VI Property & Yacht November 2012

Page 1

Virgin islands


SHANNON HOUSE Nestled in Nature: Enter a portal to a different world—a world within Tortola.

STATE OF THE MARKET Charter Industry MOVEMBER A Cause with Upper Lip Flair CRAFTS ALIVE VILLAGE Taking Shape SLIPPERY SLOPE Evading Erosion




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



F e at u r e S


Slippery Slope By Scarlett Steer

Our resident green thumb looks at various landscaping solutions to the toughest of terrain.


Do You Mo, Bro? By traci O’Dea

Growing a mustache is a rite of passage for a man. and Movember celebrates this right for a good cause: men’s health.


Renovating a Landmark By Steve Fox

22 s h a nn on M anor: nes t le d in n a ture

Overlooking tortola’s dramatic north shore, this luxury estate property finds its foundation buried within beauty.

a BVI architect looks at the challenges and rewards associated with a recent Steele Point project.


Profile of Paradise By Judith a. towle and Jean-Pierre Bacle


Yachts on Demand

Virgin Gorda goes under the microscope for the sake of science.

38 Shipping Registration By Willa tavernier

By Dan O’Connor

Charter industry professionals weigh in on the state of the market moving into high season.

50 Decorating Trends By Fran Morrell and Kate Henderson

53 Provisioning By Susie Younkle




A Village Within a Town By Dan O’Connor

Within road town, Crafts alive Village expands into a marketplace that shop owners hope to be proud of.



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eDItOr'S Let ter, November 2012

Goodbye hurricanes,

hello tourists! Chief Editor Dan O’Connor


t least, that’s what we hope to say during this transitional month into the winter season.

Living on Tortola, November is one of my favourite months of the year. I like to watch the beaches

slowly fill with enthusiastic first-time visitors, and the tides strengthen and swell. I like to feel the Editor Emeritus Traci O’Dea

refreshing winds gain strength and work on my novice skills as a sailor and surf-lemming. Resorts,

Contributors Steve Fox Kate Henderson Shannon Gore Fran Morrell Scarlett Steer Willa Tavernier Susie Younkle

slow-season rate. It seems this sort of buffer period into the bustle and hop of high season helps

restaurants and bars begin to host more events, while often affording their customers a lapsing to prepare us for the excitement to come. I’m not the only one looking forward to November. I talked to a handful of charter industry employees about the upcoming season, and they overwhelmingly reported a sense of optimism backed by high booking numbers. Brokers and crew will use this month to gain even more momentum and fill their books when they meet at Nanny Cay for the BVI Charter Yacht Society Boat Show from Nov 6-9. The capstone event meets these shores and its slips for its 31st year, and

Publisher Colin Rathbun Creative Director Nick Cunha

has filled up with 90 charter boats on display. On land, real estate agents are also hoping for resurgence in the marketplace. Toward this time of the year, snowbirds and prospective snowbirds flock to the territory in number to stake out their piece of paradise. If I could be so lucky, I’d find my perch on Tortola’s north shore hills, where Shannon Manor sits nestled in nature. The luxury property invited me in, with wafting scents of

Graphic Design aLookingGlass

tropical fruits and herbs from its two acres of surrounding gardens.

Advertising Sales Owen Waters Stephen L. France

she examined crafty ways to use local flora and other natural elements against erosion. I also

These pages also follow green thumb Scarlett Steer to Virgin Gorda and Necker Island, where headed to the familiar streets of Road Town, where the Crafts Alive Village is undergoing construction to more than double its vendor space and revitalize its appearance. In this issue, writer Traci O’Dea explains why you’ll notice a sudden regrowth in previously retired facial hair styles and remind us that November means Movember for men’s health. As this month enters and passes, I’ll sit with a smile, do a little people watching, and maybe maybe bring back the old handlebars—all in the name of mankind.

Let it grow. 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.

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

Cover Photo: Shannon Manor’s entrance through nature’s walkway. Photo by Paul Hubbard, Rainbow Visions BVi



State OF tHe MarKet



Story and photos by Dan O’Connor

In the spring of 2010, while reporting for the Beacon newspaper, I stopped charter guest Darrel Hoizinga on Prickly Pear Beach and asked him a few questions. The San Francisco vacationer explained to me that he joined the majority with worries about the looming economic recession. However, he said, “I work for my toys.” As we move forward through questionable times, it seems many are following the US tourist’s mantra: work hard, play hard. With high season upon us, charter companies—both corporate and boutique—are reporting high booking numbers along with a newfound hope for a readjusted marketplace in the British Virgin Islands.



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Crew from TMM Charters in Road Reef Plaza work to maintain a yacht.

You’ve got to remember: We’re in a business that throws you a curveball right when you think you’ve got everything figured out.


experience a Caribbean watersports vacation like no other

— Dick Schoonover

By all appearances, the charter industry—from crewed to bareboat—is experiencing a resurgence to a growth level noticed among the industry before the 2008 stock market crash. In the BVI, clearinghouses and large and small charter companies are reporting growth that far exceeds the slowly reemerging uS economy. That’s good news, too, for the BVI’s economy, where more than $40 million in economic stimulus is accredited yearly to the chartered yacht industry.

Clear Skies Dick Schoonover, who is the director of Charterport BVI, revealed that the clearinghouse noticed a 16 percent spike in bookings from October last year to the same time this year. As far as a boost goes, the clearinghouse director explained that such a large bump in bookings is almost unheard of—especially given the uncertainties associated with a US election year. “One would think you’d be happy with a 5 percent increase—but with something like this, people ask what justifies it,” the 22-year veteran said of the 16 percent bookings increase. “You’ve got to remember: We’re in a business that throws you a curveball right when you think you’ve got everything figured out.” The majority of the tourism industry was dealt a screwball of sorts when the US stock market plummeted at the end of 2008—those in the boating business included. Schoonover described the time as “dismal” for all. However, he explained that he deals with a high-end clientele—doctors, lawyers, accountants—who didn’t waver too much with the decision to part with their vacation time and cause the industry to plummet to a level of no return. They thrive off these return clients who work to play, he explained.

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High Hopes At The Moorings, where TUI Marine has established a commanding fleet of about 300 vessels, employees are retaining a sense of optimism moving into these crucial months. The facility, which was originally built in 1969, stands as a pioneer in the BVI’s charter yacht industry. I spoke with TUI Marketing Manager Carol Hansen, who explained that other factors—like gas prices and the presidential election—tend to influence their potential customers’ decisions to book in advance. While rising gas prices cause a ripple effect through growing inflation rates, the presidential election genearlly causes poetntial vacationers to be influenced by a sense of uncertainty. “We are booking well in comparison to last year,” she explained, “and customers are booking further in advance. But with higher airfares, there’s a trend toward chartering closer to home.” As a response, she continued, TUI has opened new charter bases in the US to help supply client needs. “For 2012, we’ve opened in Annapolis. … We will open our new Miami location in the Spring of 2013.” Although the marketing manager was unable to provide exact booking numbers for The Moorings facility, she explained that repeat guests and an established reputation in the BVI draws a steady number of arrivals.






Boutique Fleet Since The Moorings was first established in the late 1960s, word has traveled about this idyllic sailing destination. Now, many point to the BVI as the charter capital of the Caribbean. With this title has come a demand for new and unique chartering options. Today, choices extend to charter companies that occupy almost every marina in the territory. I spoke with Jo-Ann Downing, director of Voyage Charters out of Sopers Hole, who explained that they have benefited from a base of loyal return clients who prefer the close customer relationship they receive from Voyage. “We’re way up [with bookings] this year, and we’re very confident moving into the season,” she said. “We’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had to lay anyone off, which was quite a miracle.” Voyage maintains a fleet of 33 vessels, including 28 bareboats—all under local licensing. Over the past few years, as the recession rippled through the BVI, Downing explained that the company had to significantly discount their fleet to a rate that only allowed them to “break even—just enough to pay salaries and maintenance.” However, the 2012 season has allowed them to bring their prices back to a profitable level, while attracting a healthy number of clients—who consist of a 95 percent American base.

the Big Show For private boat owners, who depend on a captain and broker to push individual charters through the season, the BVI Charter Yacht Society Boat Show is the capstone event. The 31st annual event pulls into Nanny Cay Marina this year, with 90 boats registered to show, and a lengthy waiting list should any bail out. This important event allows international brokers—largely from



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We’re way up [with bookings] this year, and we’re very confident moving into the season . . . We’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had to lay anyone off, which was quite a miracle.

