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THE CREW Copy Production Owen Waters, David Blacklock & Traci O'Dea Advertising Production Colin Rathbun, Nick Cunha & Richard George Advertising Sales Owen Waters :: Graphic Design Richard George & Nick Cunha Executive Producer Colin Rathbun, aLookingGlass Publishing For additional information contact Nick Cunha or Colin Rathbun at aLookingGlass or visit aLookingGlass #7 Road Reef Plaza, P.O. Box 3895 Sea Cows Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands t 284.494.7788 f 284.494.8777 |

letter from the editor Welcome to Yacht Guide's March issue. Spring. Delicious. Look out at that Channel and see the activity that is the charter season in its full swing around Tortola, up to Virgin Gorda and nesting at Anegada (with a few cheeky stops at Jost or the anchorages of Norman, Cooper and Peter). In this issue, we are proud to bring you a range of stories from and about our islands. Recently, my co-editor Traci was able to spend a lot of time with Geoff Holt, the quadriplegic sailor who has been making headlines and history navigating the Atlantic and further afield. Quite a feat and so is the boat! David brings us excellent advice on that often missed cruising tip of stay tensions. Chef Susie shares her passion, and as we push ahead into the season, we prepare for the upcoming Spring Regatta of which amongst many BVI sailors are ourselves. In the following issue, we are about to bring you the in-depth look behind the scenes of the Regatta and a new initiative from the BVI police force to address menacing thefts at sea. We have reported in the past of petty crimes here, and what we can tell you, as David surely will, is that it is not pretty at all when it happens to you. For now, we are pleased to report on a new event, BVI Kite Jam and if you are in it, on it or up in the air at it, good luck and wishing you a solid breeze. We hope you enjoy the issue, as always we had a lot of fun making it.

On the Cover: BVI Kite Jam's Charlie Smith Cover photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition.

aLookingGlass Ltd., publisher of BVI Yacht Guide, 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. BVI Yacht Guide and its contents are the intellectual property of aLookingGlass Ltd. Neither this magazine nor any part of it may be reproduced without written permission from aLookingGlass Ltd.


See you on the water.

Owen Waters

DESIGNER NEEDED aLookingGlass requires an exceptionally creative junior graphic designer to join our team. He/she will be able to maintain aesthetics while designing for functionality. Above all, the enthusiastic candidate must be capable of delivering pitch‑winning creative work for our growing agency. Our consideration for hire is based strongly on the portfolio presentation. Send a PDF of your design portfolio and a copy of your CV to or call 284.494.7788


Owen Waters

Managing Editor Owen Waters ::



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9 Provisioning: Passion for Passion Fruit


12 BVI Kite Jam: A Passion for Kiting

The Challenges of Impossible Dream

15 Shoreside Review: Drakes Point

W H AT ' S I N S I D E ? Skipper’s Tips: Need a Tree? You've Got One 7 Instead of simply wishing for a tree to stabilize your boat, our skipper recommends using your secondary anchor to secure your vessel in place.

Kite Jam: A Passion for Kiting in the BVI Kite Jam founder Charlie Smith reveals how Kite Jam came to be and shares his excitement about the sport and the upcoming event.


IT at Sea: Establishing an Internet Presence for Your Boat 8 Establishing an internet presence for your charter business can be overwhelming, but with an IT consultant and a minimal investment, you can make your name known on the web.

Reef Check Indicator Species: Flamingo Tongue Snail The unique markings of the flamingo tongue snail could be what keeps underwater predators away but also what attracts those who may want the snail as a souvenir.


Provisioning: Passion for Passion Fruit If you see passion fruit on island, stock up and savour it while you can. Chef Susie's sangria packs a powerful punch.


The Challenges of Impossible Dream 10 Paraplegic adventurer Mike Browne joined forces with renowned naval designer Nic Bailey to construct the ultimate sailing machine. Catch and Release 11 Armando Jenik’s “marlin-cam” reveals the plight of marlin after sport fishermen release them. A never-released film reveals some insight into what happens once the fish are "revived." Beware of sharks, indeed.

Shoreside Review: Drakes Point 15 The restaurant at Fort Burt has reopened under the experienced management of Eddie Brockbank. While it's still within town limits, diners feel a world away. EDGE: Ba ckstay Tension 16 Backstay tension isn't just for racing sailors. Charter skippers can also benefit from this useful tool. BVI Yachting D irectory Look here for the most up-to-date yacht charter and broker listings. It's a great place to start if you're looking to buy or charter a yacht in the BVI.

