Virgin Islands Property and Yacht magazine November 2013

Page 1

Virgin Islands





FEATURE ISLAND Great Lifestyle, great vALue - great camanoe 6 Properties: Sea Sight, Island Escape, Easterly House, Rising Sun, Prospect, Cornucopia - Outer Island Living

LUXURY CREWED YACHT CHARTERS Savour the Sail with Charter Yacht Society ARTISTS’ CORNER Debi Carson’s innovative line of interior design for kids

Keeping a steady course with your investments is a precondition for reaching your goals, whether you rely on our advice or entrust us to manage your portfolio along the course you have plotted. VP Bank – your partner.

VP Bank Group Domiciled in Liechtenstein – is quoted on the Swiss Stock Exchange SIX in Zurich. Providing bespoke banking services in Liechtenstein +423 235 6655, Switzerland +41 44 226 2424, Luxembourg +352 404 7771, British Virgin Islands +1 284 494 1100 and Singapore +65 6305 0050.



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Gryphon’s Lair Tortola US$750,000

Casey Bay Virgin Gorda US$11,000,000

Shannon Manor Tortola US$2,500,000

Passage House Scrub Island US$1,950,000



iving in the British Virgin Islands means having an intimate relationship with the ocean and our tropical climate; they determine our daily activities. Will it be a beach day or forest hike? North shore for surfing or pack a cooler to the marina? East End or West End? The choices are many and varied. Eating out could take you to one of many restaurants on several different islands with countless beaches and hidden coves; all an easy boat ride away – power boat or sail boat – you choose!

The British Virgin Islands comprise over 52 islands, rocky pinnacles and cays, appropriately named “Nature’s Little Secrets.”

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS our qualities are numerous, our bene ts endless

Maritha Keil

Mill Mall, P.O. Box 188 Road Town, Tortola, VG1110 t: 284.494.5700 | m: 284.340.5500/5555 e: |

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

November 2013


NOV V i r g i n I s l a n d s 2013



F e at u r e S 9

Skipper’s Tips: Plan B

By Louise Reardon

The tricky trials of a yacht captain

10 An Architect’s Ambrosia By David A. GIll

Nine nifty notes for increasing the value of a BVI property



By Traci O’Dea

Time for the return of the ‘mo’

20 Great LIfestyle, Great Value - Great Camanoe By Stephen L France

The great advantages of outer island living in the BVI with 6 special properties


Savoring the Sail:

Luxury Crewed Yacht Charters By Stephen L France

Showcase of the best type of vacation in the BVI


Girls Getaway at Sea By Kelly Bos

A girls weekend of luxury on a captained boat


Building a Virgin Islands Sloop: The Story of Sea Moon By Traci O’Dea

aLG Books’ newest release


The Economics of Villa Rentals By Edward Childs

Turning a profit with vacation rentals


45 Property and Yacht Listings

Artists’ Corner: Debi Carson

Doing It For the Kids By Stephen L. France

Renowned artist and interior designer of the BVI unveils her latest projects

Scan and bookmark us



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Heading towards a sustainable future!

Renewable Energy An abundant, independent, sustainable solution for the Caribbean Learn more at +1.284.494.1478

Alternative Energy Systems

November 2013


Edi t o r ' s L e t t e r , N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 3

The kick start we’ve been anticipating. Now, we enter the high season – a period of time when snowbirds settle into their preferred locations, restaurants and bars fill up with visitors only too happy to make new acquaintances, and cruise liner guests disembark from their vast vessels to thoroughly enjoy our beaches. This month also gifts us with two huge events: We are holding the first BVI Wine & Food Festival – a new and dynamic event to these islands, hosted at Nanny Cay Marina and Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina through November 1-3. This international affair has gained an inquisitive and excited audience, who look forward to Editor Stephen L France Publisher aLookingGlass Contributors Kelly Bos Edward Childs David A Gill Traci O’Dea Louise Reardon

relishing the talents of the world’s most famous wine and spirits producers, and culinary professionals. For those interested in learning about cuisine and further, what the BVI has to offer, this show is intended to gratify and set the foundation for a successful annual occasion. We also have the much anticipated 32nd annual BVI Charter Yacht show from Nov 7-10, hosted at Nanny Cay Marina; this renowned occasion is where charter yacht crews network and promote themselves to brokers and the community. The event has attracted widespread popularity and is a poignant landmark in the BVI calendar. Amid the excitement that November is bringing, this issue takes a novel approach with the two industries our magazine caters to: An overview of property ownership on the private community island Great Camanoe— where incredible value unites with fantastic lifestyle—presents the exclusive perspective of outer island living with its range of alluring benefits. We also look at an aspect of the BVI that has contributed greatly to its fame in highlighting the grand luxury

Creative Director Nick Cunha Design & Layout Scott Taylor Web Developer Maros Pristas Sales & Marketing Stephen L France

of crewed charter yachts. The perfect combination of sailing and service is exemplified in crewed charters Lolalita and Soterion and indeed the story relayed by resident Kelly Bos in utilising a captained boat. Additionally, our magazine presents renowned interior designer and artist Debi Carson, who reveals her new line of design for children’s rooms, while aLG Books has proudly released its newest title Building a Virgin Islands Sloop: The Story of Sea Moon…it’s been a very, very busy month.

Here’s to the high season and an even busier November.

Distribution Coordinator Francoise Frank

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 2013 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.

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

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

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November 2013 QR code generated on


Plan B:

Tricky Trials of a Yacht Captain By Louise Reardon, Captain and RYA Yachtmaster Instructor

Over the last few decades, the BVI has developed a charter industry based on a ‘never say no’ philosophy, where the discerning guest can have anything they desire at any time they choose. We offer a five-star service afloat on some incredible yachts with sumptuous interiors, glistening bright works with a range of unimaginable toys. But what happens when the requests become outlandish or we have to face equipment failure? The captain and crew must have an arsenal of solutions up their starched sleeves. There are fabulous stories of what the wellheeled expect to be possible afloat, and usually there is the belief that to throw money at a problem is to have it solved. The reality TV show Below Deck is cracking open polished doors for the world to learn of what charter guests and owners expect as service, but it doesn't change the fact that boats can break down at inappropriate times and when they do, it is quick and fast.

Imagine that yacht owner who spends a fortune on the running of his yacht – it is said that at least 10% the value of the yacht is sufficient to run a proper show. For the yacht owner, the impending vacation has been a well anticipated visit – the yacht is in perfect condition, but just before he/she flies in, the hydraulics fail on the garage door, toilets back up, the chef walks off the boat, and then the water maker fails. No matter what happens, you can't let on. "It's a great day for a boat ride" you convince the guests, and as the mate whisks the party away on the tender to go snorkeling at The Indians, the stew is stewing and the captain sweating on board over putting the setbacks right. The comedy arrives when trying to solve these errors while still entertaining your guests in tight quarters. You have to fix the problem, but you must appear as if you're not working and at the same time pulling the boat apart. Imagine that captain, awash in the bilge, hissing at crew, "go up and entertain them", whilst just a few feet upstairs the guests sip on yet more expensive bubbly, hopefully oblivious of the work below. It is the stuff of nightmares for captains and crew of smart yachts, but if you offer an expensive charter, the boat must provide.

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

Even if we speak of a less expensive crewed charter yacht, this culture of five-star service is endemic of the BVI industry. These teams must be equally quick to switch to an itinerary with gear breakdown – 4 perhaps the chef takes the guests on an island tour while the captain finds the spare parts or a jury rig to see the charter through. Never in any of these cases are you expected to look startled or unprepared and when establishing your game plan, charisma serves you very well. The need to be organised and flexible still remains the case if you are the skipper on the considerably less complicated bareboat – if you have engine failure, can you sail to the mooring? The windlass fails, so can you rally the crew to flake out the chain on deck the old-school way? Innovative solutions are discovered all the time and among your best defences is the ‘be prepared for any eventuality’ ethos. As Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow said, "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?"


Tel: +1 284 494 2268


—Captain Jack Sparrow

November 2013


The enthusiasm of owning your own home in the BVI is an epic milestone in life and at the same time, one of the most mentally taxing periods. It can be a lifestyle change, and undoubtedly one of the single greatest investments in life for the next 25 to 30 years.


