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Virgin Islands



Poolside bilss: High above Long Bay, this hillside villa is a perfect retreat for snowbirds or famalies.

Virgin Islands Design Cultural Influences Glass Master A Visiting Artist to CGB Knitght of the Sea RFA Vessel Reveling in Regattas Melges and More




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Bit of Heaven [hillside home] Tortola US$825,000

Blue Tortu [hillside home] Belmont US$2,400,000

South Watch [hillside home] Tortola US$2,000,000

Diamond Reef Estate [waterfront home] Great Camanoe US$3,250,000



A home in the Caribbean offers a blend of sophisticated design and casual barefoot living; of romance and privacy in an unforgettable setting, and wonderful memories of the time spent on a shady verandah admiring the expansive views. Live the life you have imagined. 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: 284.340.5555 US/CAN Toll Free: 877.563.6755 |

APR 2013

Virgin Islands


F e at u r e S


Skipper’s Tips By David Blacklock

A new breed of sailors, known as the Bucket List Brigade, is taking on the territory.


The Air We Breathe By Scarlett Steer

Our green thumb writer examines the benefit of plants indoors.


Artistic on the Inside

We look at ways to enhance a room with artistic fixtures.

22 B l ue Water Hori z on By Stephen L France

This north shore could be an ideal vacation rental or purchase, perfect for visitors or longtime residents.


Virgin Islands Design By Stephen L France

Necker Island, St Bernard’s Hill House, Steele Point and Golden Pavilion signify some of the most renowned and cultured retreats in the VI.


Knight of the Sea By Dan O’Connor

The RFA vessel Wave Knight visits Caribbean waters.

38 10 Tips for Earth Day By Steve Fox

43 Reveling in Regattas By Dan O’Connor

46 Get in the Ring By Traci O’Dea

48 Smart Sailing Snacks By Susie Younkle


The Glass Master By Dan O’Connor

Visiting glass artist Charles Lowrie brings his transcension series to Cane Garden Bay.

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Edi t o r ' s L e t t e r , A p r i l 2 0 1 3

Happy Earth Day(month)! What better place to celebrate our Earth and its endless wonders than right here in the Virgin Islands? I’m reminded of our fortunes daily—be it from the bow of a cat while splitting the Sir Francis Drake Channel or from the windy shotgun seat of a topless jeep to anywhere. Our natural secrets are as bountiful as the countless opportunities for Chief Editor Dan O’Connor

exploration and amusement that they create. But along with this wealth of beauty comes great responsibility— responsibity to our community and to our environment. As we take this one day out of the year on April 20 to honour Mother Earth, it’s becoming increasingly important to reflect on our own situation on these impeccable

Contributors David Blacklock Steve Fox Stephen L. France Traci O’Dea Scarlett Steer Susie Younkle Publisher aLookingGlass CEO Colin Rathbun Creative Director Nick Cunha Graphic Design Scott Taylor Web Development Maros Pristas Advertising Sales Owen Waters Stephen L. France

islands and ask ourselves if we’re doing all that we can to preserve our little pieces of paradise. Although wind, water and sunlight—the key components of renewable energy sources—are naturally created in abundance on our islands, the VI hasn’t always received gold stars for our use of the power-producing resources. Currently, the British Isles are bound by legislation restricting widespread use of renewable energy; but discussions among our community leaders suggest a brighter future ahead. Perhaps leading the way with efforts to overstep roadblocks is Green VI, an innovative non-profit company with a glass-recycling studio in Cane Garden Bay. For this issue, I met with visiting glass artist Charles Lowrie, who has donated his time and efforts to bring more awareness to the studio, where glass bottles are recycled and eventually turned into artistic treasures. Architect Steve Fox also chimed in with helpful energy-saving tips for homeowners. Simple things, like hangdrying laundry instead of energy intensive machine drying, or transitioning to florescent or LED lights, not only help to save on valuable resources, but also help as cost-cutting measures, he explained. Green thumb Scarlet Steer also added her expertise to the conversation, examining ways to clean up the air we breathe indoors with the use of oxygen producing houseplants. These pages also take us up the hills behind Long Bay Resort, where we visited Blue Water Horizon, a villa recently added to the Sotheby’s collection. The hillside hideaway acts as a perfect retreat for vacationing friends, or prospective homeowners looking to find a permanent residence for their family. We also got wet on the water in North Sound, where the Virgin Islands Melges 32 Regatta Series took to the waters in what organizers and participants heralded as a resounding success. Whether you’re here enjoying this little piece of paradise as a visitor, or a longtime resident, it’s important to remember that in order to preserve our environment, we must protect it and . . .

respect it. Virgin Islands Property & Yacht is published eleven times a year (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December/January) by aLookingGlass Ltd., Road Reef Plaza 6 and 7, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110. Copyright 2012 by aLookingGlass Ltd. All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright by the creators or by the contractual arrangments with their clients. Nothing shown may be reproduced in any form without obtaining the permission of the creators and any other person or company who may have copyright ownership. The publisher of VI Property & Yacht, assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content placed in its publications. For the avoidance of doubt, aLookingGlass gives no warranty or guarantee in regards to any information placed in its publications.

Direct all inquiries to: Email: Phone: 284-494-7788 Fax: 284-494-8777 Mail: aLookingGlass PO Box 3895 Sea Cows Bay Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110

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

Cover Photo of Blue Water Horizon by Dan O’Connor.

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US $985,000

Central Tortola

Stunning 3 bedroom 4 bathroom. Mediterranean-style home with pool!

Whether you wish to buy, sell, or rent a home, purchase land to build a tropical dream home of your own, or become an investor in a growing and vibrant real estate market, we are here to assist you at every step in the process. Pictured from left: Jo Osborne, Bonnie Dougall & Kate Caminada

(284) 495-3003

April 2013


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Golden Pavilion

By Stephen L. France

Necker Island

St. Bernard’s Hill House

For centuries, the Virgin Islands has been a sponge for varied design influence—some sailed in from an era of privateers and others from trending demands for modernism and Far East inspiration.

Steele Point

April 2013


Through the years, the only constant, it seems, lies within the unchanging natural beauty that has continued to be an influencing force for any architect or interior designer attempting to compliment the wondrous terrain.

