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

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



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Blu Tortu Tortola US$2,400,000

Island Escape Great Camanoe US$975,000

Water’s Edge Virgin Gorda US$4,300,000

Coconut Point Villas Tortola US$2,000,000



iving in the British Virgin Islands means having an intimate relationship with the ocean and our tropical climate; they permeate our daily activities. Beach day or forest hike? North shore surfing or South shore marina? East End or West End? The choices are many and varied. Choosing to eat out could take you to one of numerous restaurants on several different islands with countless beaches and hidden coves, all an easy boat ride away – power boat or sailing yacht – you choose! The British Virgin Islands comprise over 52 islands, rocky pinnacles and cays, appropriately named “Nature’s Little Secrets.”

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS our qualities are numerous, our benefits endless Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

Maritha Keil

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

October 2014


From the Editor OCTOBER is one of the VIPY team’s favourite issues.

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It is the edition when a vast section of the magazine is literally created by you for you in our annual Virgin Islands Property and Yacht Readers’ Choice Awards. This year, there were some distinct changes in results with longstanding title holders losing their crown and newcomers revealing their popularity in taking first position. The variations could be attributed to an improvement in reputation for the winners. It might have been the introduction of nominations, jolting readers’ memories of other possibilities; this compared to previous years where voters might not have thought of certain people, places and/or services. Regardless of the reason, competition was fierce and gathering from perceptions of the BVI community and reviews on Trip Advisor, it is clear why certain winners took the gold. This year, to unveil either the closeness in competition or landslide victory, we are listing off the top three in each category and presenting the percentage of the vote that each candidate acquired. The award ceremony is set for Thursday October 16 at 6:00pm at our usual central Road Town, Tortola location of The Dove Restaurant. On top of this celebration, we have some great articles in store. The Moorings exhibits their newest catamaran crewed yacht Prodigious – a 58ft luxury yacht with some beautiful differences, including one of the most fantastic flybridges that will captivate guests and have them never wanting to leave the top of the boat. We review our VIPY team’s favourite Virgin Island properties from the features of 2013/2014 while also viewing the 10 best ways to create a comfortable social setting in a Caribbean home in our BVI HomeSense column. The BVI Theatre Series unveils their new annual line-up for the Territory, including screenings of award winning performances The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Shakepeare’s King Lear, Mariinsky Ballet’s Nutcracker, and Treasure Island where the audience will be invited to participate in a pirate-themed dress up. Geoffrey Brooks investigates a controversial subject in BVI maritime history, regarding the Virgin Islands sloop and its origins – all the expert historians and researchers appear to have their own theory, however, through meticulous exploration, Geoffrey believes he has unearthed the answer. On the lifestyle side of the magazine, Stacie Leiphart interviews two pioneering Humane Society volunteers and Virgin Islands Life takes a turn to show another very popular side of the attractions of Caribbean residency in getting married with a tropical backdrop. We wish you a great high season for 2014 – 2015 and look forward to seeing you at The Dove Restaurant on 16 October for the VIPY RC award ceremony. Stephen L France

Contact Us Editorial Enquiries Advertising Enquiries General Enquiries

PS. Congratulations to Geli Maynard for winning our VIPY Reader Giveaway last month taking with her a Nutmeg Designs’ Room for Improvement makeover valued at US $1000.



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We are committed to finding your BVI home. Leave it in our capable hands. Bonnie Dougall

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October 2014


CONTRIBUTORS Geoffrey Brooks Geoffrey is the curator of the Virgin Islands Maritime Museum and both pioneers and takes part in many of the initiatives related to the traditional art of sloop building.

Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell Kate and Fran are owners of House, a renowned BVI retailer that provides everything you need to make your house a home.

Stacie Leiphart Stacie is a freelance writer and teacher living on Tortola. She writes for commercial and trade magazines, among other forms of literature. She is a post-graduate student in English at Oxford University and holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in Primary Education and Secondary-English Education, with special needs experience. She is currently teaching at Cedar International School

Louise Reardon Louise has been sailing around the globe on private yachts since 1992 and taught sailing with Offshore Sailing School on Tortola since 2006. She holds an MCA 3000 ton Masters, is a RYA Yachtmaster Instructor, and US Sailing Instructor.

Megan Scholbohm Chef Megan has a fierce passion for cooking. Perfecting her menu on various yachts, most of her phenomenal culinary abilities are self-taught, bringing innovative cuisine to Crewed Yacht Lolalita in the BVI.

Heidi Schumann Heidi recently moved from San Francisco to Virgin Gorda with her family to join the BVI Sotheby’s International Realty team in Tortola and launch the Virgin Gorda office. She has worked as a professional photographer for the past 14 years in California, New York City, and internationally. Production Editor Stephen L France

Web Developer Maros Pristas

Publisher aLookingGlass

Sales & Marketing Erin Paviour-Smith

Creative Director Nick Cunha Design & Layout Scott Taylor

Distribution Francoise Frank Finances BVI Accounting

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht is published eleven times a year (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December/January) by aLookingGlass Ltd., Road Reef Plaza 6 and 7, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110.

Direct all inquiries to: Email: Phone: 284-494-7788

Copyright 2014 by aLookingGlass Ltd. All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright by the creators or by the contractual arrangments with their clients. Nothing shown may be reproduced in any form without obtaining the permission of the creators and any other person or company who may have copyright ownership.

Mail: aLookingGlass PO Box 3895 Sea Cows Bay Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110

The publisher of VI Property & Yacht, assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content placed in its publications. For the avoidance of doubt, aLookingGlass gives no warranty or guarantee in regards to any information placed in its publications.

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

2014 VIPY Readers’ Choice Awards - The Results!

TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS! We want your feedback. Every letter presented here wins a prize From Sea Level: Eight Idyllic Anchorages, August 2014 Issue, Page 34 Dear Editor I very much enjoyed the article written by Ms Megan Scholbohm on the eight best anchorages in the BVI. I really do think Ms Scholbohm did a wonderful job of emphasising the diversity and beauty of the British Virgin Islands and most importantly that journeying through them under sail is a magical life experience. From ‘The Picturesque Place’ to ‘The Sporty Spot’ to ‘The Natural Wonder’, I was struck, even as a resident of these Islands, just how lucky we all are. For me personally though, it is White Bay at Jost Van Dyke that epitomises the best that these islands have to offer, combining, as it does, both a spectacularly beautiful anchorage with the laid back and fun Caribbean lifestyle offered by the bars and restaurants on the beach. Indeed it might even be argued that a trip to the BVI is hardly ever complete without a taste of the heady nutmeg covered, pineapple and orange infused, rum based cocktail known affectionately, and internationally, as the ‘Painkiller’. For me, there is no other place to enjoy such a fine drink as from the perch of a hammock outside the infamous Soggy Dollar Bar or resting with your back against the mast of a sloop, listening to the Caribbean rhythms carried out to you on a breeze from the palm fringed shoreline. Once again, it was a fantastic article and one which reminded me that life in the Caribbean is well worth living. Yours Sincerely, Owen Prew – Manual Reef Marina, Tortola. BVI

Liked a certain article? Didn’t agree with a specific opinion? Write Us – every published letter will see the lucky writer in receipt of TWO BOTTLES OF WINE. Winners must be within the Virgin Islands to claim their prize Contact:

OCT V i r g i n I s l a n d s 2014



T H E R E S U LT S !





10 Our Favourite Five VI Homes

32 Search and Rescue


46 46 BVI Theatre Series

VISAR unveils its new technology for saving lives

The new line up for 2014 – 2015 is even more exciting than last year

17 BVI HomeSense

34 From Sea Level:

50 Virgin Islands Life

10 tips for creating the perfect social space

This is exactly why crewed yacht charters are the greatest vacations

Part of VI life is getting married - what better place?

20 Skipper’s Tips

36 The 4th VIPY Readers’ Choice Vote Results

52 A Tourist in My Own Town

A re-review of some of team VIPY’s favourite Virgin Island properties

Some priceless advice on how to be the best captain

22 Yacht Spotlight Exclusive The Moorings Prodigious 5800 reveals a new kind of catamaran

29 The Virgin Islands Sloop and the African Question

Our maritime historian has the answer to the VI sloop design origins mystery

The BVI’s best people, places, and services revealed!