Architect's Ambrosia

By David A Gill, Marketing and Design Director –

Concepts surrounding this critical decision relate to retaining or increasing value on the investment while sustaining affordability and functionality. The value of your home is one of the most significant reasons for property ownership, so it is vital in this economic twist of falling house prices, that every homeowner be privy to the strategy of increasing their property’s value:


Open floor-plan to a breath-taking view: Being surrounded by natural beauty of both an evergreen landscape and tranquil blue sea, it is important that your home be positioned to capture the optimum view. Additionally, an open floor-plan coupled with large floor-toceiling windows grants you stunning views from almost any room in your home while adding a breezy Caribbean feel.


Outdoor living-areas, which range from outdoor patios to large decks: Outdoor living areas are a further extension to an indoor room. They can range, being either an entrance through a large sliding glass patio door to an outdoor kitchen and dining area, or a large teak wooden overhanging deck that further extends your living-room area to the outdoors. This can be coupled with either an outdoor wooden hottub or an outdoor fire-pit to create a ‘Zen-like’ effect.

3 10

Upgraded kitchens are always a sure winner: Since the kitchen is one of the most frequented areas when entertaining guests, it is imperative that it reflects an appealing image that makes VI PROPERTY & YACHT

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you most comfortable. When you walk into a kitchen, the first features you notice are usually the cabinets and countertops – it is always best to select natural elements such as wood or stone for these areas, as opposed to laminates. The difference is very noticeable. The selection of appliances is also important, as they act like accessories adorning a fine suit.


Flooring is usually overlooked, however, it has a valuable impact: It is the one item that is most constant throughout the entire house – flooring should complement the rest of your décor. Choosing wood flooring or tile flooring is always a sure way of increasing value in this area. Additionally, when selecting wooden flooring, it is always best to select those that age gracefully such as hardwood or ‘cured distress wood’ – their beauty tends to grow as they age naturally over time.


Lighting has always been viewed by architects as a functionalitem, but even more emphatically, it is an accented item that further highlights the style of a home: In actuality, lighting is one of the main items that can really elevate the décor of your home like icing on a cake. Choose fixtures that complement the style of your home, forming perfect harmony between your ‘lighting-theme’ and the home décor. Additionally, an energy-saving lighting source is always a positive to add an eco-friendly value to your home. Consider investing in LED lightfixtures or LED bulbs. The incorporation of ‘occupancy-sensors’ is also a more in-depth approach in reducing your energy consumption. They can also be wired for security lighting.


Accented walls and wooden ceiling are aesthetic gems: They will not put as large a hole in your pocket as you would expect, especially when measuring the fact that these features will provide over triple the return on the initial cost. Adding eco-friendly features to your home will always increase its value: In this modern age, technology has provided us with affordable solutions to make our homes self-reliant, while at the same time reducing our ‘carbon footprint’ on the environment. Such progressive thinking makes homes with these features an instant attraction, based on the main fact that energy consumption is less of a financial strain. In following this path, it is important to invest in a solar water heating system and also a means of alternative energy - either solar or wind.


Shielded Roofing in hurricane plagued environments adds a sense of security and comfort: Amid the many roofing materials that are sold on the market today, one should always consider the advantage of conducting this process correctly the first time round. Opt for durable and sustainable products such as stone or clay tiles or even aluminium shielded roofing


from Decra. These items are specifically designed to deal with very harsh weather—aka hurricane season—and are engineered to block out most of the radiated heat that comes from the bright, tropical sun. A further benefit lies in the very appealing nature of these products, which will surely add curb-side appeal and drive your home value to new heights.


Undoubtedly, landscaping is ranked as one of the highest value attributes in a home: It will aid in increasing market value, especially since it is the one area that is most visible. It is the first feature that grants your home that second glance by either passers-by or a real estate hunter seeking that next unique property. It is best to invest in plants or shrubs that are appealing yet easy to manage. While large evergreen trees are ideal features, it is also important to contemplate their proximity to the side of your home, as this might create problems during harsh weather conditions. With these points in mind, a homeowner will strategically increase the value of their home in the BVI.


OBM International T 284.494.2148 BVI PG APR 2012 - Brooks.indd 1



3/8/20122013 12:58:41 PM November

Luxurious Crewed Yacht Charters

By Stephen L France

Photography provided by respective yachts

Starting in the late 70’s early 80’s, crewed yachts have constantly incited adulation in the BVI, making priority spots on bucket lists and provoking immense followings for the crews.

Grilled lobster onbo

ard Lolalita

Luxury catamaran Soterio



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n at anchor

Janet Oliver, the Executive Director who has been with the CYS since 1996, handles a myriad of duties. These include day-to-day operations, organising the boat show, serving and representing the CYS on several committees such as the Marine Association and the CCHA, interfacing with various Government ministries, helping individual yachts, their owners and crews through issues encountered, and generally keeping the industry informed. There are currently 80 members in the CYS fleet, who are granted a common voice with government and the industry via the diligent efforts of the CYS. Charter Yacht Society (CYS): Progressing, the CYS is unveiling a new partnership with An introduction to Dining on Deck Seaborne Airlines to make it more accessible and affordable for with crewed yacht charters guests to travel to the BVI for crewed charter vacations. Vacations in the BVI are an indulgence for the fortunate, Remaining innovative for the goals of CYS has been a consistently motivating return visits from guests who are governing factor in their success, exemplified by the creation of attracted by the incredible amenities offered by the 60 isles the cookbook Dining on Deck. and cays. Dining on Deck—originally conceptualised by VIPY’s Simultaneously, there is a specific BVI vacation style, that has renowned skipper-scribe David Blacklock—brought to CYS by amassed phenomenal popularity and is yet to be attempted former VIPY editor Traci O’Dea, and carried to fruition by Janet, by many guests, who come to our shores for the islands’ is a venue for crewed charter chefs to display their talents and rejuvenating: Crewed yacht charters – amid their impeccable showcase the CYS yachts. reputation, there are a multitude of holiday-makers who remain Following the success of the first volume of Dining on Deck, oblivious to this exquisite form of escapism, which has been 2013 has seen the creation of Dining on Deck Volume II – an patented as a floating luxury resort with mobility to traverse the all-new recipe collaboration of charter yacht chefs in the BVI. It BVI’s azure blue seas. is anticipated that Volume II will complement Volume I with the probability of subsequent publications every two Remaining innovative for the goals of CYS has been a years, inspiring avid cooks and fans of crewed charters to collect the entire set. governing factor in their success, exemplified by the The undisputed fact is, with CYS and their creation of the cookbook Dining on Deck. crewed charter yachts, guests receive a service that takes vacationing to a new standard of Starting in the late 70’s early 80’s, crewed yachts have comfort and relaxation – Dining on Deck permits residents and constantly incited adulation in the BVI, making priority spots on visitors to take a souvenir of that grand experience. bucket lists and provoking immense followings for the crews. Peruse the following few pages to learn why crewed yacht The Charter Yacht Society (CYS) is an organisation that charters are prevalent in the BVI and more importantly, why it is continually strives to improve the crewed charter vacation one of the best kinds of vacation in the world. experience by proactively enhancing the business and regulatory environment for crewed yachts. continue reading --> The CYS is a non-profit organisation that was founded in August 1982 by five owner operators of crewed charter yachts – three of the five still living in the BVI: Duncan/Annie Muirhead owners of Cuan Law, Dick Nichol owner of Wanderlust (now retired from the fleet) and Mick Gardner former owner of White Squall and Willy T.