— Jo-Ann Downing

the US—to meet with the captains and crews of some of the showcase private charters in the BVI. It’s these interactions that can either make or break a boat’s chances to find their earnings in a profitable margin at the end of the high season. “It’s really important when a broker is trying to sell that vacation package that they understand the personalities of the crew,” explained CYS Director Janet Oliver, who is also the organizer of this year’s event. “The broker has these important choices to make between that boat or this boat, and they want to guide their clients to a crew they believe has the charisma and is the perfect fit for them.” To help stimulate this interaction, the Boat Show not only allows for an open house, meet-and-greet setting, but there’s also a schedule of events to allow for crews to show off their product. “Travel the Nations,” for example, calls for crews to cook up tasty appetizers and treats from international countries, while entertaining the guests and brokers that visit their vessels.

Oposite: Moorings guests aboard a chartered catamaran. above: charter boats line a dock at Village Cay marina.

Crews are encouraged to dress in appropriate garb and participate in cultural song and dance. The scene conjures memories of a high school mixer, and I suppose at the end of the day it is all about finding a suitable partner. Oliver explained that the charter industry seems to operate as a separate entity of the tourism industry. And although many associate sailing with the BVI, it’s up to the individual boat owners or charter companies to prove to them that they are the right choice out of so many others. As the high season once again falls upon us, brokers, captains, crews, charter company managers, mechanics, boat cleaners, store owners and a slew of other affected parties will hope that the economic forecast ahead provides for smooth sailing.



A Village Within a Town Story and photos by Dan O’Connor

The bright pastels and traditional West Indian and African huts of Crafts Alive Village act as a warm welcome to Road Town’s city centre. A short stroll from the cruise ship pier or the ferry terminal, this artists’ haven has become a home to some of the BVI’s most unique and talented craftsmen.



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Made in the BVI—that is the stance we are going to take.

Local artists like Joseph Hodge can often be found within a breezy, waterfront hut painting traditional scenes of a bustling Road Town marketplace, or an impressionistic version of the popular Virgin Islands rooster; a few doors down, Estelle Dawson might be braiding one of her signature straw hats; or the aromas of sorrel, guava berry and freshly baked rum cakes emitting from Ermine Macthavious’ storefront may attract a tantalized crowd. It’s a familiar scene for return tourists and residents who have benefited from the quaint shopping village’s pleasing aesthetics and unique gift items. Soon, however, return guests may be surprised to see what they find. Since July, government has embarked on an expansive plan to more than double vendor space and revitalise the area.

above: Buildings in the Village get a makeover. Left: The Village’s Old entrance.

As of press time, construction at the Village was well underway. Before government-contracted employees broke ground on the project, Crafts Alive Village consisted of 14 buildings and 23 vendor spaces. After the project’s completion, the area will house five new buildings and an additional 39 vending spaces. Plans also call for a boardwalk and waterfront amphitheater-style seating area. According to Road Town City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards, spaces filled up quick, and some 50 potential vendors currently fill a lengthy wait list. The high demand, she said, comes from the large number of unlicensed vendors that had occupied “Tent City”—the makeshift openmarket place near the Cruise Ship Pier. “Technically, Crafts Alive is full,” the city manager said on a recent local radio broadcast. “It’s kind of a difficult situation, but we are in the process right now of sitting down and trying to figure out who, if anybody out of that list, will be able to fill the spaces if we have any at Crafts Alive.” Those at the top of the list, she continued, would include vendors who focused on selling locally made, authentic products—not those manufactured outside of the territory. “Made in the BVI—that is the stance we are going to take,” Brathwaite-Edwards reiterated. Along with the push for local vendors who produce local products, government officials are planning a training programmed for vendors.



above: Vibrant storefronts line the Village’s pathways. above right: a rendering of the final project.

You’ve got this possibility of growth—a possibility to bring that local part of tourism to the tourists



“This training will entail how you display your things, how you market, how you package and the whole nine yards,” the city manager explained. These new and ambitious plans for the Crafts Alive Village could mean an influx of traffic in the area, and a boost for existing vendors. It could revitalize the area and make the shopping district more established and appealing for tourists and residents alike. It could mean a lot of things. But for vendors who are currently out of their shops—out of work—and who are patiently awaiting the project’s completion, it’s unclear what the future may hold. Fiona Dugdale, who has owned Coral Studio in the Village since 2008, said she remains hopeful about the project. “I’m not going to worry, but at the same time, I don’t know what will happen,” said the owner of the studio, where local coral items, figurines, jewelry and soaps are sold. “It’s impossible to guess, but you wonder what will happen with all those people in such a small area.” Dugdale and her storefront neighbours benefit largely from cruiseship passengers, who flock to the Village in numbers in high season. Since Tent City was erected by a number of vendors several years ago, she said the Village has been adversely affected. Government officials have recently Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.



Construction on the Village continued through October.

threatened to close the area that hosts a number of unlicensed vendors, but it’s unclear where they’ll be when the cruise ships begin revisiting the territory this month. The Coral Studio owner said she hopes her new neighbours will focus on selling unique local products instead of bringing a stressful state of competition to the area. A few doors down from Coral Studio, Locally Yours attracts patrons with a sweet tooth and good taste in local flavour. Ermine Mathavious, who owns the shop where local fruit liquors, popsicles, juices and candies are sold, said she also remains optimistic about the government venture. “You’ve got this possibility of growth—a possibility to bring that local part of tourism to the tourists,” she said. “I hope we can still continue the tradition of bringing them something authentic and packaged locally—unlike anywhere they’ve ever been before.”

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Slop e How to control an eroding landscape

Story and photos by Scarlett Steer

Erosion on major building sites is a relatively common sight around the BVI, but we should not be too quick to assign fault with construction alone. Our own homes and gardens can also play a role. Heavy weather or excess landscape irrigation causes runoff from our gardens, driveways and parking lots. Topsoil—brimming with valuable microorganisms and nutrients—is washed away. Included in this mix are often contaminants such as fertilizers and pesticides. Not the ideal combination to end up in ones drinking water. But help is at hand. There are more than a few options to help avoid this potential unhappy event—some DIY affairs and others that require proper landscape architect design and execution.

On the Incline Grass: Various species of grass provide good protection against erosion. Grass is inexpensive and grows well. Ryegrass, for instance, is often planted to help reestablish hillsides devastated by wildfires in California. Your local landscape company or



the Ministry of Agriculture are the best sources of information on the best grass to choose for your particular area. Mulch: A much-loved friend of the landscaper, this erosion prevention tool also absorbs moisture and releases it into the ground slowly and steadily without washing anything away. Mulch can take the form of bark chips, wood pulp, straw, leaves and cuttings, and/or sawdust, and provides a starter environment your plants will love you for. Matting: Erosion control matting works well to help plants take root on precipitous terrain. This woven fabric is generally made up of organic materials such as jute, straw, wood, coconut, coir and mulches, held together by synthetic mesh straw filament. Erosion control matting comes with extra added bonuses for your garden. These include: the absorption of very

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The naturally occuring erosion control on VG’s Sunset Gate property provides for a perfect nature trail.