BVI YACHT GUIDE >> >> >> >> 6



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Need a Tree? You've Got One by David Blacklock

As part of getting around the BVI, a sailor is going to have to moor his vessel at the end of the day. With the busy season upon us, a mooring ball is never a guarantee, so today we're going to discuss a facet of anchoring that doesn't always get proper attention: the secondary, or auxiliary, anchor. Often when the day is drawing to a close, panic besets the newbie charterer. Suddenly the sky is darkening rapidly, and there are no more mooring balls available.There might be a spot to drop the anchor off to the side of the mooring field or deep into the head of the bay.The Bight on Norman Island is a good example of this. A concern might be that whilst there is good depth to anchor, there are sharp-toothed rocks or an upgrowth of coral close by one side of the boat or the other. Wouldn't it be great if there were a tree growing on the side away from the obstacle that you could tie the boat to and keep it from swinging? Well, there is. On every boat there is such a tree, or at

up the slack in the rode from back on the charter least an equivalent—the secondary anchor, usually yacht. Scope isn't quite so important as with the of the Danforth type. By placing it in the position primary anchor, though try for at least a 3:1 ratio. most useful in the given situation, whether off the By tying a separate line to the secondary's rode bow, abeam, off the aft quarter or dead astern, the by way of a rolling hitch, you can further fine-tune secondary can secure the vessel from drifting onto the orientation of your vessel. If you have deployed a rock or a similar hard place. an anchor off the bow as well as a secondary off The easiest way to deploy the secondary is the beam, the to first set the third line from say, primary anchor Drop the anchor gently rather than try to hurl the secondary's with appropriate it, this way the chain won't twist so much... rode to a stern scope and cleat, can point then place the the yacht into a swell to reduce rolling. In fact, secondary into the dinghy and motor in reverse to anywhere you can visualize a useful tree, that's the chosen spot, paying out the nylon rode as you where your secondary should be. Now go practise go. Drop the anchor gently rather than try to hurl that rolling hitch. YG it, this way the chain won't twist so much, and take

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IT at Sea with Gregory Lemmon

Establishing an Internet Presence for Your Boat

The internet has become one of the essentials of modern life for businesses owners, employees and customers, especially for the charter industry which relies heavily on overseas clients. Given the pervasiveness of internet usage for business and personal activities, many charter boat businesses surprisingly have not established an internet presence. I will explore the fundamentals of establishing an internet presence for your small business—how and where to start and what some of the missed opportunities are for those small businesses who have not yet established an internet presence. The Business Let’s say you are the owner of a small charter business operating in the BVI to customers that are out of your physical reach. The name of your business is 247 Yachting. You are thinking of establishing an internet presence for your boat as one of the ways to increase revenue and grow your business outside of mainstream routes. You are also thinking of putting up a website that will allow your customers to look at the different excursions you offer, provide news and updates about charters you have running and facilitate online bookings.

purchase email hosting when you were registering your domain, then you will have to instruct your IT consultant to do this and also to setup the email addresses you want. One of my recommendations for email addresses are to establish a few general email addresses such as, and info@247yachting. com. This provides one place for emails of a particular nature to go and also, in the event that there is a change in staffing, there is continuity in the flow of emails without the administrative burden of establishing new email addresses and informing customers that the email address for the individual is no longer active. Email hosting comes with multiple options and can start from as low as $3.00 per month.

Fundamentals You have informed your IT consultant of your desire to establish an internet presence for your business. WWW The first step is to choose a domain name and get it Establishing a website is more involved than registered with a domain name registrar. The domain registering a domain name and purchasing email name registrar is a company that provides, among other services, the ability to register your domain name hosting. You will be required to purchase website hosting, a similar process to purchasing email hosting. for use. For example, let’s say you decide you want Your business’s website is essentially your storefront your web address to be If the in cyberspace and domain name is is a very tangible available, then you it can be a fulfilling and financially representation of have the option of registering rewarding step for your small business. your business to current and potential it for one or customers. Website multiple years. The cost of registering a domain name typically starts at hosting rates typically start from $5 per month, depending on your hosting plan and hosting provider. approximately $8.99 per year with most domain name registrars offering discount on multi-year registrations. Establishing an internet presence for your small business is not a simple undertaking, but it can be You’ve Got Mail a fulfilling and financially rewarding step for your Your domain has been registered, and you feel small business. With the help of your IT consultant, very proud that you have taken your first step to this process can be seamless, providing your small establishing a presence in cyberspace. If you did not 8


business with yet another avenue for letting your customers and potential customers know about your business. YG

Technolnogy simplified

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Provisioning My passion for passion fruit started when a friend in the BVI invited me and my husband Matt over to her orchard to pick some fruit, fresh off the vine. It was love at first taste. by Susie Younkle

The following winter, Matt and I set sail for a few months of down-island cruising. We hadn’t even dropped anchor in one of our first stops, Dominica, and already vendors were paddling out on surfboards to meet us, hoping to sell us fresh fruit. As it was early in the season and few boats were in the anchorage, there was much competition for customers. Once we saw the bounty of fresh fruit available, we gladly purchased fruit from many of the vendors, who we came to think of as our Dominican Welcoming Committee. We left Dominica with an ample supply of passion fruit, not knowing if or when we’d find more. To our delight, we found copious amounts of passion fruit on other islands including Grenada, St Vincent and St Lucia. Our passion quickly turned into an obsession. Our safety stock of fruit was one dozen, and when we dropped below that number, it was time to return to the market. We ate passion fruit for breakfast, lunch and a mid-afternoon

