BVI NEWBIE 2013
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Dear Readers, Itâ€™s my honour to welcome you to the British Virgin Islands. I have no doubt that you will be enthralled by the wonderful beaches, glorious waters and never-ending sun. But there is a lot more to see and do than meets the eye at first glance. I would strongly advise you to get around the islands and really begin to live the BVI life. As a relatively new BVI resident myself, I am still discovering the extent of the Territoryâ€™s beauty, its cultural heritage, cuisine and unique character and I hope you will be as delighted as I have been to explore all there is to see, smell and taste. I hope this booklet helps you both to adapt to your new life and to broaden your horizons. Welcome again, and thank you for choosing a life in the British Virgin Islands.
Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO Governor
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Hello. Hola. Bonjour. Ciao. Welcome to our alluring British Virgin Islands! Our tranquil archipelago of 60 islands and cays is a treasure trove of beauty and nature. Over the years many people around the region and throughout the globe have made the British Virgin Islands their new home. Now itâ€™s your turn to uncover what makes our destination so unique. In adjusting to your new surroundings, we invite you to immerse yourself in our ďŹ‚avourful heritage and culture, and relish the many new experiences that await you. On behalf of the BVI Tourist Board, we welcome you to the biggest kept secret in the Caribbean!
Malcia Smith Hamilton, Acting Director BVI Tourist Board
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The information contained in the BVI NEWBIE is for general information only. While our authors have made every effort to be as accurate as possible, aLookingGlass, publisher of BVI NEWBIE, 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 NEWBIE 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. aLookingGlass Ltd. ÂŠ 2013. All rights reserved. Please direct all inqueries to email@example.com :: 284-494-7788 :: www.bvinewbie.com
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BVI Information A Brief BVI History Notable Historical Figures Our Islands BVI Global Finanace Public Holidays
Immigration & Entry Requirements Finding a Job Starting a Business
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Preparing to Move Here · Money & Banking · Transportation · Utilities · Communication Island Pets · Waste & Resource Management
· · · Getting Married · Starting a Family · Education & Schools Healthcare · Law, Police & Crime · Religion Service Organizations · Local Media · Tropical Weather Flora & Fauna · Shopping · Shipping & Duty Wining & Dining
Full Moon Calendar Spas & Salons Culture & Festivals Sports & Recreation Activities for Kids Getting Off the Rock
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Production Team in un l o C thbCEO Rraesident/
aLookingGlass owner and BVIslander Colin Rathbun proudly wears the NEWBIE hat and lei whenever called upon to do so. Colin used his firsthand knowledge as a mailing guru to help author our shipping section.
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Nick Cunha, creative director at aLookingGlass, continues to tweak the NEWBIE brand with his quirky sense of humor and insistence on cutting-edge design.
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Designer and illustrator Akiya Brewley has taught us a thing or two about her home while working on NEWBIE, and sheâ€™s also learned a thing or two. Her eye for precise layout and design ensures NEWBIEâ€™s readability.
Owen Waters has spread the word about BVI NEWBIE near and far, including putting them in the hands of fresh ferry arrivals. He also provided his knowledge of watersports, club sports, activities for kids and beaches to NEWBIE. powered by alookingglass
Editor Dan O’Connor wears a lot of hats in the office—and out of it. When he’s not chasing down cruise ship passengers with his camera or exploring late-night haunts conducting “research,” he’s authoring a religion section that would make his mother proud. Former full-time aLG designer Richard George returned from university to the BVI this summer to help out with designing NEWBIE. His extensive knowledge of video games possibly inspired the new look.
Original writer and contributing editor Traci O’Dea thinks she’s starting to get her bearings after four years in the BVI, but she continues to discover bays, beaches, bugs and bars with which she was previously unfamiliar. When not at the gym getting pumped, Stephen Leslie France is getting his clients pumped about advertising in BVI NEWBIE. His passion for writing and feedback from his clients also assisted in determining several new sections for the publication.
Françoise Frank keeps our books and office in order. Not a newbie herself, Frankie is always available for useful advice and tips.
Dan O’C o Edit or in nno Chi r ef Ric Geohard Pro duc rge tio nD
Trac O’D i ea Coedi tor
Ste Franphen Ad Sale ce s&
Fra Frannçoise Dist k ri btu
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A special thanks to all of our contributors... Wedding planner and mother of three, Heather Anderson provided information on getting married and having a baby in the BVI. Heather grew up in St Thomas but has lived, worked and played in the BVI for 38 years. A true Caribbean girl, Sachkia Barnes is a freelance writer and public relations manager in the territory. She knows a little bit of this and a little bit of that and shares it with BVI NEWBIE in the Healthcare, Education, Starting a Business and Utilities sections. A newbie to NEWBIE, Kelly Bos is an individual, couple and family therapist. She’s also a wife, and a mom to an industrious three year old. Her expertise in all these roles contributed to sections relating to children, family and island fever. David Blacklock, the skipper scribe who only pops in to the aLookingGlass office when beckoned, is a charter captain and freelance writer living in the BVI. He managed to stay dry while helming the section Getting Wet.
Claire Hunter proved a valuable resource from inside the Governor’s Office. She combed through our text and wasn’t shy about confronting us on inconsistencies or pointing out necessary updates. Her resourceful and insightful input helped to add a backbone to our playful publication. In the BVI, it’s not always easy being green, but GreenVI founder Charlotte McDevitt has made it her mission to do so. She stepped in to add a bit of information about waste management and budding recycling programmes with hopes they’ll soon catch on and bloom. Gareth Thomas, Managing Director of Ogier’s BVI office, contributed his expertise on navigating the work permit process. Gareth sits on the BVI Company Law Review Advisory Committee, and is also a member of “Team BVI,” a government body selected to assist the marketing of BVI financial services. When the wind is up, he can be found kite surfing.
Charlie Brigden, admin extraordinaire for the law firm Martin Kenney & Co, generously contributed her extensive new starter research to several BVI NEWBIE sections, mostly Immigration & Work Permit, Transportation and Money & Banking. She also gave us a peek insider her Hurricane Emergency Kit. A newbie for four years, Charlie’s favourite BVI acquisition is her island dog, Roxy. Judy Haycraft moved to the BVI in 2000 after eight years building a successful recruitment career in London. Since trading the smog for sunshine, Judy has continued to build her expertise in the field of Human Capital & Business Consultancy and now provides a range of services through her company Ballast & Capel Business Consulting Ltd.
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Capital Road Town
National Flower Oleander
National Sport Softball
Population Approximately 27,000
National Tree White Cedar
National Motto Vigilate: “Be Watchful”
National Bird Turtle Dove
National Song “God Save the Queen”
Generally, the BVI is a pretty laid back place, but a few items of social etiquette are worth mentioning if you want to fit in. It’s considered rude not to greet strangers you encounter in the BVI. Before noon, say ‘Good Morning’ whenever you enter a room, shop, car or even meet someone on the street. If it’s past noon, say ‘Good Afternoon.’ When it’s dark out, say ‘Good Night,’—note that ‘Good Night’ is a greeting not a farewell. Even though it’s a tropical environment, the BVI is more than a tourist destination, and people who live here frown upon beach attire at any place other than the beach. And even then, it’s best to cover up if walking into a bar or restaurant. The Willy-T is the only bar/restaurant where the opposite holds true—tops are discouraged for all patrons. 12
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BVI Flag Union Jack
The BVI is classified as a British Overseas Territory. According to the BVI government website, “The government of the British Virgin Islands is legally a constitutional democracy with the Executive Authority vested in Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.” The Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2001 established a new Constitution for the Virgin Islands, to replace the Constitution of 1976. Now, for the first time, the new Constitution includes a chapter setting out the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual and provisions for their enforcement. It also spells out the title of a governor to represent Her Majesty in the islands, and for a premier and ministers, who form a Cabinet together with the attorney general. Executive authority in the BVI is vested in the queen and is exercised by the governor, who is chosen to his or her position by the queen. At the end of the day, defence and foreign affairs remain powered by alookingglass
the responsibility of the United Kingdom, but laws and local jurisdiction remain the active function of the House of Assembly (HOA) which was formed under the new constitution. Together with the education minister, the governor effectively splits control over the police force.
A Brief History…
The history of the different islands’ names varies depending on your source. I’d originally been told that Tortola was derived from the Spanish word for turtledove. While it is true that the Spanish word for turtledove is tórtola, during a one-day seminar, “The History and Historical Sites of the British Virgin Islands,” Dr Michael Kent, history professor at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, informed our class that the name of the largest British Virgin Island was given by the Dutch in the 1650s. Ter Tholen in Dutch could refer to the island, Tholen, in Holland, or possibly a ship. The name was then changed to Tortola by the English, and it’s just a happy coincidence that many turtledoves call this island home. Other islands, according to Dr Kent, were named to serve as signposts to ship captains for provisioning. Beef Island is where ships would know to go for beef; they’d then head over to Salt Island to preserve the meat, and finally stop at Cooper Island for barrels to store their provisions. Sir Richard Branson’s Mosquito Island, according to Dr Kent, may have originally been Musketa— indicating a place to buy muskets, not a place full of pests. The name Virgin Islands comes from Christopher Columbus who named the multitude of islands after the alleged 11,000 virgins, followers of St Ursula, who were beheaded in the fourth century. Vernon Pickering’s A Concise History of the British Virgin Islands states, “The amount of islands and rocks, and the short stay in the area, convinced Columbus to choose that name, thus simplifying the task of assigning a name to each island.” While the official name of the territory is the Virgin Islands, Dr Kent said, “For over 200 years, British documents have been calling this place the British Virgin Islands.” Archaeological evidence exists of inhabitants living in the British Virgin Islands as early as 1000 BC, Dr Kent said. After that, the timeline of settlers includes “Saladoid” Amerindians from 500-250 BC followed by Arawak and Carib Indians from 5001000 AD. A Concise History of the British Virgin Islands says, “Arawaks were basically farmers growing food mainly for their own needs.” The book also notes that “Caribs reached most of the www.bvinewbie.com
Previously, legislators were appointed to serve under the Legislative Council. A Cabinet is nominated by the premier and appointed by the governor. The legislator consists of the queen (represented by the governor) and a unicameral HOA made up of 13 elected members plus the Speaker and the Attorney General.
islands in the Antilles and chased away or killed the more peaceful Arawaks.” Dr Kent reported that the Indians were exterminated by Spaniards throughout the 16th century. “The Spaniards occupied the territory throughout the first half of the 16th century until the Dutch took control for a short period of time. In 1672, the English invaded Tortola, and the island has been under English (later British) control since that time,” said Dr Kent. A Concise History of the British Virgin Islands claims, “The earliest records referring to the presence of slaves in the British Virgin Islands begin in 1665” when 67 slaves were removed to Bermuda. The mass importation of slave labour occurred in the mid-1750s when sugar production began in the BVI. “Many of the slaves,” according to A Concise History of the British Virgin Islands, “came from Benin and Nigeria.” The UK National Archives website states that the United Kingdom abolished the slave trade in 1807 with Parliament’s Slave Trade Act, but slavery was not abolished in the British Virgin Islands until August 1, 1834 when 5,792 slaves were freed. Prior to the official emancipation, many freed Africans lived in the British Virgin Islands. Some were slaves that had been freed by white landowners while others were liberated Africans from shipwrecks on the islands or from ships “where British officers had liberated them under the protection of the Crown,” says A Concise History of the British Virgin Islands.
As stated in A Concise History of the British Virgin Islands, the newly elected administration in 1983 “revised and amended several old ordinances and acts and introduced a very important law called the International Business Companies Ordinance in 1984. This resulted in the registration of over 3000 foreign companies in a very short time. These businesses are not taxed in the BVI as long as their business is conducted outside the territory.”
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Islands at a Glance
Stretching about 21.5 square miles and housing approximately 22,000 inhabitants, Tortola is the largest and most populous of the British Virgin Islands. Road Town, the territoryâ€™s capitol and financial hub as well as the locale of most bars and restaurants, is located on Tortola. Beef Island, connected to Tortola by a small bridge,
is also often included as part of the main island and is home to the international airport. To some residents, Tortola has it allâ€”beaches, nightlife, watersports, mountains, wildlifeâ€”which is why they are content to explore all it has to offer without visiting the other islands. And while we recommend getting to know Tortola and all its secrets as much as possible, we also think the other islands are pretty special, too.
A short ferry ride from Tortola, Virgin Gorda seems like another world. The air feels lighter over there. Snorkeling among the boulders at The Baths, driving past Savannah Bay and over Gorda Peak, exploring the Caves, watching the sailboats in the North Sound and chilling out in Spanish Town bars rank among my best times in the BVI. The vibe on the eight-square mile island is very friendly with a tight community of approximately 3700 residents that includes both expats and BVIslanders. Since the island does not have the same financial district as Tortola, its central industry is tourism, and VG boasts several high-end resorts and excellent customer service. 14
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A 15-square mile coral and limestone island, the flat Anegada is not visible as you approach until you’re about a mile away as it’s highest peak is only about 8.5m above sea level. The island boasts some of the clearest waters in the area. Relatively free from industry, self-sufficient, and with a population of approximately 200 people, the community of Anegada centers on its visitors and caters in hospitality. Anegada is aptly known for its fresh lobster. Must sees are the mile-long walks across
Pomato Point, the flamingoes at the salt ponds and the wild shorelines of the west, snorkeling at . The island can be toured by foot, bicycle or scooter but not ruling out yacht, kiteboard, kayak or windsurfer. There are a lot of cows on Anegada. One rumour claims that a cunning bull, infamous for eating residents’ gardens, swam around a fence only to have a tiger shark defend the flowers by biting it. Things are big and wild in and on Anegada. Most common approaches are by air, private boat or ferries from the North Sound or Road Town.
Jost Van Dyke
Jost Van Dyke—the fourth largest British Virgin Island—is approximately three square miles and lies five miles northwest of Tortola. Jost Van Dyke is internationally famous for Foxy’s Old Year’s Night (New Year’s Eve) party in Great Harbour—often voted one of the best parties in the world. White Bay is a popular spot for Sunday revelers from neighbouring islands. The Bubbly Pool near Diamond Cay is a refreshing reward after a short hike. In 2008, the island’s population was estimated at 297 people. Jost Van Dyke also contains the popular snorkelling spots of Little Jost Van Dyke, Sandy Cay, Green Cay and the tiny Sandy Spit. Jost Van Dyke is an island concerned with conservation; the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society serves to protect the history, wildlife, culture and environment of its small archipelago. www.bvinewbie.com
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Notable Historical Figures Noel Lloyd
b. 1936 in the BVI d. 2008 in Florida
Noel Lloyd, inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr, started the Positive Action Movement in 1968 to protest the Batehill company’s development of land in the territory. The Batehill leases “were to run for 199 years…leaving less than 10% of Anegada to its own people, and creating a barrier that would separate the affluent Roadtown harbour from the rest of the island,” according to an article in Squareball magazine. In an interview for the documentary Noel Lloyd Patriotic Man, Mr Lloyd said, “I didn’t get a group of people and we discuss and form a movement. I took positive action and moved, and as I moved, people followed.” In 2008, the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park was opened at Wickhams Cay I.
Sir Francis Drake
b. 1540 in Devon, England d. 1596 in the Caribbean
Sir Francis Drake was a ship’s captain and privateer, financed by Queen Elizabeth I, who gained fame and fortune in the late 1500s by raiding Spanish ships and collecting treasure. He made several voyages to the Caribbean to collect treasure for the Crown.
b. 1759 in Jost Van Dyke d. 1828 in the United States
William Thornton was a doctor, architect, inventor and “fervent abolitionist,” as reported by A Concise History of the British Virgin Islands. He is most known for having his design used for the United States Capitol Building. Dr Kent is quite sure that he recently discovered the remains of
William Thornton’s Great House in Pleasant Valley, Tortola, where he likely composed some of his sketches. The Library of Congress website states, “[Thornton] brought his first plans for the Capitol with him to Philadelphia from the Virgin Islands in October 1792.”
b.1840 in the BVI d. 1868 in West Africa
Samuel Hodge was a true BVI hero. He would forever stake his name in history, when in 1866 he bravely volunteered and fought under the UK flag in the battle against a ruthless West African tribal chief. He’d eventually earn himself the highest honour bestowed upon a UK soldier of war: The Victoria Cross. Hodge would become the only BVIslander and first soldier of African descent to be awarded the prestigious VC.
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Sir Olva Georges
b. 1890 d. 1976 in Tortola
Sir Olva Georges was “a multi-talented individual. He was a great sportsman, musician, organist, notable business man, statesman, and parliamentarian,” according to former BVI Governor David Pearey during the 2010 unveiling of the monument in Sir Olva Georges Plaza in Road Town. After having received an MBE and OBE, Sir Georges became the first native British Virgin Islander to be knighted.
H. Lavity Stoutt
b. 1929 d. 1995 in the BVI
H. Lavity Stoutt was the longest serving parliamentarian in the Caribbean, serving 38 consecutive years as a BVI minister. He was almost the longest-serving Chief Minister of the BVI, winning four general elections. Mr Stoutt, The Telegraph reported in his obituary, was “the driving force behind the construction” of the Central Administration Complex. Additionally, the newspaper stated that “he recognised the need to improve the quality and range of education for all in the British Virgin Islands.”
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National Parks By Joseph Smith Abbott Director, National Parks Trust
Established in 1961, the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands is responsible for safeguarding 21 of the BVI’s most unique natural and cultural areas. These areas are situated throughout the territory and comprise glowing portions of “natures’ little secrets,” as these beautiful islands are fondly referred to. These areas are designated either national parks or protected areas, spanning the marine environment such as the famous dive site off Cooper Island, the Wreck of the Rhone National Park, and other spectacular dive sites like The Indians and The Caves off Norman Island to the highest points on Tortola and Virgin Gorda (Sage Mountain and Gorda Peak, respectively). Included under this umbrella of protection are historic sites, tropical forests, bird sanctuaries and beaches. In these pages, we highlight five of these jewels, which can easily be reached by car or taxi. A visit to any one of these parks is certainly a highlight and a treat to anyone living or visiting this island sanctuary.
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There’s no reason not to explore all that the BVI has to offer. One of the best qualities of island life is the bounty of adventure at your fingertips. Be sure to check out all of the territory’s national parks, including these fourteen other gems: • Dead Chest • West Dog • Fallen Jerusalem • Diamond Cay • Little Tobago/Great Tobago • Cam Bay • Prickly Pear • Wreck of the Rhone • The Queen Elizabeth II Park • Shark Bay at Brewers Bay • Devil’s Bay • Little Fort National Park • Gorda Peak • Spring Bay
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Mount Healthy National Park
Joseph Reynold O’Neal Botanic Gardens National Park
Established in 1979, the Botanic Gardens cover an area of 2.87 acres and is located on the site of the century-old Agricultural Experiment Station. The park’s name honors Joseph Reynold O’Neal, a leading figure in the establishment of national parks in the territory. The gardens represent an oasis in Road Town with its avenue of royal palms, leading to a fountain and providing a captivating entrance for visitors. The botanic collections represent the different habitats of the BVI, such as the rainforest, coastal environments, dry forests, in addition to displays of exotic species, and an extensive collection of palms. The gazebo of orchids, both native and exotic, can be discovered by the pond, which is filled with fish, tortoises and lilies. The nursery at the gardens cultivates a wide variety of horticultural species to refurbish the beds and for resale. It has recently become an important repository for several endangered species of flora found within the BVI, such as the Acacia Anegardensis, among others.
Established in 1983, this park occupies one acre of land. Its central attraction is an 18th century windmill which was used for grinding sugarcane farmed from the steep slopes on the north shore of Tortola. Once part of a thriving plantation, it is now a peaceful setting for picnics and a rest stop for visitors. The windmill at Mount Healthy, which was constructed from field rubble, is the last remaining windmill found in the BVI. Its large arched apertures are accented by cut stone blocks, and were functional openings used for carrying the sugar cane into the mill for grinding and the crushed cane (bagasse) out. This park is well worth a visit if you are interested in the vibrant history of these islands. It can be reached along the road which leads from Ridge Road down to Brewers Bay, on Tortola’s north shore.
One of the best qualities of island life is the bounty of adventure at your fingertips.
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The Copper Mine Point National Park, Virgin Gorda
Established in 2003, Copper Mine Point covers an area of just over 18 acres on Mine Hill, situated on the cliffs of the south eastern tip of Virgin Gorda. The park is comprised mainly of the ruins of an 18th century mine, whose chimney stack dominates the landscape. Although the Spaniards were the first Europeans to mine copper here in the early 18th century, it was actually Cornish miners in the 1800s who built the mine, the ruins of which we see today. As many as 130 Cornish labourers and their families lived on Virgin Gorda during this time. The ruins of their housing area and the operations center, containing the powerhouse, mine shafts, cistern, engine house and chimney, are still visible fixtures scattered across the slopes. Well before the Cornish and Spanish miners arrived, Amerindians mined the area for copper to make tools and jewelry. Mine Hill is a habitat for the white-tailed tropicbirds (Phaeton Lepturus) that nest in the rocky cliff crevices by the sea close to the southeastern corner of the Cornish Engine House. Departing from their seaside nests, they dive from incredible heights in order to feed on marine species, such as squid.
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Sage Mountain National Park
Established in 1964 and covering an area of 86 acres, Sage Mountain was effectively the territoryâ€™s first national park. The parkâ€™s creation represents the beginning of the conservation movement here. The land was purchased with donations from Lawrence Rockefeller and was gifted to the government. Reforested with white cedar (Tabebuia Heterophylla), West Indian (Swietenia Mahogoni) and Honduran (Swietania Macrophylla) mahogany trees, which now thrive along with other naturally regenerated secondary vegetation; the northwestern side of the park is representative of a Caribbean rain forest. Sage Mountain is the highest point in the Virgin Islands, rising to 1,716 feet at the northwestern side of the park, with panoramic views of all the islands. The main entrance to the park is a 5-minute walk from the car park atop the hill; there are twelve trails through the forest with loops creating a circular route. Brochures are available at the entrance, accessible by vehicle from the top of Windy Hill.
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The Baths National Park, Virgin Gorda
Stretching for a mile along the southeast coastline of Virgin Gorda are several isolated beaches sheltered by massive boulders, forming many caves and rock pools. One of these beaches is the world famous Baths National Park, commonly known just as The Baths, established in 1990 and covering an area of seven beachfront acres. A collection of massive granite boulders—some as large as 40 feet in diameter—dot the white sand beaches and create magical secret rock pools. This popular daytime anchorage is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The dinghy dock offshore prevents the beach from becoming overcrowded, while mooring buoys protect the reef from anchor damage. Swim line markers www.bvinewbie.com www.bvinewbie.com
guide vessels through safe channels when approaching the beaches, but caution should always been used and speeds should not exceed 5 mph. Strong ocean swells often occur during the winter months, preventing the use of the mooring buoys and access to the beach from the sea. Swimming is also discouraged during these periods, due to the strong currents. Access to The Baths is secured at the top. A series of steps and rope handrails guide explorers along a trail through the boulders from the beach at The Baths to the sandy expanse that is Devil’s Bay. Another popular beach for residents and visitors is Spring Bay which is accessed from Tower Road and connected through an intricate trail dissect. BVI NEWBIE 2013 BVI NEWBIE 2013
BVI Global Finance By Phillip Kite, Head of Litigation, and Colin Riegels, Head of Banking & Finance, Harney Westwood and Riegels Over the past two decades, the BVI has become one of the world’s most important offshore centres. About 900,000 companies are currently registered in the BVI under the BVI Business Companies Act 2004 (the “BC Act”). But how and why is it such an important offshore financial centre? A report by KPMG in 2000 estimated that the BVI accounted for approximately 41% of the worldwide market for offshore incorporations. Licence fees and payroll tax from the financial services industry provide about 75% of the BVI Government’s annual revenue. The BVI’s success is built on a type of company called a BVI business company (a BVI BC), formed under the BC Act. These have many advantages
due to statutory provisions designed to encourage the use of companies incorporated in the BVI. One of the main advantages is that as a general rule, BVI BCs do not pay tax in the BVI unless they operate locally. This enables non-resident businesses to use BVI companies without additional taxes. BVI BCs are also relatively easy to incorporate and run. Through the BVI’s electronic registry, companies can be incorporated within moments. The BVI BC must simply maintain a registered address and a registered agent within the BVI where certain records must be kept. It must also pay annual licence fees in order to remain on the Register of Companies. It is also important to bear in mind that the BVI BC is not the only entity which has contributed to the BVI’s success. The BVI is a major centre for the registration and licensing of insurance companies, hedge funds and structures for wealth
Ashley Ritter Building, Wickhams Cay II.
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The BVI Company Registry is the only public source of company information, and only limited company documents are available to the public. planning such as trusts. This wide variety of flexible products is another reason why the BVI has become such an important offshore centre. Their uses are diverse, and include the following: • Personal holding companies: Wealthy individuals often use a BVI BC to manage their personal assets and income with greater freedom from regulation than if the assets are kept onshore. • Tax: The favourable tax conditions can be used to help a company to reduce or defer taxes. A business might establish an operational arm in an area of the world best suited to, say, its manufacturing needs, whilst the profits are earned by a specially created BVI BC, meaning profits are taxed less heavily. • Estate planning: Trusts are often used by high net-worth individuals to enable family members to inherit wealth in a cost-effective manner. • Joint ventures: BVI BCs and partnerships are frequently used for joint ventures between two contracting parties who need a company or entity based in a neutral third location which favours neither party. • Property holding: BVI BCs are often used to hold property such as real estate and intellectual property. One of the building blocks for the success of the BVI as an offshore financial centre is confidentiality. The BVI Company Registry is the only public source of company information, and only limited company documents are available to the public. However, safeguards are built into BVI law to prevent this confidentiality from being abused, for example by criminal activity or money laundering. Another advantage of the BVI is its comparatively safe and politically stable environment. This provides users of BVI entities with the reassurance that their companies will be administered efficiently and effectively. Supervision is provided by the 24
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Financial Services Commission which has a wide range of enforcement provisions to investigate and prevent wrongdoing. The large financial services industry which has grown up in the BVI therefore generates a significant amount of employment. Financial advisors, lawyers (including litigators and transactional lawyers), trust companies, registered agents and providers of registered addresses, professional directors, secretaries and nominees, company administrators, insolvency professionals, investment managers, accountants and auditors are just some of the professions operating from the BVI in this sector. The BVI’s development as an offshore services industry has been matched and assisted by the development of its legal system. When things go wrong, companies and their users need efficient remedies designed to fit the needs of these offshore entities. The quality of BVI law is high: BVI law is a combination of locally enacted statutes designed to address the specific needs of the offshore industry, combined with the wellrespected and well-established principles of the English common law. This also means that many of the BVI’s statutes and common law principles are familiar to Commonwealth practitioners, making the system user friendly to a large number of professional (i.e. non-BVI lawyers) and lay clients. The court system gives the BVI a further advantage over many offshore centres. The BVI forms part of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, comprising the High Court and the Court of Appeal, with final appeals being heard by the Privy Council in London. The new BVI Commercial Court (which opened in 2009) has firmly placed the BVI at the forefront of the world’s financial centres and is presided over by an experienced English senior commercial Judge. It hears the most valuable and complex commercial cases, allowing them to receive specialised treatment by a specifically designed commercial Court. It is therefore unsurprising that the BVI is now one of the world’s premier offshore jurisdictions. In the words of the BVI International Financial Centre itself, the aim has been and continues to be that the BVI be recognised as an innovative, efficient and respected international finance centre through the quality of its people, services and regulatory environment.