GO nATIVE. Incorporate the native plants and trees on your property into your landscape design.

heavy rainfall, the moderation of soil temperature, and the preservation of soil moisture. This matting is also very natural in appearance blending nicely in to your planters and beds. Baffles and Boulders: Not to be confused with a berm, landscape baffles are small terraces that run parallel across medium-sloped inclines to hold soil, mulch and plants in place and to prevent erosion. The inclusion of small rock gardens or bigger boulders in your landscaping not only helps to control erosion by impeding the flow of water, but can also add wonderful texture to a landscape. Barriers like rails or timbers can be placed to overlap at right angles. These, along with the baffles, hinder and divert the flow of water during heavy rains preventing it from running directly downhill. These types of barriers work best on mild slopes. Terraced hillsides: The terrace made an appearance many moons ago in the agricultural practice of terracing a sloping site. In gardening, a terrace began as an element where a raised flat section overlooks a prospect, and made its debut in the ancient Persian

gardening tradition. It is thought that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (and the only one that may have been mythical), were thought to have employed the terrace system; built on a man-made mountain with vast slabs of stone used to prevent erosion. Today, terraces have been adapted to both control runoff and help planted areas retain water more effectively. Terraces should be wide and deep enough that their forward edge is protected from erosion. They should also slope a little to prevent water from gathering at the back of the terrace. Riprap and Gabions: Gabions (from Italian gabbione meaning “big cage�) are wire cages filled with a variety of rock types, commonly granite or limestone. Riprap is rough, loose stone, usually granite, which is either set into or scattered loosely onto a slope. Riprap also slows and diverts flowing water. It is effective but can often look somewhat bleak as part of a landscape. Strategically planted groundcovers or rock garden plants between the stones can soften this effect. Riprap lined swales can be designed to carry runoff to stable outlets. These swales require proper design and careful








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engineering, taking building codes into consideration. Plants: Plants can either stand alone or be incorporated into any of the erosion control techniques mentioned above. When plants are established, the roots help anchor the soil. Getting them established, however, is the tricky part and requires some elbow grease in the early stages. Certain plants fare better on slopes than others, and it is best to consult your local landscape company before spending your money. If you want to install irrigation on a planted slope, make sure that the system’s water pressure is adequate to water the entire area. Go native. Incorporate the native plants and trees on your property into your landscape design. Indigenous plants and trees are masters in erosion control tool. They are already adapted to their environment, are deep-rooted and hardy. Space other plants out appropriately to allow for proper root structures and soil to absorb runoff. Erosion, at best, an eyesore; at worst, a serious threat to our community and economy. But again, even as individual owners of relatively small parcels of land, we still have the clout to make a difference no matter how small. And your local landscaper is here to help.

a rock garden on Necker island incorporates a series of small tiers that create level surfaces to maximize planting space.



When i drive through the lush hillsides of Shannon, i feel as though i’m entering a portal to a different world—a world within Tortola. i like to have all my windows open as i slow-roll through the canopied, semi-rainforest, and invite in the crisp air.

Nestled in Nature

Shannon Words by Dan O’Connor Photos by Paul Hubbard, rainbow Visions BVI



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ome of the Virgin Islands most secluded and elegant homes have carved out their foundations within Shannon’s hillside. A number of the island’s most revered architects have used the ideal wind tunnels and north shore dreamscapes to etch out their own private retreats. On an especially hot day in September, I was refreshed by one such hideaway at Shannon Manor. The luxury home rests on almost two acres of land accessible only by a private drive that includes a quiet, five-property estate. Shannon Manor’s land spills across the main road, where enough flatland exists for a tennis court or a romantic gazebo and garden area.

Shannon Manor’s outdoor pool and expansive verandahs, illuminated at night.

MANOR Sotheby’s Maritha Keil, who orchestrated the tour of the property, explained that the property was specifically chosen by its first owner, architect Nelson Cornish, who worked closely with Viviana Jenik on its design. I kept this in mind as we drove the spacious driveway down to the main house. As we entered the home, I was hit by a miraculous view drawn into the open-air layout. The vista overlooking Tortola’s north shore bends around Cane Garden Bay and provides a clear shot across Sandy Spit and Jost Van Dyke. I took a moment to admire as the cool-air breeze made me forget I was only a few miles away from the low-lying sauna-like September heat outside my office in Road Town.

Maritha explained that the open layout was inspired by traditional Thailand architecture, which affords the home cool breezes even in the depths of summer. If the weather turns wet and rainy, Shannon Manor can be shielded by a set of resistant curtains—or shutters if the winds turn wicked. The entire home is virtually hurricane resistant—from its steel beam enforced vaulted ceilings to its sturdy design. However, it manages to hold on to an inviting charm, perfect for entertaining guests. The kitchen is conveniently inset from the verandah—and includes some of the home’s most impressive features. Its spacious interior is equipped with sophisticated and modern monogram stainless steel appliances that would appeal to even the most stringent iron chef.



The upstairs living and entertaining area also contains a cozy yet spacious living area, equipped with a fireplace perfect for snuggling near on those extra cool and breezy winter nights. Adjacent to the living room, the current owner has transformed another inset room into an office area. The high ceilings provide ample space for tall bookshelves and storage areas. Open-air slits atop the ceiling—a theme through the home—allow for cool and fresh airflow. My tour took me from the upstairs verandah and down a set of teak stairs made of wood salvaged from a sunken vessel off Virgin Island shores. Like the upstairs, the downstairs retains a very open layout that leads to a spacious patio and lap pool. The master bedroom and two guest bedrooms encompass



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the first-level floor plan. I found out that this was a deliberate move by the architect who drew from Thai influences that purposely plot bedrooms far below the pitter-patter elements that are often amplified in a rainy climate. I was instantly impressed by the unique and intricate woodwork in the master bedroom—from the bedframe to the cozy lounge area. Maritha explained that most of Shannon Manor’s sturdy wood pieces were imported from Malta while others were salvaged as refurbished sunken treasures. Perhaps the most impressive attraction of the master bedroom is its immaculate bathroom, equipped with a walk-in closet. Thick, smoky glass wraps around the indoor shower. Outside, another shower sits footsteps from

Right: Neatly manicured pathways line the garden. Opposite: The modern, spacious kitchen.

The open layout was inspired by traditional Thailand architecture, which affords the home cool breezes, even in the depths of summer.

the garden and its utopia of rejuvenating scents. I was quick to jump on the offer to tour through the trails of the expansive gardens that act to connect the dwelling with nature. A meandering reinforced stone ghut symmetrically bisects the property and acts as a flowing water feature on rainy days. I imagined the wonderful trickling and bubbling background effect it would emit during the lazy days of the rainy season. We walked the length of the property, which is lined with luscious fruit trees too numerous to count. I stopped to admire the healthy star fruit, Barbados cherry, mango, grapefruit, orange and banana trees. On the other side of the trench, a kitchen garden

remains stocked with fresh herbs and spices. I imagined walking footsteps from the kitchen to indulge in the fresh rosemary, basil, parsley and chives for my own personal enjoyment. The varieties of fruit trees, orchids and flowering bushes and herbs provide for an otherworldly experience on the senses. The wealth of these varying fragrances travel freely through the home’s open halls. Our walk took us full circle—from its independent guesthouse past three garages. Within the modern garages, storage spaces abound. I was amazed to see how stocked yet uncluttered the garages seemed, with plenty of room to tuck away gardening equipment, tools, a large



The spacious yet cozy living area, equipped with a toasty fireplace.

generators and two powerful cistern pumps. I thought to myself, if there were threat of an apocalypse, Shannon Manor would be my ideal refuge. After visiting the stocked garages, we made our way to the home’s lower level center point: the pool. From there, I spun a 360-degree turn to admire the garden domain’s aesthetic and natural beauty. An abundance of well-stocked storage areas and a walk in wine cellar flank the pool area. The cool spaces underneath the home provide enough space for a wine collector’s treasures that would make a sommelier smile. An intricate set of stained and finished decks line the homes striking exterior, providing each guest room the option of private entertaining or congregating toward the pool area. Whether relaxing or entertaining, the possibilities seem endless at this North Shore gem. I found it difficult to leave the other world of Shannon Manor, and I envy the buyers who will call this sanctuary their home.

