting, luxurious amenities and remarkable privacy. Rental pool option. Ref# H99 US$3,300,000

Privateer's Estate, Great Camanoe

Leverick Bay, VG

2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms Exceptional headland property with private dock! The site extends to over 4 acres and includes 800 feet of ocean front with beautiful granite boulders. The property benefits from soothing breezes and affords magnificent views from Guana Island to Ginger Island. Ref# H0902 US$1,800,000

2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms Located on a 0.74 acre ridge site within Leverick Bay Estate, this spacious, windward villa has been designed as an open floor plan, with all rooms on one level, complemented by patios and a 35 ft pool terrace. Beach, dockage facilities, shops and restaurants are within close proximity. Ref# H0070 US$1,750,000

United Kingdom 17-18 Old Street, London W1S 4PT T +44 (0) 207 290 1611 F +44 (0) 207 290 1617 E

British Virgin Islands Britannic Hall, P.O. Box 135,Road Town, Tortola T 1(284) 494 2446 F 1(284) 494 2141 E

a Smarter Virgin Island

By Traci O'Dea All photos by

Cooper Island Beach Club, under its new owners, aims to set the environmental standard for BVI beachfront resorts.

The 90 solar panels atop the kitchen of Cooper Island Beach Club provide 75% of the resort's power.



In less than a year, the resort has switched from solely relying on generators for electricity to mostly relying on solar power. I recently accompanied Jacco Bos from Alternative Energy Systems (AES) to the friendly, unpretentious resort where he gave me a tour of the renewable energy system his company installed.. We first walked up a small hill to a pathway behind the restaurant where he showed me the roof and the 90 solar panels covering it. “I’ve always loved solar panels,” Cooper Island manager Andy Murrant said, “and to me, it would’ve been ideal to have the whole front of the resort covered in them, but there are people who don’t like the look of them. Also, the sun angle was a big issue.” As we admired the sleek panels, Andy’s partner, Cooper Island manager Samantha Baker mentioned, “The great thing is that the solar panels also help cool the kitchen by providing additional shade.” The sun would normally be beating down on the roof and adding heat to the already hot kitchen, but now that energy is diverted into the solar panels, reducing the use of fans to cool the kitchen. “It’s a 19kw array,” Jacco said while Brynley Rathbun from Yacht Shots BVI climbed on the roof to photograph the panels. “During the day, this powers the whole resort. It meets all the demand and helps charge the batteries. Then at night, the batteries and generators meet the electrical demand.” The resort used to run on generators 18 hours a day then each guest room ran on batteries for the other three to six hours, but now the generators only run six hours per day, so the solar array provides 75% of the resort’s power. “The goal is to be independent of fuel,” Jacco

said. “We’re looking at installing a wind turbine,” which would eliminate the generators altogether. “Once it’s done,” Jacco added, “they’ll be the closest to being carbon neutral, from an electric power perspective, in the British Virgin Islands.” Andy said, “If people see us doing it, then there’s more chance of them doing it.” The sooner people do it, the better. “The majority of the world is getting on board and putting in policies to promote solar, and we don’t have renewable energy-friendly policies in the BVI. There is legislation from 1972 that restricts individuals from producing their own power unless it’s a backup power supply, and this is what hinders the integration of renewable energy,” Jacco said. “The BVI could have individual households contributing to the grid power every day. A thousand houses contributing 1kw or 2kw adds up quickly. The BVI will benefit from going in this direction.” Jacco mentioned that safety issues are possibly the government’s main concerns against having other power sources connected to the grid, but he assured me that grid-tie solar power is actually safer than generators. “If we had grid-tie solar systems in the BVI, when the power goes out, the grid-tie solar shuts off in milliseconds. Grid tie solar can’t run without the grid. Solar systems contributing to the utility grid will automatically shut off when the BVIEC shuts down the power for service. Linesman don’t have to worry about solar arrays putting power on the grid during maintenance.” The same thing happens on a smaller scale, at Cooper Island Beach Club. “They actually have three grid-tie solar power systems—grid-tie inverters—

“The majority of the world is getting on board and putting in policies to promote solar, and we don't have renewable energy-friendly policies in the BVI.” 24


Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

which take the solar power and add it to their grid,” Jacco said. “So, if you didn’t have the generators and the backup inverters, you would have no grid, and the solar power would shut off. Without the battery backup inverters or generator to keep the grid live, the solar power shuts down. This is exactly how it would work on a larger scale in the BVI.” Additionally, the effort benefits the planet as a whole. Jacco pointed to the monitor on one of the three inverters and said, “This unit has saved 10,936 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions since it was installed in February, and there are three of these.” So Cooper Island Beach Club has saved over 30,000 lbs of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere from the inverters alone. They’ve saved even more when the amount of diesel consumed by bringing the fuel over from Tortola is considered. Cooper Island Beach Club’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices extends beyond the solar-powered renewable energy system. “Cooper has put in additional solar hot water systems which reduce the demands of electricity and propane, so it’s another initiative that’s here to help conserve energy,” Jacco said. “Solar hot water is a great technology in terms of energy efficiency.” Additionally, the

resort uses eco-friendly products—everything from biodegradable laundry detergent to disposable plates and cups made from corn to tables and chairs crafted from reclaimed teak. They also reuse a lot of the waste they generate: fryer oil becomes biodiesel for the generators, tree trimmings decompose into compost, kitchen waste feeds the pigs on the Leonard's farm on the island, and shower water irrigates the plants. As we crossed the Channel back to Tortola, and I enjoyed the sun and wind on the boat ride, I regretted that I was returning to an island mostly powered by fossil fuel. One more reason that renewable energy needs to be initialized as a viable source in the BVI is the end of oil. “Whether it happens fifty or a hundred years from now,” Jacco said, “all the technologies have to be developed and implemented so the BVI becomes energy independent; allowing us to afford the lifestyle we’re accustomed to as oil supplies are depleted.” PY

Above: Battery backup converters line the walls behind the restaurant. Opposite page: The batteries store the energy to power the resort at night.

Tel: 284.494.1478 Email: Web:



Baraka Point by Owen Waters

The word Baraka stems from several Arabic terms, translating into ‘blessings’ in Urdu and Persian and “breath of life” to Sufis, which applied to my visit to the villa resort. 26


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One of the best parts of my job working for a property, boating and lifestyle magazine in one of the world’s ultimate destinations is getting to visit, review and stay in many of the BVI high-end properties, and as I stood on the sundeck of Baraka Point in Virgin Gorda, looking west towards the Dog Islands, it wasn’t the glint on the Caribbean Sea nor the fresh tradewinds, but a thought that it was a “breath of life” getaway luxury. Baraka Point is within Nail Bay on Virgin Gorda, but it seems its own private world. I was completely saturated and transported by Baraka’s two acres of tropical gardens, tailored pavilion main house and luxurious suites. In this private world, guests may come to rest, adventure or wed in some of the most stunning settings available to visitors to the BVI accompanied by intricate detailing of cultural collections from all over the globe and a private, fulltime staff of eight who are available to cater to every need or invisible, depending on the pace of each guest as they choose to take it.