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BVI Public Holidays 2013 New Year’s Day............................ Tuesday, 1st January H.Lavity Stoutt Birthday..................... Monday, 4th March Commonwealth Day....................... Monday, 11th March Good Friday................................... Friday, 29th March Easter Monday................................. Monday, 1st April Whit Monday.................................. Monday, 20th May Sovereign’s Birthday.........................Satuarday, 8th June Territory Day..................................... Monday, 1st July Festival Monday............................. Monday, 5th August Festival Tuesday.............................Tuesday, 6th August Festival Wednesday.................... Wednesday. 7th August St. Ursula’s Day.......................... Monday, 21st October Christmas Day..................... Wednesday, 25th December Boxing Day............................ Thursday, 26th December www.bvinewbie.com
BVI NEWBIE 2012 2013
Hidden Gems Consider yourselves lucky little newbies. I’m going to let you in on a few of Nature’s Little Secrets’ best-kept secrets. Secrets that took me at least a year or two to even hear about. Sure, the National Parks-endorsed playgrounds are well-advertised and good fun, but you’ll never lose your newbie badge until you venture off of the beaten path. The following are a small handful of hidden gems that will give you a good head start on becoming a less obvious newbie.
The Bat Cave
If you’ve been to Brewers Bay, you’ve probably gazed in amazement upon its dramatic horseshoe hillsides. Little may you have known that the northeastern enclave can be accessed through a maze of trails leading through a bat cave and viewpoints that rival those on the cover of National Geographic. You’ll need a car to get there, but parking is limited. Ask a Brewers resident for exact directions.
White Bay, Guana Island
This bright white sand beach illuminates Guana’s southern shore, and is visible from the heights of Tortola’s Ridge Road. To get there, you’ll need a boat or a friend who works on the private resort island. If you’re lucky enough to dip your toes in the sugar-fine sand, be respectful and remember that the rest of the island is under private ownership.
BVI NEWBIE 2013
Nature Boy’s Trails
There’s a cool cat named Winston, better known as Nature Boy, who operates an intricate system of beach shacks on Long Bay Beach (further down past the resort beach). If you ask nicely, he’ll show you around his maze of huts and direct you through the mile or so of trails that lead through the acres of palms, remnants of ancient ruins and a salt pond.
Salt Island Graves
Take a boat trip to Salt Island, from where the Queen of England still gets a bag of salt each year (via the Governor as payment for rent). Atop a hill on the island, a circle of graves remains from those perished in the wreck of the Rhone in 1867. The unmarked graves continue to eerily exist at a vantage point overlooking Tortola. Head over the salt ponds on the south side of the island to come across a natural salt pond so large it takes over an hour to circle by foot. Nobody inhabits the island anymore, but the salt keeps coming.
The Bubbly Pool
If you’ve ever docked outside Foxy’s Taboo, this hot spot may just be the best place on Jost Van Dyke to cool down. On the northeast side of Jost, a 15-minute trail leads past a salt pond and up a subtle hillside to a dramatic rocky blowhole that has formed a natural whirlpool. In the winter, when tides are strong, this gentle pool can become a fierce water ride, while its summertime currents encourage quiet relaxation. powered by alookingglass
BVI NEWBIE 2013
Immigration & Work Permit I remember the first time I arrived in the BVI with my work permit application paperwork. I waited in the residents line at the ferry dock and was told to go to the immigration officer’s desk while he checked over my information. I kept thinking that he could reject me at any moment—putting me on the next ferry back to the USVI. But he didn’t. He let me in. Then the process of getting my actual work permit began...
Before You Arrive
Before you get here, you should attempt to familiarize yourself with the new Labour Code, passed by government in 2010. The hefty piece of legislation remains an enigma for many but effectively lays the groundwork for inevitable laws and regulations to come. To view the Code in its entirety, go to www.bvinewbie.com and search our Immigration & Work Permit section for a downloadable PDF.
Obtaining a work permit
In order to work in the BVI, an employer must first offer you a job. The same employer also must prove that he or she has taken the necessary steps to find a qualified BVIslander to fill the position, through two consecutive weeks of advertising the vacancy in one of the territory’s three print newspapers. Vacancies can also be submitted to the Labour Department to post on their employment notice board. If no suitable local applicants are available, an employer may seek a work permit for an expatriate worker. This process takes on average approximately 7-10 weeks from when the application is submitted to the Labour Department to when the immigration clearance forms are issued. The work permit form consists of four documents to be completed by both the employee and the employer. In addition to the forms, your employer must concurrently submit the following: • Two passport photos • Your curriculum vitae • A certified copy of the photo and signature page of your passport • Certified copies of academic degrees and professional qualifications (these should be translated and notarized if the original is not in English) 28
BVI NEWBIE 2013
• One professional reference on company letterhead • One character reference written by a professional person or academic that has known the individual for at least five years • A copy of the employer’s trade licence • The job description of the vacancy being filled • A copy of the newspaper recruitment advertisement The work permit application is initially vetted by the Labour Department. If the permit is approved, it is then sent to the Immigration Department where the average processing time is 7-10 working days. Before departing for the BVI, make sure you have all the following documents with you to show upon your arrival in the territory: • Passport • Two passport-sized photos • An approved and stamped work permit application • A clean police report no more than six months old • A return airfare or ferry ticket to your country of origin • A copy of the signature page of your passport • An address where you’ll be staying when you first arrive • A visa if one is required for you to reside in the BVI (a list of countries that require this can be found at http://www.dgo.vg) • Completed enclosed medical form requiring several tests to be conducted no more than one month before arrival and using the original medical document attached to the clearance forms. These tests include a blood test, VDRL test, and a TB test which can take up to 72 hours to process. Be sure that all your medical paperwork is stamped and signed by your physician.
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BVI NEWBIE 2013
Once You’re Here
When arriving at the airport or the ferry dock for the first time, you will need to present the original copies of the aforementioned documents. Immigration officials will pull you aside and check your approved work permit application, your police report and your medical forms. They should then stamp your passport, allowing you two weeks in the territory and tell you what day to visit the health clinic. Until your work permit is approved, you are not legally allowed to work for your employer. During those two weeks, you must complete the work permit process. On the day advised by the immigration officer, visit the Road Town Health clinic located on the third floor of the Glancina George building (a mustard-coloured building behind the Sol gas station by the roundabout in town). The clinic location by cooincidence has changed a couple times so double check that the clinic has not moved. The same week this very publication went to press there were rumours the clinic would be moving to Peelbles Hospital. I digress, arrive by 8:30a.m., check in at the reception counter, and wait for your name to be called. All medical paperwork is checked here which means that your medical forms must be accompanied by all the requested test results in the requested format. Make sure all of your medical records have been stamped and signed by clinic personnel or the physician who administered your tests. This is very important, and failure to have appropriately completed forms can result in a delay of the work permit with additional tests needing to be carried out locally. You will need a check for $100 to pay for the stamp of approval from the medical clinic.
BVI NEWBIE 2013
Once this is all checked and signed off by the local doctor, you can go the next day to the Labour Department where your work permit documents will be checked and reviewed. The Labour Department is across the street from the clinic, on the other side of the roundabout by CCT and Eureka. Arrive before the Labour Department opens at 8:30a.m. to get a prime spot in the queue. Sign in at the front desk when you arrive. The Labour Department can get very busy, and the process can move slowly due to the careful evaluation of each candidate, so bring some reading material, a crossword/Sudoku, an iPad and, of course, your handy copy of NEWBIE. You’ll need to complete one more form during this visit, and once done you should then have your photo taken and be issued the work permit card. The fee for the work permit is currently $500-600 for employees making less than $25,000, and $1,000 for those who make more. There is also a $75 administration fee. If paying by check, be sure to have separate checks for the work permit and the administration fee. After getting your work permit, you’ll head next door to the Immigration Department. There, you will be presented with a Bond form for the employer to sign on your behalf. Once this is completed you can return to the Labour Department and complete the process. For this you will receive a stamp in your passport legitimizing your status as a legally employed resident. Congratulations! Once the Labour and Immigration process is completed, take your passport and work permit card to the Social Security office, located across from First Caribbean Bank, and obtain your Social Security card. This is the easiest part of the gauntlet and takes only a few minutes.
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If you are moving to the BVI with a spouse, partner or family members that do not plan to seek employment (ie. children), you will need to seek permission from the Immigration Department once the work permit has been approved. This should be presented as a letter from the requesting permission for your dependents to reside and evidencing forms of financial support and relevant documentation such as marriage certificate, birth certificate and passport copies for each dependent. If you have children who are aged 5 and over, their entry will need to be approved by the Ministry of Education before securing a place at school. The deadline for applying for the fall is usually April, but exceptions are made to ensure that children are able to continue their education. For dependents, the process starts as yours did, at the clinic. Medicals must be checked and approved after which you may proceed to the Immigration Department, where a bond will need to be completed and paid for by the sponsor (generally you—the newly employed spouse or parent). A stamp will then be placed in each dependent’s passport regularizing the dependent’s status. Note that once dependent status is granted, it is generally frowned upon for the dependent to request a change of status to seeking employment. It’s best to wait for a period of at least one year for this to be considered by the authorities. Once permission is granted, a period of time is given when a dependent may officially seek employment. Note that it is not permitted to seek employment under any other circumstances.
stamped form to the Labour Department. They will take your current work permit and give you a receipt that you must keep in place of your work permit. The Labour Department should contact you in a few weeks when your renewal is ready. If they have not done so by the time your immigration status has run out, call them and check on your permit. If it’s not ready, you must visit the Immigration Department to get an extension (and pay $25). Once your renewal is ready, make an appointment to pick it up but arrive at the Labour Department by 8:30 a.m. regardless of your appointment time to make sure you are seen that day. You will need a check to pay for your renewal ($500-600 for employees making less than $25,000, and $1,000 for those who make more). After you have your new photo taken, you must go to the Immigration Department to update your status. You will need a check for this as well.
Transfer of Work Permit
All the above documents and information are required, plus a letter from your previous employer in the BVI stating dates of engagement and termination and the type of work in which you were employed. If the employer is a new company or individual, you must produce a copy of their trade licence. Also, a Memorandum of Association or Certificate of Incorporation may be required.
• Work permit card
Living and working in the BVI has its benefits— especially when it comes to tax breaks. But as long as you are employed on this soil, you are responsible for your contribution to society. If you are an employee working in the private sector, you will not get taxed on the first $10,000 you earn per year. After that, you will pay 8% toward payroll tax—that’s a gross on salary payment to government—and employers are responsible for a 6% payroll tax. (Bosses get a break because they’re deemed to contribute more toward economic growth.) As an employee, you’ll also contribute 4% to the Social Security Board, while employers chip in 4.5% of their income. That’s not so bad when you look at the 15-35% tax rates in the US. And then there’s Europe…
• One passport-sized photograph
BVI Residency & Citizenship Statuses
Renewal Work Permit
Work permits are valid for one year, and a renewal application must be submitted five weeks prior to expiration. If you have more than one work permit, the permits should be renewed at the same time.
Documents required: • Application for renewal of work permit
• If self employed, a copy of the trade licence Complete your work permit renewal form with your employer then drop off the completed, www.bvinewbie.com
Unlike in many other countries, being born in the BVI does not, according to the BVI Immigration Department’s website, “automatically grant any rights” if your parents are not citizens or BVI NEWBIE 2013
belongers. Citizenship in the British Overseas Territories is determined by the British Nationality Act (BNA) 1981, as amended by the British Overseas Territories Act (BOTA) 2002. Under the BNA, your citizenship and immigration status are not linked. Since the issue tends to be a bit tricky, our friends in the Governor’s Office recommended that inquiries be directed to the Civil Registry and Passport Office, who lead on most nationality issues.
Different classifications of residents in the BVI: • BVIslander/British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC)—a category of British national to describe people who are British through a connection with a British territory by birth (depending on the parent’s status), descent, naturalisation or registration. • Belonger—a person “deemed to belong” to the territory as defined by the BVI Constitution (marriage, descent, birth/registration [depending on parent’s status], naturalisation before 2007). • Honorary Belonger—Honorary Belongership is rare, but it does happen. In January 2010, the BVI Government bestowed an honorary belongership to quadriplegic sailor/disability ambassador Geoff Holt who made his historic,
transatlantic journey back to Cane Garden Bay, the site where he’d become paralysed twenty-five years before. • Non-Belonger—a person of non-BVI parentage who lives in the BVI. • Work Permit Resident—a resident who lives and works in the BVI year round. Work permits must be renewed every year. • Full-Time Resident—holds a Certificate of Residence which entitles the holder to remain in the territory for an indefinite period and may be granted to a person who intends to reside permanently in the BVI who can prove sufficient means to do so without working. • Part-Time Resident—holds an Alien Landholding ID Card which grants property owners permission to live in the territory for up to six months each calendar year. • Student—students from abroad who are studying at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College are granted a Student Visa. • Tourist—visitors may stay in the BVI for 30 days. If they wish to stay longer, they must apply for an extension from immigration. For copies of the Labour Code Act 2010, and new and renewal work permit forms, visit our website at www.bvinewbie.com.
Finding a Job Most of my friends who work in the tourism industry in the BVI got their jobs because they knew someone who worked here or found a posting online and applied, but that’s not true for the financial sector. Trust, accounting and law firms here often hire from other offshore branches of their companies and recruit internationally. Sasha Joyce, Human Resources manager at Deloitte, told me that she finds new recruits mostly through the company’s website, LinkedIn or on monster.com. Most candidates, she said, are specifically seeking positions in the Caribbean to gain financial services experience. In addition to the obvious position requirements, she said she also finds that people who have previously worked in more than one country have an easier time adjusting to island life. “They have less teething problems,” she said. “Less of a culture shock.” But she added that, on the whole, people who come 32
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here, even those who initially signed up for twoyear contracts, tend to stay. The financial sector here has, she said, “a big city work ethic—you have the same opportunities, challenges and workload but you have the BVI outside of work—you get to play on the beach.” Deloitte also has developed a system to acclimate new employees to the BVI. On top of the company boat trips, sporting events and dinners, each new employee is assigned a counsellor and a buddy. The counsellor stays with them throughout their career—offering career guidance, goal assessment, development opportunities and evaluations. The buddy acts as the person who introduces the newbie to the BVI—organizing social events, helping with the apartment hunt, showing off the island and introducing the newbie around. powered by alookingglass
The hiring methods for boat crew works differently because crewmembers from other countries are often passing through the BVI on deliveries or for regattas, so while they may not be here actively seeking employment, they often meet potential employers on the sailing circuit. “I find it hard for owners to interview or hire over the phone,” said Dick Schoonover from CharterPort BVI, “so being here (or in the right place at the right time) seems to be very important.” He also added, “word of mouth is a big factor,” especially in the BVI where the “coconut telegraph kicks in,” he said, resulting in “available crews finding their way to the correct dock.” When finding the perfect yacht to work for, getting to know the departing crew can help in securing a position because, said Dick, “the departing crew will make a recommendation to their owner.” It’s also a great way to ascertain whether you’d be a good fit with the owners of the boat.
How Not to Get a Job
You will not be eligible for a work permit on your initial application or for renewal if you are found to have the following: • Police record or conviction • Deportation from the BVI or another country • HIV • Interest in part-time work only. Residency status requires two part-time or one full-time permit. • Applying for a dependent visa then automatically applying for a work permit • Obvious immigration extensions that indicate you were seeking employment while on a tourist or other visa. It is illegal to actively seek work whilst on a tourist visa. All permits are on a probationary period. If you quit or are lobbying for another permit within that period, expect that the government will not take you seriously.
Starting a Business in the BVI Often, residents stay in the BVI long enough to realize that there is some product or service that they feel is missing here, and they want to fill that void. But how do you actually set up business in the territory? Can’t you just get a space, stock up, find staff and have an opening party? Not exactly. Anyone wishing to do business in the British Virgin Islands must have a trade license. The Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs oversees all matters of trade in the territory. At its Road Town office, just opposite the Central Administration Complex in the Sebastian Building, you can pick up an application.
You will need the following to complete your application: a passport-sized photo, police certificate, bank statement or reference, two character references (business and personal) and the completed application form. This should be accompanied by your business plan or proposal, including your financial and technical capabilities of operating a successful business. Applications showing majority ownership by BVIslanders are preferred, or at the very least, an expressed desire to train and include BVIslanders in the development of the business.
Maximising the power of your people. STRATEGY • COST REDUCTION • ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT • OUTSOURCING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT • SEARCH AND SELECTION • CAREER COACHING
Level 6 Jayla Place PO Box 61, Road Town, Tortola British Virgin Islands VG 1110 284.340.0319
BVI NEWBIE 2013
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Licenses typically take four to six weeks for approval, but allow a little leeway for “island time.” If any questions arise from your application, the Trade Department will communicate with you, but you can always help them out by politely following up on your application every now and again. Once you have your license in hand, you’re almost set. Next you should register with both the Social Security Office and the Inland Revenue Department. There you will be provided with all the information needed to pay taxes. Remember to renew your license annually and ensure you are in compliance with the territory’s immigration and labour requirements. The 2010 Labour Code attempts to better cover both employee and employers and to help the territory to maintain 21st-century labour ethics. Ensure you have a copy and are aware of your rights and those of your employees. The territory is home to several international banks offering various financial vehicles that can assist businesses, big or small in properly managing its resources. Getting to know your banker, especially if you are a small business owner, will help you in the short and long run. A banker can assist you in opening the right checking and savings accounts for your business, as well as guide you financially for future development. One more quick tip: the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association is a collective body of various businesses in the territory. The group can be very helpful in addressing the business community’s concerns to government and supports a variety of cooperative efforts for better business relations throughout the BVI. To learn more about the organization, visit their website at www.bviccha.org and get involved.
Securing a Loan
Taking a business loan is a big decision, and it’s important to know what you’re looking for when you step into the bank. Whether it is to start a business, expand your operations or to facilitate the purchase of a fixed asset, you should take time out to conduct the relevant research and obtain complete information for the process of decision-making. It’s important to first have a well thought out business plan, and information relating to your businesses performance before meeting with a banker. You will also need to present a complete file to prove you have satisfied your compliance and regulatory obligations. Understanding your business loan options is also critical, as monthly installments often times constitute a substantial portion of your business’ cash flow. It is key to remember you’re your will be asked to have some equity in the business, meaning you must be willing to invest some of your capital to the undertaking as they wont be giving you 100% financing. Also, your cashflow is arguably the most important factor to be considered when deciding what loan options to take. Cashflow is simply the earnings from your income stream based on sale of products and services. It will be important to convince the bank beyond a doubt about having a steady and healthy income stream. Furthermore, you may not need audited statement—but a simple bank account showing all the deposit from income earned as well as cheques going out for payments will be enough. You’ll need to decide with your banker which loan is best for you. Many banks offer small business credit cards that allow you to spend business costs on credit. Contact one of the aforementioned banks and sit with a banker to see what fit is right for you. Loan information provided by Simone Hull Lloyd of Scotiabank.
A Scotiabank ﬁnancial advisor can help you discover your ﬁnancial possibilities. Find out more today.
visit: www.bvi.scotiabank.com Discover what’s possible
BVI NEWBIE 2013
PR OPERTY&YACHT MARCH 2012 MARCH 2012
The Estate cuts out a private retreat within Spring Bay. Below: Spacious verandahs line the waterfront property. All Photos by Don Hebert.
Retreat from Reality The Estate at Spring Bay
By Dan O’Connor
The Estate At Spring Bay offers a true oasis, an escape from the otherwise bustling landscape of St Thomas. The gate sweeps open to a vast 10-bedroom property on 20-acres on its own private bay, hideaway five minutes from Red Hook, the perfect reprieve from the real world.
A manicured landscape, complete with an array of indigenous vegetation, welcomes guests from the gate to the great house. There, surreal panoramas open from Spring Bay’s sheltered cove. The great house stands as a testament to evolved architecture, combining more than fifty years of renovation—eaach responsible for what the owners describe as a “labour of love.” Between the immaculate man-made beauty evident in the main house, and the undeniable natural splendor encompassing the property, The Estate at Spring Bay finds a perfect balance within its surroundings. Spacious verandahs sprawl outward in a beckoning motion toward the easily accessible waterfront. Areas designated for intimate lounging, dining or lively entertaining are everywhere. The opalescent waters, blended in hues decorated by the intricate reef system and white sands below, become almost too much to resist. The shore’s edge offers effortless access to inviting waters for swimming, snorkeling, diving and a myriad of other marine activities. A spacious storage room currently houses an array of toys, from glass-bottom kayaks to paddleboards. The soft beach and rocky shorefront are divided by a lengthy pier—a true rarity in the Virgin Islands. There are also two moorings in the bay; one can accommodate an 80-foot vessel, the other a 30-footer.
VI PROPERTY & YACHT
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A peak into the great house’s main living room.
The main house welcomes guests with a cathedral ceiling
The Estate at Spring Bay acts as a retreat from reality. With its endless amenities and room for ultimate expansion plans, it’s hard to categorize this immaculate estate.
designed from cypress wood—which blends in unique harmony with the original blue bit stonework. Within the
complete with a large flat screen TV, stocked wet bar, pristine
tri-level main house, modern elegance abounds. Mahogany,
billiard table and several gaming tables.
Brazilian walnut, linum vitae and cypress woods come together to create a blend of rugged and refined. The spacious great room connects the house with an ideal setting Above: Expansive views from spacious verandahs. Below: The comfy, soundproof theater room.
for impressive dining and entertaining. I was taken aback at
The great house at Spring Bay acts as the anchor to the surrounding, gently sloped, undeveloped acreage. The entire
The luxurious main house is flanked by three very private
property is electronically gated and connected by beautifully
cottage counterparts, each with a unique personality. Seven
constructed estate roads built of stone and antique brick, that
Pillars is a two-bedroom residence with large deck and
wind from the entrance down to the welcoming port cochere
charming vista overlooking the bay toward the great house;
at the main residence. With its endless amenities and room for
every turn: A sound-proof theatre, lined with cozy couches; a
the Gatehouse spacious two-bedroom home, currently used
ultimate expansion, it’s hard to categorize this extraordinary
master bedroom suite equipped with its own spacious sitting
as a family office, near the entrance to the property; and a
estate. Without a doubt, it exists as one of the most significant
room and wet bar; a gourmet kitchen, with custom cabinetry
third, Stone cottage, with its panoramic view of the bay.
properties in the Virgin Islands.
built by renowned VI woodworker, George Munzar. In addition to the seemingly effortless elegance of the great house there are, as one wanders the stone driveways and paths, a myriad of functional, state-of-the-art mechanicals. The de-salinization plant, generator, security and communications systems are definitely 21st century musts. The Estate at Spring Bay is totally self-sufficient—a world unto itself. Other indulgences include a wine cellar, the envy of any discerning oenophile, and a gym kitted out for an overachiever. Outside, past another spacious verandah, perfect for tented events or live entertainment, a staircase
Spring Bay Estate Waterfront Property on 20 acres with pier For more info contact:
Location - Spring Bay, St Thomas Edifices - Main house & three private cottages Amenities - Gym, theater, billiard room, wine cellar two pools & a beach. Size - 20 acres with a private pier
Rosie Nichols t (340) 642 8981 e firstname.lastname@example.org www.theestateatspringbay.com
led to what could only be best described as a man-cave
RHUMB HOUSE A bright, luminous home atop a promonitory on Tortola’s southern shore.
ROUSING REGATTA ENVY The BVI Spring Regatta and St Thomas Rolex Regatta share VI waterways.
THE ESTATE AT SPRING BAY A St Thomas retreat transforms 20 waterfront acres into pure bliss.
VI PROPERTY & YACHT
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BVI NEWBIE 2013
Finding a Home Renting an Apartment or House
Choosing a place to live in the BVI can make the difference between liking and loving the Islands. My advice is not to settle. Find a spot that feels like home the minute you walk through the door. Remember, this is the place where you’re going to be eating, sleeping, relaxing, entertaining and recuperating. Make sure you love it. Neighbourhoods can also make a big difference. My friends who live in Carrot Bay and Cane Garden swear by their friendly neighbourhoods while my more reclusive friends prefer the solitude of Shannon and Little Bay. Before you move, check out the classified ads and the different BVI real estate agents’ websites to get a feel for pricing and what’s available. Once you arrive, drive around different neighbourhoods and talk with people that live there or ask your coworkers what they like about where they live. According to Maritha Keil of Sotheby’s International Realty, the most satisfied tenants tend to be the ones who choose lodging based on where they play as opposed to where they work. Surfers are happiest living near Josiahs Bay, Apple Bay or Cane Garden Bay. Beach babies prefer a location near Smugglers or one of the North Shore beaches. Boaters and sailors might want to live near one of the marinas. Those who like to party tend to be happiest living near the bars in town. Families with kids like living near the beaches or close to the children’s schools. Nanny Cay is another option for families with children—it has a pool, beach, restaurants, ice cream parlor and plenty of space to run around as well as kidfriendly bars and restaurants. A furnished apartment is typically fully furnished, including all major appliances, bedroom, living room, and dining room furniture, television,
lamps and rugs. Many furnished apartments also include kitchen items such as pots and pans, dishes, glasses, and utensils, as well as bedding. Semi-furnished usually includes a bed and all kitchen appliances and a couch. Unfurnished is often a bare apartment but can also include major appliances—stove, oven and refrigerator. Expect to pay $600-$1000 per month for a studio, $800-$1500 per month for a onebedroom apartment, $1200-$2000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, $2000 and up for a two-bedroom house, $3000 and up for a threebedroom house with pool. All these prices are for fully furnished accommodations. Unfurnished rentals will cost less.
For lodging when you first arrive and are looking to find a more permanent place to settle, options include villas, hotels, month-to-month lease apartments, boats, or residences that are only occupied part of the year. “A snowbird house is a useful interim property,” said Maritha, referring to the houses of BVI residents who flee the snow to live in the BVI during the winter months but leave their homes vacant in the summers. These properties can be available from three to nine months. Lambert Beach Resort, East End rents apartments on a month-to-month basis as do a few other select landlords.
Finding a Roommate
The best way to find a roommate in the BVI is to ask around at your office, post something on the BVI NEWBIE Facebook page or place a classified on bvipy.com or in the newspapers. Go to the bar and start chatting with people—most people on island know someone with a spare room.