44 Things We Love House presents products to make our meals even better

45 Making Waves Two young students noble efforts at The Humane Society

I almost ignored visiting Peter Island - what a mistake that could have been

55 Property Listings

October 2014



Did you ever see a property here in the Virgin Islands that left you dazzled? From the features we presented through 2013 – 2014, collaborating with realtors BVI Sotheby’s International Realty, Curreri & Co Realtors, Coldwell Banker, and Smiths Gore, we came across many Virgin Islands villas that possessed unfathomable beauty. As it can be imagined, we were delighted to review them. Just in case you missed these brilliant spectacles, here are some of the VIPY team’s favourites.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Words by Stephen L France Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI and Don Hebert

DecEMBER 13 / JanUARY 14

Mango Manor Estate

In our Dec 13 / Jan 14 double issue, we were welcomed into Mango Manor Estate, a popular villa rental with a sunset view spanning Cane Garden’s beautiful beach, sparkling turquoise waters, and stretching to Jost Van Dyke, Sandy Cay, Green Cay, Sandy Spit and Little Jost. The property encompasses 12,000 square feet with three stately houses located in Shannon Estate above Cane Garden Bay in Tortola, BVI. With seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and two half baths comprising these stately houses, Colonial-Caribbean styled furnishing throughout promote its grand image. Distinctive aesthetically-pleasing exterior assets of this home are discovered in the 36-foot wide, dark marble, heated infinity pool, meticulously landscaped grounds, and surrounding tropical flora. Valued at $10,000,000, this property works as a family home or a consistent source of revenue for the owner via rental.

October 2014


VIPY DecEMBER 2013 / JanUARY 2014

The Villa Estate at Casey Bay 12


Virgin Gorda, BVI is the proud bearer of some of the best and most unique-looking properties ever seen and walking into The Villa Estate at Casey Bay is testament to the architectural evolution of our time. The fortunate buyer of this $11,000,000 property gains a private world that has the strange dichotomy of feeling both grand and homely simultaneously. With four bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one partial bath, the spacious nature of the estate with its incredibly high ceilings and aquatic interior design, invokes tranquillity and relaxation. With added luxuries like three powder rooms, a phenomenal view from the infinity edge pool, private beach, and Little Dix Resort’s amenities, the villa has an all-inclusive feel. Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.


Steele Point Estate

If there was a property that represented the BVI—an icon if you will, Steele Point Estate would most certainly be that architectural feat. Dominating Tortola’s furthest west point, the $15,000,000 home is a welcome spectacle for all sailing into Soper’s Hole Marina or West End Ferry dock – a well utilised entry point for the BVI. The estate has been featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, Island Life, Millionaire Magazine, Steinway & Sons, and Caribbean Travel + Life. With five bedrooms, five and half bathrooms, the epic view from each point on the property relishes a different result and provokes a varied feeling – a grand vision of an estate with total seclusion.

October 2014



Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion excels at intricate, thoughtful,

thematic design. Famous for its Balinese architectural influence, the five-bedroom hillside retreat’s most conspicuous element is its expansive terrace—an idyllic social setting—with a Jacuzzi, infinity edge pool, and great dining area. The $7,750,000 property’s traditional Balinese statues, furnishings, artwork

and details commingle with sweeping views of the sea and Guana Island to produce a fresh ambience throughout the expansive space. Striking landscaped grounds baring witness to immaculate maintenance,

grant passage to walking gardens and paths leading through sunken stone retreats and sitting areas.


This is a sanctuary of mind, soul and body.


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The Estate at Spring Bay & Sunsi Beach

In our June 2014 issue, we had the grand pleasure of reviewing one of the Virgin Islands most prominent properties in all the Territory – The Estate at Spring Bay & Sunsi Beach. This immense complex of a home is situated in St Thomas, USVI encompassing 61 acres of land with a Great House that has evolved over the span of 50 years. 10 bedrooms, 9 full bathrooms, 2 half baths are spread across four different residences. The eclectic nature of the property sets it apart from other homes on the market with its varied design influences. With two sandy beaches and two moorings, it’s a dream for watersport enthusiasts and sailors. At an asking price of $33,800,000, the fortunate owner of this property would possess a one-of-a-kind opportunity to utilise 40 acres of undeveloped land for conscientious expansion.

October 2014


LAND Words by Heidi Schumann– BVI Sotheby’s International Realty Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

In the BVI HomeSense column, we address concerns that apply to buying and selling real estate and to property ownership. In this month’s issue, we’re providing some helpful advice on Caribbean lifestyle’s implications on property ownership. If you buy a home in the Caribbean, you will most likely be entertaining guests and the idyllic social space is crucial in forming a comfortable and welcoming setting. Here are 10 tips to help turn your home into a pleasing and relaxed social scene for all to enjoy.

October 2014


A spacious and open floor plan allows for movement, mingling, and conversation to flow, as well as for comfortable breezes All the beautiful colours of the late afternoon sunset when the heat subsides and the sun’s glare dims are often the most sought after cocktail hour locations in a private home or villa. Approximately 12 feet of outside covered deck space offering views and breezes toward an eastern sky are optimal A combination of outside dining and BBQ with sinks or stove tops near the entertaining areas are a plus. Often the chef enjoys joining the revelry while their guests amuse themselves at the bar

Offer comfortable deck seating for viewing the white sandy beaches and idyllic blue waters

Choose warm Caribbean colours and soft ambient lighting to accentuate the inviting atmosphere



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Create playlists for your sound system. Perhaps a cocktail hour mix, dinner music, and a post dinner dance list to set the mood and invite conversation Create your Caribbean paradise by planting fruit trees such as coconut, mango, papaya, and breadfruit, or a herb garden with rosemary, basil, and lemon grass. This makes for an exotic botanical feast at meal time Pleasant floral aromas from a variety of colourful plants are a joy for the senses Relaxing in a heated pool or spa under the bright Caribbean stars complements the evening experience A hammock can be a nice spot to relax after dinner, talking and stargazing in the warm Caribbean night

With execution of just a few of these ideas, your Caribbean home will take advantage of the tropical climate and lifestyle, allowing further enjoyment and satisfaction of a move to the islands.

October 2014





10 ways to be a better captain Words by Louise Reardon, Captain and RYA Yachtmaster Instructor

Being a mediocre yacht captain is easy. Being a great yacht captain requires total commitment to the role. Here we highlight just 10 components, which are methods to ensure that your crew, your owner, and your guests will trust you.

Team Being assertive, adaptable and a strong role model are essential to inspiring your team. You will also get more from your crew if you empower them to develop their skills and provide opportunities for them to take


responsibility. Nobody is an expert at everything, so if a crew member is

It is presumed that you should have more than sufficient experience and ability

Utilise the skills you have on board, delegating to the best talent for the job

to handle your boat in all conditions. It is when the circumstances are at their

and promoting creative problem solving.

better at a job than you, put aside your ego and let them take the praise.

most challenging, that a great captain should appear to be at ease, never needing to raise their voice in fear or anger when directing the crew. The captain


that aggressively yells at his crew is usually insecure about his own proficiency.

Keep the lines of communication open so everyone feels they can speak

So if you ever feel pressured, breathe, don’t rush. If it doesn’t feel right, come up

to you one-on-one and that they can be heard. Have the ability to listen to

with the next plan.

everybody and show sincere care and concern. When there is a call to be strict or critical of crew, do not demean them publically nor condescend for you will be quickly despised. Similarly, verbal and non-verbal communications must be excellent in order to deal with difficult guests or owners in the most diplomatic manner, demonstrating full understand without curbing your authority.



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Work Ethic


Be willing to help the crew and muck in when it is necessary. It is counter-

From all these years of establishing connections in world ports, you should

productive to order people around and not demonstrate leadership by

have a list of contacts of best agents, taxi drivers, haul out facilities,

example. Everyone must work hard on a operational boat, so lead from

outboard mechanics, florists or varnishers. Only the highest standards of

the front; people respond positively when they see their leaders appear passionate and enthusiastic for the jobs you work on.