Breathes Every aspect of Baraka Point has an area to relax, indulge and release whatever may have travelled along the way. Within the main house, Baraka Point’s manager Aaron Seddon recounted the expectations of guests with the many activities available from hiking or snorkeling to watersports, rides on their 25ft amphibious RIB, kid’s treasure hunts and themed dinners for up to 16 guests. “We would like to say that we all offer a little bit of everything for our guests, but actually it's Baraka Point itself,” Aaron said. “There is so much here in our surrounds, that weeks can be spent having lazy, pampered private days, but most guests interact with us, and we have a shared experience that makes us feel good, too. Something for everyone.” Most meals are served on the beautiful deck beside the pebble-clad infinity pool close, but this does not have to be the focal point of the guests’ dining experience. They could choose to have breakfast on one of the many

Baraka Point offers uncompromised luxury in Nail Bay, Virgin Gorda. wooden seating areas outside each suite or lunch on the daybed by the beach or even have a floor-seated dinner in the wooden massage hut. Certainly guests would want to sample the possibilities of the outdoor, woodburning pizza oven or sip some of the 150 wines on offer from Baraka’s private wine cellar. The highly skilled staff assured me that guests may indulge or experience all. The staff at Baraka Point is trained in all aspects of what Baraka Point offers in terms of experience and quality to compliment its physical tranquility. Whilst Aaron Seddon and Kim Takeuchi are the hosts, they are also masters in



the kitchen, at watersports and pilates, massage and yoga. There certainly is no time or effort wasted, and it is all available with full energy throughout the course of each visitor’s stay. Architecturally and in design, Baraka Point is a cultural melting pot. Its copper pyramid roofs with tongue and groove cathedral ceilings and the circular interior finished with African Ikoro hardwood and a grass weave visitors can smell were influenced, the owners admit, by safari lodges in Africa, in particular Ngoro Ngoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania. Whilst that may have been the original influence, the vernacular

Each dwelling has its own private entrance, balcony, entertainment system and air conditioning, if needed. 28


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construction of the detached dwellings’ colourful interiors are adorned with wooden doors, frames and trunks from Persia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, China and Mongolia. Each dwelling has its own private entrance, balcony, entertainment system and air conditioning, if needed. All have separate individual styles defining them. Six buildings in total house five suites, two of which have children’s rooms, family being an integral part of the holiday. Each dwelling, with en suite bathrooms, is mesmerizing in its approach. With a carved centre four poster bed that patiently waits on light and rests in sunsets, the views at Baraka are 270 degrees with a 70 percent sunset into the ocean throughout the year. Each suite has influences from travels, two being provinces in India, named with pride the Kerala and Rajasthan suites, and the Chinese and Indonesian theme applies to the Mandarin, Indochine and Madura suites. To see and savour is the experience, and whilst visitors are taken to

Left: Each suite opens up to breathtaking sea views. Right: The newly built games room encourages playtime.

another dimension of another world’s influence, they are presented with the world of Virgin Gorda and the attentive trained staff to create unique experiences and new memories. As I wandered along the 250ft stone path through the gardens of palms and urns from Indonesia, that were once tall coconut trees that have died, hollowed out and resold as sculptures, we passed the herb garden, Koi pond and turtle sanctuary, and I truly felt transported to another world, a vision that took three years to complete with absolute attention to detail and luxury along the way. Independence is still a part of Baraka. Its owners travelled over the world and chose Baraka for its many attributes to be their offering of hospitality. In terms of travel, cars and 4WD golf carts and boats are

available to guests, allowing them, if they desire, to explore more of the islands. The new games room, in addition to the traditional entertainment room, boasts a full bar, entertainment system and pool table, of course with stunning views. Baraka Point evokes blessings as its name suggests, as well as style, culture and deserved relaxation. Whilst many getaways promise the opportunity of relaxation, at Baraka, the senses come alive, sparked by old world hand-carved pieces that are steeped in tradition amongst an exotic setting of a pristine land of green lawns, blue sea and granite boulders—the signature of the island of Virgin Gorda. Baraka offers a “breath of life” that I took with me long after I left the resort villa. PY



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Groundbreaking Glass Project Breaks Ground

By Traci O'Dea

Above: One of the apprentices demonstrates glass artistry with the blowtorch. Top right: Governor McCleary says a few words before breaking ground. Bottom right: Glassblower Jacob Barron and his four apprentices. All photos by Traci O'Dea.

In the April issue of Yacht Guide, I wrote an article about Charlotte McDevitt’s crusade to remove glass from the waste stream in the BVI. This month, a small battle was won by Green VI, the non-profit organization that Charlotte runs, when Governor McCleary broke ground for the glassblowing furnace in Cane Garden Bay, and four BVI apprentices were hired to learn the trade from an experienced glass artist. The main purpose of the furnace building, soon to be erected in the parking lot across from Myett’s in Cane Garden Bay, will be to create artistic and practical items out of the glass provided by the waste of the local restaurants and residents. In addition, the studio will serve as a school for the apprentices and for visitors who would like to try glass blowing. The items created from the project will be for sale in Cane Garden Bay at Olivia’s Corner Store and throughout the islands at other retail outlets, and “whenever a cruise ship is in, we’ll set up a tent outside



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the studio and sell glassware on site,” said Jacob Barron, the glass artist who has been hired to run the studio. Jacob has been blowing glass for twenty years, most recently at Maho Bay Resort in St John, which is how he met Charlotte McDevitt. “She took a glassblowing class with me, and it was there that she came up with the plan of trying something similar on Tortola,” he said as we stood in the shade of palm trees in Myett’s courtyard. “That was a year and a half ago, and ever since, we’ve been working towards this, and it’s finally becoming a reality.” Of Jake, Maho Bay’s website says, “His work is museum quality and watching him work is awe-inspiring.” He told me that the studio will create “everything from decorative bowls and vases to stemware, wineglasses, mugs, Caribbean things like tropical fish, starfish, jewellery.” I mentioned that they’d have

At the groundbreaking, BVI Governor William Boyd McCleary pledged his support to Green VI’s efforts… plenty of green glass, from Heineken bottles, to make palm trees and flower stems. Jake’s main purpose, though, is to teach the four BVI apprentices how to work with the glass as well as how to build and maintain the glass studio and the equipment. “I’m going to get them up to speed,” Jake said, “and then I’ll eventually take off to do other things, and these guys will run the whole show.” The four apprentices seemed excited about their new endeavour. Leon “Sandman” Rhymer, a fixture in Cane Garden Bay, expressed his enthusiasm about handcrafting something in the BVI for visitors that they can take away with them. Travas Jack, called a natural artist by Ms. McDevitt, beamed as he spoke about this opportunity to “create.” As she held up a small glass piece, apprentice Cisne Benjamin, proclaimed a love for jewellery and mentioned that she wished the program would expand island-wide beyond Cane Garden Bay. Lastly, apprentice David Hodge spoke of how he’s seen glassworks in shops. He said, “I’ve always wondered how they do that, and now I actually get a chance to do it.” He also said that the environmental benefits are an added bonus. At the groundbreaking, BVI Governor William Boyd McCleary pledged his support to Green VI’s efforts, a verbal commitment backed by monetary assistance from the Overseas Territory Environmental Program fund which donated to Green VI’s efforts. “We were delighted to provide a lot of the funding here for the project,” he said, “and we’re also delighted a lot of local companies have stepped in to sponsor this.” He added, “We have to find ways of living more effectively with our environment. We have to deal with our waste more effectively, and this is an example of how it can be done.” Green VI board member Abby O’Neal said, “It’s little things like this that will become big things in the years to come.” Continued on following page...



Rendering courtesy of OBM International.