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Living on a Boat
Not everyone is comfortable with living on a boat, but I have several friends who have done so and loved it. Former Royal BVI Yacht Club sailing instructor Chris Watters said, “Living on a boat is without a doubt the best way to live in the BVI,” but it helps if you have some knowledge of boats and a little maintenance savvy. Chris bought his boat, lived on it for three years, then sold it before he moved off island—making it a pretty wise investment. “If you have the means and are willing to deal with the various boatworks that you come across, it’s very much worth it,” Chris said. “Find a good marina, learn not to get seasick, and be careful when you get home late at night from the bar.” He also recommended locking everything, as boat thefts seem to be more prevalent in the BVI than apartment or house thefts. “Don’t forget to invest in the smallest AC unit you can get your hands on,” Chris added, “and you’ll have some of the best sleeps of your life.”
Buying a House
Applying for a Non-Belonger Land Holding License
Firstly, individuals who intend to apply for a license must enter into an agreement for sale with the land owner. It should be noted, however, that the property must be advertised for four consecutive weeks in a local newspaper. This is required in order to give Belongers ample notice of the sale of the property and a first opportunity to negotiate a purchase. Proof of advertisement is required as part of the application process and the onus is on the seller of the property to provide such. Additionally, applicants must submit a completed application form together with the following supporting documents: • Two personal references, for each individual or each shareholder and director. In the case of individual applicants, one reference must support the applicant’s ability to purchase and develop the property • Two character references for each individual or each shareholder and director • In the case of individuals, a financial report/ statement from a financial institution evidencing a banking relationship for no less than one consecutive year is required • A recent police certificate for each individual applicant or each shareholder and director www.bvinewbie.com
• One colour, passport-sized photograph of each applicant or shareholder and director • A copy of the applicant’s Trade License (if self-employed) or a copy of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, Certificate of Incorporation, current Certificate of Good Standing and Annual Summary of Members or a Certificate of Incumbency from a Registered Agent • A recent valuation report of the property • A non-refundable application fee of $200 per person for individuals and $500 in the case of a company • A copy of the Agreement for Sale • A copy of the record(s) reflecting existing ownership of the land • A letter-sized copy of the Cadastral Survey Plan The application is submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour. Provided the application is in order, it will be processed by the Ministry and submitted to Cabinet for determination. The applicant will be informed by the Ministry whether or not approval has been granted. This will take anywhere from twelve to fifteen weeks.
—Myron Walwyn, Orion Law, abridged from BVI Property Guide, September 2009
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Preparing to Move Flight Info
If you’re flying from the States, you can fly through Puerto Rico or fly into St Thomas and take a ferry in to the BVI. There are no direct flights from the US to the BVI. A roundtrip flight from New York usually costs between $400-$700. A flight from Chicago is $500-$800. A flight from Los Angeles is $800$1200, but if you have frequent flyer miles, it’s wise to use the miles for the cross-country travel because it usually uses the same amount of miles as any flight in the continental US. If you fly to St Thomas, you could save a few hundred dollars in airfare, but you should consider the costs for the ferry, taxi rides to the airport and the extra time. If you are departing from the UK, expect to pay between $900 and $1500 (£575-£950) for roundtrip tickets. UK travellers have the option of flying from London Gatwick to Antigua to the BVI (usually the quickest route) or flying Heathrow or Manchester to New York, Miami or Boston to San Juan to the BVI or St Thomas (usually the cheapest route). Newbies from other parts of Europe will probably have to fly through Paris and St Maarten or Amsterdam and Antigua. But the cost of the flight
should be about the same as the UK flight. Do not buy a ticket until your work permit has gone through and you have received it in hand because you can’t arrive in the territory without all your paperwork in order. It’s important to note that all non-US nationals must apply for an Esta VISA for any flights or ferry trips to the US—including daytrips the neighbouring USVI. Forms can usually be completed 24 hours prior to travel.
The BVI electric current is 110v (compatible with North American plugs). If you’re bringing a laptop or other electronics from Europe, you’ll need an adaptor. A surge protector is also advisable due to frequent power outages and surges on island.
The BVI is on Atlantic Standard Time, which is the same as Eastern Standard Time (New York, Washington DC) except in the winter, when the BVI is one hour ahead due to the fact that the BVI does not observe Daylight Savings Time.
Money & Banking The (Once) Almighty Dollar
The official currency of the British Virgin Islands has been the US Dollar since 1959. This is most likely due to the proximity between the BVI and the USVI and the convenience of using the dollar when conducting all those offshore business transactions.
The five main banks in the BVI are Banco Popular, First Caribbean, FirstBank, Scotia Bank and VP
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Bank. A visit to each branch should help you decide which one has accounts that fit your needs. For the ease of getting paid, I chose the same bank my employers used. One friend said, “I picked the bank that would be easiest to find when I was drunk.” First Bank and Banco Popular may be easier to deal with if you also have frequent transactions in the States because they are both subsidiaries of US banks.
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To open a checking account in the BVI, you need the following: • A passport
Tortola from East to West • EIS Airport: Banco Popular
• A BVI Social Security Card • A local address (which can be your employer’s address if you haven’t found a home) • A minimum deposit • Three references: 1. letter from your employer with employment details (length of contract, salary) 2. letter of good standing from your home bank 3. letter from a professional reference Another reason to choose a specific bank might be the proximity of cash points to your home or workplace so that you avoid other banks’ service fees. The BVI hasn’t really caught on to the fact that if you have cash points everywhere, then people will spend more money. If there was a cash point by the taxi stand, then I’d be more likely have the necessary cash to hire a taxi, and I’d probably choose that more convenient option over hitchhiking, but I usually don’t have cash on me (because it’s so hard to come by).
• East End, Right Breeze: First Caribbean • Port Purcell: FirstCaribbean • Right Way Pasea: Scotiabank • Wickhams Cay II: FirstCaribbean • Wickhams Cay I: ScotiaBank, FirstBank, FirstCaribbean • Nanny Cay Taxi Stand: FirstBank • Cane Garden Bay, Myett’s: BancoPopular • Soper’s Hole: First Caribbean
Virgin Gorda • Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour: First Caribbean • Spanish Town, Lee Road: FirstBank • Spanish Town: ScotiaBank
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Transportation BVI roads have been described as fun, intimidating, bumpy, thrilling and dangerous. Sometimes they are all those things. When in doubt, drive cautiously because you never know when something is going to stop in front of you—another car dropping someone off, a cow or goat, a tourist thinking Main Street is a pedestrian thoroughfare, a chicken, a taxibus filled with photo-snapping cruise ship passengers or a neighbour pulling over to throw trash in the dumpster. There are also plenty of speedbumps, often in unexpected places, as well as dips, potholes and blind turns. Ticket violations run from everything to reckless driving to stopping a vehicle to talk to another person in a vehicle; however, the most common offenses ticketed tend to be driving while using a cell phone, expired registration and failure to use a seatbelt.
Obtaining a Driver’s License
As long as you have a valid overseas license, you can legally drive for one month in the BVI. Before that month has expired, you must obtain a BVI driver’s license. If you already have a valid foreign license, you have to take the BVI written test but not the driving test. If you do not have a valid foreign license, you must take the practical and written tests. Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles for a copy of the Road Rules booklet, and study it. Many of the BVI rules differ from driving rules in other countries, and many may seem counterintuitive or strangely worded (especially about using hand signals), so learn the correct answers before you take the test. Do not attempt the test without having studied the book. Once you have memorized the BVI driving rules, you can take the written test at the DMV, located at R&R Malone Complex in Pockwood Pond. The facility recently moved from Road Town to its new, larger location located across the street from the incinerator. Don’t know where that is? Just follow the plums of toxic smoke. The DMV administers the test on the 6th through 27th of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to sixteen individuals per day. To ensure you will be able to take the test, arrive at 8 a.m. and wait in line outside the door then put your name on a list when the office opens. Passing score is 50 out of 60 questions, but you must correctly answer the two mandatory questions about speed limits, or you will not pass. After passing the written test, take the following to the DMV at the Pockwood Pond facility on www.bvinewbie.com
Tortola or in Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda to obtain your license: • Either a valid driver’s license from another country or the form for application of a license provided on passing the BVI driving test; • either a work permit card, Belonger’s card, or Land Holder’s card; • an official document showing your blood type (obtained at the hospital or at Eureka); • your BVI Social Security card; • and $35 for a three-year license or $15 for a one-year license. (I chose three to save myself the headache.)
Purchasing a Vehicle on Island
Due to the many speedbumps, potholes and switchbacks, this is not the place to choose a low-ride sports car though you will see them from time to time. Power and 4WD should be your mantra, especially if you want to explore some of the islands’ secrets that are only accessible by dirt roads. Like most imported products on the islands, cars are more expensive in the BVI than other countries due to shipping duty and import costs. You basically have three choices in the BVI for types of cars that you can purchase—a brand new vehicle, a gently used vehicle or an island car. Brand new, imported cars are available at several dealerships on Tortola and Virgin Gorda. Gently used cars are often available for really good deals if someone is leaving the island and needs to sell in a hurry. Check the local papers and online classifieds for up-to-date deals. Friends of mine have also successfully imported certified used cars from other countries.The last option is an island car. An island car usually has at least one window that doesn’t go down, a little bit of rust, sand permanently embedded in the carpet and a leak or two, but it will get you over the hill, and it usually costs less than $3000. For information on vehicle financing, see the section on banks.
Getting Your Car on the Road
The first step in (legally) getting your car on the road is the transfer of ownership. You can transfer a car into your name even if you only have a foreign license, although a BVI one is preferred. Both buyer and seller need to be present at the DMV to complete the paperwork so they can see that the signatures are valid. When purchasing a car from someone that has already left the island, BVI NEWBIE 2013
that person’s signature must be on an original, notarized form before being sent back for you to complete in the BVI.
Obtaining Car Insurance
Once the car has been transferred to your name, you will need to insure it before licensing it. There are many reputable insurance companies on island. Depending on the age of the car, you may or may not be able to comprehensively insure it. Many insurance agencies will only insure the car third party if it is over 8 years old.
Licensing a Vehicle
You can license the car once you have your insurance documents. The cost of licensing depends on the size/weight of the car. You first need to have the car inspected by one of the officers in the lot behind the licensing office. Then you go inside with your insurance documents and certificate of inspection to pay your licensing fee. Then once you have the receipt, take it back outside so that the officer can apply your sticker. Passing Inspection You might think that almost anything that has wheels and puts along the road in the BVI seems to pass as a vehicle. But think again. While many of us prefer an old beater over a shiny new shaggin wagon because of the wear and tear vehicles endure on our rough and wild roadways, we find ways to ensure they pass the minimum DMV standards to save us from potentially hefty fines. You’ll need to make sure that whatever style vehicle that you choose to make into your own personal road warrior passes inspection through the DMV. If it can’t pass yearly inspection, and doesn’t bear the appropriate year’s registration
sticker on the inside of the front windshield, you could be looking at a costly fine. (Police often organise road stops to specifically check for proof of current registration.) I recently had my car reregistered, and was subjected to strict inspection standards. After informing me that my windshield wipers were of poor quality and that I would need new ones to pass inspection, the gentlemen at the DMV kindly provided me with an official checklist. Listed verbatim below are the ten outlined items listed on the DMV inspector’s checklist: • Lights: Do they work? Are they cracked? (High and low head/tail/emergency/back up/turn signals/parking/brake/license plate.) • Horn: Functional? • Brakes: Will the emergency brake hold? • Windshield wipers: Both wipers present and in good condition? Rear if applicable. • Windshield: Free from cracks that impair vision? • Tires: Including spare. • Exhaust system: Free of leaks? Excessive noise or smoke coming from exhaust? • Rear view mirrors: Serviceable? Side mirrors if applicable. • Doors and glass: Open and close freely? Cracked glass? Tinted no more than legal limit? Check at craft shop. • Seat belts: One for each seating position. Serviceable.
Renting a Car
Most rental companies do not rent to drivers under 25, but some don’t ask. Always get the optional insurance, or you might end up paying $800 for a broken taillight and a gouged bumper because someone rear-ended you on a speedbump after Spring Regatta then sped away. Some rental companies offer off-season deals that are less expensive than a one-way taxi ride from the airport, so car rental is a great option in the BVI.
The best thing about the proliferation of taxis in the BVI is that you will never get stranded. Taxi drivers are usually on-call, so if you give them a ring, they are generally happy to take you to your destination. If you establish a good relationship with a regular taxi driver, your life will be easier. 44
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Taxis are great for more than just rides to the airport. You can hire a taxi bus for a big night out, like a limo, in order to keep anyone from drunk driving. As of the time of publication, there are no set rates for taxi fares, but a Taxi Tariff Amendment that is under discussion could standardize fares
Scooting around the island is another option. Scooters are awesome because you can pull up to the front of the line at traffic lights, and you barely have to spend any money on fuel. If you are considering this method of transportation, rent a scooter first and zip around the islands for the day.
When seeking utility services, you should always have proper photo ID, typically a work permit card, but you may also be asked for a valid passport or driver’s license. For all utilities, obtain the account in your name. This will allow you easier access to query the account if needed. If you are here for a little while and possibly looking to get a bank loan, a utility bill will be needed to show proof of your time at the dwelling. It also ensures that you are the only one responsible for your utilities being on…or off.
The BVI Electricity Corporation provides all the island’s electricity. Blackouts or power shortages can be frequent, so after you have gotten connected, ensure you have suitable surge protectors to protect your electrical appliances from frying. Also, have plenty of candles, flashlights and hurricane lamps, or even a back-up generator, for when those infamous power outages do occur. I seem to notice more of them around August
Once you purchase a scooter, be sure to keep allweather gear in the storage compartment because of frequent, unpredicted (but short) rainstorms.
Hitching a Ride
If you find yourself without a vehicle for a few days (or years), another option is to hitch rides. The BVI is one of the few remaining places in the world when you can safely get into a stranger’s car. Most drivers will stop and pick you up. Obviously, common sense is a must. My favourite hitch? A concrete mixer truck with a dining room chair as the passenger seat.
Festival each year and certainly during hurricane season. Blackouts can be exciting and fun. We’ve even had blackout barbeques where everyone brings over their thawed perishable food items from their freezers and throws them on the barbie. To get hooked up to the grid, visit the BVIEC’s office on Tortola, or if you are living on Virgin Gorda, in the Valley. You will need to make two trips—first, to get a Customer Change Request Form. This form must be filled out and signed by you and your landlord if you have one. Return the form to the BVIEC’s office where you will have to present valid identification; they prefer a passport or driver’s license. You will then have to fill out an Agreement Form and pay a refundable deposit of two month’s average usage, roughly $120-$200. The use of electricity for your new apartment or home will be transferred to your name on the same day. If electricity was disconnected to the property, a technician will visit your dwelling between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to restore power to your home that day.
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The Water and Sewerage Department (WSD) manages the territory’s public water supply. They are located by the CSY dock in Baugher’s Bay. If you’re renting a property that is connected to the public supply, you will need to visit WSD for a Transfer Form. Both you and your landlord must sign this form. Return the form to your nearest WSD office and be prepared to present a photo ID and pay a $20 application fee and $100 refundable deposit. Once this is done, water supply will be reconnected to the property within 24 hours. Many homes and apartments, especially those in the hills, are not connected to the public water supply and utilize rainwater stored in a property’s cistern. If your only water supply is through a cistern, familiarize yourself with the size of the cistern and its access points. Check the water levels regularly (especially during the dry season) to make sure you don’t run out of water. Use water sparingly. For those properties that are connected to the water supply, expect rationing of the territory’s potable water when the WSD turns off town water. WSD tries to do this during work hours in most residential neighbourhoods, but that’s not always the case. It’s advisable to have spare water on hand for drinking and bathing if you are only connected to town water and do not have a cistern.
If you’re renting or buying a home here, chances are you’ll need to know how to fill your propane tanks—most stoves and ovens and various kitchen appliances are gas powered. This always seems a daunting task, especially when you’re renting with a roommate and neither one wants to take responsibility. I’ve been there. I know. But when you finally lose the coin toss, don’t fret—it’s a relatively simple procedure. First, make sure to familiarise yourself with your utility room. Mine have always been outside, either in a designated housing unit or at the ground-level side of the home. The tank you’re looking for is either a small 20-pounder, or a tall and skinny 100-pounder. Make sure to use precaution when removing the tank, and ensure that the lines and tanks are closed before removal. Take note in labels on the tank. They’ll likely be marked with either “Delta” or “Sol” insignia. On Tortola, Delta’s Pasea location will accept either brand, but its Pockwood Pond location will only refill Delta tanks. For 100-pound tanks, you’ll pay $76; 20 pounds, $25. Your other option is Sol, which offers 100-pound refills for $85 and 20-pound refills for $27 at their Baughers Bay depot, located across from the CSY Dock and at the Botanic Service Station near the cinema. If you’re on one of Tortola’s sister islands, or you would like a serviceman to deliver to your residence, you’ll need to call your distributor for assistance.
Communication If you’re curious why mobile service in the BVI is so good, just take a look at the surrounding hillsides which are often enhanced with gleaming cell phone towers at their peaks. Dead spots are pretty rare but may occur on the outer islands. The three mobile companies—CCT, LIME and Digicel—offer very similar prepaid and monthly plans. For prepaid accounts, you will need to present valid ID, purchase your SIM card and initial credit for your phone. For prepaid customers, there are top-up locations at most gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores and tourist areas, or you can top up online. If you have LIME, and you get in a pinch, you can text GM5 (Give Me 5) to number 126, and they’ll give you an instant fivedollar top up that will be deducted the next time you add minutes to your phone. 46
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I spent my first three years on island “topping up,” but recently found a post-paid plan that allows me to call my family in the States, check my e-mails and fiddle around on Facebook at an affordable price. Keep track of how often you top up on a monthly basis and see which plan works best for you. For post-paid accounts, you need to fill out an application form, present valid ID, sign a contract for at least 12 months and leave a deposit. In recent years, providers have aggressively pursued hi-speed networks (like 3G and 4G), and you’ll find more and more people carrying smart phones than just a few years ago. With technology on the rise, these tiny islands and their providers have trended toward connectivity with outside civilization. powered by alookingglass
The glorious thing that former US residents discover when moving to the BVI (or just about any other country) is that, unlike in the US, mobile phone customers only pay for outgoing calls, so your friends from the US can call or Skype your BVI number, and it costs you nothing!
There is only one landline telephone company in the territory, LIME, formally Cable & Wireless. To get connected with the rest of the world, you simply need to fill out an application form at their main office in Road Town or in the Valley, Virgin Gorda, and provide a valid picture ID. A two-month deposit is charged to your first bill. Your deposit is refunded after a year of consistent
Island Pets Importing your Pet
You want to move your pet to the BVI, but you’ve heard horror stories about importing pets to other countries—six-month quarantine, freezing cargo spaces on planes and hundreds of vaccination shots. Importing a pet to the BVI is not as difficult as it can be in other countries—case in point: Sir Richard Branson brought over endangered lemurs from Madagascar! But you don’t need Sir Richard’s clout to bring over your hound or kitty; you simply have to follow some simple procedures and choose whether you want to get your pet tattooed or microchipped. Other than a microchip or tattoo, pets from other countries need an import permit, an official health certificate filled out from a licensed vet and endorsed by a government veterinarian, and a $10 importation fee to enter the BVI. Pets from rabies-endemic countries need a bunch of vaccinations that could take four to six weeks to administer. Once all the forms and vaccinations are taken care of back home, the veterinary division of the BVI Department of Agriculture must be given at least 24 hours notice of the animal’s arrival into the territory. Once your pet is here, though, should you be worried about heat? Tropical diseases? Caribbean predators? My cat had a run-in with a Cuban tree frog that wasn’t particularly pleasant. He was foaming at the mouth and retching from the tree frog’s toxic mucous. I rinsed out his mouth with water, washed the sticky substance off his body with a mild soap, and fed him milk, as advised by online sources. 48
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service with the company. Presently, telephone plans are as low as $20 per month. Connections are usually done within 2–15 business days.
LIME provides hard-wired, broadband internet access as low as $59/month, with a $75 installation fee. CCT provides internet service via a wireless network for as low as $59 per month ($49 for additional lines). If you have a laptop, most bars and restaurants in the BVI have wifi access for their customers. Trellis Bay Cybercafé also has computers available for internet browsing.
Virgin Islands veterinarian Dr Laura Palmintieri said, “Because it’s the tropics and humid, there are a lot of parasites, but you just need to keep them on Revolution [a monthly, topical medication for the prevention of parasites in pets]. There are no insects that are going to be fatal. There are lots of stray dogs and cats on the island compared to the States, so they’re more likely to be an issue.” Unfortunately, animal poisonings have been reported on Tortola—mostly in Josiah’s Bay but also on other beaches. The culprit, who has yet to be discovered, wraps poison in meat and buries it just below the surface of the ground in paper bags so that dogs sniff it and eat it.
Acquiring a Pet on Island
So you want an island dog (also known as a coconut retriever)? I don’t blame you. They’re pretty adorable. And they all look related, unless, of course, they’re from the same litter—in that case they typically tend to look nothing alike. My friend James has two sibling puppies—Texas is a stocky, short-legged, short-haired, “blackand-tan” mutt that looks like a cross between a black lab and a dachshund while Dexter is a lithe, long-limbed, long-haired, white dog with black spots that looks like a border collie-Dalmatiangreyhound. Aside from his colouring, Texas looks almost identical to my friend Mason’s dog, Ricky Bobby, who is not directly related, and Dexter closely resembles an older stray that I regularly see around Cane Garden Bay. The best place to acquire an island dog or cat is at the BVI Humane Society. Though it also seems powered by alookingglass
that every other month someone announces a litter of puppies or kittens they know of in their neighbourhood. If you do acquire an island dog, be prepared for tourists to constantly ask, “What
kind of dog is that?!” Our island dogs may look normal in the BVI, but they’re a little wacky looking to the rest of the world.
Waste & Resource Management Alternative Energy
I love the fact that most homes in the BVI use rainwater as their main water supply. It’s become so normal that when I go to other countries, I’m surprised that they let all that water go to waste. But the BVI lets plenty of other resources go to waste—sun, wind, and all the glass, aluminum, paper and plastic waste that ends up in the incinerator. Hopefully, that will soon change. Currently, power generation is governed by the BVI Electricity Corporation Act, which states: “… No person other than the Corporation (BVIEC) shall use, work or operate or permit to be used, worked or operated any installation designed for the generation of electricity or the supply of electricity to or for the use of any other person, except in accordance with the terms of an authority issued by the minister.”
This legislation was originally penned to ensure sufficient revenue to fund BVIEC infrastructure and prevent hundreds of residents from installing their own generators—but it also inadvertently restricts the implementation of renewable energy as a primary source to any resident living on the BVIEC grid. However, alternative energy can and is used as a secondary form of power among residents living within the grid system. You’ll notice some homes with solar panels to power water heaters and cut some power costs. And off the grid—mainly on sister islands— exemplary work is in full force. Resorts such as Cooper Island Beach Club, and those on Peter Moskito and Eustatia islands have all invested in renewable energy supplies. We sure hope this trend becomes commonplace, and necessary action is taken by lawmakers to amend this discouraging and dusted legislation.
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Waste and Resource Management in the BVI
In the BVI, trash collection service is limited and each district representative is tasked with hiring a private company to collect and dispose of the waste. Residents are expected to deposit their waste in metal dumpsters that are situated every mile or so on the roadsides. On Tortola, you’ll often see the loud, diesel dumptruck barreling down the road en route to Paraquita Bay where waste is dumped in an incinerator and burned. Islands have a limiting constraint of having little land available for landfill. This is especially true across the BVI—with its rolling terrain, making landfill engineering difficult and expensive in this topography. In season, it is estimated that the Pockwood Pond incinerators can receive approximately 150 tons per day. The old incinerator can process 40 tons a day, and the new incinerator, 100 tons per day. However, at the time of release, the new incinerator stood inactive next to the old one, awaiting commissioning. With the installation of the new incinerator, missions from open burning on Tortola should be greatly reduced. Four unlined landfill sites are currently in operation (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada), and open burning is a common practice. No recycling facilities are currently in place; however, plans are underway to develop a recycling system for the BVI.
Roughly 12 percent of the waste stream is glass. According to previous studies, 3.8 million bottles were imported into Tortola in 1996, resulting in 1700 tons of glass received at the incinerator that year. Glass waste poses a unique problem in the incineration process in Tortola. Each year the incinerator is shut down for approximately twenty days, during which time the Solid Waste Departmant staff enter the incinerator and manually chip off the glass that has melted onto the incinerator walls. During this “offline” period, incoming waste has to be stored, or burned, behind the incinerator—resulting in health hazards, such as flies, vermin and toxic emissions.
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To improve the safety and health of waste department workers and all residents and visitors downwind of Pockwood Pond, it is strongly recommended that glass be removed entirely from the waste stream. If achieved, this will simultaneously reduce downtime and damage to the incinerators. Green VI’s Glass Studio, in Cane Garden Bay opposite Myett’s, converts discarded glass bottles from the local restaurants and bars into a range of beautiful artistic and functional products such as jewellery, drinking glasses, decorative bowls and butter dishes. Building applications such as recycled glass tiles and basins will be prototyped. For more information, visit greenvi.org.
According to Charlotte McDevitt, 30-40% of the waste deposited at Pockwood Pond is compostable, organic waste—banana peels, avocado skins, lettuce stems and other food scraps—from homes and businesses. To limit the amount my household contributes to that percentage, I started to compost using a tumbling compost bin made from a water barrel, some wood, a PVC pipe and bungee chords. The climate here is perfect for composting because the heat assists in the decomposition process. I keep a sealed bowl on my counter that I fill with scraps (uncooked vegetables or fruit rinds—no meat or dairy) that I empty it into the bin every few days then cover with yard clippings, shredded newspaper or leaves I’ve collected from my gutters. After trial and error with flies and odour, I learned that the best ratio of dry (leaves and paper) to wet (food scraps) is two to one. I turn the bin at least once a day to keep the mix going, and the nutrient-rich compost is perfect for the garden, and I omit a third of my waste that goes to the dump.
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Wining & Dining BVI Restaurants
For local cuisine, the BVI, especially Anegada, is known for lobster. Caribbean spiny lobsters are long, prickly, yellow creatures that lack big front claws. Many people only eat the tail, but there’s sweet meat in all ten of those claws. Another popular local seafood is conch (pronounced konk). As in the critter that lives in the shells that you listen to on the beach. Conch fritters usually consist of battered, breaded and fried pieces of the creature, which is actually a type of sea snail. Other conch dishes, including conch chowder, can be found on many local menus. Roti, in the BVI, is curried vegetables and meat in a chickpea-flour wrapper and often served with chutney. It’s filling and delicious. Though they may look like Hot Pockets, pates, similar to British pasties, are crusty turnovers filled with saltfish, chicken, beef, lentils or vegetables. Many restaurants in the Caribbean boast that they are the inspiration for Jimmy Buffet’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” but Jimmy asserts the following in American Way magazine: “I can tell you how ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ got written… We sailed from Ponce with a rigged-up bow spread that was broken, and it was a rough passage. We sailed into [Road Town], got off the boat, and were starving. We were dying for a cheeseburger after being at sea for 10 days eating fish. And there, like an oasis, was this brand-new restaurant at the Village Cay Marina. We went in and just started gobbling cheeseburgers and drinking piña coladas because we were so glad to be on land.” Most establishments serve lunch from noon to 3:00 p.m. and dinner from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Some are closed on Sundays or Mondays, so it’s best to call ahead to check, especially if you’re dining after 9:00 p.m. Reservations are encouraged at most of the upscale establishments. Due to the same importation costs that make groceries so expensive in the BVI, dining out can be a major expense. With that same argument, you can rationalize that since you’re paying so much for food anyway, you might as well have someone else cook for you.