. . . most of Shannon Manor’s sturdy wood pieces were imported from Malta while others were salvaged as refurbished sunken treasures.

Shannon Manor Location Shannon, Tortola Bed



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For more info contact: Maritha Keil t (284)494.5700 m (284)340.5555 e




1.935 acres


US $3.2 million


Guest house (1 bed , 1bath); pool; generator; 3 garages



Story by traci O’Dea Photos by todd VanSickle

During the November in the Virgin Islands, any smooth-faced man should be ashamed. This is the month when men sprout lip fur, raise cash from sponsors, and use their facial hair to start conversations about men’s health and cancer screening. Then, at the end of the month, the men groom themselves into champions, competing in categories such as Celebrity Mo, Man of Movember, Lame Mo, Mo Class, Big Sexy Mo, and Team MoBro.

Do you



The cause, which initiated in Australia in 2003 but

came to the BVI in 2006, makes men proud to grow moustaches. “BVI Movember started basically the same way that the international movement began—a couple of guys sitting in a bar talking about how they could help out,” BVI Movember Committee member Brendan Joyce said in his Scottish brogue as we sat on a picnic bench by the Nanny Cay beach, “and now it’s grown—both locally and internationally—into this huge fundraiser.” The Movember website reinforces this fact: “From 30 Mo Bros in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 to 854,288 Mo’s [worldwide] in 2011, Movember, through the power of the moustache has become a truly global movement that is changing the face of men’s health.”



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BVI Movember co-founder Adam McDonnell, a Kiwi, explained that he had heard about Movember “but not in great detail” until 2006 when he was reading up about that year’s Movember on the Internet. He and colleague Matthew Owen “went to The Dove, lamenting how it would’ve been a good thing to do,” but since it was already the first of November, they assumed it was a lost cause. Enter Scott Hart, owner of The Dove. “Matt and Adam were talking at the bar about the concept of Movember,” Scott said, “and they were saying how it would be difficult to get going in the BVI. I was drawn by the charity and the irreverence of it, so I said we could do it at The Dove.” The initial team of three put up homemade signs at

MoBros reach for the mic at the 2009 end of Mo party at Nanny Cay.

the restaurant and signed up men through their connections in the financial. “All of a sudden, there were 30 guys growing moustaches in the BVI,” Scott said. During that first year, in 2006, the concept of Movember was not as accepted or widespread as it is today. According to the Movember website, the cause did not reach North America until 2007, so the BVI was one of the first countries, along with New Zealand and Australia, to participate. “When we were walking around with our moustaches, it was embarrassing. It wasn’t cool,” Scott said. “It was fun, though. It was this joke that 30 people on the island were a part of.” The first year’s moustache competition prize-giving event at the end of the month was intimate though it did have some celebrity clout. “It started out at The Dove, a very small affair,” Adam said. “But it was great,” Scott added, “Sienna Miller and Rhys Ifans happened to be having dinner at The Dove that night, so they were partying with us at the awards ceremony.”

BVI Movember started basically the same way that the international movement began—a couple of guys sitting in a bar talking about how they could help out . . .

— Brendan Joyce












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Since that first year at The Dove, the event, like many a participant’s moustache, has grown. It moved to the upscale Frenchmans Resort for one year in 2008 then relocated to its current home at Nanny Cay beach. Last year’s End of Movember Party at Nanny Cay featured such notable judges as BVI Governor Boyd McCleary, international business magnate Sir Richard Branson, TV host Tamara Archibald-Gill, BVI Cancer Society representative Omonike RobinsonPickering, and Nanny Cay manager Miles Sutherland-Pilch. Adam told me that he’d contacted Sir Richard’s assistant to elicit the involvement of the celebrity mogul, who owns two British Virgin Islands. “I emailed her to see if he would be keen, and he said he was, but he couldn’t commit to it because of his busy schedule. I only told Scott [about the possibility of Branson’s participation], as he

That is what BVI Movember is really about: fighting prostate cancer and promoting men’s health. was the MC, because I wasn’t sure it would come off, and I thought it’d be a great surprise for everyone if he made it.” Sir Richard brought his catamaran, Necker Belle, over to Nanny Cay and said he could only stay about thirty to forty minutes, Adam told me, but Branson ended up staying about twice that time as “he seemed to be enjoying the occasion and was having so much fun.” Adam expressed equal excitement when talking about the involvement of the governor,

who is the patron of BVI Movember Charitable Trust. Due to the governor’s involvement, Adam said, “people realize that it’s a legitimate charity and a worthwhile cause. It has given a lot of credentials to the cause, and it’s given us a responsibility that we have to live up to the trust that the Governor has placed in us.” And that is what BVI Movember is really about: fighting prostate cancer and promoting men’s health. The funds raised originally went to the BVI Red Cross for PSA tests, Scott told me, “but the science now reveals that the test results in too many false positives, so as a group, we didn’t feel right about giving money to an unreliable test.” The Committee met to reevaluate their fund distribution and decided on several efforts, including direct funding to men who are suffering from prostate cancer in the territory. “We are going to see the money actually in action,” he said. In addition to distributing funds to cancer patients, BVI Movember Charitable Trust donated $10,000 this year to the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the United Kingdom, with the funds earmarked for prostate cancer research. In a press release, Governor McCleary said, “I am delighted to see that

above: Last year’s reigning Mr. Movember, Freeman rogers (right), addresses his fans as BVI Governor Boyd McCleary flashes an encouraging smile. Left: Mobro Ian James in form.



MoSistas, including our author (centre), display their ‘staches.

BVI Movember has supported the important work being carried out by the MRC and very much hope that the research will lead to more effective therapies being developed for this disease, which is so prevalent in the male population.” BVI Movember Charitable Trust also used funds to print men’s health posters which will be hung throughout the territory to raise awareness about cancer and health check-ups for men of all ages. This year’s month-long event includes several new fundraising efforts as well as the traditional festivities. Movember registration takes place on Thursday, Nov 1 at The Dove Restaurant. Participants must show up clean-shaven to pay the entry fee and get their sponsor sheets. On Saturday, Nov 3, interested parties can join in on the BVI Movember Poster



Pub Crawl when MoBros and MoSistas are invited to join the member of the BVI Movember Committee in hanging posters in men’s restrooms throughout the territory while enjoying great deals on drinks as well as a buffet-style dinner at The Tamarind Club. At the BVI Crewed Yacht Show at Nanny Cay on November 6, BVI Movember will announce the Mini-Mo contest for week-long charter guests. On Saturday, November 17, VIPY’s own Owen Waters will enter the Round Tortola Race at Nanny Cay to raise money for Movember, but he won’t be sailing the course; rather, he’ll be paddling away on his SUP. A Willy-T fundraising day is tentatively scheduled for Nov 18. The final race of the BVI running season will raise funds for Movember with all participants required to sport either a real or fake moustache for the race/walk up Cane Garden Bay hill. The race starts at 4:30 on November 24th, at Myett’s and ends with a party at Rudy’s. And, of course the Jack Daniels End of Movember Party and Moustache Competition will take place at 7pm on Friday, November 30. Personally, this Movember marks the end of my reign as Miss Movember 2011. I look forward to passing along the sash and stache to the next deserving MoSista. Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.