November 2013


Yacht Lolalita: Fun, Great food and memories that Will last a lifetime Ernie—the Lolalita Ting-A-Ling. Her specialty when serving on-board is An incredible example of the crewed charter yacht service sails in her Thai night and multiple guests—new to the exotic cuisine—form a with Lolalita, a beautiful 65ft Jeantot Privilege catamaran. relentless addiction to the food. Owner-operated by husband-and-wife team Captain Ernie and Chef Working alongside this crewed yacht is Ernie’s son, 20-year-old Megan Schlobohm, who are devoted to fashioning a tailored paradise Jeff, who acts as the ‘d-man’ for Lolalita: deckhand, dive instructor, for their guests, Lolalita facilitates all the amenities of a five-star hotel dinghy driver, dish-washer, and on occasion, disco dancer. Jeff is and restaurant with the flexibility to explore the BVI in its entirety. Crewed yacht charters are founded in the amicable and enthusiastic consistently ready to entertain, adding a great element of humour to the professional environment. nature of the crew. For exciting excursions, Megan and Ernie recognise that there Captain Ernie is a true son of a sailor. His adoration of travel began is more to a crew than just knowing the prime locations to visit. early in his life, privy to voyaging across the world via his father’s Navy They testify to their adoration of the BVI, which flows out in their career and his own love of exploration. Ernie worked as a Captain on impeccable service: “We absolutely love the BVI and love even more various types of vessel, from dive boats to fishing vessels to luxury sharing her treasures with guests. We have learned over the years that yachts, and shares that wealth of experience with Lolalita. He currently it’s not entirely about where you go-it’s important to know when is the holds a USCG 1600-GT All Oceans Master, which he has earned over best time to be somewhere too.” the last 15 years. Chef Megan from Atlanta, Georgia of the US The yacht offers a free Discover Scuba course to all guests met Ernie while completing her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Therapy. She decided she wanted to and many visitors complete their Open Water and Advanced join the sailing world and prior to her admission, Open Water certifications while out with the crew. developed a fierce passion for cooking. Perfecting her menu on various yachts she and This is exemplified in their timing for Little Harbour, Peter Island, Ernie have worked, most of her phenomenal culinary abilities are where they know to be there before lunch so guests can witness the self-taught, mixed with a loving collaboration with Ernie from his vast entertaining spectacle of pelicans and seagulls hunting for fish in the experience in the industry. The combination of remarkable flavours mid-afternoon. They love Great Dog, where there’s a beautiful snorkel and perceptive presentations reflects her great skill. spot for a lunchtime activity. Eustasia sound is an amazing place to Motivated by her expertise and passion for innovative and tasty cuisine, Chef Megan participated in Dining on Deck Volume II this year. sleep for the night, and if you anchor just so that your stern falls back on the beach, guests can easily access the shore for seashell hunting. She submitted an hors d’oeuvres recipe: Filet Mignon with Herbed There’s even a resident Barracuda that we call “Flat Top” who will stay Goat Cheese Mousse and a cocktail recipe—created by Captain



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Above: Captain Ernie and Chef Megan Schlobohm

“We absolutely love the BVI and love even more sharing her treasures with guests. We have learned over the years that it’s not entirely about where you goit’s important to know when is the best time to be somewhere too.” next to us all day and night; he’s great fun to snorkel with! Jost Van Dyke is our favourite stop for the whole week, and we know that Friday night is when the real fun happens with Foxy’s extremely popular Barbecue. Megan says: “An ideal day at Jost Van Dyke has you moored at Sandy Cay within swimming distance of the beach after sleeping in Little Harbour-maybe even having enjoyed Abe’s By The Sea for a lobster dinner the night before. After a hearty breakfast we guide a hike to the top for a breath-taking view of the northern shore of Tortola. Then we move to White Bay to enjoy the Soggy Dollar Bar, beach games, sunbathing, swimming in the beautiful blue waters, and of course, sampling the very famous Painkiller, made with love by our famous bartender, ‘Old Timer.’” The vessel itself—yacht Lolalita—was built in France in 1996. Designed as a racing catamaran, there are only five similar boats built. The vessel has been upgraded to a hydraulic sailing system with a carbon-fibre boom and mast, with top-of-the-line rod rigging; a wide inventory of custom-made sails; and a rotating mast for more precise sailing.

Among the many toys on-board for watersports, Lolalita is also a dive platform for guests, with dive gear and tanks for 10 people and a professional-grade dive compressor on-board to facilitate unlimited diving. While all crew members are dive instructors, Jeff is the main dive instructor on-board. The yacht offers a free Discover Scuba course to all guests and many visitors complete their Open Water and Advanced Open Water certifications while out with the crew. To conclude, Lolalita’s crew would summarise the entire experience asserting that their ultimate goal is to make every guest who charters with them, feel like family. Contact: Captain Ernie and Chef Megan Schlobohm +1-284-346-5652

November 2013


Soterion: Bestowing salvation

and safe passage to

heavily on local ingredients. Dinner dishes include salt Soterion’s crew, Captain Ben Raley baked whole red snapper with local long beans, and and Chef Rachel Haskovec are two paradise braised rabbit in creole mustard sauce with cracked individuals who love the water new red potatoes to satisfy diverse appetites. and derive great pleasure in sharing the BVI with However, cuisine served, varies weekly – the people from a variety of backgrounds. They are chef procures the preferences of the guests and fulfilled by their guests’ sentiments of appreciation considers the season they are in when planning the and amazement on their fun-filled charters, unveiling to vacationers of all ages and preferences menu, sourcing from renowned local locations like Good Moon Farm on Tortola. Generically, the cuisine a pristine, paradisiacal perspective of this region. is gourmet, created from fresh, healthy, flavourful The yacht Soterion, originally named Double Feature ingredients to form well-presented dishes. was owned by a Hollywood movie producer who had Soterion is special because the vessel sails an input in the design and layout of the boat, building noticeably smoother than other boats. With 57ft in the her with attributes specifically tailored for chartering waterline, twin keels, and a large in the BVI. sail area, she boasts improved The vessel was sailed “After we had exhausted performance upwind than most over from France in 2000 our known options for yachts equal in size. In addition, by the first captain, who is the asymmetrical spinnaker now skipper of the largest private bays, intimate catalyses momentum down-wind. catamaran in the world, snorkel spots, and Possessing the lines of a classic Hemisphere. The current sailing catamaran, the boat is one owner chartered several adventurous hikes, we of the few yachts in this size range different catamarans in the started to really branch that has four equally appointed BVI including Double Feature out and discover places cabins. All cabins have queen+ size before purchasing and beds and en suite heads forming renaming her Soterion. that were new to us.” suitable features for groups of four Soterion—the Greek — Captain Ben adults, two small families, or one word for ‘salvation’ or ‘safe extended family. passage’—is a Lagoon For activities, Captain Ben’s focal function is to 570 sloop rig, currently boasting a new paint job, adhere to the requests of the guests. When they refinished interior and furnishings, new rigging, receive hedonistic party-goers, the crew’s knowledge with a dedicated and diligent crew. dictates they travel to festive island Jost Van Dyke or Participating in both Dining on Deck and its equally enjoyable area North Sound in Virgin Gorda. successor Dining on Deck Volume II, Soterion’s If the crew acquire visitors seeking unparalleled motivation to showcase their cuisine emerged escapism, a sail to the tranquil island Anegada ensues. from the book’s purpose of crediting yacht With their experience, Ben and Rachel can even take chefs for the delicious meals that their guests guests to some of the secret locations in the BVI for compliment consistently. It also presented unrivalled seclusion – secret to even many residents. a convenient method to share the recipes “If we have children aboard, or adults who are children created by their chef as guests often ask for at heart, the water toys come out and there is water the ingredients of the fare they have enjoyed skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and knee-boarding. on-board. Most people enjoy a mix of socialising and solitude, Attempting to keep their menu so we spend time in a number of different locations sophisticated yet simple, Chef Rachel leans

Left: Captain Ben Raley and Chef Rachel Haskovec

Right: Exquisite meals and watersports, courtesy of the great Soterion service

during the course of the week. This is the beauty of vacationing on a yacht in the BVI.” Rare opportunities in weather or ocean conditions allow for Soterion’s most unique adventures. Captain Ben explained: “We had a group that wanted to snorkel and hike everywhere and they wanted their own secluded anchorage every night. After we had exhausted our known options for private bays, intimate snorkel spots, and adventurous hikes, we started to really branch out and discover places that were new to us.” They have witnessed a set of whales making their way North through Sir Francis Drake Channel and seen amusing wildlife soap operas between families of sea creatures ‘arguing’ – spectacles that evoke awe, entertainment, and hilarity. If the crew of Soterion promise anything, it’s that your BVI sailing vacation will be delivered in peak condition, with the attentive crew ensuring every comfort and amenity is readily available. Contact: Captain Ben Raley and Chef Rachel Haskovec (703)283-2723

This is a snippet of the options available for crewed yacht charters. Each one is an astonishingly professional and smooth service, travelling beyond the provision of satisfaction, inciting a healthy addiction to this type of charter, and potentially fashioning friends for life in the crew.

