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PR OPERTY&YACHT MARCH 2012 JUNE 2012

COCOMAYA Sophistication meets swagger at Virgin Gorda’s newest beach bar & restaurant.

bvi dinghy championships Pint-sized boats rallied to Sir Francis Drake Channel in numbers.

Back to nature From beach bum to shack owner, Tortola’s Nature Boy tells all.


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JUNE 2012

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Virgin Islands

PR OPERTY&YACHT

June 2012

Features 19

Ogier Outfit: Modern Complements By Dan O’Connor

The top floors of the Ashley Ritter building on Tortola get a modern facelift.

22

VISAR Rescued Me

By Traci O’Dea The BVI’s finest volunteer rescue crew uses one of our very own as a prop in a rescue training excercise on Salt Island.

28

Playing in the Pool By Dan O’Connor

8

BVI photographer Paul Hubbard goes at least six feet deep to snap a series of underwater pool shots.

Consumed by CocoMaya By Traci O’Dea

From those who brought you Baraka Point comes a hip yet elegant restaurant on the boulder-dotted shores of Virgin Gorda.

26 Hammocks in History By Traci O’Dea

32 YCCS: North Sound Elegance

15

By Traci O’Dea

BVI Dinghy Championships By Brian Duff

Racers came out in record numbers for the biggest little regatta to hit BVI waters since the Spring Regatta.

41 Windows & Doors By Steve Fox

44 Coming Clean By Dan O’Connor

47 Artists’ Corner: Aileen Malcolm By Dan O’Connor

36

51 Brokering Dreams By Stephen L. France

52 Reef Check

Back to Nature

By Lain Leoniak

By Dan O’Connor

One of Tortola’s favourite beachside bartenders talks about his infatuation with Long Bay and coconuts. www.bvipy.com 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 2012 by aLookingGlass Ltd. All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright by the creators or by the contractual arrangments with their clients.

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 VI 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.

56 Classifieds

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


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Cover: CocoMaya’s upstairs lounge. Photo by Dan O’Connor.

Editor's Letter J u n e

Chief Editor Dan O'Connor Contributors Brian Duff Lain Leoniak Steve Fox Stephen L. France Traci O’Dea Art Director Nick Cunha Graphic Designer Akiya Brewley Web Developer aLookingGlass Advertising Owen Waters Stephen Leslie France Distribution Coordinator Debi Cashen (USVI) Francoise Frank (BVI) Distribution Cool Air (BVI) Speedy Services (USVI) Publisher aLookingGlass Ltd. Road Town, Tortola British VIrgin Islands Colin Rathbun, CEO Nick Cunha, COO

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Dan O'Connor

Summertime,

and the living’s easy. It’s that time of the year when things slow down—even more so than usual. Cruise ships visit sparingly and tourist traffic generally drips in. Beaches empty, and the warm breeze whispers gently. There’s a lot to look forward to in the season deemed slow by tourism speak. Who can’t appreciate lazy days with friends to explore all that is wonderful about these islands, as if their treasures were offered solely for one’s own enjoyment? And just when it seems the season has slowed to an REM sleep, there’s BVI carnival—a time when sleep is not an option. During these summer months, why not enjoy a daytrip to Virgin Gorda, the island of natural splendors and breathtaking beauty—and upscale bars and restaurants. For this issue, I had the pleasure of skipping work on a fine Friday to visit the island of boulders and baths. Cohort Traci O’Dea and I first zipped over to YCCS, Virgin Gorda where we met Keith Mutch, their newbie general manager who showed us around the marina and clubhouse. The GM shared his newbie follies with us over fine spirits and delectable dining. From YCCS, we were whisked over to Spanish Town, where we met Aaron Seddon and Kim Takeuchi of Baraka Point Estate. He opened the doors to the Baraka crew’s newest creation, CocoMaya, a uniquely hip and sophisticated yet laid back beach bar and restaurant. There, we were treated to an amazing array of sushi and tapas platters, which we shared among a small group of friends. Afterward, we sunk our toes in the sand and lounged beachside, where our eyes twinkled in the memorable firelight. In tune with year’s past, this issue remains largely wet in theme. Sailing dad and coach Brian Duff reported from the busy waters of Sir Frances Drake Channel, where the BVI Dinghy Championship saw its most participants to date. The fleet of mostly young sailors fought low wind conditions to triumph to the finish point. On Salt Island, Traci faked injury for Virgin Islands Search and Rescue volunteers, who held back chuckles as they tended to her during a rescue exercise. There’s something about seeing a friend vulnerably strapped into a stretcher that evokes a sinister smirk— knowing full well that she was just fine, of course. This issue also visits the north shore of Tortola, where I caught up with Long Bay’s Winston Molyneaux—better known as Nature Boy—who took me on a tour of his island shack bar and intricate trail systems. The animated beach bum is always a hoot to chat with, especially when hearing the tale of how his shack came to be. Enjoy your read, and remember to never take yourself too seriously.

Slow down. It’s summer.


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JUNE 2012

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Consumed by

CocoMaya CocoMaya from the beach. Photo by Charlie Smith. All other photos by Dan O’Connor.

By Traci O’Dea From the sea, CocoMaya appears to be an oversized beach hut with three tall, thatched roofs supported by wooden poles as big as tree trunks and few walls to obstruct the breeze or the view through the restaurant to the lush, bouldered hillside. Architect Viviana Jenik created a seaside masterpiece that transforms at every turn—from beach bar to romantic restaurant to cocktail lounge. Guests with bare feet can comfortably mingle with those in high heels at this exquisite, multi-level locale that turns its patrons into chameleons, depending on which part of the property they may find themselves.

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The main dining room and its awe-inspiring view.

This is, after all, a place once ruled by pirates.

cried nearby, enticing me to head back to the beach where I sat on a sun lounger and enjoyed the view of Beef Island, Tortola and the Dog Islands while the waves wove patterns on the shore. My solitude soon changed to merriment as friends arrived, so I slipped into my shoes and moved to CocoMaya’s wraparound bar—glass aggregate made from bits of broken bottles found on the site—where mixologist Corey Kidd offered me a cohiba, a vodka cocktail with fresh blackberries, lemon and lime. We

Owner Jen Bogdany’s exquisite eye for design created a

ordered a sushi platter at the bar and soon snacked on spicy

combination of rustic and refined accents to complement the

tuna rolls, salmon rolls and the Virgin Gorda roll—mango, scallions,

architecture and setting, but this should be no surprise since Jen

tomato, cilantro, and panko shrimp—as well as a selection of

is also the mastermind who perfected barefoot indulgence at

fresh nigiri and two decorative (but edible) langoustines. As I

nearby Baraka Point Estate.

nibbled on the sushi and complimented Chef Stevie Thompson’s

When I first arrived at CocoMaya, before the sun set, I felt like

creations, I chatted with co-owners Aaron Seddon and Kim

an explorer among the boulders beside the restaurant on the

Takeuchi about Virgin Gorda’s newest restaurant. “We wanted

beach. Beer in hand, I followed a sandy path and discovered

to have a fun, chilled out vibe,” Kim said, adding that she thinks

benches strategically built-in to the granite boulders—tucked-

the beach access, fire pit, bar and front lawn with a grass

away spots for lounging in the shade not far from Fort George.

stage (where they hope to have mini-concerts in the future) will

The secret alcoves enticed me to hatch some schemes of my

encourage a relaxed atmosphere. On the other hand, Aaron

own. This is, after all, a place once ruled by pirates, according

added, the dining room and upstairs lounge certainly have an

to HLSCC professor Dr Mitch Kent. Turtledoves cooed and gulls

upscale, intimate feel. www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

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“We wanted to have a fun, chilled-out vibe.”

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Above: Friends enjoy a savory sushi platter; the upstairs lounge provides an intimates dining setting. Opposite: The full moon illuminates what the warm fire could not. Bottom: Dining in the upstairs lounge.

With sunset cocktails in hand, this time a

Though full from the sushi and tapas, I

fruity creation called a Cinnamon Girl, we

perused CocoMaya’s menu and found many

relocated to CocoMaya’s main dining room

tempting options. There I discovered dishes

for tapas: tacos with halibut and mango salsa;

such as red snapper ceviche with baby grape

tacos with hoisin duck confit, sour cream

tomatoes, red onion, lime cilantro and blood

and chives; beef carpaccio with marinated

orange. Other menu items include chargrilled

mushrooms and wasabi mayo; empanadas

fillet; pad thai; ginger pork belly; and pan-

of duck with spiced apple puree; and

seared teriyaki chicken supreme with Asian

empanadas of short ribs with papaya slaw. A

greens, coconut rice and reduced soy jus.

quiet, candlelit table for two allowed me to

While some of the gang continued dining, I

catch up with one of my pals from Tortola who

joined a small group down on a cushioned

had recently moved to Virgin Gorda. With the

lounging platform by the fire pit. Unlike a

fire pit blazing on the beach, the palms rustling,

wood-burning campfire, the subtle blue and

and the full moon shining through the open

yellow gas flames did not get too hot, so we

retractable roof onto the sea, I understood a

could appreciate the beauty of the flickering

comment Kim had made about incorporating

fire without having to back away from too

the elements into the design of the restaurant.

much heat.

www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

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The lively bar complete with a friendly staff.