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the Caribbean islands acted as a paradisiacal playground and wealthy resource for European expeditionists and pirates who vied for their ownership. Intoxicated over the land’s rousing and harmonious beauty, they saw the territory as a paradise, uninhibited by continental convention, leisurely and lucid— an epiphany that enticed visions of new freedom and prosperity. Denmark, England, France, Holland and Spain all sought affluence in the islands’ infinite luxuries, relishing the Caribbean’s agricultural abundance and mystical, romantic allure. With settlement in the Caribbean, Europeans influenced interior and exterior property design, unveiling inspired aesthetics worthy of legend and enjoyed by vacationers today. Indonesia, which was previously part of the Dutch Empire, produced a heavily dominant architectural theme witnessed in retreats currently employing Balinese design. With a similar climate, Indonesia inspired villa owners seeking something different from the usual West Indian architecture to incorporate into the design of their properties. Across the Caribbean, the Colonial great houses of the past also swayed construction aesthetics, with many properties emulating the stunning extravagance that these buildings emanated.



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Below: From left to right: Steele Point by Don Hebert, Golden Pavilion and St. Bernards Hill House; photos provided. Right: Necker Island and its Bali influences. (Necker photos provided by Arawak Interiors)

Incorporated in the BVI’s architectural diversity, some estates opt for a contemporary approach, maintaining melodic modernism, pairing exterior design with the striking natural environment. Today, the BVI celebrates a multitude of cultural influences. In this piece, we’ll take a look at four of the territory’s most distinguishable properties and examine their structural and interior designs that help to catalogue them as some of the most exclusive on the planet.

Necker Island: A Billionaire’s Bali The celebrated Necker Island— famous for being the preferential hideaway of billionaire philanthropist Sir Richard Branson—hosts one of the most luxurious retreats worldwide, along with the rich and famous that prefer its seclusion and exclusivity. Surrounding a Great House, six stunning Bali Houses decorate the property in a green environment encompassed by secluded, private beaches. Neighbouring Virgin Gorda’s pristine North Sound, Necker’s security and privacy supersede anticipations. Guests are able to enjoy a fully catered island paradise; whether choosing an extreme watersports activity or opting for relaxation, Necker delivers to the highest of expectations. Exterior and interior renovations on the six Bali Houses took place over the summer of 2011 and were completed by a team comprising of local project managers, architects and interior designers from Roger Downing & Partner, furniture supplies from Arawak Interiors, and Poolworks’ specialists; all who have sustained the supreme standard that the island flaunts.

Maintaining the Balinese style that is distinctly popular across the Caribbean, Necker Island is steeped in deep Bali cultural influence. The Bali Houses bucolic allure possesses contemporary design entwined with the Indonesian theme that exudes leisurely lounging. With the refurbishment, Roy Keegan, director of Arawak Interiors, was tasked with supplying the interior packages for the Bali Houses, using reclaimed materials— supplies that are unavailable on the islands and require shipping thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean, delivered by container to the BVI. Arawak’s eco-friendly and indomitable approach saw Keegan’s journey to Bali to work with specifically selected suppliers, artisans and crafters with whom he has shared a strong relationship for over 15 years. Keegan sought out reclaimed timber to use as the framework for the interior furnishings, allowing the traditional and contemporary blend the property observes.

Today, the BVI celebrates a multitude of cultural influences. The tropical hardwood reclaimed teak, which is termite resistant, was recycled by sanding, cleaning and diligent construction into functional resources. Fittings and equipment ranging from wardrobes, bathroom amenities, bar units, beds and mirrors benefitted from the vigilant manufacture of the specialised wood. Durable by design, these treasured room pieces are perfect for indoor-outdoor living and lounging.

Contact details: Arawak Interiors - (284) 494-5240

April 2013


St Bernard’s Hill House: History High on the Hill Residents have marveled at the incredible wonders manifested by villas and resorts dispersed across the BVI; however, St. Bernard’s Hill House above Tortola’s Soper’s Hole stands as a visual feast only privy to a few fortunate viewers. Veteran architect Jon Osman was called upon to construct the hill-house over the ruins of a former great house, borrowing design influences from the British Empire. Due to the antiquity, physical location and the desires of the owners, the property was conceived as a contemporary West Indian colonial-style mansion, incorporating the use of wrap-around verandahs, archways and columns. Reaching 675ft, St. Bernard’s hill situates the property at 610ft, providing unequalled serenity, privacy and views that would inspire the embodiment of a Greek Mythological Deity on Olympus. With a 290-degree perspective around the beautiful West End of Tortola, from Jost Van Dyke, St. John, Norman and Peter Island, guests envisage their stay as an oasis of calm, described by estate managers Chris and Joanne Plowman as “an island within an island.” The five-bedroom exclusive villa consists of the main house and three other pavilions set in the ample, vibrant flora encompassing the property. The interior design predominantly incorporates British colonial-style furniture and uses wide arched or colonnaded terraces, providing reliable protection from the sun’s heat. Simultaneously hosting comfortable living and entertainment spaces, the site benefits from the open-air prevailing breezes.



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Opposite: A serene night beside the vanishing/infinity edge pool. Above: St. Bernard’s garden with a view. Below: An elephant fixture salutes its guests.

The five-bedroom exclusive villa consists of the main house and three other pavilions set in the ample, vibrant flora encompassing the property. Materials used to construct this historical vision were supplied from a variety of resources. Exposed timbers on ceilings, doors, cabinets and windows are hardwoods from either Trinidad or South America; the latter three fixtures utilise a timber called Imbuia. The external terrace columns are made from a Trinidadian hardwood called Mora; floor tiles and cabinet countertops are imported from Italy. After soaking up the awe-inspiring aesthetics and reveling in the generous benefits of an all-inclusive villa, guests can enjoy one of the multiple dining locations surrounding the property. Whether sipping cocktails by sunset, watching the St Thomas lights flicker in the distance, or enjoying the lazy streetlights rope along Jost Van Dyke from the edge of the infinity view, St. Bernard’s guests are encouraged to soak up all the marvels that the Virgin Islands provide.

Contact details:

Phone: (284) 346-7682

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April 2013


Golden Pavillion: Transporting to Tranquillity Golden Pavilion Villa, renowned for its Balinese architecture, is not just a luxurious vacation retreat—it is a journey into a romantic era; Through careful attention to detail, the distinguishable cliffside retreat combines Caribbean culture with Balinese ideals. Owner and architect Valerie Hughes, in conjunction with local architecture firm Osman Associates are responsible for the majestic exterior. Irene Herold Interior Design– a Connecticut based firm – alongside Hughes take credit for the enchanting interior.

...contemporary function and comforts are used to create a mix of old and new.