Building a Glass Studio Green VI cofounder Steve Fox shared the blueprints of the studio, a design that was donated by the architectural firm OBMI, where he is managing director. “We spent a lot of time discussing various options for sites,” he said. The group decided on Cane Garden Bay because of the availability of glass from local businesses, the fact that it’s a popular tourist destination and the community. “Myett’s have been very supportive,” he said. The structure will have two walls that completely open up to allow visitors to watch but also to add increased airflow. The ventilation gap between the roof and the walls promotes natural cooling, eliminating the need for fans or air conditioning and keeping the running costs to a minimum. The intention is for the building to be constructed of concrete, reclaimed wood with finishing materials that incorporate glass waste. Steve said, “It’s simple, low cost, robust, open, and will hopefully feature some groovy glassy details and materials.” Caribbean Colours, BVI, has donated VOC-free, GreenWise certified and LEED compliant Elements paints for the project. Elements is a brand of California Paints, a company committed to the environment. Their website claims, “California Paints recycles all of its wastewater and solvents, and has switched over to all recycled paint cans. The manufacturing facility is self-contained to eliminate any products from escaping out into the environment. In addition, the facility is located on a rail line which reduces the need for truck transport of supplies and materials to the manufacturing plant.” Accenting the paint in the structure’s concrete walls will be glass bottles—to further emphasize the reusability of glass and to incorporate the building’s purpose with the design. PY



“It’s simple, low cost, robust, open, and will hopefully feature some groovy glassy details and materials.”

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— Steve Fox , OBM International Exceptional quality. Environmentally preferred.






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Treat Yourself Gingerly in the New Year By Susie Younkle

Though New Year’s resolutions are a popular topic in late December, I don’t believe in them.

If I want to make a change, I like to do it straight away—not wait until January 1. Still, like many people, I do consciously focus on healthiness in the new year. After the inevitable excesses of the holiday season, during my first shopping foray in January, I tend to load up on whole grains, beans and lean protein instead of the eggnog, rum and sweets that I frequently enjoy in December. Ginger is one of those miracle foods worth incorporating into your diet in the new year. Many of us were children when we first tasted ginger, in the form of ginger ale, a beverage often given to children when they feel under the weather. It’s not just a myth that ginger ale will alleviate nausea; the medicinal properties of ginger have been appreciated for thousands of years. Of particular relevance to boaters is ginger’s effectiveness as a natural antidote to seasickness. Botanically speaking, ginger is classified as a rhizome—the underground stem of the ginger plant. There are two main types of fresh ginger at the market: young ginger, with a mild flavor, thin skin and delicate flesh; or the more common mature ginger with stronger flavour, thicker skin and fibrous flesh. Buy ginger that is heavy for its size and has smooth skin, as wrinkled skin indicates that the ginger is old and dried out. Ginger’s culinary versatility and delicious flavour make it a popular ingredient in food and beverages through the Caribbean. Aromatic and spicy ginger is regularly featured in numerous dishes in my kitchen, including baked goods, marinades, stir frys and soups. Delicately spiced carrot ginger soup is a

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staple in my household in the winter and an ideal winter meal. If you’ve been imbibing too heartily at holiday parties, mix up a batch of fiery ginger beer, one of the most popular drinks in the Caribbean. Despite its name, this beverage is decidedly nonalcoholic. Many traditional ginger beer recipes require yeast and one or more days to allow the beverage to ferment. I choose a quicker and easier method, especially on a boat. This slightly astringent beverage is a wonderfully refreshing drink for a hot day on the water. Pour yourself a glass of ginger beer, top with club soda for some effervescence and make a toast to your health in 2011.

Riteway Food Markets provisioning service offers a number of services to help your visit to the British Virgin Islands be a fuss-free, enjoyable experience. Time is of the essence for you and our 20 plus years' experience in provisioning has enabled us to tailor our services to suit the needs of all concerned by providing a wide selection of choice foods, beverages, liquor and dry products. So, whether it is your private getaway schooner, or a Super Mega yacht, each order, no matter how large or small, is given the same amount of detailed attention and delivered directly to you. After all, it's the Riteway way of doing business!



Carrot Ginger Soup

Easy Ginger Beer 10 C water 1/2 lb fresh ginger, coarsely chopped (unpeeled) 1/2 C or more demerara sugar Juice of 1/2 lime Club soda (optional) In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the ginger and sugar, stirring well. Cover the pot and let sit for 1 hour. Strain the ginger out of the liquid, using a fine mesh strainer and pressing the ginger solids with a spoon. Add the lime juice to the ginger beer. Chill well. To serve, top with club soda if desired.


1 Tbsp butter 1 C chopped onion 2/3 C chopped celery 2 Tbsp peeled minced ginger 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 lb carrots, roughly chopped 4 C chicken or vegetable stock 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp white pepper 1 bay leaf 1/4 C half and half Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery to the pot and cook for four minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and carrots to the pot and cook until the carrots start to soften, about eight or nine minutes. Add the stock and seasonings to the vegetables. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup (in batches) in a blender until smooth. Return soup to the pot and add the half and half. Makes about five cups. PY


“Your service was superb… from my first call to book a charter to our last contact when we headed home from the marina.” A satisfied BVI Yacht Charters guest

BV I YA C H T C H A RTER S BVI Yacht Charters is the first port of call for all yacht charters and sales in the BVI. Whether you are looking to charter or to buy, looking for Bareboat or Crewed yachts, a Catamaran or a Monohull, a week or just a few days, our professional team is on hand to make it work, your way.

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Enjoying the Journey in the Air By Owen Waters Sometimes, when companies expand, we go with them. When we first started flying our magazine with BVI Airways, we knew we were onto a good thing, a treat for us and a delight for us to be flying BVIPY in the air. Things have started to go a long way, and BVI Airways is taking off, pardon the pun. Originally flying to St Maarten with reduced fares, BVI Airways has now added Dominica, Antigua, Puerto Rico, St Lucia (and possibly Trinidad) to their scheduled routes totaling to 400 hours flying time per month, which Luke Smith tells me is a lot. In addition to this expanding venture, extra planes are needed. Their expansion is the interest we have when talking to Luke. “We are bringing in another plane, a 29-seater turbo prop for the New Year. We need to. We have more flights and more passengers, and a

bigger plane gives us more range.” In addition to the seven months since the company started, the philosophy of travelling is starting to show through. “It is all about aviation for us,” Luke said, “the travelling spirit. And whilst the BVI is home, the lure of discovering new lands is from an era that sadly has passed in commercial flying. We lean towards style and are keen for our passengers to discover new areas like we are.” We start to envisage or even remember that not long ago, flying was an experience and adventure and added to the excitement of the vacation rather than being a mode of transport. That’s a memory we like and one we’d like to encourage for travelers. Currently BVIPY is distributed throughout the BVI and at select international trade shows, and, thanks to BVI Airways, it’s about to take its first trip around the Caribbean to get a few stamps in its passport. PY

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by Traci O'Dea

BVI Charter Yacht Show Max and Whitey White are happy to serve the guests of True North.