The Estate at Spring Bay

Secreted away at the edge of a private cove, The Estate at Spring Bay is as astonishing in its size and scope as it is in its extraordinary finishes and attention to creative detail. The Great House acts as the centerpiece for an amazing smorgasbord of terraces, bedrooms, pools, shaded pavilions, chef’s kitchen, billiard room, wine cellar, theatre, office, gym, pier, de-sal plant, generator and numerous outbuildings. Three other complete residences dot the property. All these are wrapped by a sweeping driveway, paved in native stone and brick and lined with indigenous flora. 20 acres of land leaves plenty of room for thoughtful expansion on the gently-sloped terrain.

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Steele Point’s dramatic cliffside foundation acts as a lookout over tortola’s northwestern most point. Photos by Steve Fox.

Renovating a BVI

Landmark by Steve Fox, Managing Director OBMI British Virgin Islands

Anyone who has arrived by boat into Sopers Hole will be familiar with Steele Point Villa.


esigned in the mid-1970s by Michael Helm, this unique and much-admired group of buildings has stood as an iconic landmark on the extreme western tip of Tortola, perched and poised on the rugged rocks, boldly and bravely resisting the aggressive and corrosive coastal environmental conditions. However, by late 2010, these conditions had seriously taken their toll on the wooden buildings, which became heavily weathered and had begun to decay and leak. The owners decided that the time had come for them to be completely refurbished and modernised, and hired OBMI to design and manage the work. As well as a thorough refurbishment of all aspects of the building envelope and structure, the owners wanted to remodel most of the interior spaces and to expand and gain space in bedrooms and bathrooms which were felt to be too small. But any alteration of a landmark like Steele Point requires a respectful and sensitive approach. This is no ordinary house. The various elements sit dramatically on the rocks, as a complex but very neat, well-proportioned series of structures, with gravity-defying cantilevers and a tower element connected to the clifftop by a bridge. Any alterations would need to be done with the utmost of care to avoid spoiling the unique character of the place. We also saw this as an opportunity to not only renovate, but also to enhance and upgrade what was there—to make it even better, and to add and create value.



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reinforcements are critical to the building’s structure.

Of critical importance, on this and on any other major renovation, is to get a detailed survey of the existing conditions before starting any design or construction work. Full architectural and engineering surveys were done to identify problem areas and the required remedial measures. As the external skin of the buildings was stripped away, the extent of corrosion and decay became more evident, and proved to be quite severe in many areas. A creative and responsive approach

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was necessary to consistently come up with neat, practical and unobtrusive solutions to difficult problems. The elegance of the original structural engineering had to be matched with new and additional engineering measures to rectify problems and bring the buildings up to current hurricane and seismic code requirements. A key factor in the success of a fast-track project like this is to ensure good communication between the owner, the architect, the structural engineer and the contractor. Most decisions are made on site, in response to ever-changing conditions as the job progresses and new areas of the work are uncovered. Decisions must be made quickly, in order to keep the work flowing and to avoid delays. Together with the need to respond to issues as they arise, there’s also the need to plan ahead. As in all building projects, and particularly in the BVI where almost everything is imported, we have to anticipate what materials are required and get them ordered soon enough to ensure they arrive on site when necessary, to avoid costly delays to the work. This

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can be particularly challenging on a project where we’re responding to issues as they arise, trying to anticipate quantities of materials to avoid overordering and wastage. All new materials introduced into the building were chosen for their high durability and ease of maintenance. One of the major aspects of the Steele Point renovation was the complete replacement of the original plywood roofing with new standing seam metal sheet roofing, with a natural “weathered” finish. With a life expectancy of 50 years, this material is very practical, but also harmonises nicely with the modern lines of the buildings. Gutters and downspouts were custom coloured to match. The roofing details were completely revised, to eliminate all the concealed guttering and pipework which had been the cause of much leaking and water damage. All the roofs were insulated, to keep the house cool and maximize energy efficiency.

at the end of the day, the view is always worth it.

This has surely been one of the more challenging and delicate projects in recent times. Rising to the challenge, the construction site was run efficiently by Arthur Corion and his crew at AC Construction, to streamline the sequencing and logistics, manage waste and debris and keep things tidy and safe. Now, with the work almost complete, the three buildings are standing newly rejuvenated, ready to resist another few decades of exposure to the environment, and another few admiring generations of passing sailors and ferry passengers.


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3/8/2012 12:58:41 PM NOVEMBER 2012

Simple & Secure Shipping Registration in the BVi

the BVI Category 1 red ensign flag flaps in the wind over Sir Francis Drake Channel. Photos by Dan O’Connor.

By Willa Tavernier, O’Neal Webster

From the US to the UK and beyond, the amount of flags waving in BVI waters could have a seafarer wondering the advantages of registering allegiance to one nationality or another. For many reasons, those waving a red Union Jack might be at an advantage. The BVI has the distinct advantage of being a Category 1 Red Ensign jurisdiction. This means that it is one of only 10 centres worldwide where mega-yachts and superyachts of up to 3000 gross tonnage, and cargo ships of unlimited tonnage can be registered. In addition, ships flying the BVI flag are entitled to British Consular support, Royal Navy protection, and access to the resources of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry offers the highest standards in technical expertise and safety management, and registration certificates are recognized worldwide. Most importantly registering a vessel is simple and secure. The main procedural elements are name availability and qualification; vessel qualification; evidence of qualifying owner and proof of legal title; and physical details. Local firms are well equipped to handle vessel registrations, vessel sales and purchases, and other changes and transfers of ownership, financing, ships



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VISR can register the following General cargo ships of unlimited tonnage Yachts of up to 3000 gross tons All vessels registrable by Red Ensign Category 2 jurisdictions. Recreational craft and yachts of up to 400 gross tons (about 45m in length) Cargo and commercial craft of up to 150 gross tons (roughly 24m in length) Domestic passenger ships on domestic voyages

mortgages and discharge of mortgages, and admiralty related litigation. The vessel must be registered in the name of a BVI company or in the name of a BVI or British citizen. Those of other nationalities may satisfy this requirement by incorporating a BVI company, but this is no cause for worry since the BVI is the world’s leading company incorporation centre. It has been estimated that, since 1984, over one million BVI companies have been incorporated, placing its status as a leading offshore jurisdiction beyond dispute. There are several factors which contribute to the BVI’s attractiveness as an incorporation centre. A BVI company is easily formed, has a flexible organizational structure, and is exempt from taxation and excessive financial reporting or public filing requirements.

Vessel Registration Process An application is made to the Registrar of Ships using prescribed forms which are readily available. The proposed name of the vessel must first be approved (to prevent duplication). You will need to provide the following: • The proposed name of the vessel and an alternative name; (ii) A Certificate of Survey and Tonnage from an authorized organisation for survey and tonnage measurements, verifying the specifications of the vessel to be registered, provided by the VISR or one of the following : • Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR) • Bureau Veritas (BV) • Det Norsake Veritas (DNV) • Germanisher Lloyd (GL)

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• American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) • Registro Italiano Naval (RINA) (iii) Builders Certificate or Bill of Sale; (iv) A Deletion Certificate if the vessel has previously been registered in another port. The vessel owner must complete what is know as an appointment of authorized officer to make the application on the owner’s behalf and the appointee must complete an undertaking to act as representative person Once the application is filed, an official number is assigned to the yacht, and the carving and marking note reflecting the vessel name, port of registry, official number and registered tonnage, which are required to be carved/marked on the vessel in accordance with the instructions on the note; when the marking is complete the Note is completed, signed and returned to the VISR. The VISR then issues the Certificate of British Registry (Blue Book) and this completes the registration. From there, you should be ready to reap the benefits of proudly waving that BVI Ensign. Happy sailing!

White Squall II shows her support for Canada, the BVI and . . . Willy-t.

“Tis not too late to seek another world”


Smiths Gore opened its office in the British Virgin Islands in 1965. The firm was established in the UK in 1845 and currently operates from 26 offices.