The villas at Rosewood Little Dix Bay

“Tis not too late to seek another world”


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



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

Interior flooring and exterior terracing come from Jerusalem Gold Limestone imported from its origin of birth—Jerusalem, Israel. Exterior entry gate doors, decorative roof tiles, statuary, furniture and artwork are from Bali; and mahogany doors, windows and kitchen cabinets are Brazilian mahogany, custom-fabricated on Tortola. With this blend of decorative elements borrowed from the past, contemporary function and comforts are used to create a mix of old and new. This is exemplified when visitors enter the property through a traditional Balinese entrance gate design (angkul-angkul) smoothly contrasting a modern streamlined infinity edge pool on the exterior of the villa. Lily ponds, statues of dancing maidens and Buddhas welcome guests upon entry into the meditation garden to communicate a charming composure on arrival. Traditional Balinese statues, furnishings, artwork and details commingle with sweeping views of the sea and Guana Island to produce an alluring, fresh ambiance inside the villa and on its expansive terraces. Such perspectives invoke humility and remind guests to preserve the delicate splendour of nature. Estate manager Tony Trappe and chef Kate Purdy tailor services to the requirements of individual groups who possess the great fortune to vacation at this rejuvenating retreat. So whether it’s the beautiful view, reinvigorating walks around the adventurous rocky terrains and beautiful gardens or relaxation on one of the BVI’s best secluded beaches five minutes away, the villa transports its guests to equanimity. With high numbers of returning visitors, the villa’s ability to unite humanity with nature creates an addiction the world should share.

Opposite: The grand entranceway to Golden Pavilion’s main house. Above: The angkul-angkul-inspired entrance to the courtyard. Below: GP’s entrance, illuminated by nightfall.

Golden Pavilion Contact details:

Phone: (284) 541-0185

April 2013


Promoting a grand, geographical location, this exceptional point permits fortunate guests who stand on the West deck of the property to see the Atlantic and Caribbean currents meeting— an epically unique image.

Steele Point’s dramatic positioning on Tortola’s western-most point. Photo by Don Hebert.

Everything you need to make your house a home... Located next to Tico and HIHO, Wickhams Cay 2, Tortola, BVI



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Steele Point: Stealing the Show It’s impossible to pass Tortola’s dramatic western point from sea without marveling at Steele Point, one of the BVI’s most prided architectural creations. OBM International’s Tebelio Rodriguez, the architect responsible for the recent refit of the property, explained that respect, upgrade and enhancement of the original 1974 design concept by Michael Helm was the approach. Maintaining a more modern international influence, all material for the refit of this property was imported from inland US and USVI. The property utilizes a minimalistic design, enforcing the “less is more” motto, achieved by creating and maximizing clean, open spaces. Subsequently, the architect skillfully used the surrounding natural lighting to amplify the beauty of the property’s exterior and interior by strategically increasing and locating building fenestrations. The stunning panoramic views from Soper’s Hole to Jost Van Dyke are key elements in creating this impressive effect. Indisputably, the view is always a significant role for any villa and what more than being able to see the twinkling lights of St Thomas on a peaceful night, and the great sunsets around Jost Van Dyke—visages that we hope to remain unchanging with the times. The refit was made increasingly attractive by the insightful nature of the design. “A profound reflection and understanding of the building and its relation with the surrounding environment, expressed as: an appropriate interaction of natural/durable/low maintenance materials, the selection of state of the art furniture, fixtures and equipment, and the essential relation of the above mentioned with natural light,” said Rodriguez. Property owner Irina Wilson Gage and Rodriguez advocate the unfathomable connection of the property to the environment. The villa has an unparalleled clarity that speaks with its “tailor-made” interior and a design in each room responding to orientation of the building, resulting in a soothing spatial experience.



So, whether visitors wish to return to nature and watch the great display the pelicans put on each evening or observe the fleets of fantastic yachts plying the waters, each room affords a dramatic view, accommodating a multitude of preferences. With the fresh breeze throughout Steele Point, some have even described the villa as a simulation of being on a great ship as they overlook the azure blue waters and grand, flamboyant skies. The incredible architecture of these properties truly commemorates the diversity of international design. It is no wonder that vacationers repeatedly choose the BVI as a place to enjoy their vacations.

Contact details:

Phone: (610) 453-4488

For more information, please contact: Michael Burns Managing Partner - BVI +1 284 852 5318 Offshore Legal, Fiduciary and Administration Services


Hong Kong


British Virgin Islands

Isle of Man


Cayman Islands






April 2013


The Skippers Tips BUCKETEERS

by David Blacklock

There’s a new breed of sailor on the ocean. Their ranks have been growing steadily, along with their collective net worth. These are the Bucket List Brigade, those who have decided that at a late stage of life they need to go sail a large yacht around the surface of the globe. Many are inspired by stories of personal friends or acquaintances who have done this very thing whilst others see 16-year-olds such as Laura Dekker crank out a circumnavigation and picture themselves doing the same. It’s a laudable ambition but one that has until recently been reserved to those who actually know how to sail, those who have had some experience of the oceans and their fickle nature. The Bucketeers have a different approach, one that decrees that their money will buy them the know-how and the equipment to take the journey without having to sweat the details too much. It will be a quick trip: two years max. Get around the globe, blog it, tweet it, sell the yacht and then move on to the next item on the list. Of course, there exists an army of marine professionals eager to lend a hand to enable this dream become a reality. Sailing schools, yacht sales agents, electronics manufacturers, all have their finger poised for a plunge into the pie. The result can be seen in the marinas of the Caribbean, including our fair BVI. A couple with the money to commission and outfit a modern cruising yacht begins to tally the likely number of people who will wish to join them on their adventures. Kids, first of all. And what if the kids get married soon and have their own children? Siblings, aged parents, old work colleagues, new sailing friends—a list is prepared. Suddenly that 40-foot monohull isn’t really going to be roomy enough for all the expected social events. “How



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can we ask Jim and Sally—with their Montauk mansion and their place in Jackson—to bunk in the V-berth of our cozy yacht?” they ask themselves. The answer is clear. A 50-foot catamaran is required, and ordered. A new yacht requires outfitting. Crystal glasses and porcelain plates are requisitioned. Egyptian cotton bedding. All are procured and installed. The yacht leaves the factory for its delivery cruise and arrives beaten half to death by the merciless ocean. Repairs must be made. The lawyers are apprised that there is a problem with the warranty. Voices are raised. “But it will all be fine on the day, once we learn to sail,” the happy couple tells themselves. An instructor is found, one who will sail with them for weeks at time. After a few days, the couple is informed by the instructor that the boat they have purchased is exactly the wrong vessel for the two of them to use to make a circumnavigation. It’s enormous, first off. Bigger than

s Kid n dre l i h ndc a r G lings ues b i S g ollea ds c k n wor frie d l g O n i sail w e N

After a few days, the couple is informed by the instructor that the boat they have purchased is exactly the wrong vessel for the two of them to use to make a circumnavigation.