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snack—more than a half dozen a day, so our trips to the markets required ever-increasing passion fruit purchases. It was a sad day a few months later when we realized that the season had ended and passion fruit was absent from the markets. Passion fruit vines grow throughout tropical climates, including the BVI, where passion fruit grows primarily during the winter and early spring months. It’s a real treat to find fresh passion fruit, so be sure to snap it up when you see the little oval fruit in a store or when a friend offers you some. (The more likely scenario is that you’ll have to beg your friend to part with it.) Select fruit that is heavy for its size and is wrinkled and brownish. Resist the temptation to cut into the fruit when the skin is smooth, as the pulp inside will be much sweeter once the fruit is ripe and slightly shriveled. The sweet-tart orange pulp, including the seeds, can be eaten with a spoon straight out of the thick, inedible skin. Or add a dash of rum to make a fun passion fruit “shooter,” as we learned in Dominica. Passion fruit is used in fruit salads, jams and desserts. In the Caribbean, one of the most common uses of passion fruit is in beverages, either alone or blended with other juices. While it may be harder to find fresh passion fruit on Tortola than on her larger

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

down-island neighbors where more land is devoted to agriculture, the scarcity may be what makes fresh passion fruit so coveted. Fortunately, BVI supermarkets are well stocked with various types of delicious passion fruit juices and concentrates in the beverage aisle. You may also find frozen passion fruit juice concentrate or frozen passion fruit pulp. Go ahead and enjoy passion fruit frequently. Don’t ration your passion. Passion Fruit Sangria This versatile wine punch has infinite variations, so feel free to experiment with ingredients and proportions. • • • • • • • •

3/4 C water 3/4 C white sugar 1 750ml bottle dry white wine 1 3/4 C passion fruit pulp 3/4 C passion fruit liqueur (e.g. Passoã) or brandy 1 orange, thinly sliced 1 lemon, thinly sliced 1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced

Make a simple syrup by stirring together 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar in a small pan. Heat over low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool before using. Combine simple syrup and remaining ingredients in a pitcher. Serve sangria over ice. YG

Ripe passion fruit should be wrinkly and brown. | ALOOKINGGLASS PUBLISHING BVI YACHT GUIDE MARCH 2010


The Challenges of Impossible Dream by Traci O'Dea

When quadriplegic sailor Geoff Holt arrived in the British Virgin Islands earlier this year, he arrived on a 61‑foot long catamaran christened Impossible Dream. Those who visited Impossible Dream while she was docked at Sopers Hole or Nanny Cay may have assumed that the boat had been built for Geoff’s historic journey across the Atlantic, but the catamaran was actually designed for paraplegic adventure seeker Mike Browne by Nic Bailey, renowned British designer and naval architect who also designed the pod‑like capsules of the London Eye. I spoke with Mike and his partner Martine on board Impossible Dream as they prepared the boat for a few weeks of cruising. I learned that the boat’s maiden voyage had been a transatlantic crossing a few years back, when Mike and Martine had been accompanied by two yachtmasters who coached the couple both in sailing and seamanship. As I admired the spacious, space-age cockpit, I asked Mike how Nic Bailey got involved in the project. “I went to the London Boat Show in 2000, looking for an architect,” he said, “and there was a catamaran hanging up on the ceiling of the exhibition.” The boat was CoolCat, a 26-foot catamaran, and according to Mike, “It was absolutely fantastic.” Mike met with Nic Bailey, but after hearing that he was working with groundbreaking boat designer Nigel Irens at the time, Mike didn’t think Nic was going to be interested in the project. When I spoke on the phone with Nic, he recounted his initial meetings with Mike. “He was interested in

for granted—the ability to adjust sightlines. “There are small changes in levels everywhere; you’re always changing your level, whereas when you’re in a wheelchair, your eye-line is fixed at a certain height.” So Nic kept that in mind when designing the deck and gangway. Walking around the boat felt organic to me. Every part flowed into the next. Even the lifts down to the cabins functioned smoothly. “It’s actually the floor that lifts,” Martine said as she directed me onto the ascending and descending plank. Another engineering challenge was how to get Mike and his wheelchair from the boat’s deck to the dock. They dismissed the idea of a crane and, with the help of engineer Roger Scannell, came up with the concept of a lift that adjusts to the appropriate height then folds out onto the dock, making a ramp so wheelchairs can roll off the boat. Nic also mentioned the task of designing the sailhandling systems. “The biggest challenge,” he said, “was designing a boat so Mike could steer and sail the boat from inside and outside.”The systems were not only duplicated, but triplicated, so that Mike can steer from inside the main cabin, behind the double-curved glass that’s reminiscent Mike can steer from inside the main cabin, behind the of the London Eye, or outside from double-curved glass that’s reminiscent of the London mini cockpits on each hull. When Eye, or outside from mini cockpits on each hull. I asked Mike where he is usually stationed, he said he prefers navigating outdoors. “Over here [in the BVI],” he said, “you don’t a boat that could be modified to suit his needs, but really want to be inside the boat, but you don’t always get modification wasn’t what it was going to be about.” these wonderful conditions [in the UK or Mediterranean].” Mike gave Nic his drawings, notes and a model that After the successful collaboration on the boat, he’d designed. “Within a week, he was sending sketches Mike asked Nic to check out a property he was and ideas,” Mike said. “The whole gangway around the considering purchasing on the Beaulieu River. One boat was absolutely his idea, and it’s solved so many problems on the boat in terms of access. And, of course, thing led to another, and Nic ended up completely revamping the futuristic mansion. “We now have a his artistic merit is superb.” boat and a house designed by Nic,” Mike said. “I don’t I asked Nic about the challenges that he faced when know what’s next.” Well, Nic Bailey’s designs do look a designing this one-of-a-kind catamaran, and he surprised bit helicopteresque. YG me by mentioning something that most sailors take 10