The upstairs lounge at CocoMaya transported me yet again. While the electronica set the mood, and I settled back into one of the cosy orange sofas with an aloe/cucumber gin and tonic, I couldn’t believe I had been swilling a beer on the beach earlier that evening, aligning myself to the pirates that once walked these shores. Once in the loft lounge, I felt refreshed and energized, like a globe-trotting socialite who had just stepped off a superyacht or private jet. Unfortunately, a private jet was not waiting for me; rather, a Speedy’s ferry, so I had to depart before the upstairs lounge turned into a dance party—something I would not be surprised to see and something else to look forward to for my next visit. CocoMaya, in Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, is open for dinner, happy hour and late-night cocktails Monday through Saturday and soon will be open for brunch on the weekends. PY

CocoMaya Tel: +1(284)495 6344 Fax: +(284) 495 6397 info@cocomayarestaurant.com www.cocomayarestaurant.com

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Dinghy Champi o nshi p s Busy BVI Waters A young participant readies her mast for a busy day on the water. All photos by Ed Childs.

By Brian Duff Youngsters took to the water last month in numbers for the BVI Dinghy

including a three-way tie for Laser 4.7 first place. (When sailboats end

Championships, hosted by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and launched out

up tied for overall score, the winner is determined by whomever scored

of Tortola’s Nanny Cay. This event showed a resurgence of interest and

more first-place finishes.) Both days the participants came out to the

participation by sailors outside of the Virgin Islands, bringing a true

beach to enjoy packed lunches prepared by membersTyler Dawson and

Caribbean international mix to compete. Participants from Trinidad,

Juila Lambert. The kids also enjoyed their long sleeve regatta shirts and

St Lucia, Antigua, St Martin, St Croix, St Thomas and St John came to

goody bags stuffed with swag donated by HIHO, Arawak and the BVI

race against our BVI Sailors in the Sir Frances Drake Channel. In total,

Tourist Board. Beautiful awards in the shape of the sail for each class were

54 boats and 58 youth sailors crowded the waters for the competition.

provided by Charterport and Charter Yacht Society BVI, with shipping

Winds were light and shifty, making for very challenging sailing

covered by Tortola Express. On Saturday night, we had all our guest

conditions under overcast skies with repeated rain showers. Nonetheless,

competitors, families and many local members down to the Yacht Club

our race committee, chaired by Bob Phillips, was able to get off 11 races

for a special dinner catered again by the chef moms. In total, the event

for most fleets, 7 for the advanced Opti fleet, over two days of racing.

was deemed an outstanding success, with more than 100 attendees who

The final results showed a very tight level of competition with multiple ties,

helped raise funds for the youth sailing programme. www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

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Participants search for a rare burst on the windless waters.

16

The final results of the regatta showed the strong

Maddox. The Laser Class sailboat is an Olympic Fleet boat

coaching skills of our new coach, Omari Scott, who has

and very challenging to sail. We had only two standard

been with us at the yacht club for six months and has

rig sailors, also the only two adults sailing, which was won

significantly improved the performance of many of our

by Mark Van Den Driesche from St Thomas. Laser Radial

sailors. Fifteen youngsters competed in the beginner fleet

and Laser 4.7 are classes of primarily juniors and they have

for Optimist Dinghy, the class where sailors learn the basics

progressively smaller sails to make them manageable

of racing. In that fleet, Skye Erhart from St John took first

for smaller sailors. The Radial Class was won by St Lucian

place, followed by Jowan James of Tortola, and Sean

Marcus Sweeny, followed by Rhone Findlay from St Martin

Hughes of St Thomas in third. This year, we also hosted a

and Hosea Williams of Anitgua.

mixed dinghy class consisting of Laser 2000, Wayfarer, Pico

There was only a three-point spread from first to third

and Bug class sailboats which was won by BVI sailor Abi

after all races concluded. The Laser 4.7 class is the smallest

VI PROPERTY & YACHT

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rig for sailors just coming out of the Optimist dinghy and moving into Laser. This class showed perhaps the tightest level of competition with the final result a three-way tie which was sorted out by allocating first place to BVI Sailor Mollee Donovan, who won a total of four first-place finishes; followed by BVI Sailor Matthew Oliver with three firsts; and, in third, Kelly-Ann Arrindell from Trinidad with two firsts. The largest fleet of the regatta this year was the Optimist Dinghy. Opti, for short, is the premier class for training youth sailors the world around, providing a stable platform for the very beginners and serving as the elite class for sailors up to 15 years old. The BVI Dinghy Championships also served as the qualifier for the BVI Team that will represent our country this year at the Optimist Worlds meet in Dominican Republic this summer. Of the 21 boats racing in the Opti Advanced fleet, they are scored collectively and additionally in age division fleets. The youngest fleet, White—for sailors 10 years old and under—and was championed by BVI Sailor Rayne Duff, followed by BVI Sailor Thad Lettsome and then St Martin racer Nathan Smith. The Blue Fleet, for sailors 11-12, was won by Teddy Nicolosi from St Thomas, followed by Rocco Falcone from Antigua and then Chris Sharpless of St Thomas. The Red Fleet, for sailors, age 13 to 15 was won by BVI Sailor Sam Morrell, followed by a second-place finish from St John racer Paige Clark, and third by the

Red fleet irst-place winner Sam Morrell (second from left) smiles among friends.

The top five qualifiers for Opti Worlds are Sam Morrel (1st overall), Jason Putley (3rd Overall), Rayne Duff (4th Overall), Thad Lettsome (7th overall) and Sam Childs (12th overall). Sam Childs also won the Sportsmanship Award this year for showing good spirit, and helping his competitors to ensure they knew the course and starts. Whether young or old, sailing in the BVI and beyond remains an intricate part of the Caribbean region’s core—and successful events like the BVI Dinghy Championships remain a testament to this strength. PY

BVI’s Jason Putley.

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JUNE 2012

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ModernComplements By Dan O’Connor Road Town’s bustling financial sector is guided through savvy business practice and international appeal. According to 2012 statistics from the International Finance Committee, there are currently more than 450,000 companies and 3,000 hedge funds registered in the territory. Though the BVI has continually found ways to attract business in modern times, it has largely remained rustic by design—until fairly recently. In our February issue, we highlighted the work of interior designer Debi Carson, who partnered with OBMI on the modern layout of Conyers Dill & Pearman two top floors of Commerce House. There, the use of subtle curves in sculpting walls and ceilings combined with a calculated use of linear space to promote the purposeful use of light. At the same time construction at Conyers concluded, financial services giant Ogier moved forward on a similar push toward modern design. The move, I’d find out, would be fundamental in allowing the company to sustain growth. Above: The elegant entrance to Ogier. Below: A break room fit for happy employees. All Photos By Dougal Thornton.

www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

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Right: DIRTT paneling brings light in and clients and employees together.

Last year at this time, the legal and fiduciary company Ogier encompassed five separate spaces across two locations outside Road Town. The facilities’ small size and apparent disconnect made upgrading a priority for the international business, which has enjoyed steady growth since first investing in the BVI in 2007. According to Ogier BVI Operations Coordinator Shernett Matthias, the separated spaces “meant disjoined business with additional overheads in time and challenges to business efficiencies; we had some people who rarely interacted with their colleagues in other teams—not conducive to the values of Ogier and the innovative approach to services our colleagues value.” So, just before the turn of the new year, they embarked on an ambitious plan to bring the company together under one roof—and two floors—as the first tenants of the Ashley Ritter building on Wickhams Cay II. Ogier enlisted the interior design work of OBMI, the construction services of Amorell Newton, the IT expertise from Think Simple and the survey help from BCQS. Ogier, as an international company with 10 locations globally, came to the table with ideas derived from the corporate style of their network of offices worldwide. “It wasn’t strictly telling us how to design, but they had expectations as far as finishes, furniture, lighting and quality of space go—essentially the overall Ogier look—which is a kind of corporate approach to getting consistency with high standards,” said Steve Fox, managing director of OBMI BVI, who

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added that Ogier was quite keen on ideas that allowed them to

of a button or create a private channel for personal conferences.