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Donald Trump’s handbag. “How are you going to keep watch?” the instructor enquires, “given that you have a 3-story boat.” “What?” they respond. “What’s a watch?” The instructor begs off and another is found. He loves the boat but thinks the couple needs a full-time captain. Such as himself. Well, you know how it works. These days the catamaran is out on charter, working for a living and the couple, now persuaded that their dreams of world conquest are to be no more than that, have signed up for a Moorings ownership plan. At least they’ll get to see some of the world from the cockpit of a yacht almost exactly the same as their own.

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VOYAGE charters BVI Yacht Sales Sopers Hole Marina, Frenchman’s Cay Phone: +1 284 346 5507 / 284 494 0740 Email:

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

April 2013


Artist Charles Lowrie creates a complex variety of glass art pieces much like his predecessors did a couple thousand years ago. The tools of the trade are almost the same, and the use of fire to melt and then mold the glass remains constant. though the final product is a delicate masterpiece, the dance between the artist, his archaic tools and fiery medium is one that takes strength, patience and practice. After spending some time with Charles, I found out that it also takes a deeper bond between the artist, his environment and himself before that work is finally mastered. “My work is basically derived from quieting my mind, mostly, and getting deeper inside of myself and seeing everyday metaphors in life, and drawing from that an inspiration,” he explained, as we sat outside of the Green VI Glass Studio in Cane Garden Bay. “I really put all of my heart and all of my soul into this.” The Oregon native and longtime Hawaii resident came to the Virgin Islands in February as an artisan resident at Maho Bay Resort in St John, and has also shared some time and work at the glass studio in Cane Garden Bay on Tortola. As a visiting artist, he has worked with VI glassblowers to create work inspired by the local environment—dolphins jumping from water, a crab in mid-clamp, a frog suctioned to a dew dropped leaf. He has also worked on personal projects, including a 10-year project called Transcension, which focuses on pieces that illustrate a deeper conciseness and internal understanding. These multi-layered sculptures use depth, dimensions, color and magnification to take the viewers on a



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complex visual journey. He soon hopes to amass 33 collaborated pieces and embark on an international museum tour where visitors will find themselves in “a complete environment you’re transformed to before you leave.” Early in Charles’ voyage to become a master artist, he found himself inspired by the beauties of Oregon farm life. Eventually, he developed an interest in music and the arts. His journey took him in search of balance in his life, and eventually led him into a vested interest in glass art. His fascination brought him to the studios of various masters under whom he apprenticed and collaborated. His ultimate learning experience would be presented to him in 1998, when he had the opportunity to meet and assist Maestro Pino Signoretto, a widely celebrated and accomplished Italian artisan. Five years of work and study under Maestro Signoretto taught Charles priceless lessons in focus, balance and connectivity between his visions and the medium. Charles said his time here in the Virgin Islands has not only allowed him to impart his teachings on local artists, but to also channel his surrounding and learn from new working environments. During his time at Green VI Glass Studio, which functions with the use of recycled glass bottles, Charles admitted the melted glass material was new and challenging to that which he is used to.

Artists’ Corner Story and photo by Dan O’Connor

Transcension: the act, process or instance of transcending—to rise above or go beyond the limits of; to triumph over the negative or restrictive aspect of. “This glass is formulated to come out of the furnace and whatever form it’s in, it’s going to want to freeze there,” he said of the recycled glass, which is mainly comprised of beer bottles. “So, to coax it into some of these living sculptures I’m working with—this fluid movement—it’s been challenging. But glass is glass; I just listen to it and balance it.” While Charles’ recent visit could be seen as short-lived, the versed artisan said he fully intends to come back. “I see myself coming out here—throughout the years, throughout the rest of my life—sharing what I do and letting others share what they do,” he said. “That’s the spice of life.”

April 2013


Over the Horizon Blue Water Horizon Story by Stephen L France, photographs by Dan O’Connor

The British Virgin Islands’ culture and inherent moral values encourage this ethos, and what better way to nurture family unity than in a luxury villa built to cultivate this ideal.

Above: From the poolside bar, the view over Long Bay. Opposite: The modern hardwood kitchen.



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“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” — George Bernard Shaw

There is an immediate sense of seclusion and security with a Long Bay villa as all motorists have to pass the reception area of Long Bay Resort to reach the estate. With the property situated high above the resort, the privacy of the location amplifies the warm feeling of peace. After a short drive up the neat neighbourhood hillside behind Long Bay, we embark upon our destination—Blue Water Horizon. The forked driveway, which offers ample parking, is decorated with rich flora, instantly whispering of the villa’s hospitable nature.

April 2013


Above: covered and uncovered veranda offers ample space for lounging. Right: an airy and open bedroom.

Sotheby’s International Realty manager Maritha Keil introduced me and photographer Dan O’Connor to the property, with a tour of this private haven of tranquility. Wrought, iron gates invite us onto a sun-soaked tiled courtyard with an enticing swimming pool overlooking an endless view of the island-speckled Caribbean and Atlantic oceans. An alcove with a teak bar sits dug-out underneath a separate guesthouse, beckoning for a bartender. Under Sotheby’s management, the unique property offers potential occupants the option of vacation rental or purchase. I can imagine a lively gathering of vacationing friends imbibing poolside, or a family barbequing a home-cooked meal, served underneath the outdoor dining area situated on the property’s spacious verandah. With views soaring over the mile-long white sand beach of Long Bay, beyond the expanse of Sandy Spit, Jost Van Dyke and St Thomas, the perspective is reminiscent of a movie scene complimentary to any feel-good fiction. The main pavilion doors welcome us into an open-plan kitchen, dining and lounging area fit for comfort, entertaining or relaxing. The kitchen is a custom built hardwood fit designed by OBM, adding a touch of modern elegance to the property’s relaxed, Caribbean style.

An alcove with a teak bar sits dugout underneath a separate guesthouse, beckoning for a bartender.



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Above: open floor planning provides for cooking and entertainment. Below: the spacious, forked driveway.

Large doors open wide to fresh, flora-infused breezes. The home invites cool breezes and ample air flow into every room. Large doors open wide to fresh, flora-infused breezes, circulating through the main bedroom and tunneling through the living room. Outside the living room, a large verandah spans the length of the property for a protected view. During lounging days, the property’s dynamic geographical location offers boundless sunlight and comfort for acquiring that perfect sunbathing position. We are led up an outside staircase to two guest bedrooms with a full kitchenette and lounge area, located in a separate wing overlooking the pool—great for guests or private renters. The villa is an example of a new arm to Sotheby’s International Realty services, in collaboration with Caribbean Realty; the latter is assuming management of properties and raising them to the standard that the international agency demands. Refits include new fixtures and fittings to high quality aesthetics, repainting, landscaping and reconstructions of furniture. Subsequently, Sotheby’s will be operating bookings and sales for these properties. As an added bonus, the amenities of the resort are available for villa occupants to enjoy whether they are on vacation or permanent residents. Perfect location allows access to the beautiful white sand beach of Long Bay, renowned for romantic walks and its paradisiacal setting. Also in close proximity are Smuggler’s Cove and Apple Bay, offering various services for entertainment. For those seeking excursions off the island, Soper’s Hole or West End Ferry Terminal are both in the vicinity, granting travel options to whisk you to your desired destination. The ferry service allows voyage to St. Thomas, permitting direct flights to the US for easy access to the mainland. Trips to Jost Van Dyke, St. John and other islands are also available. At an asking price under a million dollars, affordability, security and serenity define this hillside slice of paradise.