“Welcome aboard,” were the first words I heard as I stepped onto Dreaming On, a Leopard 47 catamaran based in the BVI and owned and operated by Geoff and Iza Prower. I heard those words repeatedly as I traversed the docks of Village Cay for the Charter Yacht Society’s 2010 BVI Charter Yacht Show, and I felt genuinely welcomed by the captains and crew who are passionate about pleasing and pampering guests aboard their yachts. While Iza prepared cocktails and fig hors d’oeuvres for the Travel the Nations yacht hop, Geoff showed me around the boat, and I instantly regretted the fact that I haven’t experienced the pleasure of being rocked to sleep in the cocoon-like comfort of a yacht’s cabin in over a year. As a writer for BVI Property & Yacht, it’s absurd that I don’t spend more time on chartered sailboats other than daysails. After my afternoon visiting yachts at the boat show, I have a feeling that’s going to change very soon. The beauty of the crewed yachts at the BVI Charter Yacht Show is that each one has its own personality. Iza told me that other crews advised them to provide board games aboard Dreaming On, for rainy days or lazy nights, but they took it a step further by creating their own board games including Virgin Islands-opoly, where players can purchase different islands and beaches and build hotels on them. “You can buy Necker Island,” Geoff told me. They also created a game called the Virgin Islands Trivia Trail, similar to Trivial Pursuit, but guests learn about the VI instead of random facts. As much as I wanted to stay and play a game or two, I had to visit other boats, so I bid farewell to Geoff and Iza and made my way down the dock. As I snapped shots of the various yachts, crewmembers warmly greeted me and welcomed me aboard, each boasting they had the best yacht at the show. I was about to turn around at the end of the dock when Peter Hill, first mate of True North, insisted that I step onto the Privilege 65 catamaran. Once on board, Chef Maxine White and Captain John “Whitey” White made me feel like I had stepped into a favourite aunt and uncle’s living room. Max proudly gave me a tour of the gleaming interior, and I commented on the elegantly decorated cabins. “Our owners have great taste,” she said, and I naively remembered that not all crew are owners of the boats they work on, yet they exhibit such fierce pride for the vessels that you wouldn’t know otherwise. Other than visiting the beautiful yachts, I learned about the Charter Yacht Society’s commitment to championing green sailing, spent a slightly rowdy evening under the gazebo at Village Cay during the welcome party and enjoyed an night mingling with the crews and BVI notable personalities at the Governor’s reception. I plan on returning to the event every year, but in the meantime, I think it’s about time I spent a week or two aboard one of the yachts. The only problem now is deciding which one to choose. PY



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By Traci O'Dea

What's SUP?

The origins of stand up paddling (SUP) are the subject of some controversy. Naysayers claim the sport recently entered the world of watersports as a marketing ploy while the Stand Up Paddlesurfing website asserts that it started in the fifties when cruise ship tourists took surfing lessons from Hawaiian “beach boys”—they stood up with a paddle in order to keep an eye on their charges and take photos to sell them. It's easy to see why stand up paddling is often compared to walking on water. Photo by Traci O'Dea.



The sport instantly made sense as a means to explore the sea and also to ride previously hard-to-reach breaks. Last year, while visiting some friends in St Thomas, I saw about a dozen people on the boards—two were paddling around the flat, calm waters of Hull Bay—one had a viewing window in the middle of her board to see the marine life below—while out at the point, a group of surfers with paddles were catching waves that conventional surfers probably would have found difficult to paddle out to with just their hands. The sport instantly made sense as a means to explore the sea and also to ride previously hard-to-reach breaks. A year later, the sport has exploded in the BVI. Andy Morrell added SUP to the Highland Spring HIHO last year and started a BVI SUP club, Cedar School offers after school SUPing, Bob Carson shapes the boards in Cane Garden Bay and watersports centres from Trellis Bay to Sopers Hole have started giving lessons. For my first SUP lesson, I met Scott Hustins from Island Sur f & Sail at Smugglers Cove on the morning of St Ursula’s Day.

After a quick briefing on land, he got me out on the water. I stood up pretty easily and found my balance, but I couldn’t stop looking down at the board and the paddle. This is the equivalent of watching your feet while running. Not exactly effective. And when I glanced over at Scott—lighthousestraight and effortlessly moving through the rippling waves with even, steady, silent strokes—I felt like a wobbly, flailing, noisy windmill. When I was finally able to look out in front of me, Scott assured me I was doing fine, but I cringed each time I heard my paddle bang against the side of the board. Flat water stand up paddling is popular, mainly due to the fact that “the learning curve is very rapid,” Scott said. Everyone can learn—from kids to seniors. In that respect, it’s similar to cross country skiing or kayaking. Bob Carson from Cane Garden Bay Sur fshop, who custom makes SUPs for BVI residents and visitors remarked that SUPs are “versatile water toys,” adding that the boards have “definitely become the new gotta-have toys on the charter boats." In

Left: SUP couple Bari and John Denney at The Baths during last year's HIHO event. Photo courtesy of Ocean Promotions. Opposite: One of Scott Hustins' handmade paddles is proudly displayed on the porch of Island Surf & Sail's Soper's Hole location. Photo by Traci O'Dea.



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fact, he’s made SUPs that match the yachts they are on. “I can put the boat logo on it or the company logo, and it’ll look like it belongs to the boat,” he said. He’s also talking to Adam Cole, the new PE teacher at Cedar School about making some boards for the afterschool Paddleboard Club. Most people that SUP are interested in it as a mellow activity that gets them out on the water. But wave riders are drawn to the sport for other reasons. Laird Hamilton, undoubtedly the most popular big-wave rider, is now the biggest champion of stand up paddle sur fing. When asked on an episode of Good Morning America, if he could do only one sport, he said it would be stand up paddling “because of the diversity of it.” The August issue of the Deseret News reported, “While some see Laird's innovations and promotions of the budding sport as a betrayal of traditional sur fing, he sees it as a way to allow more people to enjoy the sport he loves.” I spoke with one wave surfer who said that he’ll SUP surf at Apple or Josiah’s on smaller wave days, but for the most part, “crowded areas are a no-no because you have other options.” If he does happen to be in a spot with surfers on short boards, he added that “understanding the etiquette of surfing is pretty important.” For other sur fers, who have suffered injuries, SUP sur fing offers an alternative to the strain of jumping up from a prone position to catch a wave. Scott said, “SUP has been very important in lifestyle changes for me as I have had bad injuries and not able to do much as far as watersports anymore...I’m by no means an expert sur fer, but I caught my first small wave in ten years the other day, and I don’t think I stopped smiling for a day.” Bob Carson makes Scott’s boards for him. “I get good feedback from Scott,” Bob said. “He tells me what he likes and what he doesn’t like, and when you do that, you’re building a superior product because you get feedback from people who are actually using them. Those guys in Thailand aren’t getting any feedback, they’re just mass producing those things.” On that first day, when I was out with Scott, he apologized for the swell at Smugglers, saying that it had been dead calm an hour before, but I loved the little boost I felt beneath my feet each time a small wave passed below me at Smuggler’s. For the first time in my life, after my friends have tried for years to get me to try sur fing, I understood the attraction of wave riding, of being propelled by the sea itself. But, Andy Morrell reminded me when I went out with the BVI SUP Club one Saturday afternoon, the thing that has made the sport so popular is not the wave riding aspect of it but the flat water exercise. Six of us paddled around between Beef Island and Tortola above the reef and seagrass meadows. Andy called the sport a “safari on the water” as we saw pelicans, tarpon, star fish, rays, conch, sea cucumbers and schools of fish around us. Though I still had some issues with steering on my SUP excursion, I was able to keep up with the group, I didn’t flail too much, and I barely looked down at my board at all. PY

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Surfsong Retunes: Resort's Future Plans by Victoria Bezemer and Richard Finnegan, Roger Downing & Partner Co. Ltd.

Above: Rendering by Thor Downing for Roger Downing and Partner. Opposite: An aerial view of Surfsong Villa in Well Bay. Photo by Chuck Krallman.