fall in line with modern design now trending elsewhere outside the

Also, multiple laptop plugs allow clients and coworkers to plug in

BVI. Steve worked closely with OBMI senior interior designer Penny

and control the conference with their portable devices—free of

Johnson on the project. “They were prepared to have offices with

clunky hard drives and personal computers, “So you’re eliminating

glazed doors—offices in the BVI that businesses have traditionally

the use for the AV guys,” he said.

steered away from. And this modern approach really worked so

Regarding the project as a whole, Steve Fox credited the

well for that building, especially since it has such great light flow,”

overall design to a company set on an idea of modernization

he said.

without a fear of overspending. “This is the prime example of a

Perhaps most striking about the use of space throughout

place really raising the bar with design elements,” he said. “And

the two floors is the utilization of DIRTT glazed walls and doors

maybe there will be even more doing so, because you’ll find that

to bring in light and transparency at every turn. “Wherever

it comes at a relatively reasonable cost.” In the end, he said, costs

you stand, you can see windows, so you never feel boxed in,”

remained attainable at a reasonable price and advanced

the OBMI director said. In total, 335,780 square inches of DIRTT

planning allowed the team to complete a modern project as a testiment to the times. PY

glass was used during the design process. Ogier also pushed to bring modern and high-speed technology into their office space. They called upon Think Simple to roll out 52,000 feet—or about 10 miles—of 10-giggabite Cat6A cable, which is currently the fastest copper cabling on the planet. “It’s like driving down a five-lane highway—that’s the sort of size and

Office Outfit at a Glance: 18,582: total square feet over 2 floors

space you’ve got for sending across data,” said Think Simple

335,780 square inches of glass

President Rusty Henderson.

49,418 electrical parts concealed inside walls

He further mentioned the conference rooms, which house a large area divided by a slideable partition. The challenge, he said,

2,160 lineal feet of base trim

was creating the two rooms separate from each other but with the

52,000 feet of copper cabling

ability to host one large meeting or two separate meetings at the

7 months construction time

same time. The two rooms can link up their audio-video at a touch

www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

21


VISAR Rescued Me “Casualty” Traci is safely transported from the beach to the rescue boat. Photos by Dan O’Connor.

By Traci O’Dea

22

The Virgin Islands Search and Rescue boat sped across the

“whoa is me” acting skills, sank into the sand and waited for the

Sir Francis Drake Channel toward Salt Island to conduct a

VISAR volunteers to come to my rescue. Paul soon crouched

training rescue on an acting casualty—me. As the 29-foot,

beside me and asked about my injury while Abi Hillman and

bright orange RIB bounced and bounded through the mildly

Russell Willings approached with the stretcher and first-aid kit. Their

choppy water at 45 knots, volunteer crew Paul Hubbard

professionalism and directness quickly made me forget that I was

asked if I was comfortable with the speed. “It’s fine,” I lied.

playing a role, and I answered Paul’s questions as if I were actually

I wanted to experience a true rescue mission which meant

wounded, candidly recounting past surgeries and broken bones.

appreciating that the time factor was crucial in saving lives in

While Paul assessed my status and my history, Abi took my pulse

remote locations. The Virgin Islands are lucky to have VISAR.

and blood pressure, and Russell administered oxygen after

The boat soon docked at Salt Island where the crew instructed

securing my head and neck. The VISAR crew treated my faux

me to walk down the beach and feign injury. I put on my best

injury of a sprained ankle with a vacuum splint then strapped

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I felt safe and protected after noting the crew’s expertise and attention. me onto a plastic stretcher, due to my reported

me onto the boat, and fastened me to the

spinal discomfort, in order to transport me back

padded platform. By that time, I felt safe and

to the boat. I felt comfortable on the stretcher

protected after noting the crew’s expertise and

until my hands were velcroed to my chest.

attention, so I zoned out (possibly as a result of

Paul said, “We do this so the casualty can’t

the oxygen) on the clouds above me, the only

reach out and grab onto things or grab onto us”

place my eyes could look since I couldn’t turn

in a way that might interfere with the safety of

my head. The returning ride across the Channel

the transport. I understood the logic of it, but my

felt smoother from the back of the boat, and

survival instinct wanted free hands to somehow

Paul monitored my vitals and condition as we

protect me if anything happened. I imagined

crossed. Normally, the boat would be met

the worst—falling into the sea with my body

by an ambulance once it reached the VISAR

strapped to the board. I was not Houdini, so

headquarters in Road Reef. The entire rescue

I didn’t think I could manage an underwater

had taken less than an hour.

disentanglement and escape. But the crew

In order to ensure a quick response to an

assuaged my fears and safely carried me, the

emergency situation, Paul stressed that those in

stretchered victim, down to the dock, loaded

need dial 767 to directly contact a VISAR

www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

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Volunteer VISAR crew member Paul Hubbard checks Traci’s vitals.

always result in launching the boat,” Paul said. A second 29-foot rescue boat is currently being custom built by TP Marine in Holland, to be launched out of the Virgin Gorda VISAR headquarters in Spanish Town. The VISAR launch record is available at www. visar.org, along with information on how to

coordinator. Dialing 911 or 999 will also

donate or volunteer. The organization

eventually reach a coordinator, after going

currently has about 30 trained volunteer

through BVI Emergency Services. As soon as

crewmembers in Tortola and 15 more based

I left the VISAR headquarters, I programmed

in Virgin Gorda, but they are always looking

VISAR Emergency as 767 into my phone’s

for

directory, and I believe everyone in the

fundraising or answering phones. “You can

more

volunteers—either

for

crew,

BVI should do the same. (767 is SOS on a

never have too many volunteers,” Paul said.

standard phone keypad.)

Crew training, which includes completing an

VISAR, a volunteer organization solely

Emergency First Response course, can take

funded by donations, answers an average of

up to a year to be “competently and

one shout per week over the course of the

confidently” completed. Interested parties or

year—some weeks they receive several

prospective volunteers can stop by VISAR’s

shouts per day while other weeks they

weekly meeting on Mondays at 6:30pm in

receive none. “The coordinators deal with a

Road Reef or on Tuesdays at 6pm in Spanish Town for more information. PY

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Memorable, Historical and Comfortable

Hammocks By Traci O’Dea

Some of my most vivid memories in the Virgin Islands

conforms to the loungers’ body shapes and allows the breeze

feature hammocks—playing on the enormous blue and

to flow beneath them. The rocking motion might also contribute

purple climbing hammocks at Trellis Bay, stretching out

to the relaxation one feels when swinging in a hammock. A

among the boulders above the sea at Baraka Point Estate,

June 2011 Current Biology article, “Rocking Synchronizes

swinging on a double chair hammock while listening to

Brain Waves in a Short Nap,” reports that “sensory stimulation

The Elmtones play in Cane Garden Bay, and watching the

associated with a swinging motion exerts a synchronizing

stars from a hammock strung between two palm trees on

action in the brain the reinforces endogenous sleep rhythms.”

Deadman’s Beach, Peter Island.

Or, in English, the results found “provide scientific support to the

The word hammock, according to “Hammock Lore and

traditional belief that rocking can soothe our sleep.”

History” by Hart Baur, came from the Carib Indians who used the

Hammocks come in various materials—fabric, rope, string—

fibers of the hamack tree to craft net beds—a skill they learned

with or without a wooden spreader bar. Roy Keegan at Arawak

from the Arawaks. The article “Hammocks Rockin’ History” on

Interiors in Road Reef Plaza said his bestsellers are vibrant,

History.com states that “suspended beds prevented contact

two-tone, breathable parachute silk hammocks that can

with the dirty ground and offered protection from snakes,

be washed in the laundry, dried outside in minutes, installed

rodents and other poisonous and pesky creatures” then were

anywhere, and packed into a small, drawstring bag. He also

later used to eradicate yellow fever because they “could

sells a lot of crocheted hammocks to villas and resorts such

easily be enclosed in mosquito netting.” The article also states

as Necker Island and Baraka Point, where guests can treasure

that by the late 1600s, hammocks became a crucial part of

their hammock time.

England’s navy, with sailors using the portable, cocoon-like beds because they moved in synch with the pitch of the ship. In addition to their practical purposes, hammocks also provide a cool, comfortable spot to relax on a beach, a porch, a campground, a backyard or a boat. The fabric or netting

26

VI PROPERTY & YACHT

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

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From the Underwater Lens

Playing in the Pool Words by Dan O’Connor

Photos by Paul Hubbard

Paul Hubbard first began his underwater pool portraits three years ago, shortly after inspiration hit while videoing a ballet performance. The dancer’s almost effortless performance—her body swaying and contouring in harmony—inspired the career photographer and cinematographer to capture similar motions in a dissimilar setting. “I wanted to take dance underwater and free the body from gravity; to get the poses and shapes that you can’t on land,” he said. He would find his otherworldly setting at the bottom of a pool.