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by Owen Waters

Catch and Release You have to trust people in the water. I trust Armando Jenik, the underwater photographer, a true waterman. I take his word, and he backs it up with images.When I’ve been on various shoots with Armando, I have literally aimed my surfboard or windsurfer at his head, as if to clip him, but he jerked away at the last minute to take the ultimate shot. Armando trusts his chosen subjects, and he trusts sharks. According to Armando, the first sport fishers were encouraged by the Rockefellers to make the St Thomas harbour area a location for sport fishing tournaments.When Armando arrived in St Thomas in the early seventies, he was employed by marlin-hunting sport fishermen posing with their dead trophies. Armando was environmentally conscious and determined to win the hearts of the fishermen and persuade them not kill the marlin. Many sports fishermen eventually switched to the “more humane” catch and release fishing. Armando recalls an event that changed his life forever. Shooting for ABC’s The American Sportsman with Larry Hagman catching marlin, he jumped in the water to take photos and was amazed at the amount of sharks tracking the boat.The marlin was ravaged off the hook. On another occasion, after watching acclaimed shark biographers Ron and Valerie Taylor’s 1971 movie Blue Water, White Death, Armando and his buddies were inspired.They noticed a Coke machine housed in a shark cage outside the cinema as part of the publicity for the film. Observing that the Coke machine was not in danger of being attacked by sharks, he and his friends borrowed it, leaving a note that said the cage was being borrowed for scientific purposes and the benefit of the ocean. After the shoot with Larry Hagman, Armando’s concern over the plight of the marlin began to consume him. His interest was noticed, and he was flown to

A released marlin descends into the depths. Photos by Armando Jenik.

Australia to gather footage on the black marlin. His benefactor had bought him his first underwater camera at a value of $20,000, but on arrival at the airport, Armando was informed that his mentor had other appointments with the local authorities. He completed the shoot— meeting up with other St Thomas photographers at the airport—and thus began a communication of like-minded people with the proven view that sharks were tracking sports fishing boats specifically for marlin. In 2003, the ocean conservation foundation arrived in the Virgin Islands with their vessel Holokai to create a documentary on their findings. Armed with scientists, cameramen, National Geographic representatives and Armando, the footage was revolutionary and has yet to be aired.The sport fishers aboard followed the code of reviving the marlin by holding its bill and dragging it with the boat to give it oxygen for it to swim away.They also placed a wet towel over the eye to calm the fish.The combination of these things is deemed enough to be sufficient for the fish’s recovery and release. The scientists placed a VX 2000 creature-cam on the marlin to record its movements for up to an hour after

A typicallly territorial tiger shark waits for its marlin meal.

release. As backup, Armando was in the water with two safety divers armed with repelling poles in case of shark attacks, something Armando has become accustomed to over the years. The findings were revolutionary to everyone on board, and on replay of the footage, the proof is completely mind-blowing. As the marlin leaves the vessel, presumably in a healthy state, it begins to sink upside down, spiralling to the depths of the ocean. On two occasions, Armando has to place it horizontal to give it a chance to reorientate itself and go on its way. As he does this, he receives a huge push on his tank. He said he thought it was one of his safety divers aiding him, but when he spins sideways, he comes face to face with a 12-foot bull shark and seconds later is passed by a tiger shark. Nearby, Randy Kiel, his safety diver, is prodding the shark with a pole. Armando leaves the water for safety and his camera loses the view of the descending marlin. He speculated that the marlin would then make its escape. The creature-cam that rose to the surface from the marlin's back revealed another story.To the astonishment of the crew, they watched as the marlin began to swim deeper to the ocean depths, twelve sharks crossed the marlin.The future of the marlin was clearly in doubt. What is clear is that the marlin's power had been sapped, and it was left vulnerable by cause of its being fished.The combination of the boat's propeller and the marlin's senses creating distress in a frequented fishing zone left little doubt to the territorial bull and tiger sharks that a marlin meal was waiting. Armando deduced their own shark attacks were due to the fact that the sharks must have thought they were the marlin. The confused crew debated, and Armando and his friends remained calm, yet slightly sad.The marlin are given to the other predators, and the assumption that the revival techniques may be enough, remains to his conscience, at least, unacceptable. If anything, Armando’s initial efforts of curbing the cull of marlin has come a long way.The reality, however, for the marlin, one of the sea’s most graceful predators, is still in question. YG | ALOOKINGGLASS PUBLISHING BVI YACHT GUIDE MARCH 2010


by Traci O'Dea

A Passion for Kiting in the BVI According to BVI Kite Jam Founder and Partner Charlie Smith, the idea for Kite Jam was hatched a year ago in Cape Town while he and his boss, Sir Richard Branson, were chatting to some kiteboarders about what a great location the BVI is for kiting. All photos courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Charlie Smith, BVI Kite Jam Founder and Partner.