The result is an exquisite, tranquil personal space with quiet Caribbean charm… 42


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With the depletion in today’s resources, when it comes to architectural and interior design, it is essential that we first ask the question, what can be reused? Renovation, as opposed to new construction, is certainly the environmental preference (and perhaps more favourable in today’s economy). Utilising the existing footprint of a building reduces excavation works and landscape disturbance, whilst adopting the existing structure reduces the demand for raw materials. Since producing one ton of cement (the main ingredient of concrete) emits one ton of carbon dioxide, this design choice does in fact make a big difference. This same conscience is required when making interior design choices. Renovations are inevitable, but are there ways of reducing the environmental and economic impact? (It is possible to do both!) Longevity is a critical factor in all design decisions. Not only do we examine whether the material or product can withstand the extreme climatic conditions of the BVI salt air, extreme sunlight, but we ask will it provide aesthetic longevity: Is it going to be out of style next year? Surfsong Villa Resort is nestled in Well Bay, Beef Island, edged by blue waters with unspoiled reefs, tidepools, mangrove trees and coral and shells for beachcombing. A protective cay extends a distance from the shore to

create a secluded shallow beach which is decorated with huge boulders and shaded by palm trees. The current owners purchased Surfsong with the intent of improving and expanding on the basic amenities by providing updated, contemporary villas that still reflected the local style of construction combined with Balinese hardwood furnishings for the interiors. The owners' design sense and commitment to the environment allowed for tasteful updates in style and amenities while reusing existing structures as much as possible. The result is an exquisite, tranquil personal space with quiet Caribbean charm surrounded by a dramatic natural landscape—the reason repeat visitors come to the Virgin Islands. Future expansion plans for this boutique resort involve single storey, environmentally sensitive villas that are designed to be nestled amongst the giant boulders and mature trees and provide large, shaded outdoor areas which separate living and sleeping buildings. Stone-faced walls, sourced from local stone, and greying, cedar-shingle roofs help create invisible architecture, as landscape and time blend the buildings into their surroundings. While naturally rustic in exterior appearance, modern conveniences and contemporary interiors provide guests with a high level of comfort and allow them to stay connected (if they want) to the world through high-speed internet and satellite TV throughout the resort. The resort owners are currently developing an opportunity for a select few to build their own vacation villas at Surfsong, which will combine turnkey, hassle-free usage with the extended income potential of a proven villa rental program by the experienced management of this successful boutique resort. PY More info:



by Traci O'Dea

December Means Winemakers Dinners The Virgin Islands Winemakers Dinners take place from December 1st to December 7th. Guests hop to a different island destination each night to sample unique dishes, prepared in the BVI by internationally renowned chefs, paired with some of the top-rated wines in the world. Each location boasts Caribbean charm coupled with the inherent subtle chic of our islands. Wednesday, December 1: Giorgio’s Wine Restaurant in Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda brings a little bit of Tuscany to the Virgin Islands. The cosy restaurant, decorated mostly

in racks and racks of Italian wine, provides an ideal setting for sampling the wine-inspired dishes that the chefs have created. Thursday, December 2: With a view of the sheltered waters of the North Sound and the neighbouring islands of Prickly Pear and Mosquito Island, Leverick Bay Resort and Marina provides guests with fun, relaxed luxury. At night, the resort sparkles—lit by the stars, fairy lights and the glow from the fresh water pool.

THE D VE now introduces



HAPPY HOUR 5:00 to 6:30

Cocktail and appetizer lounge Tuesday-Saturday 6pm to Late

small eats, big taste

Featured Happy Hour wines:

Visit acclaimed Chef Travis Phillips and dine on delectable French/Asian cuisine. Come enjoy the largest wine list in the BVI. Open for dinner Tue - Sat 6 to10 67 Main Street, Road Town RSVP 494 0313



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The Dove

494 0313 Located on Waterfront Drive across from Road Town Ferry Terminal

Left: Peter Island Resort's Falcon's Nest Villa hosts one of the 2010 Winemakers Dinners. Photo by

Friday, December 3: Peter Island Resort, recently voted in 2010 as 4th Best Resort in the Caribbean by Condé Nast Traveler, exemplifies the concept of a luxurious island retreat, and the exclusive Falcon’s Nest Villa sits atop the private island overlooking the immaculate White Bay beach. In addition to other hidden surprises, the villa’s sprawling pool features an enclosed grotto, complete with a waterfall.

Sunday, December 5: The impressive and contemporary H. Lavity Stoutt Community College is dedicated to promoting culinary expertise to Virgin Islanders. This is proven by the recent groundbreaking for the HSLCC Culinary Arts Centre, a $2 million project that will provide the highest level of equipment and instruction for chef aspirants in the territory. The college also provides courses on wine and food pairings. Monday, December 6: Rosewood Little Dix Bay was originally owned by Laurance Rockefeller in the 1960s as his Caribbean hideaway. Since then, the resort has maintained the feeling of exclusivity with buildings Architectural Digest mentions as being “tucked away among coconut palms and sea grape trees and altogether camouflaged by the lush vegetation.”

Saturday, December 4: The boulderstrewn pool of Virgin Gorda Village evokes the unique beaches of the island. The Baths, Devils Bay and Spring Bay all boast these striking, granite monoliths, and the designers of Virgin Gorda Village Tuesday, December 7: Peg Leg incorporated the natural wonders into Landing, above the beach at Nanny the exteriors of this elegant community. Cay Resort & Marina, features several Local flora also abounds and perfumes open-air rooms for dining that allows the setting with the scent of frangipani, guests to feel like they’re in an intimate, CGIBVI0610-1 28/6/10 19:30 Page 1 oleander and ixora blossoms. cosy setting almost reminiscent of an

English Inn, except for the fact that they’re warmed not by a fire but by the breezes off the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Frommer’s calls Nanny Cay “artfully and deliberately raffish.” Perfectly BVI. In addition to the world-class dinners, each day will feature a luncheon where the chefs and winemakers will split into intimate groups for relaxed noontime meals coupled with delectable wines. Lunch locations include The Jolly Roger Restaurant in Sopers Hole, The Mineshaft Cafe near the copper mine ruins in Virgin Gorda, Myett's in Cane Garden Bay, The Tamarind Club in Josiah's Bay, Brandywine Bay Restaurant on Tortola’s south shore, and an afternoon wine and cheese event with German wine critic Richard Groesche at the always charming Mad Dog Cafe near The Baths in Virgin Gorda. For more information, visit



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Food scraps mixed with yard waste make an ideal compost combination.