Frozen Friendship Models Charlie and Traci took the plunge into lightly chlorinated pool water and posed playfully for the camera. Since the two are close pals, their chemistry came naturally. For Paul, the shot depended mostly on timing; “getting them both looking just right at the camera—eyes open at the same time.” Finding that moment, he said, “basically boiled down to trial and error.” The models remained gently submerged by light lead weights tied to their bikini backs. Neither the photographer nor the models used SCUBA equipment for this shoot, allowing for more communication between them above water but affording less time to shoot and some difficulties under water. Aperture: f5.6 Shutter: 1/100 sec

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VI PROPERTY & YACHT

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All Tied Up In this dramatic photo, Katie agreed to be tied by rope to a weight placed out of shot. Paul brought out the SCUBA gear for this one to ensure her safety. This added difficulty for the two to communicate, so the pose had to be choreographed before they submerged. “I wanted to look like she’d been tied to the bottom, but not dead, of course,” he chuckled. “I wanted to capture that mermaid quality.” Katie was framed slightly off-centre, using the rule of thirds, and a slight vignette added in postproduction haloed a slightly dark ring around the model. Aperture: f7.1 Shutter: 1/125 sec

Balanced to Perfection Paul had trouble remembering whether or not Maria had been captured at the moment she jumped in, or whether the former competitive swimmer had suspended herself concisely at the water’s break. I couldn’t tell either. “She was poised to perfection and easy to work with because of her athletic background,” Paul said. The pose helped to add almost perfect symmetry with a linear balance between Maria’s arms and legs. Her black bikini bottom and matching headband helped to further balance the photo, which Paul inverted in post production to add further interest to the piece. Aperture: f8 Shutter: 1/250 sec

www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

29


Phantom of the Water When Paul told his models to bring their own props, Kat went wild. She came ready to plunge in with a long piece of turquoise material and a Phantom of the Opera-like mask. “And when she was underwater, she took on this whole different personality,” he said. “She’s got loads of hair that really worked to compliment the flowing dress.” For this shot—and most shots—Paul shot at very close range to allow for a pronounced depth of field, and with a slow shutter at times to make the models appear “ghost like” with their somewhat blurred movements. Aperture: f4 Shutter: 1/40 PY

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VI PROPERTY & YACHT

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.


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YCCS

Virgin Gorda Marina and Clubhouse:

New Elegance in the North Sound By Traci O’Dea General Manager Keith Mutch welcomed me and Dan O’Connor onto the massive dock at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda, where I felt like a munchkin next to berths built for superyachts. Keith led us up the coralstone stairs to the square bar at the top of the clubhouse. The GM reminded me of a younger, taller Anthony Hopkins but with an enthusiastic South African accent instead of a smoldering British one. Keith’s enthusiasm stems from the fact that he’s the new kid in town at YCCS. He was recently brought over from running the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club to manage the YCCS, Virgin Gorda Marina and Clubhouse. Bartender Jamie Schultheiss served us refreshing champagne cocktails on embroidered linen napkins, and as we chatted with Keith, I watched a sailboat cruise by, as if on cue, boasting a Limoncello spinnaker. I asked Keith about his vision for the club, and he emphasized the fact that he did not want to compete with the other established hotels and restaurants in the North Sound; rather, he believes his guests aboard superyachts at the marina should be able to experience all the North Sound has to offer. He suggested that each venue has its own distinct personality and charm, and he has met with all the managers of the nearby resorts to discuss cross-marketing plans.

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VI PROPERTY & YACHT

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Left: The grassy meeting grounds in front of the clubhouse. Above right: The circular lobby to the clubhouse; the executive lounge. All photos by Anya Brewley-Schultheiss.

YCCS, Virgin Gorda offers, according to Keith, an elegance

watercolors and coral motifs. Every square inch of the clubhouse is

comparable with its sister club in Porto Cervo. “After spending time at

impeccably finished, including the stunning circular marble foyer,

Porto Cervo, I can see what the picture is, and we are going to mirror

chart room, indoor dining room, cathedral-ceilinged great room,

that here. The members from Porto Cervo are going to expect that

infinity pool, lush lawns and umbrella-clad patio.

level of service.” Dan and I got the royal treatment that day, where

But, YCCS, Virgin Gorda is not just about luxury, it’s also about the

our wishes were practically predicted then met then surpassed. “If

sailing. While Dan nibbled on a bison steak, and I savored a salad of

you’re staying on a boat in the North Sound, and there’s a night you

lobster, shrimp, kiwi, pineapple, grapefruit and arugula, we discussed

want to put on your little black number,” he said, “we’re the place

YCCS, Virgin Gorda’s plans for their sailing programme. “We’ve got

to do it. And we’ll gladly come and fetch you.” Keith inspired me to

the superyacht regattas,” Keith said. “They are run out of Porto Cervo.

want to go shopping for a new “little black number,” and, perhaps,

Their season is now [in the Mediterranean]…then in the middle of

a yacht.

November, the Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta is coming here.

The décor of the club reflects a level of taste synonymous with

They’ll arrive here at the end of November, and they’ll be here for

the Mediterranean—an understated nautical theme displayed in

November, December, Christmas, and the New Year. Then they’ll

accessories and fabrics such as sea urchin table accents, wooden

disappear into the wild, blue yonder, and they’ll be back for the Loro

model ships and cushions covered in subtle square knot patterns, koi

Piana Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous in March.” www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

33


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Jan Pachner, YCCS Secretary General, said in an email, “We are constantly working on finding suitable ideas to increase the number of sailing events that we host at YCCS, Virgin Gorda. In order to achieve this we are in constant contact with different classes and owners for whom we organize a wide variety of regattas and races at our home Sign up online at

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VI PROPERTY & YACHT

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base, YCCS, Porto Cervo. Most of which are fleet races attracting performance race yachts from different yards/designers like Melges, Farr, Nautor Swans, TPs, all the way up to maxi and superyachts.” While Jan emphasized the importance of focusing on the owners, Keith mentioned that he wants to put something together with the


8 OFFSHORE JURISDICTIONS

GOAL

Above: From the tiki hut, the view over the infinity pool. Opposite: A glimpse inside the lobby.

bragged of the marina’s “natural depth of nine metres” which “did not require any dredging.” neighboring establishments that cater to the

He added, “One can see sea turtles and sting

captains and crew. “Having spoken with a

rays swimming around, and we are dedicated

number of the captains at this last regatta, I’ve

to preserving this natural beauty.”

realized that they’re actually driving the boat—

Just when we thought we’d finished lunch,

For more information, please contact: Michael Burns Managing Partner - BVI +1 284 852 5318 mburns@applebyglobal.com

figuratively and literally. They’ll say to the owners,

Keith ordered us dessert. A sampler of delicacies

‘Let’s go back to YCCS, the dock is nice, we’ve

appeared in the form of white chocolate and

got something to do, and you’ve got something

almond cheesecake, Grand Marnier-soaked

to do.’ It’s natural that the owners are important,

strawberries, tiramisu, and a white chocolate

and their guests are important. We’ll look after

and dark chocolate terrine. We thought it would

them.” But Keith also wants to look after the

be rude to turn it down, so Dan and I dove in as

captains and the crew.

Keith mentioned possible future plans for the

In addition to looking after the visitors to the

marina and clubhouse. “We plan to open a gym

Bermuda

Hong Kong

Mauritius

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marina, the YCCS, Virgin Gorda team also hopes

and a spa,” he said, “and we would like to get a

British Virgin Islands

Isle of Man

Seychelles

to look after our precious islands. The marina has

ferry from Road Town to the North Sound” to

Cayman Islands

Jersey

Shanghai

a recycling programme in place and supports

attract residents of the territory’s capital to come

the efforts of Green VI. In his email, Jan Pachner

experience YCCS, Virgin Gorda. PY

Guernsey

London

Zurich

www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

35


Shackin’ Up

BacktoNature By Dan O’ Connor

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VI PROPERTY & YACHT

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.


Nature Boy poses with his toys at his playground. Photos by Dan O’Connor.

In 2008, Winston, who is most commonly known as Nature Boy, brought a grill to the end of the beach and started flipping burgers and chicken and fish for the tourists that typically walked the length of the beach from the popular Long Bay Beach Resort. While the resort dominates one end

“…It’s more something like pure nature— powerful, man. That’s where Nature Boy came from.”

of the lengthy beach, Nature Boy’s barbeque settled on its secluded side, away from the restaurant, bar and villas. “It was like a nice little sunset-happy-hour thing in the beginning, but it was rough to get things going because the place was just deserted,” he said, adding that he averaged about $40 in sales his first couple of weeks on the beach. “I think I gave up like 20 times. I don’t know what it was, though, man. I’d see the people coming down to see me—smiling—and it made me feel special.” So, he stuck with it. His love for the location and the beach prompted him to build a small tin shelter, up a small enclave from the beach, where he began the first level of what would eventually become an unraveling project complete with more than a mile of trails and multiple huts. Think PeeWee’s Playhouse on the beach. From his first shelter, Nature Boy built downward, onto the beach. The

When Winston Molyneaux first visited Long Bay beach on Tortola’s

beach-level shack now stands as his main bar, complete with a palm-

northwestern coast in the mid 1980s, he said he was guided there by a

thatched roof and wooden supports collected from salvaged materials.

rainbow. The idyllic scenery, complete with a thick patch of palms crested

While sturdy enough to weather some tough storms, the shack has been

upon a long stretch of white sand beach, would become his Virgin Islands

toppled and sucked into the sea on two occasions: First, in the summer of

respite—and eventually his own personal playground.