Training You should be eagerly pursuing further education and the development of knowledge and skills. Being well qualified is the only way to progress to

work are acceptable in the yachting industry and often jobs must be dealt with at short notice. Do yourself a favour and know who to call. In conclusion, experience is the most solid route to becoming a commendable sea captain. Knowledge isn’t gained overnight; it is the result of years of experience, of making mistakes, learning and moving on. But if this is not coupled with a likable personality, it will be hard to implement

larger yachts and more responsibility. This attitude of advancement not only

your skills and lead a happy vessel. You must have your crew behind you, so

ensures you stay on top of your game, but encourages the crew to follow

when you say jump, they don’t jump ship.

your footsteps. The next generation should be like you and if possible better.

Be Prepared


You will often be required to make fast decisions, where you must calculate

Tel: +1 284 494 2268

the circumstances, the safety of the boat, her crew and guests. Decisions cannot be made if you are hungry, stressed or tired, so be sure that you


maintain yourself in the best state of readiness. Taking a 20 minute power nap can change the course of the day. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing, so make time for that.


From maritime law to engineering, there is a broad range of knowledge and skills that a reputable captain should master. You should know your way around the engine room as much as you should be socially capable at cocktail parties. You might want to concentrate on the bits of knowledge that are your least favourite, so if navigation and meteorology are your particular interests, you should spend time on first aid, sea survival, and safety.

Standards The yacht should look at her best at all times. Even when the boat must be pulled apart, make the job a tidy job. High standards of order and cleanliness should be a habit and will prompt a sense of pride among the crew. Likewise the captain should dress smart and act smart. Don’t be drunk or out of control in public – set a good example. The boat is a reflection of the captain and the captain is a reflection of the boat.

Information Keep the team informed and explain ahead of time what they should anticipate as a sign of respect to the crew. If there’s weather brewing, you need your team with you to prepare and devise a best strategy. If personal events in the owner’s life affect the yacht, crew should have the opportunity to plan for their own lives. Of course there will be cases where certain information should be withheld, but a strong captain should be innately able to distinguish the balance between too much information and not enough.

October 2014


SEA Yacht Spotlight:



Words by Stephen L France. Photography by Yacht Shots BVI



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

September 2014




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Meet Prodigious, one of The Moorings’ newest crewed 5800 catamarans. This elegant and feature-filled vessel

surpasses expectations in her collaboration of luxurious form with cruising bliss. With the yacht testifying to her name, adulation is accredited to the 58’ yacht’s builder and interior designer Robertson and Caine, and exterior layout and naval architecture from award winning designers Simonis Voogd. Through the Moorings Yacht Ownership Programme, individuals own these beautiful vessels, which are looked after by not only the Moorings base staff, but their attentive and experienced crews. The Prodigious crew, Captain Ryan Spence and Chef Maroussia Gust with their new stewardess Challis Diaz, comprise the team that serve the yacht full-time. Ryan, originally from South Africa, has been working as a Captain around the Caribbean for five years. He is also a dive instructor, suiting Prodigious which is the only dive boat of the Moorings crewed yacht fleet. Maroussia, who is from France, has been working as a chef on yachts for a year. Her experience took her from cooking for crew while doing yacht deliveries in the Mediterranean to crossing the Atlantic on a monohull performing the same duties. She had her culinary arts further stimulated by cooking classes in Paris at L’atelier des Chef. She is also a qualified rescue diver. With intention to fulfil all guest requests on board Prodigious, the crew provide a multitude of excursion options. Guests are invited to tour Virgin Gorda and/or Anegada, yet if desired, a week charter allows sufficient time to visit all the islands of the BVI. Famous locations such as the Bitter End, The Baths, Marina Cay, Soggy Dollar, Foxy’s, and Willy T are regular highlights. Cuisine is always dependent on the guests’ tastes – dishes are mostly of a French persuasion with some Caribbean, Asian, South African, American, and Mediterranean influences. Distinctive meals on the menu would be the vanilla Mahi Mahi, roasted duck breast with potato gratin, fish kebabs served with coconut rice and mango salsa, or the Babotie (traditional meal from South Africa, made with ground beef, lamb and a lot of spices and fruits, cooked in the oven). Behind the skill of the crew stands a platform that makes it all possible. “This is the nicest galley I’ve ever worked in,” Chef Maroussia commented about the cooking space and Captain Ryan praised the functionality of the yacht “she has great sailing performance coupled with all the creature comforts and charter friendliness.” Adhering to the projection of simplicity, the 5800’s hydraulic platform lift for the dinghy—great for watersports activities—adds further testimony to the yacht’s ease-of-use. With equipment for water skiing, knee-boarding, tubing, paddle-boarding, and kayaking, the adventures of the water world are covered. Every area on the boat is comfortable, whether powering through the waters or under sail. This combined with the open-plan architecture, facilitates great communication between crew, passengers, and the captain. The flybridge offers a large lounge space with well-designed sunshade protection as does the yacht in its entirety. This upper level of the yacht is bolstered with its icemaker, wetbar and grill. With great outdoor spacing in the forward cockpit and aft cockpit, a party could have four different conversations in the four divided areas– two above on the expansive flybridge and two below in the aforementioned areas.

October 2014


The interiors reveal a spacious structure allowing for pleasant breezes and creation of a fantastic dichotomy: the yacht can be as private or sociable as desired. When it comes to accommodations, the Moorings 5800 offers a 6-cabin design with en suite bathrooms, providing the option of the aft cabin dedicated to the crew and five cabins for passengers. A standard situation may witness a maximum of 10 guests and 2-3 crew members filling the vessel yet enjoying private space. The two cabins situated on the deck level present an exquisite position, overlooking the forward cockpit with their own private balcony area. Sliding doors neatly separate each area with the option of opening the door in the saloon for dinner, inviting the freshness of nature onto the



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boat. The open plan galley and saloon are fully equipped with a hob, sink, dishwasher, ample fridge and freezer space, BOSE surround sound stereo system and 46’ flat screen with Apple TV. Additional amenities worthy of note are a watermaker, plentiful tankage and ample storage space, allowing owners and guests to keep all personal belongings safely protected. With all these features, The Moorings 5800 is set to revolutionise future designs of catamarans and indeed the crewed yacht charter experience. For the owners of Prodigious, who also get to enjoy the charter-friendly features of their yacht and the attention of the crew, purchasing a yacht of this pedigree through an industry-leader like The Moorings, promises security and maintenance of value for their vessel.

The TUI Marine Moorings Yacht Ownership Programme Purchasing a yacht through the Moorings Yacht Ownership Programme places the client in a superior position of luxury over standard private yacht ownership – without the traditional maintenance worries that come with yacht ownership, but with the vast amenities granted by The Moorings, the package outweighs any other method of yacht purchase. Clients are entitled to up to 12 weeks a year on their yacht or any sister ship in The Moorings fleet worldwide; this is inclusive of over 20 destinations dotted across locations in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, the Indian Ocean, North America and the Far East. This programme guarantees a monthly income, scheduled regular maintenance and annual haul outs at no cost to the owner. Simply put, the program permits an escape from the burdens of private ownership. At the end of the contract, the owner can trade, sell, or sail away. Many owners opt to trade in their yachts for new ones to remain in the program, which has a remarkable repeat owner rate. For those who choose to sell, The Moorings Yacht Brokerage is available to help. Still, taking private ownership and living aboard, cruising, or sailing to home waters is the best option for many. Running since 1969 allows The Moorings an immense resourcefulness with a substantial and diverse fleet, and phenomenal inventory of yacht parts. With the Moorings owning 65% of the BVI charter market, they have an obligation to sustain impeccable service; all this while providing extra luxuries for their clients found in the prestigious hotels, great restaurants, and relaxing swimming pools in their respective sites.

Contact Info: The Moorings Yacht Ownership 800.675.7996

October 2014



Words and photography by Geoffrey Brooks, Curator – Virgin Islands Maritime Museum

he Virgin Islands developed early in its history as one of the four major boat producing islands in the Lesser Antilles. The other three are Anguilla, Bequia, and Carriacou. Each of these Islands is known for a particular design of boat and in each case, we know where the influence for that design originated—at least in three out of the four. In the case of the Virgin Islands Sloop or Tortola Boat as it is called, the origins remain a mystery. In Anguilla, they specialised in schooner construction and were influenced by the constant visits of Nova Scotia schooners to pick up salt. In Bequia, they make whaling boats (sloops) which have a distinctive type of gaff rig on the mainsail. Carriacou is known for trading sloops and both islands are influenced by North American and European designs. In fact Carriacou was settled by Scottish sailors who mixed with the local African population and today names like McLaren are common and still building boats in the village of Windward. In Tortola, sloop construction began in the 1700’s and came with the establishment of the sugar plantations and the arrival of enslaved Africans. These Africans brought with them already established skills as shipwrights and it is now believed [at least by this writer] our unique design of boat.