Annie’s compost bin is made from chain link fence and wooden posts originally built as a puppy pen for her dogs. On top of the food scraps, she adds garden and lawn clippings. It’s this combination of “wet” and “dry” materials that makes the perfect compost. I followed Annie’s example and started my own process. Instead of a bowl, I used a sealed Rubbermaid pitcher on my counter. I was surprised at how quickly the pitcher filled up, especially after making a pot of vegetable soup. I found a corner in the garden where I thought the pile would not dry out too much, and I dumped the pitcher’s contents on top of the sandy soil. I then collected fallen leaves from around the property— big papaya fronds, frangipani leaves, clippings swept off the stairs and the debris that filled up the patio gutters. I crumbled them on top of the food scraps then repeated the By Traci O'Dea process the next day. It’s been two weeks, and my compost pile is growing nicely. “The climate here is optimum for composting,” Annie said. Charlotte McDevitt from Green VI proclaimed that 30-40% “The heat makes the compost material decompose much of the waste taken to Pockwood Pond is compostable, quicker than in cooler climates. “The nice soil sifts itself to the organic waste. Hoping to help eliminate my contribution bottom when I turn it which I do with a pitchfork every week to that unnecessary amount of garbage, I decided to or two. The key also is to add some water...when we are create a compost heap. First I thought I’d ask around to watering the garden, we turn the hose on the compost for a see if anyone else on island was composting their food minute or two.” Sounds easy enough. Annie uses her compost scraps. Charlotte pointed me to Annie Westcott-MacPhail, for everything she plants. “I dig a hole, mix the compost with who also does her part for the environment by selling the existing soil and plant bougainvillea, olive trees, traveller accessories and furniture made from reclaimed and palm, banana, plantain, blood orange, lime. My personal recycled materials. favourite—pineapple. It’s a full-cycle quick grow. Lop off the Annie started composting because she and her husband top, stick it in the ground with a little compost/earth mix. “were appalled at how much garbage just the two of us The rest of the waste goes right into the compost. Done. generate each day.” She found it easy to compost by We have a mini pineapple plantation. What could be keeping a bowl for scraps on the countertop. “We see more Caribbean?” it every day, and it reminds us to put our food waste If all residents of the BVI started composting their food ‘ingredients’ into it,” she said. “In the morning, I prepare fresh waste, then the amount of garbage at the dump would fruit that my husband takes to work for his breakfast. The exponentially decrease. Additionally, consider the impact if rinds, peels, seeds, skins, go into that bowl...I put the coffee all the restaurants began composting their scraps then used grounds with filter and tea bags on top before I leave for that waste to enrich small gardens where they could grow work. Next up, I put our lunch trash: salad ends, avocado skin, their own ingredients. Expensive herbs, fruits and vegetables veg. I walk the bowl out to the compost heap and dump it imported from other countries could be grown right here in on top.” the BVI for pennies. PY

How to Compost in the BVI

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Earth-Friendly Holidays by Dawn Southgate The holiday season is a great time for giving, receiving and for decorating the home in celebration of Christmas festivities. This year, we’re seeing a growing interior decorating trend that’s having a positive impact on the environment. Holiday decorating is going green. This trend not only lends itself to Christmas but to other significant holidays and celebrations such as Chanukah, New Year's, Kwanzaa, birthdays, weddings and baby showers. The look and feel of “green” holiday decor is one of being in harmony with nature, infused with natural materials, organic shapes and fabrics. This translates to holiday wreaths and centerpieces made from local plants and vines—even from your own garden—fruits and berries, natural wick candles, wooden table decorations and organic, hemp or even handmade napkins and table cloths. Simplifying and greening your holiday decor means making conscious choices about the decorations you use— avoiding synthetic, plastic and other non-recyclable items and instead choosing natural, sustainable alternatives that are renewable and support the environment. A quick search on Google will delight you with an amazing assortment of tree accessories that are not only eco-friendly, but also support Fair Trade and indigenous cultures around the world, such as tree angels made from recycled beverage cans from Guatemala, recycled glass ornaments from Ecuador and recycled oil drum angels from Haiti. You’ll also find nature’s very own crystal or agate tree decorations and recycled aluminum snowflakes. While live Christmas trees seem to have the upper-eco hand over artificial, non-biodegradable and often toxic ones, they are often discarded after the holidays without thought when recycling for mulch is a much greener solution. Using a potted tree with roots can provide the lasting benefit of a tree that can be replanted and reused year after year.

For Chanukah, choosing sustainable wood dreidels, recycled glass Chanukah decorations, recycled steel pipe and glass menorahs, and natural beeswax candles make going green for effortless. Sustainable decorating for the holidays or specials event just takes a little extra planning, some online shopping and perhaps a trip into nature. Don’t forget to add party supplies to your list such as eco-friendly tableware made from 100% recycled paper, recycled cards and wrapping paper and reusable fabric gift bags. Add sparkle to any party by using solar-powered fairy lights or LED lights which use up to 80% less energy than regular lights and can last up to 10 years. Significant to every major event or milestone is the giving of gifts. One of my favorite eco-gifts is to make a donation that benefits and enhances the life of another. Whatever event or festivities you celebrate, make your decorative and gift giving efforts environmentally conscious ones that showcase creativity, ecology and style! PY

Serving the BVI since 1982 with repairs, rentals and sales of construction and party equipment. T 494 2352

F 494 3545



Contemporary Design

Inside & Out by Traci O'Dea More and more in the Caribbean, the sleek, clean lines of contemporary design are infiltrating the architecture, furnishings and fittings of homes and commercial buildings. This isn’t a bad thing, just an evolution of style that reflects the increased clutter-free and simple living habits of many of our residents. New commercial buildings on Waterfront Drive reflect this trend as do homes dotted on the hillsides. In the West End of Tortola, one contemporary facade distinctly stands out from the others, Tower House—a stone, concrete and stainless steel villa on the waterfront nestled among the pastel-coloured gingerbread homes and businesses of Soper’s Hole. Architect Matthew Collins of Caribbean Architecture Limited expressed that “the house was designed in response to the location of the site immediately adjacent to Soper’s Hole. A lot of the materials used, such as stainless steel railings and rigging wires are the same as can be found on the yachts moored in Soper’s Hole. The open patio decks and large door openings allow uninterrupted views of the constant activity on the water.” Like much of the contemporary design that I see on island, most of the colours and materials seem plucked directly from the landscapes. In the master bedroom, azure accent walls evoke the waves while by the poolside deck beige tiles imitate the sandy sea floor. Arawak Interiors worked with the owners of the house and the architect to have the interior and exterior furnishings custom made to match the contemporary



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... most of the colours and materials seem plucked directly from the landscapes. design of the home. Arawak Interiors Manager Mandy Gorringe said that she’s been ordering more and more contemporary furniture based both on customer demand and the trends she sees in magazines. “A lot of people want cleaner lines,” she said. “People are coming in and saying, ‘We have concrete and white, straight lines, no curves,’ so we can get them what they want.” The most popular contemporary items in the store are media cabinets, accent pieces, beds and “every type of table—dining tables, coffee tables, accent tables,” Mandy said. Additionally, the synthetic rattan, indoor/outdoor furniture that seems to be the new standard for patios, restaurants, dining rooms and porches introduces a new material to interior and exterior furnishings and is available in an infinite number of shapes and colours. Simple shapes, clean lines and harmonious colours combine to create contemporary style. In the BVI, the style guidelines are often dictated by Mother Nature. PY

Above: The interior bedroom steals its colour from the sea. Opposite: The stone and outdoor furnishings complement the hillside landscapes at Soper's Hole. Photos by Traci O'Dea.

494.5240 Road Reef Plaza, Road Town, Tortola



Testing it out for Myself by Tim Peck, OBM International

Tim Peck tested new materials on his own house to pass on to his clients.

Construction in the BVI can be very challenging in terms of budget, quality and the time it takes to build.