Gretta Krusie is one of the pros attending BVI Kite Jam 2010.

This conversation sparked the idea to promote the BVI as a kiting destination. “Richard wanted to do a race of sorts,” Charlie says, “from Necker to Anegada,” a race that Branson had done before with Larry Page from Google and others. But Charlie had bigger ideas—a week-long event that would include races, workshops with the pros, freestyle sessions, sailing and a little bit of partying. “It was meant to be a lot smaller than this, but it just snowballed,” Charlie says. Kiting is arguably one of the fastest growing sports in the world, due, in part, to the sport’s cross-gender appeal. Half of the pros attending Kite Jam 2010 are women. “That’s not something you’d see in many other sports,” says Charlie. “In windsurfing or other extreme sports, you see these big, strong guys dominating.” The fact that women tend to weigh less than men means that less force is required to lift them into the air, Charlie points out. “They also listen better when you’re teaching them,” he adds, laughing. The universality of kiting extends to the terrain also. “It’s such a versatile sport. You can do it pretty much anywhere— snow, ice, on a skateboard and on the water.” Then there’s the adaptability on each terrain. For instance, in the water, you can kite in the waves, in wake, on flat water, atop obstacles (or over people and boats, according to some rumours I’ve heard). The events at BVI Kite Jam comprise most of the possibilities on water—timed races, “expression session” freestyle competitions, freestyle obstacle competitions, showdowns between the pros and a down-winder from Windlass Bight to Cow Wreck Bay in Anegada, passing the beaches of Windlass Low Point, Bones Bight and Keel Point. Charlie cites the North Shore of Anegada as one of his favourite kiting spots, telling me of his frequent two-hour rides from Loblolly down to Cow Wreck. His home turf, though, is Necker Island, and he’s loyal to the place where he was first able to indulge his passion for the sport. “It wasn’t until 2004 when I came to the BVI that I had the opportunity to do it on a daily basis,” Charlie says. “It’s definitely my passion.” Charlie’s enthusiasm is contagious

Pro Kite Jammer Chris Burke in action. to Necker guests as well. “There’s nothing better than taking someone who’s sat on the beach watching and getting them up on the water.” His love of teaching the sport inspired him to include clinics with the pros as part of the Kite Jam schedule. “Every day there are going to be clinics for an hour or so,” Charlie tells me. The clinics will cover everything from on-water coaching to theory to kit maintenance. “There are no other kiteboarding events that do that. [The amateurs] will be taught by people who they have only read about in magazines.” Along with Charlie, the Kite Jam team consists of members Scotty Wilson: Events Director & Partner, Abby O’Neal: Communications These ladies make kiting look easy. Director & Partner, and Joanna Morris. The team wants the pros to be able to display all their skills, hoping to inspire future athletes. “We’re having some obstacles built at the moment,” he says, adding that he’s eager “to be able to showcase what the pros can do.” I ask Charlie about the gap between the skill level of the amateurs and the pros. “I don’t think it’s very big at all,” he says. “There are some aspiring kiteboarders mixed with some amateurs that are not far behind the pros. It’ll be interesting.” He adds that “the majority of the kiteboarding scene on Tortola are coming,” as well as kiteboarders from the USVI and Puerto Rico. While Kite Jam’s schedule is packed with activities, Charlie seems most excited about the race that initiated the idea—the Necker to Anegada Visiting Kite Jammers will stay on Sunsail cats. race, in which his boss will be participating. “That’s the focus of the event,” he says then instils in my mind the image of “having that many kites in the air at the same time, in the same place.” I look forward to seeing the beauty of our islands enhanced by the beauty of the sport.