One of the reasons that so many people love the BVI, but also one of the reasons why the 52
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occasional newbie burns out, is the thriving bar scene. In season, some bars stay open well past 4:00 a.m. Most bars have happy hour specials, snacks or buffets. In addition to the usual haunts, there are also many “Spanish” bars (which simply means the baristas or clientele speak Spanish). Bottom’s Up in Sea Cow’s Bay, Macha’s on Fort Hill and Guns N’ Chicken in Huntum’s Ghut are worth checking out.
There’s no denying that the BVI knows how to party. But if the imbibing becomes excessive, there’s always help nearby. The Community Agency on Drugs and Addiction, or CADA, is a non-profit, non-government agency that has served the BVI since 1981 in raising awareness regarding alcohol and drug abuse. CADA can be reached for information and referrals at its 24-hour helpline at 494-2324. The organisation also offers education to schools and advice to employers. A call to CADA can also provide you with schedules for self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and the Al Anon Family Group. Both groups have been meeting in the BVI for over 30 years. On Tortola, AA meets at Sandy Lane Centre (behind the David Funeral Home near the main RiteWay) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 pm, and again on Sundays at 9 am. Al Anon meets at the CADA office, next to the Fire Station, every Tuesday at 6 pm. Meetings on Virgin Gorda can be found weekly and are listed in the Island Sun newspaper.
Being a newbie can be challenging. Starting over in a new community, learning the lay of the land and its resources, and adapting to a new culture is inherently difficult. It can be stressful at times and can sometimes take its toll on you and your relationships. It can also be tricky to find someone to talk to. If you are looking for a professional ear, there are counselors available on the Island. Kelly Bos offers a variety of services through her office at Road Reef Plaza; Dr. June Samuels also holds office hours at the Virgin Islands Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre in Road Town; Sandra Mazurkewich Henley is a counselor located in Cane Garden Bay; and the Community Mental Health Center offers assessments, counseling and also takes walk-in appointments. powered by alookingglass
Eating & Drinking Establishments Road Town
Brewley’s Bakery—fast food, cake & pastries— Breakfast and lunch. Located in Baughers Bay (284) 494-1093
Dockmasters—open for breakfast and lunch. Gourmet sandwiches and salads. (284) 494-2771 La Dolce Vita—homemade gelato in the commercial district of Road Town, including ice creams and sorbets for those with dietary restrictions. Open 9am-11pm. (284)- 494-8770
Brisani’s—breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also delivery. Vast menu of seafood, pizzas and salads. (284) 494-2593 C&F Bar & Restuarant —Famous Caribbean dishes, seafood and barbeque. Open for dinner. (284) 494-4941 Calypso Café—Caribbean cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner. (284) 494-1234 Can Can Café—sandwiches, paninis, salads, soups, soft serve & pastries. Serves lunch. (284) 494-0590
The Dove Acclaimed Chef Travis Phillips Delectable French/Asian Cuisine The BVI’s Largest Wine List
The Dove Restaurant—fine dining. Inventive French fusion cuisine. Specialty cocktails. Open for dinner or tapas at the bar. Well researched wine list. (284) 494-0313
Capriccio di Mare—hearty Italian salads, bruschetta, pizzas and pasta. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (284) 494-5369. Charlie’s at the Moorings—serves lunch and dinner. Open-fire pizza oven as well as an extensive menu of seafood, steaks, salads and pastas. (284) 852-3602 Chicken Buses—your late night dining option. Most are located near the roundabout in Road Town. Chillns’ Café—Caribbean-fusion restaurant. (284) 494-9237 Crandall’s—breakfast and lunch carry out. Pates, breakfast sandwiches, johnnycakes, chicken, local dishes. (284) 494-5156 Deli France—a selection of french pastries and hot and cold dishes and sandwiches. Also provisioning. (284) 494-2195
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Drake’s Point at Fort Burt—serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Simple, fresh menu with daily specials. (284) 494-3017 La Gelateria—coffee bar and gelato above The Dove Restaurant. Open 9am-11pm. (284)- 494-8660 Ginny’s—coffee, pastries, juices, ice cream, sandwiches and wraps at The Moorings. Le Grand Café—fine dining and late-night liveliness. Lunch, dinner, dancing. (284)- 494-8660 Family Food Bakery - A variety of fresh goods, baked on the premises with a small retail outlet. +1 284 545 9859 Maria’s by the Sea—full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu of local and American favorites. Banquet rooms. (284) 494-2595
Star Luck Café—daily specials, including Indian plates. (284) 494-5592 Teppanyakis—sushi, teppanyaki and Asian cuisine at The Moorings. Open for lunch and dinner. U.Ps Cinema— food court serves pizza, Chinese, salads, and gelato. Quick, cheap and easy. (284) 494-4567 Vero’s Tasty Treats—breakfast sandwiches, rotis, next to The BVI Beacon. Village Cay—open breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sunday brunch. Popular happy hour. (284) 494-2771 Virgin Queen—homemade pizza, appetizers and local specialties. Open for lunch and dinner. Happy hour specials. (284) 494-2310
The Mariner Inn—broad menu at The Moorings. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. (284) 494-2333 Mellow Moods—vegetarian food open from 7am to 7pm. Great prices and large portions. (284) 494-6403 Midtown Restaurant—local cuisine and burgers with daily specials. (284) 494-2764 Nature’s Way—vegetarian carryout fare inside a health food store by the roundabout. (284) 494-6393 Origin—sushi, tempura and other Japanese dishes. Lovely bar and upstairs deck. Dinner only. Take out. v(284) 494-8295 Palm Groovin’—authentic local cuisine and slushies. (284) 494-4802 The Pub—open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unassuming and delicious dockside fare. Fast service. Large menu. (284) 494-2608 Pusser’s Pub—Big, frosty coctails, draft beer on tap and pub grub. (284) 494-3897 Road Town Bakery—pastries, sandwiches and pates. Open for breakfast and lunch. (284) 494-0222 Roti Palace—rotis made to order. A must visit for lunch. (284) 494-4196 Royal BVI Yacht Club—open for lunch and dinner. Taco Tuesdays, Quiz Wednesday and Sunday Roast are favourites among the expat, sailing crowd. (284) 494-8190 Simply Delcious—Chinese food and more. (284) 494-8766
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Watering Hole—open in the evening—pizzas, snacks, sushi on Thursdays. Coffee and wine shop during the day. (284) 446-2211
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Captain Mulligans—lunch and dinner pub menu. Shows all major sporting events on a projection screen. Popular Friday happy hour with complimentary barbecue. Located right inside Nanny Cay. (284) 494-0602 powered by alookingglass
Genaker Cafe at Nanny Cay—serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Traditional fare. (284) 494-2512 Nanny Cay Beach Bar—serves lunch. Fish, meats, salads, pizza. Popular happy hour spot. (284) 494-2512 Peg Leg Landing—vast dinner menu with daily specials at Nanny Cay. (284) 494-2512 Sea Cows Bay Chinese (Lucky Fortune)—open for lunch and dinner Usually open until 11pm but sometimes later. Closed on Monday sadly. Carry out only. (284) 540-4553 Tonic’s Bird Watch Bar & Grill—burgers, soup and carryout on the water in Sea Cows Bay.
Bing’s Drop Inn—late night weekend bar set among trellised walls covered in Bing’s own artwork. The best burger in the BVI at 3:00 a.m. (284) 495-2627 Brandywine Estate Restaurant—Lunch and dinner with a French flair and ample portions. Champagne happy hour on Fridays. Stunning view. Closed Tuesdays. (284) 495-2301 Charlie T’s—steak and seafood dinner on the water at Hodge’s Creek. (284) 495-1010 D’ Best Cup—full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu on the beach in Trellis Bay. (284) 495-0259
with inspired meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Popular Sunday brunch. Swim-up bar. (284) 495-2477 Trellis Kitchen—filling and delectable “famous awesome sandwiches” for lunch and evening snack. Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Home of the east side full moon party. (284) 495-2447
Bananakeet—lunch and dinner. Sunday brunch. Local specialties. Known for amazing sunsets and cocktails. (284) 494-5842 Bomba’s Surf Shack—the famous bar hosts west side’s full moon parties, serves mushroom tea and Bomba Punch. (284) 495-4148 Cruzin’—open for dinner. Homemade pizza every day. Menu changes daily. (284) 446-6201 D’Best Cup—fresh, hearty breakfast in Soper’s Hole. Gourmet coffees and teas. (284) 545-8015 Jolly Roger Inn—breakfast, lunch and dinner on the water in Soper’s Hole. Pizzas, salads, fresh seafood, daily specials. (284) 495-4559 Long Bay Beach Resort—breakfast, lunch and dinner. Swim-up bar. International, Caribbean and Italian specialties. (284) 495-4252
De Loose Mongoose—breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fresh seafood on the beach in Trellis Bay. Fun and funky beach bar. (284) 495-2303
North Shore Shell Museum—local favourites and fresh smoothies in Carrot Bay set among thousands of shells collected over the years. (284) 495-4714
Emile’s Restaurant & Cantina—open for dinner. Hand-tossed pizza and Mexican food via the West Indies. (284) 495-1775
Palm’s Delight—delicious assortment of local West Indian food in the heart of Carrot Bay. (284) 495-4863
The Last Resort—creative menu, live music, fun mix of tourists and residents on Bellamy Cay. Free Ferry pickup from Trellis Bay. (284) 495-2520
Pusser’s Landing—lunch and dinner located on the dock at Soper’s Hole Marina. Rotis, fish and chips, sandwiches. (284) 495-4554
Naomi’s—bar and casual restaurant on the beach in Josiah’s Bay. (284) 495-2818
Sebastian’s on the Beach—breakfast, lunch and dinner on the beach at Apple Bay. Varied breakfast, sandwiches, and seafood. (284) 495-4212
Nature’s Way East—vegetarian lunch inside a health food store in East End. (284) 495-2852 Pusser’s Marina Cay—lunch and dinner on this tiny islet between Trellis Bay and Scrub Island. Seafood, roti, burgers. Rum drinks. (284) 494-2174 Red Rock Restaurant & Bar—dinner only. All breads are made on the premises. Menu chock full of appetizers, pizzas, pastas, seafood and meats. (284) 495-1646 The Tamarind Club—breakfast, lunch and dinner www.bvinewbie.com
Sugar Mill—dinner only. Fine dining in Carrot Bay overlooking the water. (284) 495-4355
Cane Garden Bay
Big Banana Paradise Club—breakfast, lunch and dinner standards. Always consistent. Also has roadside bar with local specialties. (284) 495-4606 Elm Restaurant and Bar—lunch and dinner. Fresh fish, burgers, popular barbecue on Fridays and Sundays. Live music on Fridays. (284) 494-2888 BVI NEWBIE 2013
Restaurant Hotel Gift Shop Spa Live Music
On the beach, in beautiful
Sunset Happy Hour Everyday from 5-7pm
For Reservations Tel 284.495.9649
Corsairs—located in Great Harbour. Laid back beach bar, restaurant, and gift shop serving breakfast, lunch, and old world Mediterranean dinners. BBQs on Sunday and Tuesdays. Absinthe/Martini Bar. (284)495-9294 Foxy’s—lunch and dinner in Great Harbour. Lobster, seafood, pub fare. World famous New Year’s Eve parties. Meet Foxy. (284) 340-9258 Foxy’s Taboo—the perfect place for lunch or dinner after a trip to the Bubbly Pool. Wraps, kebabs, salads, steaks, seafood. (284) 340 9258
Myett’s—vast breakfast, lunch and dinner menu with options for carnivores and herbivores. Nightly specials. Two for one happy hour with live music. (284) 495-9649
Gertrude’s Beach Bar—snacks, lunch and drinks on the beach at White Bay. (284) 543-1626 Harris’ Place—beachside dinner in Little Harbour. (284) 495-9302
Quito’s—traditional menu augmented by daily specials. Open for dinner. Live music and DJs at night. (284) 495-4837
Ivan’s Stress Free Bar & Restaurant—honor bar. Thursday night barbecue. (284) 495-9358
Rhymer’s Beach Bar & Restaurant—breakfast, lunch and dinner. American and Caribbean fare. (284) 495-4639 Sailor’s Rest—breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fresh, home-cooked favorites overlooking the sea in Cane. (284) 495-9908 Stanley’s Welcome Bar—lunch on the beach. Lobster salad, burgers, snacks. (284) 495-9424
Rudy’s Lookout Bar—the best place to get a stiff rum drink at 11am. Friendly happy hour crowd at this tiny roadside shack.
Jost Van Dyke
Abe’s By the Sea—lunch and dinner in Little Harbour. Seasonal seafood, including conch and lobster. (284) 495-9329
Diamond Cay. Jost Van Dyke . BVI
Jewel’s Snack Shop—burgers, dogs, snacks and desserts at this little shack in White Bay. (284) 495-9286 One Love Bar & Grill—lunch. Dinner on Wednesdays only. American and Caribbean fare, fresh seafood. (284) 495-9829 Soggy Dollar Bar—breakfast, lunch and dinner in White Bay. The place where the Painkiller was reputedly invented. Burgers, seafood, roti, soups, weekend buffet. (284) 495-9888 Sydney’s Peace & Love—self-service bar. Breakfast, lunch and dinner in Little Harbour. (284) 494-9271
Bath & Turtle/Rendezvous Bar—breakfast, lunch and dinner. The triple decker breakfast sandwich is perfect. Solid lunch and dinner options. (284) 495-5239 Biras Creek Resort—breakfast, lunch and dinner. Full breakfast, beachside lunch barbecue, fourcourse dinner. (284) 494-3555 Bitter End Yacht Club—breakfast, lunch and dinner on the water in the North Sound. The lunch buffet is divine. (284) 494-2746 Chez Bamboo—delicious tapas, dinner and cocktails. Mediterranean seafood. (284) 495-5752
Serving Lighthearted Mediterranean fare with flair.
CocoMaya—open-air restaurant, bar and lounge on the beach in Spanish Town. Asian-Latin fusion. Open every night from 4pm. (284) 495-6344
VHF Channel 16 Tel: 1 (284) 340 9258
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Fat Virgin Cafe—picnic-table dining on the water in the North Sound. Lunch and dinner. Fresh burgers, seafood, rotis. (284) 495-7154 Giorgio’s Table and Wine Bar—divine Italian fare and seafood in a setting that transports Spanish Town diners to Tuscany. Impeccable wine list. (284) 495-7154 Hog Heaven—fresh pork and chicken barbeque with stunning views of the North Sound. Loved by locals and visitors. Leverick Bay—breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seafood, burgers, pizzas. Jumbie’s Beach Bar is a popular spot in VG. (284) 495-7154 Little Dix Bay Resort—an architectural marvel, minutes from the Spanish Town ferry dock. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at an upscale resort. Suitable evening attire required. (284) 495-5555 Mad Dog—open 10am to 6pm. Funky West Indian Bar located at the Round About at the Baths. Famous for their Pina Coladas and BLTs. Fresh sandwiches, salads, wraps. Cool, laid-back vibe. (284) 495-5830
Anegada Reef Hotel—breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fresh lobster on the grill, burgers, salads, sandwiches, seafood, pasta. (284) 495-8002 Big Bamboo Restaurant—lobster, seafood and local dishes on the beach in Loblolly Bay. Huge portions. Lively beach bar. (284) 495-8129 Cow Wreck Beach Bar & Grill—casual lunch and dinner. (284) 495-8047 Neptune’s Treasure—serving lunch and dinner. Fresh seafood caught daily. Lobster, ribs, duck, salads. (284) 495-9439 Potter’s By the Sea—dinner on the beach, cooked on open barbeques fired up with local wood. (284) 495-9182
Cooper Island Beach Club—lunch and dinner. Roti, seafood, salads, steak. Casual dining on the beach at Cooper. Darts tournament. (284) 495-9084
Mermaid’s Dockside Bar & Grill—fresh fish and local dishes on the end of a dock in Spanish Town. (284) 495-6663
Mine Shaft Cafe—stunning sunsets, mini-golf and award-winning cocktails. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. (284) 495-5260
The Willy-T—lunch and dinner. Raucous floating bar and restaurant anchored in the Bight. Body shots. (284) 441-8603
The Rock Cafe—Italian specialties for dinner. Arguably the best pizza in the BVI. Dining among the boulders of VG. Live music at Sam’s Piano Bar. (284) 495-5482 Saba Rock—a tiny island resort in the North Sound next to Bitter End. Full service lunch and dinner with fresh salad bar and buffet. (284) 495-7711 Sugarcane Restaurant—West Indian and American fare set poolside among the boulders in Nail Bay resort. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. (284) 494-8000 Top of the Baths Restaurant—casual fare of local and American favourites at the top of The Baths National Park, overlooking the boulders and the sea. Frozen cocktails. (284) 495-5497 YCCS Marina—fine dining at this elegant yacht club in the North Sound with signature cocktails and imaginative combinations of local and Italian flavours. Popular once-a-month Saturday “drunch” features all you can eat and drink. (284) 393-2000
Pirates Bight—lunch and dinner beachside. Seafood, steaks, roti. Big portions. (284) 496-7827
Peter Island Resort—serves breakfast, lunch and dinner at one of two restaurants on this exclusive resort. Ferry available from Baugher’s Bay. Romantic dining on the beach. (284) 495-2000 Ocean’s Seven—a beachside bar grille and water park serving lunch and dinner in Great Harbour. (284) 340-1177 VHF: 16/77
Caravela—breakfast, lunch and dinner. European and Caribbean fine dining. Ferry service available from Trellis Bay. (284) 440-3440 Tierra Tierra—casual, poolside dining centered around an outdoor grill. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Three-tiered pool with sliding board and jacuzzi. Swim-up bar. (284) 440-3440 *For a list of menus, visit our website at www.bvinewbie.com
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In the BVI, full moon dates are most commonly associated with beachside celebrations—from shore to shore. Two main full moon parties draw a monthly slew of tourists from the neighbouring USVI and beyond. At Apple Bay on Tortola’s west side, rowdy revelers imbibe under the bright moonlight with mushroom tea and live music at the Bomba Shack. It’s unclear whether the hallucinogenic psilocybin mushroom is legal or illegal under BVI law, but there seems to be a don’t ask, don’t tell policy at work. 58
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At Trellis Bay, Beef Island, vendors line the beach with arts and crafts for sale, and partygoers get their groove on to live calypso music and poi shows. At midnight, a giant fireball is set ablaze in the bay. It’s worth calling ahead or asking around before heading east or west for a full moon party. It’s also worth considering taking a sick day if you tempt a full moon party on a school night.
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Spas & Salons One of the advantages of living in a tourist destination is the availability of luxury services, and I wholeheartedly recommend getting spa treatments anytime you can. The spa offerings in the BVI are usually pretty creative—our head designer received a massage on the private dock at Mooney Bay just feet above the seagrass meadow replete with bright red and orange cushion sea stars; many friends have indulged in a chair massage before Sunday brunch at the Tamarind Club; others pass an occasional Saturday at one of the resorts on Virgin Gorda; and I’ve had a few girls’ nights at the Women Who Wine event at Scrub Island’s Ixora Spa where for a small fee, ladies get a ferry ride over to the resort, along with snacks, wine, mini spa treatments and goody bags. Many of the spas use local ingredients such as ixora, coconut oil, seaweed, key limes, salt, mango, neem leaves
and papaya. Going for an after-work massage is a lot healthier, and might even end up being cheaper, than going out for happy hour drinks— the most common way to unwind in the BVI. Finding a stylist or barber—just as anywhere— tends to be a learning experience. A friend from the Beacon newspaper has told me all about this. My friend speaks Spanish, so he tends to prefer venturing to the Dominican shops around Road Town. During any given month, you’ll see him walking the streets with a new style, hip to the nines at times and sadly silly at others. But at the end of the day, it’s all about finding what works well for you. He’s the type of guy that encourages the adventure—so more power to him. Barber cuts generally range from about $7 – 15—add a bit more for a shave. Other spots in Road Town, Nanny Cay, Cane Garden Bay and Fort Recovery offer a wash and cut with a salon experience.
Culture & Festivals New residents often complain about the lack of cultural stimulation in the BVI, but when I ask them if they’ve taken a tour of Old Government House Museum or attended concerts at HLSCC, I get blank stares. The BVI offers an array of cultural activities, with new ones cropping up every year. NEWBIEs simply need to know where to look to find them The Performing Arts Series at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College showcases international performers in a concert-style setting. Performers slated for the 2013 season include Latin jazz musician Tito Puente Jr. on Jan. 12; Virgin Islanders Ouida, Monique and Trinity on Feb. 16; Calypsonian
David Rudder on March 15; classical opera singer Angela Brown on May 11; and more concerts to be announced through in the year. Tickets vary in price from $20-30, and are sold at various locations throughout the territory. The art of dancing thrives in the BVI and is celebrated in the BVI through the annual BVI Dance Festival which features hip hop, ballet, tap and jazz performances by students throughout the territory. Other places to see dance include shows by the CADA Players, dance troupes during festival parades and Friday nights at Le Grand Café.
We plan. YOU PLAY! T1(284)443-0663 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.innovative-bvi.com
innovativebvi BVI NEWBIE 2013
Located on Waterfront Drive, the Government House Museum’s mission “is to showcase the history and culture of the Virgin Islands as portrayed in this historic Residence of British Representatives of the Crown from the 17th Century, through research, exhibits, preservation, education and entertainment initiatives.” This stunning, historic building is a great place to take your visiting friends who want a little background about the island’s history. The Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum houses a collection of artifacts from the building’s original use as a place where sugar and cotton where processed as well as other historical items. The museum also hosts regular exhibitions by local visual artists.
Movies, Bowling & Skating
UP’s Cineplex, food court, bowling alley and roller rink has become a hub of social activity in the BVI. UP’s offers reasonable prices on food, films and bowling. We recommend VIP seating in the comfortable balcony recliners, and be sure to take a sweater because the AC is often cranked up at UP’s.
Two of the biggest festivals of the year are the August Emancipation Festival (which includes three days off
work for most people) and the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Both festivals bring visitors to the islands, and both treat those visitors to live music, rowdy parties, booths of souvenirs and local food and general merriment. The BVI Emancipation Festival commemorates the reading of the emancipation proclamation in front of the Sunday Morning Well in 1834. Every year, the BVI remembers this day and celebrates with parades, carnival rides, concerts and Rise & Shine processions (J’ouvert) in Carrot Bay, Road Town and East End. Since 1972, the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival has brought sailors from all over the world to the BVI to compete and play in the azure waters. The sailing festival starts off the week-long event with activities in the North Sound followed by the regatta at Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola. Sailors and nonsailors flock to the beachside regatta village for food, drinks and lots of chatter about the days’ races. Other festivals include Virgin Gorda’s Easter Festival, Fisherman’s Day in July, Jazz on the Hill in Virgin Gorda and the BVI Music Festival— which attracts international reggae, soca, R&B and pop acts.
Sports & Recreation
Most sports circulate around associations, clubs or federations, which are open to anyone who has a desire to play. Some clubs are more formal and competitive while others are more social and casual. Some organized sports compete on an international level while informal clubs exist for everything from acroyoga to rock lifting, and members are always looking for new recruits for their quirky fitness activities. If you are interested, ask around. These activities will not come to you, and they are often scheduled around weather, season and different events.
In addition to the sports clubs and activities, several gyms offer the latest in equipment, classes and training trends. Personal trainers are available, as well as spin, yoga, pilates, body pump, zumba, step, circuit training and boxing.
Just about every neighbourhood has a set of hoops, and on just about any given night you can find yourself a game or a hoop to shoot around on if you ask nicely and play by court rules. Some
Open 7 Days A Week T: (284)494-0300 E: email@example.com www.sensusbvi.com 60
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play for exercise, others the neighbourhood Jordan crown, but the BVI also comes together for organized league games. Basketball is a competitive sport, bringing athletes together from Virgin Gorda to Tortola to compete with blood, sweat and tears on the court. Last season, six players received scholarships to play at various US universities. For more information on how to tryout, contact BVI Basketball Federation President Byron Hodge at 443-8300.
The BVI Cricket Association players can be seen practicing regularly on the festival grounds off the Blackburne Highway, across from the AO Shirley Recreational Grounds. The BVICA concluded its 2012 domestic tournament in July and plans to hold another local league later in this year, pending the completion of works being undertaken on the Greenland Ground. As with all sporting associations, don’t be too shy to stop in and ask how you can join in the fun. Feel free to email the President of the Association, Shan Mohamed, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s not odd to see a cyclist or two—or 20— powering up, down and around the dramatic hillsides of these islands. Sometimes you’ll see recreational bikers out for a cruise, but mostly cyclists out here take their sport very seriously and train often. Other times the roadsters are competing in races that can last the majority of the day and take bikers all the way around the islands. The BVI Cycling Federation was formed in 1993 with a group of five members. Today, the Federation includes more than 40 members and supporters. Cyclists compete locally and regionally, and have had success in competitions like the Caribbean Cup Mountain Bike series, which members have dominated in three consecutive years. Recreational and semi-competitive athletes also are encouraged to partake in the many events held yearly around the territory. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Football in the BVI can be traced back to the mid to late 1960s. Most of the early competition was between visiting British Royal Navy ships and expatriates who worked in the BVI.In 1968, a team of Royal Engineers organized the first league. From this the BVI Football Association was founded in 1974 and became affiliated with the Federation of International Football Associations in 1996. The BVI FA also joined the Caribbean Football Union in 1995.The BVI has one main ground called the AO Shirley Ground which in 2004 went through a period of redevelopment and was closed to the public. It re-opened in late 2009 and has since played host to all national competitions as well as International matches. There is also a pitch in Virgin Gorda that is also utilized for the National League. The BVI FA run a number of programmes
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including women’s and youth programmes. The majority of the youth programmes are run through the schools, but there is also a Saturday youth programme called the Sea Cows Bay Manatees. They play every Saturday morning from 8:30 to 10:30am at the Sea Cows Bay Recreation Ground. They cater for ages from anywhere from 3 to 14 and actively encourage parental involvement. For women’s football, contact the BVI Football Association and they will guide you accordingly. The BVI FA’s senior men’s season runs from September to May with their three flag ship competitions (Terry Evans Cup, Wendol Williams Cup and The BVI National League) and there are nine active clubs that participate. Five are based on Tortola (Wolues, Islanders, One Love, Old Madrid and Panthers) and four on Virgin Gorda (Lucian Stars, Sugar Boys, VG Ballstars and VG United). If you’re looking to play, simply rock up to one of the clubs training sessions or contact the BVI FA at (284) 494-5655 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can check out their website www. bvifootballassociation.com for more information.