Blue Water Horizon Location Long Bay, Tortola Bed





1.055 acres


US $950,000


Swimming pool

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

April 2013


AirWe Breathe


Houseplants: More than just a pretty face Words and pictures by Scarlett Steer, Minine’s Plants & Landscaping

While discussions on air pollution are typically centered on cheery topics like smog, acid rain and CFCs, studies conducted on home air quality in the late 1980s suggest that the impurities floating around our indoor spaces could be just as harmful. The happy news is that indoor air pollution is something we can directly impact on without protesting in a pith helmet or chaining yourself to a tree.

The Study

A two-year study conducted by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) uncovered a sophisticated apparatus adept in soaking up harmful pollutants: the common houseplant. Typically of tropical origin, indoor plants grow in the shady understory of tropical forests. This means they flourish in low light and must be exceedingly efficient at processing the necessary gases for photosynthesis. This renders them well-suited to indoor environments and capable of removing harmful chemicals from the air. Dr. Bill Wolverton, former senior research scientist at NASA’s John. C. Stennis Space Centre in Mississippi, has spent several years conducting research into using organic processes to solve environmental problems. Based on initial evaluations of the use of common indoor plants for interior air cleansing, ALCA joined NASA to fund a study which used about a dozen well-known species of plants to ascertain their helpfulness in eliminating a number of pollutants associated with indoor air contamination. Research results strongly suggested that living plants are super efficient at absorbing pollutants in the air—so much so that some will even be launched into space as part of the biological life support system aboard future orbiting space stations. While more research is necessary, Wolverton says: “We feel that future results will provide an even stronger argument that common indoor landscaping plants can be a very effective part of a system used to provide pollution free homes and work places.”

April 2013


During the study, each plant was placed in sealed, Plexiglas chambers into which chemicals were injected. These bad boys included the following: Trichloroethylene (TCE): found in a wide variety of industrial uses, including metal degreasing and dry cleaning companies, as well as in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, and adhesives. Benzene: a very commonly used solvent that can be found lurking in regular household items like gasoline, inks, oils, paints, plastics, and rubber. Benzene is also used in the manufacture of detergents, pharmaceuticals, and dyes, and has been linked to what is now known as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Formaldehyde: present in virtually every indoor environment, formaldehyde can be found in products like tobacco smoke, manufactured wood products like particleboard and plywood used in cabinets and furniture, durable-press drapes and other permanent-press fabrics, adhesives, cleaning products, fire retardants, water repellents, wrinkle resistors and stiffeners. Formaldehyde is also used in grocery bags, waxed papers, facial tissues and paper towels. Other sources of formaldehyde include heating and cooking fuels like natural gas, kerosene, and cigarette smoke. Study results uncovered that the philodendron, the spider plant and the golden pothos were labeled the most effectual in removing formaldehyde molecules. Flowering plants such as gerbera daisy and chrysanthemums came top of the heap in removing benzene from the atmosphere. Other top performers included dracaena and spathiphyllum.

Wolverton explains: “Plants take substances out of the air through the tiny openings in their leaves, but research in our laboratories has determined that plant leaves, roots and soil bacteria are all important in removing trace levels of toxic vapors. Combining nature with technology can increase the effectiveness of plants in removing air pollutants. A living air cleaner is created by combining activated carbon and a fan with a potted plant. The roots of the plant grow right in the carbon and slowly degrade the chemicals absorbed there.”

Top of the Crops

The good news for us is that many of the plants listed by NASA as the most effective pollutant absorbers are available at your local BVI nursery. Here’s a quick look at what should be on your landscaping nursery shopping:

Areca Palm – Dypsis lutescens (among the most effective at oxygenating small, enclosed areas, making them great for the office)

Bamboo Palm – Chamaedorea seifritzii Boston Fern – Nephrolepis exaltata Dwarf Pygmy Palm – Phoenix roebellini Golden Pothos – Epipremnum aureum Janet Craig - Dracaena “Janet Craig” Lady Palm – Rhapis Excelsa (also noted for its ability to absorb ammonia)

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue - Sansevieria laurentii (most effective at producing oxygen at night, so perfect for the bedroom)

Peace Lily - Spathiphyllum Red-Edged Dracaena – Dracaena marginata Rubber Plant – Ficus elastic Weeping Fig – Ficus benjamina

Every choice we make—no matter how small—has an impact.

And last but not least, an unlikely suspect: sprouts. Growing plants for food inside your home has a mini-green house effect, and a variety of sprouts, such as those used in salads and Asian dishes, along with herbs produce oxygen and possess air-cleaning qualities. Plus, they’re a great addition to your culinary accomplishments. It is important to remember that although all the above are not high maintenance creatures, they do require adequate light, soil, drainage and water. The recommended number of plants for an average size home of less than 2,000 square feet is about 15 to 18 plants of the varieties that improve the air quality. To be effective, each plant needs to be large enough to be potted in a six-inch or more diameter pot. This also allows the root structure to grow and expand. John Muir, Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of wilderness preservation in the United States, once said that when one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. And he’s right. Every choice we make – no matter how small - has an impact. With this in mind, I think it’s pretty clear where I’ll be spending the first Saturday of Earth Month. I hope to see you there.

April 2013


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From imagery that is contemplative to energetic and

on the inside

The Virgin Islands is home to obvious aesthetic wonders—from the postcard views to the endless bright and colorful cultural influences. Most savvy homeowners know that a completed home is one that brings these beautiful reminders of nature and culture inside, through the use of carefully placed artistic fixtures. For this issue, we looked at some fine product examples available on Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

whimsical, Debi Carson’s artwork brightens any room, inviting a touch of light and radiance. Her art mediums range from canvas and mixed medium to the threedimensional surfboard. Artwork currently installed for purchase at Sole Spa in Road Town, or contact Debi at debicarson@; 284-494-5423. $750.