November 2013


By Traci O’Dea

The Mo Bros and Mo Sistas of BVI Movember will once again spend the month raising as much money as possible towards the education, research, and treatment of prostate cancer. This year’s pirate theme is extremely appropriate for BVI residents, who have a fond affinity for our history of hidden treasure. The way it works: men are encouraged to sign up—clean shaven—on November 1, to participate in the moustache-growing competition that lasts the entire month. During Movember, participants—aka Mo Bros—are expected to have their moustaches sponsored, enlist the expertise of a moustache coach, post their progress on Facebook or YouTube, use their face as a conversation starter about the charitable cause toward prostate cancer, and embody the Movember motto: ‘Changing the Face of Men’s Health.’ At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas participate in the End of Movember Party and Moustache Competition where the Mo Bros compete for the following categories: KPMG Best Pirate, Nanny Cay Sexiest Mo, Best Mo Crew, TMF Slow Mo—for the least amount of growth in one month, Harneys Most Booty—for the MoBro who raised the most money, and the Governor’s Office Man of Movember.



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The Mo Sistas compete for the honour of being Walkers Global Miss BVI Movember. This year, the BVI Movember Charitable Trust has set a target of $23,552, representing one dollar for every person living in the British Virgin Islands—according to the last official census. The Trust will use the money in a continued effort to raise awareness about men’s health issues, to fund prostate cancer research, and to treat men in the territory who are suffering from the disease.

1st MovembAARR! 4:30-6:30PM MoBro Registration & Happy Hour at Village Cay

1st MovembAARR! 7:30-9:30PM MoBro Registration and Moustache Quiz at the Tamarind Club

2ND MovembAARR! 5:30-9:30PM MoBro Virgin Gorda Registration at CocoMaya

14TH MovembAARR! 6:00PM Pirate Happy Arrrr!!! and Rum Tasting at Government House

24TH MovembAARR! 11:00AM-3:00PM Paddleboard Races, Relays, and Sunday Funday at Myett’s

30TH MovembAARR! 7:00-10:00PM End of Movember Party and Moustache Competition at Nanny Cay Beach

A Day of Discovery with the Service You Want

Take a day to discover the British Virgin Islands from the deck of a private yacht. Experience a Day Sail with The Moorings where you can island hop with a professional skipper or even indulge in a full crew. You’ll find the freedom to swim, snorkel or simply soak in the sun while surrounded by crystalline waters. Escape for the day and discover a new way to see the BVI.

on the water


Call (284) 393.2417 visit or email

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5/14/13 12:32 PM

G r e at L i f e s t y l e , G r e at Va l u e By Stephen L. France

Great Camanoe

For many people, owning property in the British Virgin Islands is a dream, that holds a lofty monetary value due to the high desirability for residency in this region. With high airy cathedral-like ceilings and the extremely attractive feature of an outdoor kitchen and living space overlooking the ocean

Sea Sight (Indigo Plantation) Location Great Camanoe 2 bed 2 bath Waterfront to Potato Bay Laundry Work room beneath house


Marina slip Communal tennis court Two parcels: US $550,000 for 2.1 acres US $750,000 for 4.2 acres


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. . . offering a night sky unimpeded by development, a hypnotic attraction is the epic infinity of stars stretching the night sky.


Island Escape (Indigo Plantation) Location Great Camanoe 3 bed 3 bath Hilltop & cliff face Waterfront to Lee Bay Laundry

Garage & Work room Marina slip Vehicle & boat optional Communal tennis court US $975,000 for 2.3 acres

uite justifiably, the rates of property purchase, parallel the unequivocal benefits of living on these islands with its fantastic climate, magnificent panoramic views and healthy lifestyle – this accompanied with great sailing, watersports opportunities and an abundance of prestigious restaurants and luxury resorts, offering great amenities that tourists will go at great expense to enjoy. Introducing Great Camanoe – a private communal island where residents can take advantage of the lavish BVI lifestyle with the pleasant surprise of homeowner affordability. A short five-ten minute boat ride from Tortola’s Trellis Bay, brings homeowners to the secure, private, communal marina, the Indigo Plantation of Great Camanoe – there are two parcels of raw land on the very top of an undeveloped hillside on the Indigo Plantation – refer to info-graphic. Properties on Great Camanoe offer serenity, magnificent views of the surrounding ocean, seclusion if desired, and a host of aqua activities for avid water adventurers and sailors with the infectious sea fever described so well by John Masefield.

November 2013



The island is home to two marinas – Indigo Plantation which is the freehold side of the island and Privateers Bay, the leasehold side making it the ideal residence for sailors. Currently, several properties are for sale as the time period is at a point where the generations are changing hands. Residents tend to live in the properties for 20 years and then I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide either pass them on to their family or pitch them for sale. Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; Here are six properties presented by British Virgin Islands And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, Sotheby’s International Realty broker Maritha Keil, exemplifying the And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying. possibilities of the Great Camanoe lifestyle. All properties come fully furnished and possess different attributes that cater to a variety of I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, preferences. The most astonishing feature about these properties is To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a their incredible value. whetted knife; Sea Sight on the Indigo Plantation is the first example. With high And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover airy cathedral-like ceilings and the extremely attractive feature And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over. of an outdoor kitchen and living space overlooking the ocean, By John Masefield (1878-1967). homeowners will enjoy their meals in a novel and fantastical way. (English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.) Island Escape, also on the Indigo Plantation has a rare and conspicuous perspective. Solitude, uninterrupted dramatic shorelines and the untouched creation of a sacred Garden of Eden appearance, unfold in the infinite seascapes unveiled from the concentric decks. Focused toward northern Easterly House (Indigo Plantation) views of Lee Bay, Guana Island and offering a night sky unimpeded by development, a Location Great Camanoe Hillside hypnotic attraction is the epic infinity of stars stretching the night sky. 2 bed up, 2 bath (top level) Boat & Vehicles Easterly House is a recently renovated property and has extremely strong 2 bedroom suite (lower level) Optional Marina slip w/unfinished kitchenette Communal tennis court fortifications. The roof is built at a slant to deliberately deflect heavy winds endured

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

20 x 40ft storage facility


US $900,000 for 2.2 acres


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during potential hazardous weather conditions. It also has the convenience of kitchen door access on the driveway, making delivery of shopping items easy – a great attribute for any resident on this private island. A huge facility of this property is the mini-boatshed for ample storage space. Rising Sun, a forth property on the Indigo Plantation, has the grand boast of a 360 degree view. Maximising every single sunset, sunrise or stargazing viewpoint from the property, residents have a choice between upper and lower deck balconies. With 85% of easterly winds passing by the property, different times of the day will dictate whether residents sample a refreshing breeze on one side of the property, or lounge in the setting sun with views presiding over the uninterrupted island seascapes. Prospect—located in Privateers Bay on the leasehold side of the island—was named such by the owners because from its 400 feet altitude, residents have a 270 degree panoramic view stretching from west of Anegada to the outer edge of the USVI Prospect. On a more personal note to the owners, the name ‘Prospect’ harbours connotations of the future, advancement and expectation, which they found contributed a positive touch to the property’s appearance. The owners of Prospect had a vision with their home and said: “We also wanted to have a design along the lines of the traditional West Indian wooden home. It was to emphasize the heritage of the West Indies, and the siting of the house was to incorporate the view with authentic

Maximising every single sunset, sunrise or stargazing viewpoint from the property, residents have a choice between upper and lower deck balconies.

tropical living and include the modern conveniences and materials. Prospective buyers will see the vision of tropical living in harmony with the splendid island. In the tropics, there are often far greater usage of pergolas, due to the less strict definitions of inside and outside as in colder climes. The various rooms and layouts offer varied areas of relaxation and appreciation of the environment. The Great Room with detached bedrooms, vastly extend the usable area options. With this in mind, Prospect promises to bestow many years of delight to its next owners in similar and different ways to the other Great Camanoe residences. The sixth property, Cornucopia also located on Privateers Bay on the leasehold side of the island

Rising Sun (Indigo Plantation) Location Great Camanoe 4 bed 4 bath Storeroom, work room and garage below house Covered outside Bar 360 panoramic view

Pool & Hot Tub Pool Table Laundry Marina slip Communal tennis court US $1,850,000 for 2+ acres

November 2013


exhibits a Spanish-Moorish design with its redwood timbered doors and white alabaster appearance. The waterfront property has the unique feature of a 100ft long private dock with two moorings in 10ft of water again catering to the sailors of the world. Year round Resident Zbigniew Fedorowicz—amicably known as ZB—testifies that in his worldly travels, he has found paradise in Great Camanoe. “We have absolute privacy. The whole island is like your whole home…we love this place…I’m so grateful to live here – we’re all family. We’re helping each other,” said ZB, commenting about living on the island. ZB feels Great Camanoe is the paradise within paradise. In the tranquil island community, ZB is the go-to-guy for repairs, adding to the wholesome community spirit often described as a family that is prevalent on Great Camanoe. ZB will even go the distance of making the item needed to repair certain fixtures, if such lengths are necessary. “If I need something, for example if my boat is broken and I need to use a boat, I don’t have to ask, [I can take it]. If [somebody]

Land at Indigo Plantation Location Great Camanoe Two 2.1 acre lots Breezy Location Hilltop 360° view Private & Exclusive Marina Slip


Community Tennis Court Pool Table Laundry Marina slip Communal tennis court US $365,000 each


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Prospect (Privateers Bay) Location Great Camanoe 3 bed 3 bath 2 garages Optional vehicles Spacious open-planned living/ dining room and kitchen

Laundry & Storeroom 1 covered car port Communal dock & beach In-deck Jaccuzzi Marina Facility US $825,000 for 2.36 acres

. . . residents have a 270 degree panoramic view stretching from west of Anegada to the outer edge of the USVI Prospect.


experience a Caribbean watersports vacation like no other

Come ashore!