2008 with Hurricane Omar, then two years later during Hurricane Earl. Both

“When I first came down here, I was like, ‘Wow, man’,” said Winston, with a

intense storms crushed the north shores with category-three intensity.

half-grin and his typical intensity. “I was totally into it. I was thinking of a name

“This here, this is like an imaginary, temporary bar, and if the sea touch it,

for the place—maybe something to do with that rainbow. … But, I thought,

if wind blow it, you never know what could bust it down,” he said as we sat

it’s more something like pure nature—powerful, man. That’s where Nature Boy

in the shack’s tiny interior, which usually remains sparsely stocked with a few

came from.”

twelvers of beer and a small assortment liquor and mixers. He also carries

www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

37


Nature Boy tidies his trails. Photo by Gemma Salaman.

It’s unclear how Nature Boy and other like beach vendors have been able to operate under similar conditions, seemingly taking to their ventures free of legal red tape. Recently, government officials have put a halt to many unlicensed vendors on the neighbouring beach at Smugglers Cove; many continue to spring up on the beach at Cane Garden Bay on cruise ship days. Some residents, he said, like those living in the neighbouring Belmont Estate, have complained about his establishment on the beach. Others, though, continue to come a Bible close at all times, and a machete near for

impressive mile of trails through the largest patch of

customers in need of a handy coconut butcher. Of

coconut trees on Tortola, clear to a large salt pond.

his shack, Nature Boy said, “I guess you could say I

Most of the trail was personally cleared by the hand—

did it up like they did it 200 years ago: chopping up

and machete—of Nature Boy.

wood, making rafters and just covering them with

“A lot of people would pass through, maybe on

anything that’s in front of you. … If I build it up too

their way to Smugglers [Cove], and were missing all of

much, it’s just going to look too modern.”

[the trails],” he said. “It seemed condemned almost.

Behind the maze of ramshackle thatch huts and

So I chopped the overgrown grass and used a pile

tin shelters, Nature Boy is happy to show his customers

of rocks … to create this trail—to give the people

and passers by the entrance to what leads into an

something to do; walk their dogs, or whatever.”

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VI PROPERTY & YACHT

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back year after year to enjoy his signature rum punch and hike the trails he spent months clearing. But, whatever happens, Nature Boy said he’ll be happy he had the time he has had in his own personal paradise. “This was my dream come true here; the place I always wanted,” he said. “A lot of people tell me not to leave it … like rich tourists. They tell me: ‘Nature boy, let’s trade places. You be a lawyer or a doctor or whatever in New York, and let me take your job.’ I say, ‘No, thank you.’” PY


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JUNE 2012

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VI PROPERTY & YACHT

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Above: Windows and doors open for breeze or closed for protection from the elements. Left: Louvered windows compliment a clean design. Photos provided by OBMI.

Windows&Doors By Steve Fox, Managing Director OBMI British Virgin Islands Windows and doors. Not the sexiest subject for an article—

the most spectacular views. We design most homes around the

you might think. But wait! Before you turn the page, consider

views, and most clients naturally want to maximise the openings

that the cost of these elements in a beautiful new home in

to take full advantage of the potential of their site. So most major

the Virgin Islands can amount to between 15 to 25 percent

spaces in the house—living areas and bedrooms—typically want

of the overall building construction cost. Given that even the

to feature a large, glazed opening, wide and full height, usually

most modest three-bedroom home is likely to cost upwards

stepping out to a deck or terrace. But these large openings are

of $500,000 to construct, the cost of the windows and doors

not cheap, and they’re not simple. There are a multitude of

is likely to be very significant. Added to this is the fact

possible types and configurations: sliding, hinged, folding, French,

that doors and windows are abundantly important for the

etc. Possibilities need to be considered carefully, to determine

successful atmosphere and function of the building.

the most suitable approach. The selection of the framing material

Windows and doors perform a wide range of functions, and

combines with these decisions. Wood, aluminium and vinyl are

it’s the careful consideration of these functions that makes up a

the usual choices with their differing properties, maintenance

large part of the art of designing a home. When sketching out

needs and costs.

ideas, it’s not just the sizes and relationships of the rooms that

As well as letting in light and opening up the house to the views,

need to be considered. The designer needs to keep in mind

windows and doors provide natural ventilation. If the house is

a multitude of factors, and an obvious primary factor is the

well designed and the prevailing weather conditions are taken

placement of the openings in the building envelope. I always try

into consideration, the openings can be arranged to catch the

to imagine the feel of the spaces—the sense of openness and

breeze and keep all the rooms comfortable, without the need

flow of air and light—when developing ideas for a new client.

for expensive, unnatural and energy-hungry air conditioning. We

The size, quantity and orientation of the openings are

always aim to incorporate openings on at least two sides of a

obviously particularly crucial for homes in the BVI, where we have

space to ensure the possibility of a controllable flow of air. www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

41


A linear hallway lit by strategically aligned windows and doors.

But there’s a complication. If you want to keep

out of those big openings for most of the day.

the windows open to catch the breeze, you also

Of course, the envelope of the building has to

need to be mindful of the Caribbean climate’s

resist more than just wind, sun and rain showers. We

tendency to suddenly—without warning—dump a

also have major storms and hurricanes to contend

load of rain in frequent, two-minute bursts. In the

with, which adds another layer of complexity

house I live in (not designed by OBMI), whenever

and expense to the design and specification of

one of these showers passes, we have to run

the windows and doors. Impact resistance has

around frantically closing windows. It’s not unusual

become the expectation, with beefed-up frames

to be woken in the middle of the night, totally

and fixings, and thickly laminated glass that won’t

drenched from the rain driving in horizontally

break under even the most severe attack by flying

through the bedroom window, to leap out of bed

debris. The other attacker that needs to be kept

to shut down the windows—and thereby cutting off

out is the dreaded mosquito, and the decision

all that wonderful cooling ventilation.

on whether or not to incorporate insect screens is

So, the house should ideally be designed so

often a difficult one, coupled with the question of

that doors and windows can be left open when

whether or not the spaces will want air conditioning.

it’s raining. The two best ways of achieving this are

All of these questions need to be assessed

the use of louvres, and large overhangs. Louvres

simultaneously. Views, light, space, ventilation, rain,

are great for the non-view side of the house, where

sun, storms, insects, maintenance, costs, external

they can be left open to allow airflow but also

and internal aesthetics—all design issues which are

keep out most of the rain and maintain privacy

complicated and challenging, and very satisfying

and security. Large overhangs are great on the

when they all work together to help create a

view side of the house, where as well as providing

beautiful living environment. PY

shelter from the rain, they can keep the direct sun

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BVI PG APR 2012 - Brooks.indd 1 VI PROPERTY & YACHT

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

OBMINEWS.COM 3/8/2012 12:58:41 PM


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Coming Clean

Story and photos by Dan O’Connor

Cleanup crews take to Cane Garden Bay

Divers gear up for an underwater cleanup.

I’ve lived in Cane Garden Bay for more than two years—

Last month, a few dozen residents, tourists and business

and I can’t think of anywhere else in the Virgin Islands

owners combined and took to the waters of Cane Garden

I’d rather be. The cozy community provides all the

Bay to assist in the first annual Underwater Beach Clean-

necessities and beauties I could ask for. But its plentiful

up, sponsored by Myett’s, the BVI Tourist Board and several

splendors are no secret. Hoards of tourists head down to

local dive companies. Some SCUBA’d and others snorkeled,

the popular travel destination by rental car, safari bus or

with the intent of cleaning trash from the seabed that hosts

by boat every day, and the environmental impact has

dozens of charter boats and thousands of beach dwellers

fallen just short of devastating. However, those that love

on a weekly basis.

the beach and the environment that supports it are far

Event organizer and Myett’s Garden Grill chef Don

from letting go of the tropical gem.

Schoenberg said he participated in the beach cleanup

with the intent of not only removing trash from the seabed but also to make an example for others.

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From left: Curiosity killed the lionfish? Divers drop trash after a successful sea scrub.