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As architects, if we’re going to experiment with new materials and construction techniques, perhaps it’s only fair to try them out on ourselves before trying them out on our clients' projects. I reviewed a number of construction systems for my house at Ballast Bay, balancing tried and tested local skills with recent advances in construction systems, and opted for the Nudura Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) as the primary structural system for the house. The ICF system offers a reinforced concrete structure in combination with very light 8’long by 18”-high foam panels that are easy to handle around the site. These panels have two 2 ½” layers of polystyrene connected by plastic webs, which leave a 6” cavity to be filled with reinforced concrete on site. The system is neat and sophisticated, with corner elements, end caps and interlocking fasteners as part of the kit, and can be quick to assemble, but the critical element which must not be overlooked is the bracing. The package comes with proprietary steel framing to brace the foam forms, and it is vital that these are well secured and are

plumb and square, or it will certainly come back to haunt you later in the process. The system works most efficiently if you rationalize the design to work with the ICF modules. I had developed a relatively simple plan, but I had introduced some architectural “gymnastics” with some of the structural openings, particularly the open-corner sliding glass doors which required some complex reinforcing detailing by the engineer. These design elements were important to me, and the system was flexible enough to accept a hybrid mix of traditional forms, where necessary, alongside the ICF formwork. A benefit of the ICF system is the separation of the trades. Once the filled foam block is in place, the electrician and plumber can attack the inner and outer foam layers with a hot knife to route their piping, thus reducing hacking and patching. This was particularly important for this house, where I had decided to opt for aspects of smart house technology, with a complex web of conduits home-running to a central hub to control some of the home’s electronic systems. To fully take advantage of this rationalization of trades, all parties must have planned their primary distribution routes through the concrete slabs and that these stubs appear in the thickness of the foam, not within the concrete core of the wall. The inner surface of the wall, and its mess of conduits, is then covered in

sheetrock and finished with sheetrock compound to give a smooth, refined finish. The exterior sur face is covered in a proprietary plaster, fiberglass mesh and a precoloured stucco. The ICF system is excellent at addressing all aspects of sustainability, contributing to LEED certification in many ways. The foam blocks are manufactured from entirely recycled and recyclable materials. The material does not support mould growth, has no air quality toxicity problems, and the use of the two layers of foam insulation offers 70% energy savings in a comparable US market. One additional aspect that is particularly relevant to the BVI is that the 6” reinforced concrete core offers significant durability and can meet seismic and hurricane codes, which, combined with the appropriate choice of window and door systems, can offer peace of mind in hurricane season. The quality of the end product is testimony to the quality of the construction system and the ability of the contractors to accept a new approach. The house remains cool, and the bedroom areas are quick to respond to air-conditioning, if ever required, keeping utility costs low. We wanted to feel good about the quality of the environment that we were creating at Ballast Bay and also to sleep well, knowing that we have minimized any potential negative impacts on our global environment. PY


OBM INTERNATIONAL T 284 494 2148 OBMI.COM BVI Property Guide OCT09.indd 1


10/30/09 5:17 PM


The Architect’s Pool by Erick Oeseburg, Poolworks

The morning with OBMI architect Tim Peck started with a good coffee and a chat about how we could make this project more efficient and yet draw subtle attention to the sound that could drown out the noise from the crashing surf across the bay, several hundred feet below. The sound of water trickling down intricately hand-laid stacked stone was one of the carefully designed features of this delicate pool. Tim's new home received every bit of attention like any project should. He was, after all, the architect and owner. Having worked with Tim for almost a decade, I’m accustomed to his easygoing yet clear visions of his creations. Together we would fill in the blanks and incorporate his desires with our expertise to create a small but ever-so-delicately, precisely designed swimming pool. Sure the setting is magnificent. The details in the house, with its cantilevered corners and hillside appeal, would all add to the serenity of the pool.



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Just at the entry way, disguised as a simple rectilinear black slate pool, hid the myriad of amenities beneath its surface. Simple but highly efficient technology was exquisitely combined to create both an aesthetic centerpiece as well as a joy for the swimmers, visiting guests and the active outdoors person. On the ocean side pool wall, a powerful stainless steel swim machine provides enough force for an olympic swimmer to get his daily fix of freshwater swimming. An unassuming piece of technology, it was acquired from a small European custom foundry that by itself was partly run on recycled materials. While swimmers were exercising, they would be able to plug their iPod into the home music system and listen to their tunes via underwater speakers which were carefully installed by Rusty and Paul of Think Green. Once done with all the aquatic activities, as the sunset could be seen, the symphony of sounds was enlightened with water slowly meandering down the black, stacked

The pool overlooking Cane Garden Bay.

stones which local craftsmen carefully laid. These gorgeous stones were found in the outskirts of a Balinese village. While later in the evening the sounds of music may surround you from the home’s elaborate music system, the lights may be dimmed across the deck and the fiber optic pool lights give us a four color option to go with the mood of the moment. Naturally fiber optic is very safe, and a single light bulb powers not only a full perimeter light but also two spot beams three feet under. The Ipe wood coping surrounding the pool beautifully disguises the source of this light, allowing it to mysteriously glow. With the use of simple and available technology, we did not waste any energy. The water feature was driven by the same pump as provided the filtration and circulation for the pool. To ensure that the water was crystal clear at all times, we installed a Diatomaceous Earth filter and the newest self monitoring salt chlorine generation system. The plumbing system we designed for this pool was perhaps most elaborate with several carefully positioned stainless steel return jets and a nearly undetectable skimmer; however, this setup allows us to run the pool pump just a few hours a day, saving a lot of electricity in the process. Most of the pool functions are controlled by timers far below in a pump-room. The special functions, however, have simple switches which match the entire house’s decor. We have all come to love the soft feel of pool water that is sanitized with the minimal amount of chlorine that is produced from regular salt, and this pool is no exception. Even after a solid hour of counter current jet swimming, there is no red-eye in sight, and what’s more, the great filtration will allow you to spot, let’s say, a lost earring, on the bottom of the pool even though it is tiled in a discerning black natural slate finish. Now I guess the only thing clearer is the view from the house across the Bay. PY



Labour Code Lowdown:

Retirement Benefits by Adam Stauffer, CFA, Offshore Investment Advisor

After 35 years without revision, the territory enacted a new labour code, Labour Code 2010 on October 4, 2010.

As with most change, the new code is not without critics. One controversial section on Retirement Benefits has scared many employers. Their fears are warranted, given the gloomy state of the economy and slow pace of recovery. However, there are steps employers can take to minimize the impact to their bottom line. With the average life expectancy steadily increasing, retirees find themselves in the bittersweet position of having to make their savings last longer so they can enjoy their longer lives. The Retirement Benefits section is one way to address the issue. However, it is

Pedro Wells




Nautool Machine Ltd T: 284.494.3187





The BVI’s Metal Experts for Over

Road Town Tortola F: 284.494.5629

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.


Tel: (284) 494-9010 Skelton Baylot, Fish Bay, Tortola

by no means an end all—everyone should have a retirement strategy in writing and save accordingly. Although many questions still remain, employers can follow several steps to ensure they are prepared to meet the sixmonth implementation deadline in March 2011. First, what are an employer’s financial obligations? Determining pension obligations can be tricky. Employers should not only estimate their Vested Benefits Obligations (VBO)—the amount due to vested employees (individuals that have been with the company for greater than 10 years) at current salaries—but also estimate the Projected Benefits Obligation (PBO). PBO is an all-encompassing estimate of the future amount due to vested and non-vested employees at future salaries. In order to calculate this, employers must estimate future salary levels as well as the amount set aside for each employee going forward. The code is vague on this amount, but according to the Code’s author, Clive Pegus, the minimum for permanent employees is around 3.46% of the employee’s annual salary. Next, what plan structure best suits the business? Employers appear to have a choice between defined benefit and defined contribution plans. In defined benefit plans, retiree benefits are a fixed amount, employer contributions depend on promised benefits to the retirees and the employer bears the investment risk. Conversely, in defined contribution plans, employer contributions are defined, retiree benefits depend on fund per formance and the retiree bears the investment risk. On the sur face, the pros and cons of each seem obvious. In fact, over the last few decades there has been a shift away from defined

benefit toward defined contribution in the private sector. However, defined contribution plans may not be right for all employers or fit best with the requirements of the new code. Before making this decision, which may be impossible to reverse, employers should closely examine the two options and align their plans with their businesses’ structures. In doing so, they will reduce future headaches and minimize near and long-term financial obligations. Finally, how is the business going to meet these new obligations? As a result of the dot-com bust and the credit crisis, investors have shied away from equities and have hidden in assets like CDs and bonds. But with rates as low as they are now, holding assets in CDs and low interest bearing accounts could do more harm than good—when the rate of inflation is above the rate of interest, investors realize a negative rate of return and lose money. Instead, investors need a diversified allocation to equities, fixed income and commodities designed to match their future obligations. An important closing note: there is a provision in the code that states “where an employer is unable to pay retirement benefits…by reason of exceptional financial hardship, the employer may appeal to the Minister for variation of the obligation.” So the sooner employers determine their obligations, the more time they will have for submitting requests before the March deadline. Once the dust settles, and the regulations are put into writing, employers who have a well thought out retirement benefits strategy will experience the least disruption to their business and minimized impact to their bottom line. PY