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British Virgin Islands Britannic Hall, P.O. Box 135, Road Town, Tortola T 1(284) 494 2446 E United Kingdom 17-18 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4PT T +44 (0) 207 290 1616 E



Profile of Paradise

Under a Microscope

Virgin Gorda

the Baths from a Bird’s-eye view. Photo by Dan O’Connor.

By Judith a. towle, IrF Vice President and Jean-Pierre Bacle, IrF Senior resource analyst

What is it that tells an island’s unique story, connects us to the wisdom of nature’s order, sings a hymn of insular diversity, speaks in a cautionary voice about beguiling tomorrows, and implores VI residents and tourists to always respect the genius of the place? This year, the answer to these questions was examined within the unique and comprehensive Virgin Gorda Environmental Profile, recently completed by a group of researchers from Island Resources Foundation (IRF).



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rom 1987-1993, IRF published environmental profiles for eight Caribbean countries. No profile was prepared for the BVI, although IRF hoped to extend the process eventually to the BVI. This did not occur until 2009 when the Jost Van Dyke Environmental Profile was prepared by IRF in partnership with the Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society. In May of this year, the second BVI Profile was published—the 255-page Virgin Gorda Environmental Profile. It is the most complete source of information available on VG’s environment and will quickly become the “go to” reference for a variety of users, both within the BVI and elsewhere. The profile highlights the richness of the island’s flora and fauna. Each species is a special part of VG’s natural history narrative and, collectively, they present a distinctive story that is only VG’s to tell. Many are indigenous species—true “Belongers” of the islands, as described in the profile. There are, for example, at least 97 plants we can call Virgin Gorda Belongers. And there may be others yet to be discovered. Fieldwork for the profile added new species, and further study will undoubtedly add more.

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. . . the highlight of the team’s investigations was the discovery of a bat cave occupied by Antillean Cave Bats (Brachyphylla cavernarum). above: Bats occupy a cave near the Baths. Below: the endangered Palmetto Palm on Mosquito Island. Left: the vulnerable and rare orchid, found near Leverick Bay. Photos by Jean-Pierre Bacle.

Most of the unique and rare flora and fauna identified in field expeditions were discovered by profile scientists in areas painstakingly difficult to access. One such area was the remote boulder fields at The Baths, which was only accessible thanks to the team’s knowledgeable local guides. Many rare species of bromeliads and orchids were spotted in the boulder fields. However, the highlight of the team’s investigations was the discovery of a bat cave occupied by Antillean Cave Bats (Brachyphylla cavernarum). This omnivores bat was the first of its kind recorded for VG. Surprisingly, many native and endemic plants were found on accessible pathways, just waiting to be discovered. The towering columnar cactus, known scientifically as Stenocereus frimbriatus, was noted along Bitter End’s Mangrove Trail and is also a first recording for the island. Other rare plants discovered on the slopes of Deep Bay and the Eastern Peninsula were the highly aromatic shrub, the Bahamas Berry (Nashia inaguensis), Fishlock’s Croton (Croton fishlockii), and the Alfillerilo (Machaonia woodburyana), a shrub endemic to St John and VG. The diverse landscapes and habitats on VG and its neighbouring islands make it possible for a host of vertebrate and invertebrate wildlife to flourish. Indeed the team’s search through shrublands, woodlands and dense forest uncovered one of the world’s smallest vertebrates, the Dwarf Gecko



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Over 85 species of birds ranging from seabirds to warblers to finch-like birds were recorded for the VG area. (Sphaerodactylus parthenopion), endemic to VG and Mosquito Island, and the rare Skink (Spondylurus semitaeniatus) and the endemic blind snake (Thyphlops naugus), found at Savannah Bay. Over 85 species of birds ranging from seabirds to warblers to finch-like birds were recorded for the VG area. The Environmental Profile provides abundant evidence that VG is graced with spectacular physical beauty, from the lofty slopes of its central mountain peak to its white sandy beaches and the dramatic landscape of The Baths. The island is home to a vibrant yachting and water sports tourism niche, and it was here that the tourism sector in the BVI came of age in the 1960s and 1970s with upscale accommodations that still augment the BVI’s reputation in travel and leisure circles. Seemingly, VG has it all.


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above: Savannah Bay Beach. Photo by JeanPierre Bacle. right: a Lesser Yellowlegs. Photo by Kevel Lindsay.


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North Sound, replete with sail boats. Photo by Jean-Pierre Bacle.

However, a mini-case study at the end of the profile, focusing on one of the island’s most remarkable assets—the North Sound—urges caution. It outlines a decades-long pattern in decision-making for the North Sound that might well be a harbinger for the future. To some, the changes experienced in the North Sound in the last 40 years seem extreme and excessive; to others, they are a sign of prosperity and success. But what does seem irrefutable is that change has generally proceeded in an ad hoc fashion, with too little appreciation or understanding of the interconnectedness of the development choices of multiple singular players, be they from the public or private sector—an observation that could well be extrapolated to much of the Virgin Islands. As the North Sound looks to the future, the profile encourages the kind of forward-looking planning that was not in place there in the 1970s and 1980s. The profile suggests that this is an opportune time to rethink the benefits of comprehensive planning for the North Sound—and indeed for all of VG. Time to seriously assess the carrying capacity of targeted

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above left: the Puerto rican racer snake. above right: the seldom seen wooly nipple cactus. Photos by Jean-Pierre Bacle.

Design Management

marine resources and the escalating demands of recreational tourism. Time to establish a management framework that identifies where and why water quality has been compromised. And time to implement best management practices for all road construction and reduce the scarring of landscapes and polluting of coastal waters. These are only a few of the environmental issues for VG found within the pages of the Environmental Profile, each issue influenced and shaped by yesterday’s judgments and today’s choices.

Construction Management

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The profile concludes by summarising sites, habitats, and species of priority for VG. As identified by profile researchers, most have multiple parameters of value and therefore require judicious protection and management. The profile was created to help the community of Virgin Gorda and its government make more informed decisions about these resources and to more fully assess the consequences of its actions (or inactions) on the long-term security of the richly diverse and equally splendid environmental treasures of Virgin Gorda.

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in the know New Trends in Home Decorating By Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell

We are always inspired by our trips away in search of new trends and ideas for decorating the home. This year, on our buying trips, we are seeing lots of interesting new trends and twists and, although some looks are not applicable to island living, we’ve included a few ideas that might help lively up your living space. Simple designs are in season. Photos provided by House BVI.

The weathered garden look has returned in a big way. We have seen a lot of crackled ceramics, big stoneware pieces, and even the gnome. Stone figurines are now being brought inside the home and large retro bulb string lights are being used year-round. Distressed painted wood pieces in creams and greens echo 1940s garden chic. In the furniture world, we’ve noticed a combination of both the modern and industrial. Glossy lacquered or mirrored pieces are being interspersed with large, recycled furniture. Tin accents and furniture finishes are also common. However, it’s almost impossible to use tin here as it corrodes almost immediately due to our incessant humidity. But if you like this trend, we suggest picking up smaller, cheaper pieces such as lanterns and candleholders, which can be used just for this season. Mercury glass in decorative accessories remains popular and incorporates well with any look.