Beach glass artisan fashioned this piece using discovered Caribbean beach glass to create the shade and antique lamps dating back to 1940 to bring authenticity to this unique collector’s piece. Shades are hand-pieced together by individually wrapping the glass with copper foil and soldering the two together. Available exclusively at

Savanna Redman’s painting, “Dionysus with

Nutmeg Designs at Wickham’s Cay II,

Dolphins”, adds an artistic element to any room

starting at $750. Call 541-2663.

of the house. Painted in the Serti technique on silk, this painting is available as an archival custom print and in custom sizes on paper, canvas or as a tile mural. Imagine her work installed into a shower, fountain or swimming pool. Visit for shipping and pricing details.

A Metal Print from The Allamanda Gallery will light up your room with a magical luminescence. Dyes are infused into the aluminum surface to produce a brilliant result. Choose any of her images, any size, as a single hanging or a split or collage. Size and price start at 18” x 38” for $525. Allamanda Gallery, Main St Road Town or Top of the Baths, Virgin Gorda; 284-4946680

April 2013


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April 2013


By Dan O’Connor Story and photos by Dan O’Connor

Above: Wave Knight stationed in the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Below: The boat’s main deck.

The drive from Cane Garden Bay down Joe’s Hill and into town usually reveals a familiar view of Road Town and its harbour. Often, there’s a cruise ship dominating the pier—sometimes two—and general sailing activity in the Harbour and through Sir Francis Drake Channel. But twice a year I’m caught off guard when a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship adds a peculiar element to the otherwise familiar view. And during an otherwise average Wednesday in March, I took a closer look at RFA Wave Knight to find out exactly what the intriguing Crown-serving ship was doing in our waters. It wasn’t the first time I’d toured an RFA vessel, which is currently visiting the Caribbean on routine business. In 2010, I boarded RFA Wave Ruler, sister vessel to Wave Knight. The two virtually mirror each other in size, but their missions differed slightly. While Wave Ruler visited us in the summer hurricane season months, Wave Knight came to us on routine visit to the Caribbean to assist with anti-narcotics operations, as well as assist with community service missions and training in the UK’s five Caribbean overseas territories.

size and intricate industrial framework became more apparent. Wave Knight reaches almost 200 metres in length with a displacement of about 31,500 tonnes. The diesel-electric carrier is capable of reaching 18 knots with a range of 10,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.

Welcome Aboard I departed Road Harbour with a small group of journalists on a tender headed for Sir Francis Drake Channel, where Wave Knight parked away from a bustling Road Town during a heavy cruise ship day. As we approached, the ship’s massive



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We boarded the vessel from a staircase landing and were greeted by Cadet Guy Pascard. The 20-year-old crewmember joined a team of almost 90 on the ship; his young age and eager attitude seemed on par with the rest of his comrades. While we awaited members from the BVI Fire Department to join us, Cadet Pascard led us on a tour of the vessel, taking us first to the vessel’s bow. There, cranes, industrial pulleys and fuel systems, and safety and intercept ribs make up for the heavy machinery used in the ship’s various operations.

On the defensive We couldn’t pass by the “big guns” section of the tour without some “oohs and ahhs” and questions about how many times they’d been fired. Cadet Pascard explained that the two 30mm canons only fire in training missions and as a defensive if the ship is attacked. But that’s not to say that the shooters haven’t ever seen some action.

Wave Knight reaches almost 200 metres in length with a displacement of about 31,500 tonnes.








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In 2008, Wave Knight participated in Exercise Khunjahaad, a multinational exercise in the Gulf of Moan to conduct air defense, surface warfare operations, board and seizure and joint gunnery exercises. In April 2009, Royal Navy personnel operating from the Wave Knight in the Gulf of Aden intercepted and fended off two pirate attacks using the ships armament. The effectively gave chase to the pirate skiff and, using its weapons as cover, held it and its mother boat until a Dutch naval vessel arrived. In all, 13 hostages were released and the pirates’ weapons were destroyed, according to UK National Archives. Of the vessel and its capabilities, then-Commanding Officer Captain Pillings said in a Royal Navy interview, “RFA Wave Knight is a modern replenishment ship designed to be able to support a myriad of coalition maritime operations. Our primary role is refueling and aviation operations,

but we are fully capable of conducting anti-piracy operations in and around the Horn of Africa.”

Helping locally During the recent trip to the Caribbean and the BVI, fire rescue officers and personnel worked with local fire crewmembers and Virgin Islands Search and Rescue members to assist in training exercises. VISAR and BVI Fire Department personnel participated in and observed a rescue exercise to transport an injured person from the vessel to VISAR’s cutter and safely back to shore. While the fast fleet tanker’s primary mission is to provide refueling to UK warships, they are also able to provide disaster relief during their stay in Caribbean waters. Over the last two years, the UK has significantly cut defense spending, and consequently the presence of a warship in the region has been suspended. But RFA vessels like Wave Knight have been increasingly involved in activities like counter-narcotic operations and work with local communities. “We’ve stopped more than one boat—suspicious boats—but none of which were convicted or proven of anything,” said Commanding Officer Capt. Ross Ferris. “However, one of our successes is that we know we do deter quite a lot of activity that would go on if we were not here.” Continuing, the commanding officer noted that the ship’s next mission included a rendezvous with US Coast Guard members in order to assist with counter-narcotic exercises. He did not divulge on specifics about upcoming missions.

Permission to go to the beach Although crew aboard Wave Knight agreed they did work hard and often odd hours, those asked said they enjoyed their work. After a busy schedule over three days in harbor, Capt. Ferris said he was looking forward to attending a quiz at The Royal BVI Yacht Club. “Certainly my life has been involved in insuring that the ship is doing its job property,” he said during our visit, noting his interest in sailing and the BVI’s popular marine activities. “I’m looking forward to stepping ashore and experiencing this wonderful island. Some of my people will undoubtedly look forward to going ashore, and undoubtedly a few will check out Pusser’s to see what the rum tastes like.”



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Reviving a Sleeping Prison Not everyone on the RFA Wave Ruler went to the beach or the bar when visiting Tortola. Some participated in volunteer community projects. A group from the crew used their free time to help local teams contracted to clear out the old HM Prison on Main Street in Road Town, where plans have been hatched to turn the capital city’s oldest surviving building into a museum. About a dozen crewmembers accompanied a local crew and Project Manager Hugh Whistler for the cleanup and renovation of the museum. The overgrown, inactive relic previously acted as the first prison in the territory. The building dates back 1774 and acted as both a housing grounds and galley for condemned criminals until capital punishment was abolished in the territory. The edifice is famously recorded in history—most famously after the execution of wealthy plantation owner Arthur Hodge on May 8, 1811. Hodge was hanged for murdering one of his slaves. The famous incident is cited as a significant historical milestone that contributed to the emancipation of slaves throughout the British Empire in 1838.