In essence, Great Camanoe supersedes all the desires a homeowner could wish for with solitude if desired . . . asks about something broke, I fix it for them,” he said with regard to the generous demeanour of island residents. Living on this luxurious island is only surpassed by easy accessibility to the surrounding exclusive locations via boat. Neighbouring Scrub Island hosts a multitude of activities and offers Great Camanoe residents a discount on resort spa treatments and dining. The weekly pig roast is currently a favourite community event on Scrub’s private beach at the “One Shoe Bar”. Marina Cay also offers resident rates; another fringe benefit of association with the community on Great Camanoe. Five minutes away by boat, Trellis Bay market place and all the stores ashore, as well as the many events taking place – like the famous Full Moon parties – offer additional entertainment opportunities for residents. Of course, it is even more convenient that the airport is on Beef Island neighbouring Trellis – another fringe benefit. In essence, Great Camanoe supersedes all the desires a homeowner could wish for with solitude if desired, security, an extended surrogate family in the good-natured community, activity, relaxation, luxurious amenities and most importantly, a house that can be called a home.

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Cornucopia (Privateers Bay) Laundry

For more info contact:

2 bed, 2 bath main house


Maritha Keil

2 bed, 1 bath guesthouse

below main house

Private dock

Vehicle & boat optional



US $1,500,000 for 4.24 acres

Location Great Camanoe

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m (284)340.5555

November 2013


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getaway at sea

Story and Photography by Kelly Bos, Therapist 5 Doctors Medical and Wellness Services

With four moms determined to relax, rejuvenate and revel in a fun weekend away without partners or kids, a plan was devised to do just that.

November 2013


Satisfied and slightly fatigued, we returned for another night of revitalising sleep – the incredible element about catamaran’s are their spacious and homey feel; you can opt for socialising or solitude. Sailing is one of the best ways to take advantage of the wonders that the BVI has to offer. You can hit the water, visit neighbouring islands, and tour famous as well as more exclusive locations. With four moms determined to relax, rejuvenate and revel in a fun weekend away without partners or kids, a plan was devised to do just that. With only one of our companions having hands on experience at the helm, and another holding familiarity with the line but little else, you might think our moms’ weekend at sea would be difficult to execute. Not so! We contacted Dream Yacht Charters, who rescued us from disappointment and arranged a gorgeous 52ft catamaran. They also hired one of their freelance captains to transport us. He was prompt, amicable and left us to get down to the business of putting our feet up, magazine flipping and girl chat. Since receiving a weekend away as a mom can be fraught with stress and complications, our trio decided to stay on the dock for the first night, driving to nearby Brandywine Estate Restaurant for a great



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Above: Kelly (pictured at right) and friends on luxury yacht’s shore transport

meal – hiring your own captain provides the flexibility to select your course and change at your discretion. Minutes from the Marina, we enjoyed the warm ambiance, a scrumptious meal and a soothing glass of wine followed by an early night in – a big highlight of both of our nights away were the four individual spacious cabins, which provided each of us a solitary, calm, uninterrupted night’s sleep. The next morning our fourth in the party joined us – our destination, Virgin Gorda. A few of us had yet to try the restaurant CocoMaya – of course Virgin Gorda is a nice sail distance from Tortola and a gorgeous destination to visit as a resident. We stopped for a swim in the beautiful blue ocean and then docked in Spanish Town. Our first task was to arrange our Little Dix spa appointments – an obligation on a girls’ weekend. We enjoyed a day of luxury, swimming in the spa pool and resting poolside. We then returned to our floating home for a nap, yet another elusive treat for those of us in the world of a busy mom. Before we knew it, the time emerged for us to get ready for our second night out. With a stunning sunset as the backdrop, we hopped on the rib and were dropped off at

November 2013


Above: Enjoying the ambiance of Brandywine Estate Restaurant

a dock by the anticipated seaside restaurant CocoMaya. We ordered a variety of delicious tapas to share with wine and subsequently, enjoyed the cosy lounge feature on the beach - the passion fruit, raspberry cocktail that I had with its surprising kick of heat has remained a fond memory. Satisfied and slightly fatigued, we returned for another night of revitalising sleep – the incredible element about catamaran’s are their spacious and homey feel; you can opt for socialising or solitude. I relished the common area and the coolness of the air conditioning and at other times, the deck with the breeze and the epic seascape.

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I especially appreciated the trampoline, which serves as a notable spot for sitting back and enjoying the sail, soaking up some rays or partaking in the evening sport of stargazing. The ample kitchen hosted our casual meals in which we—in our pre-sail organisation—planned and rotated with delicious results. With our experienced Captain doing the navigating, we were able to simply enjoy the ride. On the last day, we did some snorkelling and swimming in the refreshing ocean. The temperature was that seamless cool where you can remain at peace indefinitely. Following, we headed for Oil Nut Bay where we had a grand tour, relaxed and swam. There may have been a small touristy moment where I chased after their lone flamingo for a photo op – I was amply teased for my childlike behaviour. We then boarded our rib and checked out the newly renovated Saba Rock for some photos, a drink and perusal of their gift shop. Our Captain joined us for this and picked up a t-shirt for his little girl, which of course won big points from us moms; we also grabbed a treat or two for our little ones during the excursion. It was a beautiful and much cherished weekend. I would highly recommend it for group trips. Perhaps it was the lullaby of the sea’s serene waves, but we felt like we had relaxed for the span of a week. Heading back to Tortola, we were refreshed, missing our families, and ready for the return to the joy of motherhood.

There may have been a small touristy moment where I chased after their lone flamingo for a photo op – I was amply teased for my childlike behaviour.

November 2013


Doing it for


Kids Artists’ Corner:

Debi Carson

Words by Stephen L France Photography by Richard Schoonover

Debi Carson—a name that to many residents, needs little introduction—is the bearer of many hats. Working in the interior design industry for over 20 years, she balances her artistic career with her successful family businesses CharterPort BVI, Southern Trades Yacht Sales and the popular Cane Garden Bay Surfboard Co. Visitors and residents will likely have seen the fruits of her creativity, whether exhibited in her interior design projects or distinctive art pieces. Encouraged in her academic life by art and history studies, she combines her skill in interior design and artistic flare—the two facets of her business Debi Carson—to create spaces for a wide and varied client base: the commercial client, hotelier, retail and residential, the young and young at heart, and the yachtsman. With a bachelor’s degree in interior design and with NCIDQ Certification (National Council for Interior Design Qualification), she utilises her abilities to exceed the surface decoration of rooms, delving into the intricate study required to meet the project expectations. Debi explained, “Interior design involves research and knowledge of the user of the space to provide solutions best suited.” Working on the development of the space based on the occupants’ needs, a collaborative vision is conceived.



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Above: Art installation at Ogier; Top Right: guest room at Peter Island; Below: Debi Carson pictured in front of their shop in Road Town, with a custom art board painted by Debi and shaped by renowned board shaper Bob Carson.