In the furniture world, we’ve noticed a combination of both the modern and industrial. Glossy lacquered or mirrored pieces are being interspersed with large, recycled furniture. For the fashionable, the military look is reemerging in home décor. Flags and bunting are huge, and a great way to liven up a space, especially kids rooms. Retro, iron signs are prominent. With the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics this year, the Union Jack continues to be



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very popular, not just in the UK—it’s now being updated to different colourways. Large letters and characters can be used to decorate and are a great way to customize a space. In the home, the colour pallet is leaning towards darker, richer shades, including lots of chocolate browns, soft greys and taupes. This does not always work here in the tropics, as these colours can be very warm and dark shades can attract mosquitoes. We suggest using a dark colour for an accent wall instead of a whole room. We love a white or soft blue room (check out Benjamin Moore Jamaican Aqua) with an accent wall in a modern colour (such as Benjamin Moore Northwood Brown). Brights such as citrus oranges and shiny whites can make these colours pop. We are seeing less of the coastal look, although it is still very prevalent in the design world and is a trend that always translates well to our Caribbean lifestyle. Coral

prints, sun bleached fabrics and recycled glass filled with shells and starfish are prominent. Try spraying driftwood branches in a coral red (such as Benjamin Moore Habanero Pepper) for a statement centrepiece. Lamps are featuring more prominently in decorating. Rather than being used solely for ambient light, they are now becoming statement pieces in their own right. We have seen trends in oversized lamps with stone figurines or sea life sculptures for bases and large burlap or linen shades. Enjoy experimenting with this season’s new trends. We are always inspired how even updating one small item can update a desired look.

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By Susie Younkle

For many Caribbean visitors, food is a means to discover a new place. i have a particularly strong affinity for exploring the islands and creating memories through food. i may not remember the name of a small beachside restaurant where i had dinner, but i’ll surely remember the type of fish i ate and the spices that seasoned it. i regularly seek out local cuisine, and when i find a food i like, i tend to eat it repeatedly. Thus began my love of plantains while on a holiday in the Caribbean.

Whenever I cook with plantains, memories of my first visit to

Puerto Rico inevitably surface. I had tasted plantains a few times previously, but my real introduction came when I arrived in San Juan and immediately discovered tostones, highly addictive twicefried savoury plantains. (One of the world’s best “pub foods,” in my opinion.) Tostones were my gateway to a variety of delicious plantain dishes. Throughout my 10 days in San Juan and then Vieques, I ate tostones whenever they appeared on a restaurant menu. But I didn’t limit my plantain consumption to that tasty snack food. I enjoyed plantain fritters, mofongo, chips, sweet-fried plantains and a seemingly endless array of plantain preparations.

I returned home with a newfound appreciation for the humble plantain, along with plenty of recipes for preparing them. Due to their impressive versatility, plantains are ubiquitous on tables in the Caribbean. When its skin is green, a plantain functions as a starchy vegetable, much like a potato. Underripe plantains are used in tostones and chips, and are a common addition to soups and stews. Caribbean cooks combine plantains with various tubers—including dasheen, cassava and sweet potatoes—as part of the classic island “provisions,” in which the ingredients are boiled and served as a side dish. As a plantain ripens and its skin turns yellow, the fruit takes on a slight sweetness. Semi-ripe plantains are an excellent accompaniment for grilled meats or fish. By the time black spots cover its skin, a plantain is sweet and tastes like a banana. Unlike a banana, though, a very ripe plantain will retain its shape when sliced and cooked. Sweet pan-fried plantains are one of my favourite easy desserts and always a crowd pleaser.

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Plantains are a great choice if you’re seeking locally-produced foods, as they are grown throughout the Caribbean. Supermarkets and farmers markets typically stock plantains at varying stages of ripeness, so choose the type that suits your cooking needs. Avoid fruit that is moldy, squishy or dried out. Plantains require no refrigeration and can keep for a week or two, making them a boat-friendly food. Plantains are typically peeled before cooking (unlike a banana, they are rarely eaten raw.)The process of peeling a plantain depends on ripeness. A ripe plantain may be peeled like a banana, but an unripe plantain will likely require more effort. To prepare, first trim the ends. Then score the skin along one of its ridges, cutting through the skin but not into the flesh of the fruit. Pull the skin sideways to peel. Caribbean cooks don’t make small batches of plantains. Rather, they tend to be served—and eaten—in generous portions. Fortunately, I’m more than happy to eat plantains meal after meal, whether from a little Puerto Rican restaurant or my galley.

What you’ll need Pan-Fried Sweet Plantains 2 ripe plantains 2 Tbl canola oil or butter Brown sugar

Freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 small lime Dark rum

Peel plantains and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the plantain slices in a single layer until lightly browned on both sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Remove plantains from heat. Sprinkle with brown sugar and nutmeg. Squeeze lime over the slices and drizzle with a little rum. Serves two.

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Leo House, 65 Main Street, Road Town Tortola, British Virgin Islands, VG1110

Casa Del Mar - Tortola’s north side

Sea Grape Condo - Olde Yard VIllage, Virgin Gorda

Overlooking the beautiful Brewer’s Bay beach. A brand new 4 bedroom family home awaits you; call to view.

A beautifully furnished 2 bedroom Condo with all the amenities can be yours. Call us today!

Anegada Ocean View Home

Set amongst the unique, tranquil setting of Anegada, a few hundred yards from a pristine white, sandy beach is this 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms home. Located on Nutmeg Point along the western coastline of Anegada. This is definitely paradise!! The master bedroom has its own private patio from which you can enjoy the sounds of the ocean and the fresh cool breeze. Some of the floorings are covered with beautiful wood and the kitchen and dining room has an open floor plan and a separate living area. Your dream home in Anegada awaits you.

T(284)494.2500 | F(284)494.6969 | E | Skype truderealestatebvi Residential & Commercial Sales . Property Management . Long & Short term Rentals For additional information on properties for sale or rent email or visit us online at NOVEMBER 2012


For A Less Taxing Life, Own a Home in The BVI.

GUN POINT RAKU SMUGGLERS COVE C R O O K B AY $4,500,000 $5,500,000 19 room custom beachfront 5.5 acre historic, waterfront home. No other BVI home Estate located at Smuggler’s finished to this standard. Cove beach. 5 bed home.

S AT O R I V I L L A S M A H O E B AY $3,600,000

4 bed main home, 2 bed guest home. Glorious views. Short stroll from fantastic beach

DOS SOLS VILLA SEA GRAPE R A M B U TA N L E V E R I C K B AY WATERFRONT, BREWERS BAY N A I L B AY $2,200,000 $1,850,000 $2,200,000 4 bedrooms with pool. Right Walk to the beach from this fabulous Exquisite island home. 3 beds plus 1

on the beach. Indonesia meets 4 bedroom home with pool. Simply bed guest house. The island home Caribbean in some style! stunning views of North Sound! you’ve always dreamed of!

D ’A R C Y ’ S R U N A W A Y S P R I N G B AY $2,500,000

C A N N O N P O I N T E S TAT E C A N E G A R D E N B AY $1,400,000

SEASCAPE L E V E R I C K B AY $1,300,000

SEVEN PEAKS C A N E G A R D E N B AY $3,250,000 Sitting on a rare 4 acre water-

SEA’S SONG VILLA N A I L B AY $2,950,000 When you dreamt of a water-

front Lot, a 4 bedroom home with landing area. Very private.

front home, it probably looked like this. 3 beds, 2 beaches.

T H E R E E F S AT STROH HAUS B A L L A S T B AY TOWERS $1,550,000 $1,495,000 Brand new architect’s home Immaculate 3 bed villa marries contemporary luxury in private, gated estate. with Caribbean comfort. Views simply breathtaking!



2 acres! 3 bedrooms. Walk to 2 acres on the water at

apartment. Fantastic North Sound lovely 2 acre Lot, perched on hill

stonework, boulders and views. views,

2 bed with large pool in lovely breezy spot. Natural stone floors. Glorious potential. views of North Sound. New kitchen.

4 bedrooms with extra 1 bed 3 bed home with guest apt on

glorious Spring Bay Beach. Lovely Cane Garden Bay. Stunning

Views. Walk to marina and beach. above Spanish Town. Fantastic views.

MANANA, VG S E A WAT C H , V G $895,000 $650,000 3 bed with pool vacation villa, Lovely 3 bedroom villa with one Lot off the water. Walk wonderful ocean views, to beach, bar, marina, pool. breezes & awesome boulders!