In his research, Professor Doran established the fact that the design of sloop built here was unique in the world. There are five basic things that are distinctive about our boats. First is the absence of a bow sprit. Second is the shape of our mainsail. It is called “Leg of Mutton” which means that the distance of the height and the length are the same. This makes for a very long boom, which extends way past the stern of the boat. Third, the boat has a very long bow and although the mast is stepped a third of the way along the keel, it gives the impression that it is in the centre of the boat. Fourth the stern goes straight down to the keel with no counter as is found in most sloop designs. Finally and probably the most distinctive feature is called ‘Moon Shear’. The hull when viewed from bow to stern has a fatness in the middle which resembles the shape of a full moon. These five characteristics combine to form a design which is immediately recognisable from a great distance and has distinguished our boats throughout the Caribbean for over 200 years. However, Professor Doran’s research was incomplete in the fact that he was unable to find the origins of this unique design and this has led to controversial debate which continues today.

WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT OUR BOATS In 1957 Professor Edwin Doran Jr. from the College of Geosciences at Texas A. and M. University arrived in Tortola and began a research project into the characteristics and origin of our local sloops. He spent nine years studying them and the results were published in the Mariner’s Mirror a prestigious magazine in 1970.

October 2014


This leads us to the next major attempt to answer this question, which began in the 1970’s in St. Croix. Douglas C. Pyle initiated work on a book which would study the design and origins of all the traditional wooden boats being built throughout the Lesser Antilles. His book Clean Sweet Wind first published in 1981 is now considered the ‘Bible’ of wooden boat construction in the region. Pyle travelled from Island to Island all the way from the Virgin Islands to Grenada. He took measurements and made architectural drawings of the various designs. He went to Texas and met Professor Doran who taught him how to measure boats and specifically implored him to find the origins of the Virgin Islands Sloop. I’ll let Douglas Pyle himself tell you the results and I quote from pages 267-8 of Clean Sweet Wind:

“We have now accounted for all the local small craft except for the Tortola Sloop. It was my hope that leaving it until last would somehow make the riddle easier to solve. Forlorn hope, I should say…There is great irony in this setback because it was the difficulty of assessing kinship of the Tortola Boat that caused Pro. Doran to wish that someone would make a survey of all the sailing craft of the Lesser Antilles. Well, someone has now done said survey, and the origins of the Tortola Boat are still obscure…” I have been investigating this mystery for over 10 years now and it has remained heaped in debate. I have been in contact with both Douglas Pyle and Professor Doran’s late son Mike along with local and regional experts. The opinions have been as varied as you can imagine and each person seems to be passionately convinced that they are correct. This has led to many heated arguments over the years and here are the major theories presented: First it was said that the design came from Bermuda and Bermudians were very proud of their contribution to our culture. Others said that the design came from Dutch vessels involved in the salt trade in Anguilla. It has also been asserted that it was designed



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from a Bristol Packet Boat which travelled to and from Antigua. The problem is, none of these boats match our design. The distinguished East End shipwright, the late Haldane Davies once told me that the design was brought from Wales by his grandfather John, but when I did the calculations, it appears that the design was already established when he would have arrived here. Some people are convinced that Scotch sailors brought the design here, but there is no evidence of that. The one thing that all of these experts and researchers have in common is that they all look to the same basic source or geographical location if you will—that is Europe and Europeans. I however, have opted for a different path to the great mystery— that is Africa. When I first began my research at the College in 2003, I was led to believe that the skills of the shipwright were taught to the newly arrived enslaved Africans by the European plantation owners, but time and study has proven that wrong. The skills of the shipwright were brought with them from West Africa where today there still exists a strong tradition of maritime activity and boat construction.

It only makes sense that our unique design came over with them as well. If the design originated in Europe, why haven’t we found a match? I have been studying the coastlines of West Africa for the last two years and have found remarkable similarities – I share with you a photograph taken in the Cape Verde Islands which shows boats with an almost identical hull shape to ours. I am currently working on a book about the Maritime History of the Virgin Islands and it is my hope to be able to prove this theory and end once and for all the great mystery behind the origins of our sloop design.

A Day of Discovery with the Service You Want

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

on the water


Call (284) 393.2417 visit or email

October 2014


SEA Interview by Stephen L France Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

VISAR—Virgin Islands Search and Rescue— is an official organisation, collaborating with the Royal BVI police, fire, and ambulance services with the mission of saving lives at sea. I recently interviewed Sergio Dantas, a member of VISAR, regarding a new platform, D4H which is intended to further enhance VISAR’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Q&A What is D4H software?

What does it do?

The D4H is actually a website that serves us as a platform to store and analyse VISAR data. All our shouts, training logs, meetings, crew qualification, etcetera are now stored at the same place, in the cloud, where all volunteers can have access at all times.

It concentrates our information, showing the places where we are most requested, nature of occurrence, response time, and who has been attending training sessions. There is also a virtual notice board for upcoming events…



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How does it work? Basically, we all log on to the website and have access to it. There are different levels of access so the functionality depends on the access level, but everyone has access to the information.

Where did this system come from? VISAR was looking for a backup system to page the crew and I was asked to help. While searching for this paging system, we found a few similar systems that offered not only the paging system, but also this better way to manage the entire system while making the information available to our volunteers. We started with about 10 options and evaluated the value for money. There were nice options which were more costly, but with no real benefits to our operation. The support offered also had great importance to us.

How was VISAR funded to upgrade to this system? VISAR is funded by donations and the fundraising events we do all year round. The funds came from this donated money.

Why is D4H important? Now we can easily know when one of our volunteers is not available…every week each volunteer receives an email with the events he is involved in during the coming week. We can also [log on to] find what happened the week before. The statistics will also help VISAR…saving lives: we will try to use this information to prevent the accidents.

Globally, who currently utilises this software? There are companies from all over the globe using this system, for different purposes from SAR (Search and Rescue) with helicopters to hospital emergency teams, from emergency welfare in disasters to coast guard auxiliary…

How will it improve communication for VISAR? When the information is added to the D4H system, we have a backup in so-called ‘cloud.’ We now carry tablets in our boats so we can have easier communication with our base sending in advance some sensitive information that may be used by the EMTs and our coordinators can also update us with information. All our volunteers can from home or even from their mobile phones (via a simple text message) check and update their status so our coordinators know how many of us are available if necessary.

Any other new technological advances on the horizon for VISAR? Yes, we are looking for some big steps in the technological side of VISAR in the future, but as you can imagine there are all kind of challenges to do so. It is not only a matter of costs, but to make sure it all works smoothly. At the end of the day, we operate on donated money and we must be very careful how we spend it. October August2014 2014

33 33

SEA Charter yacht crews have knowledge and experience – in the area and the yacht It strikes a chord in all of us – mostly of excitement and anticipation. Those in this great, big world who have had the privilege and pleasure of experiencing a crewed charter yacht holiday will promote the unique and holistic nature of this particular adventure. Want to be in on the secret? Here are nine reasons why choosing a crewed charter yacht for your next Virgin Islands vacation is the best decision you could make.

Everything is prepared for you before you arrive Signing up for a crewed charter yacht vacation is the most streamline getaway one could choose for the simple reason that everything is prepared for you before you arrive. The implication for this, of course, is pure relaxation. Legal formalities, customs documents, immigration fees, cruising permits – all squared away before your arrival. Most people don’t consider simple things like air conditioning, electricity or water as things to worry about, but without an experienced crew, these systems might not work properly – if at all. Crewed yacht charter vacations remove all vacationer responsibility so that one can simply take in all the sights, create unforgettable memories, sleep in peace, and do it all again the next day.