“Yeah, we’ll get the debris out of here, and that should allow the fish to come

up into delicious samples for participants. I’d compare lionfish to that of a light

back and should make the water clearer, but we want people to know what

tilapia or mahi texture and taste—perfected with squeeze of lemon and a dash

we’re doing and why we’re doing it,” Schoenberg said, against the backdrop

of seasoning.

of 16 charter boats moored in the bay. “We did this on a Wednesday because

Dive BVI instructor Maron Napier was on hand to participate in what would

we were hoping that the boats out here would see us cleaning the water and

be at least her 20th cleanup. Such exercises, she said, are “very significant” to

they’d think twice before throwing something overboard; most of the litter here

seabed upkeep—especially at a highly travelled beach like Cane Garden Bay.

is coming from these boats, and sometimes the only way to get someone to

“You’ve got to remember that marine life—like octopus, for example—that

stop something is by rubbing their nose in it.”

eat things like fishing line, plastic cups and other trash that will kill them,” she

The event not only helped to sweep the ocean floor, but it also netted a nice

said as she sorted through three large mounds of varied trash on the beach.

donation for Project AWARE Foundation, a growing movement of international

“It’s best to get [trash] out as soon as we can—it let’s the people on the beach

SCUBA divers that are similarly involved in seabed cleanups. Half of the proceeds

know what a problem it really is.”

from the pig roast and beach party sponsored by Myett’s will also go to an

As cleanup teams sorted through trash, everything from the expected cups

upcoming summer cleanup at Cooper Island. As of press time, the time and

and beer bottles to more shocking items like umbrellas, barbeques and both

date of the Cooper cleanup were unavailable.

male and female unmentionables made their way from the ocean basin to

Local SCUBA companies and divers were equally involved in the cleanup,

what would soon be an appropriate dumping ground. Local SCUBA members

and donated their time and equipment to more than a dozen participants.

of Aware said they would share their findings with the foundation to document

Among them, Sail Caribbean, UBS Dive Centre, Dive BVI and Jost Van Dyke

the type of rubbish making its way to the ocean belly. Most of these odd items

SCUBA Centre lined the beachfront eager to help out. While diving, the

either fall from the charter boats or are carelessly left on the beach to be

teams were also able to trap or shoot a total of 40 lionfish, the beautiful yet

washed away. During a heavy cruiseship and mooring day, the beachside

treacherous invasive creature that is wreaking havoc on reef ecosystems in the

spectacle was enough to get some people thinking twice before dumping their odd items overboard. PY

Caribbean. Some of the lionfish were handed over to chef Schoenberg, who shaved off their poisonous spines, lightly seasoned them, and cooked them

www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

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EndlessFascinations By Dan O’Connor

Aileen Malcolm draws inspiration from the bright rays that shine heavy on the Virgin Islands. Her use of vibrant colours, detailed textures and comical scenes from the VI help characterize her work. She works mainly with watercolour and pen and largely displays scenes from the British Virgin Islands, where she has called home for the past 24 years—but she thrives on diverse scenes and styles. From the overweight cruise ship passengers commonly found beached at Cane Garden Bay to the varied shacks and buildings that help define the territory’s enchanting neighbourhoods, Aileen has a way of animating a canvas.

All art by Aileen Malcolm and available for purchse at The Gallery in Road Town.

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JUNE 2012

47


“When people ask me my profession, I always feel guilty saying ‘artist.’I feel it’s a very private thing.”

The travelled artist grew up in the United Kingdom and studied art before moving to Canada then New York to raise five children. Raising the kids was tough after her husband passed, she said, so painting had to take a back seat until her children finished school and moved away. Then, after moving to Tortola, she found herself devoting much of her time back to art. “Living here allows me the freedom to paint, and I stayed because there is so much inspiration; the light, which is so incredible, allows me to find inspiration everywhere,” she said during an interview from her Road Town home, which also doubles as her art studio. “These inspirations are why you won’t see my paintings on just one subject; it’s those things that make me laugh in life … or I can be fascinated by shadows, or the uniqueness of buildings, or nature.” Aileen soon became involved with groups of artists that met during the week mostly to paint—and other times to socialize. She eventually found herself more seriously perusing her passion for paint and pen at small group meetings weekly at her home. Together, with artists like Jill Tattersal, Jinx Morgan, Christine Taylor and Donna Hood, Aileen said she’s creatively stimulated through similarly serious-minded artists. Aileen and members from the group display their prints for sale at The Gallery off Main Street in Road Town. “I paint five days a week now; I won’t let myself paint on Friday or Monday—that’s laundry, bank and shopping time,” she said, adding that while she legally claims herself an artist by profession, she tries to avoid labels. “When people ask me my profession, I always feel guilty saying ‘artist.’ I feel it’s a very private thing.”

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Aileen has recently displayed her work in a series

titled “A Walk Down Main Street” at Sugar Works

Museum outside Road Town. The event featured 39

pieces from a collection that detailed both the historic

and newer buildings that line Main Street. Many of the

homes and buildings bright and bold, others run down

past repair, the collection helped to shine a light on the capital city’s most historic road.

The series was originally inspired by a walk taken down the usually busy street over a desolate Easter holiday weekend. After snapping about 70 photos of houses and businesses, she came up with about 15 to 20 paintings—paintings that would later prompt local artist Ruben Vanterpool to approach her about doing a showing at Sugar Works. After agreeing to the project, Aileen said she focused on the potential publicity her work could bring to the street that has a story to tell from Pussers to the old prison and beyond. “I’d see these old buildings being torn down, and I started to make a diary of what was there—to preserve the memory,” she said of her years observing Main Street. “I’d like to try to stop them from pulling any more buildings down and instead restore them a bit.”

Aileen poses at her home studio.

The painter’s fascinations have ventured far past a walk down Main Street. She is also an avid traveller who plans a new adventure every year. Aside from lively pictures of Carnival, beach scenes and tropical nature settings, Aileen’s home-studio is also decorated with views from around Europe and most recently

Currently, though, five unfinished sketches line her

through Latin and Southern America. In these different

workstation—each of lively Carnival scenes. The robust

environments, she pointed out, unique shadows help

curves of costume-clad parade revelers are beginning

define their locale. A few days before our interview, she

to come to life on their canvasses. She’ll take a step

returned from the Galapagos Islands, where she spoke

back from them, review some photos and start again,

of the wonders that undoubtedly would encourage

she said. From one fascination to the next, Aileen moves on. PY

otherworldly creations.

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JUNE 2012

49


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Scenes from the BVI Yacht Brokerage Showcase at BEYC. All photos by Yacht Shots BVI.

The Business of

Brokering Dreams

yachts, entering their 420-strong fleet at their location in Road Town. There, Richard Vass, who manages the yacht brokerage side of the Benetau heavy fleet, expressed his pleasure at the global demographic their sales have reached. “This year, I have seen more speculative buyers than ever,” he explained.

By Stephen L. France

“The last three boats were sold to South America. Also Norway,

The current economic climate has dictated the decline of

South Africa and Australia are on at 30-strong sales so far this

many industries across the world. But in the BVI, where many

year.”

find their sailing Mecca, those in the aquatic industries

In the North Sound, BVI Yacht Sales, The Moorings and 123

continue to report a healthy market. April hosted two boat

Hulls displayed their clients’ prized vessels during the four-day

showcases as part of events that consistently promote

boat show. Representatives from each firm revealed varying

yachting trade in the islands.

perceptions of the BVI boat brokerage market—an industry all

The Bitter End Yacht Club, which has prospered for 37 years

agreed remained ripe with opportunity.

as a luxury water sports resort in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda,

Chris Simpson, owner and broker of BVI Yacht Sales, explained

was proud to hold its first annual BVI Yacht Brokerage Showcase.

that the charter market is still highly competitive, allowing for

Exhibiting 19 boats intended for purchase by private owners, the

buyers to acquire great value boats. Subsequently, business has

Quarterdeck Marina received a full set of slips.

been good for his company.

On the same weekend, The Moorings, which have been

“The boats in the BVI are a pristine fleet and we are very proud

hosting yachting vacations for over 40 years, presented their new

of that; it has kept us in business for 25 years,” said the BVI Yacht Sales owner. “This year has been good; we currently have 28 boats that have passed through our books, and that’s a few more than last year.” Rourke Henderson, Managing Director of 123 Hulls and a Yacht Broker with over 20 years of experience spanning Fort Lauderdale and California, shared a perspective as a newcomer to the BVI market. Since joining 123 Hulls in December 2011, his impression of the industry has been relatively positive. “There’s a really good market here, not just in the BVI necessarily, but in the whole Caribbean,” he said. Continuing, Henderson commented that the aesthetics and www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

51


This careful relationship—the one that brings prospective buyers together with their nautical dreams— continues to evolve.

remain a target for 123 Hulls, since they are noticing a lack of representation in this niche market. Bitter End’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing John Glynn reflected on the North Sound brokerage event, explaining that it was organized for people to relish boat hunting while enjoying a great vacation spot.

geographical location of the BVI is a major allure for boat buyers

The VP, who has 25 years of experience with Bitter End, said

and sellers, sustaining the yacht brokerage market. “They want

that although in the boat show’s first year “there [was] room

to buy a boat that’s already here and get sailing…It’s one of the

for improvement,” he received positive responses about the

top three sailing destinations in the world,” he said, adding that

concept, and added that potential buyers expressed their desire

he was recently able to sell three boats for asking price.

to return for a second year.