Learning a marital art is an exhilarating and fulfilling task. Last year, I discovered this when I attended
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my first judo class at fifth-degree black belt and Sensei Mark Hooper’s dojo behind the Island Paints store in Pasea. Experienced black belts, a group of green and yellow belts, and beginners circled to begin exercises on the mats. First, a stretch; then, falling routines; then it was into lessons. I felt out of place at first, but the group was very attentive to each member’s skill level and taught accordingly. Needless to say, I was hooked. Mark offers judo and defense classes at his dojo through the week at a cost of $25 a month. Contact email@example.com for more info. On the other side of town, near the Road Town Police Station and behind the movie theater, the Purple Dragon dojo offers karate, kickboxing, women’s self defense and more. There, head instructor Sensei Abeana Baptiste, who is a thirddegree black belt, offers guided courses weekly. They can be contacted at (284) 494-9423.
Softball is the national sport of the BVI. Growing up playing baseball, I thought I’d have a ball, so to speak, schooling the territory on the ol’ ballfield. Boy was I wrong. While the sport is fun-spirited, it is competitive and carries an abundance of talent along with it. Fast-pitch, modified and youth
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softball are all played on the softball field behind the Elmore Stoutt High School. Whether looking to join a team, or for a hotdog and an evening lime in the stands under the lights, head down to the field and check it out; or, join their facebook page at facebook.com/bvisoftball for more info on start dates and sign ups. Softball Association President Neville “Sheep” Smith may also be contacted at Neville.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Squash & Tennis
If you’re looking for a great gym-sport exercise, squash is where it’s at. The first time I played with my British roommate at the Tortola Sports Club, he almost literally mopped the floor with me. I was so sore the next day that I couldn’t walk for a week. But for others, the sport is much more than a workout—it’s a competitive sport practiced daily. Though squash does not have a rich history in the BVI, it has recently developed a reputation as one of the BVI’s most organized and focused federations. Squash is played at the Tortola Sports Club where there are four courts available for play. Four years ago, Joe Kneipp, formerly the 10th ranked male player in the world, was hired as the Club’s squash coach and has had a great impact on the BVI Squash Racquets Association’s
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(BVISRA’s) development of talent. Last year, BVIslander Joe Chapman, who is ranked first in the BVI, joined the professional circuit (Professional Squash Association) and now travels the world representing the territory. The Tortola Sports Club also offers membership access to its four tennis courts. Club tournaments are held throughout the year, and coach Tim is available for lessons. Contact TSC for more information at (284) 494-3457.
Rugby has been played in the BVI since the 1960s. The BVI Rugby Club (now affiliated with the iRB and known as “BVI Rugby Football Union” or BVIRFU) was established on the back of impromptu matches between a handful of expatriates living on the islands and visiting Royal Airforce engineers who came to build the original airport. The BVI’s ties with the UK’s armed forces continue to this day, with matches being held between the BVI and visiting Royal Navy ships twice a year. Today the BVI has grown to become one of the leading rugby clubs in the Caribbean with a programme that includes youth tag and touch rugby in the schools, ladies touch, mixed touch, full contact men’s 15s & men’s 7s, and our Strollers (an old boys section that meets Thursday evenings at Mulligan’s Bar in Nanny Cay to drink beer and talk about rugby). If you would like to get involved with rugby in the BVI please get in touch through the contact page of the website www.bvirugby.com/contact/ or just show up at training or socials.
Think you got what it takes to go the distance? I’d recommend you train before jumping into a grueling run-bike-swim distance match. But for those of you daring enough, the BVI Triathalon Federation hosts events from the BVI X Tri to the half marathon to the Steelman competition through out the year. For more information, check the Federation’s website at tribvi.vg or contact Antony Spencer at email@example.com.
See our “Getting Wet” section to learn about all other soggy sports. t 1 (284) 494 1234 e firstname.lastname@example.org wwww.goldenpavillion.com
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Activities for Kids
Being a kid on the islands is second to none. While kids can’t (yet) hang out at shopping malls or video arcades, they have a ton of choices of stuff to do on land and sea—hiking, cycling, watersports, swimming, dancing, snorkeling and diving. Most activities run through afterschool programmes, private organizations and charities. Kids can learn everything from sailing to surfing, ballet to basketball, track to tree climbing and enjoy nights out at the bowling alley and cinema, if they have any energy left. Kids and the Sea (KATS) and Bicycle Safety Awareness for Everyone (BSAFE) are heavily endorsed and supported, so kids from all walks of life can enjoy great starts to the island way. BVI Watersports Centre is a great
place to learn to sail as is the Royal BVI Yacht Club. Summer programmes exist through all these organizations, as well as the Fisherman’s Co-op in Virgin Gorda. In terms of achievements, the BVI continues to produce many athletes, even at the Olympic level. Another nice thing about the BVI is the lack of commercial saturation, so your kids are more likely to want a new surfboard than the latest trendy toys or fashions, simply because those items aren’t in their faces on billboards nor are they as readily available in the BVI. It’s also important to take your kids off island from time to time so they know that there’s more to the planet than paradise.
Getting Off the Rock Getting Off the Rock
The BVI is paradise. But every so often nonnative residents are susceptible to island fever. The best way to cure this ailment is to get off the rock. This can be as simple as booking a daysail to one of the smaller islands, taking a ferry to St John or St Thomas for the day, chartering a seaplane or flying to Puerto Rico, St Martin, Antigua or St Kitts for the weekend. Even better, go some place cold. Last year, I went home and saw a bit of snow. My return flight took off in Washington, DC. Out the airplane window I saw the barren trees and the brownish grey waters of the Atlantic below me. When we approached Beef Island, I saw that the ocean had changed to its healthy turquoise, the trees were lush, and I couldn’t wait to get to the beach. Sometimes we need to get off the rock to appreciate why we live on it.
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Sometimes there’s no reason to go to far to feel like you’re miles away from home—and work. Many residents choose vacation options within the BVI. These sort of next-door-getaways have been coined “staycations” by local businesses and the BVI Tourist Board. Many villas, resorts, dive centers, charter companies and watersports centers offer year-round local discount rates that make staying close by a feasible option for a vacation choice. In the summer, most businesses drop their rates considerably—from 10 to 50 percent or more— so it’s also a good time to invite family and friends for a visit. My favourite getaway from my Tortola home and work is North Sound, Virgin Gorda, where I can play with the toys at Bitter End Yacht Club or wine and dine at Biras Creek or Yacht Club Costa Smerelda at a reasonable rate. The transparent aqua waters and high-
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class dining experience allow you to transport worlds away from your responsibilities and experience true island fever therapy.
Staving Off Island Fever
The British Virgin Islands is bursting with culture and energy, not to mention the hustle and bustle of tourism. Boredom isn’t usually a problem. It may just be that you’re getting the fever—the island fever. Island fever is different for everyone, as is the cure. Some people describe it as a trapped feeling, or a desire for a new landscape or setting. For those who have moved here it can be more of a homesickness, sometimes brought on by forging new friendships and suddenly aching for the ones you’ve left behind. However it hits us, most island dwellers experience it at some point. While we adore the beautiful ocean with its alluring shades of aquas and blues, it’s a border nonetheless. Certainly we can traverse it by boat or plane, but somehow not being able to just drive and drive to make a drastic scenic change makes a difference. Is it the ocean that creates the insidious feelings leading to island fever? Or does it save us from it? Many islanders believe that to keep the fever at bay, you have to dive right into island life, literally. Get involved in all that the island and its ocean border offers—surfing, fishing, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkeling—the key is to enrich your island experience. Fully challenge yourself to take the road less traveled. Try out a restaurant you haven’t been to yet, head to a part of the island you haven’t spent much time on. If you live near Josiah’s Bay, then make sure you are discovering all that Smuggler’s Cove has to offer, or vice versa. The island has so many beaches and beautiful sites, it is important to shake it up a little. If you just can’t shake the fever, remember the cliché: “Wherever you go, there you are.” So if your fever is more internal than external, there may be more to it than just getting off the rock. Some problems can’t be fixed by simply switching jobs, or starting a new relationship or even moving to a beautiful island in the middle of the ocean. In this sense, it’s not really island fever at all. It might be a signal to take stock of what you need to do for yourself, reevaluate your choices, and maybe even talk to a therapist (see “Counseling” in directory). A lack of purpose in life wherever you are can translate into paradise lost here. www.bvinewbie.com
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Getting Married Once you’ve lived in the BVI for a while, you realize why people come here to get married. Your friends back home might welcome a Caribbean vacation to celebrate your nuptials, and as you start to make more and more friends that live here, you understand that it just might be easier to get married locally, especially if you met your betrothed in the BVI, and he or she is from abroad as well. Once you’ve sealed your engagement beside an epic BVI backdrop, tying the not in the BVI is romantic and painless and can be as extravagant or as simple as you and your squeeze desire.
Obtaining a Marriage License
The first thing you need to do is call or stop by the Registrar’s Office (above Varieties electronics store by the roundabout in Road Town) to book a date and time with the Acting Registrar General. From there you’ll head over
to the Attorney General’s office in the main Government Complex to apply for your marriage license. You will need to bring with you a $50 dollar stamp which you can purchase at the main post office above Qwomar Hardware in Port Purcell. Additionally, and most importantly, you will need your other half, your passports and any divorce decrees that are applicable. You’ll fill out a short application which asks for the date and place of your ceremony, and that’s it.
You can get married by the Registrar General in the Registrar’s Office for $35, or you can have the officer come to a ceremony outside the office to officiate for a $100 fee. Other options include priests or ministers, or if you have an ordained buddy. Unfortunately, in the BVI, unlike on Love Boat, a ship’s captain cannot perform the ceremony.
Starting a Family Expecting parents in the BVI have several options when deciding where to have their baby. Many go home to be close to family, some travel to the USVI or Puerto Rico for larger hospitals or naturalization reasons, while others have their babies in the BVI. Mothers who have decided to have their babies here have found Peebles Hospital to be absolutely
professional. The maternity ward is fully equipped with incubators and the like, and the doctors and nurses are highly skilled and very caring. So, if you don’t want to add the stress of travel to the birthing process, the BVI is an option worthy of consideration, and your kids will always have the bragging rights of being born here.
Education & Schools For any transplanted child, going through the education system in the British Virgin Islands can be challenging but also exciting. The territory provides unique opportunities for children to explore the culture of the islands while receiving a sound education both in the public and private school systems. The BVI houses a total of 15 primary schools and 4 secondary public school and 10 primary and 3 secondary private schools. The territory also has a technical and vocational school. Being a British Overseas Territory, the education system in the BVI is much like the traditional learning system in the United Kingdom. The school year runs from September to June. 68
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Children between the ages of five and sixteen are required to be enrolled in a matriculating educational programme whilst residing in the territory. Children may start elementary school at age four if they will turn five within their first school year. In the public school system, children spend seven years in elementary school, from stage one to two, then from class one to five. In class five, students sit the national Primary Five Exam for entrance into secondary school. Once in secondary school, students spend five years, and in the fifth year, the national school-leaving exam is taken for the awarding of a high school diploma. During the final year, students in the four public secondary schools also take the regional powered by alookingglass
Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams. These exams are given in a wide variety of subjects. Passes in the exams are also required for admission to some colleges and universities in the United States and the Caribbean. In the BVI, students have two options for tertiary education, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and a branch of the University of the West Indies. Both offer resident courses at an associate’s level before students may further their studies via distance learning, completing studies at the University of the West Indies’ home campus or transferring to a university abroad.
Getting Your Child Enrolled
There are a number of private and public options for elementary and secondary education in the British Virgin Islands. Schools are not zoned in the territory, so students may apply at any school they prefer, whether the school is in their neighbourhood or even on the island they reside. While most islands have both primary and secondary schools, if you plan to live on Jost Van Dyke, the secondary school advances up to form two (around age 14). After students successfully complete those two forms, they must be transferred to another secondary school to complete their education.
Students must apply with the Department of Education for placement in both the private and public schools. The Department accepts applications between January and April for consideration for the start of the following school year in September and again from November to December for placement only in a private school for the school semester beginning the following January. You are required to submit the following with an application form that can be picked up at the Department of Education: • child’s birth certificate • updated immunization form • a passport-sized photo • letter of good health from the Road Town Clinic • transcripts from previously enrolled schools • proof of parent’s immigration status in the BVI (from passport) • parent’s work permit or Government appointment letter • acceptance letter if the student will be attending a private school
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Once those items have been successfully accepted, the application will be reviewed, and parents will be notified of the status of the application and further instructions by the Department of Education. Parents should note that prospective students may be asked to sit a placement exam to ascertain the child’s educational level. Home schooling is another option in the territory. Parents, however, are required to apply for this option with the Department of Education. Once the Department is satisfied that the child will be following a reputable programme for educational advancement, the child will be granted permission to continue. Online curriculums where parents simply pay for the materials and textbooks are mailed to the student and online or telephone support are available. Parents should be advised that these programmes, though flexible, require children to be disciplined and parents to oversee their child’s progress. Students are required to be independently tested regularly. Some programmes have testing facilities in nearby US Virgin Islands, or testing can be arranged with the assistance the Education Department. Entering a new school for any child can be challenging and even intimidating. Speak to your child about their new school environment and about the territory. Make it an exciting time for them to learn about the people and culture of the British Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean. With you providing an optimistic outlook on their new adventure, your child will be much more willing to explore the beauty and diversity of the islands’ offerings. This will no doubt help them to be open to meeting new friends in school and make their transition into the education system a lot less stressful.
Many new parents finds help in talking to other parents when tackling each new stage with their little one. This is no different for us island parents and possibly more imperative when you are a newbie and far from the usual supports of home. A playgroup meets twice weekly at the New Testament of God church, across from the Peter Island Ferry dock on Tuesdays 9:30-11:30 and Fridays 10-12. The group meets in a large toy-filled gym for the toddlers and preschoolers to run around in and also has a cushy area for the babies. It is a great place to chat, have a coffee and get to know other parents and nannies on the island. The group also has monthly bring and buy sales where you can purge no longer needed items and also purchase some great finds. Many churches also have kids programs and Sunday Schools tailored to your little ones age and needs.
Child daycare services are available in most of the more populated areas in the BVI, with the majority located in Road Town. Personal nannies are also available. Ask around to parents of similarly aged children to determine which centre is best for your child, and visit the facility to ensure it meets your standards.
Libraries in the BVI are small, but they have a diverse selection of books to read—from contemporary to classic fiction, nonfiction, children’s books and local authors. You can apply for a permanent or temporary library card by visiting your local branch.
Health Care My experiences with different branches of healthcare in the BVI have generally been positive ones. I’ve had one of the best dental visits of my life here, and my internist is thorough and attentive, but I also once had an x-ray misread at the ER (my doctor misdiagnosed two fractured bones for a twisted muscle). That said, the territory’s healthcare system has rapidly become diverse and is doing its part to keep up with global medical advances. The responsibility of operating the public health system goes to the statutory body, BVI Health Services Authority (BVI HSA). Presently, there is one full service, public hospital, Peebles Hospital, 70
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which is located by the waterfront in Road Town. The hospital provides 24-hour emergency and ambulance services with laboratory and x-ray facilities. On Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke, day clinics serve residents. Public healthcare professionals also live on those islands and are available for emergencies outside of the normal work schedule. Accessing full treatment at Peebles Hospital from those islands can also be achieved via helicopter or ferry evacuation when needed. Eureka Medical Centre provides a private-run urgent care facility. Though not open 24 hours, the facility provides extended hours to residents. For emergencies, 911 or 999 is utilised in the powered by alookingglass
territory. That call will patch you through to the 24hour fire station that will connect you to the particular service you seek. A wide variety of advanced medical procedures are successfully undertaken daily. Expats from the States will be shocked at the affordability of visits and procedures while those visiting residents accustomed to free, national health care will be disappointed. The BVI isn’t there quite yet, but within the past four years, the government has undertaken a study to provide a national health insurance scheme. In the meantime, the Public Hospital Ordinance (Cap 195) provides for the free treatment of the following individuals at all public facilities: persons age 65 and older, school children (legally anyone under the age of 16), police officers, firemen, prison officers, public health workers, the mentally ill, indigent persons and prisoners. For the rest of us, if you have health insurance, a copayment of around $20 will give you access to the hospital’s services. If you don’t have insurance, the HSA will often work to establish payment plans for individuals needing services but unable to pay the cost.
A number of private facilities are available to render most health services needed by the public, including dermatology, orthopaedics and plastic surgery. In fact, the BVI is an operation vacation destination. People visit for cosmetic procedures and a suntan, so they can go back to the cities where they’re from and brag about how their vacation in the Caribbean made them look ten years younger, forgetting to mention the facelift or dermabrasion they had while here. Several dentists on island offer all the latest advances in dental care at affordable rates. Check with your employer to determine if you have dental coverage in your medical insurance policy. Expatriates who can afford to maintain their health insurance in their home countries while living abroad, often return home annually for checkups, routine or preventative visits to their health care providers. Some overseas insurance companies will even let you recover the costs of the few times you seek the care of a BVI practitioner after that wild full moon party when you forgot how to navigate your apartment’s staircase. Additionally, the BVI is very close to neighbouring US islands that can provide further health services. St Thomas is just a 45-minute ferry ride away, and San Juan, Puerto Rico is a half hour flight.
Laws, Police & Crime
The most common things that expats get tickets for are traffic violations, and police officers often conduct random stops to check for seatbelts, legal drivers licences and current vehicle registration. Talking or texting on a mobile phone while driving is also illegal—and trust me, you WILL get ticketed if spotted doing either. However, if you travel with a roadie, or bar bevvy to go, you’ll likely be given the green light. Former Traffic Inspector Kendrick Headley also informed me that speeding currently
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is not a ticketable offence, since radar guns have not yet made their way to BVI police vehicles. But before you get all fast and furious in your island whip, remember that reckless driving arrests can be made at an officer’s discretion. And what’s the rush, really, when you’re on island time? Among the Caribbean, the BVI holds the high reputation as a relatively safe place to live and visit. However, theft, violent crime and burglary are crimes that do occur. As with anywhere, it’s
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important to use common sense. A growing number of crimes are being reported outside bars in Road Town, where drunk and stumbling patrons become easy targets in dark parking lots. Be careful if you’re out late in the Wickham’s Cay I area or along Waterfront Drive. Although the Friday night vibe might scream party, the poorly lit area provides the perfect environment for crooks. Car theft also occurs in the BVI. Use necessary precautions when leaving your car—even if to lime on the beach for a few hours. Common sense says: Don’t leave valuables in plain sight and lock your doors (duh). When traveling away from the island for extended periods of time, try to
When my parents visited the BVI in 2010, they were eager to find a church to attend. My mother, who works through various Christian ministries, was very inquisitive as we drove Tortola’s roads and passed numerous places of worship. From my house in Cane Garden Bay to Long Bay—a roughly three-mile stretch—there are four churches from four different denominations. While researching a directory for this section, I discovered 46 different churches from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke. There are undoubtedly a few I missed. Needless to say, the territory’s history and culture is deeply rooted in religion. As in any free society, religions of all variations command respect. As non-profit entities, they also receive government support and give back to the community. Most public precessions, including all House of Assembly meetings, open in prayer. On August 1, a large morning congregation gathers outside the Morning Well in Road Town for a special service at the site where the emancipation proclamation was first read in 1834. During October and November, farmers and bakers bring goods into BVI churches and children perform special hymns in honour of the annual Harvest Festival.
avoid leaving your vehicle at the ports of entry (ferry terminals and airports). Nothing ruins a vacation like coming home to find your car on blocks. Car theft in Trellis Bay and by the Road Town Ferry Terminal are common, so do yourself a favour and hitch a ride if you plan on leaving your vehicle overnight. But as long as you bring your common sense with you, there’s no reason to fret among these peaceful islands. Since gun possession is illegal in the BVI, the crime rate is nowhere near as high as neighbouring islands that do allow guns. Be thankful for that.
From the days of Columbus and the Spanish then Dutch and through the Colonial era to today, these islands have been influenced by various ministries and cultures. According to the most recent statistics from the BVI Development Planning Unit, the BVI is largely a Christian community, which includes Methodists (6,972), Anglican (3,558), Church of God (3,499), Seventh-Day Adventists (2,588), Baptist (2,511), and Pentecostal (2,790). Other religions listed include Roman Catholic (2,913), Jehovah’s Witness (663), Hindu (600), Muslim (260) and Rastafarian (120). Although not listed in the census, it’s not hard to find those who practice other religions either in public procession, or at private home gatherings. Two years ago, I had the pleasure of attending my first Seder, hosted by one of my Jewish friends on island. While the closest temple is in St Thomas, my friend informed me that he often practiced his religion and its customs among friends and fellow believers. To find the right fit for you, ask around or attend one of the services at one of the many places of worship on island.
Service Organizations Rotary is an international service organization that provides opportunities for residents to give back to the community. There are three Rotary clubs in Tortola: The Rotary Club of Tortola who meet every Thursday at lunch time at The Moorings; the Rotary Club of Road Town who meet every Tuesday at lunch time at The Moorings; and The Rotary Club Sunrise of Road Town who meet every Tuesday morning at 7:00AM at Maria’s by the Sea. Membership is by invitation and sponsorship by a current Rotarian. Past President
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Ken Guiste said, “One of the things that keeps Rotary alive in the BVI is the fellowship. Rotarians are noted for their work and their play; it’s very important for Rotarians to have fun during their weekly meetings, community projects and on specially arranged fellowship events.” Other service organizations include the Lion’s Club of Tortola; Youth Empowerment Project (YEP); British Virgin Islands Red Cross; Girl’s Brigade; Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts; Women’s Empowerment Network; and Hands On Volunteers. powered by alookingglass
Local Media News Websites
bvinews.com went live in 2006 and features “news-as-it-happens type of posts.” bviplatinum.com provides up-to-date news on happenings in the BVI and the region as well as the cinema’s weekly movie schedule. bvibeacon.com launched a new website in March 2011, providing daily truncated articles, photos, commentary and multimedia packages. vistandpoint.com provides slideshows and full articles to mirror the newspaper’s weekly product. virginislandsnewsonline.com features coverage of local news and sports. bvihotpress.com is a news site that focuses largely on positive local community issues.
Newspapers & Magazines
schedule. In addition, the Limin’ Times contains coverage of local news, sports and music, as well as movie reviews.
780AM ZBVI plays a mix of adult contemporary and Caribbean music along with news, community service programs, a marine report, sports and weather forecast. 90.9FM ZJKC plays mostly R&B, hip hop, soca and reggae. 94.1FM ZCCR is a gospel radio station. 95.1FM WJKC (St Croix) is a top hits station from Christiansted. 100.3FM WSTX (St Croix) plays reggae hits from today and yesterday.
The BVI Beacon is a weekly newspaper founded in 1984. The paper’s motto is “The light that comes from wisdom never goes out.” The paper, which is published on Thursdays, costs 50¢ and is available at most grocery and convenience stores.
100.9FM ZKING focuses on Christian broadcasting.
The Island Sun newspaper is published weekly and covers Caribbean news, sports and classifieds. It is the oldest running newspaper in the BVI, taking the place of the Pennysaver.
104.3FM THE BUZZ (St Thomas) rocks alternative, indie and classic hits.
The Virgin Islands StandPoint is a weekly newspaper that covers news and events in the USVI and BVI. The British Virgin Islands Welcome magazine comes out every two months and offers comprehensive listings of shopping, dining, exploring and lodging venues in the BVI. The magazine also features articles on current happenings and local cuisine. Virgin Islands Property & Yacht, a free monthly magazine, features property reviews, news on the local marine industry, VI property listings, community profiles, provisioning recipes, market trends and regional travel destinations. The Limin’ Times is a free entertainment guide to what’s happening in the BVI, featuring movie listings, live music, cultural events and a TV www.bvinewbie.com
103.7FM ZROD has programming ranging from hip-hop to gospel to reggae to kompa to techno.
104.9FM THE MONGOOSE (St Croix) plays a wide selection of rock and roll classics. 106.9FM ZVCR plays adult contemporary. NOTE: Most of these stations—especially those in the USVI—are only available when driving or limin’ in certain areas of certain islands.
Channel One features coverage from local events as well as documentaries and infomercials from local businesses. JTV Channel 55 programming includes local news, soap operas, local and regional documentaries and talk shows. CBN Channel 51 covers governmental proceedings, sporting events, local news and international programs. BVI NEWBIE 2013
Tropical Weather “A tropical disturbance is when I arrive in the BVI. A tropical depression is when I leave.” — Jessica Bentz In the tropic zone, serious weather events are inevitable. Live here long enough, and you are guaranteed a hosing. The weather doesn’t have to reach hurricane status to have devastating effects—serious weather can mean anything from a tropical depression to a category five hurricane. It’s all a matter of intensity. Along with the wind come massive amounts of rain, electrical activity and storm surges, any one of which can cause serious disruptions. The intensity of these natural events, their unpredictability and the uncertainty of duration mean that a prudent citizen must prepare thoroughly for a substantial period of selfsustainability. It is entirely possible that you could be isolated in a house or other location for many days at a time. At that time, it is too late to try to find drinking water, cooking gas, food, durable covers for windows and all the essentials of a secure stay. As there may be no electricity supply for a week or more, a small generator is definitely useful to have on hand. A 2Kw Honda or similar type of petrol-driven generator should cost less than $1200, and it’s a great boon to have. That makes it easier to keep the fridge cold, phones charged and batteries fresh. Just make sure there’s petrol around (though the small gennys don’t use much). If your kitchen has an electric stove, it might be sensible to purchase a small propane stove or grill. A few one-pound canisters of gas should be enough to bide you over. If a gas cooker is installed, make sure there’s always a spare gas tank filled and ready and plenty of matches. Make a plan with friends or neighbours to look out for one another. If you live alone, perhaps arrange with a friend to share their space. The company can be a comfort, and it’s safer, too. Have a pet plan in place. If you can’t get back to your house, ask a neighbour to check on your pet, and make sure the pet has plenty of food and water. If you are a homeowner, make sure your insurance policy covers all sorts of natural disasters. Renters might also want to look into rental insurance for protection of their belongings or find out what is covered in their leases. I have friends who lost a great deal of their stuff to storm 74
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damage after a mudslide filled up half their apartment. Telephone and internet connections will most likely be spotty during a storm. Even that smartphone won’t be much help. A small two-way radio that’s shared with a neighbour, such as an FRS-band walkie-talkie which has a range of one mile or less, is a valuable tool. Write a list of friends and colleagues along with their contact details and tape it to the inside of a window, giving emergency personnel a way to trace you if you are not at home. Many companies doing international business will have emergency relocation plans for disaster events and may transport key personnel. Let friends know if your company is going to be evacuated. In order to stay informed on local developments, tune in to ZBVI or one of the area’s TV stations to watch DDM’s Focus show. The DDM website has links to local weather information and updates on weather conditions and alerts. For those made homeless by natural or man-made disasters, the DDM operates a number of emergency shelters— often at churches, schools or community centres. A list of such shelters can be obtained from the department. Check their website for details.