Caribbean Technology When it’s mission critical, call Caribbean Technology

For Generators


Suppliers to: Peter Island Resort, Riteway, Scrub Island, Nail Bay and BVI Government

We also supply and install surge protection, lightning protection, circuit breakers, contactors and switchgear. Call or click for a quote: T 494 6782/3150 F 494 5389



Property & Yacht Directory Use the map and legend to reference the businesses listed. Legend: Regions


Road Town Road Reef Nanny Cay Sea Cows Bay Sophers Hole


Port Purcell West End East End Trellis Bay Virgin Gorda

Book StoreS

National Educational Services (RR) - (284)494.3921


BVI Charter Yacht Society (RT) - (284)494.6017

Supa Valu (RT) - (284)494.3600

Restaurants & Pubs Consultants

Pisces Restaurant (SH) - (284)543.6724

BVI Development Consultants (RT) - (284)494.5353

Jolly Roger (WE) -(284)495.4559



Dive Tortola (RT) - (284)494.9200

Representing the finest selection of luxury crewed charter yachts in the BVI | BVI Charter Yacht Sales (RT) (284)494.4868

Travelwise (RT) - (284)4944252 Tortola Travel Services (RT) - (284)494.2215


Fort Garden Center (PP) - (284)494.2362


Yacht Charters & BrokeR BareCat (SB) - (284)495-1979

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 |

Crown Dental (RR) - (284)494.2770 Sole Spa (RT) - (284)494.5999


Tortola Express (RR) - (284)494.0707

est. 1993 | Fleet size: 10 | Sells boats: No | Charters Boats: Yes | Brand(s): Fontaine Pajot, Lagoon, Leopards, Island Spirit, Robertson & Caine, Privilege, Voyages | Year Make: 1997-2005 | Type(s): Catamarans | BVI Yacht Charters (RT) - (284)495.4289

Marine & Yacht Clubs

Nanny Cay Marina & Hotel (NC) - (284)494.2512 Royal BVI Yacht Club (RT) - (284)494.3286 Manuel Reef (SB) - (284)495.2066



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 | |

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Charterport (RT) - (284)494.7955 Double D Charters (VG) - (284)499.2479 Footloose (RT) - (284)494.0528 Racing in Paradise (NC) - (284)494.6781 Sail Bravura (RT) -(284)443.2586 Southern Trades (RT) -(284)494.8003 Sunsail (EE) -(888)416.8420 The Moorings (RT) -(888)416.8420 TMM (RR) -(800)633.0155 Tortola Yacht Sales (RT) - (284)494.2124

Property Listings

Use the map and legend to reference the properties listed.





















Legend: Regions

Tortola Virgin Gorda Jost van Dyke Northern Islands Southern Islands Anegada

2 3 4

The Settlement


Prickly Pear Island Moskito Island


Necker Island Eustatia Island

Oil Nut Bay

The Dogs

6 Guana Island


Jost Van Dyke

Little Jost


Scrub Island

Virgin Gorda

Marina Cay Spanish Town

Cane Garden Bay

Sandy Cay

Beef Island Road Town

Little Tobago

Buck Island

The Valley


Fallen Jerusalem

Long Bay

10 11

Great Camanoe

Little Camanoe


Green Cay

Great Tobago



Road Harbour Round Rock

Cooper Island

Nanny Cay

Great Thatch

Ginger Island

Frenchman’s Cay

Dead Chest

Carval Rock


Salt Island


Pelican Island

Peter Island

Flannigan Island


Norman Island


J8 Sea Cows Bay Land:

J9 Long Trench Estate Home:

Beautiful Ballast Bay Lot now available. Glorious views of Cane Garden Bay and Jost Van Dyke. US$120,000 | (284)495-3000 |

Located near Oleander Estate in the hills above Sea Cow’s Bay, these 2 properties have spectacular views and breezes. These lots are prime for development, one lot is 0.783 of an acre and the other lot is 6.9 acres, both totaling 7.683 acres. Freehold and No Covenants. US$650,000 | (284)494-2500 |

G10 Two and Three Bedroom Hillside Villa – Long Bay Resort:

H8 1 acre Lot, Glorious Cane Garden Bay views:

G10 Hummingbird House:

H9 Lovely Lot at Ballast Bay:

Cleverly designed Villas with fantastic views, great beach and full use of all resort facilities. Lock off units designed to maximize income potential at Tortola’s leading beach resort. From US$435,000 | (284)495-3000 |

L7 Villa Asolare at Mansion Hall:

This stunning home is located around a point which gives panoramic views of the outer islands from Scrub Island to Norman Island. There are stone steps that lead to each of the three buildings, the two beaches and thru lush flowers, fruit trees and the historic ruins of Fort Hodge dating from the 1740’s. There is also an infinity pool with an out door kitchen, perfect for entertaining! Courtney at (284)494-2500 |

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

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 | | www.

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 | |

Situated on .623 acres this split level home has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and a separate 1 bedroom unit which has rental income. Since this home is set on only .3 acres an additional house can be erected giving two for the price of one. This is a must see!! US$715,000 | Courtney at (284)494-2500 |

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 | |

J9 Studio Condo at Tobacco Wharf:

This charming studio condo comes semi-furnished with all modern amenities and enchanting views overlooking the harbour and a lovely garden. It is located on the top floor of Tobacco Wharf within walking distance to Road Town US$325,000 | Courtney at (284)494-2500 |

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. Delihtful views of Cane Garden Bay from very private guest house. US$1.1m | (284)495-3000 | | chris@



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


There is a 1 acre lot located about a mile east from Foxy’s Restaurant. It has utility access, road access and stunning panoramic views of Tortola and St. Thomas. US$110,000 | Marianne at (284)494-2500 |

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$550,000

Q6 Moonlit Sea:

Amazing 180 degree unobstructed sea views. Sunsets and gentle breezes. 4 min. walk to pristine beach, swimming and snorkeling. Beautifully landscaped. 2BR/3BA, open concept, large deck. More photos at Priced below market yet still negotiable. US$695,000 | Bonnie Dougall at (284)4953003

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 | |


Part of an upscale island resort, waterfront land is available to build your own dream home. US$1,500,000+ | (284)494-2500 |


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 | |


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 |

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


As you consider a new tropical lifestyle in the British Virgin Islands, our rental or sales associates will assist you in searching for the perfect home. Leo House, 65 Main Street Road Town, Tortola British Virgin Islands, VG1110



Tel: (284)494.2500 :: Fax(284)494.6969 :: Skype: truderealestatebvi :: E-mail: :: Web:

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.





Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

BVI Property & Yacht December 2010 - January 2011  

BVI Property & Yacht December 2010 - January 2011

BVI Property & Yacht December 2010 - January 2011  

BVI Property & Yacht December 2010 - January 2011