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Knowing what’s going on in a new area can be tricky, especially in the islands where many events are simply word of mouth. When charter yacht crew— who live every day in an area—are carefully planning upcoming guests’ vacations, they are naturally familiar with all the happenings. This opens so many opportunities to experience the most and best of the Virgin Islands, all from a luxurious, floating hotel. Knowing where to be is only half the battle – how to get there can be just as tricky. Charter yacht crews have geographical knowledge to safely navigate the local waters and affix the yacht to best facilitate enjoying all the greatest sights, events, and locations. Also, no two yachts are the same and it often takes someone with great experience to operate them safely and with ease. All responsibilities, with the addition of navigation, rules of the road, local laws, and knowing how to run all the systems on board, are all relieved when experience charter yacht crew are on board. Creature comforts like air conditioning, refrigeration, and even necessities like water, are all methodically cared for so guests need not even think about anything but leisure. Leading again toward the ultimate goal of relaxation, charter yacht crews take on those responsibilities and perform them flawlessly.

Realising dreams and desires are the number one priority (next to safety) This type of vacation is all about the visitor – they are intimate and personalised to guests’ desires and dreams. All the crew require is a little direction, and with their knowledge, experience, and high sense of adventure, guests are left only to enjoy themselves as crew will be able to anticipate your wants and needs before you even realise them.

Safety is always considered so you can simply sit back and enjoy yourself The real ‘number one priority’ is safety and who better to trust than charter yacht crew, who are licensed, trained, and conscientious of the surroundings and situations. It’s no secret that the libations of the Virgin Islands often leave one with a not-so-real grasp of safety concerns. Charter yacht crews are always thinking of the safety of the vessel and its passengers.

Mobility to see multiple locations Speaking of sailing – there is no better way to enjoy a vacation than to see as much as possible. It’s truly incredible, the breadth of the islands that can be reached throughout a sailing vacation of this kind. Crewed Charter Yacht Vacations are all-inclusive, even geographically speaking.

the guests on board, knows exactly where to purchase every delectable item needed for the week, and even plans for celebrations.

Prepare to be pampered Once safety needs have been met, focus stays on making guests happy, comfortable, and feeling well-cared-for. It is a crew’s absolute joy to provide a completely unforgettable vacation with guests leaving feeling completely pampered throughout the week. Some special things different charters include are massages, private beach dinners, sunset sails, group games, specialised cocktails, and daily room and turn-down service.

Activities galore! One of the coolest features is the never-ending list of activities that can be enjoyed from scuba diving, to hiking, to hobie cat racing, to beachcoming, to bar hopping. Crews act as personal tour guides with their knowledge and experience in the many different historical and famous locations throughout the Virgin Islands. They can tell of a place’s history whilst identifying the local flora and fauna. Lessons for the different activities are often offered, and some can even earn certifications for different things to enjoy later, like scuba diving and sailing.

No worries, mon! A personal chef caters to your culinary desires This particular point just so happens to be my favourite – and yes, I might be biased. Before the vacation begins, guests communicate with the yacht through a Preference Sheet. This helps crew get to know guests’ desires before they board so they can be best prepared to make it a vacation of a lifetime. The chef makes a menu for the week based on the preferences of all

Long story short…crewed charter yacht vacations are, without a doubt, the most stress-free, worry-free, don’t-think-about-anything time anyone could have. Wrap up all the things you want to go, do, see, eat, and all the relaxation you want to experience. No responsibilities, nothing to think about, and you’re free to breathe easy.

October 2014



The 4th Annual Virgin Islands Property and Yacht Readers’ Choice Awards – Results! After counts, recounts and ‘screening’ with the great tech we possess today, we are happy to release the results of the VIPY RC Awards. VIPY RC changed slightly in formation for its fourth year. Using social media profiles for voting access and with the new addition of NOMINATIONS at the beginning of summer, the vote allowed for an enhanced list of best BVI places, people and services than ever before. There are new entries, new winners, and ties that all deserve recognition. In releasing the winning parties this time, we are providing you with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Alongside these results, you will be able to see how close or far the competition was with our presentation of the percentage of the vote that each participant acquired – if it so happened that there was a 1% margin between winner and 2nd place, we will be giving that business/individual a Readers’ Recommended Award as a show of appreciation. The award ceremony will be on October 16 at The Dove Restaurant – we will also be announcing the winners of the prizes advertised online – Enjoy and share this list with friends that are thinking of visiting or living in the BVI!

BEST BRITISH VIRGIN ISLAND: Tortola 1st Tortola 29% 2nd Virgin Gorda 24% 3rd Jost Van Dyke 21%

Last year, we saw a tie between VG and Jost for this category. Although it was close again, it would appear that the ‘City Centre’ as it were or central hub of the BVI has proven the most popular.

BEST BVI NEIGHBOURHOOD TO LIVE: Cane Garden Bay, Tortola 1st Cane Garden Bay, Tortola 24% 2nd Nanny Cay, Tortola 10% 3rd Little Apple Bay, Tortola 9% It’s not hard to see why Cane Garden Bay is the Best BVI Neighbourhood to Live in. It’s not only a beautiful location with incredible sunsets, it’s also a fantastic social setting. If you are a resident in the BVI and you stroll down for a few cold ones, you are bound to bump into a friend and if not, make some new ones. This is the fourth year running that Cane has won this particular category.

BEST BVI SUNSET LOOKOUT ESTABLISHMENT: Heritage Inn & BananaKeet Cafe 1st Heritage Inn & BananaKeet Cafe 46% 2nd White Bay Villas & Sea Side Cottages 13% 3rd Myett’s 11% We don’t think anyone will be able to surpass BananaKeet at their rate. A consistent winner here, the establishment’s incredible sunset lookout is talked about constantly, celebrated in social media, and remains a landslide winner.



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BEST BVI HISTORICAL SPOT: The Wreck of the RMS Rhone 1st The Wreck of the RMS Rhone 22% 2nd The William Thornton (Willy T) 17% 3rd The Callwood Rum Distillery 14% The Old Government House Museum has won this consistently for three years but did not make an appearance in the top three this time. The dazzling, majestic sight of The Wreck of the RMS Rhone when snorkelling or diving has proven hypnotic over our readers.

BEST BVI VACATION RENTAL: White Bay Villas & Seaside Cottages 1st White Bay Villas & Seaside Cottages 36% 2nd Baraka Point 13% 3rd Golden Pavilion 12% For the second year, White Bay’s brilliant beach villas—providing access to Jost Van Dyke’s most popular social hotspot— highlighted one of the greatest areas to vacation in the BVI.

BEST BVI RESORT/HOTEL: Peter Island Resort & Spa 1st Peter Island Resort & Spa 19% 2nd Necker Island 15% 3rd Cooper Island 13% Best BVI Resort has changed from year to year and the fact is, it is a challenging choice. All three top voted resorts here are incredible. This year, Peter Island Resort & Spa stole the crown from VG’s Rosewood Little Dix Bay.

BEST BVI ARCHITECTURE FIRM: Roger Downing & Partners 1st Roger Downing & Partner 35% 2nd OBMI 34% 3rd Michael Helm Architects 15% The vote between these factions is always extremely close with OBMI and RDP battling like Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago. Both firms are responsible for much of the beautiful architecture seen around, so it is accurate that they are positioned here. All the way to conclusion, it was neck and neck until voting stopped.

October 2014


BEST BVI REAL ESTATE AGENCY: BVI Sotheby’s International Realty 1st BVI Sotheby’s International Realty 26% 2nd Property BVI 23% 3rd Coldwell Banker 16% Another close vote that changes annually, but BVI Sotheby’s International Realty, who offer a holistic management strategy over properties for sale and vacation rentals, grabbed the win from Smiths Gore who won last year. Property BVI has come very close twice now and won back in 2012.

BEST BVI SPA: Sole Day Spa 1st Sole Day Spa 31% 2nd Peter Island Resort & Spa 28% 3rd Rosewood Little Dix 10% With Peter Island’s international fame and phenomenal ambiance, it is hugely impressive that Sole Day Spa took the win, but with their impeccable level of service and great popularity, it is no surprise.

BEST BVI LANDSCAPE ESTABLISHMENT: Groundworks BVI 1st Groundworks BVI 43% 2nd Minines 28% 3rd Tropical Landscapes 24% Consistent winner Minines saw upheaval this year with Groundworks BVI laying a new flowerbed.

BEST BVI POOL: Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina 1st Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina 26% 2nd Tamarind Club 25% 3rd Nanny Cay 15% Always a competitive vote between Scrub and Tamarind in this category – both pools NEED to be visited if you visit or live here.