Basic Emergency Supply Kit • Water, one gallon per person per day for five days, for drinking and sanitation • Food, a five-day supply of non-perishable food including long-life milk • Cooler filled with ice • Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels • Beer, wine and/or rum • Hurricane lamps and oil • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio • Flashlight • Batteries for radio and flashlight • First aid kit, including pain relievers and peroxide • Bucket to collect rainwater • Toilet paper, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation • Moist towelettes • Can opener, corkscrew, bottle opener powered by alookingglass
• Mobile phone and solar charger or extra battery • Pet food and extra water for your pet • Important documents • Cash or traveler’s checks and change • Complete change of clothing • Flares • Matches
stern to strong points on land or with an anchor or mooring; ensuring the boat and its moorings or anchors are not blocking access to the mooring or anchorage; leaving room for late-arriving boats; and not returning to your boat until the storm has passed and wind and seas have subsided.
Approved list of marine shelters for your boat (from the BVI Marine Awareness Guide)
• Ziploc baggies and airtight plastic containers
• Paraquita Bay, Tortola
• Paper and pen
• Sea Cows Bay, Tortola
• Deck of cards or board games
• Sopers Hole, West End,
Boat Safety for Bad Weather
For those who own boats in the BVI, certain procedures must be followed to ensure your vessel doesn’t end up in the bushes at Soper’s Hole or on the bottom of Baugher’s Bay. Again, it’s wise to have insurance for any sized vessel due to our unpredictable storm season. The BVI Marine Awareness Guide’s storm precautions include removing the boat from water, if possible, or taking it to an approved hurricane hole; making sure all moorings, anchors, chains, cables and ropes are in good condition; securing the bow and
Flora & Fauna
Poisonous Fruits, Plants and Creatures
A friend and I spotted some little green, crabapple-looking fruit on the ground at the entrance to Little Bay. Then we sampled them. Then we had burning throats and lips. I Googled “poisonous green fruit BVI” and learned that what we’d eaten was manchineel. Also known as “the death apple.” We drove to urgent care and got some antihistamine. Our symptoms subsided, but I slept for fifteen hours and continued to have hot flashes and a raw throat for the next few days. Upon further research, I learned that the sap of the manchineel is more poisonous than the fruit, and if you happen to pass under a manchineel tree after or during a rain, you can get the equivalent of acid burns on your skin from the sap runoff. Or if it somehow gets into your eyes, it can cause blindness. Or if you burn the wood, the smoke can cause serious respiratory problems. Another friend mentioned little flies that eat from the tree then land on humans, so when you smack them to kill them, they burst on your skin and cause tiny burns from the poison they ingested. www.bvinewbie.com
• Nanny Cay, Tortola (privately owned) • Hodges Creek, Tortola • Inner Harbour, Tortola • Trellis Bay, Beef Island • Hans Creek, Beef Island • The Bight, Norman Island • South Sound, Salt Island • Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda • Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke
Ironically, another poisonous plant is the BVI national flower—oleander. Though they grow everywhere, I have somehow avoided eating these. While I may have actively ingested poison, my friend Rupert accidentally encountered the venom of a brown recluse spider. He never felt the bite or saw the spider that bit him, so he guesses that he disturbed it while he was sleeping in the spare room of a friend. The name “brown recluse” is not a misnomer. The spiders tend to hide out and only defensively respond with their harmful bite if threatened. A newbie at the time, Rupert was horrified to see a small bite on his heel swell to the size of half a golf ball. “It was not the best introduction to the BVI,” he said. The small spiders are recognizable by the violin-shaped marking on their backs. To all BVI residents new and old, Rupert recommends “knocking your shoes before you put them on” and “shaking out the sheets of a room you haven’t used in a while” before you get into bed.
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Non-Poisonous Fruits, Plants and Creatures
There are, of course, plenty of edible plants and fruits in the BVI. I recommend that you try as many as you can, just be sure to ask someone you trust before eating them. Some of my favourites include golden apples, papaya, avocado and breadfruit. And nothing makes me happier than when a mango falls from a tree as I pass by. I also love coconut water, but some find it to be an acquired taste. Also, don’t fret over every creepy crawler that crosses your path. I recently had a bout with a few whip scorpions, who decided that my laundry room would make a nice nesting place. The gigantic arachnid indeed resembles a scorpion, but completely lacks its venom and bite. It’s special power? It can secrete a vinegar-like mist that may cause slight discomfort if inhaled.
Aedes aegypti, the only mosquito that acts as a vector for the dengue virus, recognizable by the white stripes on its black legs and body, dwells in enclosed, human-inhabited indoor spaces and breeds in places where water collects. They seem to be everywhere in the BVI. The best way to keep the mozzie population under control is by not giving larvae a place to grow. A December 2008 press release from the BVI Environmental Health Division recommends sealing cisterns,
cleaning gutters and pets’ water bowls every week and turning over any container that could collect water after a rain. Sand flies, or no-see-ums, are tiny black bugs that mostly inhabit coastal areas and are prevalent around sunset, sunrise or in the shade. The biters really hurt, and an allergic reaction to their saliva can cause red bumps similar to mosquito bites. The best way to treat bites from either insect is with hydrocortisone cream or an oral antihistamine to combat the allergic reaction to the saliva. After a few months, most newbies seem to become immune to the mosquitoes, and bites cause less of an allergic reaction (or maybe the bugs have just moved on to fresh blood).
BVI lizards are harmless to humans, but they do a great job controlling the bug population. Lizards can make a mess if they get in the house, so try to keep them outside where they can continue to eat the mozzies. Snakes in the BVI are generally non-venomous, but a small fraction of the population could have an allergic reaction if bitten. Naturalist Wayne Atkinson says, “The message is that all BVI’s snakes are A) very special endemic species or subspecies; B) fantastic to have around because they’ll know off your mice, rats and so on, so C) should be left alone and enjoyed without touching which negates your risk of a swollen finger.”
Virgin Islands Most Wanted
Every reef in the BVI MISSION:
Eat everything in sight 76
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Jost Van Dyke (mostly) MISSION:
Multiply Allow rats to thrive powered by alookingglass
Another mosquito predator, bats are prevalent in the BVI. Again, they are harmless to humans, and if one gets in the house, simply trap it in a towel and release it outside.
Most BVI residents don’t need alarm clocks when roosters are happy to serve the purpose. The only problem is that the strutting birds don’t seem to be able to tell time and tend to screech their distinctive call at all hours of the day and night. But don’t worry, you’ll stop hearing them after a few weeks.
These cute little primates, with their ringed tails and beady eyes, were controversially imported to the BVI in 2010 by Sir Richard Branson. He first stored the furry critters on his undeveloped Mosquito Island then moved them to his home base at Necker Island. Sir Richard contends that the endangered species have found a fertile playing and breeding ground in the BVI. Others have questioned what implications the introduction of the Madagascar-born species will have on the environment. We’re hoping that Sir Richie’s got this under control. But should you see a lemur (not known for his swimming capabilities) attempting to hitch a ride to Tortola or Virgin Gorda, go against proper BVI etiquette
Cuban Tree Frog LOCATION:
Everywhere; preferably cisterns MISSION:
and respectfully reject the temptation to give the cuddly critter a lift.
Lionfish are considered enemy No 1 among the Virgin Islands’ intricate reef systems. In fact, dive operators and fishermen throughout the Caribbean are actively pursuing the invasive little buggers. It’s presumed that the fish originally first escaped from a Florida aquarium in the 1990s, soon breeding and flooding the waters from the Bahamas to the Cayman Islands. The predator fish, native to the Pacific Ocean, was first sighted in the BVI in March 2010. Since that time, the problem has grown exponentially. The invasive fish currently has no known predators on this side of the globe, and have terrorized the waters’ marine life ecosystem without much repercussion. Lionfish are a beautiful species, with wild and flowing fins and intriguing tiger stipe patterns running along their bodies. They typically grow from 12 to 15 inches in length, but have been sighted at even greater sizes as they flourish in the Caribbean. Large, venomous spines protect the fish from potential predators, and should be avoided at all costs. While Conservation and Fisheries Department officials encourage fishermen and professional divers to hunt the creatures, nautical NEWBIEs are asked to steer clear of the fish and contact authorities if sighted.
Collared Dove LOCATION:
Bully opponents; breed BVI NEWBIE 2013
Shopping & Services Cost of Goods
The best thing about shopping in the BVI—no sales tax! The worst? Most things are imported; therefore, you pay for the price of the item plus the price of shipping it over to the BVI. So, the cost of goods in the BVI is expensive. That said, you’re also more likely to have fruit trees in your yard, so eat as many mangoes as you can and look for local produce at the grocery store. Eventually, you learn to live without “essentials” from home and end up finding must-have local products.
No Sin Tax
Why do so many newbies drink and smoke? Because it’s too cheap not to! Rum is cheaper than milk and often cheaper than mixers because of no sumptuary tax in the BVI. On this basis, expect bar drinks laced with rum and ice and little else—a big buzz in every glass. Ask for a weak one if you would prefer. Certainly don’t ask for a heavy pour—that’s a given.
Traditionally, off-season, you will find you are able to enjoy the tourist experience at discounted rates. Always ask. Some of the grocery and retail stores also offer discount cards which are worth the five minutes it takes to sign up because they usually result in at least a five-percent discount at the register.
Where to Shop
If a shop claims to be a department store in Tortola, that usually means that it carries more than just one type of item, but it doesn’t mean that it carries everything. One department store in Road Town sells mostly men’s and women’s clothing
but also carries shoes, linens, DVDs and a few electronics. Island Department Store in Sea Cow’s Bay doesn’t sell clothing but carries housewares, linens, electronics, appliances, furniture and toiletries. Bolo’s in town provides one of the best arrays of cosmetics and a pretty extensive parfumerie upstairs, but they also sell children’s toys, electronics, housewares, bedding, stationery and cleaning products.
When seeking outfits for the beach or the bars, the BVI has a vast selection of funky, sexy, comfortable clothing for every shape and size. I constantly get compliments on my BVI finds each time I travel back to the States. The shops at Nanny Cay and Trellis Bay offer some great choices for water wear for men, women and children. But for ladies’ party clothes, meander down Main Street, starting behind Pusser’s and ending by the bottom of Joe’s Hill and stop into all the shops along the way to find quirky, trendy fashions. Then hop onto Waterfront Drive and crisscross the street, stopping in the department stores and clothing stores you pass. You’re guaranteed to find a few things that you must have. On the other hand, finding quality, officeappropriate clothing in the BVI can be a challenge, especially for men, but there are several stores on Main Street and Waterfront Drive that sell shirts, ties and suits. While the no-franchise law keeps the BVI from looking like a McTourist destination, it also, sadly, keeps out designer brands.
Every month there seems to be a different themed party that requires a costume. Luckily, there are amazing wig shops in the BVI—one on Main Street across from the Road Town Bakery and one by the
Need some gear? Check out our fully stocked dive and retail stores. The best scuba and snorkel equipment from Scubapro and Snorkelpro and outdoor sporting goods. Carrying the latest lines apparel, footwear, accessories, and souvenirs. Get the newest island looks with Gorda Gear.
For more info call: 1(284)495-5513 | www.divebvi.com 78
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Most things are imported; therefore, you pay for the price of the item plus the price of shipping it over to the BVI.
to be reasonable and reliable in the BVI, but it’s worth shopping around and asking for estimates as there are no set pricing guidelines. I have one friend who pays $10 and hour for his cleaner who does everything from windows to ironing, but another friend pays $25 an hour for a cleaner who manages little more than mopping his floors.
roundabout—they are the best places to visit for inspiration. From blonde bobs to purple afros to rainbow Mohawks, the perfect wig can guarantee an instant transformation. Many times I’m able to find everything I need at the Red Cross in Pasea; other times I’ll go in with a group to save money with large online shopping orders.
Shopping online is often the best way to procure specific items that are not on island. See “Shipping & Duty Costs” for more info on online shopping.
Several home stores in the BVI import high-quality and climate-sensitive furniture and accessories from remote destinations. Between the selections available, you can easily kit out your pad with choices both funky and functional.
Home services—such as plumbing, house cleaning, gardening and pool maintenance—tend
Many homes in the BVI lack laundry facilities, but residents have options ranging from dry cleaners, laundry drop-off, and coin-operated machines. Prices for washers range from $2.00-$3.00 per load. Dryers usually cost $.25 for every five minutes. I typically spend under $10.00 on three small loads. Drop-off laundry services can run from $7.00 per load to $15.00 per load, depending on the weight. Dry cleaning rates are typically around $5.00 for cleaning and pressing men’s dress shirts, $12.50 for suits, $6.00 for trousers, $10.00 for dresses and $5.00 for blouses.
Everything you need to make a house a home...
Located next to Tico, Wickhams Cay 2, Tortola, BVI t:(284) 494 1920 e:email@example.com www.housebvi.com www.bvinewbie.com
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Shipping & Duty Costs PO Box
The BVI is the perfect place to fall off the grid. When you get your work permit and driver’s licence, you’ll be asked where you reside—your address. A simple, “Cane Garden Bay” or “Haver’s” will suffice. And when giving directions to your home, you’ll use landmarks, like, “take a right at the green, overflowing dumpster” or “continue past the herd of goats.” But sometimes, like when your mother asks where to send your birthday card, you need a physical address. That’s where the PO Box comes in handy. There are several providers on island that offer PO Box services. Your local stop is the Post Office, where you’ll be able to set up a local PO Box near their offices. There are also other companies, like Inland Messenger, where you can get a local drop box or an address in the USVI for an annual fee. Khoys will set you up with an address in St John, and Tortola Express has addresses available in Miami. Check around to see which provider is best for you. When weighing your options, remember that some stateside companies only ship to US zip codes. But you may save time with local business transactions with a local address.
Duty Charges Car parts (body) Electronic parts Cell phones Video games DVDs & CDs Car parts (engine) Household goods Furniture & bedding
Clothing & shoes Plastics Tools Marine parts Digital cameras Reading material Computers
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10% 5% 0%
Parcels & Mail
Shipping things to and from the BVI can be surprisingly expensive. Most likely, you’ll have paid shipping for something to arrive in the BVI, whether through the post office or a private company, and when you go to pick it up, you have to pay additional fees and/or duty costs based on the weight and value of the item. Here on a small island, everything is imported—so if you can find it in a store, you might be better off picking it up at a slightly marked-up price than having it shipped here. Fodor’s online calls the BVI Post Office “a philatelist’s dream,” so if you’re a stamp collector, it’s worth a visit. Sometimes I’ll wait until I visit the USVI and send my mail overseas for a lot less money, and they typically arrive in a lot less time. There are also several shipping and mailbox services on island that offer a US or USVI address where you can ship items from the States. This is especially convenient for online shopping. When shipping smaller items, like documents and items that fit in reasonably sized boxes, there’s always the Post—but understand their limited schedule times and often long delays for product shipment. This was realised quickly as the financial sector began to boom through the early 1980s, sparking a need for quick and reliable delivery services. Now, Federal Express is available for quick needs, offering an “overnight” service to the BVI, which comes with a two-day guarantee. DHL has also set up shop in the BVI, offering a direct international shipment service. While the company offers a reliable service with regularly scheduled shipments, their volumetric shipping costs can prove pricy. Tortola Express is another company offering reliable shipping needs, and prices are determined by weight, not volume. You’ll find that the Post Office also offers this form of shipment. Tortola Express offers its customers a Miami PO Box address, which comes in handy when ordering from companies that only ship within the continental US. With this option, shipments to your Miami address follow US Post Office times, and then generally take two days to reach the BVI. Also important to remember is only through Aeropost/ Tortola Express is a shipment insured. When shipping large items overseas, like cars and furniture, you’ll need to call upon a cargo company. Locally, Tropical Shipping and Carib Trends handles the bulk of this traffic.
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BVI NEWBIE 2013
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Beaches All beaches in the BVI are public to the high-water mark. This includes the beaches at private islands such as Guana, Mosquito and Necker, but I’ve heard stories of individuals having difficulty getting past Sir Richard Branson’s patrol boats if he’s hosting celebrity guests. We’ve highlighted some of the more popular beaches in the BVI, knowing that part of the pleasure derived from enjoying the less accessible beaches comes from discovering them yourself. At this time, the only beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards are Smugglers Cove and Josiahs Bay on Tortola.
Residents love Josiahs on a Sunday afternoon, especially if there’s surf. Grab a bite to eat at the Tamarind Club’s popular Sunday Brunch before you head down to the beach. Naomi’s and the Josiahs Bay Beach Bar have drinks that are reasonably priced and always cold. The Beach Bar also has a pool table, if the waves flatten out. Most visitors to Josiahs only utilize the first half of the beach, so if you’re looking for privacy, venture down a little further, and the beach is yours. When the swell is in, swimming at Josiahs is rough going—most of the shore is covered in rocks and coral.
Long Bay, Beef Island: Snorkeling, Swimming, Food, Drink, Dog Friendly, Kitesurf, Windsurf.
Cane Garden Bay: Surf, Swimming, Food, Drink, Chairs, Dog Friendly, Watersports. Cane is more than just a beach, it’s a beachside town. One of the most popular locales in the BVI, the only thing it doesn’t have to offer is privacy. If your idea of a perfect beach day involves no one else’s footprints in the sand, Cane is not for you. CGB has the most bars and restaurants of any beach on Tortola. Lunch is mostly standard fare, but dinner specials, including beach barbecues, are worth sticking around for after a long day at the beach. On cruise ship days, the beach can be packed with tourists. On days without ships, it’s a great place to bring the family. For watersports enthusiasts, Cane is the only place in the BVI where you can rent Personal Water Crafts (also known as jet-skis). The watersports centre also offers sea kayaks, paddleboats, windsurfing, and a large sea trampoline. Also notable in Cane Garden Bay is the historic Callwood Rum Distillery. Brewers Bay: Snorkeling, Swimming, Drink, Camping, Dog Friendly, Diving. Lambert: Snorkeling, Swimming, Chairs, Dog Friendly.
Nanny Cay: Food, Drink, Chairs, Dog Friendly (on leashes), Snorkeling, Swimming, Bathrooms. Brandywine Bay: Swimming, Snorkelling, Dog Friendly.
Josiahs Bay: Surf, Food, Drink, Socializing, Watersports, Bathrooms, Privacy. 84
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Trellis Bay, Beef Island: Watersports, Food, Drink, Dog Friendly, Socializing.
Smugglers Cove: Dog Friendly, Chairs, Socializing, Snorkeling, Swimming, Surf. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Smugglers Cove when I haven’t run into at least one group of friends who had the same idea I did. This is an ideal locale for a beach party. Unfortunately, the bar and snack shacks were recently shut down, so you have to bring your own refreshment. Smugglers beach has the best of both worlds—smooth sand in the centre with teeming reefs on either side of the swimming area. It’s also, deservedly, one of the most photographed spots in the BVI. Apple Bay: Surf, Food, Drink, Swimming. A narrow but long beach, Apple is known for its fairly consistent surf and Bomba’s Surf Shack, a hangout for residents and tourists that is famous for its mushroom tea and raucous monthly Full Moon parties. Long Bay West: Food, Drink, Chairs. At over a mile long, this is one of the best places to walk the beach in the BVI.The nearby resort also boasts a pool with a swim-up bar if you tire of the sand.
The Baths and Devil’s Bay National Park: Food, Drink, Snorkeling, Swimming, Bathrooms. The Baths, the Caves and Devil’s Bay are famous for their colossal granite boulders. You won’t powered by alookingglass
believe them until you see them. No matter how much I prepare my guests for the immensity of the boulders, they are still amazed, and I am staggered by them each time I visit. Most people stick to the trails and sort of rush through the Caves, but I advise exploring off the path—both towards the sea and away from it. I’ve discovered places to climb, swim through and an absurdly large ampitheatre-like area formed of buildingsized boulders. The beach at the Baths can be crowded, especially if there are cruise ships in, so I usually take my stuff through the Caves to Devil’s Bay. Both beaches have fantastic snorkeling right off the shore, but beware of dinghies.
Jost Van Dyke
White Bay: Food, Drink, Swimming, Bathrooms. On White Bay, you’ll find some of the best beach bars in the BVI, if not the world. If you’re friends aren’t relaxing at Josiahs or Smugglers on a Sunday afternoon, it’s likely they have a boat. If they have a boat, they are likely at White Bay drinking The Original Painkiller at Soggy Dollar Bar or eating burgers at Gertrude’s or hot dogs at Jewel’s Snack Shack.
Anegada is known as the sunken island. There are few waterfront developments which makes for open beaches, and you can circumnavigate the island without too much interruption via the beach should you see fit. West Point is exposed to waves, but the remainder of the island is protected by barrier reefs. You may walk for hours without seeing a soul, but you will also not come across too many rest stops either—bars and restaurants are far apart from each other and tend to serve different areas of the island. Therefore Anegada offers little shade but makes up for it in idyllic settings. Due to its remote location, Anegada is seldom crowded and does not attract the fast-paced crowd on any level. You will find no watersports rentals here, and most people will bring toys with them if they feel the need, but a snorkel is a must. Most beachgoers flock to the snorkeling heads off Loblolly.
Top Ten Beach Baby Tips:
1. Baby powder removes sand easily and quickly. It is unbelievably effective, and I am sad to say I only discovered it when my child was three.
2. Watch out for the noseeums hour. Around dusk you will find the little bugs throughout you little babe’s hair, and they bite, so head out early. I used to be slightly maniacal about it when first on the island—at first sighting, I would grab all belongings, throw my little one under my arm and sprint to the car. 3. Sunscreen or coverings are always a must. It is always sunny here! Rash guards and hats are generally your best bet for keeping your little one sun safe. 4. Find and enjoy Well Bay, it has the nickname of “Baby Bay” for a reason. It is near the airport and is shallow, shady and calm. 5. My friend Julie always brought a bucket to the beach and brought the ocean to her babe who could enjoy a cool little beach bath in the safety of the shade. She says with the beautiful scenery, bucket time lasted way longer than bath time ever would. 6. Forget the small towel bring a full sheet or blanket to spread out for your little crawler. 7. Babies will eat the sand, so let that go and just imagine it is full of fibre and it is cleaning out their little system. FYI: To feign off any cause for alarm, the aforementioned sand does make a diaper appearance. 8. Avoid the sun between 11-2, hottest time of the day. 9. Bring a bucket of sand toys for extra amusement 10. I have once seen extremely beach savvy parents string a beautiful hammock in the shade for their little one. Note: this is less of a tip and more of a beach going parents’ aspiration.
One of the most dangerous newbie mistakes (aside from eating a fruit nicknamed “the death apple”) is ignoring the potential damage of the sun. Most newbies have moved to the BVI from a spot further away from the equator, so they are not used to the intensity of the UVA and UVB rays in the tropics. “We recommend that everyone, regardless of age, ethnic background or skin colour, apply
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sunscreen as part of their daily morning routine and reapply midday using a broad spectrum sunscreen, at least 30 SPF,” said Toni Simpson of Sole Spa in Road Town. “As a rule, one person spending a full day at the beach should use a quarter to a half bottle of sunscreen in that time frame” due to reapplications that should take place “every two hours or after swimming, drying off or perspiring.” While this may sound expensive and extreme, it’s not as expensive as rectifying the damage of the sun or as extreme as looking fifteen years older than you age. Dermatologist Dr Geronimo Jones of the Eureka Medical Clinic recommends the use sunblock instead of sunscreen, especially for active athletes on and off the water. “Sunblock actually blocks the sun’s rays from reaching the skin whereas sunscreen absorbs the sun’s rays,” he said. “To find true sunblock, just look for
Where to Surf Cane Garden Bay
With a right point break, Cane holds the biggest wave on the island, and surfers fly in from all over the world to ride it. Expect it to break 6-10 times
the ingredients Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide. Zinc Oxide is the stuff you see on the nose of a lifeguard.” He added that sunblock is considered to be more effective at blocking both types of ultraviolet rays. “UVA rays are responsible for causing wrinkles and sunspots,” Dr Jones said, “and UVB rays are responsible for darkness of skin pigmentation, age spots and tumors that may ultimately evolve into cancer.” In addition to sunscreen or sunblock, we advise the use of stronger barriers to block out the sun. Wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved t-shirts or rash vests, umbrellas and sunglasses all assist in protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays. If you do plan on swimming while wearing sunblock or sunscreen, we recommend finding coral-safe products to protect the reefs while protecting your skin.
a year. It wraps around the rocks, and you can ride across the whole bay, make sure you can duck dive, ride and handle yourself safely or do not venture in. Consider Cannon Point an expert’s wave, and do expect the locals to hold guard here. Newbies will be welcomed in, but you must pay your dues. Island surfers are friendly and encourage new people on the water, but Cane does not break every day, so it is to be savoured. The locals have been waiting for it, too, so mind your ps and qs! Some people live in the BVI for Cane days. Boards are shaped locally by legend Bob Carson and hold the bay’s name. Bob has been shaping since the early 70’s – look out for a few retro shapes ripping up the wall with a smooth style.
Surfing at Josiahs is popular on this beach break. As a general rule of thumb, if the surf is up, it is not safe for swimming. Josiahs Bay has a backwash, undertow and two fierce rips that run high in the swell but make for an awesome paddle-out channel. Josiah’s picks up NW swells quick and is known to get the bigger of small swells, making it a great progressive wave. A short left and a long right, this break is popular with beginners and experts and has a real-world feel to it as in the wave is never quite the same as the sandbar shifts regularly. A second sand bar is further out back, and in a big swell can be worth the paddle out for big drops across the bay. Josiah’s is a slow wave, 86
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but beware close outs, and be prepared for a lot of pounding in a big swell. Losing bikinis or board shorts is always comical, but do not underestimate the sandbar—ride with caution in a big swell, it can get shallow pretty quickly. This is the favoured Sunday surf spot for locals, expats and beginners and a few drinks and something to eat up at the Tamarind or some West Indian cuisine right on the beach. Try Naomi’s rice and beans. Big swells here claw the sand off the bottom, so after a big storm expect rocks to be exposed and your bikini or boardies if you tumble in with it.
With road and sea access, Apple Bay is one of the most sought after breaks in the BVI, topping off the scene as the significant intermediate wave on Tortola. As a reef break, it also has an inside shelf that has seen many do the “crawl of shame” when riding just a little too far in. With easy channel access from left and right of the main break, this is the home away from home for many visiting surfers (notables include Kelly Slater, Jimmy Buffett and Coldplay’s Chris Martin), and the aspiration of many newbies to the lifestyle. Waves break predominantly right with a tapered left, works best with SE winds and direct Atlantic Northern swell. As an intermediate break and one of the most popular, do pay attention here and remember the bottom is coral not sand, so try not to park it hard. Swimmers please note that when the surf is up, this really is a no-go zone due to current and reefs. Located on the North Shore between the beautiful beaches of Long Bay and Carrot, Apple Bay
is must see, must do and must marvel. If you are visiting, be respectful! At 5pm the guys that live here are charging down for a surf, if you have had it all day give it over! Local’s rule here, if you are into pack surfing, hold hands on the beach!