Henderson, who stressed his commitment to the Yacht

The Bitter End executive concluded that he believed the

Brokers Association of America—which upholds ‘professional

event granted brokers a good level of exposure with fringe

competence and ethical conduct’ regarding brokerage—

benefits that would be revealed in the future.

remains optimistic about the local market. He reiterated his

In aftermath of the events, a representative from BVI Yacht

ambition to take advantage of the territory’s large selection of

Sales—the longest standing Yacht brokerage in the BVI since

boats that he believes are currently selling below market value.

1981—provided further information on general aspects of the

He also suggested that larger vessels—those above 50 feet—

yacht brokerage industry’s current state. Brian Duff, a broker who

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52

VI PROPERTY & YACHT

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has been selling boats with the company for 3 years and spent 15 years as a sailboat rigger, explained that the broker-client relationship is governed by excellent customer service. “[We] specifically, [recognize] that most buyers are buying a boat in a foreign country for the first time and thus a higher degree of hand-holding is required to ensure the buyer is comfortable with the ancillary arrangements concerning such things as dockage, maintenance,” he said. “This means we end up becoming good friends with our buyers and sellers and have a high rate of repeat sellers and buyers.” This careful relationship—the one that brings Above: 123 Hulls broker Rourke Henderson (left) awaits potential buyers on the quarterdeck.

prospective buyers together with their nautical dreams—continues to evolve in the BVI. In a place distinguished as one of the sailing capitals of the world, little introduction is needed to describe the vested interest instilled in our cherished waters. It is up to the yacht owners, brokers and buyers to maintain the business with resilience. PY

Owen Waters contributed reporting to this article.

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JUNE 2012

53


Recording our Reefs By Lain Leoniak

Divers participate in 2011 Reef Check excercises. Photos provided by Trish Baily.

Why is it important to monitor the BVI’s coral reefs?

This is not a foregone conclusion. There are things you and

Because monitoring is the crucial first step we can take

I can do such as supporting and even participating in coral

toward preserving them. Coral reefs cover less than 1

reef monitoring programs. Reef Check International is one

percent of the earth’s surface but are home to over 25

such program that uses community volunteers to regularly

percent of marine fish species. They generate in excess

monitor and report on reef health.

of $375 billion dollars annually in goods and services

Reef Check is the only volunteer coral reef monitoring

and provide jobs for over 500 million people worldwide.

program operating in the BVI. A dedicated and experienced

But coral reefs are in crisis. At current rates, 70 percent

group of BVI Reef Check volunteers, led by charter boat

of the world’s coral reefs will be destroyed by 2050. Over-

operator Trish Baily, have been gathering data on the

fishing, illegal fishing, pollution and climate change

territory’s coral reefs since 1998. The 2012 Reef Check team

threaten these fragile ecosystems.

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“The way Reef Check worked this year is a very good example of citizen science working.” —Trish Baily operators, a student from Cedar School, a staff member from HLSCC and members of the BVI’s business community. After months of planning, the team left the dock bright and early aboard Braveheart, a charter boat owned and operated by Jerry Blair, and headed for Pelican Island where the team collected fish, invertebrate and substrate data. They looked for specific fish and inverts like snapper, parrotfish, grunts, butterflyfish, grouper, pencil urchins, flamingo tongue snails, sea whips and other gorgonians. These indicator species are important because they can be used to aid marine managers in determining the health of the reef. The team assessed the substrate to determine how much was covered in hard or soft coral, sponge, rock, rubble or recently killed coral. “The way Reef Check worked this year is a very good example of citizen science working,” Baily said. “I was thrilled to see the dive operators, and staff from the dive operators and members of the Charter Yacht Society and the BVI business community participating in the vital effort to get data on the status of our reefs.” In addition to the Pelican Island site, the process was repeated at Spyglass Reef, Diamond Reef and Bronco Billy (Dogs) using dive boats and equipment donated by SailCaribbean and Dive BVI, and the charter vessel Braveheart. These are the same four sites Baily and her team of volunteers have been monitoring since 1998. The data was then reviewed for accuracy before being sent to Reef Check International where it was added to their database to be later made available to marine managers and the public.

Based on data collected by thousands of Reef Check volunteers in over 80 countries and territories, Reef Check released a report in 2002 that was one of the first to document the dramatic global decline in coral reef health over a five-year period. The report concluded that there was virtually no reef in the world that remained untouched by human impacts, such as over-fishing, pollution and climate change. Reef Check’s continued success depends entirely upon the caring volunteers within the BVI community who generously donate their resources and time to this important work. Numerous success stories have shown that when proper monitoring is combined with management and protection, coral reefs can recover and thrive once again. It is up to us. PY

Lain Leoniak grew up on Tortola and is the Conservation Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy in the BVI.

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Property Listing TORTOLA H9 Lovely Lot at Ballast Bay: Beautiful Ballast Bay Lot now available. Glorious views of Cane Garden Bay and Jost Van Dyke. US$120,000 (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

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$850,000 (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

H8 1 acre Lot, Glorious Cane Garden Bay views: A rare Lot on Luck Hill with fantastic views of Cane Garden Bay. Beautiful sunsets. Very buildable. One not to be missed! US$225K (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

H8 Cane Garden Bay Cottages: Two delightful cottages set within landscaped palm fringed gardens, less than 50 yards from the beach. Set in under 2 acres, prime investment property. US$1.295K (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

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 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

G10 Hummingbird House: Located in the prestigious Belmont Estate only moments from Smugglers Cove and Long Bay beaches, this delightful home has been extensively remodeled by the current owner, an English Architect with over 20 years island experience designing first class, luxurious homes. Pleasing proportions and scale, elegant finishes and fixture choices of the highest quality and wonderful ocean, island and sunset views. US$2,495,000 (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

H9 Rose Lodge, 3 bedrooms Windy Hill *PRICE REDUCTION*: Beautiful hillside setting with exceptional island and sunset views. Two bedroom main house with lovely gardens and lawn. Delightful views of Cane Garden Bay from very private guest house. US$795K (284) 495 3000 www.coldwellbankerbvi.com | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com

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

G10 Waveland: Waveland is a uniquely private, 3-bed, 2-bath luxury villa with a spectacular elevated position and a magnificent view. A covered lanai with full wet bar connects the living area, two guest bedrooms and master bedroom with unique his and her bathroom suites. US$695,000 (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM

K9 Hodge's Creek Land: 0.8 acres beautiful parcel of land with a magnificent view over Hodge's Creek Marina. US$400,000 US$275,000 (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM

G10 Far Pavilion: A spacious deck makes a wide-open living space where a new definition of “lounge” can be created. The magnificent view constantly calls your attention. On the other side of the pool is a charming guesthouse with ensuite bathroom. The proximity to Long Bay Resort provides easy access to all its amenities: restaurant, spa, pool and of course, the beautiful beach. US$1,300,000 (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM

L8 THREE BEDROOM WATERFRONT HOUSE: Located at the southern end of Tortola with views of Beef Island and the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Close to beaches and amenities. US$795,000 (284) 494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

G10 2 BEDROOM HOUSE AT BELMONT ESTATE: Overlooking Smuggler’s Cove and offering spectacular views of Jost Van Dyke. Main house with great room, kitchen and master bedroom suite. Separate guest cottage. 0.8 acres. US$775,000 (284) 494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

Casa Del Mar: Newly constructed 4 bedrooms exceptional family home located on Tortola’s north side. This home is situated in a very private community, near to Tortola’s great beaches, Cane Garden Bay to the west and Brewer’s Bay to the north. This beautiful home sits on 0.399 of an acre. US$890,000 contact monica@trudebvi.com | (284) 494-2500 | www.trudebvi.com

Sea Cow’s Bay Land: Located near Oleander Estate in the hills above Sea Cow’s Bay, these 6 Lots have spectacular views; these lots are perfect to build your dream home. Lots are from .6 of an acre 1.0 acre, these lots are ready to build with water, electricity and cable available. US$85,000+ contact dameon@trudebvi.com | (284) 494-2500 | www.trudebvi.com. H9 Cane Garden Bay: Hillside Land with stunning ocean views located in Cane Garden Bay; 0.596 of an acre; 1.472 acres & 2.00 acres, any of these lots could be yours today to start the home of your dreams. Contact dameon@trudebvi.com | (284) 494-2500 | www.trudebvi.com