A portion of the proceeds from BVI Kite Jam will be donated to Virgin Islands Safety & Rescue (VISAR), who will also be volunteering at the event, and Kids and the Sea (KATS). YG For more information, visit

SUNDAY February 28

TUESDAY, March 2


0800 Skippers briefing at Sunsail briefing room 0900 Kite Jammers briefing at Sunsail base 0100 Flotilla departs to North Sound & Necker 1300 Flotilla arrives at Prickly Pear anchorage 1700 Shuttles to Necker Island commence and run every 30 minutes 2000 Return shuttles to Prickly Pear commence and run every 30 minutes 2300 Last shuttle departs Necker Island

0700 Shuttle to Kite Jammers launch site 0800 Skippers briefing at the Sand Box 0800 Kite Jammers race briefing 0900 Philip Stein's Necker Anegada Race 1300 BBQ Lunch at Pomato Point, 1400 Kite clinics and free afternoon of kiteboarding 1700 Flotilla transfers to Anegada Reef Hotel 1830 Kiteboarding magazine village party 1900 Philip Stein Awards Ceremony and Dinner 2400 Last call

0800 Skippers & Kite Jammers briefing 0900 Catamaran race to North Sound 1200 Flotilla arrives at Bitter End Yacht Club 1300 Lunch at Bitter End Yacht Club 1400 Expression session at Eustatia Sound 1700 Awards ceremony 1900 Dinner at The Carvery Restaurant, BEYC 2100 Party at the pub 2300 Last call

MONDAY, March 1


FRIDAY, March 5

0730 Shuttles commence to Necker Island 0830 Kite Jammers briefing 1000 Round Necker Island race 1300 Lunch at Necker Island beach pavilion 1400 Expression session 1600 Awards ceremony at Necker Island 1700 Shuttles to Prickly Pear 1800 Last shuttle leaves Necker Island 1900 Dinner & party at the Sand Box 2400 Last call

0600 Departure for optional down-winder from Windlass Bight to Cow Wreck 0800 Kite Jammers briefing 0830 Skippers briefing 0900 Shuttles depart for Cow Wreck 1100 Expression session at Cow Wreck 1300 Lunch at Cow Wreck 1400 Kite clinics 1500 Expression session at Cow Wreck 1700 Awards ceremony 1800 Shuttles to Kiteboarding magazine village 1930 Casual dinner and dancing at Potter

0700 Kite Jammers briefing 0800 Shuttles to Necker Island 0900 Freestyle obstacles competition 0900 Catamarans to transfer to Moskito Island 1300 Lunch 1500 Pro rider showdown 1700 Shuttles to flotilla at Moskito Island 1800 Last shuttle leaves Necker Island 1900 Grand prize awards ceremony 2000 Dinner at Moskito Island 2400 Last call | ALOOKINGGLASS PUBLISHING BVI YACHT GUIDE MARCH 2010


Reef Check Indicator Species Flamingo tongue snail

by Traci O'Dea

Two flamingo tongue snails display their colourful mantles. Photo courtesy of Nick Seth-Smith.

For the next few months leading up to BVI Reef Check 2010, BVI Yacht Guide highlights one of the organisms from the Reef Check Indicator Species Checklist. The Global Coral Reef Crisis:Trends and Solutions states, “The goal of Reef Check monitoring is to detect ecologically and statistically significant changes on coral reefs that are caused by human activities.” We at Yacht Guide aim to raise awareness for this worthy cause. The one thing that protects flamingo tongue snails from sea predators is the same thing that endangers them from human collectors— their colourful mantle tissue. Humans often make the mistake of believing that the brightly spotted mantle tissue is the flamingo tongue’s shell, but it’s not. It’s a part of the live animal and dies when the animal dies. According to, the mantle tissue works like a fish's gills, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide with the water so the snail can breathe. Potential predators find the mantle tissue unpalatable, possibly because it secretes noxious gorgonian compounds after feeding on the soft skeletons of gorgonian corals, according to Donald J. Gerhart’s 1986 report in Marine Ecology Progress Series. Gerhart’s article also suggests that the distinctly patterned mantle serve as a caution to potential predators that the snail is distasteful. Or, the predator bites the mantle, dislikes the taste, then remembers the snail’s markings and avoids it in the future. This colouration, called aposematism, protects other 14

“noticed variation in Flamingo Tongue populations at species as well, including flamboyant cuttlefish and different sites” over the years. “Such observations,” he milkweed bugs—those little red and black bugs that continued, “are especially interesting when recorded cluster on the sidewalks and sands of Tortola. at locations rarely visited by divers,” indicating that The Global Coral Reef Crisis: Trends and Solutions, curio collecting is possibly not a factor at those sites. Reef Check’s five-year report, declares that “the flamingo tongue was added as an indicator of curio collecting,” supporting the theory Potential predators find the mantle that snorkelers and divers collect flamingo tissue unpalatable, possibly because it tongues for their spotted mantles. The same report mentions that “the highest numbers secretes noxious gorgonian compounds. of flamingo tongue, 16.5 per 100 m2, were found in 2001 in the British Virgin Islands on The members of Reef Check BVI are dedicated to Pelican and Spyglass Reefs.” preserving the BVI’s high numbers of flamingo tongue When I asked the Reef Check BVI team about this snails, yet another fascinating creature in our waters. data, I started a lively discussion about the spotted, Each year, volunteers from the BVI and abroad strangely named snail. Johan Kloppers,of Dive BVI participate in Reef Check, a global effort that wondered if the increased number of flamingo tongue monitors the Earth’s reef ecosystems. A non-profit snails in the BVI could be due to geography and organization, Reef Check covers its operating also mentioned that the sightings seem to be “island costs with much-appreciated donations. To inquire specific.” He added, “The Dogs, for instance, has higher about donating or participating locally, email numbers than Ginger, Cooper, etc.” Dr. Clive Petrovic, YG an ecologist and avid diver, commented that he has


Photo by Nick Cunha.