Kiteboarding magazine says it all: “Whether you’re after world-class wave riding, scenic downwinders or epic flat water, Anegada is one of the most beautiful, diverse and surprisingly empty kiteboarding spots on the planet.”
Want to learn to
Ask about our
Nitrox classes & Freediving courses
We also offer: 2-tank AM trips, 1-tank PM trips, Island Hopper trips & Anegada beach trips For more info call: 1(284)495-5513
INSTRUCTOR TRAINING CENTER
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Marine Industry & Watersports The modern charter trade basically began here in the BVI when Charlie Cary and his wife Ginny showed up cruising in their own boat back in the 1960s. In those days, cruising sailors were few and far between and formed a community wherever they went. They looked after each other’s boats and, in the Carys’ case, volunteered to manage the boat of an absent owner should a prospective charter guest show up. From there it was a short but inspired leap to commissioning a fleet of specialty yachts, all identical, which could be offered strictly as charter yachts. The Carys’ company, which they called The Moorings, grew from a humble half-dozen yachts into the behemoth that dominates the world’s bareboat fleet today. The Carys’ vision has had much to do with the way the present-day BVI does business. In the early days of the charter business, Moorings employees often left the company to start their own which had the effect of growing the industry and creating much ancillary work for all the related trades and services. In many ways, the charter industry filled the niche occupied by hotels in other tropical destinations and had staffing and support service
Voted BVI’s Best Sailing School 2012 VI Property & Yacht magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards
TOLL FREE +1 800 948 SAIL (7245) :: BVI P/F +1 284 494 0432 WWW.SWAINSAILING.COM
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requirements similar to that industry. For the new arrival in the BVI, the net effect is that there is a vast array of services available for the watersports enthusiast—or enthusiastic novice for that matter. Dive operators, surfing, power boating, kite boarding and windsurfing rentals are all there for the asking. For those with a service-oriented outlook, VISAR, the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue squad, always has openings for new volunteers who want to ensure our waters remain safe.
For those with a desire to sail but who lack skills or experience, a number of sailing schools offer certification of various types—which might best be described as the British system vs. the American system. The British system is the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) series of certifications comprising Competent Crew, Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper levels, amongst others. An ambitious sailor can continue up to Yachtmaster Offshore or Yachtmaster Ocean and even proceed to garner commercial endorsements which could lead to a professional career as a charter skipper (should you weary of your back-breaking duties driving a computer all day). The RYA qualifications are respected worldwide and might enable a duly certified sailor to charter in different locations internationally. The US system is divided between US Sailing and ASA (American Sailing Association) certifications. There is very little difference between them in terms of their content. US Sailing qualifications might convey a little more prestige insofar as US Sailing is the organization overseeing the sport of sailing in the US and is a close analog to the RYA. The American Sailing Association is a for-profit
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sailing school franchise with wide reach. The major difference seems to be in the instructional material, with US Sailing the clear winner on account of their well-produced and very clearly laid out books. There is now a good deal of involvement between the RYA and US Sailing. Be aware, though, that a sailing certification isn’t a driver’s license in that a charter company isn’t obligated to rent you a boat on the strength of your piece of paper. They like to see a resume detailing a wide variety of sailing experience too. Many charter companies offer sailing instruction—if you get certified through a charter company you might be able to then charter a yacht from that company. Gina Swain of the local Rob Swain Sailing School says her company offers “Basic Keelboat and intro courses every weekend, and intensive Bareboat Charter courses are offered over weekends to suit residents’ schedules.” Other schools may offer similar programmes.
One of the best ways to learn how to sail is by racing in one of the many regattas and events scheduled in the BVI throughout the year or at the weekly IC24 fleet races held at Nanny Cay Marina every Friday evening. Captains are always seeking crew, even if your only responsibility is ballast (extra weight). The IC24 skippers are true ambassadors to the sport and welcome new recruits (especially if they bring beer). They happily instruct newbies on sailing fundamentals. This is a fun, fast-paced, hands-on way to learn the terminology and the basics of sailing.
Once you’re a certified sailor, you might want to charter a yacht for a week or so and go explore the beauty of Nature’s Little Secrets. There are a number of charter companies, but in general, the smaller companies are more flexible and
Yacht Sales Management Deliveries T: 1(284) 494 0054 | www.123hulls.com Visit our office at Manual Reef Marina
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Sailing Event Calendar Jan 6 Jan 19 Feb 28 - Mar 3 March 1- 4 March 14 -18 March 21 - 23 March 24 - 30 April 13 April 26 - 29 May 4 - 5 May 24 - 25 May 28 - 29 June 22 - 23 June 29 - 30 July 6 - 8 July 13 July 20 Sept 7 - 8 Oct 5 - 6 Oct 12 Oct 19 - 20 Nov 9 - 10 Nov 16 Nov 23 - 25 Dec 14
Latitude 18 Halyard Challenge Governor’s Cup Sweethearts of the Caribbean and Classic Yacht Regatta Dark & Stormy Regatta Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous VG St Thomas Rolex Regatta BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival Virgin Queen Pizza Pursuit Race BVI Dinghy Championships Race & Cruise to the Bitter End Yacht Club Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta Lowell Wheatley Anegada Pursuit Race & Cruise Quantum IC24 International Regatta Firecracker 500 Race KATS Premier’s Cup St Croix Cruzan One Design Guy Eldridge Memorial Manhattan Trophy Race & Cruise Back to School Regatta Race & Cruise to JVD Willy-T Virgin’s Cup Trafalgar Regatta Pete Sheals Memorial Match Race Regatta Round Tortola Race BVI Schools Regatta O’Neal & Mundy Commodores Cup
Dates subject to change
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might let you have a boat for the day or a few days as opposed to the week-long charters generally required by the bigger operators. That being said, you might still call around since in these times a charter is still business, and business is always welcome. When chartering, the companies prefer that there be more than one capable sailor aboard—though a well-experienced sailor does have the edge here. If you can show years of sailing experience then the limitations are few. Often in the slower seasons, charter companies will rent you a boat for the day which you and your mates can spend snorkeling and exploring some of the outer islands. Specialty operators concentrating on power rentals and day charters will of course always have that option available.
Tired of trying to arrange your schedule to match everyone else’s? Buy your own boat or go in with some friends. There are a lot to choose from, and with so many charter yachts moving out of the fleets each year, there’s always something available in your price range whether it’s a runabout or a world cruiser.
The BVI is a fantastic place for the beginner diver. Easily accessible dive sites, well-trained instructors and a multitude of companies offering dives in various locations means that there are many options. For the beginner diver, the major certification on offer is the PADI system which is recognized virtually everywhere worldwide and has become the default standard in diving (though NAUI adherents will violently disagree). Many diving centres will offer training spread over several weekends to accommodate the workers amongst us. Each dive centre has its own culture,
www.bluewaterdiversbvi.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (284) 494-2847 Fax: (284) 494-0198 VHF Ch. 16 2 Locations: Nanny Cay & Soper’s Hole Marina
so to speak, ranging from the very laid-back to the very buttoned-down, so ask around for people’s favourites. What works for one person might not work for another.
The sport of free diving is perhaps the most pure expression of athletic ability in the water. Kiwi William Trubridge set a world record by descending 300-plus feet without the benefit of even a pair of fins, testing the limits of human endurance. Interest in the sport is growing, whether competitive or simply as a personal challenge. Locally, Dive BVI are exploring the possibility of free-diving instruction and should soon have in place a curriculum for training instructors, as well as certifying divers. For information, email email@example.com
Kitesurfing, Windsurfing, Surfing and Stand-Up Paddleboarding Want to stay on top of the water? Lessons for kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing are available at several locations, and there are annual events for the experienced and/or competitive rider that might make training a necessity. Several operators sell cabin space on charter yachts as part of week-long boarding events that are as much about the time on the beach as they are time on the water. Equipment can be rented or purchased at several local shops. For paddle boarding, this new entry level watersport is still on the climb in terms of disciplines. In addition to racing and long distance cruising the BVI is becoming a fantastic back drop to get into the sport. Several outfits rent, and there are several events from cruising to Full Moon Paddle’s to full on downwind racing. Take a down winder on the Drakes Channel or go around the bays and rocks off the North Shore. An absolute Rendezvous Diving Padi, SSI & Universal Certiﬁcations Discover Scuba Rentals Airﬁlls 4 Custom Dive Boats Full Service Dive Shop
Come dive the fabulous "Blue Water" of the British Virgin Islands with the longest established and most experienced dive shop on Tortola Come dive the fabulous "Blue Water" of the British Virgin Islands with the longest established and most experienced dive shop on Tortola
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compliment to the water enthusiasts season with no surf and light wind in the Summer months you can stay on the water and boy, what a view! Windsurfing and Kite Surfing have evolved past their competitive nature and both sports enjoy the same conditions with Nanny Cay and Trellis still maintaining hot spots for launches in side shore conditions with ocean swell. For flatter conditions seek further afield to the likes of Sandy Spit, Fort Recovery and Anegada. Along the North Shore is fairly tricky for launching and for wave sailing.
In Summer expect strong SE winds with trades blowing hard in July, as Winter comes along the trades favor a NE direction with a bit more punch but still the South Side of the Island favors wind spots. If you want to hook up with the kite boarders or wind surfers look for their sails of kites flying by and getting some air, the towel and truck won’t be too far way and most on the water are seasoned, friendly and pleased to meet new people on the water.
Lionfish are considered enemy No. 1 among the Virgin Islands’ intricate reef systems. In fact, dive operators and fishermen throughout the Caribbean are actively pursuing the invasive little creature. It’s presumed that it originally first escaped from a Florida aquarium in the 1990s, soon breading and flooding the waters from the Bahamas to the Cayman Islands. The predator fish, native to the Pacific Ocean, was first sighted in the BVI in March 2010. Since that time, the problem has grown exponentially. The invasive fish currently has no known predators on this side of the globe, and have terrorized the waters’ marine life ecosystem without repercussion. Lionfish are a beautiful species, with wild and flowing fins and intriguing tiger stipe patterns running along their bodies, and typically grow from 12 to 15 inches in length. Large, poisonous spines protect the fish from potential predators, and should be avoided at all costs. While Conservation and Fisheries Department officials encourage fishermen and professional divers to hunt the creatures, nautical NEWBIEs are asked to steer clear of the fish and contact authorities if sighted.
Deep Sea Fishing
The Virgin Island chain is situated handily between two remarkably deep troughs, known as the North Drop and the South Drop. The North Drop lies in Atlantic waters, on a line just north of Anegada, about 20 miles out. Depths plunge quickly from about 100 metres to 1000 metres and beyond in a very short distance. The North Drop is famed for its marlin fishing above all but is home to many
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species of game fish including sailfish and several types of tuna. These same fish ply the waters of the South Drop as well, but in varying numbers. The warmer waters of the Caribbean are more likely to offer up mahi-mahi, wahoo or kingfish. Recent years have seen many world record catches of game fish in VI waters. While the majority of game fishing activity is centred in the US Virgin Islands, a good number of boats are available in the BVI—principally out of Virgin Gorda’s North Sound and Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, as well as from Anegada and Tortola’s several harbours.
Saltwater fly-fishing is regarded by many connoisseurs as the most exciting form of that sport. Pound for pound, saltwater fish are more desperate fighters and more acrobatic in their defensive manouvres than their fresh-water counterparts. The best spot for fly-fishing in the BVI is undoubtedly Anegada, where bonefish and tarpon are the prey. Those species can be found throughout much of the Territory of course, but Anegada offers up miles of shallow flats that can be worked from specialty poling boats drawing just a few inches. Some cruising sailors fish from their dinghies but those boats draw too much water to truly get close to the fish. Guides are recommended and are essential if you want to use a poling boat.
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Red Hind, courtesy of Paul Hubbard and Rainbow Visions Photography.
The Closed Season
schedule in the Virgin Islands Margate
Within the dates above, no person shall catch, sell, offer for sale or buy any of the marine organisms mentioned.
Jan 1 to Mar 31 Jan 1 to Mar 31 March 1 to May 31
April 1 to Nov 30 July 31 to Oct 31
Aug 15 to Oct 31 Aug 15 to Oct 31
VISAR Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) is a volunteer-run, independent organisation that serves as the official search and rescue service of the British Virgin Islands. VISAR welcomes support and volunteers for everything from answering distress calls to assisting with search efforts to bartending at fundraisers. VISAR provides training in first aid, seamanship and small-boat handling. Getting involved in this organization is one way to instantly meet other individuals concerned about doing their part to maintain safety at sea. VISAR OFFERS 24-HOUR ASSISTANCE AND CAN BE REACHED BY DIALING 767 www.bvinewbie.com
DEDICATED TO SAVING LIVES AT SEA EMERGENCY INFORMATION Dial 767 (sos), call 999 or 911-fire and rescue
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Nautical Flags (Alphabet & Numbers) (A)lpha
Beach safety flags Lifeguard on Duty Safe to Swim
Marine Life Warning (Jellyfish, etc.)
Danger Never Swim
Safe for Craft only
Safe to Swim
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Directory Key BVI Information
Getting Off the Rock
Shipping & Duty
BVI Global Finance
Immigration & Entry
Starting a Family
Finding a Job
Education & Schools
Laws, Police & Crime
Spas & Salons
Finding a Home
Culture & Events
Flora & Fauna
Money & Banking
Sports & Recreation
Activiteis for Kids
Starting a Business
Basics BVI Information
BVI Tourist Board......................... (284) 494-3134 BVI London Office ......... 011.44.207.355.9570 BVI Info & Public Relations........... (284) 494-2052 Governorâ€™s Office......................... (284) 494-2345 Premierâ€™s Office........................... (284) 468-3701 ................................................. ext. 2152
BVI & Global Finance
BVI FSC...................................... (284) 494-1324 BVI IFC........................................ (284) 468-4335
Offshore Financial Services
Abacus Trust & Mgmt Services.... (284) 494-4388 Aleman Cordero Galindo & Lee...... (284) 494-4666 Alfaro Ferrer & Ramirez................ (284) 494-6206 Amerlink Management & Trust..... (284) 494-4224 AMS............................................ (284) 494-3399 Arawak Trust............................... (284) 494-8866 Appleby Corporate Service.......... (284) 852-5318 ATU General Trust....................... (284) 494-1100 Baker Tilly.................................... (284) 494-5800 Belmont Trust.............................. (284) 494-5800 Bison Financial Services.............. (284) 494-5239 Blenheim Trust............................. (284) 494-4692 Castlegate Investment Services... (284) 494-6560 Citco........................................... (284) 494-2217 Clermont Corporate Services....... (284) 494-6038 Codan Trust Company................. (284) 852-1010 Commonwealth Trust.................. (284) 494-4541 Conyers Dill & Pearman............... (284) 285-1000 Coverdale Trust Services............. (284) 494-6727 Crescent Corporate Services....... (284) 494-9165 Deloitte & Touche........................ (284) 494-2868 96
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Disa Bank.................................... (284) 494-6036 Equity Trust................................. (284) 494-2616 Euro American Trust & Mgmt....... (284) 494-6208 F H Trust Limited......................... (284) 494-1890 Fabrega Molino & Mulina............. (284) 494-6207 Folio Administators...................... (284) 494-4717 Global Corporate Consultants..... (284) 494-1564 GTS Corporate Services.............. (284) 494-6976 Harneys Corporate Services........ (284) 494-2233 Hemisphere Management............ (284) 494-6240 Holding - Back............................ (284) 494-5075 Icaza Gonzalez-Ruiz & Aleman...... (284) 494-5959 J S Archibald Trust Services........ (284) 494-6299 KCS Trust.................................... (284) 494-2971 KPMG......................................... (284) 494-1134 M M R W & Co............................ (284) 495-2281 Maples Corporate Services.......... (284) 852-3000 Martin Kenney & Co..................... (284) 494-2444 Midocean Mgmt & Trust.............. (284) 494-4567 Moore Stephens International...... (284) 494-3503 Mossack Fonseca & Co............... (284) 494-4840 Nemours Trustees....................... (284) 494-9466 Nerine Trust Company................. (284) 494-8790 NovaSage Incorporations............ (284) 494-9830 Ogier Fiduciary Services.............. (284) 494-0525 Osiris International Trustees......... (284) 494-9820 Overseas Management Co.......... (284) 494-4693 Patton Moreno & ASVAT.............. (284) 494-4694 Portcullis TrustNet........................ (284) 494-5296 PriceWaterhouseCoopers............ (284) 494-4100 Proservices Ltd............................ (284) 494-2544 Quijano & Associates................... (284) 494-3638 Rawlinson & Hunter..................... (284) 494-5414 SR Corporate Services................ (284) 494-8458 Securities Trust & Mgmt............... (284) 494-6727 powered by alookingglass
Shirley Trust Company................. (284) 494-3000 SHRM Trustees........................... (284) 494-8445 Sucre & Sucre............................. (284) 494-5555 TMF............................................. (284) 494-4997 Tricor Services............................. (284) 494-6004 Walkers....................................... (284) 494-2204 Whitten Trust............................... (284) 494-5897
WORKING Immigration & Entry Requirements
Department of Immigration.......... (284) 494-3471 Department of Labour................. (284) 494-3451 Social Security............................. (284) 494-3148
Finding a Job
Ballast & Capel............................ (284) 340-0319 Collin’s Consultants..................... (284) 545-3937
Starting a Business
Department of Trade.................... (284) 468-3701 ext. 4300 Deloitte & Touche........................ (284) 494-2868 Hunte & Co Law Chambers......... (284) 495-0232 Phoenix Caribbean...................... (284) 495-2379
Moving Finding a Home
Caribbean Realty......................... (284) 494-3999 Coldwell Banker.......................... (284) 495-3000 Golden Pavilion Villa..................... (284) 541-0185 Island Real Estate........................ (284) 494-3186 Paradise Realty Ltd.................. (284) 545-7505 www.paradiserealtybvi.com Property BVI................................ (284) 494-0101 Real Estate BVI............................ (284) 495-3003 Smiths Gore................................ (284) 494-2446 Sotheby’s International Realty...... (284) 494-3999 South Sound Properties (VG)....... (203) 312-0152 Trude Real Estate........................ (284) 494-2500
Money & Banking
Banco Popular............................. (284) 852-2600 First Bank.................................... (284) 494-2662 FirstCaribbean............................. (284) 852-9900 National Bank Virgin Islands......... (284) 494-3737 ScotiaBank.................................. (284) 494-2526 VP Bank...................................... (284) 494-1100
Allied BVI..................................... (284) 494-8925 Alphonso Warner......................... (284) 494-3354 Atlantic Southern Insurance......... (284) 494-6498 Caribbean Insurers Ltd................ (284) 494-2728 www.bvinewbie.com
Colonial Insurance....................... (284) 494-8450 Creque’s Insurance Agency......... (284) 494-2337 Insurance Store Ltd..................... (284) 494-5546 Mio Insurance.............................. (284) 494-3795 Nagico Insurance......................... (284) 494-6433
CCT Global Communications...... (284) 444-4444 Digicel......................................... (284) 300-1000 LIME............................................ (284) 494-4444 TRC (Regulatory Commission)..... (284) 468-4165
Vehicle Licensing Department...... (284) 468-3701 ................................................. ext. 4938/4939 Vehicle Licensing (VG).................. (284) 495-5707
Alphonso Car Rental.................... (284) 494-8746 Auto Sales & Parts Ltd................. (284) 494-2193 International Motors..................... (284) 494-2516 Mitsubishi Motors........................ (284) 494-8653 Virgin Island Motors..................... (284) 494-2496
Alphonso Car Rental.................... (284) 494-8746 Andy’s Rentals (VG)..................... (284) 495-5252 Avis Rent-A-Car........................... (284) 494-3322 Budget Rent A Car...................... (284) 494-8902 Burke’s Garage............................ (284) 494-2531 Coconut Car Rental..................... (284) 494-8357 Courtesy Car Rental.................... (284) 494-6443 D&D Car Rental........................... (284) 494-8241 Dede’s Car Rental........................ (284) 495-2041 Del’s Jeep & Car Rental............... (284) 495-9356 Denzil Clyne Car Rental............... (284) 495-4900 Dollar Rent-A-Car........................ (284) 494-6093 Hertz Car Rental.......................... (284) 494-6228 International Car Rentals.............. (284) 494-2516 ITGO Car Rental.......................... (284) 494-5150 JRB Auto Rental.......................... (284) 494-4893 L&S Taxi & Car Rentals (VG)........ (284) 495-5297 Mahogany Rentals (VG).............. (284) 495-5469 Mellie’s Car Rental....................... (284) 495-5469 National Car Rental...................... (284) 494-3197 Paradise Jeep Rental (JVD).......... (284) 495-9477 Penn’s Car Rental (VG)................ (284) 498-5803 Speedy’s Car Rental (VG)............. (284) 495-5240 Tola Rentals................................. (284) 494-8652 West End Car Rental................... (284) 494-6228
Courtesy Bikes............................ (284) 494-6117
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BVI Taxi Stand............................. (284) 494-3456 Beef Island Taxi Association......... (284) 495-1660 Elroy’s Pleasure Tour(VG)............. (284) 495-1022 Jennifer & Nat’s Taxi (VG)............. (284) 495-5470 Potter Gafford Taxi (VG)............... (284) 495-5960 Quality Taxi Association............... (284) 494-8397 Road Town Taxi Stand................. (284) 494-8755 Waterfront Taxi Stand.................. (284) 494-6362 West End Taxi Association........... (284) 495-4934
BVI Electricity Corporation Road Town.................................. (284) 494-3911 East End...................................... (284) 495-1280 Virgin Gorda................................ (284) 495-5418 Emergency Night Service............. (284) 494-3911 Water & Sewerage Department... (284) 494-3416 Virgin Gorda................................ (284) 495-5951
Department of Solid Waste.......... (284) 494-6245
BVI Veterinary Division................. (284) 495-2110 Dr. George Clinton....................... (284) 494-4498 Humane Society.......................... (284) 494-2884 Dr. Laura Palmintieri..................... (284) 495-3109 The Veterinary Clinic (VG)............. (284) 495-5857
Spas & Salons
Almond Tree Salon...................... (284) 495-4208 Amara Spa.................................. (284) 852-3604 Bless Hands Health Spa.............. (284) 494-8156 Journeys Health Spa................... (284) 494-9070 Lili’s Beauty Salon........................ (284) 494-9094 La Ambience Spa........................ (284) 543-7924 McKelly’s Beauty Salon................ (284) 494-4343 New Generation Beauty Salon..... (284) 494-4525 Oasis Salon & Spa....................... (284) 494-8891 Serenity Spa & Yoga Studio......... (284) 495-7899 Solé Spa...................................... (284) 494-5999 Spa Tranquility............................. (284) 495-4252
Culture, Festivals & Events
Department of Culture................. (284) 468-3701 ................................................. ext. 4369 Aragorn’s Studios........................ (284) 495-1849 BVI Inside Art Gallery................... (284) 544-0213 BVIMusic.com............................. (284) 540-2075 Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society.................... (284) 540-0861 98
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Government House Museum....... (284) 494-4091 Innovative Entertainment.............. (284) 443-0663 North Shore Shell Museum.......... (284) 495-4714 Virgin Islands Folk Museum......... (284) 468.3701 ................................................. ext. 5005 Virgin Islands Maritime Museum.. (284) 852-7169 Virgin Textiles............................... (284) 494-3135 ................................................. (284) 495-2306
Sports & Recreation
Body Images............................... (284) 494-8512 BVI Rugby Club (Coach).............. (284) 340-2179 Cutting Edge Gym....................... (284) 494-5040 Pelican Gym................................ (284) 495-4252 Sensus Health Club..................... (284) 494-0300 Tortola Sports Club...................... (284) 494-3457
Activities for Kids
BSAFE......................................... (284) 542-1981 BVI Watersports Centre............... (284) 494-0669 Dept of Youth Affairs & Sports..... (284) 494-6861 Kids and the Sea (KATS).............. (284) 494-2409 Royal BVI Yacht Club................... (284) 494-3286
Getting Off the Rock Airlines
American Airlines......................... (284) 340-1128 BVI Air Link.................................. (284) 49502271 BVI Airways................................. (284) 341-2994 Cape Air...................................... (284) 495-1440 Fly BVI......................................... (284) 495-1747 Island Birds.................................. (284) 495-2002 Liat.............................................. (284) 495-1187