Customising her interior designs with materials to operate in balance with the elements found in the BVI’s tropical climate, the experienced designer gains a full understanding of the projects she assumes. Subsequently, Debi attempts to inspire her clients with innovative perspectives, empathising with their requests, exploring the aesthetics and physics of the room, and if arriving sufficiently early in the construction procedure, collaborating with the project team of architects or contractors involved in the construction process. “[For a kitchen] I will ask: what is it in that room that makes it unique to you? What is your preferred style of cooking? Do you like to bake? Is it somewhere where two people cook at one time? Or is it just a one man kitchen? Do you have an extensive wine collection that needs to be housed?” she said with regard to her initial analytics of an assignment. “ is vital to work with the client to assess and identify specifics for each space.” When asked how design solutions vary for those aboard a yacht, Debi said, “My experience around the boats allows me to guide clients to products most suited for the corrosive marine environment with an understanding of the limitations of space.” In essence, Debi is able to help clients define their project and aesthetic vision to make their house or yacht a home and avoid mistakes. “It’s important to think how you will move in a space and function, for example thinking through the electrical switching so that you don’t have to cross a dark room to turn on lights...or backtrack upon exiting a room” Using her art to enhance her interior design, Debi’s training in mechanical drawing and watercolour rendering ranges through wax, oil, pastels and pencil drawings. Equally, her canvasses cover a broad spectrum: “I’ve painted on objects, surfboards, furniture, tapestry, on soft goods, and produced murals…” she explained. “Because I am an interior designer, when painting commissions, I look to respect the space, the scale and energy level of the use of the space. In the paintings at Solé Spa, I wanted to implement restful and peaceful state of mind, and implemented the tones of our Caribbean Sea and the horizon lines we often view.” Her art installations include BVI companies Ogier, KRyS Global, the Financial Investigation Agency (FIA), Conyers Dill and Pearman, Deloitte, and the popular lunch location Village Cay Deli.

November 2013


Above: Client ShyAnn putting on some glasses on the character Wendy; Top Right: Aimee and Joshua’s new room complete with a little chalkboard area on the wall for creating art; Right: a little lion painting that was a special request for Joshua, and the little bird on the tail to tie into the bird theme on his sister’s bedding. Right: guest cabin aboard s/y Fantasy Island.

Debi induces stimulation from a variety of influences, meaning her art varies from abstract and landscape to nature, caricature and realism. Expression of colour and the emotions provoked by the range of shades is a huge factor in her productions. Consistently seeking ways to expand her craft, for 2013 and progressing into 2014, the artist is raising awareness that she not only can design for the serious solutions of adults, but also those for the younger generation. “I’m not only here as a resource for commercial work, hospitality [and] residential…” she said in relation to her newest motion toward children’s rooms, “An aspect of challenge in our local area…for design solution here in our community is for the kids. “I’m excited for the opportunity to collaborate with young creativity to incorporate ideas and bring their spaces to life,” Debi continued. “It’s so rewarding to see their smiles and enthusiasm for change. I have a series of peel-able wall stickers from Pop and Lolli that I stock and have been

implementing in children’s spaces. They are made from fabric and vinyl, stand life-size, and kids can be interactive with them. The characters have accessories or can be educationally supplemented with numbers and letters.” Discussing her research into this market, she said: “In other regions, there is a multitude of retail and supply geared to a younger market that is definitely akin to the whimsy spirit, just not as readily available for us. I thought it would be something good to offer as another service that maybe people haven’t realised. In reviewing recent projects, Debi described: “One little girl started with a room that had no sense of her bright and colourful personality and ended up with art and painting on the walls, a loft bed for her to cosy up beneath with a book and some little twinkle lights, which have become her favourite thing.” Similar to her modus operandi in all her projects, she preserves the concept of making the room she’s designing belong to the individual – in this case, the children. “You want to take the time to make their room, a spot that makes them feel like it’s theirs – a safe haven and a place to nurture their imagination,” she said, paralleling the ethos that has made her business prosper. Debi intends to continue this direction and is optimistic her success in this area will expand this market in the BVI. Debi Carson NCIDQ 017742 Sr. Interior Designer - Fine Artist Phone: 284.494.5423 Cell: 284.541.0505 The Christopher Building , Road Town, Tortola BVI, VG 1110 email:



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November 2013


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Building a Virgin Islands Sloop: The Story of Sea Moon By Traci O’Dea

Last month, aLG Books released its newest title, Building a Virgin Islands Sloop: The Story of Sea Moon, written by Geoffrey Brooks with original artwork by Lutia “Tai” Durante.

The idea for the book came about when Virgin Islands Maritime Museum Curator Geoffrey Brooks helped Anegada boat builder Watson White build a traditional sloop several years ago. “I took a lot of photographs and made sure we recorded it as we went along,” Brooks said. Those photographs then became a PowerPoint slideshow for the museum, with Brooks getting assistance from students Claire Demming and Tiffany George. Subsequently, that slideshow evolved into a book of photographs, published in 2009, and while Brooks was pleased to have the process published, he said of the original book that, “It wasn’t what I was looking



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

for.” He then added, “I was interested in doing something that was a larger size and hardbound” instead of the small, paperback version. A few years later, Brooks heard that aLookingGlass had started a book publishing company on island. He approached them with his project, and the project skyrocketed from there. “What we came up with versus the original is night and day. It is so far beyond what I imagined the book would look like. Nick [Cunha, Creative Director of aLookingGlass,] was able to recruit Lutia Durante who took a lot of the photographs and turned them into paintings, so that we’ve ended up with a book that is a combination of paintings and photographs and text.” Cunha added, “While the words of the story were well written and effective, the visual tale did not equal the inspiration of the message he was trying to create, so we proposed recreating everything visually from scratch. Fortunately, through our “Artists’ Corner” feature in Virgin Islands Property & Yacht, we had a lot of contacts with local artists, and while we considered all of them, one stood out. Over the years, we had cultivated a relationship with Durante, strongly based on our similar artistic sensibilities. We also knew he had a passion for his own culture and heritage, so we felt he would make the best fit.” The artist expressed his gratitude towards aLookingGlass and Brooks for involving him. “I recently went over by the [HLSCC] Marine Centre, and I saw some pictures of my uncles on the boats, and that’s where the inspiration came from, from seeing my family on those walls, but I couldn’t get it out of my system until [aLookingGlass] came to me about this book,”

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“We are hoping that it will be used as a tool to promote the maritime tradition in the Virgin Islands and to encourage the craft of traditional boat building” — Geoffrey Brooks he said. “I loved the mixture of colours—the shadows of the belly of the boat when it was standing in the eastern sunlight,” he said. “If I continue doing it,” he added, “I can get even better.” He shared how the project inspired him to reach out to others about the possibility of building a sloop. “I asked some guys in East End if we could start to build one, so that got me even more interested to be around them— how to caulk them, how to sail them.” Durante mentioned a 40-foot mast he has growing on his property. “Mr [Elmore] Stoutt said that each village should have a sloop,” Durante said, “and it would be good for the kids to learn how it’s built and how to sail it.” Once the creative team was assembled, they had to find a way to fund the project. “To us, it was important to keep the production of the book as local as possible: designing it in the BVI, with a boat built in the BVI, a book written by a BVI resident, with paintings by an artist who was creating artwork in the BVI, and we found someone locally to fund the printing of the project—VP Bank. They have been very focused on educating the population on the BVI’s maritime heritage.”

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November 2013


I asked some guys in East End if we could start to build one, so that got me even more interested to be around them—how to caulk them, how to sail them.”

— Lutia Durante

Sjoerd Koster, Head of Banking at VP Bank said, “We believe that this publication is both a culturally and historically important event as it describes the ‘howto-build-a-sloop’ steps as well as, through colourful paintings, the early boat-building history of the Virgin Islands and the important economic role the sloops played in the early stages of the territory’s commercial development.” He added that the publication seems to have been perfectly timed with the final homecoming of the historically significant Virgin Islands sloop Intrepid. “We are pleased to have been a part of the return of the ‘lost sloop,’” he said, “as well as our involvement in this project.” Brooks mentioned that $5.00 from the sale of every book will go towards the Virgin Islands Maritime Museum. Additionally, a free copy of the book will be donated to every school and library in the territory. “We are hoping that it will be used as a tool to promote



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the maritime tradition in the Virgin Islands and to encourage the craft of traditional boat building,” Brooks said. “While the BVI is known as a mecca of sailing,” Cunha said,” there isn’t a lot of accessible historical records of the BVI’s boat building history, aside from the Maritime Museum. The purpose of those boats now is leisure and play, but at the time, it was essential to their daily lives.” The whimsical and colourful book Building a Virgin Islands Sloop: The Story of Sea Moon, tells the story of how the limbs of a buttonwood tree in Anegada (along with other materials), ultimately became a seafaring vessel. The final addition to the project arrived when designer Scott Taylor, who is no stranger to the British Virgin Islands joined the team. “In the middle of production,” Cunha said, “we were lucky to bring on board an experienced UK designer who was instantly bombarded by this locally and

culturally important project. He saw it through the eyes of the boat builder and emphasised how the boat was built from the ground up, finally making a visual story worthy of the message contained in the text.” In addition to the story of Sea Moon’s transformation, the book also includes two pages of diagrams of sloops that identify all the different parts of the boat and a glossary of terms that lists the parts of the boat, defines the hand tools and explains their use. It adds further detail about the types of trees used in the process. “I think that’s the first time that all that’s been put together in one place,” Brooks said. An aLookingGlass newsletter will be released either by time of this issue’s publication or shortly after regarding the book’s retail locations. Please subscribe online via

“I think that’s the first time that all that’s been put together in one place” — Geoffrey Brooks

November 2013


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The Economics of Villa Rentals By Edward Childs, Director – Smiths Gore Photography provided by Smiths Gore

For many overseas investors looking to acquire a property in the BVI, the question of how to manage the property once acquired remains critical to the investment decision.