Photo by Dan OConnor.

Photo by Nick Cunha.

Shoreside Review

by Owen Waters

A New Beginning at Fort Burt with Drakes Point Drakes Point is not your average location, but it is as accessible as any Road Town restaurant. It is situated within the walls of a historical monument, Fort Burt, the garrison built by Dutch colonists and then taken over by the English.

Lunch Menu S A M P L E S

Chicken Wings $9 Plain; BBQ or Buffalo with blue cheese dressing & Carrot sticks

Monterrey Salad $13 Mixed green salad topped with peppers, black beans, corn, crunchy tortilla strips, Pico de Gallo and spicy chipolte ranch dressing

Grilled Veggie Wrap $15 Assorted Grilled Vegetables with Feta Cheese in a tortilla wrap. Served with a garden salad and a salad of the day

Chicken Roti $16 A mild chicken curry wrapped in a West Indian chickpea flatbread served with mango chutney and a side salad

Burger $10 6 oz Omaha burger OR Vegetarian burger on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion & fries. Add cheese (Cheddar or American); bacon or mushrooms

Fish & Chips $16 Beer battered then deep-fried, served with tartar sauce, French fries and small house salad

Remodeled as a hotel and restaurant in the 1950s, Drakes Point is under the management of BVI long-timer Eddie Brockbank. In his 23 years on Island, Eddie has done his time in many restaurants, including the William Thornton, the Royal BVI Yacht Club, Spaghetti Junction, Peg Legs and now his own at Drakes. As enthusiastic as probably the first day he arrived in the BVI as a teenager, Eddie shows me and Nick around the restaurant, the hotel and the still intact armory.The theme of the Fort has carried on in its refurbishment, and Nick and I are thrilled with the corner room turret pools that are part of a special treat for guests. The ambiance in the restaurant is old world. With dark woods everywhere, a small bar and a seating area with arm chairs facing a wide screen TV and then a terraced beer garden with large old wooden barrels as tables, I am reminded of an old English pub. As I peer over the balcony, we are looking at the original cannons. Not an English pub after all, I tell myself. This thought is further reinforced by the view of the Sir Francis Drake Channel which is stunning and breezy, only 200 feet from sea level. Tales of history in the Channel begin to pass around the table as we discuss living in Road Town in the old days as sailors, and we imagine the tall ships and vast trading in the port, as well as the shipwrecks and infamous pirating. Back to reality again as the food arrives. A chicken avocado wrap, straight off the grill from the impressive, vast kitchen now lead by BVI culinary chef Bruce Dixon. The food is good and wholesome. (A pint of bitter comes to mind. Probably not a good idea. I have to go back to the office.) Eddie has already set about establishing a good dinner crowd and entertainment on the weekends. His biggest surprise is the amount of functions he has been

doing, and as we look at the size of the kitchen and the 150-seated restaurant that can hold 300, no surprise. The place is an acoustic paradise, have you been to Waxy O’Connor’s in central London? It’s a labyrinth of wooden coves and old beer tables where everyone is talking but nobody is in another’s space. That’s pretty relaxing. Like Drakes Point. YG | ALOOKINGGLASS PUBLISHING BVI YACHT GUIDE MARCH 2010



Backstay Tension

by David Blacklock

For the sailor raised on racing and performance-oriented boat operation, the modern charter yacht can seem an awfully dumbed-down machine. Often lacking basic controls such as a cunningham, traveler or an adjustable backstay, the Average White Boat produces equally average performance. Whilst some versions of the ubiquitous AWBs might sport a traveler, the adjustable backstay is the one control that could come in very handy in the BVI's often lumpy and breezy conditions. Not every boat is lacking this basic sail control, however, and for those sailors lucky (or smart) enough to find themselves aboard a wellequipped yacht, here are a few thoughts on appropriate backstay tension. Broadly speaking, adjusting the backstay does two things for you. First, it tightens or loosens the forestay/jibstay. Second, it flattens or shapes the upper portions of the mainsail. Basically, then, when going upwind, the backstay should be at increased tension and when going downwind, at reduced tension. The amount of tension applied is dependent on the force of the wind. Tensioning the backstay has as its principal effect, increasing the pressure on the forestay

or headstay, thus flattening the foresail and allowing the boat to point higher. This effect is less noticeable with a roller-furling foresail, since the halyard is already stretched to a maximum but on a hanked-on sail, the effect can be immediate and dramatic. A further benefit of backstay tension is a similar tightening of the mainsail luff, particularly at the upper levels, as well as a stretching out of the middle part of the sail, resulting in a flattened, less powerful sailplan. This reduction in power will help decrease weather helm and heeling when beating. If there is sufficient crew aboard, then backstay tension needn't be a set-and-forget tactic. Working the backstay in choppy conditions can allow the crew to power up when The rig has its own set of rules, if you tune it right your sail will become more rewarding.