Bitter End Ferry........................... (284) 494-2746 Inter Island Ferry.......................... (284) 494-4166 ................................................. (340) 776-6597 Marina Cay.................................. (284) 494-2174 Native Son Inc............................. (284) 494-5674 ................................................. (340) 774-8685 New Horizon Ferry Service.......... (284) 495-9278 Norman Island Ferry.................... (284) 494-0093 North Sound Express.................. (284) 495-2138 Peter Island Ferry......................... (284) 495-2000 Road Town Fast Ferry.................. (284) 494-2323 ................................................. (340) 777-2800 Saba Rock Ferry Service............. (284) 494-2746 Scrub Island Ferry....................... (284) 440-3440 Smith’s Ferries............................. (284) 494-4454 ................................................. (340) 775-7292 Speedy’s..................................... (284) 495-5240 powered by alookingglass
B&F Medical Complex................. (284) 494-2196 Eureka Medical Clinic................... (284) 494-2346 Peebles Hospital.......................... (284) 494-3497
Anegada...................................... (284) 495-8049 Brewers Bay................................ (284) 495-9142 Cane Garden Bay........................ (284) 495-9447 Capoons Bay.............................. (284) 495-4610 East End...................................... (284) 468-3701 ................................................. ext. 6119 Jost Van Dyke............................. (284) 495-9239 Long Look................................... (284) 495-2268 North Sound................................ (284) 495-7310 Road Town.................................. (284) 494-3455 Sea Cows Bay............................. (284) 468-3701 ................................................. ext. 2531
Crown Dental.............................. (284) 494-2770 Premier Dental............................. (284) 494-8062 Smile Dental Spa......................... (284) 494-2004
Medical Centers & Clinics
B & F Medical Complex............... (284) 494-2196 Bougainvillea Clinic...................... (284) 494-2181 Eureka Medical Clinic................... (284) 494-2346 Island Chiropractic & Wellness..... (284) 495-0016 Peebles Hospital ......................... (284) 494-3497
B&F Medical Complex................. (284) 494-2196 JR O’Neal LTD............................. (284) 494-2292 Medicure Pharmacy..................... (284) 494-6189 MWE Pharmaceuticals................. (284) 494-1997 Qwomar Trading Ltd.................... (284) 494-1498 Reliance Pharmacy...................... (284) 494-7323 Vanterpool Enterprises................. (284) 494-2702
Attorney General’s Chambers...... (284) 494-6760 BVI Wedding Planners................. (284) 494-5306 Civil Registry................................ (284) 468-3442 Golden Pavilion Villa..................... (284) 541-0185 Government House Museum....... (284) 494-4091
Starting a Family
Civil Registry................................ (284) 468-3442 Peebles Hospital.......................... (284) 494-3497
Education & Schools
Department of Education............. (284)468-3701 ................................................. ext. 2036 www.bvinewbie.com
Alexandrina Maduro Primary........ (284) 494-3465 Althea Scatliffe Primary................ (284) 494-3467 Anegada Primary & Secondary.... (284) 495-8050 Elmore Stoutt High School........... (284) 494-3468 Joyce Samuel Primary................. (284) 494.3464 Bregado Flax Educational Centre (Primary & Secondary)................. (284) 495-5534 Ebenezer Thomas Primary........... (284) 494-3469 Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary............ (284) 494-3735 Enis Adams Primary.................... (284) 494-3458 Eslyn Richiez Learning Centre...... (284) 494-3488 Francis Lettsome Primary............ (284) 495-2502 HLSCC........................................ (284) 852-7226 Isabella Morris Primary................. (284) 495-4626 Ivan Dawson Primary................... (284) 495-4625 Jost Van Dyke Primary................. (284) 495-9238 Leonora Delville Primary............... (284) 495-4821 Pre-Vocational Centre.................. (284) 494-3468 Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary......................... (284) 495-7535 Willard Wheatley Primary............. (284) 495-2503
BVI Seventh Day Adventist.......... (284) 494-3937 Cedar School.............................. (284) 494-5262 Century House Montessori.......... (284) 494-1686 St George’s School...................... (284) 494-2197 Valley Day School........................ (284) 495-7534
Road Town.................................. (284) 494-3428 Anegada...................................... (284) 495-9464 East End/Long Look.................... (284) 495-2472 Jost Van Dyke............................. (284) 495-9054 Virgin Gorda................................ (284) 495-5516
Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Headquarters.............................. (284) 494-2925 Road Town.................................. (284) 494-3822 House of Assembly...................... (284) 494-4757
Dept of Disaster Management..... (284) 468-4200 EuroCarib.................................... (284) 495-9616
Flora & Fauna
Botanical Gardens....................... (284) 494-4557 Environmental Health................... (284) 468-5110 National Parks Trust..................... (284) 852-3650
Places of Worship
Agape Total Life Center............... (284) 495-9912 Apostalic Faith Mission................ (284) 495-2475 BVI NEWBIE 2013
Apostalic Faith Mission................ (284) 494-4688 Bethany Baptist........................... (284) 495-2419 Cane Garden Bay Baptist ........... (284) 495-9418 Cane Garden Bay Methodist ....... (284) 495-4245 Mary Star of the Sea Catholic ..... (284) 495-2862 Christian Faith Assembly.............. (284) 494-1975 Church of God of Holiness........... (284) 495-2581 - North Sound............................. (284) 495-7505 - Taylors Bay ............................... (284) 495-5131 Church of God of Prophecy......... (284) 494-5002 Church of God of Prophecy - Huntums Ghut.......................... (284) 494-3446 - Long Look ................................ (284) 495-1772 Church of the Islands................... (284) 495-4923 Faith Baptist Church.................... (284) 494-3412 First Assembly of God................. (284) 494-8389 Gospel of Jesus Evang. Pent....... (284) 494-0065 Jehovah’s Witnesses................... (284) 494-6871 Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Wit.... (284) 495-5287 Road Town Methodist.................. (284) 494-4349 Belle Vue Methodist..................... (284) 494-1614 Purcell Methodist......................... (284) 494-5251 The Valley Methodist.................... (284) 495-5693 Zion Hill Methodist....................... (284) 495-4878 Mt. Calvary Deliverance Temple... (284) 495-9029 New Life Baptist.......................... (284) 494-4101 New Testament Church Of God... (284) 495-4119 - Tortola....................................... (284) 494-1490 Oasis Christian Assembly............ (284) 494-7410 7th Day Adventist ....................... (284) 494-8414 - Road Town ............................... (284) 494-2112 - East End.................................. (284) 495-1577 St.Georges Anglican.................... (284) 494-3894 St. Mary’s Church........................ (284) 495-5769 St.Paul’s Anglican........................ (284) 494-4732 St.Ursula Catholic........................ (284) 495-5301 St.Williams Roman Catholic ........ (284) 494-2690 Upper Room Church Of God....... (284) 495-2061 Assembly of God The Valley........ (284) 495-6032 Word of Faith New Testament...... (284) 495-6200
Ample Hamper Too...................... (284) 494-2494 Best of British.............................. (284) 494-3462 Bobby’s Supermarkets................ (284) 495-2140 Buck’s Market (VG)...................... (284) 495-6952 Elite Superette............................. (284) 495-1023 Harbour Market........................... (284) 495-4541 North Sound Superette................ (284) 495-7424 One Mart..................................... (284) 494-4649 Riteway....................................... (284) 494-2263 Road Town Wholesale................. (284) 494-2263 100
BVI NEWBIE 2013
Rosy’s Supermarket.................... (284) 495-6765 Trellis Bay Market......................... (284) 495-1421
National Education Services........ (284) 494-3921 Serendipity Bookshop................. (284) 495-5865
Arawak Surf................................. (284) 494-5240 Everyday Fashion........................ (284) 494-6249 GoodFellas.................................. (284) 494-2744 HIHO........................................... (284) 494-7694 Latitude 18.................................. (284) 494-7807 UMI Fashion................................ (284) 494-6014
Bolo’s Department Store.............. (284) 494-2867 Caribbean Department Store....... (284) 494-3627 Island Department Store.............. (284) 494-3677 Said Department Store................ (284) 494-2686 Tortola Department Store............. (284) 494-3109
Electronics & Computers
Data Pro...................................... (284) 494-6633 Infinite Solutions.......................... (284) 494-5030 iSmart.......................................... (284) 494-1418 Radio Doctor............................... (284) 494-3219 Radiotron.................................... (284) 494-6763 Varieties....................................... (284) 494-3798
Fort Garden Centre...................... (284) 494-2362
Home Furnishings and Décor
The Allamanda Gallery................. (284) 494-6680 Arawak Interiors........................... (284) 494-2540 The Ark........................................ (284) 494-9151 Bamboushay Pottery................... (284) 494-0393 Cantik Interiors............................ (284) 494-7927 The Gallery.................................. (284) 494-1426 Hōm............................................ (284) 494-8131 House......................................... (284) 494-1920 Images Gallery............................. (284) 494-1426 Voila............................................ (284) 494-3759
Home Improvements & Appliances
Clarence Thomas Limited............ (284) 494-2359 EuroCarib.................................... (284) 495-9616 Kelly’s Hardware & Appliances..... (284) 495-3209 Qwomar Trading Ltd.................... (284) 494-1498 SPS Affiliates............................... (284) 495-5580
Wine & Spirits
Callwood Rum Distillery............... (284) 495-9383 Caribbean Cellars........................ (284) 494-1579 Road Town Wholesale................. (284) 494-2263 powered by alookingglass
TICO............................................ (284) 494-2211 Watering Hole.............................. (284) 446-2211
White Squall................................ (284) 494-2564 Virgin Traders.............................. (284) 495-2526
aLookingGlass Creative............... (284) 494-7788 Graphic Design BVI..................... (284) 494-3992 Virgin Images Photography & Design Studio.............................. (284) 544-5519
Shipping & Duty Costs
BVI Customs............................... (284) 494-3475 BVI Post...................................... (284) 468-3701 ................................................. ext. 4996 Caribbean Transport Limited........ (284) 494-2183 Khoy’s Mailing Service................. (284) 494-4539 Lazarus Services......................... (284) 494-4220 Rushit Inc.................................... (284) 494-4421 Star Shipping............................... (284) 495-1910 Tortola Express............................ (284) 494-0707 Tropical Shipping......................... (284) 494-2674
Conservation & Fisheries Dept..... (284) 494-5681
Barecat........................................ (284) 495-2202 BVI Yacht Charters...................... (284) 494-4289 Caribbean Sailing BVI ................. (284) 494-0096 Catamaran Co (Sail & Power)....... (284) 494-6661 Conch Charters........................... (284) 494-4868 Footloose.................................... (284) 494-0528 Horizon........................................ (284) 494-8787 The Moorings (Sail & Power)........ (284) 494-2331 Sunsail........................................ (284) 494-4740 TMM (Sail and Power).................. (284) 494-2751 Virgin Traders (Power).................. (284) 495-2526 Voyage........................................ (284) 494-0740
Small Boat Charters
Cane Garden Bay Rentals........... (284) 495-9660 Double D..................................... (284) 499-2479 Island Time.................................. (284) 495 9993 King Charters.............................. (284) 494-5820 Sheppard’s.................................. (284) 495-4099
Day Charters/Day Sails
Aristocat...................................... (284) 499-1249 Bravura........................................ (284) 443-2586 Kuralu.......................................... (284) 495-4381 Mystique/iSpeed.......................... (284) 494-0740 Patouche..................................... (284) 494-6300 Spirit of Anegada......................... (284) 499 0901 www.bvinewbie.com
Aquaventure................................ (284) 494-4320 BVI Scuba Co.............................. (284) 540-2222 Blue Water Divers........................ (284) 494-2847 Dive BVI....................................... (284) 495-5513 Jost Van Dyke Scuba.................. (284) 495-0271 Sail Caribbean Divers................... (284) 495-1675 Sunchaser................................... (284) 495-9638 UBS Dive Center......................... (284) 494-0024
Charter Yacht Society.................. (284) 494-6017 Sopers Hole................................ (284) 495-4589 Tradewind.................................... (284) 494-3154 VISAR.......................................... (284) 494-4357
Doyle Sailmakers......................... (284) 494-2569 Next Wave Sail & Canvas............. (284) 495-5623 Quantum Sails BVI....................... (284) 494-1124
Bitter End Yacht Club.................. (284) 494-2746 BVI Watersports Centre............... (284) 494-0669 Offshore Sailing School................ (284) 494-5119 Rob Swain Sailing School............ (284) 494-0432 The Royal BVI Yacht Club............ (284) 494-3286 Sistership.................................... (284) 495-1002 Sunsail Sailing School.................. (284) 495-1178 Sailon.......................................... (284) 494-0669
Bitter End Yacht Club.................. (284) 494-2746 Board Sailing BVI......................... (284) 495-2447 Cane Garden Surf Shop.............. (284) 494-5423 Dolphin Discovery........................ (284 )494-7576 HIHO........................................... (284) 494-0337 Island Surf and Sail...................... (284) 494-0123 Last Stop Water Sports............... (284) 494 0564 Leverick Bay Water Sports.......... (284) 495-7376
123 Hulls..................................... (284) 494-0054 Boatshed BVI.............................. (284) 494-4289 BVI Yacht Sales........................... (284) 494-3260 Horizon Yacht Sales..................... (284) 494-8787 Moorings Brokerage.................... (284) 494-1000 Southern Trades.......................... (284) 494-8003 Tradewind.................................... (284) 494-3154
BVI NEWBIE 2013
BVI Taxi Fares To: ____ (One Way Fare)
Around Road Town Airport Baughers Bay Belmont Estate Brewers Bay
From Nanny Cay
$25 $60 $50 $50 $50 $15 $20 $50 $40 $18 $20 $20 $50 $50 $36 $18 $27 $30 $27 $40 $36 $60 $27 $50 $27
Cane Garden Bay Carrot Bay East End Fish Bay Frenchman’s Cay Haver’s Hill Hodges Creek Josiahs Bay
Lambert Beach Little Apple Bay Long Bay (West) Nanny Cay Paraquita Bay
Port Purcell Prospect Reef Road Town
Sage Mountain Sea Cows Bay Smugglers Cove Treasure Isle West End Wickham’s Cay II
From Road Town
From West End $50
$32 $15 $40 $30 $20 $40 $32 $8 $20 $40 $40 $40 $15 $15 $20 $20 $27 $27 $27 $36 $20 $20 $27
$20 $26 $30 $26 $24 $30 $20 $20 $10 $26 $32 $32 $24 $24
$7 $28 $24 $24 $27 $20 $10 $27 $20 $15 $25 $25 $27 $27 $15 $15 $5 $5
$30 $15 $12 $15 $20 $5 $24 $15 $15 $15
$24 $10 $32 $7 $27 $5
To: ____ (One Way Fare)
From Spanish Town
From Gun Creek
From Leverick Bay
Valley The Baths Copper Mine Nail Bay
$4 $6 $7 $20
$30 $29 $31 $20
$30 $31 $33 $22
BVI NEWBIE 2013
powered by alookingglass
Tour Tour Length Length
Party Party of of Group Group of of Group Group of of Group Group of of Group Group of of 1-21-2 3 3 4 4 5 5 5+5+
One One Hour Hour Two Two Hours Hours Three Three Hours Hours Four Four Hours Hours
$55 $55 $110 $110 $165 $165 $220 $220
$70 $70 $130 $130 $190 $190 $250 $250
$85 $85 $150 $150 $215 $215 $280 $280
$100 $100 $170 $170 $240 $240 $310 $310
$15/+person $15/+person $20/+person $20/+person $25/+person $25/+person $30/+person $30/+person
Additional Additional Charges Charges Child Child (3 years (3 years or or younger) younger)
Child Child (4-10 (4-10 years) years) Child Child (11+ (11+ years) years) PetPet Carrier Carrier (with (with animal animal secured) secured) Baggage Baggage Waiting Waiting After After Hours Hours (11:00pm-7:00am) (11:00pm-7:00am)
NoNo Charge Charge
Half Half fare fare FullFull fare fare $15/each $15/each carrier carrier 1 piece 1 piece - No - No charge charge $1/each $1/each additional additional piece piece First First 1515 mins mins - No - No charge charge $10 $10 Additional Additional charge/15 charge/15 mins mins blocks blocks 30% 30% Additional Additional charge charge (per (per journey) journey)
BVI NEWBIE 2013
BVI BVIFerry FerrySchedules Schedules
& October & October September September during during Except Except availability availability†† †† for for ** Check (Weekly) (Weekly)** Check times times *Alternating *Alternating Directory) Directory) (See(See time. time. to confirm to confirm companies companies callcall Please Please notice. notice. without without to change to change subject subject Shedules Shedules
St Thomas to St to Thomas Tortola Tortola Hook Hook Town Town RedRed Road Road Hook Hook EndEnd RedRed West West Amarlie Amarlie Charlotte Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie Charlotte Town Town Charlotte Road Road
M MTu TuW WThThF FS SSuSu
SonSon 6:00am 6:00am Native Native Ferry Ferry FastFast 6:15am 6:15am R.TR.T SonSon 6:15/6:30am* 6:15/6:30am*Native Native
6:45am 6:45am Smith’s Smith’s SonSon 6:45am 6:45am Native Native Ferry Ferry FastFast 7:00am 7:00am R.TR.T SonSon 7/7:30am* 7/7:30am* Native Native 7/7:30am* 7/7:30am* Smith’s Smith’s 7:15am 7:15am Speedy’s Speedy’s 7:15am 7:15am Smith’s Smith’s Hook Hook Ferry Ferry FastFast 8:00am 8:00am R.TR.T EndEnd RedRed West West Hook Hook SonSon 8:30am 8:30am Native Native EndEnd RedRed West West Amarlie Amarlie 8:45am Charlotte 8:45am Smith’s Smith’s Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 8:45am** Charlotte SonSon 8:45am** Native Native Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 9:00am Charlotte Ferry Ferry FastFast 9:00am R.TR.T Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 9:15am Charlotte 9:15am Speedy’s Speedy’s Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 9:30am Charlotte SonSon 9:30am Native Native EndEnd Charlotte West West Amarlie Amarlie 9:45am Charlotte 9:45am Smith’s Smith’s Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 10:00am Charlotte Ferry Ferry FastFast 10:00am R.TR.T Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 10/10:30am* Charlotte SonSon 10/10:30am* Native Native EndEnd Charlotte West West Amarlie Amarlie 10/10:30am Charlotte 10/10:30am Smith’s Smith’s EndEnd Charlotte West West Amarlie Amarlie 11:30am Charlotte 11:30am Smith’s Smith’s Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 12:00pm** Charlotte Ferry Ferry FastFast 12:00pm** R.TR.T Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 12:00pm Charlotte 12:00pm Smith’s Smith’s EndEnd Charlotte West West
Hook Hook EndEnd RedRed West West Amarlie Amarlie Charlotte Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie Charlotte EndEnd Charlotte West West Amarlie Amarlie Charlotte EndEnd Charlotte West West Amarlie Amarlie Charlotte Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie Charlotte EndEnd Charlotte West West
Hook Hook 12:00pm 12:00pm EndEnd RedRed West West Amarlie Amarlie 12:15pm Charlotte 12:15pm EndEnd Charlotte West West Hook Hook 12:30pm 12:30pm EndEnd RedRed West West Amarlie Amarlie 2:00pm Charlotte 2:00pm Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 2:30pm Charlotte 2:30pm Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 2:30pm Charlotte 2:30pm EndEnd Charlotte West West Amarlie Amarlie 2:45pm Charlotte 2:45pm Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 3:00pm Charlotte 3:00pm EndEnd Charlotte West West Amarlie Amarlie 3:15pm Charlotte 3:15pm Town Town Charlotte Road Road Amarlie Amarlie 3:25pm Charlotte 3:25pm Town Town Charlotte Road Road Hook Hook EndEnd RedRed West West Amarlie Amarlie Charlotte EndEnd Charlotte West West Hook Hook EndEnd RedRed West West Hook Hook Town Town RedRed Road Road Amarlie Amarlie Charlotte Town Town Charlotte Road Road 104
BVI NEWBIE 2013
3:30pm 3:30pm 3:50pm 3:50pm 4:00pm 4:00pm 5:30pm 5:30pm 5:45pm 5:45pm
Ferry Ferry FastFast R.TR.T Smith’s Smith’s SonSon Native Native
Smith’s Smith’s Ferry Ferry FastFast R.TR.T Smith’s Smith’s SonSon Native Native SonSon Native Native SonSon Native Native
Speedy’s Speedy’s Ferry Ferry FastFast R.TR.T SonSon Native Native SonSon Native Native
Island Island InterInter SonSon Native Native powered by alookingglass
to Tortola to Tortola St Thomas St Thomas Hook Hook RedRed EndEnd West West Hook Hook RedRed Town Town Road Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road
Hook Hook Redd Redd EndEnd West West Hook Hook RedRed Town Town Road Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road
Hook Hook RedRed EndEnd West West Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road
Hook Hook RedRed Town Town Road Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road
Hook Hook RedRed Town Town Road Road Amarlie AmarlieRoad Charlotte Charlotte Town Town Road Hook Hook RedRed EndEnd West West Hook Hook RedRed EndEnd West West St John to St to John Tortola Tortola EndEnd West West BayBay Cruz Cruz EndEnd West West BayBay Cruz Cruz EndEnd West West BayBay Cruz Cruz EndEnd West West BayBay Cruz Cruz EndEnd West West BayBay Cruz Cruz to Tortola to Tortola St John St John BayBay Cruz Cruz BayBay Cruz Cruz BayBay Cruz Cruz BayBay Cruz Cruz BayBay Cruz Cruz
EndEnd West West EndEnd West West EndEnd West West EndEnd West West EndEnd West West
M MTu TuW WThThF FS SSuSu
Ferry Ferry FastFast 7:15am 7:15am R.TR.T SonSon 7:45am 7:45am Native Native SonSon 8/8:30am* 8/8:30am* Native Native SonSon 8:25/8:55am* 8:25/8:55am* Native Native 8:25/8:55am* 8:25/8:55am* Smith’s Smith’s Ferry Ferry FastFast 8:30am 8:30am R.TR.T SonSon 10:45.11:15am* 10:45.11:15am* Native Native
10:45.11:15am* 10:45.11:15am* Smith’s Smith’s Ferry Ferry FastFast 11:15am 11:15am R.TR.T SonSon 11:45am 11:45am Native Native Ferry Ferry FastFast 12:00pm 12:00pm R.TR.T SonSon 12/12:30pm** 12/12:30pm** Native Native 12:15/12:45pm* 12:15/12:45pm* Smith’s Smith’s SonSon 1:30pm** 1:30pm** Native Native SonSon 1:45pm 1:45pm Native Native
2:15pm** 2:15pm** Smith’s Smith’s SonSon 2:30pm 2:30pm Native Native Ferry Ferry FastFast 2:30pm 2:30pm R.TR.T SonSon 2:45pm 2:45pm Native Native SonSon 3:15pm 3:15pm Native Native 3:30pm 3:30pm Smith’s Smith’s 3:30pm 3:30pm Speedy’s Speedy’s SonSon 4:00pm** 4:00pm** Native Native SonSon 4**/4:30pm* 4**/4:30pm* Native Native Ferry Ferry FastFast 4:15pm 4:15pm R.TR.T 4:30**/5:00pm* 4:30**/5:00pm*Smith’s Smith’s 5:00pm 5:00pm Smith’s Smith’s 5:00pm 5:00pm Sppedy’s Sppedy’s SonSon 5:00pm 5:00pm Native Native SonSon 5:30pm 5:30pm Native Native Ferry Ferry FastFast 5:45pm 5:45pm R.TR.T Ferry Ferry FastFast 9:00pm** 9:00pm** R.TR.T 9:15am 9:15am 12:15pm 12:15pm 4:15pm 4:15pm 5:15pm 5:15pm 5:30pm 5:30pm
Island Island InterInter Island Island InterInter Island Island InterInter Island Island InterInter Island Island InterInter
8:30am 8:30am 10:30am 10:30am 3:30pm 3:30pm 4:30pm 4:30pm 5:00pm 5:00pm
Island Island InterInter Island Island InterInter Island Island InterInter Island Island InterInter Island Island InterInter BVI NEWBIE 2013
Thomas Thomas to St to St Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Gorda Gorda Charlotte Virgin Virgin Amarlie Amarlie6:00am 6:00am Charlotte Gorda Gorda Charlotte Virgin Virgin Amarlie Amarlie7:50am 7:50am Charlotte Gorda Gorda Charlotte Virgin Virgin Amarlie Amarlie8:30am 8:30am Charlotte Gorda Gorda Charlotte Virgin Virgin Amarlie Amarlie10:15am 10:15am Charlotte Gorda Gorda Charlotte Virgin Virgin Amarlie Amarlie11:00am 11:00am Charlotte Gorda Gorda Charlotte Virgin Virgin Amarlie Amarlie2:45pm 2:45pm Charlotte Gorda Gorda to Virgin to Virgin Thomas Thomas St St Amarlie AmarlieVirgin Charlotte Charlotte Gorda Gorda Virgin Amarlie AmarlieVirgin Charlotte Charlotte Gorda Gorda Virgin Amarlie AmarlieVirgin Charlotte Charlotte Gorda Gorda Virgin Amarlie AmarlieVirgin Charlotte Charlotte Gorda Gorda Virgin Gorda Gorda to Virgin to Virgin Tortola Tortola Trellis Trellis Town Town Road Road
Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin to Tortola to Tortola Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin
Trellis Trellis Town Town Road Road Town Town Road Road Trellis Trellis
BVI NEWBIE 2013
M MTuTuW WThThF FS SSuSu
Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s
8:45am 8:45am 3:30pm 3:30pm 4:00pm 4:00pm 5:00pm 5:00pm
Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s
6:30am 6:30am 7:00am 7:00am 8:00am 8:00am 8:50am 8:50am 9:00am 9:00am 10:00am 10:00am 10:30am 10:30am 11:00am 11:00am 12:00pm 12:00pm 12:00pm 12:00pm 12:30pm 12:30pm 1:30pm 1:30pm 1:45pm 1:45pm 3:15pm 3:15pm 4:15pm 4:15pm 4:30pm 4:30pm 4:45pm 4:45pm 5:00pm 5:00pm 5:15pm 5:15pm 5:15pm 5:15pm 6:00pm 6:00pm 6:15pm 6:15pm 6:45pm 6:45pm 8:00pm 8:00pm 10:30pm 10:30pm 11:00pm†† 11:00pm††
Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Express Express N.SN.S
5:00am 5:00am 7:50am 7:50am 8:00am 8:00am 8:20am 8:20am
Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Express Express N.SN.S
Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Express Express N.SN.S
Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Express Express N.SN.S
Smith’s Smith’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Express Express N.SN.S
Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Express Express N.SN.S Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s
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10:00am 10:00am 10:15am 10:15am 10:30am 10:30am 11:00am 11:00am 11:20am 11:20am 12:30pm 12:30pm 1:00pm 1:00pm 2:15pm 2:15pm 3:00pm 3:00pm 3:30pm 3:30pm 4:00pm 4:00pm 4:30pm 4:30pm 4:30pm 4:30pm 5:00pm 5:00pm 5:00pm 5:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm 10:00pm 10:00pm
Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Express Express N.SN.S
EndEnd West West Jost Jost EndEnd West West Jost Jost EndEnd West West Jost Jost EndEnd West West Jost Jost EndEnd West West Jost Jost EndEnd West West Jost Jost to Tortola to Tortola Dyke Dyke VanVan Jost Jost
8:00am 8:00am 9:00am 9:00am 10:00am 10:00am 1:00pm 1:00pm 4:00pm 4:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm
Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New
Jost Jost 7:00am EndEnd 7:00am West West Jost Jost 8:00am EndEnd 8:00am West West Jost Jost 9:00am EndEnd 9:00am West West Jost Jost 9:30am EndEnd 9:30am West West Jost Jost 12:00pm EndEnd 12:00pm West West Jost Jost 2:00pm EndEnd 2:00pm West West Jost Jost 5:00pm EndEnd 5:00pm West West to Anegada to Anegada Gorda Gorda Tortola/Virgin Tortola/Virgin
Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New Horizon Horizon New New
Town Town Road Road Anegada Anegada Town Town Road Road Anegada Anegada Town Town Road Road Anegada Anegada Town Town Road Road Anegada Anegada Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Anegada Anegada to Tortola to Tortola Anegada Anegada
6:45am 6:45am 7:00am 7:00am 3:30pm 3:30pm 3:30pm 3:30pm 7:10am 7:10am
Ferry Ferry Fast Fast R.TR.T Smith’s Smith’s Ferry Ferry Fast Fast R.TR.T
8:10am Town Town 8:10am Road Road 5:00pm Town Town 5:00pm Road Road 510pm Town Town 510pm Road Road
Ferry Ferry Fast Fast R.TR.T Smith’s Smith’s Ferry Ferry Fast Fast R.TR.T
to Tortola to Tortola Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Town Town Road Road Gorda Gorda Virgin Virgin Trellis Trellis Dyke Dyke VanVan to Jost to Jost Tortola Tortola
Anegada Anegada Anegada Anegada Anegada Anegada
M MTuTuW WThThF FS SSuSu
Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Express Express N.SN.S Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Smith’s Smith’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s Speedy’s
Smith’s Smith’s Ferry Ferry Fast Fast R.TR.T
BVI NEWBIE 2013
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I contributed to this - Stephen L France