LO N G B AY V I L L A S THE HANDSOME BEACH HOUSE $465,000 $525,000 A delightful 2 bed cottage right Choice of 2 and 3 bedroom stand on the beach at Handsome Bay. alone beautifully refurbished Resort Calling out to be expanded! villas. Great views, beach and facilities.



Under $1m


FROM $795,000

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. (284) 495 3000 Visit our offices at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, or Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda

TORTOLA H9 LOvELy LOT AT BALLAST BAy: Beautiful Ballast Bay Lot now available. Glorious views of Cane Garden Bay and Jost Van Dyke. US$120,000 (284) 495 3000 | | I10 WATERFRONT HOMES WITH DOCKS, NANNy CAy: 2/3 bedroom waterfront townhouses with docks now available at Nanny Cay, Tortola’s premier marina. Full resort facilities and competitive rental program available to offset costs of ownership. US$850,000. (284) 495 3000 | | H8 1 ACRE LOT, GLORIOuS CANE GARDEN BAy vIEWS: A rare Lot on Luck Hill with fantastic views of Cane Garden Bay. Beautiful sunsets. Very buildable. One not to be missed! US$225K. (284) 495 3000 | | H8 Cane Garden Bay Cottages: Two delightful cottages set within landscaped palm fringed gardens, less than 50 yards from the beach. Set in under 2 acres, prime investment property. US$1.295K. (284) 495 3000 | | J8 3 bedroom Ridge Road Home with 3 bed Apt: Lovely 3 bedroom family home with rental income potential from 3 bed apt beneath. Great views of North Shore and Guana Island. Lush mature garden filled with coconut palms and fruit trees. Motivated Seller. US$750,000. (284) 495 3000 | | G10 Hummingbird House: Located in the prestigious Belmont Estate only moments from Smugglers Cove and Long Bay beaches, this delightful home has been extensively remodeled by the current owner, an English Architect with over 20 years island experience designing first class, luxurious homes. Pleasing proportions and scale, elegant finishes and fixture choices of the highest quality and wonderful ocean, island and sunset views. US$2,495,000. (284) 495 3000 | | H9 Rose Lodge, 3 bedrooms Windy Hill *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 | H9 Business Opportunity: 1.04 acres of hill side land just 200 feet beyond the picturesque beaches of Cane Garden Bay. The property houses six buildings containing 5 one-bedroom, 2 two-bedroom and 1 three-bedroom units. US$2,500,000. (284) 495 4825 G10 2 BEDROOM, 2 BATH CONDO: Set within Long bay Beach Resort and operated within the hotel rental pool, the apartment has one full kitchen and one kitchenette and affords beautiful ocean views. Direct access to the hotel amenities and within walking distance to the beach. US$299,000. (284) 494 2446 | J9 SPACIOUS 3 BEDROOM VILLA AT KINGSTON: Two separate buildings connected by a swimming pool terrace with split level living-dining area and large kitchen. Master bedroom suite and two guest suites. Prevailing breeze and expansive channel views only five minutes away from Road Town. US$1,099,000. (284) 494 2446 | K9 5 BEDROOM BEACHFRONT VILLA WITH PRIVATE DOCK: Beautifully positioned on historical Fort Hodge Point, with extensive water frontage including two sandy beaches and full serviced dock. The 5 bedroom residence with swimming pool terrace encompasses approx. 4,500 sf and captures spectacular views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Spacious great room with covered dining porch. master bedroom suite and separate pavilion with three guest suites and game room. Self-contained lower studio apartment. US$5,900,000. (284) 494 2446 |

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 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 | 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 | Casa Del Mar: Newly constructed 4 bedrooms exceptional family home located on Tortola’s north side. This home is situated in a very private community, near to Tortola’s great beaches, Cane Garden Bay to the west and Brewer’s Bay to the north. This beautiful home sits on 0.399 of an acre. US$890,000. Contact | (284) 494-2500 | Sea Cow’s Bay Land: Located near Oleander Estate in the hills above Sea Cow’s Bay, these 6 Lots have spectacular views; these lots are perfect to build your dream home. Lots are from .6 of an acre 1.0 acre, these lots are ready to build with water, electricity and cable available. US$85,000+. Contact | (284) 494-2500 | H9 Cane Garden Bay: Hillside Land with stunning ocean views located in Cane Garden Bay; 0.596 of an acre; 1.472 acres & 2.00 acres, any of these lots could be yours today to start the home of your dreams. Contact | (284) 494-2500 | Private Lots for Sales 0.5 Acres: Located on the North Shore are two parcels of land, with stunning views, available to build your own dream home. US$100,000+. View at Contact Monica (284) 494-2500 Great Mountain Area: 4 Lots in a Private Estate for sale | prices start at US$67,000. (284) 495 3000 | | Cooten Bay Home for Sale: Owner Motivated – New on the market - Beautifully designed and finely executed this 4 bedroom, 3 bath main house along with a 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment located off the Ridge Road, is a steal at this price. Purchase today and use the income from the rented apartment to pay your mortgage. Bring your clothes and move into this architectural beauty which features Brazilian cherry wood flooring, granite counter tops, modern fixtures and luxurious furnishings. US$975,000. Contact | (284) 494-2500 Looking for an Investment Opportunity? We have the deal of a lifetime for you; an apartment complex with 5 income generating apartments and there’s room to add others. At $675,000.00 this property will not be around for long; call us today to finalize your sale!. | (284)494-2500 |

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

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 |

Turtle Dove Cottages - *NEW*: Tortola, Apple Bay. One 2-bed villa and three 1-bed cottages on

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 | |

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

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

R6 Looking for waterfront Land in Virgin Gorda? (284) 495 3000 | |

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 |

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.

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 |

vIRGIN GORDA P9 CHARMING TWO BEDROOM, TWO BATH HOME AT WINDy HILL: Set on 0.4 acres in a quiet neighbourhood the property enjoys beautiful views of Tortola and Beef Island and a lush tropical garden. | US$550,000 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 | 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 worldrenowned resort these 3-4 bedroom villas offer a magnificent setting, luxurious amenities and remarkable privacy. Rental pool option. From US$3,300,000. (284) 494 2446 | P9 HOME SITE AVAILABLE AT CROOKS BAY: Located a few minutes’ walk to the beach, on a quiet residential estate, this 1.4 acre site boasts spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and benefits from cool tropical breezes. Utilities to site. US$500,000. (284) 494 2446 |

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 | | 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 | | 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 |

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

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

Authorized Dealer for:

Your Store For: • The only certified paint consultants • Largest inventory of paints, paint sundries & Coatings • Most advanced color equipment • Consistent color matching • Contractor and quantity discounts • Top quality product lines • Quick and reliable service • Reasonable pricing

T: (284)494-1800 | F: (284)494-1803 E: | Located between Tool Town and Tortola Carpets, Port Purcell, Tortola, BVI


“The most reliable response to your need for clean”

Commercial & Dome c Maid Services Window cleaning Carpet steam- cleaning Tile / Grout cleaning & sealing Natural stone refinishing Vinyl floor stripping & polishing Concrete flooring cleaning Upholstery steam-cleaning

Tel. (284)494-5580 Fax: 284)494-5446 Email:



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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

“Oil Nut Bay is the greatest gift I can give my family.”


life tim e

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As faraway places diminish in their access and modern day luxury becomes more commonplace, there remains a little known outpost where legacies will live on in safety and seclusion, and generations of families will gather together as one – now and forever. This opportunity is as limited as the land itself. When it’s gone, it’s gone and may very well stay that way for generations to come.

y o u r m o s t r a p i d r e s p o n s e i s h i g h ly s u g g e s t e d .




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o i l n u t b ay . c o m