pushing through the froth and then de-power when in cleaner water. When reaching under genoa or jib in moderate breeze, it often pays to reduce backstay tension, thereby easing the pressure on the headstay and allowing more shape into the sail. Presumably when going even further off the wind, the aggressive sailor would call for the spinnaker— which has its own set of rules. With the wind over 20 knots, though, it's often a good idea to keep some tension on the backstay to keep the mast sitting up straight. Overall, then, the adjustable backstay is a very versatile implement in the sailor's toolbox. Every boat has its own limits as to maximum tension but generally speaking that level can be reached without bearing down too hard on the hydraulic pump or the adjusting line. “Don't break the boat” is always the priority when sailing, and this is no exception to that rule. YG

UPCOMING RACES BVI Sailing Festival 29 Mar - 1 Apr BVI Spring Regatta 2 - 4 Apr Virgin Queen Pizza Pursuit Race 25 Apr BVI Dinghy Championships 1 - 2 May Quantum Sails IC24 International Regatta 12 - 13 Jun Lowell Wheatley Anegada Pursuit Race 26 Jun Firecracker (WEYC race) 3 Jul Premier’s Cup 10 - 11 Jul Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy Race 18 Jul Back to Schools Regatta 4 - 5 Sep Open Sail to Norman Island 25 Sep Pete Sheals Match Racing 2 - 3 Oct Willy-T Virgins Cup Race 9 Oct BVI Schools Regatta 30 - 31 Oct Drakes Channel Treasure Hunt 6 Nov Round Tortola Race 20 Nov O'Neal & Mundy Commodores Cup & Prizes 18 Dec And if that's not enough, check out the forum on for more weekly beercan racing action right off the southern end of Nanny Cay. IC24s are the new fad in racing and spreading fast to the rest of the Caribbean and North America.


Clean, renewable fuel FREE with every sail! Largest loft in the BVI Full sales and service loft Convenient location New canvas and canvas repair Pick up and drop off Located near the entrance of Nanny Cay t. 284 494 1124





bvi yachting directory RT








Road Town

Nanny Cay

Trellis Bay

East End

Soper's Hole

Sea Cows Bay

West End

Virgin Gorda

DIVING & ANGLING Dive Tortola (RT)


MARINAS & YACHT CLUBS Nanny Cay Marina & Hotel (NC)


Royal BVI Yacht Club (RT)


Manuel Reef (SCB)


REPAIRS & SUPPLIES Doyle Sailmakers BVI (RT)


Marine Depot (BVI) Inc (RT)


Quantum Sails (BVI) Ltd. (NC)

284-494-1124 (RT) 284-494-6017 Representing the finest selection of luxury crewed charter yachts in the BVI. (EE) 284-495-1979 est. 1993 | Fleet size: 10 Sells boats: No Charters Boats: Yes Brand(s): Fontaine Pajot, Lagoon, Leopards, Island Spirit, Robertson & Caine, Privilege, Voyages Year Make: 1997-2005 Type(s): Catamarans

BVI Yacht Charters (NC)


Charterport (RT)


RESTAURANTS & PUBS Pisces Restaurant (SH)


Jolly Roger (WE)


YACHT CHARTERS & BROKERS (RT) 284-499-0591 est. 2007 | Sells Boats: Yes Charters Boats: No Brand(s): Non-Specific Year Make: Non-Specific Type(s): Non-Specific Number of brokers: 3 (RT) 284-494-4868 est. 1986 | Fleet size: 46 Sells Boats: Yes Charters Boats: Yes Brand(s): Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon, Leopard, Norseman, Island Spirit, Athena, Hunter Year Make: 1996-2004 Type(s): Sailboat Cats and Monohulls Double D Charters (VG)


Footloose (RT)

284-494-0528 (NC) 284-494-8787 est. 1998 | Fleet size: 36 Sells Boats: Yes Charters Boats: Yes Brand(s): Bavaria, Jeanneu, Beneteau, Fontaine Pajot, Lagoon Year Make: 2002-2009 Type(s): Sailboat Cats and Monohulls (TB) 284-494-6300 est. 1991 | Fleet size: 6 Sells Boats: No Charters Boats: Yes Brand(s): Peter Spronk, Sea Ray, Privilege, Beneteau Year Make: 1976-2006 Type(s): Sail & Power Cats & Monohulls (EE) 284-495-1931 est. 1993 | Fleet size: 16 Sells Boats: Yes Charters Boats: Yes Year Make: 1993 – 2006 Brand(s): Beneteau, Jeanneau, Fountaine Pajot power and sail, Lagoon Type(s): Sail & Power Cats and Monohulls

Racing in Paradise (NC)


Sail Bravura (RT)


Southern Trades (RT)


Sunsail (EE)


The Moorings (RT)




Tortola Yacht Sales (RT)



BVI Yacht Guide March 2010  

BVI Yacht Guide March 2010