Assuming the property is not going to be used as a year round residence by the new owner, the options are to shut the property up while not occupied, have management staff “live-in�, have a management company look after the property, or rent it on a long or short term basis. While the solutions will vary from investor to investor, the last option does provide some with the ability to cover operating costs when they are not occupying the property. It is important for investors to understand that in order to rent, not only is consent to rent required as part of the landholding licence approval, but they are also required to obtain a trade licence to rent as well. Assuming this process is adhered to, the owner is then at liberty to lease the property. Again, the decision whether to lease on a long or short term basis is up to the individual. Long term lease arrangements are typically for twelve months, meaning the owner must be willing to forego staying in their property for the duration of the lease. Short term leases, by their very nature, permit the owner to use the property periodically, but they must plan well ahead and reserve the villa for the time they wish to use it. Owners must also recognise that peak rental periods, such as Christmas and New Year, when their villas will be in high demand are the same periods when they too may wish to use their villas. This reduces either their ability to rent or their enjoyment of their property, depending on how they wish to utilise their home during these popular holiday occasions.

November 2013


Long term villa rentals are typically easier to organise and provide certainty of income during the terms of the lease. For an absentee owner, having an on-island villa manager will make the process of leasing and managing the property simpler as well as providing the owner with ‘eyes’ to ensure the villa is maintained. Long term leases are fairly standard with the landlord normally accountable for general maintenance of the property and the tenant responsible for cleaning the property. Landlords normally find that controlling landscaping, pool cleaning and other essential tasks is a better solution than giving these tasks to the tenant who may, or may not, be sufficiently informed to undertake them. The long term rental market is very much tied to the local economy. The present availability of villas to rent is a reflection of fewer potential tenants in the market than there were before 2007. As a result, long term rental rates have generally fallen. Where a four bedroom villa with a pool would perhaps have leased for $5 $6,000 per month, the current rental rates would now more typically be $4 - $5,000 per month. As the economy starts to improve and the supply of villas decreases, rental rates will again start to increase. In this market, landlords should keep in mind that it is often better to accept a lower rent than suffer



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an extended rental “void”; twelve months at $4,000 per month is approximately the same as ten months at $5,000 per month. Annual operating costs vary significantly from property to property depending on age, construction, materials used, extent of landscaping, swimming pool maintenance and any other features dictating the upkeep. However, property owners looking to lease on a long term basis should consider that the rental income generated will normally cover the costs of operating and maintaining the property on an annual basis, with any surplus cash being a useful replacement reserve to keep the property sustained between tenants. Short term rentals are more complicated, in as much as the rentals are more labour intensive. Although the potential income for a popular, and economically run villa, is better than for an equivalent long term rental, the costs of operation are also higher; short term rentals require more people and organisation to be successful with the villa owner requiring a property manager to maintain the property and look after the guests on arrival. In addition, the employment of leasing agents to help sell the villa to the potential renters is another expense. Depending on the level of services offered, there may also be a requirement for daily maid service, chefs and other help to make the guests’ stay successful. As a rule of thumb, a villa will lease on a weekly

Whether considering long or short term rentals, villa owners need to understand the likely costs involved in the annual maintenance and operation of their property.

basis what it would normally rent for per month on a long term basis. With short term rentals, the bulk of the income is made during the high season as rental rates normally drop significantly in the low season. There are typically sixteen weeks of high season compared to thirty six weeks of low season, with premium rates for Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year and Easter (depending when it falls). While the breakeven point (in number of weeks rented) will vary greatly from villa to villa depending on operating costs, it should be recognised that short term rentals not only require more staff, but they also place greater wear and tear on the property, requiring more maintenance annually. In addition to the monthly management fee, villa owners also have to pay commission to leasing agents. Commissions ranging between 10% and 30% of the weekly rental rate, with 20% a typical commission rate. Whether considering long or short term rentals, villa owners need to understand the likely costs involved in the annual maintenance and operation of their property. In advising potential investors, our mantra is that leasing a property will assist in the maintenance of the building, as shutting a building up in the tropical environment of the BVI is inviting maintenance problems. Nevertheless, the long term plan should be to cover costs and hopefully enjoy a gain in capital value.

November 2013


Est. 1984.

Supplying brands that represent quality, beauty and sustainability.

Selected for quality, aesthetics, security, and hurricane protection

We guarantee the quality and reliability of our products and customer service | Visit our showroom located at Fish Bay, Tortola

(284) 494 3282 | |

More security, more protection with Colonial. insurance, health, pensions, life

Personal Insurance Home and motor insurance cover cost less with Colonial! SAVE $250* when you insure your home! Convenient, interest-free installment payments. Competitive deductibles, generous liability cover. Low rates, low deductibles for motor cover. Fast, efficient claims service. Affordable individual health insurance.



Ask about

SolusHealth WITH BUILDINGS individual health INSURANCE insurance *new private buildings insurance policy

Effective and tested business continuity plan for storm interruption.

Call 494-8450 or visit

COLONIAL INSURANCE (BVI) LTD. Palm Grove House, P.O. Box 2377, Road Town, Tortola, VG1110 Tel. 494-8450 A member of Colonial Group International: insurance, health, pensions, life

November 2013


VOYAGE BVI Yacht Sales Part of a vertically integrated group company, offering a comprehensive yachting experience. Exclusive dealers of VOYAGE Yachts. Luxury, performance oriented, sailing catamarans, with optional layouts suited for private cruising, or charter. New and pre-owned models available. Test sails by

New and pre-owned,


award winning catamarans



2012 VOYAGE 600

2005 VOYAGE 580

2008 VOYAGE 500

Unique opportunity to own a late model VOYAGE 600. 6 cabin charter layout – 2 kings, 2 queens, 2 doubles, en suite electric heads, flat screen tvs, fully equipped galley, bar, ice maker, water maker, air conditioning, generator, electric winches, electric furling genoa, solar panels, chart plotter, mast speakers, - 12 x dive tank storage… US$1,350,000

5 cabin layout, air conditioned, flat screen tvs, en suite electric heads. Well equipped galley, ice maker, water maker, generator, electric winches, chart plotter… US$675,000

4 cabin, en-suite, charter layout, with fifth crew cabin, and fifth day head. Flat screen TV, fully equipped galley, ice maker. 6KW Northern Lights generator, air conditioning, electric primary winch, electric windlass… US$615,000





2005 VOYAGE 500

2005 VOYAGE 450

2006 VOYAGE 500

2002 VOYAGE 440

3 cabins, 3 heads. Immaculately maintained. Low engine hours, 6KW Northern Lights generator, water maker, solar panels, fully air conditioned, chart plotter… US$615,000

Improvements to the award winning

Accommodation for 10 guests in style and comfort. Generator, air-conditioning, electric heads, flat screen television, radar/GPS, autopilot... Fully equipped for pleasure or blue water cruising. US$575,000

Winner of Overall Best Cruising Boat, Best Cruising Multlihull, & SAIL Top Ten in 2002 – this boat is ideal for blue water cruising. New main sail, stackpack, genoa, trampolines, upholstery, bimini… US$235,000

VOYAGE 440 – Narrower bow entry, larger genoa, hard top bimini, etc. 4 cabin charter layout. Flat screen TV. Generator, air conditioning, electric winch, chart plotter… US$375,000 Office 1.284.494.0740

VOYAGE Charters

Mobile 1.284.346.5507

BVI Yacht Sales

Sopers Hole Marina, BVI

“We understand the true value of a home in the Islands”

AQUAMARE M A N G O B AY $16,000,000


RAKU C R O O K B AY $5,500,000

LAVIDA N A I L B AY $5,500,000


Three 8,000sqft beachfront

Pristine Estate home, ridgetop, Hodge’s Creek. Spectacular

19 room custom beachfront home. No other BVI home finished to this standard.