Private Lots for Sales 0.5 Acres: Located on the North Shore are two parcels of land, with stunning views, available to build your own dream home. US$100,000+ View at www.trudebvi.com | | contact Monica (284) 494-2500

(284) 495 4825

Great Mountain Area: 4 Lots in a Private Estate for sale | prices start at US$67,000

G10 2 BEDROOM, 2 BATH CONDO: Set within Long bay Beach Resort and operated within the hotel rental pool, the apartment has one full kitchen and one kitchenette and affords beautiful ocean views. Direct access to the hotel amenities and within walking distance to the beach. US$299,000

(284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

(284) 494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

J9 SPACIOUS 3 BEDROOM VILLA AT KINGSTON: Two separate buildings connected by a swimming pool terrace with split level living-dining area and large kitchen. Master bedroom suite and two guest suites. Prevailing breeze and expansive channel views only five minutes away from Road Town. US$1,099,000 (284) 494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

K9 5 BEDROOM BEACHFRONT VILLA WITH PRIVATE DOCK: Beautifully positioned on historical Fort Hodge Point, with extensive water frontage including two sandy beaches and full serviced dock. The 5 bedroom residence with swimming pool terrace encompasses approx. 4,500 sf and captures spectacular views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Spacious great room with covered dining porch. master bedroom suite and separate pavilion with three guest suites and game room. Self-contained lower studio apartment. US$5,900,000 (284) 494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

Lambert Condo: Fully furnished studio apartment in Lambert Beach Resort. Enjoy the pool and amenities of Resort. Beach only a few steps away, as is the restaurant. Nearby laundry and ample parking. US$210,000 (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM

Turtle Dove Cottages - *NEW*: Tortola, Apple Bay. One 2-bed villa and three 1-bed cottages on 1 acre lot 300 ft above the golden beaches of Long Bay and Apple Bay. Excellent investment opportunity. US$1,500,000 (284) 494 5700 | BVISIR.COM

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Cooten Bay Home for Sale: Owner Motivated – New on the market - Beautifully designed and finely executed this 4 bedroom, 3 bath main house along with a 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment located off the Ridge Road, is a steal at this price. Purchase today and use the income from the rented apartment to pay your mortgage. Bring your clothes and move into this architectural beauty which features Brazilian cherry wood flooring, granite counter tops, modern fixtures and luxurious furnishings. US$975,000 contact monica@trudebvi.com | (284) 494-2500 | www.trudebvi.com

Looking for an Investment Opportunity? We have the deal of a lifetime for you; an apartment complex with 5 income generating apartments and there’s room to add others. At $675,000.00 this property will not be around for long; call us today to finalize your sale! dameonn@trudebvi.com | (284)494-2500 | www.trudebvi.com

L8 1/2 acre Lot: available at Hawks Nest. Simply stunning views back to Virgin Gorda. Very buildable. US$145,000.00 (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

J8 1 acre Lot: available at Trunk Bay. Breath taking beach and island views, all the way down the island chain to Necker Island! US$295,000.00 (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

K7 ½ acre Lot: available at Little Bay. Walk to beautiful beach from this very buildable Lot. US$185,000.00 (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

I8 3 bedroom beach house at Brewers Bay: With direct beach and water frontage, this property is unusual in the BVI. Located right on the beach at Brewers Bay overlooking the bay and Jost van Dyke. US$850,000. (284) 494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

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G10 Exquisite Caribbean style house on the hillside of Belmont Estates: This charming 3 bedroom house offers a perfect balance between elegance and relaxed comfort. Main house: great room with living and dining areas, galley kitchen, master bedroom suite and guest suite. Independent one bedroom guest cottage. Artist’s studio. Lovely swimming pool terrace with covered verandah. US$2,150,000 (284)494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

VIRGIN GORDA P9 Charming two bedroom, two bath home at Windy Hill: Set on 0.4 acres in a quiet neighbourhood the property enjoys beautiful views of Tortola and Beef Island and a lush tropical garden. | US$550,00 Q7 A Dream Come True, Pond Bay: A five bedroom, cliffside/waterfront home above Virgin Gorda’s most spectacular beaches at Pond Bay and Savannah Bay. Simply stunning. Ask to see the rental history and figures on this property. A phenomenal story. US$3.5m (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

P8 THE VILLAS AT LITTLE DIX BAY: A rare opportunity to own a permanent home at Little Dix Bay resort managed by Rosewood Hotels. Situated on the dramatic hillside above the world-renowned resort these 3-4 bedroom villas offer a magnificent setting, luxurious amenities and remarkable privacy. Rental pool option. From US$3,300,000 (284) 494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

P9 HOME SITE AVAILABLE AT CROOKS BAY: Located a few minutes’ walk to the beach, on a quiet residential estate, this 1.4 acre site boasts spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and benefits from cool tropical breezes. Utilities to site. US$500,000 (284) 494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

P8 Sea Grape Condo: Magnificent ground floor 2bedroom, 2 bathroom condo fully furnished, A/C, full use of resort amenities, tennis courts, pool, gym. The option is yours; live on property or rent the condo | US$395,000 contact Monica @ monica@trudebvi.com | (284)4 94-2500 | www.trudebvi.com

R6 Looking for waterfront Land in Virgin Gorda? (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

Q6 Vacant Lot available at beautiful Nail Bay: New life has been breathed into this stunning development. Now is the time to buy and build your dream home. Q6 ‘Mystic Water’, Nail Bay: Three bedroom main house with pool, 2 x one bedroom guest cottages each with own pool and full kitchen, beautiful gardens, great rental villa. $1.8m (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

Q6 ‘Sugar Mill’, Nail Bay: Built close by to the site of an historic Sugar Mill, unique 3 bedroom villa with pool takes its design from the original mill. Stunning views. Walk to the beach. Lots of rental potential. $1.6m (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

Q6 Renovated 4 bedroom villa with access to private beach: Located on 1.6 acres of manicured hillside on Virgin Gorda’s west coast, the house is designed so each bedroom suite opens onto a private deck with panoramic views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Direct access to Mountain Trunk Beach by a private pathway. US$3,250,000. (284) 494 2446 | www.smithsgore.com

NORTHERN ISLANDS M7 CHARMING 5 BEDROOM VILLA ON GREAT CAMANOE: Delightful 3 bedroom Main House with 2 Bedroom Guest house on Great Camanoee. Lots of character. Fantastic island and ocean views, incredible panorama. Easy access to dock. Approx 2 acre Lot. US$1,200,00 (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

M7 DIAMOND REEF ESTATE, UNIQUE 10 ACRE PROPERTY: A fabulous property, full of character and charm. Upon this 10 acre site sits a magnificent 3 bedroom main house, built largely from local stone in 1968 by the Upjohn Pharmaceutical family. A delightful one bedroom guest house built in later years. Residents treated to glorious views yet completely private. Wonderful landscaping, beachfront, private swim dock. Absolutely one of a kind property. US$6m (284) 495 3000 | chris@coldwellbankerbvi.com | www.coldwellbankerbvi.com

South Sound Virgin Gorda: Lots available for sale starting at US$200,000. Own a piece of “paradise” today contact Monica at monica@trudebvi.com | (284) 494-2500 | www.trudebvi.com

www.bvipy.com

JUNE 2012

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As a Territory without any fossil fuel reserves, the energy security of The Virgin Islands is highly vulnerable to global shocks in the production, distribution and price of fossil fuels. – Virgin Islands - Climate Change Green Paper, Section 3.4 pg 65

2011

2050

1900

EARTH HAS a

What powers the BVI?

Alternative Energy Systems R ENE WA BLE EN ER G Y • A B UN DA N T • S US TAINABLE • INDEP ENDENT • A CARIBBEAN SOLUTION +1.284.494.1478

energy@aesbvi.com www.aesbvi.com


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

SOL Y SOMBRA Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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

Smiths Gore Limited : : British Virgin Islands

T 1(284) 494 2446 F 1(284) 494 2141 E bernadette@smithsgore.com


There is a place. For every generation that understands the meaning of true private luxury. Oil Nut Bay is an intimate multi-generational family community in the heart of the British Virgin Islands that offers luxury amenities for all of your family members to embrace. With Oil Nut Bay you will experience a style of living and home ownership that has not been available in the Caribbean until now. Come…experience the idyllic spirit of the Caribbean’s most exclusive stretch of paradise in Virgin Gorda. Homesites from $2,000,000 USD

Oil Nut Bay – British Virgin Islands – www.oilnutbay.com – 1 284-495-5400

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VI PROPERTY & YACHT

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VI Property & Yacht June 2012