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About a dozen crewmembers accompanied a local crew and Project Manager Hugh Whistler for the cleanup and renovation of the museum.


Above: Crew work to clean the Old Prison in Road Town. Opposite: VISAR members practice a rescue mission.

“I look forward to seeing the prison take its place alongside the other museums in Tortola, such as the Lower Estate Sugar Mill, the Folk Museum, Old Government House Museum and the Maritime Museum,” BVI Governor Boyd McCleary said about the $100,000 restoration project, noting a similar exercise taking place at St Philip’s church in Kingstown. “This too is a building with an important story to tell about the liberated Africans who were settled there in the early 19th century after being taken off slave ships by the Royal Navy.” As overgrown bushes and debris make way from the prison’s courtyard and various cells, the historic building is beginning to reveal a preserved piece of history. Wooden floors and bedding previous used by prisoners still exists within the cells, and a glimpse into history is slowly seeing the light of day once again.




April 2013


10 tips for

EARTH DAY By Steve Fox, Managing Director OBMI BVI

For April, I often write here about the architectural and design factors related to the environment, which architects take into consideration during the design and construction of a home. At my office, we always encourage our clients to keep environmental issues at the top of their priority list, and typically we’ll aim to design to minimise the home’s impact on the site and to ensure that it is efficient and durable. Most clients are more than happy to take this approach; if we can spend time thinking about these issues during the design stages, we can ensure that the house sits well on the site, reduce the possibility of nasty surprises occurring during construction, and create a sustainable home that is comfortable and enjoyable to live in.


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The design process should help to focus on the various integral, built-in elements of the house: the actual fabric of the structure. Insulation in the roof, solar panels for heating water and photovoltaic panels for generating power, optimum orientation and positioning on the site, creative window and door design for good natural ventilation and light, tough materials to maximise durability, and the specification of appropriate plumbing fixtures to minimise the use of water. These are all things that the architect can (and should) incorporate into the design.

Use smart strip / surge protection, to reduce power consumption and protect electronics

But hopefully the owner’s commitment to the environment will not stop there. It pays, in many ways, to think about our everyday lifestyles—to do what we can to reduce our daily impact on the earth. So, in recognition of Earth Day this month, here are 10 things beyond the design and construction of a home that an owner in the BVI can aim to do, to help to reduce their negative impact on the earth and to work towards having a positive impact on the environment of the islands.

New technology in power strips can automatically shut down power to devices which are not in use, saving on electrical bills whilst providing essential protection from damaging power spikes.

Plant shade trees and local flora

Use compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs

Plan your landscaping for the long term; plant trees to shade the house, to help to keep it naturally cool, and choose indigenous plants, which don’t require much irrigation.

Phase out inefficient tungsten bulbs, and replace them with long-lasting alternatives. The up-front cost may be higher, but energy savings should be significant. And the quality, convenience and attractiveness of LED fittings is getting more and more impressive.

Choose energy-efficient appliances

Dry laundry naturally

Again, the up-front cost may be higher, but a high quality, energy-efficient fridge, dishwasher and laundry machine can, over time, save hundreds of dollars in power costs.

With all the sun and breeze at our disposal, it should be possible to find an outside area to hang laundry. Electric dryers are expensive, energyhungry, and they’re not great for your clothes.

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Check for plumbing leaks

Sort garbage, remove organic waste

Keep an eye on all your plumbing fixtures, to look out for small leaks that might occur over time; particularly in toilets, where an undetected leak can slowly but surely waste hundreds of gallons of precious water.

Municipal recycling may not yet be in effect in the BVI, but you can still organise your waste and help to reduce the pressure on the government incinerator. If you can find a way to dispose of organic waste in the garden, downwind of the house, your trips to the dumpster can be less frequent and much more pleasant.

Put a brick or rock in toilet tanks

Start composting

Even with low flow or dual-flush toilets, it might be worthwhile trying this simple method of reducing water use even further.

Take the natural disposal of organic waste one step further by setting up a proper composting operation. This will also help to get rid of old paper and cardboard, and can naturally fertilise that other project, the vegetable garden.

Switch to non-chemical cleaning materials / products Vinegar and baking soda can be used around the home for all kinds of cleaning applications. Try a simple internet search to find out more about the huge number of ways to reduce your use of harmful chemicals.

These are just a small sample of things we can all do, to start to reduce our environmental footprint. They’re all fairly small-scale, but as with all these things, if we all do them, the beneficial effect is multiplied and should be significant. And again, as is often the case with environmentally-friendly initiatives, you should see some benefit in your bank account!


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Reveling in Regattas Melges 32 series kicks off

By Dan O’Connor

In March, the busiest month for regattas in the Virgin Islands welcomed racers from near and far to experience all that our steady-winded waters have to offer. Joining the circuit this year is the Melges 32 Virgin Islands Racing Series. As of press time, the first leg of the series at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda rounded off with organizers and participants heralding a successful turnout for traveling sailors and some local participants and establishments as well. There, Roberto Tomasini Grinover aboard Robertissima championed the regatta, with Alex Jackson’s Leenabaraca in second and Jason Carroll’s Argo in third. Racers had also committed to the March 22-24 International Rolex Regatta in St Thomas and the BVI Spring Regatta, as an unsanctioned event, from March 29-31. The Melges 32 one-design racing brand attracts an elite crowd of boat owners and teams that travel around the globe to compete. International interest in the racing brand has grown with more than 80 teams competing worldwide. According to their website, the company has sold more than 150 of these grand prix vessels since 2005. Their one design build and design

April 2013


“People get excited to sail our boats because they are fast and fun.” have attracted some of the most skilled tacticians and trimmers in the world. It’s these reasons that have brought excitement to and off our shores. Before the regatta series started, I spoke with Harry Melges—one of the most competitive and storied sailors in history—about the family-owned company and its renowned stake in the industry. “People get excited to sail our boats because they are fast and fun,” he said. “I think beyond the boats, though we have a fantastic group of owners and teams that migrate into our classes. Some of the best sailors in the world rub elbows with amateurs—Corinthian sailors—or any given day, creating a great environment both on and off the water.” Melges was originally approached by a group of Virgin Islands sailors, who lobbied for our waters as an ideal location for the premier events. Previously, the series called the shores of Florida home. In the BVI, Melges 32 boat owner Mark Plaxton, who has taken down two consecutive Heineken Regattas on his prided vessel, led the push here to bring three events to BVI waters. He called upon the support of veteran pros



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Peter Holmberg, Anthony Koutoun and Ben Beer of the USVI to also lobby for the event across Virgin Islands waters. Holmberg, who has raced on Melges 32 teams for the past two years, described the racing machines as “extremely difficult to sail, but highly rewarding when you do. “Attracting this class of boats for a winter series is a huge achievement for our territories,” he continued. “The class is regarded as one of the best in the world, so the press and the public will take notices of them coming here.”