New build contemporary 5 bedroom home on the beach with large infinity pool.

Spectacular hilltop home overlooking Brewers Bay. Highest quality finishes throughout.

T H E R E E F S AT B A L L A S T B AY $1,950,000

A N ATO L A L I T T L E B AY $1,600,000

S A I LO R ’ S R E T R E AT TOWERS $1,200,000

Villas. Setting a new standard for luxury in the BVI

T U R T L E B AY V I L L A M O U N TA I N T R U N K B E A C H $2,750,000

1.5 acres beachfront, newly renovated, 4 bed, pool, best sunset views in the entire BVI!

Under $1m






Adjacent to The Baths National Brand new architect’s home Park. 4 bedrooms, pool. great marries contemporary luxury luxury vacation rental villa. with Caribbean comfort.

Delightful 4 bed home, short stroll from Tortola’s beach.

in private, gated estate. Views simply breathtaking!

B R E W E R S B AY B E A C H $795,000 Right on the beach for under $1m! 3 bedrooms. Delightful cottage.

THE RICE HOUSE $695,000 Delightful island cottage on Spyglass Hill. 3 beds, pool, great neighbourhood.

THE HANDSOME BEACH HOUSE $480,000 A delightful 2 bed cottage right on the beach at Handsome Bay. Calling out to be expanded!

BREEZEHAVEN $895,000 Two 3 bed homes with pool for the price of one! Outstanding views at Havers. N A N N Y C AY M A R I N A







FROM $850,000

Nanny Cay is Tortola’s flagship marina with berths for 180 yachts, full service boatyard, pool, restaurants, shops, beach etc. Nanny Cay Village - 32 waterfront townhouses with docks - is nestled within this thriving marina. Finished to the highest standards, these 2 & 3 bedroom homes are for sale turn key, fully furnished if required. Guaranteed marina berths available for larger boats. Competitive, entirely optional rental program available.

R E A L E S TAT E B V I (284) 495 3000 Visit our offices at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, or Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda

November 2013


Luxury Villa Rentals

Local Expertise Global Exposure



Villa from $415 per night

Villa from $270 per night

This beautiful property is perched on the Haver’s Hillside - mimicking the bow of a ship with panoramic breathtaking views of Sir Francis Drakes Channel. Each of the three bedrooms has the same unobstructed views. The trade winds flowing throughout the house make this a cooly comfortable island retreat.

Superbly decorated and furnished villa located in the Long Bay Resort. Privately owned the villa has three selfcontained guest suites making it ideal for families, groups or couples. The Penthouse Suite has a King bed, vaulted ceilings with ceiling fan, AC,. kitchenette, lovely balcony with seating area.



Villa from $290 per night

Villa from $450 per night

Solaria is perched on the hillside above the Long Bay Beach Resort and offers wonderful 180-degree views of Jost Van Dyke and Sandy Cay. The interiors are furnished in relaxed tropical fashion with cool tiled floors and Caribbean colors.


Villa from $3750 per night

Located in Long Bay Resort,Villa Valentina has three levels. Each level is a self-contained guest suite. Can be rented whole or as separate accommodations. Adaptable and ideal for families, groups or couples.

Located high above the white sand beaches of Cane Garden Bay and the aquamarine waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Mango Manor is the ideal getaway providing the ultimate in luxury vacations.



Villa from $415 per night

Villa from $336 per night




Villa from $308 per night

Villa from $3928 per night

Villa from $700 per night

The home invites cool breezes and ample air flow into every room. Large doors open wide to fresh, flora-infused breezes, circulating through the main bedroom and tunneling through the living room.

Captain's House is deservedly popular. Well laid out with two king-size bedrooms in separate pavilions, it is beautifully designed to offer space, privacy and wondrous views over the ocean.

Maritha Keil (Broker) m: 284.340.5500/5555 Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.

The charm and beauty of this villa, with pleasing decoration, antiques and original Caribbean artwork ease the senses, making St. Bernard's Hill a relaxing and perfect vacation destination.

Carol Olympitis & Wanda Manning (Vacation Villa Specialists) t: 284.494.5700 e:

A private retreat enabling guests to enjoy a peaceful sanctuary and memorable sunsets. Designed around a central swimming pool terrace the villa is formed of three separate pavillions with each room having ocean views and cooling breeze.

Just 42 feet above the beach, with stunning 180-degree views over the Caribbean Sea and neighboring islands, Bayhouse was designed mixing classical Caribbean elements and modern, contemporary style.

General Enquiries Mill Mall, PO Box 188 Road Town, Tortola, VG1110 |

Exquisite Properties For Sale

Local Expertise Global Exposure



Privately owned 6-bedroom villa with a 2-bedroom guesthouse perched atop a private hill on almost 2 acres overlooking the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Boasting splendid panoramas and sumptuous seclusion, it is only a short distance from the airport, white sand beaches and the island capital.






Half-acre of beautiful land overlooking exclusive estate, ocean and beach – close to the Baths and restaurants. Gentle slope and cooling Tradewinds. Paved access and underground utilities.


Private, 2-bed, 2-bath main house with 1-bed, 1-bath guesthouse, pool and artist’s studio. Panoramic ocean and islands views to both North & South. Landscaped gardens in quiet residential estate.


2-bed, 2-bath apartment, overlooking Long Bay. Only 2 minutes easy walk to beach and resort. Shared pool w 3 other apartments. Set in beautifully tended gardens on attractive hillside with wonderful views.


4-bed, 4.5 bath private house with a spectacular view overlooking Hodge’s Creek and the Sir Francis Drake Channel with the verdant peaks of the numerous islands in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.


Maritha Keil (Broker) m: 284.340.5500 e:

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated


The location blooms with bougainvillea, coconut palms, neem, mahogany trees, and fragrant plumeria atop Frenchmans Cay—an islet connected to the west end of Tortola by a small bridge near Sopers Hole Marina. The estate commands some of the most spectacular views in all of the Caribbean from sunrise to sunset.



Private and secluded and away from it all. Large open living/dining room and kitchen, with 2 en-suite bedrooms and laundry room. Situated on a large lot with spectacular views over Brewer’s Bay and the Caribbean Sea.







3-bed, 3-bath comfortable, beautiful, 3-bed, 3-bath main house w/spacious private and spacious with lovely deck & magnificent view. 1-bed furnishings and color schemes. guesthouse w/ensuite bathroom. Delightfully located and is within Close to Long Bay Resort w/access walking distance (10 minutes) to the to all amenities: restaurant, spa, pool nearest beach. and of course, the beautiful beach.

Carol Olympitis & Wanda Manning (Vacation Villa Specialists) t: 284.494.5700 e:


Luxurious residence in popular Belmont Estate. Spectacular views to Jost Van Dyke and Caribbean Sea. 3bed, 3-bath, spacious living area and large wraparound terrace & pool terrace.

General Enquiries

Mill Mall. PO Box 188 Road Town, Tortola,VG1110 |

For all of your real estate needs, Smiths Gore is one of the pre-eminent real estate advisors Smiths Gore provides in depth residential services covering all the islands.



Golden Pavillion US$7,750,000




Samsara US$2,975,000


Tingalayo US$3,200,000





Asolare US$4,900,000

Turpentine House US$2,685,000






Pelican House US$1,645,000

Palm Grove Villa US$450,000

Aquamare US$4,500,000

For more information on these listings or







Bay House US$4,200,000







Little DIx Bay US$4,200,000




The Beach House US$795,000









Pond Bay US$6,700,000

British Virgin Islands Britannic Hall, P.O. Box 135, , Tortola Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, Virgin Gorda RT (284) 494 2446 VG (284) 495 5944 E

United Kingdom 17-18 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4PT T +44 (0) 207 290 1616 E

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

SOL Y SOMBRA Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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

Smiths Gore Limited : : British Virgin Islands

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


Distinctly Refined. Exceptionally Rare. Consciously Preserved. On the secluded eastern tip of Virgin Gorda lies a place where life is spent in perfect harmony with the ocean tides. Here, spread across 300 pristine acres, Oil Nut Bay offers freehold legacy ownership opportunities and unparalleled resort experiences in a setting where attention to detail and casual elegance abound. Contact us to schedule a personalized visit or to arrange resort reservations.



Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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