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BEST BVI MARINA: Nanny Cay 1st Nanny Cay Marina 48% 2nd Bitter End Yacht Club 16% 3rd Soper’s Hole Marina 15% We said it before and we’ll say it again – Nanny Cay is anchored here. Fourth year winner! It’s simply because it is a fully equipped marina with all extra amenities and amicable staff.

BEST BVI BEACH ESTABLISHMENT: Soggy Dollar Bar 1st Soggy Dollar Bar 38% 2nd Cooper Island Beach Club 16% 3rd Cocomaya 12% Soggy Dollar Bar as well as its location on the social stretch of White Bay are a dual combination of unrivalled success – globally famous for the Painkiller as the drink of choice.

BEST BVI SAILOR: Piers Helm 1st Piers Helm 24% 2nd Chris Brockbank 22% + Alec Anderson 22% 3rd Rayne Duff 14% Popular and charismatic skipper Piers Helm stole the gold this year, followed closely by 2016 Olympic hopefuls Alec Anderson and Chris Brockbank. 12 year-old Rayne Duff has built his status over the years and is steadily mounting sponsorship toward worldwide opti-sailing competition.

BEST BVI WATERSPORTS ESTABLISHMENT: Blue Water Divers 1st Blue Water Divers 37% 2nd Bitter End Yacht Club 29% 3rd Island Surf N Sail 19% What is the winning factor in Blue Water Divers consistent success? We suspect it to be the good-natured staff, who you are likely to make friends with after using their services. .

October 2014


BEST BVI REGATTA: BVI Spring Regatta 1st BVI Spring Regatta 59% 2nd Dark N Stormy 14% 3rd Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 7% + Bitter End Pro Am Regatta 7% People from as far in the world as China and Australia book for the BVI Spring Regatta – sometimes a year or two in advance! The combination of great sailing, excellent location, and festival frivolity see its increasing audience.

BEST BVI SAILING SCHOOL: Rob Swain Sailing School 1st Rob Swain Sailing School 34% 2nd Tortola Sailing School 17% 3rd RBVIYC 13% + Offshore Sailing School 13% Standing at Nanny Cay, Rob Swain Sailing School has a reputation that is far reaching and dominates this category every year.

BEST BVI DIVE SHOP: Blue Water Divers 1st Blue Water Divers 53% 2nd Dive BVI 17% 3rd JVD Scuba 8% Winning two categories this year and in this area, a landslide for the fourth time running, it will be seriously challenging for any other dive shop to surpass them in the future.

BEST BVI YACHT BROKERAGE: BVI Yacht Sales 1st BVI Yacht Sales 36% 2nd The Moorings 20% 3rd Horizon Yacht Management 15% BVI Yacht Sales have a fiercely respectable reputation and uphold it every year. With yacht brokerage being a significant part of the economic infrastructure of the BVI, while also being the region’s global selling point, this is a powerful win.



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BEST BVI DAY SAIL: Voyage Mystique 1st Voyage Mystique 22% 2nd Rebel Yell 19% 3rd White Squall II 16% Another close vote with Rebel Yell’s great rates and Funday Sunday parties, but Voyage Mystique are the dominant party-boat force.

BEST BVI CHARTER COMPANY: The Moorings 1st The Moorings 23% 2nd Voyage Charters 16% 3rd BVI Yacht Charters 14% Horizon Yacht Charters 14% The Moorings have been operating the charter circuit since 1969 and they remain the power-player in this industry. Their BVI headquarters has all the pleasantries charter guests could ask for so even when they are on land, the luxury continues.

BEST BVI PROVISIONING STORE: RiteWay Food Markets 1st RiteWay Food Markets 40% 2nd Bobby’s 13% 3rd TICO 9% With seven locations around Tortola alone and their huge superstore in the centre of Road Town, RiteWay (RTW) is the consistent gold star of the provisioning world.

BEST BVI RESTAURANT: Brandywine Estate Restaurant 1st Brandywine Estate Restaurant 24% 2nd The Dove 16% 3rd Corsairs Beach Bar & Restaurant (Jost Van Dyke) 7% It has happened. The Dove—which has won so many magazine and online awards—has been knocked off its perch. Everyone’s been talking about the stellar management of Brandywine and this win is a reflection of their homely hospitality and great food.

October 2014


BEST BVI HOME AND ACCESSORIES/ INTERIOR RETAILER Arawak Interiors 1st Arawak Interiors 35% 2nd House 26% 3rd Nutmeg Designs 13% House, who are renowned as the Best BVI Home Accessories retailer fell to second position this year with Arawak Interiors taking back the trophy.

BEST BVI FULL MOON: Bomba Shack 1st Bomba Shack 42% 2nd Trellis Bay 41% 3rd Paradise Club 9% Bomba Shack and Trellis Bay are always so close it’s crazy. This time, Bomba’s insane party—where the booze are ferocious and a huge North American following has been created—won this segment.

BEST BVI LIVE MUSIC VENUE & ARTIST: (Including photographers and musicians)

Quito’s Gazebo & Quito Rymer VENUE: 1st Quito’s Gazebo 24%, ARTIST: Quito Rymer 18% VENUE: 2nd Foxy’s 18%, 2nd ARTIST: Aragorn Dick-Reed 14% VENUE: 3rd Myett’s 11% + Last Resort 11%, ARTIST: 3rd Al Broderick 12% Quito’s Gazebo on Cane Garden Bay beach is famous because of the artistic genius of the musician himself (Quito). It is no wonder he won Best BVI Artist again as well. Quito Rymer is not only a musician. He is also a fantastic painter. Visiting his establishment in Cane Garden Bay is an inspiring adventure that all tourists and residents should enjoy.

BEST BVI LATE NIGHT HOT SPOT: Willy T 1st Willy T 21% 2nd Foxy’s 15% 3rd Captain Mulligans 11% Willy T is perhaps one of the most renowned and unique party hotspots in the Caribbean. This little excursion of a night out took the biscuits from longstanding winner Le Cabernet (formerly Le Grand Café)



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BEST BVI CAR RENTAL: Big Sexy Car Rentals 1st Big Sexy Car Rentals 26% 2nd Dede’s Car Rental (Deadman) 22% 3rd International Motors 14% + Jerry’s Car Rental 14% There was a new and very popular entry this year in Big Sexy Car Rentals. We suppose they must be living up to their name.

BEST BVI BARTENDER: Mickey Penn (Soggy Dollar) 1st Mickey Penn (Soggy Dollar) 33% 2nd Henry Cann (The Dove) 17% + Christian MacDonald (Origin) 17% 3rd Quincy Woolford (Captain Muligans) 11% If you’ve been to Soggy Dollar and seen this guy…he’s incredible and always has a smile on his face, even in the face of 30 party goers, surrounding his bar, crying out for their Painkillers.

BEST AIRLINE FLYING INTO THE BVI: Cape Air 1st Cape Air 46% 2nd SeaBourne Airlines 14% 3rd Antilles Helicopters Services 10% Winning again without competition was Cape Air. Customers report their reliability and professionalism constantly.

BEST BVI ACTIVITY (Non sailing, Non Diving): Antilles Helicopters Services 1st Antilles Helicopters Services 30% 2nd Claire Robey Yoga 16% + Dolphin Discovery 16% 3rd Original Virgin Canopy Tour – Zip Lining 14% This was a new category as we felt there was nothing representing some of the activities available on island. Antilles has rocketed to fame since their take off. We would be surprised if you haven’t already seen them flying overhead – the tour is like nothing else. If you’ve done a sea charter, try an air charter.

October 2014


Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Mix: It’s always fun to cheat, especially when the end result is as good as this. Fans of the Great British Bake-Off, will recognise the merits of a self-saucing pudding… Mary Berry, eat your heart out!

By Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell, House Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

Maple Syrup: Once you have enjoyed the real thing, there is no going back. A great Sunday brunch treat over blueberry pancakes

Balsamic Vinegar: Epicureans appreciate the intense flavour of this nectar from Modena. This is a great house gift that any hostess will welcome

Tomatoes: Perfect for The Bare Contessa’s tomato and orzo soup. Serve with crusty cheese croutons

Olive Oil: This oil from L’Olivier makes you appreciate that a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil makes all the difference to your cooking

Classic Vodka Sauce: A classic from Stonewall Kitchen. Absolutely delicious served over homemade pasta Maldon Sea Salt Flakes: Still our favourite; soft delicate sea salt flakes – sprinkle over caramel covered brownies or add a little extra crunch in salads



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Located on Wickhams Cay 2, Tortola, British Virgin Islands (284) 494 1920 I


y by ra p h otog rt h p d ipha s an ie Le Wo r d Stac

In BVI Tortola,

families are tightly woven communities, neatly knitted together like that of a finely jewelled cloth. Rich in history, profound in tradition, family pride runs deep and lessons to every child are of great significance; such is the lesson learned by Malia Bryson—now age 12—when she was only four years old, riding in the car with her father, Scott Bryson. They spotted a small dog on the side of the road and stopped. In her memory, Malia recalls being awestruck that her father did not leave the dog there, but instead, told her they needed to take it to a safe place. As Mr Bryson drove, he had no way of knowing that he was driving his daughter to her future. Eight years after dropping the tiny wayward dog off at The Humane Society of Tortola, Malia and her best friend, Tallulah Kinked, also age 12, are regular volunteers. This past year, the girls have amassed over 100 service hours at the location. The girls spend their time walking and washing dogs, picking ticks off animals, changing litter pans, and syringe feeding kittens. Their favourite activity is playing with the animals outside of the cages. Not all the time spent with the animals is a pleasurable situation, however, as Tallulah recalls, “Once someone came in with a sick dog, who I think was having a heart attack. Our manager, VJ, jumped up and yelled ‘I got this!’ and swooped into action.” As the girls continued to chat in amazement about the capability of their manager, Tallulah’s eyes shone brightly, exclaiming, “Yeah, VJ’s really nice!”

also commenting that their manager is someone they look up to as an animal caregiver. Outside of the Humane Society, the girls’ lives also have a heavy animal focus. Tallulah horseback rides and takes every opportunity to creatively write from the perspective of a dog. Last year, she drafted a fiction-writing piece about a dog that was owned by one boy his entire life into old age, with an interesting supernatural twist. She plans to take the career path of veterinarian. Malia studied endangered species in Grade 3 and became captivated by the Amur Leopard. “I found out there are only about 30 of them left on the planet,” said Malia, “so I wanted to donate money to the WWF (World Wildlife Federation) for the animal, but my parents said I needed to earn the money by doing chores.” Malia raised the funds herself via hard work and donated $50. She aspires to travel the world to raise awareness of endangered species, such as her beloved Amur Leopard. Both girls aim to continue volunteering at The Humane Society as long as they are living in Tortola. They are optimistic of The Humane Society’s continued expansion and protection of more animals. When asked to give animal advice for the BVI, Malia and Tallulah said, “Spay or neuter your pet and train animals with love, not in a negative way.” Do you know someone making a difference in The BVI? Contact

October 2014


LI F E Words by Stephen L France Photography courtesy of National Theatre Live

There is always great anticipation

for the events inspired by a fresh high season in the BVI; this year isn’t any different. For 2014 – 2015, a new and diverse array of BVI Theatre Series (TS) performances will be exhibited to dazzle and entertain all who attend. If unaware, the TS is the innovative brainchild of collaboration between Appleby Global and H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), presenting screenings of award-winning theatre productions. This pioneering BVI activity first commenced on October 31 2013 with National Theatre Live’s adaptation of the gothic classic Frankenstein. The audience attendance exceeded the expectations of the TS team as did the response to their following performances. This year has bared sponsorship from Appleby Global, the prime organisers, HLSCC’s Dr Karl Dawson and his team, who have assisted in the education of the series to BVI students, aLookingGlass with Senior Graphic Designer Scott Taylor and his creation of the posters, tickets, and programmes, and Digicel’s assistance with the technical aspects, downloading the content for the performances. Speaking to Nadia Menezes, counsel at Appleby Global and coordinator for the TS, she described the organisation of the 2014/2015 run with an assorted line-up ahead, designed to surpass the satisfaction of last year and target a wider audience. “We were fortunate to have the support of the community for the last season and attendance overall was good,” said Nadia. “For the best performances, we had over 200 people, and the feedback was very positive…so we have responded to that by having more diversity in the content this season.” Nadia explained that the TS offers a unique experience for the Territory’s residents and visitors. “As we found with the Theatre Series last year, the performance nights have given people the opportunity to do something different,” she said. “Often they have been coupled with drinks or dinner at nearby restaurants and that makes for a great night out in addition to the education and entertainment aspects involved...”



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Nadia’s objective is to facilitate accessibility to the performances via memorable and convenient scheduled dates and value rates. “…the tickets are so reasonably priced,” she said, optimistic that this will encourage others to participate. “…we’re hoping that the audience will get into the spirit of the show by dressing up in pirate themed fancy dress for the performance of Treasure Island – who doesn’t love the chance to dress up,” she continued. To improve the structure and attendance, there is a wider selection of plays, generally falling on the last Saturday of every month at 7pm so that people can easily remember the date and time of the shows. Nadia highlighted that, “the only exception [is] the February performance – we are excited to be showing Skylight with Bill Nighy which has been a great hit


October 2014


and will make for an extra special Valentine’s outing on 14 February for all those looking for something to do. “Education and exposure to the arts for all has been an important driver of the BVI Theatre Series,” Nadia added. “As such, we will be using funds generated from ticket sales…to have Appleby Arts Awards for students who win essay competitions that are set by the teachers in relation to the plays studied…we are also working on a project to create bursaries/Appleby Awards for outstanding HLSCC students…Appleby regularly donates tickets…to various local drama groups or students – last year we donated tickets for the National Theatre’s War Horse to the Seventh Day Adventist youth group and they thoroughly enjoyed the performance.” Additionally, the TS coordinator is optimistic that they have discovered a solution to the HLSCC auditorium’s over-zealous gift of air-conditioning, so that the audience receives a warmer reception. House, The Watering Hole, Sunny Caribbee, aLookingGlass, and Digicel are serving as TS ticket outlets, providing options for avid theatre goers and newcomers to experience one of the latest activities available in the BVI.

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September 27 – the BVI Theatre Series opened with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which is based on the acclaimed novel by Mark Haddon. It tells the story of fifteen year-old Christopher, who is exceptional at maths, yet mentally ill-equipped to deal with daily life. When he falls under suspicion of killing Mrs Shears’ dog Wellington, he attempts to solve the mysterious murder himself.

October 25 - King Lear will be this season’s Shakespearean piece which is directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes and features Simon Russell Beale as King Lear. The story is that of an aged king who decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. This wields chaotic results

November 29 – a pre-Christmas special of the Mariinsky Ballet’s Nutcracker will be shown and with a matinee at 3pm for children as well as an evening performance at 7pm

January 31 – the second half of the season begins with A Small Family Business which has been described as “a riotous exposure of entrepreneurial greed” and shows the interaction between Jack McCracken, a man of principle in a corrupt world. He takes over his father-in-law’s business and finds his principles corrupted by the politics and goings-on in the family business

February 14 – Skylight which reveals the story of schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Carey Mulligan) who receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Bill Nighy), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship.

March 28 – Treasure Island – there is no need for introduction of this renowned classic and its close relationship with the British Virgin Islands. The audience will be encouraged to come dressed in pirate-themed costumes and there’ll be a prize for the best Buccaneer!

April 25 – Surprise Performance which will be announced nearer the time

October 2014



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Sunset Ceremon ies give you all the stunni ng colours

Soak u p th stroll a e surrounding long Be s with an eve autiful ning Long B ay Bea ch

Choosing a villa for the reception can really add to the magic

The day may be over, but the photos will last fo rever WORK: 1-284 494 2749 CELL: 1-284 443 2337

October 2014



MEET PETE Words by Stephen L France Photography courtesy of Peter Island

The outer islands – you can’t beat the experience – case in point. My first visit to Peter… Sat in my office, banging away at the keyboard for the next property feature, we had a guest enter requesting to talk to us about BVI Newbie. An employee of Peter Island Resort and Spa, she was looking at the prospect of advertising and kindly extended an invitation for me to try the Peter Island Spa experience. At this point, I had never visited Peter Island and being the hermit I can sometimes be, I had no strong intention or passion to take up this offer. After she left the office, I sat in my chair and turned to aLG Graphic Designer Scott Taylor, telling him, “I might go, but not sure if I have time for this.” “Go,” he said with his Scottish accent emphasising just how important it was and is for people to experience the outer islands. “You must go and do it. Do it, or I will,” he continued as he got up to grab some water from our machine. It was with reluctance—and I say ‘reluctance’ as a hindsight confession of my foolishness—that I decided to take up the offer.