Upcoming RegattaS April 20: Virgin Queen Pizza Pursuit Race April 26: Melges 32 Caribbean Championship, Peter Island May 4: BVI Dinghy Championships May 4: Race and Cruise to Bitter End Yacht Club May 24: Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta

Racers compete in a close race in North Sound, Virgin Gorda. All photos by Joy Dunnigan.

May 26: Leverick Bay Dinghy Poker Run

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April 2013



Story by Traci O’Dea Photos by Anya Brewley-Schultheiss

True art is transcendent in that it can elevate its audience to another realm—a divine dominion of joy and grace inspired by the artistry of the piece. Last year, I experienced this divine transcendence by watching a dance performance. It was the first time dance had moved me so viscerally, and it took place during the RINGMASTER stage show on Tortola. The dedication, talent, and imagination of a troupe of sixty volunteers— choreographers, dancers, organizers, gymnasts, technicians, jugglers, acrobats, and clowns, from high school students to retirees—shined through, inevitably resulting in these moments of elation. This year’s RINGMASTER, with performances on April 13, 14, 20, and 21, promises to be bolder, brighter, and even more blissful. The Cada Players, who organize the show, have taken over UP’s Crystal Ballroom—an appropriate setting for such a grand production that is part circus, part dance, part play and part concert. The show has reinvented itself since last year’s debut, thanks in part to the new venue at UP’s Cineplex. “We don’t have any space restrictions,” organizer Sarah Penney said, “so we can run and leap and stretch out in new ways.” In addition to the dancing, acting, juggling, roller skating, and hula hooping, the show will feature original music performed by Dalan Vanterpool, Akim Johnson, and Oren Hodge. “Dalan has composed some amazing pieces specifically for this show, and I honestly can’t stop humming them even when we’re not rehearsing,” Sarah said. She mentioned other additions to this year’s production, including an aerial acrobat, more dramatic scenes, and, of course, new dance numbers. “By now, you’d think I wouldn’t be surprised by the talent and dedication of our local BVI artists—



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all of whom are full-time professionals or students—but they still astonish me with their willingness to so kindly and competently volunteer to share their gifts,” she said. Besides providing an uplifting, moving experience to audiences of all ages, proceeds from ticket sales benefit Hands On Volunteers, a BVI charitable initiative that operates Harmony House in Haiti where fourteen children left homeless by the 2010 earthquake are given food, shelter, education and care. The organization also sends volunteers to Port au Prince every few months. These teams provide enrichment programs to help the children develop the life skills needed to become Haiti’s new leaders.

Tickets for RINGMASTER are available at Tortola Express, Vanterpool Pharmacy and UP’s Cineplex, and also from any cast member. For more information regarding tickets, sponsorship or volunteering, write to, go to, or ring Sarah & Joanne Penney at (284) 494-2324. For more information on Hands On Volunteers, visit

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April 2013




By Susie Younkle

There are those rare individuals who eat three square meals a day with no snacks, but most of us need a little extra fuel between meals. Despite their sometimes bad reputation as sugary or salty sources of empty calories, snacks can be an essential part of a healthy diet and a source of needed energy. Convenient, healthy snack food is particularly important while cruising aboard a sailboat. When provisioning, buy more snacks than you think are necessary. I’ve noticed that people snack more aboard boats, especially on hectic days or when weather and waves make meal preparation difficult. Having well-planned snacks is useful during a full day of sailing and an absolute necessity for an overnight or multi-day passage. Even if your cruising consists solely of leisurely day sails, you’ll still want munchies to enjoy with your sunset cocktails. Designate a snack cabinet in an easily accessible location in the galley. Stock it with healthy, nonperishable, grab ‘n go items such as nuts, dried fruit and granola bars. As an added bonus for the boat chef who has carefully planned her menu and shopping trips, if hungry sailors know there’s a snack cabinet, they’re less likely to raid the fridge and eat the ingredients for that evening’s dinner!

When provisioning for Virgin Islands cruising, here are some of my favourite snacks: Sweet Snacks: Buy fresh fruit such as apples, tangerines and bananas that can be eaten out of hand. Dried fruit also does the trick when you need something sweet. In particular, I love dates, which are naturally sweet with no added sugar. Granola or granola bars are another mainstay in my pantry. Lastly, people who have spent time on the water with me will probably say that my homemade cookies are their perfect snack. Savoury Snacks: When I want a savoury snack, nuts and seeds are tops on my boat. They are delicious, non-perishable and compact. I like items that multi-task, and nuts and seeds are especially good in this respect, as they can be used in a variety of cooking and baking or added to salads. I always keep a variety in my pantry, including almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. For a delicious sweet and salty combo, pair peanut butter or almond butter with apples or celery. Hummus or other dips with veggies (baby carrots are particularly convenient), string cheese and hard boiled eggs are all terrific for boats. Craving something salty? Cheese straws are a nice alternative to crisps. One of my favourite savoury treats is beef jerky, which I pick up when I can find it in Caribbean supermarkets. Pre-Dinner Appetizers: Guacamole and tortilla chips, olives, cheese & crackers, mixed nuts, and veggies & dip are all good choices to pair with sundowner cocktails. Smoked salmon on crackers and shrimp with cocktail sauce are also nice special-occasion options. Have enough heavy appetizers so you can enjoy a meal of drinks & apps on short notice. If I’m cruising for a week, I usually plan for one evening meal that consists completely of appetizer-type foods. When plans change or you arrive at



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your anchorage later than expected, it’s great to be able to throw together a quick “grazing” dinner of appetizers. Snacks are one area of provisioning where it can be hard to find local options. Look for interesting and unexpected local goodies such as crunchy seasoned channa (chickpeas) in Grenada, tamarind balls in St. Vincent & The Grenadines and empanadas in Puerto Rico. Plantain chips are also readily available throughout the Caribbean. Before you set sail, consider making a big batch of granola or trail mix to have available as snacks. It won’t take more than a few minutes, and you can customize the ingredients to suit the tastes of your crew. For starters, try my yummy and filling trail mix recipe, which is just the right mix of sweet and savoury.

Fruit and Nut Trail Mix ½ c shelled pistachios ½ c chopped toasted almonds ½ c roasted sunflower seeds ½ c golden raisins ½ c diced dried apricots ½ c unsweetened dried coconut flakes or coconut chips Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

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April 2013


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Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - April 2013  

I contributed to this - Stephen L France

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - April 2013  

I contributed to this - Stephen L France