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Arriving at the ferry dock in the afternoon, the entire experience felt like I was going on a vacation from start to finish. The reality of the scenario is I was taking a 20 minute ferry ride from Tortola’s Baugher’s Bay dock to another isle within the British Virgin Islands, but herein lies the magic; as a resident in the BVI, this short distance can transport you from ‘real life’… work, paying rent, electricity and water bill responsibilities, to holiday bliss. Crossing the waters and landing in Peter Island, this location has the effect often described as a lightness; as if a weight has been lifted off you. The island itself appears brighter and the welcoming staff at the dock transfer a feeling of luxury. A short journey on one of the island’s multiple transport vehicles and I was on the other side of Peter, ready to receive my spa treatment. Of course this comes with all the anticipated amenities – a robe, flip flops, your own locker, and I must say, a very attractive rest room. Now, as a man, obviously spa treatments are slightly frowned upon. It’s seen as not a masculine thing to do – even in our current days of

October 2014


Satellite Television Call for satellite internet services via VSAT, Inmarsat, Iridium, Globalstar & 4G.

sexuality, but I say this to all the fellas: Put aside your ego and get down to this spa, because it isn’t just a spa treatment – the complex offers an experience like no other. The Spa treatment itself—reflexology—was first class as was expected and having the complex pretty much to myself since it was slow season was also very pleasant. A pool, Jacuzzi, steam room – all at my discretion. After enjoyment of the spa complex, I walked to the beach and indulged further with one of their burgers. Their beach restaurant was supreme and coming back from the island, I couldn’t help but feel like I had just spent a holiday – it was a good feeling, but of course the holiday blues kicked in as I alighted in Tortola. As a resident or visitor, this is another highly recommended excursion to try. It is a very therapeutic and pleasant venture.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS t +1 284 494 2400 f +1 284 494 5389



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

AQUAMARE M A N G O B AY $18,500,000 Three 8,000sqft beachfront Villas. Setting a new standard for luxury in the BVI




BVI’s signature Villa is for sale. 19 room custom beachfront 5 beds, 2 acres, private dock, home. No other BVI home helipad. Complete privacy finished to this standard.



Waterfront new build, 3 bed- 1.5 acres beachfront, newly rooms, beautiful North Shore renovated, 4 bed, pool, best island and ocean views sunset views in the entire BVI!

Under $1m

S A I LO R ’ S R E T R E AT TOWERS $980,000 Immaculate 3 bed villa in private, gated estate. Views simply breathtaking!

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

BREEZEHAVEN $895,000 Two 3 bed homes with pool for the price of one! Outstanding views at Havers.


$2,500,000 Smuggler’s Cove, Jost Van Dyke & Sopers Hole. views. Refined detailing, complete privacy. 3 bed, pool, studio

THE RICE HOUSE $650,000 Delightful island cottage on Spyglass Hill. 3 beds, pool, great neighbourhood.

LAVIDA N A I L B AY $4,000,000


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

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


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

Adjacent to The Baths National Park. 4 bedrooms, pool. great luxury vacation rental villa.

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


PA R K V I E W $600,000 Affordable 3 bed with pool at Romney Park. Easy living with generator, shutters etc

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

Low Energy Home H a w k ’s N e s t , To r t o l a $ 1 . 6 m Delightful 3 bed hillside home with pool providing simply breathtaking views of 14 islands including Virgin Gorda, Great Camanoe, Anegada and Guana. Power supplemented by wind and solar. Green living in some style!

R E A L E S TAT E B V I (284) 495 3000 October 2014 Visit our offices at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, or Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda


Luxury Villa Rentals

Local Expertise

Global Exposure


L o c a t e d i n L o n g B ay R e s o r t , comprises three self-contained levels which can be rented together or separately. Ideal for families and groups or couples. Overlooking the beach - an easy walk away.

Villa from $290 per night


CAptain’s House is deser vedly popular. Well laid out with two kingsize bedrooms in separate pavilions, it is beautifully designed to offer space, privacy and wondrous views over the ocean.

Villa from $308 per night



Villa from $1800 per night

Villa from $270 per night

STAY AMONGST THE STARS … Glorious views of the heavens from the observatory terrace. Five bedrooms, sleeps 10 in exquisite comfort. Largest private pool in the BVI - 80 ft infinity pool with hot tub and ‘Margarita seat’ - most perfect place on the planet to enjoy a sundowner. The ideal vacation escape.


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

Villa from $450 per night


The charm and beauty of this villa, with pleasing decoration, antiquities and original Caribbean artwork ease the senses, making St. Bernard’s Hill a re l a x i n g a n d p e r f e c t v a c a t i o n destination.

Villa from $3928 per night

Maritha Keil (Broker) m: 284.340.5500 e:

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated


Located at the southern tip of Virgin Gorda above the Baths, famous for its dramatic boulders also incorporated into Toad Hall. 3-bed, 4-bath on 5.5 acres of mature landscaping with a footpath to the beach

Villa from $336 per night


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

Villa from $700 per night

Carol Olympitis & Kim Huish (Vacation Villa Specialists) t: 284.494.5700 e:

Traditional pastel Caribbean colours enhance this very charming house. 3-bed, 4-bath with impeccable attention to detail, it has a light and airy feel, while maintaining its structural integrity. This unique home offers amazing views, sunrises and sunsets. Serene and calming, beautiful landscaping, cooling breezes that relax and refresh.


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

Villa from $3750 per night


Splendid panoramas, sumptuous seclusion and close to white sand beaches. Offering a unique blend of luxury and natural beauty, a perfect place for a family vacation, or a romantic retreat.

Villa from $1600 per night

General Enquiries

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

Exquisite Properties For Sale

Local Expertise

Global Exposure


3-bed/bath suites in 2 pavilions with 40-foot lap pool. Main pavilion houses living area, kitchen and one double/ twin bed/bath suite with garden shower. Outdoor dining patio leads to king master suite on second pavilion's main level. Magnificent views.



O ve r l o o k i n g S p r i n g B ay o n approximately 1 acre. Next to The Baths and just moments away from the beach, marina and restaurants. Exceedingly rare opportunity to own property in this exclusive area.






One of the most stunning houses sitting on the Caribbean Sea. Offering swimming & snorkeling right from your front deck and dramatic views of nearby Caribbean islands. The villa is 3,976 sq.ft. with 4 bedrooms with full bathrooms and a 100 foot Art Gallery entry.


Large 4-bed, 3.5-bath family house with views overlooking Road Harbor. Large fully equipped kitchen; Covered outdoor dining area; 3-mins drive to R o a d To w n ; L a n d s c a p e d w i t h swimming pool and fully furnished.



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


Maritha Keil (Broker) m: 284.340.5500 e:

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated


Located at the southern tip of Virgin Gorda above the Baths, famous for its dramatic boulders also incorporated into Toad Hall. 3-bed, 4-bath on 5.5 acres of mature landscaping with a footpath to the beach



Beautiful architect’s house with 3 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms on a large lot in prestigious Belmont Estate. Old World charm and fully furnished. Mature gardens and wonderful views over Smugglers Bay.


Carol Olympitis & Kim Huish (Vacation Villa Specialists) t: 284.494.5700 e:

Situated on a hillside brow with an exceptional view of Drake’s Channel and surrounding islands – from Virgin Gorda to St. John, USVI. This secluded property, on over six acres of land offers an elevated position on almost flat land. Five bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, richly decorated library/study and large swimming pool on over 6 acres.


2-bed villa overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with views of Great Camanoe and Tortola. Approx. 3,100 sq. ft. with two multi-level pods connected by a entry foyer. Two master suites, each with separate sitting area.



Rare freehold property in downtown Road Town. Near hospital and ferry terminal. Renovations required but foundations and walls have passed general construction inspections. Two floors each with a separate entrance.


General Enquiries

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

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

SOL Y SOMBRA Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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

Smiths Gore Limited : : British Virgin Islands

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

Seashell Beach Villa

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

Contact us to schedule a personalized visit or to arrange resort reservations.



Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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1 284 393 1000


1 800 761 0377

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - October 2014  

Editor - Stephen L France

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - October 2014  

Editor - Stephen L France